Você está na página 1de 96

Truth Seekers

Or

Excuse Seekers

Modern Christianity Questioned and Unveiled

by T.L. Bryant

Statement of Faith

All of the beliefs listed will be cited by scriptures throughout the study you are undertaking.

* I believe God created the world in 7 literal days and we are living in the last generation.

*I believe Jesus is God manifest in flesh came to be a sacrifice for our sins and be a just judge by knowing human feelings

* I believe the fullness of the godhead is bodily manifest in Jesus.

* I believe we should be saved by the blood, washed in the water, renewed by the

spirit.

* I believe in the apostle's new testament baptism in the name of Jesus to empower and cover us, and to become the true bride of Christ by taking His name.

* I believe in a literal translation of the Bible unless symbolism is implied by "as if" or "likened to".

* I believe the Bible is God-inspired, inerrant, and infallible. All inconsistencies are not inconsistencies and can be understood- revealed-- through scriptures.

* All true doctrines and beliefs can be proved by multiple scripture citations that harmonize together.

* The early new testament church should be our example of Jesus' intended church

with their doctrines as they personally knew Jesus. NONE of their beliefs and practices should be omitted.

* I believe there are no NEW revelations, rather God illuminating and opening eyes to

truth.

* I believe in ONE God, named Jesus. Plurality of deities is deception and against the first commandment which is the cornerstone of all faith

Truth Seekers or Excuse Seekers. Copyright ©2006 by T.L. Bryant. All rights reserved. Printed in United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information contact T.L. Bryant at HeChozNailz@aol.com or on myspace name HeChozNailz4Me.

This book is dedicated to my brother and all those like him who are out there searching for truth, tired of the excuses and wanting to be the closest they possibly can be. My many thanks to all those people who have spoken of this subject before. You were a great help to me in my research-from both points of view. Thanks to my family, who allowed me the time to follow the leading of the Spirit in this endeavor. Mostly, I thank God for being so blessed in so many things that I cannot even begin to count them. He has more than my eternal gratitude, Jesus has my heart and soul.

I would also like to extend a personal thanks to all of you people willing to read this book, whether you agree with me or not. God said to set forth the message and He will do the rest. I rely upon Him to speak to you in your personal relationship with Him as He did me. God bless you all abundantly and above that which you expect or require.

I also would like to dedicate this, my first book, to my recently deceased aunt, Loaris Jean Gore Hale. Lois look down from heaven and smile. I'm following your lead and standing for what I believe even if I stand alone. Say "hi" to Jesus for me and hug Papa, Charlie, and Preston for me. I'll see you someday soon up there.

Tammy Bryant

Table of Contents

) Introduction

I) Personal Testimony

II) False Doctrine Or Truth?

III) The Godhead

IV) The Trinity Doctrine

V) What Is Being Born Again?

VI) Speaking in Tongues:Does God Still Manifest Himself This Way In Believers?

VII) The Early Church And The Manifestations Of It's Offices VIII) Jewish Festivals Jesus Kept And Why Christians Still Should Because of the Symbolism

IX) Seeing Jesus In The Old Testament Tabernacle

X) Conclusion

XI) Added in the memory of Loaris Jean Gore Hale

Introduction

I am probably going to "step on a few toes" and upset a few people - if not most - in the Christian world today. I look at the churches around us today and I am frankly disgusted. How can we claim to be Christlike in the church's current form? Yes, I am speaking of so called Christian churches. We have truly become a wicked and perverse people through spiritual whoredom.

God does not see denomination. He sees people and He sees their hearts. Almost all of our Christian denominations have perverted and twisted the scriptures to please ourselves and tickle our ears. Very few believers have the fullness of God at work in our lives. We have homosexuals, hypocrites, child molesters, and conformists in our pulpits. These are just the tip of the iceberg when we look at the abominations that have come into His church throughout time.

How many of us are just as bound in chains by our traditional beliefs as the Jews were in Jesus' time on earth? How many of us are true seekers and not excuse seekers who blindly accept the doctrine taught to us from infancy? The jews were blinded to who and what Jesus was because of what was taught to them from infancy. Many of us also have blinders and "rose colored glasses" that alter our perception. How perverted have our beliefs become? Do we accept the doctrine that we are taught as truth because it has become so ingrained in us as a whole over time? Even Hitler said if you tell a lie long enough, loud enough, with just enough truth to make it seem truthful, it will become truth to the people. Satan is the great deceiver and it is his ultimate goal to destroy all of our souls. Believe it or not, he has had a "hayday" in the Christian community because we have ALLOWED it.

Hitler was just a foreshadow of the Antichrist to come. Should we continue to follow teachings that are directly against what Jesus taught His disciples? Should we be partakers of the great harlots sins? Do we simply want to sit on the sidelines and allow His church to no longer be the virgin bride He will come for through spiritual whoredom? Will we be one of those that come in His name that He says to depart from Him, He never knew us?

My doctrinal ideas may seem new and radical to some, heresy to others. However, I assure you that nothing is further from the truth. We must return to our first love and the simple truths He laid out for us. We should do this no matter how far it knocks us out of our comfort zone. Trust me, when God illuminated my path, it took considerable time to come to terms with the truth once the prejudicial blinders of the teaching of my youth were removed. Much prayer and seeking, research and study, not just from the Bible but other historical and information sources has been done. I did not want to live a lie anymore. I wanted absolute truth to come to me.

God has laid it upon my heart to help equip and separate the truth seekers from the excuse seekers. Because we have been deceived does not mean we are not believers. The Bible

pure hearts that truly wish to follow Him. He admonishes us to "come out of her my people

that you be not partakers of her judgement". Do not doubt that God is love. However, He is

a just judge and He will sentence those who disobey Him to eternal damnation. We live in

critical times for Jesus' true bride. We must present ourselves to Him as chaste. As I write this, I am reminded of the book of Hosea. He was a godly man who took a prostitute as a wife because God told him to. He believed God for a good wife and God brought her around. He restored Hosea's wife to him even after her whore mongering ways. We must be repentant as she was and return home to our good and faithful Husband! Many a theologian will agree with me about us living in the last generation. Time is short. Jesus could return at any moment and His bride must be purified, ready, proved faithful, and waiting. Don't put it off it might make you miss the call.

I am doing my best to humbly follow what Jesus has spoken to my heart. I am no

theologian and am not a truly educated scholar with degrees hanging on my wall. I am just

a lowly servant of God trying to do my Master's bidding as His servants have done in the

past. Though I am not formally educated, my Lord has gifted me with intelligence without an earthly degree; an ability to express myself well; a desire and hunger to learn;and, the will to ferret out the truth. But most importantly, His Spirit living in me to guide my quest. I want to serve God the best I can in the way He desires. Sacrificially if necessary.

He has blessed me with the answers I have long sought. Remember the words He spoke that "the road to life is narrow and traveled by few". Also, that the time will come when people cry "Lord, Lord" and He will say "depart from me. I never knew you." "Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened." He has shown me that all of His mystery is there to be unfolded for those who seek the answers and truly listen with their heart and soul.

I realize that persecution will come hand in hand with the blessing of this illumination He has given me. Yes, illumination, not revelation. I can see no other way to look at it but that I can do no less for my Savior than He has done for me. Here I am, Lord! Send me! I give my life to You all in all. Holding back nothing, I reaffirm to follow Your will no matter what. Use me, Lord Jesus, as Your vessel to do Your will. I submit to Your authority in all things! Amen.

The persecution that will come against me is expected as Satan hates his lies to be revealed. He has always persecuted those he could to try to shut up the voice of God. I will not be silent! I will boldly go forth and preach and teach doing the will of my King. Try to shut me up Satan and God will raise another in my place. His word will go forth to all people. Am I perfect? Absolutely without a question not! Would I like to be? Yes, but God's still working on me. Will those who persecute me try to cite my past faults to hinder the word of God? Absolutely! That's Satan's forte. He loves trying to make us feel condemned for that which we have been saved, delivered, and cleansed from. So let's disarm his fiery darts right now. Confession is good for the soul so I'll even tell you about things that no one else would know I've done.

I'm going to get as much of my past out in the open as I can remember in all things. Not just as a confession but as a testimony of God's love, grace and mercy. I know without knowing some of you that some of this will reach into your very heart and soul because you will be able to identify with my pain.

Know this, God is truly a redeemer in all things. When He forgives, He takes our sin and throws it into the sea of forgetfulness, never to be remembered by Him again. The abundance of His forgiveness is available to all who will diligently call upon His name. Remember we must forgive ourselves of our past too. Once you have forgiven yourself, Satan cannot use it against you again. You have been covered in Jesus' blood, washed white as snow, and healed by the stripes He took for us.

Personal Testimony

I was born June 20, 1968 in Mesquite, TX. Before I go further that that I wish to say that anything

said here is not said with malice toward any. I have forgiven those who have hurt me in any way and I hope to be forgiven by any that I have hurt myself. Human nature is that hurt people hurt others. It is part of the curse of Adam that negative begats negative. We have to consciously choose to react positively when we are in pain. It is an admonishment from Jesus that we love even the unlovely in unlovely circumstances.

Although I love my parents with all my heart, and learned many rock solid things from them about life, they are somewhat of a contradiction. All of us parents are aware that we don't get instruction manuals when we become parents. We just do the best we can. Most of our behavior patterns as parents are learned from our parents.It is part of the circle of life. We can choose to follow God's word in raising our children or we can follow the disfunctional teachings of our fallible parents.

My mother's maternal grandfather was a pentecostal preacher. Though her father was not a religious man until later in life, he had very rigid moral ideas. I speak mostly of the fathers because he is the head of the home-the spiritual high priest. The Bible says the sins of the father are passed down even until the 4th generation. Whatever mind set the head of the home has will generally dictate the setting in the home. If the man is not the head of the home as Christ is the church , it is a disfunctional home. My grandfather set the rules and guidelines for his home. That being, my mother was raised in a somewhat ordered and rigid moral way.

My father, from what I understand, had a sporadic religious and family life as a child. He has always felt-whether it is so or not I do not know-as if he were abused as a child. I do know that as a child I witnessed many of what I would consider abnormal behaviors from him. I, also, know that his paternal grandfather was an alcoholic who did not work much who passed strange behaviors on to my grandfather. That being the case the abnormal behavior of my father was learned somewhere or was the result of someone's behavior learned at an early age. I was, and am still not, very close with his family. He was somewhat wild in his youth.

Two more different people I've never known. Mom wanted us in church; Dad could have cared less most of the time in my opinion. However, he did want to make my gentle hearted mother happy. Because of this, he decided to go to church-some kind of church- at various times throughout my young life.

I was dedicated to God in a Four Square Gospel church but for whatever reason that was not the

church for Dad. I remember so many times feeling my dad searching for God but not knowing how to open himself to Him. I can remember feeling his anguish at wanting to "fit in" and be like everyone else there. I remember feeling as a young child that I knew he was pretending to speak in tongues or whatever just to fit in. Dad was good at wearing a mask-I learned that skill from a master. Sometimes, I believe, even hiding from himself the truth because he had to have complete control or feel lost. Nothing is wrong with a man in control, but it should be tempered with godly wisdom and authority. If you stay in control without letting God have control, you are fooling yourself with a false sense of security.

We went to all kinds of churches and denominations of churches when I was a child, sporadically of course. This causes confusion and God is not chaos. I remember a time I told my Christian friends that Dad wanted to expose us to all denominations so we could make our own decision when we became adults. The truth is that we patiently went from church to church while Dad searched for his answers and for the place that he "fit in." If I am not mistaken, he even has researched the Jehovah's Witness and the Mormon religions trying to find his "truth." (He has passed this unending, unfruitful searching down to my brother.) At one point, he became obsessed with the

book of Revelation and the signs of who the Antichrist would be. Also, whether or not he would have a second chance if Jesus raptured the church and he was left behind.

All I know of his family's religious preference is those he spoke of that were a part of the Salvation Army. I can remember doing volunteer work at Christmas with my grandfather and aunts who were paid for their services to the needy for the Salvation Army. I just have a hard time understanding being paid for that kind of a community service, but they were in no way doing it as a religious service for God. He was to the best of my knowledge, in no way a religious man nor do I know of any time he attended any church except for a funeral or wedding. Some of my dad's siblings have never even read the Bible, but those I know of I have encouraged to do so.

For a time, for reasons unknown to me at this time, my parents attended no church at all. At the age of between 8 and 10, I began to catch the bus that came through our neighborhood for the Assembly of God church. Sometimes my brother and sister would go-sometimes not. Within a short span of time, I began to hound my parents to attend and the pastor's wife aided me by beginning weekly visitations with them.

The most memorable ride to church I had as a youngster was the first Sunday they agreed to go. I knew no other way to get them there other than the bus route. Needless to say, Dad was upset at driving for almost an hour and ready to go back home by the time we arrived at the church. The preceding years were some of the happiest years of my life while we attended that church as a family.

The church had an awesome program for kids and the youth. It is true that if you teach a child the way it should go it will not depart from it. I have always reverted to the teachings of my youth there- being a good steward of your time, your money and your talent. Tithing and service to God is taught there above all else. I was saved, filled with the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues and baptized in that church at twelve years old. I learned to be unafraid of my witness and my stance for God there. I saw a man die of a HEART ATTACK in the sanctuary and the saints and elders of the church lay hands on him and by the power of Jesus revive him. I know God can do many things because I have witnessed them with my own eyes. Not a staged event but real people personally known by me experience the power of God move over them.

My dad taught Royal Rangers and mom was involved with the Missionettes there. They volunteered their service to the church often in many ways-maintenance of the church, driving the bus, helping the elderly, working with the children and young people. It seemed like we'd finally found our church home. We attended there until my senior year in high school.

Let me regress a moment to speak of my years in high school. My children, and even my husband, consider me strange when I speak of who I was then. How sometimes I wish the clock could be turned back to those times. Not to replay my youth, but simply to be who I was in the deepest part of myself then. I had friends but more were just merely acquaintances. I was strict with myself, adding rules to myself that even my parents didn't impose. I carried my Bible to school and received ridicule for it. I dated seldom from a self imposed rule that anyone I dated had to be considered a marriage prospect.

I was by no means a hermit though. I was very active. On the student council, the choir, a cheerleader one year, on the speech and debate team, the Leo club, French and Spanish clubs, and the list could go on. Part of the reason I was so active was it was an excuse not to be home-my parents had begun to attend church sporadically again. Part of it was I was always looking for approval from my dad that never came. Part was because I'd been taught at church that all things should be done as if you are doing them for God. In essence I was an overachiever. I always became upset when I felt I failed at anything, so I did my best to fail at nothing. If I could not be the best, or close to it, I did not want to do it. Back to my senior year, I was having difficulty dealing with my upcoming adulthood. Around midterm, my parents decided to move to Royce City, TX to get my brother away from friends that

were a bad influence. I did all I could to refuse to move and I didn't until I graduated.

It might have been a well intended choice on my parents' part, but I believe it did more harm than good for several reasons. On the surface, we lost our church home and the spiritual covering a good church home provides. For me, it disrupted an already massively changing life already full of confusion as an emerging adult. I can only see what problems I see on the surface it caused my brother and sister as I don't know their secret thoughts and pain. They did not have the stability and security I had at a difficult time in their lives. On a spiritual note, because they ran from the situation instead of fighting onward like good christian soldiers, they allowed a chink in their spiritual armor. God does not speak of your back being covered in Ephesians 6.

He covers your head first with the helmet of salvation; your heart with the breastplate of righteousness; your belly with the belt of truth deep in your soul; shods your feet in the preparation of the gospel to march forward; the sword of the Spirit to attack offensively; and, the shield of faith to defend yourself. Your back, is not covered because God does not call you to retreat. Satan only needs you to turn away in loss of faith for what God can and will do. He will attack the weak spot and begin to destroy the whole. He used their flight as the spiritual head of our home turned in retreat to begin to destroy and tear us all down and our family cracked under the stress.

I became an absolute brat about leaving my home, my church, my friends, and all that was familiar

to me. My brother left one set of problems in trade for not just one but many. Whether you believe me or not, I can remember being awakened in the middle of the night by what I know was an angel of God. He told me not to be afraid but to look out of my window at the spiritual battle taking place. What I saw confirmed in me that the Lord has His angels protecting and fighting a war with Satan to this day. It is so imprinted in my mind that I have never been able to convince myself it was a dream.

While living in Royce City, I began to go to junior college because I was angry at not being able to go where I wanted to study what I wanted. My dad believed it was unpractical to study theatrical arts and did not believe I should go out of state to school. While at junior college, my faith and belief in myself and God began to slip. The more I felt like a failure-because I'd never really failed at anything-the further from God I drifted. Never before had I ever felt so worthless, unloved, or unlovable.

We had stopped attending church and I had no spiritual protection from the renewal with fellowship. Lost and feeling alone in a new, worldly and hostile environment, I allowed emotions to rule me. After all, I reasoned, how can a twelve year old know what it is truly like to be a sinner and ask God for forgiveness. No matter that we are all born in sin. No matter that the very night I asked God to be my Savior, I had the evidence of my salvation by the gift of speaking in tongues (Do all who are saved speak in tongues? Yes and no. I will explain in a later chapter about the gift of speaking in tongues.)

Let me tell you this-to those who say the Spirit does not move to give utterance anymore- I cannot even begin to adequately describe the way I felt. To be filled with the Spirit of God for the first time is a never to be forgotten experience. To be submitted and broken, humbled before the throne of God in the holy of holies. To feel completely here, yet to feel as if you have been put on another plain of reality. To know in your mind what you wish to speak but to hear other words and sounds you should not know to be spoken with your own mouth. Words cannot adequately describe the experience. This is the fully stoked fire of God within you that you want to spill out on all mankind. That is truly having your cup overflowing. This Spirit living within me is what kept me from even making graver mistakes in life than I have.

despite myself.

I allowed Satan to work on my mind and try to steal that from me. But PRAISE GOD! Nothing can

take that away from you! He is victorious in all things! Satan is a liar and a deceiver. He tried to convince me it was all a lie, just my imagination at work. This allowed the spirit of rebellion in my life. Never before had I wanted to be so defiant to any and everyone-to please myself instead of doing what I knew was right. Never in my life, until this very moment, have I realized what a pivotal

moment in my life that was. That one lie from Satan changed my entire perspective of life both before and after.

I had allowed the spirit of lies to blind me to truth and have victory over me. By doing so, I allowed

Satan to haunt me with other tricks of his trade to divert God's will in my life. Most people who are called and marked are so called at a young age, whether they realize it or not. God has predetermined it and knows the outcome. He will continue to bring your life in circles of lessons until you heed Him or He hardens your heart. I was illequiped to handle the battle, my fleshly nature was

ruling, and was temporarily defeated. But Praise the Lord! Jesus has already won the war for us. I can look back and know that now.

I began to smoke cigarettes and drink just to defy my parents. I think they saw their family being

attacked and tried to save it the best way they knew how-getting us back in church. We began attending Church On The Rock in Rockwall, TX but Satan already had a foothold we didn't realize. I became quite depressed often thinking and writing poetry about suicide and how unfair everything and everyone was to me. I went through the motions of going to church without putting my heart into it.

I am a testimony to the fact that even when you think people aren't listening because they aren't

responding, the seed can still grow. If it is good seed, in good soil it will eventually sprout. Some seeds take longer than others because of weather conditions. I learned valuable teachings that I didn't really take to heart until much later in my life. I just wanted away from my parents and my own personally created hell. That lying spirit of Satan was working on me hard and heavy.

I began to see innocent, heart felt conversations my dad would have with me as sexual. Let me

emphatically say right now, my dad never ever touched me or talked to me that way. I am not saying he was never inappropriate in the time he chose or the language he used because a generational spirit was passed down from his father in regard to this. However, it never was allowed reign toward me or another person that I know of. It manifested in his life in a different manner which is not my story to tell. My perception at the time, however, was distorted by Satan. My father loves me and would never have done that. He just wasn't properly taught by his father to be a father. My heart knows this. Satan is a liar and a deceiver.

I felt as if during these conversations my dad was being sexually suggestive and accusing me of no

longer being a virgin. Looking back I can see the how, the where, and the when of Satan attacking my relationship with my father. Never before the move that caused so much turmoil in our lives had Dad even approached me on this subject. Never before the move had he broached this subject with me in the darkness of night alone. Never before the move had so many demonic spirits been at work in our home. Looking without that lying spirit oppressing me and using our household situation to his advantage, I can see it clearly. He never raised his voice in anger as a father is likely to do who's raised his daughter to know that sex outside of marriage is sinful. He never once actually accused me. Satan was the accuser of the innocent. Dad was exhorting me to speak freely to him about things. Was I having impure thoughts? Had anyone acted unseemly toward me? Was someone pressuring me into anything? A chance to speak freely without condemnation. For once in my life, he was truly trying to be a father to me.

However, because of that lying spirit, I felt wrongly accused and put upon in the wrong way by my father. I reasoned in my confused mind that I might as well commit the sin. After all, my father who supposedly knew me so well, had already condemned me of it. Another spirit attachment to my life

was the result of the mistake I made the very next day.

I should have been at church singing in the choir. Instead, I was at home alone setting up seduction for myself and my boyfriend. I had to convince him I had lied about my virginity and so on. It was the most horrible experience of my life. Not for the physical act but because I sinned against God and myself in an ultimate way. What happened could never be taken back and that mistake could never be repeated. He felt so badly over the entire thing that ultimately it ruined what little relationship we had left.

Let me tell you young people. Sex before marriage can and will destroy you in more ways than I can count. I began to equate sex with love and the lack of it as the lack of love. So many young people are looking for real love in the wrong places. Our world has become a sad place to live.

During this time of trial, my family went from one trial to another without pause or seeing the light in the darkness. We lost our home. Dad lost his health and his job. Mom lost her mental stability. My brother traded drugs for alcohol, free sex, and running wild in the country. My sister had no stable example of right and wrong. I did everything I could think of to prove how awful a person I was. My father gave up his position within the church because he felt like he had to due to not keeping his own house in order. Eventually, he stopped attending church at all. One of the saddest things I can think of is the effect all this had on the call God had on my brother's life.

Out of good conscience I cannot tell his story. The only thing I can say is BROTHER WE ALL LOVE YOU AND GOD WILL NEVER FORSAKE YOU. NO MATTER WHO OR WHAT YOU HAVE BECOME, HE ALWAYS WELCOMES THE PRODIGAL HOME. I PRAY FOR YOU DAILY.

Back to the story. My dad had allowed Satan to defeat him instead of looking to Jesus which sends us or help. He forgot that when we are weak, He is strong. Our spiritual covering of the family was completely gone. Satan had, and still has in some of the family, a hay day.

I quit school to find myself. No job, no school, just me alone time. Had I looked to God it would have

made sense. No one who knew me could understand who I'd become-not even myself. I can say I didn't go back because my parents spent my college money-which they did. I could say I failed at most of my attempts in school-which I did. But those are just excuses. Where there is a will, there is a way. My will was gone. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. There was a time when I worked to help support my family through my parents' health and mental problems. I wanted my brother and sister to have the same opportunities I had in high school. However, an uneducated, unskilled, young adult cannot provide for a family of five in the custom in which we were used to. I couldn't even meet our most basic needs much less give my brother and sister the advantages I had most of the time. But I gave it my best shot at not yet 20 years old.

Because of the monetary situation. we moved back to Mesquite, TX to live with my aunt and her two sons in a two bedroom apartment. My mom was having a virtual nervous breakdown because she thought she failed us as a mother in her teachings of right and wrong. Dad felt worthless as a man because he could not provide for his family. Because of all the negativeness in the environment, everyone was sitting on a "powder keg." My dad was accusatory to everyone. Mom sat rocking and crying for hours at a time about living in a nightmare. I felt like an ultimate failure because I couldn't take care of everyone as the oldest child. My brother's 16 year old girlfriend was pregnant out of wedlock. My sister had no boundaries not to cross left to her own devices. As the days passed dad became more distraught and unsettled. My brother ran away from home to be with his girlfriend. I felt caught in a tornado of flying emotions. The night my brother left is embossed in my mind even today.

He wanted to do what he felt was right and marry his girlfriend. Neither was even close to being out of high school. Mom and Dad had no real solution that fit in the moral teachings we were brought up with. Something happened between Dad and my brother when Dad went to pick him up from his girlfriend's Valentine dance. Dad was livid and without my brother when he returned home. I mean

he was uncontrollably angry to the point he instilled a deep rooted fear inside me.

We were sitting in my aunt's room trying to calm him down when my brother called. He wanted to come get his clothes and what few things he had left at a time when Dad was gone to avoid further confrontation. Dad freaked out. I'd seen him like this only a few times in my life and he always frightened me to the core of my being. His anger was such that it seemed as if he were a completely different person or possessed.

I tried to be brave, talk softly and reason with him. It is truth that you cannot reason with madness. I told him things like: "let him get his stuff, Dad. He is too young to survive in the world alone. No education. No skills. No way to make a living. He'll come home eventually." I believe, since Dad is a control freak, he only saw himself losing control of his life and his family which angered him more.

Then either my mom or my aunt- I can't remember with since I was focused on him- tried to lighten the mood with a joke in poor taste considering his current frame of mind. It consisted of the idea that since I was the only one working, he'd better do as I say or he'd get no coke money. I know Dad felt inadequate because he was unable to provide for his family. Any man would feel the same. Because of his already disturbed state and his feelings of inadequacy the intended joke only made his rage explode. I was a close source of his pain so he turned his rage on me. My aunt managed to stem the storm temporarily by sending me to the store for soda in her car.

I can remember screaming at the top of my lungs in the apartment parking lot. Raging against Dad and God. Not understanding how Dad could be so self-righteous and act so badly. How could God have allowed all this pain in my life so young?

While I was gone, I decided that my family was not my responsibiblty if they were going to treat me so badly and disrespectful as a human being. When I returned, I called my maternal grandmother to come pick me up. She had told me after my stay with her the last part of my senior year, that if things ever got too tough I could always go to her home to stay.

Gran said she was going to send my Poppa to get me because she had taken her medication already. I gave the phone to my aunt so they could talk while I gathered my things. I went to the walk-in closet to get my clothes. My mother and sister were already asleep on pallets. When I opened the door my real nightmare that day began.

Dad had been laying in the floor of the closet with the light off and the door closed. I remember thinking just how nutty he'd become as I stepped over him without speaking to gather my clothes. He asked me what I was doing. My only answer was that I was tired of living in a home with a father that no matter how much church he attended, no matter how he could pretend to others, he never really changed.

When I turned back around he grabbed me by my hair and began to throw me around. He slammed me into the door and the door jam. It felt as if he was pulling my hair our by the hands full. Mom and my sister came running when I screamed but they just stood there transfixed not making a move to help me. I am sure because they were afraid of him and his rage that was displayed. All mom could say was the usual "John, stop! You're going to hurt her." (Mom always made excuses for Dad when he acted this way. After I left she later told me she didn't blame him for attacking me. He'd told her I stepped on his private parts and I knew better. She always believed his justification.) My aunt threw down the phone when she heard me scream telling Gran she had to go. Dad was doing something to me. All of barely 5 foot tall she came running to my rescue with a pool stick. She told him to leave me alone or she'd beat him senseless with that poolstick.

I was shattered. No matter how bad his temper had been in the past. No matter how harshly my

dad corrected me as a child-once I received over 200 licks with the belt for making him give his son 3 unnecessarily.(Dad walked in and saw my brother attacking me so spanked him. My brother and his friends convinced Dad I deserved it by starting a fight. They left out the part about my starting it

by flushing drugs. I was by no means an angel as a child, but I received the most severe of all the punishments as the oldest child who should set the example.) He'd never done anything like this before. He'd always restrained himself to licks with his belt or a face or fist in your face. He'd never physically attacked me in this manner.

My mom and aunt had him leave because Gran had overheard the turmoil. Poppa was coming with the gun. He was ill and did not need all the excitement nor the hassle of dealing with my dad in his current state of mind. NO more harm needed to be done this night. My aunt had her son go with Dad for a drive. Before he left, he told me he wasn't finished with me. He said he knew where I was going. He'd take care of me yet. I was petrified. My cousin later told me of the drive that attests to my father's state of mind. He sat sharpening his knives talking of skinning people alive for the trouble they had brought into his home.

Needless to say for weeks after I went to my grandparents. I was afraid to venture even outside the front door alone. Grand had me call CPS because my sister was there virtually alone once they moved from my aunts and might take the brunt of his anger. I knew though that he would never harm her due to his fear of God. She was God's gift, a special child to him. Eventhough he had not found God, he was fearful enough not to touch what he thought was God given. He even rarely if ever spanked her as a child that I remember. That phone call to CPS caused my parents to despise me more and my mother to not speak to my grandmother for over a year.

I just wanted to forget the bad in my life so I began to smoke pot. Of course, not many know that even today as my father taught me well how to live behind a mask. I got a job at a pharmacy, sought psychiatric counseling, and tried to pull myself together. I felt so unloved and already soiled by my mistake the year before, on top of everything else, that I began to have an affair with my aunt's neighbor who was many years my senior. He was a sick man who preyed on girls even younger than I who was now almost 20. He would get me high on marijuana and do painful sexual things to me. In my mind somewhere I thought I deserved to feel that pain in exchange for feeling loved.

When my aunt and grandmother found out we had a terrible argument. I felt I could no longer stay with my grandparents because I didn't want to live by their rules. I contacted my parents and went to stay with them in their new apartment. I was there a very short time-only a matter of a few weeks. My pot smoking reached an all time high. I had went to a doctor to get diet pills that are sold on the street as speed-- yellowjackets, black molies, speckled birds eggs. I never felt like I could measure up to what I had been before. No amount of dieting, pills, or marijuana could transform me and make me like myself again.

An old boyfriend I had met while volunteering with the Salvation Army hunted me down. The night he came over to renew our friendship he brought two of his friends, one of whom became my first husband. When I began to date him I irreparably shattered their friendship.

The second week after I met my first husband my sister was bragging about my parents sending her to the college of her choice and paying for it which was a sore subject for me. I was so hurt I could not be happy for her. I was the one who always worked hard to make the perfect grades. I was the one that had sacrificed my education to help care for my family.

My future husband found me that day on the balcony in deep despair and drenched in tears and heartbreak. I kept saying over and over that I couldn't do this again. I couldn't stay there anymore. I didn't understand what had even made me think I could. He offered me a way out when I could see no other. What I thought was real freedom from all that troubled me ended up being just another cell. He told me I could move in with him and I did.

Somewhere inside me though, I had crossed some invisible line in my heart that should not have been crossed. After I lived there two weeks. I told him I had to marry him or leave. My conscious

could not rectify living with a man I was not married to. Two weeks later we married on my dad's parents' front lawn without a single person from my mother's family in attendance since they were still not speaking to my parents. I lied to them all to avoid a confrontation. I told them that we were going to be married at the courthouse so we didn't have to plan a wedding and it would be done and over with. I had turned 20 the week before.

I did everything I thought a good wife should do. I waited on him hand and foot. Rubbed his feet

each day. Gave him massages. Put up with his friends in and out of the house drinking at all hours of the day and night. Kept my mouth shut in submission to my husband. Supported any decision he said would make him happy thus making me happy. I quit my job at the pharmacy because he wanted me to. Then just a few weeks later when he hurt his back at work, I began to deliver pizzas to make ends meet. I worked six or seven days a week delivering pizza until I was 7 months pregnant. The doctor at the county hospital forbade me to work because of medical problems. Without the help of his dad and stepmother, I don't know how we would have made it.

At this time, he'd changed jobs a couple of times not staying anywhere long. My daughter was born the week before my 21st birthday. Shortly after she was born, he started barber school to take over his dad's shop when he retired. I get a little ahead of myself, so let's take a small step back in my timeline.

Shortly after I became pregnant, he began to have an affair with my brother's underage wife that lasted several months. I was so clueless that it went on in my home and in the home of my parents where she and my brother lived at the time. God had forewarned me in a dream before my marriage.

I dreamt of a dark haired woman in bed with my husband while I was pregnant and that I was made

to sleep on the couch. I spoke with him about it emphasizing the importance of honesty above all else. He assured me that he would always be honest with me.

I felt sorry for the girl. Afterall, she was a teenage mother from a broken home, who'd lost her

childhood forever. She and my brother argued often, so I invited her to stay with us and bring my niece for days at a time. I felt it might give them "breathing space" to work out whatever had been the problem.

My husband lied to me about it all for almost 2 years, even when asked directly. Lies contrary to his vow of honesty which means more to me than anything. I lived my childhood surrounded by lies and deception at home. I did not want to live that way as an adult. I had to hear about it from my brother when I asked him why he kept taking her back inspite of her actions with numerous other men, including his so called friends.

My husband's answer to the problem was to rejoin the Army during Desert Storm and ask to be stationed in Germany. All I wanted was to repair my life and live peacefully. I was almost 6 months pregnant with my oldest son by the time I was allowed to join him in Germany. By then, my husband had been in Germany for almost a year with a few weeks leave at Christmas when I conceived my son.

When I got there, I was left alone in a country far from home, didn't know the language, with an alcoholic husband who was rarely home. He invited one of his friends from his company to come stay the weekend shortly after I arrived. I felt sorry for the soldiers who always had to eat the army food with no family around.

I was unaware that my husband had set me up. While he was staying with us, they both starting

drinking early in the moring-not unusual a custom in that country. They forced themselves upon me sexually at the same time and also took turns watching each other. I had never been a situation like that before and did not know how to handle it. Besides my toddler was in the house, how could I stop them and not frighten her? No was not a good enough answer to them and neither were my tears. Later I was to find out that "the friend" thought it was a staged sex game. My husband had

told him I like to "playact." Especially as the shy virgin who says no but means yes. I was 7 months pregnant when they did that to me. My 2 year old daughter walked in and saw everything in broad daylight. After which she began to have unexplainable nightmares and be afraid to be in a room alone. I was not yet 24 years old. My husband later stated to me that we should be "even" now since we'd both had sex with someone else while married.

I tried to find solace in God by attending services and working with the Berean Missionaries in

Frankfurt after my son was born. My husband's drinking got progressively worse. I suppose it was to drown his own guilt. I don't know. I thought I would never survive. Then I believed a reprieve came in the form of being able to move to base quarters around other Americans and that my husband would have to curb all his behaviors because someone else might see him. However, I didn't have much in common with the other military wives I met. My husband associated with other drinkers and the wives coped by drinking themselves. Most started drinking by 7 or 8 am.

The night I knew I'd had enough, my husband had become extremely drunk at a party. He had cussed me out because I'd reminded him of his limit as he'd asked me to do earlier. Once we drove back home, I took my two small children to the only friend I had there and hoped that he would go to our apartment to pass out. My nightmare was not to be over so easily.

He decided to find me by climbing balcony to balcony entering people's homes looking for me. Once he found us, I persuaded him to come up the stairs to our 5th floor apartment. I climbed the stairs to the apartment carrying the baby, helping the 2 year old, practically dragging him-it was no easy task and took quite some time.I sat him on the couch hoping he'd pass out yet. Then I left, locked him in, and took the kids out for pizza. A few hours later, I returned to see the door wide open with him passed out on the couch practically naked.

When he heard me come in , he opened his eyes. I shut the door, put the kids in their rooms to keep them away from whatever might happen, and tried to get him to his bedroom so he could sleep it off. When I tried to get him in the bed, he hit me and went running out the front door howling like a wild dog. The sargent across the hall helped me subdue him and get him in the bed. Ever after that day, everyone called him "spiderman." It always reminded me of my public humiliation and shame everytime I heard someone call him that-he just laughed.

The next morning, I called my parents and asked if I could stay with them provided I could find a way back to the states. I would not reveal anything except that I wanted to come home. The Army

would not let me leave the country, according to his CO, unless I had him arrested or got a divorce.

I did not want to completely ruin his life by having him arrested and I was raised that divorce was

not an option unless it was a last resort with biblical reasons. All I could think to do was pray.

A few days later, God answered my plea in an unusual way. We received a message through the

Red Cross that his mother was having heart surgery. I felt badly for the circumstance but I knew God had answered my prayer. All I could think was "Praise God! I'm going home." I resolved that once home, no human on the face of the earth could make me go back. I told my few friends just that. He spent his couple of weeks with his mother and went back. All I told him was that I wanted to stay because I didn't like it there. We argued over it a few times but I would not budge. He could not mistreat me here like he had there for fear of my father and brother. I had protection here I did not have there. I stayed with my now divorced brother two doors down from my parents.

I would have filed for divorce then except for my parents. The entire year he was back in Germany, the kids and I heard from him only 3 or 4 times with several months between calls. He was living with a german woman and her son.(He admitted to me years after our divorce that he would have

stayed there with them if he'd been allowed.) My parents just kept telling me to make it work. I had

to think of my children. It was bad enough that they were forced to condone and help my brother

get a divorce. Think of my children. Mothers must sacrifice for their children.

Then the fateful day came. I didn't even know he was coming home. He wanted to surprise us he

said. He took a taxi from the airport. So I "sucked it up" because my daughter , who was close to him, was glad to see her dad. Besides, what was I to do or say with the children looking on that would not hurt them more that they'd already been hurt?

I tried as hard as I could. I was accused of the affairs he had by him. Broken, beaten down in my

heart, and, I must admit, at times I tried to make him as miserable as he made me. It was horrible the night we broke up-July 4, 1994.

He'd already left and come back twice since his return from Germany. He had not worked in months. He laid on the couch all day feeling sorry for himself and doing nothing about it. He did this while I worked 50 or 60 hours a week. We lived in a hovel surrounded by prostitutes and drug dealers because I could pay rent every two weeks. I was driving a car I'd paid $100 for with warped heads that needed water every 2 to 5 miles. My brother's friend had followed me home that night from my parents' to make sure I made it. I was dead tired and had to listen to him screaming at me about a non-existant "affair" with my brother's friend.

My cousin and her boyfriend had stayed with us a couple of days. They had left that morning and I found a compact that morning before work with condoms in it. I knew it was hers so I slipped it into my purse because my two year old had been playing with them. After I passed out on the couch, my husband dug through my purse looking for money I did not have. When he found the compact, his anger erupted like Mount. St. Helene. He woke me by slapping my face and screaming. I was fed up with it all. I was not going to be abused in anyway anymore. I began to throw anything I could get my hands on at him screaming for him to get out of my house. When I tried to push him out the door, he broke the hinges on it. He had the audacity to call the police on me!

When the police arrived, they tried to get me to admit that he'd hit me. All I would say is to just get him out of my home. He wanted to even take my car, such as it was. Needless to say, he walked 30 or 40 miles to his mothers carrying his clothes. Even his parents did not want to come get him or help him. You have become a sad person when even your mother wants to turn away from you.

I filed for a divorce shortly after. It took almost 3 years and money I could ill afford since he has

never really helped "pay" for anything. But I did it. I moved in and out of my parents' home during the divorce. Dealt with his girlfriend calling to tell me they were going to take my kids. Police calling to tell me that they were going to file terroristic harassment charges on me because I threatened them bodily harm before I'd let them take my children. My brother getting me involved in the occult to "pay him back" in a way that people would not know it on the "plain of reality." I don't think I ever really understood, or was aware, of exactly what my brother was trying to do. He had his own reasons to pursue my husband to harm him.

After my divorce was final, I tried to use my husband to help me pay the bills because he would not pay child support. I rented a moblehome while he was a truck driver and told him we would work things out. That was an outright lie! I figured that since he was only in town 3 days a month, I could pretend for my kids. Besides, I could make sure I had to work those days and tell him he could use my "work time" to spend time with the kids. I lived my own life while he was gone. I dated without my kids knowing it, doing as I pleased.

I began to do the very things I hated him for. I drank to drown myself. I experimented with different

kinds of drugs to forget my pain and what I'd become by not living right. I figured my life wasn't worth much to God anymore anyway. Why should I even bother to try to live right? I was a failure to myself, my kids, my husband, my family, and, most of all, to God. All this pain and less than 30 years old.

Once my ex-husband realized what was going on, the charade was over. I had allowed a young topless dancer to move in the house and my deeply, disturbed, druggy cousin hung around all the

time. My cousin convinced me that my kids needed a male role model and he didn't like living alone.

I

got a bigger house and he moved in with us. I was trying to "clean" my life up and stop drinking

and using any kind of drugs. I did not know, however strange that he was, that he was deeply involved in occultic practices. Nor did I realize that I exposed my children to seeing him burn candles and chant-though he never involved them and I am not sure he even knew they watched him. They would sneak out of bed at night to watch him. My son kept telling me about evil spirits that would talk to him at night. I just dismissed it as being afraid to sleep alone in his bed and a child's imagination. I allowed Satan too much reign in my home unaware while I took the dancer to work.

When I did realize this and the fact that he'd been using our bill money for his habits instead of bills,

I moved back to my parent's home. By this time, I hated all men. All of my adult life, I'd been

exposed to nothing but men full of evil. I determined to "prove" myself in a man's world as the better. I used men for my own pleasure before they could use me. I worked hard learning to do manly things like fixing my own car. I hunted for young men who were years my junior to "mold" the way I wanted and then discarded them. Any man who acted like they truly cared for me had to go. I

was even disrespectful to men that worked for me once I became a manager of my own location for the company I worked for. If I could have done it, I would have had an entirely female crew.

To my way of thinking then, men should be hired for only the lowest and hardest of manual labor. They were only good for their physical strength. They should only be used like livestock. I wanted everyone around me to be as miserable as I was. I was so immoral that I had lunch affairs with married lower ranking co-workers from other company locations.

I have had much to ask God to forgive me for. Nothing could satisfy the loneliness inside me, stem

the grief in my spirit, nor the hatred of myself for what I'd become. I even resorted to the internet for companionship. I dangerously even met some of the males I met online. I brought myself so low that I believed I needed a real change in my life. The sad thing is that instead of turning to God to make the change only He can make, I decided getting out of Texas would allow me a fresh start.

That was one of the stupidest mistakes I ever made. I had the company I worked for transfer me to Denver, Colorado, over 900 miles from home. One of my kids stayed the summer with my ex- husband's dad and step-mom and the other stayed at my parents where my ex-husband was renting a room. I was to work and look for affordable housing during those summer weeks. I promised my kids that I'd either be there to move them to Colorado or I'd come back to Texas to stay by the weekend before school started. I spoke to them everyday and everyday my mom threatened me about going to court to take them from me just because I was trying to move us to Colorado.

My mom would get me so upset, I'd Go out after work to party and forget. Though I looked for a home for us, I did find excuses not to rent anything I found. I felt free for the first time in my life. No rules but my own. No one to be responsible for but me. It became old real fast though. I missed my family, my kids, all that was familiar to me and I had that housing issue. I came back almost exactly at midnight the Sunday before school started. I would not break a promise to my kids.

I still didn't like my parents' rules, so I moved in with my aunt. She was the one who'd saved me

years before from my dad. She hated men as much as I did. I figured it was my turn to save her since she was having financial difficulties and she had enough room for all of us at her house. While there I met my current husband through someone I met on a phone dating circuit I called as a joke.

The day after I met him, he showed up on the doorstep and said he needed somewhere to stay. We've been together since. We've had lots of ups and downs. Not to mention quite a few hairy arguments. Our relationship started out of God's plan for couples which causes it's own set of problems. However, God's making it right. We lived together almost 3 years before we were married and we have a son that was born during that time. We each have our scars from the past

and that we've caused each other. Yet, God is continually turning the bad around for good. Together we have 6 children. Life is not easy, but we have learned to trust God in all things.

The thing I leave last to confess is the hardest for me to do so. I was a murderer. During my divorce, I became pregnant and had a second trimester abortion. The killing of this innocent life still haunts me today even though I know God has forgiven me and delivered me from all of Satan's oppression. God, through circumstances allowed me to see what the abortion clinics do not. It was an agonizing experience. First, coming to the decision to do it because I knew it was wrong. Second, it took two different visits in two consecutive days to do because of the timing in my pregnancy. Life is precious and it begins at conception.

Let me explain to you what those clinics do not disclose when they "counsel" you. They are not there to help. They are there to kill the unborn and make money for it. I went into a sterile, uncaring environment without the benefit of money to be sedated and was aware of every pain and every action that occurred.

The first day, they made me sign all these papers saying I would not hold them liable for my decision-but God does. They took me to a room filled with nurses and technicians and told me to

take off my clothes, lie on the table, and put my feet in the stirrups. They did a sonogram to verify how far along I was in my pregnancy.

I should have looked at the screen then because I would not have been able to do it. However, I

just shut my eyes and cried. They inserted a piece of bamboo into my cervix to make it begin to break apart. Then told me to get dressed and come back the next day. Before this moment, I had no idea I was not going to be able to just go in, "do it", and it be over. I did not want to do it anymore, but they told me that was too bad. My decision had already been made and I could not change that. They gave me no choice but to leave and come back.

I could barely walk as I left the building crying. I agonized, cried, and wanted to find some way to

stop this all through the night. The next morning, I was so tired and in pain I could barely see straight. The baby's father came to drive me back to the clinic in his own personal torment. When I arrived there, I felt even worse than before because the protestors picked that day to march. These were not gentle hearted Christians filled with Christ's love who tried to demonstrate His love and help these girls and women entering the clinic. These were radical people shouting and screaming things without showing the love of God in any way. Harassing these already hurt and heartbroken people.

We, as Christlike people, should love these females before they get to this place. Fight the satanic spirits ruling this area with the power of God. We should not heap more pain on them because of our convictions. These women are already hurting, confused, feeling no way out, and deceived by the world and Satan.

Once I got past the picketline, I was truly a basketcase. They ushered me into the same sterile room as before, had me lay on the table, and the true nightmare began. They removed the bamboo they had inserted the day before while I drowned in my tears screaming that I'd changed my mind. Then they did another sonogram.

As the other nurse passed the sonoscreen, she bumped it and turned it toward me. I saw the most beautiful, alive baby I'd ever seen as they turned on the suction machine. I laid there screaming as I watched them pull that baby apart piece by piece with that machine. God would not allow me to shut it out.

I saw the distress that baby went through as they started and continued to kill it. I saw it try to roll

away from that first unwanted touch in the place it should be the most safe by that machine that killed that innocent life. I still cry as I imagine what happened and see it again so clearly in my mind.

body. They gave me only mere minutes to gather my senses before they helped me dress to bring in the next victim.

I have not, nor will I ever, be the same again. I have been healed and forgiven but the memories will

stay will me forever. It took years after God forgave me for this before I forgave myself. It caused me physical and mental problems and I had miscarriages after. The last was almost a year to the date before my youngest son was born. It was on my brother's birthday so I can never forget it. I

bled for three days that time with severe pain before it was over.

All I could do was to cry out to God because I wanted that baby so badly. I believe those cries were the only thing that kept my body from releasing that life for everyone of those three days. In my mind God was punishing me for what I'd done a couple of years earlier. So much pain I'd endured in life to be only 32. I believed He was taking this innocent life from me because I'd destroyed an innocent life He'd given me. I was so disfunctional. But Praise God! He delivered me! He healed me! He made me whole again!

I had to learn to forgive myself and release the pain to Him to be set free. Romans 8:1 says, "there

is no condemnation through Christ Jesus." All of us sin and fall short daily. The Bible says, "He who is without sin cast the first stone."(Romans 3:23) Condemn me if you will for my past. I don't care.

God has set me free, forgiven me, and given my life a mission.

After all I had went through, my current marriage was a mess. Our blended family was falling apart. Five years of problems that came one after another, each closer than the last. Still I would not completely give myself to God. I still wanted control because I thought if I could control it, it would go the way I wanted it to go. Let me tell you something you should take to heart. If God wants you, He will continue to prod you harder and harder until He forces your hand or hardens your heart.

The doctor diagnosed me with the human palanoma virus which causes cancer to spread very rapidly. I was playing at being a child of God and I wanted the life He had for me. I just wanted to do it my way-I inherited the control freak syndrome from my father as well as the fear of being hurt by life. I could not, or should say, would not give control of my life to God. I only gave a part not the whole.

God brought me healing, restoration and a new life through someone I'd never met before who has become a very good Christian brother to me. It was difficult for me to accept from a stranger because of my past life. However, God gave me peace and I had faith, even if it was only the size of a mustard seed. This stranger laid his hands on me in the name of Jesus and prayed for me. He said he knew God had a reason for him coming my family's way. He just hadn't known it himself until then. From that moment on, I could do no less for my Savior, Jesus Christ, than to give my restored life back to Him. He had brought me back full circle to Him.

Since that day, I have studied the word, stayed in prayer, sought God through fasting, and stood up to Satan with the power of the name of Jesus Christ and His Spirit within me. You can only allow your life circumstances to bring you down instead of up by unbelief and self pity when Satan comes against you. His greatest weapon is unbelief and fear.

I feared being alone and unloved all of my life. I had a fear of my husband leaving because he

didn't believe as strongly in God as I. He was always accusing me of preaching at him when I'd try to point out godly answers to life's problems. Sometimes I only had to mention Jesus' name to be accused of preaching. When the conflict boiled to the exploding point, I told him I was no longer afraid to be alone. Jesus is with me always. I would no longer beg him to stay for me or the kids. I had a call from God on my life I would not deny any longer. He could either get in God's will or God would get him out of my life. Nothing was more important to me than God.

Once that spirit was told to get behind me, the fight with the rulers of darkness really began to help me develop my strength and faith in God. Satan is still to this day trying to break me down at the point he thinks I am weakest. My husband does not seem to want a divorce, so he promises what

he thinks will pacify me-I lay it in God's hands. He will attend church with the family (begrudgingly), not make promises he will not keep, help repair the damage done in our marriage because it takes two to fix what's wrong, and stop trying to leave everytime life gets too hard for him to handle. God can do anything but we must be willing to surrender to the change. Only time will tell on the current situation of my life. However, I stand faithful to the promises of blessings and answered prayer. God cannot lie and He keeps His covenants. I just must do my part. God will meet all my needs according to His riches in glory. God will deliver the man of faith that I will need to help be my strength and to fulfill the call on my life.

My house must be in order before I come into the fullness of the call on my life. No one's life is ever perfect because we are all fallen man. We are called to move forward in life toward God even with the "thorns of flesh" that will always plague us.

I am under attack as I sit here and write in semidarkness. My teenage daughter has left home to stay with my parents because she cannot, for whatever reason, submit to my husband's authority. We are practically homeless because we have been waiting over 7 months for our house to be made ready. My husband was out of work for over a month, so we are "ruffing it" with no electricity. His truck was reposesed for being one week late. The list goes on.

My daughter has moved in and out of my parents home, lived here and there with people of illrepute because she refuses to come home. She had a terrible car accident that was near fatal. I sat by her hospital bed for weeks crying and praying for God to help her. She has been mended but has a long way to go.

My family has been split asunder. My husband's three kids are staying with his parents, my oldest son is with my brother, my daughter still refuses to come home so I can help her heal in more ways than one, and my youngest son is still at home. I lost my job because I took off time to be with my daughter at the hospital. To top all of this off, there is a rift between my parents, my sister, and I due to their encouraging my daughter to not come home. I have stepped back, laid it in God's hands, and am just trying to keep my distance to let God do what He will.

All these things may sound like terrible reality crashing around me. But, I know that God is faithful and He will deliver me yet from this trial too. Whether I have much or little, God always meets my needs. I have prayed, "here I am Lord, send me. Perfect my life according to Your will not my own." A very dangerous prayer indeed. But I am willing and waiting to answer.

We must, also, remember that there are always spirits at work in the background to discourage and divert us from our God given path. Satan will always try to win, but Jesus is the victor. When things get bad I always think of Job and claim the victory in Jesus' name which holds all power in the heavens and the earth.

False Doctrine or Truth?

I pondered for weeks on which topic to tackle first. I decided to meet this head on with what may be the hardest for most people to stomach first. I must advise you in good conscious that the information contained here will upset, if not outrage, many Christians today. My prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ right now is that His Spirit speak to yours as the scales of deception are removed from your eyes. I pray you accept the truth of all I speak of here. I pray that it be Jesus' words and not my own written. In the most high and precious name of Jesus Christ, the Lord of all, I pray. Amen!

Most of what we have been taught in our churches today is blasphemous. It has been twisted at the foundational cornerstone of our faith. I must tell you, that if you do not want to know the truth, even as it will most probably go against what you have been taught most of your life, do not continue to read this. Shut what you are reading now and continue in darkness. Reading further will only make you angry and I do not wish that. I only wish to open your eyes to the truth Jesus has laid at the doorstep of my heart. He has laid this deep within my soul and it cannot be shaken away. This is to separate those who truly search for THE TRUTH from those who blindly follow man created doctrine and play at being children of God. I will hold no punches once I have started so look deep within your heart. Pray to Jesus for guidance to test the spirits and my words before you proceed. Man will always fail but Jesus will not.

Most of us Christians will agree that we are living in the last generation. Other than the obvious signs of the times, let's look at God's order. He is not a God of chaos. He likes numbers, symbolism, and order. Most Christians agree the number 7 is the number of perfection and symbolizes the perfection of God as it is referenced as such many times in the Bible-7 days of creation, Daniel's 70 weeks, the false covenant of peace that will be signed by the Antichrist who cannot uphold God's perfection, and the list can go on. The Old Testament is a foreshadow of the new. The New Testament a foreshadow of eternity with God. It is a progression of man being able to draw closer to the creator and God of the universe in steps that fallen man can understand with his finite mind.

Let's look at a few bits of information and see if we can, in God's numerical order, tie it all together. In Genesis, God numbered the years of man at 120 years (Genesis 6:3). That marks a generation in God's terms at that time. Take into consideration that the curse of Adam on the entire world supports the second law of thermodynamics in which all things in the "real" world continually wear out, countdown, or breakdown. The average life expectancy at this time in history is between 60 and 80 years, so let's use 70 as a good middle number.

Secondly, Jesus said in Matthew (24:32-34) that the generation that sees Israel become a nation again will not pass away before the end of time. Israel was reborn as a nation May 17, 1948 and recognized as such by the UN in 1949. Therefore, the generation that saw that happen will not all die before Jesus returns. Does that mean those born that year or those that were of adult age and actually "saw" it? I feel due to my belief of scripture interpretation, it is most probably the adults that "saw." But for the sake of argument I will include those born in my calculations.

If you add the current middle average life expectancy (70) to the year 1949 (1949 + 70 =2019), somewhere around 2019 would be close. If you go back 13 years because that is the year that jewish males become "men" (the age of accountability) just so you have a close estimate of those adults birth year (1949 - 13 = 1936), it would be 1936.

If you add the years God limited man to in Genesis (120 years) to the year 1936 (1936 + 120 = 2056), it is 2056. If you take into account that time was created for man and God is outside and not

bound by our earthly time, I believe since Jesus was "God with us," the time He was in earthly form does not count in the ultimate timetable.

Think about the time order in which God had things occur in history as He does nothing without purpose, by looking at the following chart:

nothing without purpose, by looking at the following chart: Add all the "begats" together and these

Add all the "begats" together and these times will prove out. 7 day week is symbolic of 7000 years. 6 days of creation and on the 7th God rested. Hebrews intimates that the day of rest is symbolic of the millennium. 2 Peter 3:8 says one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like one day to God. Time is meaningless to Him because He is outside of time. He created time for us as finite beings so that we could understand everything has a beginning and an end.

So the generation that will not pass away began circa 1936 to 1949. Or to really knock you from your comfort zone, consider the worldly age of male adulthood, 21 years (1949 - 21 =1928). That would make the time frame circa 1928-1949. If we add the 70-120 years to that time frame, you are looking at 1998-2069. If you use only the jewish age of accountability it is 2006-2056. Use the

worldly age of manhood (21) and it would be 1998-2048. Add the current life expectancy to the year Israel was reborn and it is 2019. So the time frame we are most probably looking at is 2019 to

2069.

This time frame runs with my idea of discounting the years Jesus was on earth as circa 2028-2046. No one can know the exact time but God can unveil portions to us. The Bible says that the last generation will know the season because He will reveal it to us (Matthew 24). If time as we know it were to end as early as 2019, how much time would we have to do His bidding before it is too late? If the millennium were to begin in 2019, we would only have 13 years left (coincidence that it is the jewish age of accountability?).There are no coincidences in God's plan for man. Take 3 1/2 years from that for the Great Tribulation, or even 7 for the false peace treaty that's to be signed by the Antichrist, you're looking at the year 2012 as the year Christian freedom will begin to cease. That's only 4 years after the US government will institute the mandatory National ID

cards -law is called The Real ID Act- as the precursor to Global ID and the mark of the Beast. Will you be ready to stand and fight for HIM? How many can you draw to Him before it's too late? I would be 51 years old and my youngest child would be almost finished with high school at 17. Are we really equipping our children to live in the days to come? The book of Revelation says to "come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins." (Revelation 18:4) If the time is that short, or even possibly so, shouldn't we be checking out the "who's and wherefore's " of our beliefs and actions toward God? Who is the "her" spoken of here? None other than the vehicle which has begun the pollution of Christian churches world wide with false doctrine. The "her" is also the institution that will promote the false, one world religion that will worship the Antichrist. Do not misinterpret my statements when I speak the truth of who will be and what office the false prophet will hold. That verse in Revelation tells me that there are many true seekers of Christ out there in all denominations today who just don't know the difference. Jesus Christ is calling to those people to remove themselves from those congregations who refuse to see the truth and find a "home" church with good sound doctrine as the truth they teach and preach. I have been persuaded through prayer and study that the Roman Catholic Church will be the institution used to advance the one world religion and whoever is the pope at the time will be the false prophet. The Catholic Church itself holds documents in the Vatican that predict the next pope will be "Peter the Roman" and that he will be evil and cause the church an everlasting change. This change, they predict, will destroy their church and cause the end of time. I don't hold much store in non-biblical prophecy, but isn't that information interesting? Let's take a couple of steps back so that I may explain myself. Know that I am not Catholic bashing or anything like that. I have "good catholics" in my own family as well as my best friend being a professing Catholic. Think about this statistic as I explain myself:

3/4 OF ALL AMERICANS CLAIM TO BE BORN AGAIN. What is being born again? Jesus Christ was born again and His body glorified when He was raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). He died and we have a spiritual death to our flesh in repentance. He was buried as we are spiritually buried in baptism as ordered in Romans 6:4. He rose again as we have spiritual resurrection when we receive the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11). Look at this chart:

2 Thessalonians 1:8 says to obey or be judged. That chapter goes on to describe destruction that continues forever as judgement. Also, that those who disobey will be kept away from the Lord and His great power. Think about why we don't see God move in churches anymore. Why has God seemed to stop doing miracles when Jesus said "all these things I do and more will you do in MY name"? (Mark 16:15-18; Matthew 21:21-22; Mark 10:27; John 16:23; Matthew 10: 7-8; Luke 10:9,19; John 14:12-14) How far have we as fallen man drifted from His purpose for us? Jesus is not a liar so we must have cut out part of His plan somewhere along the line.

There are multiple references throughout the New Testament about the importance of Jesus' name. It would take me pages to list them all. Acts 2:38 says repent, be baptized in the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST and you will receive the Holy Spirit. Same formula as before: Repentance, Baptism, Holy Spirit. 1 John 5:8 says Spirit, water, and blood agree. They all come together as a whole. You must partake of all three. You must understand that each is a stage in maturity toward the one thing- being born again. Jesus said you must be born of the water and the spirit (John 3:5). Every conversion in the early church follows this formula. Keep in mind Colossians 2:9-the fullness of the godhead is in Jesus bodily. Jesus' earthly body contained all of god's power and character.

Globalism is everywhere today. We hear about it all the time. It is a religious ideal as well as political these days. A religious ideal is simply anything you completely believe in and work toward. Interfaithism or the unification of religion is spoken of in almost all arenas today. We hear "let's forsake our petty differences and agree on a basic belief." So many people are trying to convince the world that every idea of who God is means nothing. The "higher power" is all the same being. Not true! Do not buy into that garbage under any circumstance! Matthew 7:13-14 says narrow is the gate that leads to life and wide is the road that leads to hell. Only a few people find the narrow gate

(also Luke 13:24).

Now let's take a look at that one world religion- Mystery Babylon. Look at Revelation 17. The "great prostitute (harlot) that sits on many waters." How many countries is the Roman Catholic Church in? How much political power does it have? Not just with the pope, but with its members in government and economical offices and commercial power? Across how many bodies of water?

A woman riding a red beast. The mother of harlots. The beast is the composite of the beast in Daniel 7 and is the same beast as earlier in Revelation. The animals depicted are easy to pick out when you relate them to the symbols that countries use even today to recognize themselves. The lion is England. The bear is Russia. The leopard is Germany. A unified Europe is shown here. However, the beast is now red.

Churches throughout the Bible are depicted as women. Virgin or harlot depends on their faithfulness to God. A virgin is chaste and pure. A harlot is perverted, twisted and immoral.

Verse 18 says the woman is a city

Verse 15 says she reigns over vast people-many races, nations, and languages

Verse 9 says she sits on seven hills or mountains (Rome is always referred to as the city of seven hills)

Verse 4 says she is clothed in purple and red (Cardinals wear red; Bishops/Archbishops wear purple.)

Verse 6 says she was drunk with the blood of the saints (Check out the statistics on Roman Catholic persecution of people.)

The woman is the Vatican. Verse 5 states, "Mystery Babylon, Mother of harlots, abominations of the earth." Think of the original Babylon. It was the beginning of man made, unified, world religion. They made up their own rules and gods to worship that suited them. A mystery by definition simply means some can understand and some cannot.

The Roman Catholic Church changed almost every doctrine of the early church. They baptize babies. Pray for the dead's salvation. People are baptized by sprinkling. Statues and idols are in the church. Confession to God goes through a priest instead of to Jesus. The list could continue on.

The great whore is a symbol of an unfaithful church, a church of false doctrine. 2 Corinthians 11:2 says the true christian church is shown as a virgin. Jude 2-17 talks about how some people in the church went a whoring with other gods. When did the Roman Catholic Church become the great whore? Spiritual whoredom occurs at the point of idolatry or belief in more than ONE God. At the council of Nicea in 325 AD, the trinity doctrine was introduced by Athanasius. At the hands of Augustine, a century later it became a doctrine of the church as well as a theory.

The early christian church in the 2nd century believed in Logos-Christianity which included the eternal generation of the Son and the procession of the Spirit as "expressions" of the ONE God the Jews had always believed in. Doctrines have formulated and put into form the scriptures to enforce certain beliefs according to interpretation not black and white facts.

In order to "tickle the ears" and justify a human conceived ideal of God, the new doctrine of the trinity was born. To rectify and enforce this belief within the church, they began to baptize "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost" instead of like the apostles in the name of Jesus or Jesus Christ. The trinity doctrine says God is three separate, co-eternal , co-equal beings yet the same, but Deuteronomy 6:4 says ONE God. We will discuss the trinity doctrine in more detail in a later chapter.

So what truly is the importance of the baptismal formula? Check out any encyclopedia about the early church. Search the scriptures that tell us how the early church operated. Acts 4:12 intimates Jesus' name empowers baptism. His name is the only power in the world that can save people

Luke 24:47 says the change and the forgiveness should be taught and preached to all in HIS NAME. The "His" is defined earlier in verses 45 and 46. It says Jesus opened their minds so they could understand. That is followed by saying that the Christ must suffer and rise again on the third day.

Baptism is a symbolic marriage ceremony of the virgin bride prepared, cleansed, and buried into her Husband, Jesus Christ. You take His name to be the bride. When you take His name at baptism, you have "put on Christ." ( Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:27) He is your spiritual authority and the head of your "house" from that moment on. Our marriage ceremony is reflective of Jesus and His bride. You must take His name and become "Mrs. Jesus." Galatians 3:27 emphatically states that " you were all baptized unto Christ, so you are all clothed with Christ." If you want to check a couple of references about the early chruch's baptism that are outside of scripture and, if I am not mistaken, written by trinitarian, go to the library. Reference The Dictionary of the Bible by Scribner and Canney Encyclopedia of Religion. Taking Jesus' name out of baptism takes the effectiveness of Him out of the equation.

In the statement "mother of harlots," mother indicates she must have children. Since the Bible uses women to signify churches, it must indicate daughters. Who are the daughters? If the mother is the Roman Catholic Church, the daughters would be all the churches that broke off at the reformation. The council of Trent stated:

"WE ACKNOWLEDGE MANY ERRORS OF THE PROTESTANTS ARE UNFORGIVABLE. HOWEVER, WE MUST SAY THEY HAVE NOT FORSAKEN THE MOTHER CHURCH'S BAPTISM."

When the baptism did not go back to the early church formula, they destined themselves to be the daughters of the harlot. The Vatican II, era 1961-62, issued a formal invitation from the pope for the protestants to come home to mother:

"WE, THE MOTHER CHURCH, ARE OPENING OUR ARMS FOR OUR DAUGHETERS TO RETURN HOME. ANYONE WHO HOLDS TO OUR BAPTISM MAY RETURN HOME WITHOUT BEING REBAPTIZED."

Call any Roman Catholic Church and ask the priest how to become a member of the congregation. He will tell you that if you were baptized with "the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Spirit)" formula, you will not need to be rebaptized. You need only to take catechism classes to be confirmed into the church. Satan knows it is a defining issue.

In Acts 19, Paul was out doing visits near Ephesus. He asks the believers if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed. They had never heard of a Holy Spirit at that time. Paul continued on and asked them how they were baptized. They had been baptized according to repentance as John the Baptist had taught that changed hearts and lives. They had not been baptized according to what Jesus had spoken of. In verse 5, they were baptized in the NAME of the Lord Jesus, Paul laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit with physical, audible evidence manifested. Check out and research the ecumenical, or universal, movement. Numerous references will be found that will show that many of the "daughters" are once again becoming "one with mother" and her teachings. There have even been numerous newspaper articles that attest to this fact. A couple of questions to pose to yourself about your beliefs:

1) Do you really believe in ONE God or three? 2) How were you baptized? In the NAME of Jesus or Jesus Christ or by the Roman Catholic formula?

Remember Revelation 18:4, "Come out of her My people that you do not partake of her sins." The

Roman Catholic Church is a widow because, to her, her husband is dead. She foresook Him and placed idols in her midst. I could sit here and pick apart the Roman Catholic doctrine sighting references from those who left that church and tell you how she has turned her back on God to stand a queen in her own right. Just know the foundation of your faith should be built on Jesus who is the chief cornerstone of all faith in God. Without Him we are nothing and have been deceived.

Follow the chapter in Acts (19) previously referenced to a story in verses 11-19 to know the dangers you can face when fighting spiritual warfare without the Holy Spirit truly within you. People can state the name of Jesus and try to use the name of Jesus. It might even work for a while simply because there's power in the name. However, sooner or later you will come against strong demonic forces or power and they will defeat you without His Spirit within you. Confess openly what you've done. Completely destroy anything that connects you to those deeds, by fire if necessary, to avoid being entangled in its' grasp again. No matter how valuable it is. It is a spiritual contact point for demonic forces to enter your life again. Nothing's monetary worth is worth risking your eternal soul.

The Godhead-In Eternity Before Time, In Eternity After Time

We shall endeavor to understand the Godhead from "eternity" to "eternity." 1 Timothy 3:16 states

"without doubt great is the mystery of godliness

among Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory." What is a mystery? Mystery by definition simply means some can find and understand some cannot. Webster's Standard Dictionary defines mystery as something not immeadiately or easily understood, or that which is (to some) ultimately beyond comprehension.

manifest in flesh, seen by angels, preached

Can the Godhead be understood? Romans 1:19-20 says what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (KJV)." The New Century Version says, "God shows His anger because some knowledge of Him as been made clear to them. Yes, God has shown Himself to them. There are things people cannot see. However, since the beginning of the world those things have been easy to understand by what God has made. This being the truth, people have no excuse for the bad things they do."

Why is God shrouded in mystery? Matthew 13:10-15 is a picture of the disciples asking Jesus this very question. Jesus told them that it was chosen that they understand but that others could not. He referenced Isaiah 6:9-10. "You will listen and listen, but you will not understand. You will look and look, but you will not learn. For the minds of those people have become stubborn. They do not hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. They might really understand in their minds and come back to me and be healed."

Jesus taught in parables. What is a parable? It reveals truth to some and veils it from others. Eyes to see. Ears to hear. Some people do not completely understand the word of God because they have closed themselves up on purpose. They refuse to be "hungry" or honest because of how the truth will affect them. Like a baby a mother must wean from milk, we must learn to eat the meat of the work to grow.

Just because we say we don’t believe something in the Bible, it does not relieve us of the responsibility and judgement of it. We are accountable for all ultimately to God. Every idle word and action just like our liability with our secular laws. You can choose to disobey because you think something is unfair or whatever. However, by choosing to disobey, you are accepting the consequences as laid out in that law. "Woe to the man (or woman) who leads My little ones astray." (Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2; 1 Corinthians 9:16)

Why did God couch His entire being in mystery? How do we understand? The mystery separates the truth seekers from the excuse seekers. It sorts us out just like the farmer sorts out bad produce. Jesus taught in parables for this reason. Jesus Christ wants to separate those who love the truth from those who do not. For those who do not, the Bible is adamant that He will end a strong delusion or lie and they will be damned. He will harden their hearts. Even God has limits and boundaries for us just like we have for our children. Jesus called His teaching on the Godhead a proverb in John 16:25.

The first step in understanding the Godhead is to decide how many gods are there? One or three? Ask yourself this question: "When I get to Heaven who do I expect to SEE?" Most readily say the Father and the Son. Can you SEE the Holy Spirit? What about Him? Muslims and Jews take issue with Christians because they see a plurality of deities in our modern Christian doctrine. We,

"Christians", believe in three co-eternal, co-existent, co-equal beings in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

What was God’s commandment? "Our LORD, our GOD is ONE." (Deuteronomy 6:4) Violation of this one truth will throw off your perception. It is the cornerstone of all faith in God.

Deuteronomy 6:4- God is ONE.

Deuteronomy 4:35- There is NO God BESIDE Him.

Deuteronomy 32:39- NO God WITH Him

Isaiah 43:10- NO God formed BEFORE OR AFTER Him.

2 Samuel 7:22 -NONE LIKE Him or BESIDE Him.

You might say your only giving Old Testament scriptures. After Jesus was on earth we live in a New Testament church of belief. Ok, here’s New Testament scriptures:

James 2:19- Devils believe in ONE God and tremble.

1 Corinthians 8:4 NONE other but ONE.

So ONE and only ONE God is the entire foundational understanding of the Bible. It is the first commandment (Exodus 20:3).

So, is Jesus God? Isaiah 9:6 is a prophecy of the Messiah. What were the names listed for the Messiah? Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the SON that is given. Think about this a minute. Who was the only man ever on Earth to never be referred to as a "son?" Adam! Why? He had no mother in the human sense. The Hebrew word here is the same as in Isaiah 8:3, ben, which means to build a family name. Adam had a "father" of sorts as God created him, but there was no female to be his mother. To fulfill the prophecy of the "son" who "is given", to build His heavenly family name, Jesus had to be born of a woman. Not any woman, but a young woman so dedicated to Him that her life was pure, a virgin never touched by man. The sins of the father are passed down (Exodus 20:5; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9) to the third or fourth generation. He was and is the "son" because He was born from the womb of a woman. Hence He is the second Adam, beginning His heavenly family in His name, Jesus.

Matthew 1:23 says Jesus was God with us. His very name in Greek is Iesous and comes from the Hebrew, Yehowshuea . The Hebrews named their children things that spoke of who they were. Jesus' Hebrew name is derived from Yehovah and yashae. Yehovah means eternal and was the Jewish national name of God. Yashae means to be open, wide, free, avenging, defend, deliver, help, rescue, bring salvation, savior, and get victory. Mary gave Him a name that truly fit. The Eternal God who came to do so much for us and set us free. Hallelujah!

Revelation 1:8-11 is obviously Christ as Lord Almighty God- the Alpha and Omega. Revelation 1:18 says "He that liveth and was dead but alive forever more." He had the keys of hell and death due to His resurrection. Hebrews 2:14 tells us that Satan had the power of death until Christ died and rose on the third day. The law of sin and death is in Ezekiel 18:4.

Jesus came to liberate the entire human race, dead and alive. He was the only human Satan could never influence, so Satan wanted to get rid of Him. Jesus was a threat to his reign on earth. However, he did not understand God’s plan. God had told Satan before his fall that He was going to have a son and a church but did not tell him about redemption (1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8). Satan was operating under the understanding that he had 6000 years to tempt the human race as God had created this mystery. Jesus shows up 2000 years early (Mark 1:24; Matthew 8:29). He did not know Jesus was coming twice!

Jewish people missed the first coming because they did’t know it either. When Jesus came the first

time, He came as the Lamb to take away sin. Since Satan did not understand, he went ahead and killed Jesus Christ. When he did that, he made a huge mistake because the law that ruled man was "he who sins must die." Jesus never sinned so He did not owe the penalty. Satan broke the terms of the contract.

When a contract is broken it becomes null and void (Romans 8:2). Because of this, God wrote a new contract- a new law of life (1 Corinthians 2:7-8). If Satan had known this he would not have killed Jesus. The chains of sin were broken because God cannot die. He only waited for those three days to prove the reality of the cross and His divinity.

So is Jesus God? Isaiah 43:11 says "there is no savior beside me." (Acts 9:) Paul asked "who are you Lord?" because he recognized the God of his fathers. God responded. "I am Jesus." Tradition and teaching can veil who God really is unless we are sincere enough at heart to let God blast through the veil. Even doubting Thomas acknowledged Jesus as God. John 20:28 he says, "My Lord and my God." Jude 25 says God is our Savior.

So we’ve determined there is ONE God. Jesus IS God. So Jesus IS that ONE God. So what about the Holy Spirit? Luke 1:35 tells us that the angel told Mary the Holy ghost would come upon her and the holy thing born will be the Son of God. Matthew 1:18 says the child of the Holy Ghost. If there is a trinity, Father God cannot be the "father" as it was the Holy Ghost that came upon Mary.

In John 14:16-18, Jesus is talking to the disciples. He says the Father will send a comforter (Holy Spirit). He also tells them HE, Jesus, will not leave them comfortless. HE will come to them. He told them that they knew HIM because He dwells with them. Jesus is saying it is I who will come in another form or expression. A different Logos. John 16:7 says that Jesus had to go away for our sakes or the comforter could not come. Why? It is the same God and the ONE God cannot manifest Him self in the same place in two different Logos, expressions at the same time for our finite minds. So, the Holy Ghost is the Father. The Father is God. Jesus is God. Look at this chart again with a few modifications.

is God. Look at this chart again with a few modifications. 6 days of creation and

6 days of creation and on the 7th day God rested. 2 Peter 3:8 says not to be ignorant of this one thing, a day is like 1000 years and 1000 years is like a day. Time means to humans things have a beginning. Before time was God, after time is God. God knew man would not be able to comprehend Him who filled everything, who was not a finite creature because we are finite beings.God created a body to express Himself in our finite form. Does that make Him two different

beings?

But God said there is none with me, after me, or beside me. God became spirit and body. We are spirit and body and we are not two beings. The body was simply the limited of the unlimited. The visible of the invisible. The finite of the infinite. When you die, your spirit is gone but that does not mean you were two people when you were here. Remember God created man in HIS OWN LIKENESS and IMAGE.

Biblical examples you ask me for. OK. John 1:1, "IN THE BEGINNING was the WORD. The WORD was WITH God and the WORD WAS God." The Greek for Word is Logos. Logos also means expression.

Even in the Old Testament God used a body to express Himself to others. He WALKED and TALKED with Adam in the garden. He APPEARED to Abraham and ATE with him. He APPEARED to the parents of Samson but would not tell them what His NAME was. It was a secret. A clue to the mystery of His godliness. Angels in the Old Testament always told their names, but God refused. Why???

Judges 13:17-18, Sampson’s parents asked Him His name but He TOLD them it was a SECRET. He never told anyone His NAME because His plan of salvation hinged on His NAME. He APPEARED in the fiery furnace (Daniel 13:25). In Genesis 32 He MET with Jacob and WRESTLED with him. In verse 29, He would not tell Jacob His NAME either. He just asked Jacob why he wanted to know it, blessed him, and disappeared.

They did not see the complete essence of God, but an expression in a form they could identify with. God knew the problem with this "expression" was that it could not adequately bridge the gap of a God who has never been tired, hungry, tempted etc. Yet, He was trying to reach out to fallen man who felt these things daily. By doing so, He planned it in steps we could comprehend and still keep the mystery of His plan intact.

Isaiah 59:16 says there was no man, no intercessor, so His own arm brought salvation and His righteousness sustained Him. "Spirit" and "hand of the Lord" are used as equivalent concepts in the Old Testament (Ezekiel 3:14; 8:1-3; 37:1; Psalm 8:3 with 33:6; 1 Kings 18:12 with 2 Kings 2:16; 1 Chronicles 28:12 with 28:19; Isaiah 8:11).Finger of God = Power of God = Spirit of God. This derives directly from the Hebrew understanding of God’s action.

John 1:14 says He was the expression made flesh, the only begotten of the Father. Begotten comes from the root word ghin’omahee and mon'-os. Let's take each of these words to their original root to get a complete meaning. Ghin'omahee is a form of primary verb. The primary verb’s definition, or equivalent, is to cause to be, to become, come into being or sole being. Mon'os means to be sole, single, alone, only. It comes, or derives from men'o. This primary verb mean to stay (in a given place, state, relation), abide, continue, dwell. That is a lot of meaning for one word. So in essence, Jesus was the only ghin'omahee mon'os of the Father. He came into being or was the sole being that could stay on Earth or in His current relation with man. Insert that into the text. He was the only sole being who was created to continue in relation to man of the Father. Or more simply said, the only sole being of the Father.

Jesus said, "I come in my Father’s NAME." Does this mean that when Old Testament people were spoken to that His NAME was already Jesus? He just kept it a secret? YES! He kept it a secret because He did not want Satan to know or Satan would have known who Jesus was and never killed Him. The secret was out finally. His name had always been Jesus.

Jesus, the man was simply the arm of God. Remember the angel's words to Mary, "the holy thing" born. There are no words to describe exactly what Jesus was except Godman. The body was His arm (His right hand).The fullness of the Godhead is in Jesus bodily (Colossians 2:9). The word or expression is unveiled so we can understand. He gives us bits and pieces until we can comprehend

the entire picture in our finite minds. The Old Testament manifestation was angelic or spirit type being- unpersonal. The New Testament manifestation was flesh, tempted as we are and then glorified once this was accomplished. He was pleased that in Him all the fullness, the big picture, dwelled. The body that was crucified, resurrected, and glorified is the body we will see face to face. Finally, God completely revealed to His creation in all His glorious splendor.

Why do people find it so hard to believe that Jesus and God are one in the same? He was more than the "Son." He was the fleshly shell God used to teach us and lead us and show us what is to come. His Spirit was always intact even when His fleshly body was given as a substitute for the Passover lamb. Does God not live within us all at the moment we accept the truth of Him as our Savior? Why then would it be so hard to see God’s Spirit dwelling within the shell as only a part of the whole-not as another person.

What was the difference between this last "Adam" and the first? The Bible says the sins of the father are passed down. Jesus was His own father or essentially had no father in the finite sense. He was born of a virgin mother to ensure the sin nature of the father was not passed on to Him. Adam was the only man with "sonship" with Yahweh until Jesus purchased it back for us.

The Trinity Doctrine

Now let us discuss the "trinity" a bit more. Ephesians 4:4-6 says one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one immersion, one God and Father of all. 1 Corinthians 12:3-6 states there are diverse gifts but the same Spirit. Diversities of workings but the same God is working all things in all. Revelations 1:4 says grace and peace from Him who was and is and who is to come. Sounds like there’s only one God doing all things to me. So how exactly was the trinity doctrine formulated?

Within the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia I found two things when I looked up the trinity:

1)The term trinity:

"The term is not a biblical term and we do not use Biblical language when we define the doctrine as one and true God, but in unity of Godhead. Three co-eternal and co-equal persons exist the same in substance but distinct in subsistence." 2) Purely a revealed doctrine? "Triads of divinities occur in nearly all polytheistic religions formed under various influences. A)Egyptian triad-Osiris, Isis, Horus is an anthology of a human family with its father, mother, and son. B) Three deities worshiped in different localities brought together as in the Hindu triad- Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva represent the three stages of being, becoming, and dissolution. C)Sometimes they result from nothing more than an odd human tenancy to think in threes which has caused the number 3 to become a wide spread scared number."

It is no more than expected that One of the kinds of triads caused the council of Nicea in 325 AD to explain God basing their information on inherent paganism which Greeks and Romans were rife with before being Christianized. It made Christianity easier for them to accept.

Gladstone found a trinity in Homeric mythology-the trident of Poseidon being its symbol. Hegel found it in the Hindu Trimurti. Others have perceived it in the Buddhist Triratria (Soderblom). Some in speculation of Parseeism, more frequently noted the triad of Platonism. Jules Martin is sure it is present in Philo’s neo-stoical doctrine of the "powers." Of late years, eyes have been turned to Babylonia. H. Zimmern found a possible forerunner in mythology.

There is no rational proof of a trinity. This doctrine is undiscoverable by reason, so it is incapable of proof from reason. There are no analogies of it in nature, not even in the spiritual nature of man, who is made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Psalm 19 says the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament (expanse of heaven or sky) shows His handiwork. Day after day they tell the story. Night after night they tell it again. Yet they have no voice or language but their message is there for all to see who seek the answers. You see God's creation inherently never changes. He wrote the story of Himself upon His creation.

John 17:3 tells us that there is ONE true God, Jesus Christ. In John 17 the word for son is uihos. It was used widely in the Hebrew language at the time for immediate, remote, or figurative kinship. Father is pate'r. It is father literally or figuratively.

In John 17:6 Jesus tells us that HE made manifest the Father’s NAME to men which the Father gave Him in the beginning. In 17:22, we is he'rmeis which is normative plural and only used when emphatic. John 10:30 states He and the Father are one. One is heis, a primary numeral or only. Verse 38 tells us that the Father is in Him and He is in the Father. John 14:9, to SEE Jesus was to SEE the Father. John 8:58, Jesus tells them "before Abraham was, I am." John 17:5, He lets us know that before the world was, He was.

Let’s look at Matthew 28:19. With stately impressiveness, it asserts the unity of the three expressions by combing them all within the bounds of the single name. Hebrews called God Yahweh and those manifestations, or expressions, of God were called to be named as the adequate expression of the innermost being of the bearer.

Those who had Yahweh’s name called over them became His possession to whom He owed protection (Jeremiah 14:9; Isaiah 63:19; Jeremiah 15:16; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Daniel 9:18-19). When, therefore, our Lord commanded His disciples to baptize those whom He brought to His obedience "

"into the name of

have informed them other than they were substituting for the name of Yahweh this other name. (Notice the scripture only has the word "name" listed once which encompasses the whole of the three expressions of God) His disciples completely understood that He meant that which was of Yahweh, was to be known to them by the new name revealed to them comprising Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It states that He opened their eyes before His statement(Luke 24:45). The only alternative would have been that, for the followers He was gaining, Jesus was supplanting Yahweh

with a new God and the Jews would not have stood for such a monstrous thing.

He was using language charged to them with high meaning. Jesus could not

The truest example of Jesus’ intended church is in the books of Acts. The chief facts and doctrines of the early church are found in the Epistles of Paul. Mainly this is due to what is termed the "Age of the Gentile" because Paul worked and taught the Gentiles. The Acts of the Apostles gives us the external, the epistles the internal history in it’s truest form. Almost nothing is known between the martyrdom of Peter and Paul and the death of John and the age of Justin the Martyr and Ireneaus. Of the early church, the church in Antioch, Ephesus, and Corinth were strong enough to bare the strain (Galatians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 3:3). Most congregations were small, made of poor people. Christian converts from paganism belonged to the middle and lower class (1 Corinthians 1:26-29). In spite of social hardship, they had the noblest of gifts, were alive to the deepest problems, and the highest thoughts which challenge mankind. They were truly Christianity built from the foundation upward.

The early church’s success is astounding. When Constantine was converted, some estimate the church to number in the ten or twelve million, some even higher- approximately a tenth of the population of the Roman Empire. Some of the reasons were:

1)Intolerant but enlarged religious zeal of the believers inherited from the Jews. 2)The doctrine of immortality of the soul, concerning which the ancient philosophers had but vague and dreamy ideas of. 3)The miraculous powers attributed to the primitive church. 4)The purer but austere morality of the first Christians. 5)The unity and discipline of the church, which gradually formed a growing commonwealth in the heart of the empire.

The beginning of the church is the purest form of creation. The living water of God’s creation. It is a supernatural fact that was long prepared for and predicted that adapted to the deepest wants and desires of human nature. Signs and wonders were used to make believers of men as demonstrations of the power of the Spirit of God in man. It takes hold within fallen man, transforming by a quiet leven-like process into God’s truth and righteousness. Modest and humble, lowly and unseemly in outward appearance, but steadily conscious of its’ drive, origin and its’ eternal destiny; without silver or gold, but rich in supernatural gifts and powers, strong in faith, fervent in love, and joyful in hope; bearing in earthen vessels the imperishable treasures in heaven it presents itself upon the stage of history as the only true, the perfect religion, for all nations on earth."

Apostolic Christianity contains and holds up the highest standard of doctrine and discipline. Theology cannot go beyond the word of God. Who were the apostles and how could they fully know the intents of Jesus for His church? They were all devout Jews raised with the law given to Moses. Let’s look at their character, beliefs, and their functions in the early church.

Peter, Paul, and John stand out most prominently. Peter, James, and John were Jesus’ most intimate companions and alone witnessed the transfiguration and agony in Gethsemane. James, "the brother of the Lord," seems to have succeed James the Elder as one of the three "pillars" of the church, although he did not belong to the apostles in the strict sense of the term. His influence as the head of the church at Jerusalem was more local than ecumenical. Paul was called last by the personal appearance of the glorified Lord. He was equal in authority and importance to any of the three "pillars" but filled his own place as the Apostle of the Gentiles. Nine of the original twelve labored faithfully preaching the gospel throughout the Roman Empire to the boarders of the barbarians. Their work is known only by vague and uncertain traditions.

James and Peter can be followed in Acts to the council of Jerusalem, 48-50 AD, and a little beyond. Paul can be followed to his first roman imprisonment, 58-63 AD. John lived until close to the first century. According to historical writings, Peter and Paul were martyrs in Rome during or directly after the Neronian persecution. John died a natural death at Ephesus. Acts abruptly ends with Paul still working for the Lord as a prisoner in Rome.

Peter, Paul and John, so very different in temperament and constitution, were joined in common goals, a deep strong love of the Master, equally endowed with genius, sanctified by grace. Peter stands out as the main pillar of the primitive church historically; John as the bosom friend of the Savior, the son of thunder, the soaring eagle, and the Apostle of love; Paul as the champion of Christian freedom and progress, the greatest missionary, the "care of all the churches: upon his head, expounder of the Christian system of doctrine, the father of Christian theology.

Peter was a man of action, always in haste and ready to take the lead. The first to confess Christ. The first to preach Christ on the day of Pentecost. Paul, a scholar and a thinker as well as a worker. John a theosophist and seer.

Peter was sanguine, ardent, impulsive, hopeful, kind-hearted, given to impulsive changes, consistently inconsistent. Paul was choleric, energetic, bold, noble, independent, uncompromising. John was somewhat melancholic, introverted, reserved, burning within of love of Christ and hatred of Antichrist.

Peter’s epistles are full of sweet grace and comfort, the result of deep humiliation and rich experience. Those of Paul abound in severe thought and logical argument, rising at times to the heights of celestial eloquence. John’s writings are simple, serene, profound, intuitive, sublime, inexhaustible.

At the day of Pentecost, the filling was not confined to the twelve. It extended to all who were the Lord’s and seeking the promised comforter-the mother of Jesus, the pious women who attended His ministry, the list can continue (Acts 1:13-14). Peter saw the event. The promised outpouring of the Spirit upon "all flesh," sons and daughters, young men and old men, servants and handmaidens (Acts 2:3-4, 17-18). It is characteristic in this spring, birthing of the church that the women were sitting with the men, not in a separate court as in the temple, nor divided by a partition as in the synagogue and the decayed churches of the East today, but in the same room as equal sharers in the spiritual blessings. The beginning of prophetic anticipation of the end, and a manifestation of the universal priesthood and brotherhood of believers in Christ, in whom all are one-whether Jew or Greek, bond or free, male or female (Galatians 3:28).

Peter’s sermon was God inspired to remind the unbelievers of the supernaturalness of Jesus and His gospel as a whole. "Then he called for them to repent and be baptized into the name of Jesus, as the founder and head of the heavenly kingdom." That even though they all had played a part in His being crucified, they might receive forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Let’s regress just a bit. Why does the doctrine of the trinity become a foundational issue? Simply because God is a jealous God. He is not a God of chaos and confusion. Which disciple knew Jesus best? Whom did Jesus entrust with what to men is of most importance? To whom did He reveal so

much of what the future held? John. He is spoken of in many instances of being the closest to Jesus. Jesus even entrusted the care of His mother to him though He had other siblings to care for her. He gave John revelation knowledge because he was closest to His heart. So, John being so very close to Jesus and having a heart full of love for Him wrote eloquently of His life. So as a Hebrew man from a religious family, how did he view Jesus? Logos is the divine expression of God. Logos became flesh uniting Himself with man once and forever in all things except sin. Including not only the body, but also a "human" soul and a rational spirit. John ascribes all these attributes to Christ.

The incarnation is only a stronger term for the assumption of humanity. The Logos became man. Not partly but totally. Not apparently, but really. Not transiently, but permanently. Not by ceasing to be divine, not by being changed into man, but by an abiding personal union with man. He is hence forth "Godman". He tabernacled on earth as the true shekinah (glory cloud), and manifested to His disciples the glory of the only begotten which shone from the veil of His humanity. This is the divine- human glory in the state of humiliation as distinct from the divine-glory in His pre-existant state, and from the final and perfect manifestation of His glory in the state of exaltation in which His disciples share (John 17:5,24; 1 John 3:2).

What About Being Born Again?

As I previously stated, Adam was the only man with "sonship" with God until Jesus, the Son of Man, purchased it back for us. We will speak more later of why Jesus prayed to the Father as an example for us of divine sonship.

What is being born again? 3/4 of all Americans claim to be Christians and born again. Does that make them so? Who's definition is right or wrong? Or, does it really matter as long as you believe? Let's see what the Bible says. Being born again is imitating Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Let me explain.

So this would be the case then:

Death

=

accepting

=

repentance

Burial

=

baptism

=

clothed in Jesus

Ressurection = filling of the Spirit = receive power from God

In the beginning was the expression, the expression was God(paraphrased John 1:1 according to previous chapters). How many Gods are there? ONE! So God was spirit and now God becomes body. Jesus purchased the plan of salvation by His death, burial, and resurrection to make us become sons of God. (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

When the end of time comes, the "Son" delivers the kingdom that it may be understood that God is all in all, playing all roles as only God can do. When you understand that God is all in all and His name is Jesus, the Holy Ghost is Jesus. The Holy Ghost was the Father. It all comes together under this acknowledgement.

Jesus gives the great commission in Matthew 20:19 (also Mark 16:15-16). Use the name of the son-Jesus. What's the name of the Father? Jesus. The name of the Holy Spirit? Jesus. Apostles baptized simply in the name of Jesus or Jesus Christ.

John 5:43 says I come in my Father’s name. If you as a human say that you come in your father’s name, it is understood that you are using your father’s name. Jesus was simply saying my Father and I are one.

John 14:17-18 says we will know who the Spirit is because He DWELLED with them. Who dwelled with the apostles? Jesus.

Act 4:12 says there is no other NAME by which you may be saved.

Matthew 16:19 says He gave the keys to them already when they asked what must we do to be saved. They must be born again-believe, be baptized in the name of Jesus, and be filled with the Spirit.

Act 2:38 says to change your hearts and lives and be baptized, each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ and you will receive the Holy Spirit,

Is Jesus in the Godhead? Or, is the Godhead in Jesus? Colossians 2:9 says the fullness of the godhead is in Jesus bodily. You ask: " Whom was Jesus praying to in the garden? Jesus who is God is praying to God- who? If you only have one God, how can He pray to another?"

John 12:27 Jesus is praying to Abba (Father). Jesus is God but also man. He was God and man as we are spirit and body. The Bible says God cannot be tempted, yet it also says Jesus was tempted. So how can this be? Jesus the man (His flesh, the shell He dwelled in) was tempted. Yet He was God Himself manifest in the flesh. How did Jesus pray? Jesus’ flesh needed to pray as ours does. Have you ever been tempted before? Your spirit say no, no but your flesh say yes, yes?

A struggle within does not signify two people. Yet you were in conflict with yourself. His flesh was

tempted so He prayed to the God within Him and the Spirit that filled the universe. So it was the man, or flesh, of Jesus which prayed.

Also, as Jesus said many times, we are to imitate Him in our lives. His prayer life signifies the importance of prayer in deed and teaching of it. His temple life also signifies the importance of fellowship and church attendance. There are nine references in Luke to Jesus praying (Luke 3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18,28; 11:1; 22:41-45; 23:34, 46). "Father" in Jesus’ prayers was Abba. Abba was the language of family intimacy. If Jesus did not take the step of addressing God so intimately, which of His followers would? Jewish people revered God such that His name would not be spoken aloud. How was Jesus to make them realize the "sonship" that was desired with them elsewise? It is clearly implied in Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6 that the early Christian’s experience of sonship was understood as an echo and reproduction of the experience Jesus displayed for them. It is precisely the "spirit of the son" who cries Abba.

The Old Testament helps us be familiar with the Hebrew concept of fatherhood. It implies the relationship of care and authority on one side and love and obedience on the other. Check these examples

Deuteronomy 1:31- And in the desert you saw how the Lord God carried you, like one carries a child. And He has brought you safely all the way to this place.

Deuteronomy 8:5- Know in your heart that the Lord your God corrects you as a parent corrects a child.

Deuteronomy 14:1 You are the children of the Lord your God.

Isaiah 1:2 I raised my children and helped them grow up, but they have turned against me.

Jeremiah 3:19 I, the Lord, said, How happy I would be to treat you as my own children and give you a pleasant land, a land more beautiful than that of any other nation.

Malachi 1:6 The Lord All-Powerful says, ‘A child honors his father, and a servant honors his master. I am a Father, so why don’t you respect me? Your priests do not respect me?’

"Father" for the Hebrews, denoted absolute authority and tenderness. This together with Jesus’ attitude toward what had become traditional Jewish worship strongly suggest Jesus’ using Abba was the language of experience He wanted to pass on to His followers rather than a formal

address. Abba used at Jesus’ time was common of children addressing their father. It was the address of courtesy and respect-the expression of warm intimacy and trust. Nowhere in Judaism is Abba used by anyone in prayer to God. Users of Abba in the New Testament are Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6, Matthew 11:25, and Luke 23:46. It expresses more than just respect.

It reflects a childlike confidence and obedience.

Jesus taught His disciples to pray this way-Abba/Father. He had an "either-or" challenge that envisaged something new in His relationship with men that cannot be separated from their response of repentance and commitment (Matthew 3:7-12; Luke 3:7-9, 16; Mark 10:23,25; Matthew 7:13; Luke 9:60, 62; 14:26).

Roman 8:15 and Galatians 4:6 is recognition that sonship depends on and derives from Jesus’ sonship (spirit of the son) and at the same time the spirit who cries Abba makes the believer not just a son but a fellow heir.

We’ll return to sonship in a moment. Let’s ask another question. What about the baptism of Jesus? Was the trinity not present there in Matthew 3:16-17?

This is a depiction of the mystery of God. Remember we are finite creatures and must have evidence in our senses to compute information. We have to find a rational explanation to put things in perspective and name it. Again, a mystery is something only chosen people can find answers to or someone who seeks the answers diligently. Someone dedicated to finding the truth. Looking at all the information for a complete picture without bias.

Where was the Father? God is everywhere. That is what those people understood and God always meets you where you are to help you understand. The voice came from heaven. God fills all space, God was attempting to communicate on people’s level. If you ask anyone where God is they will say in heaven. The voice could have come from anywhere. It might seem a simple explanation, but think of a ventriloquist. God brought that analogy to my mind just now. God chose a dove as a symbol of peace, new life, and that Jesus was special. What bird brought Noah the news it was safe to leave the ark? A dove. God is always using repeated symbols so we can understand. The doves brought Noah news of dry land. Peace for humans because God had destroyed all the unbelievers. New life to serve the one true God. All of the symbolism does not mean there is more than ONE God. It only shows us His truth and promise.

Is there a scripture that says any of the "persons" in the Godhead are a person or separate persons? Remember Romans 1:19 says we can understand the Godhead. So there must be a way to compute the information to understand it.

Think in real terms. I am a mother, a daughter, and a wife. However, it is not appropriate for my husband to call me mother or daughter. Yet, many of us call each other that to teach our children what is proper and respectful for my children to call me. Nor is it appropriate for my children to call me daughter or wife. I hold three different titles but I am still the same one person. To different people, indifferent situations, we are different things but we are always, without change, who we are. When God is referred to as Father, it is appropriate. When as Son, it is appropriate. But He is always referred to as Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:9).

1 John 5 talks about faith in the Son of God. In verse 7 it tells us that there are three witnesses that tell us about Jesus: the spirit, the water, and the blood. We bare witness, or record, of who we are at the courthouse. You have a birth record (son/daughter), a marriage license(husband/wife), and a birth record for your children(father/mother). I am who I am. I am a mother. I am a wife. But who I am never changes. I am still the same person. I am still always Tammy. The trinity is not biblical. It is not in the Bible anywhere. When you believe the trinity doctrine, you accept the doctrine of plurality of deity which is pagan.

Let’s look at Revelation 5:6-7 for further confirmation since Revelation is the complete unveiling of Jesus Christ:

Then I saw a Lamb standing in the center of the throne and in the middle of the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb looked as if He had been killed. He had seven horns and seven eyes. Which are the seven spirits of God that were sent into all the world. The Lamb came and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting on the throne.

Firstly, we know that God des not give us more than we can handle. It is entirely probable that our minds have been unable to grasp the fullness of Him. That being the case, He would have gradually shown Himself to us. Second, the number 7 is the number of completion. God loves numbers and order. There are 7 continents on the Earth, 7 days in the creation week, 7 fold reference in Genesis 4:24, 7 times completely in Leviticus 25:24 and Psalm 12:6, and many more. Think of how orderly and frequently certain numbers arise for the same reasons in scripture. The Greek word for "spirits" here is the same word used for demons earlier in the New Testament and is the equivalent for angels also. The definitive here is that they are spirits of God, that makes them

been sent to the world. The word for "horns" is ke'ras which comes from the same primary root as kardia, kar. The Latin corresponding word meaning heart figuratively the thoughts or feelings (mind). Ke'ras means hair of the head or horn. The Greek for "eyes" is opthalmos which means eye (lit. or fig), vision, sight. I believe the seven spirits are seven angels sent to give the message and the vision of Jesus to the seven continents.

We know Jesus does not look like a lamb with a gash in His throat, so this is symbolic and this idea holds true with the mystery of God-not everyone can understand it. John 5:19-27 speaks of Jesus being the judge. Jesus as the Son of Man is worthy to judge us because He felt as we do. Almighty God on the throne had never been tempted, hungry, etc. until Jesus came in human flesh. God on the throne is a symbolic picture of God before crucifixion. Notice the Lamb is in the center of the throne, not the side. He stands in the midst. Remember 7 is the number of completion. The seven spirts, angels, of God complete His message to the world.

The four living creatures are also depicted in Ezekiel 1: man, lion, calf, eagle. Remember the number 4 is the number of the Earth (4 winds, 4 corners). As I prayed about this symbolic vision given to John one of the articles of the Old Testament temple came to my mind, the lampstand. Ezekiel 1:13 says that the living creatures' appearance was like burning coals of fire and like the appearance of lamps. The fire was bright and out of the fire came lightening. God does everything with a purpose so what was the design for this depicting, I wondered.

The lampstand is a picture of His plan unveiled. It has six (the number of man, human weakness, short of perfection) parts, two (fellowship, union with Jesus, two are witness) sides. Each of the six parts are grouped in 2's. This is a picture of the spiritual and the earthly coinciding beside each other as in transition to become one (unity, united). Each piece is expressed as a part of the unbroken, unseamed whole. I am no artist, but here is a crude attempt to explain.(See diagram on next page.)

The Spirit brings it all together, 6000 years of history and then the Millennial Reign as Revelation says we reign with Christ as we are one body in marriage as the bride. The ornamental almonds (knobs) are badges of authority. Almonds were used because it is the earliest to bloom in spring and the blossoms appear weeks before the leaves. In the center are 4 bowls-4 spirits surrounding the throne in Revelation 4 are also in Ezekiel 1:

the throne in Revelation 4 are also in Ezekiel 1: In many passages God is referred

In many passages God is referred to having sheltering wings. Jesus depicts all four spirits, loudly speaking of His majesty. Puzzle pieces that when put together show the whole picture. Revelation 4:2 says ONE sat ON the throne who was like jasper and sardis with the throne encircled by a rainbow like an emerald. Jasper is a clear stone like crystal (Revelation 21:11). Also the word here means to make as simpleton, to become insipid (watery, waterish). If you follow this word to its final base word, it means secret or mystery, to shut the mouth. The jasper is symbolizing the mystery of God that is simple and clear, yet still holds on to its mystery. Sardis is also known in biblical text as a garnet. The word itself means redness, stumbling stone, or millstone. Since He who sat on the throne was like (implied symbolism) a jasper and sardis, we know who He is is a mystery simple and clear that can become a stumbling stone.

He who sat on the throne was like a jasper and a sardis and there was a rainbow around the throne

in appearance like an emerald. It is a true picture of the ONE God. As a jasper stone is clear and

simple yet unreachable as the "Father" by fallen man. A sardis stone which in essence is a garnet.

A red stone symbolizing the "Son" who shed His blood. The rainbow surrounding the throne is the

glory of His presence-the promise of the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer. The emerald is symbolic

of a precious carbuncle that is a fiery red garnet-check a Bible dictionary. Power and glory

emanating from the ONE on the throne. As with a rainbow you cannot see the beginning or the end of His majesty. Never once are these three separate beings but the ONE sitting on the throne. The spirit a symbol of promise just as the rainbow God gave Noah a picture of His promise to man.

Back to Revelation 5, the Lamb comes to take a book or scroll and open the seals. Notice He takes it from the right hand while standing in the midst. Here’s what I found by running the references down in Greek. "Right" here is listed as dexeeos’ which means the feminine side as that which usually takes. That derives from dekh’homahee which means to receive or take. That derives from the word lambano’ which means to pass or to have offered. "Hand" here is khire which means power. Especially by Hebrews as a means or instrument like the hand. It comes from the base word

of khas’mah through the idea of hollowness for grasping. Khas’mah comes from an obsolete

primary khao (to gape or yawn). I believe the translation lost the effect and should be translated as

an impassible interval or gap. "His right hand brings salvation." That is Old Testament prophecy in action.

This is a picture to show us the nature of God in it’s unveiling process toward fallen man. The Almighty God whose form was not able to bridge the gulf between Himself and His creation after the fall. He then becomes the Messiah who was killed for our salvation. The Messiah is worthy to judge all because He knows His creation more intimately. He bridges the gulf between Himself and man. He was the instrument that reached across the khas’mah. He is the power-the khire. Most of Revelation is symbolic like this to winnow our true believers.

The Old Testament is rife with references to the "right hand." Most of the references to the original text run down to yawmeen’ , yawd, or yad which means stronger side of power or stronger instrument. A couple of the references are mish-pawt (divine law) which comes from shawfaf’ (judge) and kaf (hollow hand) which comes from kawfaf’ (curve or bow down). Most importantly the name of the "right hand" is Jesus. So which baptism should we believe in Matthew 28:19 or Acts 2:38? (By the way, Acts was written first I believe historically speaking.)

We cannot assume part of the Bible is wrong and part right. Did ALL the apostles misunderstand Jesus, thereby making the New Testament full of error? Did Jesus want them to "polly parrot" the phrase "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost"? Or, did He want them to use THE NAME that comprised the entirety of God? Name is not plural in Jesus’ command. It is only one name. Did the apostles understand this due to their close relationship with Jesus? Or, Did they disobey Him at EVERY single baptism performed in the New Testament church? They understood ONE God, NAMED Jesus! Further down the same chapter in verse 45 it says, Jesus "opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures."

That answers all my questions about baptism. A follower of Christ should only be baptized in Jesus’ name. Do more scriptures support ONE God or three entities? All scriptures do not conflict when you read them as if only ONE God. It is difficult to rectify some from a Trinitarian standpoint.

Some will cite Genesis 1:26 to support a trinity doctrine. Who is God speaking to? If there is a trinity, He’s speaking to another God. If you believe in ONE God, He’s speaking out loud to Himself as we do at times. Elohim denotes plurality but if you run down the references throughout the Bible it denotes singular formality. Plurality is always used when formality or deity is the occasion in all the foreign languages I know of as a rule.

What about in Acts when Stephen saw Jesus at the right hand of the Father? The Bible says "no man hath seen God at anytime." No one in our present finite form can handle the awesome fullness

of God’s presence visually and live. So what exactly did he see? He saw the glory of God with Jesus there as a symbolic picture his mind could grasp. Jesus was on the "right hand" as the strong instrument used, as the salvation of man-the lambano khire.

Job 23:9- When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him. When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him.

In John 14 Phillip asks Jesus to "show us the Father so we can understand." Jesus replied, "when you see Me you see the Father" inferring that He was the Father.

The basic question is that is Jesus in the Godhead or is the Godhead in Jesus? Colossians 2:9 states the fullness of the Godhead is in Him bodily. Remember Jesus saying that "now I am with you. I shall be in you."

What is the correct theology? 1 Corinthian 2:14 says the man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

The Old Testament terms the heart as a combination of what your senses tell you and what you choose to do about it. Your heart is an organ of knowledge as much as your mind. Jeremiah 25:7 tells us that He will give us "a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart."

Correct doctrine comes from having a heart of love for God. To teach a smaller mind, self limitation is necessary as well as self repression. You must limit yourself to a student’s pace. This will encourage us to be forever learning and growing in knowledge of God.

James Cantelon says in Theology for Non-Theologians:

"I have seen the turmoil created in believers lives by their inability to deal correctly with the winds of doctrine that afflict the church doctrine today."

Children don’t limit their understanding of the world to external stimuli. They deal with internals-see the world and experience it through the "eyes of their hearts"(Ephesians 1:18). Matthew 18:3 says except you become like a little child, you cannot SEE the kingdom of heaven.

Being a born again child of God is a birthing process. It begins at your conception and belief that Jesus died on the cross for you and your sinful life. This begins the molding in the womb of faith and belief. When you are ready to really enter His kingdom, you pass through the water of His baptism as if through your mother’s birth canal. His breath of life is breathed into you in a measure to begin your new life. All babies should stay close to their mothers until they can stand alone and walk through life. We all receive milk to sustain us early in life but the time has come to eat the meat of His word. Without proper nourishment babies either die or grow up disfunctional in someway.

Malnourishment causes disease and physical deformities. Jesus can heal all the wounds, straighten every crooked bone, and make the heart come back to life. It is true that all God has made is a reflection of His truth. Praise God!

Speaking In Tongues Does God Still Manifest Himself This Way In Believers?

Speaking in tongues is a controversial subject in the church today. I have come to believe that each denomination, in it’s own way is a progression toward godliness for the most part. Each denomination gets "stuck" at certain points and stops there in their particular comfort zone to tickle the members ears. also, to stay in their comfort zone and not have to conform to God's way, they bend and stop to go as far as they are willing to submit to Him.

For example, certain denominations focus so strongly on Jesus’ sacrifice of atonement they never progress to the baptism fully. Most churches view baptism as an outward sign of repentance. It is that and much more as I have previously discussed. It is a birthing process. Notice in the New Testament, Jesus' ministry did not start until after His baptism and His temptation in the desert. Forty days and nights. God uses this number as a sign of testing and probation-our wilderness time.

Other denominations are so involved in the baptism, they almost make the crucifixion secondary, or they never simply progress further. Others which we shall deem Pentecostal denominations, get stuck in the book of Acts and never really leave it. In my opinion, even though they would seem to be further in progression to God, they can be just as errant as the rest. Speaking in tongues is an awesome, powerful gift from God that many people misuse which causes chaos and confusion. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a time and a place for all things and Paul spoke of this misuse to the early church in Corinth. To be in the perfect will of God we have to get it right. Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost had fully come they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and I filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided (or tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each) tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

What an awesome occurrence and privilege to be the first to experience Jesus this way. What was going on here. Leviticus 23:15 tells us the feast of weeks coincided with the day of Pentecost. Acts 1:14 tells us they had all gathered to pray as one and seek the Lord waiting for the promised comfort to settle within them. These people sought the Lord at all times with such fervor that even in Acts 4:31 the place they were at was shaken when they joined together in prayer. They were baptized with the spirit just as Jesus promised in Acts 1:5. Speaking in tongues was also prophesied by Jesus in Mark 16:17-"And these signs will follow those who believe: In MY NAME they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues."

Acts 8:12-18-"But when they believed Phillip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Phillip, and was amazed, SEEING the miracles and sings which were done. Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet, He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the NAME OF THE LORD JESUS. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon SAW that through the laying on of the apostles hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money."

So far, these scriptures tell us that you can receive the Spirit with evidence that can be SEEN by

searching with a hunger and expectation of the promise. They also let us know that a believer who has been baptized in the name of Jesus can receive the Spirit with evidence that can be SEEN by the laying on of hands. Let us delve a little further into the actions of the apostles on the teaching of Jesus.

Acts 10:44-48-While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who HEARD THE WORD. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they HEARD THEM SPEAK with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" And he commanded them to be baptized IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.

At this point, scripture tells us that the Spirit is received by prayer and supplication, laying on of hands, and by hearing the word of God. We also know that the Spirit can be received before or after the baptism in JESUS’ NAME. We’ve also learned by the scriptures that EVERYONE who received the filling of the Holy Spirit had a physical manifestation. At least, at the onset of the filling they spoke in diverse tongues as led by the Spirit.

Acts 19:1-6- and It happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to the, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." And he said to them, " Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." When they heard THIS, they were baptized in the NAME OF THE LORD JESUS. And when Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

As we progress we find a similar problem to that in the church today. These people believed in Jesus and they had been baptized. However, they did not have knowledge of the Holy Spirit. Even in the Old Testament, as pictured in 1 Samuel 3:10, God can speak audibly to us and we mistake the voice for something or someone else. This is due not by unbelief, but because of a lack of knowledge of the Word and the character of God. Once you have the knowledge you are required by God to act on it because He holds you responsible for the things He has made you aware of. These people rectified themselves to God according to His plan as soon as they received the knowledge. This is not something that can be put off for another day.

These are the scriptural bases for this chapter. The questions we will seek to answer follow these lines: Have tongues ceased? Is speaking in tongues optional? Should all people who are saved speak in tongues? The best place to look for answers is the Bible. The best book to find out how to "act" upon Jesus’ teachings as they early church did is Acts of the Apostles. Acts is how the apostles acted on the teachings of Jesus and how they helped lead others to His teachings evangelically.

Have tongues ceased? 1 Corinthians 13:8 tells us that love never fails but when that which is perfect comes tongues shall cease. God is love, all people will agree in the deepest part of themselves. That means that God will never fail to do as He says. Tongues cease when that which is perfect comes. What is perfect? Jesus! Has He came again after the comforter was sent? Not that I am aware of. Therefore, speaking in tongues is still a valid function for the church today.

Is speaking in tongues optional? The Bible says we must be born of the water and the Spirit to enter the kingdom of Heaven. 1 John 5:8 says- the Spirit, the water, and the blood all agree as one. John 14:15-18 Jesus is telling the disciples about the Spirit coming. The Spirit is what lives within us to help us and abides with us forever. It is the bond that cements us in God's family. (Jesus speak of it again in Acts 1:8) The spirit that fills us gives us power. It is the connection that God uses to fill our empty vessels for His use to perform miracles. It makes us evangelize. It develops our God- given gifts to do our part. If the evidence of receiving the Spirit is speaking in tongues; if the Spirit is

what gives us power to do miracles and wonders to bring proof of God to unbelievers; if the Spirit encourages and helps us to evangelize and Jesus, Himself, said I would receive it. I suppose I should. Don’t you think?

If churches lack power today, what do you think they are missing? The Holy Spirit moving and shaking the house of God and the people. People today do not ALLOW themselves to be broken and shattered and SUBMITTED enough. we all want to make a pretty little sacrifice of our time on Sunday morning for an hour and a half. Those who really try to appear pious will come that extra hour earlier for Sunday school or maybe even a little earlier for a prayer meeting. They might even attend Sunday evening or Wednesday night. Give me a break people! Real commitment and submission to God is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We should let Him have control and maybe our lives would not be so messed up!

Now does that mean all churches should be fashioned after the "Pentecostal" churches? Not necessarily. Even in the early church there were problems with people getting "carried away." Paul admonishes the church in 1 Corinthians to be unified in the same way a physical body is. In verses 10 through 17 of the first chapter, he speaks of the division and groups within the church because of squabbling. Petty differences that should not have even been evident in Christian. He plainly tells them this is not the way to be. He reminds them in who’s NAME to trust and follow and in whose NAME they were baptized. He admonishes the church to not allow the cross of Christ to loose it’s power through human wisdom.

In Chapter 2, he readdresses the message of Christ’s death. In verse 6, he says he "speaks" a wisdom to those who are mature. He goes on to say that God’s wisdom is secret and that He has kept it hidden only for believers to understand through the Spirit. He tells us that we speak about these things not by words taught by humans, but by what is taught to us through the Spirit. Spiritual truths can only be explained to spiritual people. Verse 16 sums it up nicely by quoting Isaiah 40:13:

Who has known the mind of the Lord? Who has been able to teach Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Chapter 3 tells us following man is wrong! You can only give the unspiritual or "spiritual babies" bits and pieces. You can only give them the major highlights of the truth until they mature in the spirit which takes time. He goes on further to speak of other problems- sexual impurity, using your body to God’s glory, marriage, food offered to idols, the warnings from Israel’s past, how to use Christian freedom, and being under authority. All of these are needed messages to the church today.

Chapter 6 tells us we SHOULD judge problems among Christians ourselves. If we cannot handle the petty problems among us now, how are we to rule with Christ? We are to judge one another within the church according to the spiritual authority Jesus has placed us in. Believe it or not., He has a hierarchy to be followed in the church! Do the job He's placed you in or He will remove you and replace you! Verses 9 through 11 speak for themselves about what is unallowable in the church:

Surely you know that the people who do wrong will NOT INHERIT God’s kingdom. DO NOT BE FOOLED. Those who sin sexually, worship idols, take part in adultery, those who are male prostitutes, or men who have sexual relations with other men, those who steal, are greedy, get drunk, lie about others, or rob- these people will NOT inherit God’s kingdom. IN the past, some of you WERE like that, but you were WASHED CLEAN. You were MADE HOLY,and you were MADE RIGHT with God IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST and in the Spirit of our God.

I know many people in the church today with" false faces". They come to church each week and still continue to live wrongly, expecting God to bless them. You will not be blessed if you do not follow His COMPLETE PLAN. No deviation or exception is allowed. This may make some mad, but I do not care. In all truthfulness, I would rather people be angry than God.

Get these people right or get them out of your church! They are polluting and deviating the foundation! Yes, God is love. However, He is quite clear. You cannot serve two masters. You are for HIM completely or you are against Him. The time for playing Christian is over. God dictates that we submit all our fleshly ways to Him.

Each person has their own gift which is developed by the Spirit over time. Some have multiple gifts, but none can be spiritually mature enough in our unglorified state to manifest them all. Let’s take a step back before we progress a bit further.

Let’s answer the questions right now about speaking in tongues. It is a gift that is truly misunderstood. As we progressed through the book of Acts we learned that at each time a person was "filled" with the Spirit they had physical evidence that was "seen" or "heard." That tells me that at the onset of "filling" each person had that "once in a lifetime" connection with God by speaking in tongues. However, that is a totally separate situation than the gift of speaking in tongues.

Chapter 12 in the last part of verse 10, Paul tells the church that one person may have the ability to speak in other languages or tongues in the church while yet another can interpret it for the church. Notice this is an ordered happening first the message and then the interpretation. This gift is as misused as it is misunderstood. Many covet this gift of speaking while hardly anyone seeks interpretation. It is NOT the greatest gift. Following Jesus’ admonition to love everyone despite the circumstances is. By having this love firmly rooted within you, you will act responsibly with whatever you have been gifted with. Speaking in tongues is selfedifying and is for God speaking audibly to the church when coupled with interpretation. It is not for caterwauling throughout the service creating a chaotic environment for those who may be unbelievers present. Many a person I have spoken with have been completely turned off of the "pentecostal experience" because of this. Do you think that is God's will? I do not and neither did Paul.

Take 1 Corinthians 14 at the top, verse 1. Paul tells us to seek love first and then spiritual gifts, especially prophecy. Those who speak in tongues speak to God, not people. However, those who prophecy give strength, encouragement and comfort. Speaking in tongues in church service is useless unless there is someone to interpret it for the church. It does not help the congregation if they do not understand it. Just like an instrument not played well without practice, sour notes are not music to the ears or to God. It sounds horrible!If a battle trumpet is not sounded correctly, the soldiers do nothing. You talk to the air if you do not speak clearly to people.

Think about the difficulty of communication with someone who does not speak the same language as you. Does he/she understand what you speak? Do you understand them? Keep your tongue silent unless prodded by the Lord to speak! The Bible says if you can master your tongue-control it- you can control any other part of your body.

All gifts are given to make the church stronger, but misuse and abuse of this gift is destroying and dividing the church. We should all follow Paul’s advise in verses 13 through 17:

The one who has the gift of speaking in a different language should pray for the gift to interpret what is spoken. If I pray in a different language, my spirit is praying, but my mind does nothing. So what should I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. If you praise God with your spirit, those persons there without understanding cannot say amen to your prayer of thanks, because they do not know what you are saying. You may be thanking God in a good way, but the other person is not helped.

Paul was glad he had the gift of speaking in tongues. However, in church meetings he says he would rather speak a few words people could understand than thousands that people could not. He tells us to stop thinking like children! To be adult in our actions in church so that the Lord might be edified and work in the lives of those present. Be still and know that HE IS LORD! He quotes Isaiah 28:11-12: "With people who use strange words and foreign languages I will speak to these people. But even then they will not listen to me." Stop being babies learning to babble words. Learn to be

mature with your gift and be coherent to yourself.

Speaking in tongues is proof to those who do not believe, not to those who do. Prophecy is for those who believe, not for those who do not. If everyone is using plain language it is helpful to all. Their sin will more readily be shown to them so they can come to repentance.

Church meetings should have order not a program. It is not an entertainment event that should be scheduled or staged. It should be led by the Spirit with order. Each person should feel an involvement through singing, teaching and sharing. Should someone be led by the Spirit to speak in tongues, ANOTHER should interpret. It should not be more than two or three at most of such messages in a meeting. If there is no interpreter in the meeting, the person with the speaking gift should be SILENT. They should speak ONLY to themselves and God in such a manner. Only two or three prophets should speak. Everyone else should judge or weigh their words. God is not a God of confusion but a God of peace.

As for the women speaking in the church part of this chapter (the last of 33 through 36), is taken much out of context and misunderstood. There were many women prophets who spoke in meetings in the early church. These women were much respected. However, you must consider the culture and times in which Paul spoke. Most generally the women and men were segregated in their seating arrangements. In other words, husbands and wives did not ordinarily sit together. The men sat together and the women sat together-usually in a balcony type area.

Paul is addressing chaotic conditions in church meetings. Imagine the chaos created by a wife shouting to her husband for his opinion on something spoken of. Hence, women keep quiet in the meeting and ask your husbands at home. It is shameful for anyone to behave inappropriately or disrespectful in a church meeting-whether it be a child, teenager, wife, or husband. Inappropriate behavior is contrary to the belief that we are on God’s holy ground. Almost no one teaches proper respect in the house of God anymore!

To redo the damage we’ve allowed will take time, effort, and commitment as all the workings of Jesus do. We must restore His church for it is His and not ours. We do not enter the picture in the of the way He wants it structured. The Spirit of Jesus Christ created the structure and offices in the early church and we must allow Him to do so again. Time is of the essence. We will need to pull together much sooner than we realize for the church and its’ people to survive. Those times are coming sooner than most realize and are very rapidly to the forefront.

The Early Church and the Manifestations of It's Offices

I will attempt to create a story and a timeline going through the book of Acts with as much historically correct timing as I can. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have. Christ as an apostle taught the disciples for about 4 years. On the Day of Pentecost, Apostleship of men was born-May 28, 30 ad. Apostleship and the church always go hand in hand. Until that particular Day of Pentecost there had only been one kind of believer-disciples. All believers are disciples and are called to do the work of disciples. The Smith Bible Dictionary's definition of a disciple is "believer, member of the church of Christ." It goes on to say that the twelve were Jesus' chosen disciples. He set them apart for a purpose but they were still just disciples until May 28, 30ad. After the Day of Pentecost all of the disciples continued to stay put and wait for their particular "sending."

The word Apostle simply means sent forth. In a broad sense it mean anyone specifically commissioned to preach the gospel and plant a church. The Apostles of the church are called, once again, to plant the church.

During the first 8 years of church history, to be "in the church" everyone knew you had to deliberately go out and sell everything to become penniless. To them it was a privilege to dispose of all their worldly goods to further and care for each other and the church. Try that today and you will be accused of being an occult! How many today would shun being a Christian if we were expected to live the way the church lived in 30 ad?

The next showing of an "office" in the church was simply known as "the seven." These were men called to assist and lift an administrational burden from the Apostles to free them to continue teaching. The guidelines for the church's choosing of these men were:

They must have been around long enough to be well observed and tested (I.ed. Have they held a steady job? Dependable? Honest? Not lazy? Follow instructions well?) They must be of "good report" with everyone in the church.

They should be filled with the Holy Spirit.

They should be wise, practical men

Once the men were chosen the Apostles laid hands on them. They "passed on " some of their divinely appointed responsibility. These men were not deacons, or elders, or apostles. They were simply "the seven".

There were no other "offices" of the church at this time. No deacons, no elders, no evangelists, no prophets. These officer are not designated by men. They are all brought forth by the Spirit of Christ in them AFTER preparation time with Him. These offices are gifts that are distributed to men by God. The church life first produces the man, the man creates the office, the office does not create the man. As you look at the story of the early church, you will see the Holy Spirit and Him alone raises men up and gives them functions, offices, and fights. These men in the early church were quite unaware that they had some office or gift. They just followed the leading of the Spirit and began to carry out their gifts and offices. The Apostles knew what "office" they had by simply seeing the men and women function as God led them.

It was after these gifted men and women had spent years in the experience of church life, long

AFTER the Spirit placed the gift and let it grow to full operation, that the Apostles figured out God sends gifts and offices to the church. Then and only the, the Apostles began to name the offices that were already there. They were describing what the Spirit had already done in these people. They did not make up a list and hand it to someone and say, "here's what an elder does, do this." They watched those men and women whom the Spirit had made elders. The list came from this watching. These offices and gifts are products of church life-not seminaries, not personal talents, not individual preferences. "The seven" were simply the first hint of what the Spirit would do in the church as it progresses over time.

The next appearance of a hint of future offices is approximately 8 years into the history of the church, Stephen. He was the first great, "named", figure to emerge after the Apostles. He was their equal in every way. He had few peers in all church history. He was a Jew but still a foreigner in Jerusalem. He grew up outside Judea amidst the culture of the Greeks and Romans. The utter abandonment he gave the church was for him a "for the res of my life" and "there's no turning back" type decision. He sold all he had as everyone in the early church did, so he had no home to go to. Then he threw himself wholly into the life and fellowship of the church.

He lived "corporately" with those in the church. He learned to experience the Lord with others. It kept him human while learning to be divine. He sat daily listening to the teachings of the Apostles. It was in these daily conditions that he learned about being exposed in brokenness, confession, forgiving, adjusting, being forgiven, submitting, mutual forbearance and being submitted to. He learned patience, tenderness, gentleness, compassion, understanding, and encouragement. In short, he learned humanity and humility.

Keep in mind these close quarters conditions are the same type conditions the Apostles went through as they followed Jesus. 24 hours a day they lived, breathed, ate and slept in His presence and with His teachings. Stephen was one of the very few men in all of early church history whose preparation time was LESS than 10 years. No formalized training produced Stephen. The Spirit inside and the daily life of the church experience produced this vessel. The church had confidence in this man because of how well they knew him. They had personally seen all he'd gone through and how he turned to the Lord time after time. After years of pressure, testing, and exposure, he comes forth proven. Everything was out in the open in the early church- the good and the bad. There was no hiding from each other. They were exposed and broken in full view of everyone because they lived in such close quarters.

Stephen could not pretend because everyone knew him like a book. His devotion to His Lord was a solidly established fact. A life proven by the life of the church. He was also one of "the seven". Finally the church was doing what Christ did. They raised and grew up a great man of God. He was the first man beyond the Apostles to show evidence of being imbued with power by the Holy Spirit. Imagine that! Eight long years AFTER Pentecost and there were only 13 men on earth who showed evidence of receiving power in the Holy Spirit by signs, miracles, and wonders. He was, also, the first martyr of church history.

Stephen's death and the persecution that followed was the catalyst that spurred the believers to begin to leave Jerusalem. Evangelism of the early church is about to be born.

The gospel was permanently established in Judea, not by Jesus, or the twelve with their reputation for proclamation. It was done so by ordinary, untrained, untutored men and women who came into town, stood in the markets, and proclaimed the gospel of Christ. Simple, ordinary, common laborers and tradesmen. The ones no one would ever know from the next man who met at Solomon's Porch in Jerusalem day after day. Not only was the church being born in cities and towns all over Judea, but men-giants in the Lord_were being born in the twinkling of an eye. One of those giants was Phillip. He shared the same spiritual history as Stephen. He holds a place in church history no other can claim. He was also one of "the seven". The first major city he came to when he left Jerusalem was Samaria. He entered the city with his heart on fire for Jesus proclaiming redemption. He had sat eight years under the experience in the Jerusalem church and

the Apostles' teaching. He, also, obeyed the gospel BEFORE he spoke it. He was the second to match the power of the Apostles both in preaching and in signs.

The significant thing here is that Samaritans were despised-not "real" Jews. Peter and John went to check things out once they heard about it. What they saw confirmed reports. Uncompleted Jews were becoming believers. Little did they know that this was Jesus' first step toward the entire world. God always works in steps to ease us into understanding.

The Apostles stayed in Samaria a few days. When on there way back to Jerusalem, they stopped at every town and village, just as Phillip had. Was this a great distance? No, only within 30 miles of the city they'd spent the last eight years in, seeking the Lord and raising disciples.

After a period of time, Phillip also left Samaria to travel with the gospel. No one really knows how long he did travel, but somewhere along the way he saw an angel. This angel told him to travel further south. As he reached the wilderness of Gaza, he met and ministered to an Ethiopian man. Then he went westward toward the Mediterranean Sea. He unleashed the gospel in the seaport town of Azatus. Upon leaving there, he went along the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea stopping at each town along the way. Finally, he reached Caesarea. All of this probably took several years.

The earlier claim I spoke of is simple in its uniqueness. He signaled the beginning of the second group of people who did not have the personal physical experience of knowing Jesus. He knew Him by His Spirit within him. He is also the first man in church history to receive a gift. There were no longer just Apostles. There was now a man functioning as something called an evangelist. An evangelist is not an Apostle. Until Phillip's gift emerged, such a thing had not been seen in the early church. The church was almost nine years old before it ever produced the first "gifted" man and the first gift was evangelism. Up until this point, only the Apostles raised up a church. Then comes Phillip. Phillip aided the Apostles. He worked with them building a locatable, attendable church. One in every city he came to. He did not carry on an independent ministry. It was all interwoven.

He had spent just as many years in church life as a simple brother. Don't forget though that Phillip gave his life to the church. The level of your submission is a factor in the manifestation of your gift. He was the church's instrument to build it up and make her glorious. The church was not his tool to further his own ideals and ministry-am I stepping on toes here? For Phillip, everything was for the church and Jesus. Soon after him there would be many "Stephen's" and "Phillips" but they were the first of their kind.

Due to the fire of evangelism placed by the Spirit in the hearts of disciples, churches sprang up in each town they arrived in. For the next four years, the Apostles kept informed of the young churches and visited some but their activities were mostly confined to Judea. Within four to five years of Stephen's death, of approximately 200 villages, most had a church. Suddenly, at the end of almost a decade there were easily more than 100 established churches in Judea. Remember though, this took time, Apostles to teach, corporate church life, and living a life richly experiencing Jesus.

There is no such thing as a spontaneous church that survives. Remember, they had eight long years of preparation in church life BEFORE they ever expanded out of Jerusalem. God gave the Jerusalem, or Judean, churches a specific way of raising a church. He began with only one church for eight years. He always takes His time in the beginning to make the example to follow. (By the way, the number eight is symbolic for new beginnings throughout the Bible-8 people after the flood, 8th day begins new week) The foundation is not laid quickly. Take note that all of the leaders of the church, the Apostles, were local so the church fit the culture. If the leaders of the church were not indigenous to the area, the church would not have fit the area or understood the people. Also, not that the Lord had made a way for expansion of His church through the "foreign" Jews that were converted at Pentecost. Why is this important to understand? Because missionaries today miss the point of how He wanted and required (and still does) His church to be raised!

Why is this important today? Look at the Jerusalem church as the beginning work example. It was the genesis of church history. Apostles were required because it was the beginning and took time. The Apostles were local so that the foreigners could transplant the church. All the churches in Judea were planted by ordinary believers local to the nation because they had a strong foundation received from the Apostles in Jerusalem. At this point the "transplanting" was confined to the culture of the people involved.

The unity of this "national" church was kept. It started with one church in one town. It continued to grow with only one church in each city. The secret to the unity was not a demand to all to believe the same. It was partially because no one ever got around to doctrinal statements. It also never truly got "organized". The main reason was that they were smitten with Jesus Christ. They were engulfed in the DAILY experience of Christ. Jesus possessed them and created their unity. Their mobility and abandonment, as well as submission is shown over and over. First by giving up all they had for the "good" and the "common" of the church. What a leap of faith! That is the truest picture I know of blind trust in the Lord. This was the STANDARD not the exception set in Jerusalem.

As with all things in the human realm, there were danger or caution signs of possible future problems.

The sameness of all the churches.

They were not thinking of taking the gospel to anyone but Jews.

The Judean churches were beginning to move back into the traditions and rituals of the Jewish faith.

Let's take a look at the first danger sign, the sameness. God never planned for all the churches to be so much alike. So God had already made provision within the genesis church to launch this new type church. People that knew about both the Jews and Gentile lifestyle. People just didn't think of it. The second strain of churches He would start would be radically different than the first. However, they would still all have the unity of Jesus to hold them together as "the church". All of these churches from Jerusalem to Antioch and beyond all hold to the of the unity of the body in each city and honor one another.

The next danger sign, the Jews simply did not think in terms of salvation for any but Jews. It was a remote idea to them because of their culture. It Never crossed their minds that Jesus included "Gentiles" in His salvation plan.

Lastly,They were beginning to move back into the traditional practices of the Jewish faith. Some were never dropped by the disciples. God wanted His church to break free of all such religious legalism. It was difficult for the Judean church to do this. They were surrounded by custom and Jewish legality.

So far the church had spread into Judea. In Galilee and Samaria- in cities such as Azotus, Joppa, Lydda, and Caesarea. It reached Syria in Damascus. It went as far as Cyprus. The most distant point so far was Antioch 300 miles north of Jerusalem. All this happened between 38 ad and 41 ad.

At the end of this chapter you will see two charts. The first will be about the Apostles and their history. The second will be the chronology of the Acts with Scriptural reference along with things happening in secular history.

Back to the church. It appears that about the third or fourth year after Stephen's death a few believers began to come back to Jerusalem. We know for sure the name of only one person who returned-Barnabas. About 41 ad as the church was just beginning to get back on it's feet in Jerusalem, Barnabas heard bad news-or was it good news. Saul was back in town.

Barnabas went looking for Saul, probably to figure out where he really stood so he could warn everyone. Their meeting was the first of many between the two men who would one day change the "face" of the church. Saul talked. Barnabas listened. There was no mistake in the rumor! Saul had become a believer now no matter what he'd been in the past! Barnabas took him to meet with Peter.

Peter listened with a joyful heart and asked Saul to stay with him. They spent two weeks together. The longer Saul stayed the more he knew he had some recogning to do for his past and the truth to proclaim. This being, he went to the same Libertine Synagogue he debated Stephen in. This time the table was turned. He was on the other side so to speak. He stood in the same place as Stephen proclaiming Christ as the Messiah to the very ones who had helped him persecute and kill Stephen. The difference between the two? They didn't stone Saul. They covertly planned to assassinate him. When the disciples heard of it, they smuggled him out of town. Once in Caesarea, he boarded a boat for Tarsus, Celicia. He was on his way to his hometown among the Gentiles. He is not heard from for three years more. About eleven years have passed since Pentecost. God has begun to lay the foundation for His second great work in the church. Simultaneously a man in Caesarea named Cornelius receives a vision from the Lord while Peter sees the same vision while visiting Joppa. The remarkable thing Peter did while in Joppa is another landmark in the early church-he raised Tabitha (Dorcus) from the dead. See the Spirit is ever growing more powerful in each believer.

Through the visions of Peter and Cornelius, He brings these men together and causes Peter to see Jesus intends salvation even for the Gentiles in 41 AD. When Peter returned to Jerusalem he told the story of what happened in Caesarea. Joseph-Barnabas was very probably one who heard the story. I am sure at that point the Lord began to stir Barnabas' spirit for the salvation of the Gentiles.

Let's travel to Antioch and see what's going on there. The major difference here than in the other cities was quite noticeable to those of the church in Jerusalem that traveled this far. This city had no concentrated area of Jewish population and culture. It was also further than any other place the persecuted believers had scattered to. It was entirely Gentile! The language, culture, and customs were a world apart from the life they had in Judea.

The believers that ended up there were not timid though. They'd travelled a long way with one purpose in mind. Jesus had lit a fire in their hearts that they unleashed on this city. They proclaimed the gospel to all and there was an imeadiate response.

I am sure they were somewhat overwhelmed and perplexed with the situation. Afterall, what was happening was unparalled. They were outnumbered by Gentile "pagan" believers. These Gentiles had no Judeo religious heritage to guide them. The Gentile believers were so involved in the experience they felt with Christ, they could have cared less about theological propriety. Things like circumcision, purification, rituals, and the like was not significant to them when compared to the experience of Christ.

The displaced believers sent word, as usual, to Jerusalem about the additions to the church. The Jews in Jerusalem thought it was strange but were delighted. Because of the wildness of the story, the Apostles believed they should send someone to investigate it.

Antioch was not important enough for an apostolic visit. However, whoever was chosen needed to be solid and speak Greek. Barnabas got the job. After sitting for 13 years, he was finally going to get in on the action. The whole decision was unique to the church. He was sent alone when usually two men went. He was also simply a brother. It was springtime in the year 43 AD that Barnabas set out for Antioch.

Upon reaching Antioch, he was greeted warmly by his brothers and sisters from the Jerusalem church. They were so excited at what had been happening. Everything here was so different from what they had known before in Judea.

Barnabas entered a room full of Gentiles. They were rowdy and noisy. They were completely uninhibited. No Jewish prayer. No reverence. Just eating and rejoicing together. I am sure he had much to come to grips with. He was wise beyond belief though.

As he spoke to them telling them to continue in their faith and remain faithful. He knew that God knew what was best. Even if he did not understand or agree, he knew the Lord knew what He was doing better than he did. He faced a dilemma though. Should he go ahead and report to the Apostles or stay with this church in Antioch? The Lord had placed a deep burden in his soul for Gentiles when Peter told of what happened in Caesarea two years earlier. However, he knew the Apostles were his authority. Somewhere deep inside of him, the Lord had made him aware that all was not right in Jerusalem. Too many were carrying too many Jewish influences and legalism into their new faith. These things were not present in the beginning, right after Pentecost. It was so easy to fall back into the old way of life because they were surrounded by these Jewish influences, and they were comfortable with them. They did not seem completely aware that Christ had set them free from religious systemization. Besides who better to teach the Gentiles how to grow in their faith than a Jew from the family of Levi?

He decided to stay. He was no untried believer. He had a solid foundation that had been built without "outside" influence for 13 years. The Apostles sent him because they trusted him and his judgement. Besides he had the Lord's clear sense to do what he did.

He knew he would need help. Afterall, the standard was to usually send two men to new churches. He remembered Saul. Though Saul was rife with ancient traditions, he had declared a gospel wholly free of Jewish influence in the Libertine Synagogue.

Barnabas decided to make the 80 mile trip to Tarsus to see if he could find Saul. If he was there, maybe he would agree to help him here in Antioch because they seemed to be of a like mind concerning the task ahead.

Finding Saul/Paul was no easy task. It turned into a hunting expedition. Because of all Barnabas saw in Tarsus, he knew that Paul knew and understood Gentiles. They both had grown up in cities utterly removed from the culture and society of Judaism. Paul had to be, surely, bilingual like himself.

He evidently found Paul. They sat and talked. Barnabas told him all about Antioch and Caesarea. He pleaded his case for Paul to return with him to Antioch and help with the new Gentile church. I am sure that Paul had little hesitation as he was called to go to the Gentiles with the gospel on the road to Damascus. He knew exactly what he was called to do and God had opened a door for him.

Keep in your mind that saul has been in his preparation time. He spent 3 years in the Arabic desert getting to know the Lord doing nothing. Then more of the same in Tarsus. He spent six years getting to know the Lord. There is no mention anywhere of him ministering in Tarsus, either biblically or through traditional lore! As a matter of fact, Barnabas had to hunt to find him in Tarsus. Public ministry would have made him easy to find.

While in Antioch, Paul will begin to absorb from Barnabas all that he absorbed from the Apostles, who absorbed it from Jesus Christ Himself. Barnabas does the leading of the church in Antioch. For the next four years, Paul will learn all he can of "church life" from Barnabas. This is God's way to prepare people for ministry. It is now about 43 AD.

New things are happening in Jerusalem. The church has produced a prophet: Agabus. The 20th century concept of a prophet is off. A prophet is NOT a person who goes around predicting future events all the time. A prophet is one who reveals Christ. They speak for God in the place of God. Predictions are rare for any prophet.

Agabus did predict through. He spoke of a famine that would hit the land soon. God was speaking to the church for them to once again pull together corporately. Not just within one city but as a whole to prepare. All was distributed evenly, the one in most need getting the larger share. A picture of the unity of the body at work again.

Why did they all believe and trust Agabus? He had already been tested, proven by God and by the church to be a trustworthy servant. He lived 14 years in the corporate setting of the Jerusalem church under the Apostles. He was known as a faithful man. He accurately portrayed Christ when he spoke. Eventually as the years passed he made a few predictions which ALWAYS came true. Do not get the idea that this made him a "super-Christian" to other believers. He was simply another believer. His personality, short comings and failures, his strength and character were well known. REAL church life keeps hero worship snuffed out. They had confidence in him DESPITE his exposure to them.

To show you how far from REAL church life we've gone, let's use an example. Imagine a GENUINE prophet today predicting some kind of economic disaster. Because everyone KNEW he/she was GENUINE, they KNEW his/her prediction would come to pass. It would be a "free for all." Each person would take care of themselves first!

Or, imagine a pastor going to his congregation with the information that the church was in financial distress. First response? "Not my problem. I've got enough to worry about." It is YOUR problem! You are the church and are ONLY STEWARDS of ALL that you have. The people in Antioch WERE POOR, but they pooled ALL they had PLUS ALL THEY MADE. Then sent someone in the church to buy grain over and over. Then arrangements were made to share it will ALL-even those in OTHER CITIES.

The church in Jerusalem was thankful for the grain and glad to see Barnabus and Paul. They even acknowledged that Antioch had a real, genuine church despite it was not in the orthodox Judean flow of things or that an Apostle had not visited to give an official blessing.

The Spirit at this point is still using the Jerusalem church to birth new types of people. The Spirit raised up Apostles in 30 AD, evangelists in 38 AD, prophets in 43 AD, and now in 44 AD, elders. Elders are appointed by the Spirit, not by men. They are chosen to oversee the administrative matters of the church. They are not Apostles. They are not prophets. Yes, an elder can be a prophet and an elder, but being an elder does not automatically make him one who ministers. They do not LEAD meetings. They are not Apostles, so they do not raise churches. They do not have as much authority as an Apostle. They are the administrative authority of the church IF an Apostle is not present. Eldering is confined almost exclusively to outside the meetings and not all churches have them.

People do not select elders. A true elder is produced from years of waiting and testing. The first elders are our example. The Spirit put years of experience, life, maturity, wisdom, patience, and love in them. An elder must be LOCAL to the church. He/she must be a long-standing resident of the church and town he/she is in. They must have learned the way God would have things handled in church.

Barnabas and Paul did not arrive back in Antioch until 45 AD. 46 AD passed uneventfully, but in 47 AD a prayer meeting in Antioch will cause an event that God has been working toward from the beginning-the reconciliation of all man to him, Jew and Gentile. The five at the meeting were truly grounded in the Lord. Simeon, Manaen, Lucius, Barnabas and Paul. The first three had been Christians for 13 years when they entered Antioch. They were not Apostles, elders, prophets, or teachers. They were just believers on fire with the gospel.

The church in Antioch was unique among existing churches, not just because it was mostly Gentile. It was the FIRST church not to practice "living in common." However, they chose to live in clusters throughout the city. It was also unique for its' oneness. It had incomprehensible unity. No record of

discord was ever known in the church in Antioch. It was the most evangelistic church of the first century. Eventually the church in Antioch became a blend of Jewish morality without legalism and had the free uninhibited Greek nature without immorality.

Antioch raised outstanding believers. They were hard up for elders but rich in prophets and teachers. Within four years, the church could boast a half a dozen or more such believers. This church had the witness of pryer constantly before it. There were believers who lived on their knees before the Lord. Those whose ministry was first to Christ and then to the church. The foundation of this church also rested firmly in deep spiritual experience.

At the prayer meeting of the five, the Spirit spoke to each man present individually with the same message. These were not young, untried, impressional, new believers. They were prophets and teachers in the church. All responsible and they are all equals. Paul was the youngest and had only been a Christian for 10 years. Barnabas had been a Christian for 17 years and began to be a "worker" four years previously. God judged them to be trustable. This type experience ONLY happens in the church, even then rarely and only to believers deeply rooted in the spiritualness of Jesus.

What happened? The Spirit audibly spoke. He gave a command. He turned two men into Apostles. Now there are 15 Apostles in church history at this point. All 15 had these things in common:

at one point in time they were called

all were prepared

all definitely had a sending

Notice that Paul's learning time under Barnabas was the same as the twelve under Jesus-four years. It takes time to get to know the Lord as well as having "student time" or time of being an "Apprentice." Even when Paul went with Barnabas at this sending, he was still in an "apprentice" stage of growth. The order the Spirit sent them is clear--"Barnabas and Saul." (Acts 13:2) Hence the beginning of the evangelization of the Gentiles begins.

According to scripture the first time Paul spoke was in Pahos. He had already been in Seleuscia and Salamis. Many believe the "John" with them was "John Mark." However, I believe it was John the Apostle as it references him returning to Jerusalem form Perga. John the Apostle would have been the perfect choice to go with these two and complete their "training." John Mark is not referenced as being with them until their second missionary journey from Antioch when Paul spoke. It says nothing of a sermon only that he spoke against the sorcerer and caused him to be blinded.

Paul's first sermon was at Antioch in Pisidia. He went straight into the synagogue on the Sabbath and sat down. He spoke of Israel's history to lead up to the Messiah Jesus. Paul spoke to them about Jesus fulfilling the words of the Prophets. He spoke eloquently of Jesus' resurrection. He spoke of salvation, forgiveness, remission of sin, faith, justification. He told them about the law being insufficient and gave them warnings. When the meeting was over, the Gentiles asked if they would preach to them the next sabbath day. After this sermon, Paul begins to be listed first. God has anointed him for his work in the church. The age of Paul's evangelism of the Gentiles has begun in full force.

Jewish Festivals Jesus Kept and Why Christians Still Should for the Symbolism

Jesus' life was an example to us all of divine life on Earth. Each and every thing He did was and is important for us to imitate in our own lives as Christians. Have you ever considered why He told His disciples they would do even greater things than He? They could not possibly be more powerful as He is God. They simply would have more time to grow into doing them. His ministry was relatively short in comparison to most. He, as Godman, gave us an example of divine life on Earth. Let's look at some things He considered important to do.

We all realize, I hope, that Jewish festivals that were kept in the Old Testament reveal Christ's role. It is imperative that we see the biblical Holy Days in proper perspective. We all know He came to pave the way for salvation. He taught His disciples true Christianity both by words and example.

One example is His observing the festivals. Luke says in Luke 4:16 He observed the Sabbath. Matthew 26:17 shows He observed the Passover. John records Him observing the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:2,10). All throughout the New Testament, Jesus' disciples observed the Holy Days. However, they did so with a deeper spiritual understanding.

Paul told the Gentile Christians in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 to properly observe the Feast of Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread because they were Christian celebrations. Passover was commanded in Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23:45. It is mentioned no less than 28 times in the New Testament. The majority of those found in the Gospel as Christ is our Passover sacrifice. The New Testament Passover is all about Him. The One who is so profound, so holy, so important, that without Jesus Christ there is no New Testament Passover.

Paul wrote of Passover's significance in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8, "Purge out the old leaven that you may be a new lump." He says that indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. We should keep the festival. Not with the old tradition, but with the new.

The ancient ceremony pointed to Jesus' sacrificial death on our behalf. The scriptures even tell us that He was crucified on the VERY day of Passover. We should commemorate the Passover to better understand the role Jesus has in the removal of sins as foreshadowed in the Passover Lamb.

The second annual festival, the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, follows right after Passover (Leviticus 23:6-8). In observing these days, Christians discover this is a time to focus on putting sin out of our lives. For seven days, Christians avoid leaven (yeast or baking soda), as leaven represents sin during this time.

Leaven is likened to sin by both Jesus and Paul. Paul refers to it as malice and wickedness and its tendency to grow and spread (1 Corinthians 5:8). Jesus referred to it as hypocrisy (Luke12:1), false doctrine (Matthew 16:12), and moral depravity (Mark 8:15). We must all overcome these.

The deeper meaning is the promise of the risen Christ. He was resurrected during this feast. He promised to make His home within us (John 14:23). Christ within us gives us the sure hope of future glorification as divine children (Colossians 1:27).

The unleavened bread represents sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:8). As we eat it, we are reminded that Jesus is the perfect example of this, and we should strive to be as Him-having Him living and through us.

This feast reminds us that it is not our righteousness that causes us to overcome sin. It is the

righteousness that comes as a result of Jesus living His righteous life in the heart of His people empowering us to conquer sin. Just as Paul explained in Galatians 2:20: "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." This being the case, the Days of Unleavened Bread are a celebration of the resurrected Christ who saves us from our sins and lives in us again.

The third festival is Pentecost. This festival was celebrated with much excitement in Israel because

it signified the completion of the early first fruit harvest from the fields. Everyone could be assured of food when God's blessing was on them. It, also, teaches us much about Jesus' role in the ultimate plan.

His disciples were upset because He was about to leave them. He had already promised them they would not be left alone like orphans in John 14:18. He also promised He would come as the Spirit to live within them (John 14:16-23), Luke also recorded this promise (Luke 3 24:49), if they would obediently stay in Jerusalem until His power came to them. As Jesus promised, the Spirit descended upon them on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). They were the completion of the early first fruits harvest of His church. They were no longer dazed, confused, or upset. They had virtually by the power of the Spirit become the people of God. With this power they would be able to overcome, withstand, evangelize, and much more. As Christians celebrate Pentecost to this day, we remind ourselves that Jesus continues to empower His church to do His will.

The Feast of Trumpets is observed in October the first day of the seventh month on the Jewish calendar (Leviticus 23:24-25). Trumpets were used in biblical times for several reasons. They announced the beginning of this first autumn Holy Day (Leviticus 23:24). They announced the coronation of a king (1 Kings 1:39-40). They were used as an alarm of war (Numbers 10:9; Jeremiah 4:19). They were used to call the people of god to gather (Numbers 10:1-8).

All of these find their fulfillment in Jesus returning to Earth. When He returns , He will do so as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will come to battle against the armies of Earth that oppose Him and His rule (Revelation 19:11-21). He will gather His people together at the sound of the trumpet, the seventh trumpet. He makes clear in His word (1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Revelation 11:15). This feast shows the long awaited second coming of Jesus.

The next is the Day of Atonement. It is perhaps the most unusual Holy Day. It is a day on which God's people fast, avoiding food and drink (Leviticus 23:26-32; Acts 27:9). The Israelites also sacrificed one goat as a sin offering (Leviticus 16:9) and released a second goat, the scapegoat,

into the uninhabited wilderness (Leviticus 16:10). The first as a sin offering represented Jesus. It's blood who shed to cover the sins of the people (Leviticus 16:15-16). The scapegoat represents Satan who departed from God and is responsible for the temptations of humanity. Jesus called him

a "liar and a murderer from the beginning." (John 8:44). When Jesus returns, He will command an

angel to banish Satan to the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:1-3). After the millennial reign, Satan will no longer be allowed to tempt and deceive.

Jesus is central in understanding the seven day Feast of Tabernacles. He observed this and told others to do so as well (John 7:2-14). In the Old Testament the Israelites would gather in Jerusalem and dwell in small huts or booths made from the leafy branches of trees, rejoicing in the worship of God (Leviticus 23:40). The millennial reign of Christ is linked to this Feast in Zechariah 14:16-21.

The world will know a thousand years of peace under Christ's rule. The earth will return to it's pre- fall state (Revelation 20:1-6). Jesus will serve as the King of His kingdom. Isaiah 35 tells of this time: "Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth "

in

the wilderness, and streams shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water

Immeadiately following the Feast of Tabernacles is a final feast day, the eighth day (Leviticus 23:36). It has an ultimate and profound meaning in the ultimate plan of Jesus that has had its' meaning twisted. Therefore, pay CAREFUL attention so that you do NOT misunderstand. Many worry about those they care for who died as unbelievers. We worry for those who have, we think, been lost and doomed forever in an ever-burning hell fire. But remember, God is love. He will not allow any human to be lost without them having a fair opportunity to hear the Gospel. Anyone who went to the grave without the knowledge of God will ultimately be given an opportunity to know and respond to God on judgment day.

This is where many misunderstand. Notice I said those who go WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF HIS GOSPEL. If you have the knowledge, make the right choice because you will face the consequences of that choice. Revelation 20 tells of the reign of Christ and the final judgement. Satan is bound for that entire 1000 years. It says in verse 5 that the rest of the dead did not live again until after this time. So there still will be death, though not much, and those in the grave still. (Isaiah says that those who die during this time at 100 years old will be considered young) After Satan's final defeat at the end of that time will be the great white throne judgment. The time when those who have not had their name written in the Lamb's Book of Life will see the ONE who sits on the throne and face Him one last time as He really is. Will you be ready?

John 9:41- "Jesus said unto them. If ye were blind, ye should have no sin; but now ye say, we see; therefore your sin remaineth."

1 Corinthians 4:5- "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hears: and then shall every man have praise of God.

The following are scriptures about spiritual ignorance:

Isaiah 59:18 According to deeds--so He repayeth. Fury to His adversaries, their deed to His enemies, To the isles their deed He repayeth.

Jeremiah 5:4 Then I said, But these are the poor: they are foolish, for they have no knowledge of the way of the Lord or of the behaviour desired by their God.

Amos 3:10 For they have no knowledge of how to do what is right, says the Lord, who are storing up violent acts and destruction in their great houses.

Micah 4:12 But they have no knowledge of the thoughts of the Lord, their minds are not able to see his purpose: for he has got them together like stems of grain to the crushing-floor.

Romans 10:3 Because, not having knowledge of God's righteousness, and desiring to give effect to their righteousness, they have not put themselves under the righteousness of God.

Ephesians 4:18 Whose thoughts are dark, to whom the life of God is strange because they are without knowledge, and their hearts have been made hard;

These are about willful ignorance:

Obediah 21:14 Though they said to God, Go away from us, for we have no desire for the knowledge of your ways.

(Zechariah 7:11) But they would not give attention, turning their backs and stopping their ears from hearing;

(Zechariah 7:12) And they made their hearts like the hardest stone, so that they might not give ear

to the law and the words which the Lord of armies had said by the earlier prophets: and there came great wrath from the Lord of armies.

(Mat 13:15) For the heart of this people has become fat and their ears are slow in hearing and their eyes are shut; for fear that they might see with their eyes and give hearing with their ears and become wise in their hearts and be turned again to me, so that I might make them well.

(Rom 1:28) And because they had not the mind to keep God in their knowledge, God gave them up to an evil mind, to do those things which are not right;

(2 Peter 3:5) But in taking this view they put out of their minds the memory that in the old days there was a heaven, and an earth lifted out of the water and circled by water, by the word of God;

Inexcusable sin:

(John 15:22) If I had not come and been their teacher they would have had no sin: but now they have no reason to give for their sin.

If I had not come and been their teacher they would have had no sin: but

Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament Tabernacle

There are specific connotations of symbolism attached to materials, colors, numbers, measurements, and various words throughout the Bible. This chapter deals specifically with the Old Testament Tabernacle and how it shows us Jesus as Lord. This does NOT set doctrine for us. It shows us through symbolism the doctrine He already established throughout His word. It verifies the truth of God's doctrine. The following lists would be good for you to memorize or reference as you read this chapter and implement it in your personal studies later.

would be good for you to memorize or reference as you read this chapter and implement
We will now begin to look at the Tabernacle in refence to Jesus. Most Studies

We will now begin to look at the Tabernacle in refence to Jesus. Most Studies begin in the outer court. We are going to start in the Holy of Holies because this is about Jesus and not man. He is our Holy of Holies. Moses was, also, instructed to begin with the Ark (Exodus 25:10). It represents Jesus incarnate on the Earth in a body of flesh.

The Ark was made of shittim wood overlaid with gold inside and out. Shittim wood is referred to as iron wood. It is in the acacia family, said to reach a height of 25 feet, and does produce some valuable timber. It is resistant enough to heat and decay so that it has been described as indestructible. This shows the incorruptible body of Jesus, prepared for His incarnation (Hebrews 10:5), "neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption" (Psalm 16:10: Acts 2:27;14:35).

The gold within and without shows us that He retained full diety in union with His humanity. He was ALWAYS God. Throughout the Tabernacle wood shows His humanity and gold His diety. He VOLUNTARILY emptied Himself of some of the unique attributes and prerogatives of diety (Phillipians 2:6-8). He was nonetheless God, even in the flesh.

To be our Daysman, or moderator, (Job 9:33) He needed to be equally representative of God and

man. He is not a hybrid. He was fully God and fully man. "For verily, He took not on Him the nature

of angels, but He took on the seed of Abraham

people."(KJV) "Clearly, it is not angels that Jesus helps, but the people who are from Abraham. For

To

make reconciliation for the sins of

this reason Jesus had to be made like His brothers in every way so He could be their merciful and faithful high priest in service to God. Then Jesus could bring forgiveness for their sins."(NCV) (Hebrews 2:16-17)

The Ark emphasizes His purpose. The validity of atonement rests both on His Godhead and His Manhood. They are both essential as a base for the Mercy Seat (Romans 3:25). The crown of gold (Exodus 25:11) foreshadows "the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5) promoted and exalted as "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" (Revelation 19:16).

Take a quick look at the dimensions of the Ark (Exodus 25:10). "And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof." Now plug that information that was listed in the beginning of this chapter into the measurements to find God's symbolical meaning.

Length: 2 1/2 cubits = 5 half cubits = 5 = Grace Breadth & Height: 1 1/2 cubits = 3 half cubits= the unveiling of God to man (Logos)

Notice this last measurement is listed twice. Jesus is coming to Earth twice. Could this mean that complete understanding of God is of paramount importance? Two or twice is the number of fellowship and union with Christ. Two is also the number of witness. Jesus is the foundational cornerstone of all faith. Without Him we are nothing.

Vertical girth: 4 x 1 1/2 = 6 cubits = man Horizontal girth: 2 x 2 1/2 + 2 x 1 1/2 = 8 cubits = New beginning

The unveiling of God to man culminates in Jesus (Colossians 2:9 "the fullness of the god head is in Jesus bodily). Therefore, it shows that Jesus (3) by grace (5), offers man (6) a new beginning (8). "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold, all things become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17).

1 Chronicles 15:15 informs us that the Levites supported the Ark of God upon their shoulders according to the word of the Lord. It reflects the high respect and reverence with which the Ark was borne.

What was in the Ark and what could that symbolize in reference to Jesus and what we find in Him? The tables of stone, or Testimony, with the Ten Commandments that represent God's law. The law is within the heart (Psalm 40:8). Like the stones kept in the Ark, Jesus Kept the law as observed in the commandments. Only IN Jesus can we be pardoned, cleansed, and covered by the blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat. He came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). When we are baptized into Christ we are covered or clothed in Him (Galatians 3:27).

Next, we find the Golden Pot of Manna within (Exodus 16:32-33). This shows us Jesus is the Bread of Life. Eight times in the Bible He is declared to be the True Bread that came down from heaven (John 6:32-35, 48-58)

Then we see Aaron's rod that budded (Numbers 17:10). It depicts Jesus' resurrection. "In Him was life." (John 1:4) Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; whosoever liveth, and believeth in me shall never die." (John 11:25-26) He also said, "Because I live, ye shall live also." (John 14:19) The power within Him that enabled His resurrection was the Holy Spirit which lives in the spirit filled Christian. Without Jesus living fully within you, there is no power in you to resurrect you to your glorified body.

Violating the holiness of the Ark was punishable by death. There fore, denying the diety of Christ, or violating His holiness, is eternally fatal. Let me explain.

The Israelites violated the holiness of the Ark by taking the Ark into battle (1 Samuel 4). What

happened? Verse 10 informs us that the Philistines slaughtered and defeated the army. Because Eli's sons took the Ark into battle (v.4), it tells us they died (v. 11) due to it's capture by the Philistines. Eli then fell over dead (v.18) because he was responsible for what happened as their leader. Afterwhich, Phinehas' wife began to give birth with "much difficulty" upon hearing about all that happened (v.19). As she died, she named her son Ichabod, no glory, because the Ark had been taken (v. 20-22).

Whatever you do affects your entire family and those you lead. Be and do what you are called by God to do to avoid calling curses and death upon your family. It will affect them for generations.

1 Samuel 5 communicates to us what happened to the Philistines when they captured the Ark. They first took it to the city of Ashdod. The Lord caused the people of Ashdod to suffer and gave them emmerods (hemorrhoids or piles that flow with blood) for placing it in Dagon's temple. God even gave them fair warning by knocking their pagan god, Dagon, on it's face before the Ark (v.3). They set it back up so God knocked it down before the Ark again. This time He broke it's head and hands off (v.4). Once they came to realize their physical infirmity was caused by the Ark, the Philistines moved it to Gath (v.8).

The people of Gath already knew what had happened in Ashdod so they panicked and became afraid (v.9). The curse called upon the Philistines followed the Ark to this city and the word says God indiscriminately punished young and old. See God's punishment can get progressively worse if His warnings are not heeded and His plan not followed. Once they came to realize their problem was caused by the Ark, the Philistines then moved it to Ekron (v.10).

The people in this town were outraged. "What's wrong with you? Are you crazy? We don't want to die!" They wanted no part of the suffering encountered in the other two cities. It took the Philistine kings seven months to finally send the Ark home (7-the number of completion). Their punishment was complete. It took three (stages of maturity) cities for them to come to the complete perfect (7 months) solution.

To Bethshemesh, where the Ark was returned to Israel, some of the men looked into the Ark and seventy of them died (1 Samuel 6:19) when they looked inside. They had to lift the Mercy Seat exposing themselves to the law they had broken. Seventy is significant. 10 x 7 is 70. 10 is the number of completion and responsibility on Earth. Seven is the number of perfection. These men violated the complete perfection of God and were held responsible on Earth. Exposing them selves to the law was crazy. This kind of exposure without Jesus would mean certain death for any of us.

Uzzah TOUCHED the Ark and died immeadiately (1 Samuel 6:6-7; 1 Chronicles 13:9-14). Only when the Ark is moved as God prescribed can it be done safely (1 Chronicles 15:25-29). Just as we can only approach Jesus in the prescribed way following it completely. True holiness is protected from violation or abuse by GOD GIVEN customs, law, or feelings of reverence.

What other "Arks" in the Bible also allow us to see Jesus if we examine them? Noah's Ark and the Ark of Bulrushes.

In the story of the flood, we see God's judgment on the Earth. Once God speaks, He does not change His mind but for those who find grace in His eyes He allows a way out of the judgment. God's grace because Noah pleased Him. He provided a safe haven for him and his family (1 Corinthians 7:14 the family is sanctified by the believer). No one in the Ark perished. The ark rose above it all. Just like Jesus, it provided absolute safety for all within because it was built to His specifications. No help was found for those outside of it.

We will find no help outside of the specifications of the church. He gave instructions about building it His way. Jesus is the foundation we must build upon. For He is the Rock upon whom the church is built! [An aside not: God is specific in this numbering of things. Wonder why God chose 120 as the generational age for men? 10 x 12 = 120 = Earthly government completed. 13 is the Jewish age

of accountability because it is just past 12. Twelve is the number of earthly government. When you begin to be responsible to the laws of God . 4 (earth) x 3 (stages of maturity) = 12. (6 x 2 + 1 + 13) man (6) with fellowship (2) adding unity (1) creates adulthood (13). I have, at this time, found no instance in the Bible that cannot be explained using this numerical symbology.]

In the story of Moses we find the Ark of Bulrushes (Exodus 2:3). It was not big or strong, but it was safely sealed. As long as Moses was in it, the river rushes stayed out. This ark carried Moses on top of the very vehicle in which he was sentenced to die. To top that off, he became a household member in the very home of the one who sentenced him to die. Just as in this story, we can become "sons and daughters" of the One who pronounces judgment. The law of sin and death has not changed but Jesus give us the victory. "But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57). Christ is our ark of safety that makes us heirs in His Kingdom.

The ark, once again, emphasized the person and the Mercy Seat emphasized the purpose. The Mercy Seat was pure gold, no wood. Nothing but diety could offer saving mercy. Hebrews 10:4 states, "it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins." Animal blood is non-moral, man's blood is immoral; the only moral, sinless blood that will ever be found is in Jesus Christ, the Lamb. The sin debt had to be paid with heavenly currency--God's own blood.

The Mercy Seat is where God met with Moses (Exodus 25:22). Moses HEARD the VOICE come from the Mercy Seat (Numbers 7:8-9). It reveals Christ "where Mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed one another." (Psalm 85:10) Peace and reconciliation is obtained only through Jesus as revealed by the blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat. (Ephesians

2:13-19)

Jesus is our Mercy Seat.He is our place of rest. "Come to me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and LEARN of ME; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29). He was not "big or strong." He was average to look upon. What we would consider the "common face in the crowd." In Jesus, the lawful case against us is dismissed. (Ephesians 1:6). His judgment passes over us when the blood is evident in our lives just as foreshadowed in the blood of the passover lamb across the threshold of the Israelites' door. "When I see the blood, I will pass over you." (Exodus 12:13) "For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." (Leviticus 17:11)

The length and breadth are identical with the ark. Width: 1 1/2 cubits wide = 3 = the unveiling of God to man (Jesus) said twice to emphasize the importance of Him. Length: 2 1/2 cubits long = 5 = Grace

The two measurements taken and added together (3 + 5) gives us a new beginning (8). The length taken twice (5 + 5 ) shows the completeness of His grace (10). The length plus the width ( 2 1/2 + 1 1/2) is the number of the Earth (4). there will be a new Earth wen Jesus returns (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; Revelation 21:1). This price again, does not establish doctrine. It merely reinforces what is already established in His Word.

The thickness of the Mercy Seat is not mentioned. Unnamed dimensions suggest boundlessness, or the infinite. Remember the Mercy Seat is EXACTLY the same width and length of the ark- no more, no less. His boundless grace is enough to cover any and everyone who remains in Jesus. He will pour out judgment on ALL who do not believe just as He judged everyone at the time of the flood (Revelation 14:10).

The Golden Crown previously has the Mercy Seat right down inside it. It shows us that His diety and humanity are inseparable. His rightful position is forever secure, regardless of unbelievers or demonic forces. He is the ONLY way (1 John 2:2; 4:10). There is NO OTHER (Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5; Philippians 2:9-11).

Let's look now at the cherubim on the Mercy Seat. Angels are ministering spirits (Hebrews 1:14). Primarily invisible, but able to take form when needed to benefit man. Cherubim are guardians of God's holiness. Josephus said no one in his day could even conjecture the shape of the cherubim that Solomon made for the Holy of Holies (Antiquities VIII 3,3). On the Mercy Seat there are two.

These two are "beaten" out of the one piece (Exodus 37:7-8) suggesting Christ as their creator in the beginning (John 1:2; Colossians 1:16). They were not poured in a mold. They were BEATEN OUT OF the ends of the golden Mercy Seat. God inspired the workmen to make everything to His specifications or it would not have been possible (Exodus 31:2-6; 35:30-35).

The angels guard the sacred holiness of God and steadily focus on the Shekinah Glory. Their focus on god's glory shows an interest in God's plan (1 Peter 1:10-12). It is Jesus' intention that the angels learn through the church "the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed [and fulfilled] in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Ephesians 3:10-11).

This is what makes the mystery of godliness so marvelous and special to us. We, as Christians, are His most prized work. He saved the best for last. We are so very special to Him that we know things that He did not even let the angels in on-else Satan would have known all along. We are the stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4:1-2) He has revealed Himself to us. We are CHOSEN for this wisdom. I am humbled by the honor. I do not rightly deserve. Thank you Jesus! Glory, honor, and power to YOUR NAME!

There are many ways God has manifest Himself to us. Before the fall of man. He had a close interpersonal relationship with man walking and talking with Him in the Garden of Eden. Since the fall, He has manifest Himself as fire (Genesis 3:24; Exodus 3:2; 24:16-17; Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29). The shekinah Glory is not specifically found in the Bible by word. It is the name Hebrews gave His presence "in the cloud upon the Mercy Seat."( Leviticus 16:2)

The flame was enclosed in a cloud for man's protection. At least ten times this, Shekinah glory, appeared outside the Holy Of Holies. Five times in warning judgment when the people murmured (Exodus 16:7-10; Numbers 14:1-10; 16:19, 42; 20:6) It, also, appeared five times in blessing when they did well (Exodus 24:16-17; 40:34; Leviticus 9:23; 2 Chronicles 5:14; 7:1).

In Ezekiel 8:1-4, the Lord took Ezekiel to Jerusalem while he was captive in Babylon. He saw the progression of the Shekinah Glory departing Israel. It left the Mercy Seat and stood over the threshold (Ezekiel 10:4). It rose off the threshold and hovered over the midst of the city and stood on the Mount of Olives on the east side of the City (Ezekiel 11:23). As the Shekinah glory lingered there, God took Ezekiel back to Chaldea.

After this the glory of the Lord is not written of in Israel except prophetically until Jesus is born in Bethlehem. The angels had the glory of the lord shinning around them (Luke 2:9). It indwelt Jesus here on Earth (John 1:4). Then upon the Mount of Transfiguration, it shined through "and His raiment was white as the light" (Matthew 17:2).

This whiteness is spoken of in two other gospels, Mark 9:3 and Luke 9:29. This Shekinah Glory lives in part in us as Christians when we are filled with His Spirit. This is the resurrection power that will allow us to have glorified bodies upon Jesus' return for His bride. After Jesus had risen from the dead, He was carried into heaven (Luke 24:51) just as Ezekiel had seen the glory of the Lord taken up to heaven 600 years before. This glory reappeared on the Day of Pentecost in the form of "tongues like fire" (Acts 2:3).

Moving on to the next piece in the tabernacle, the Table for the Shewbread. It is made of wood showing Jesus' finite flesh. It is completely covered with pure gold to remind us of His diety. He became a man to be made Living Bread for us, retaining His diety so He would be our Eternal Life. "Your old sinful self, has died, and your new life is kept with Christ in God. Christ is our life, and

when He comes again, you will share in His glory." (Colossians 3:3-4)

The table was one cubit wide (unity), two cubits long (fellowship, union with Christ), one and one-

half cubits high (Jesus unveiled, His Logos, maturity). Tables generally remind us of fellowship, as in the Lord's Table (1 Corinthians 10:21). True fellowship with Christ depends on unity, and without

a doubt must have understanding of WHO Christ is. Just as the priests had fellowship here with their high priest, so do we have fellowship with Christ in communion.

Around the table is a border. Exodus 25:25 says it is a hands breadth high, or 3 inches. Strong's Concordance translates boarder as misgheh'reth. Misgheh'reth means something enclosing or stronghold which comes from sawgar'. Sawgar' means to shut up; inclose. It is the only thing in the Tabernacle that's measurement is not in cubits which points to it's significance. Three is the number of God (His Logos). The meaning here is clear. The stronghold of god is in His mystery.

It encases twelve loaves of bread representing the twelve tribes. It is topped with a golden crown as

a symbol of His authority and power toward His own.

"The Lord answers,"Can a woman forget the baby she nurses? Can she feel no kindness for the child to which she gave birth? Even if she could forget her children. I will not forget you. See, I have written your name on my hand.'"(Isaiah 49:15-16)

Now we shall speak on the Shewbread on the table. Leviticus 24:5-9 tells us about the bread on the table. It is BAKED with fine flour. It is set in two rows, six on each row. Fine flour represents flour that has no lumps or defects like the life of Jesus. We cannot live or raw flour-it must be baked. Baking reflects His suffering and death that redeemed us. Jesus is spoken of many times as the True Bread from heaven (John 6:32,33, 35, 41,48,50, 58).

Cakes is translated from the Hebrew challah. This literally means a cake as usually punctured. the body of Jesus was punctured five times (grace) on the cross-each hand and each foot as well as His side.

The Shewbread was "hallowed" (1 Samuel 21:6) and was intended for priests only (Matthew 12:3- 4). According to 1 Peter 2:5, we are chosen and have a holy priesthood as Christians. Both the Manna and the Shew bread exhibit for us Jesus as the Bread of Life. both were probably unleavened breads because it represents freedom from sin (Leviticus 2:11; 10:12; Exodus 12:15; Matthew 16:6-12; Mark 8:15; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8; Galatians 5:9).

I spoke earlier a small part about the symbolism implied in the lampstand. I will visit it now in more detail. You can reference the previous diagram as I continue for a visual representation. There are two ways to interpret the symbolism. The first is the most readily accepted when doing a study like this. The second came to me in pieces, in dreams, and during prayer.

The first is that Jesus is the central stem of the one whole seamless piece and the seven lights refer to the seven churches. The seamless whole is only possible in Christ through the three stages of maturity. Adam symbolized Christ and Eve symbolized the church. She was created during his deep sleep as the church was created during Jesus' death and resurrection. She was taken from his side as Jesus obtained His bride through the piercing of His side.

Isaiah shows a sevenfold aspect of Christ in Isaiah 11:2 "The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him (the central stem that carries the branches and lamps), the spirit of wisdom and understanding (each pair goes hand in hand), the spirit of counsel and might (second pair of branches), the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord (third pair)."

It can, also, represent time created for us and the unveiling of God in transition toward man as they

come together at Jesus' second coming and the millennial reign of Christ. One side or group of three (Maturity)is heavenly, the other is earthly. They are grouped together to show their unity in

transition. Remember, two signifies fellowship, union with Christ and that two are a witness. Each branch has knobs, flowers, and bowls like almonds showing three stages of maturity all present at the same time. Notice the space between each branch is equally coexistant showing the states of growth in His church--Tabernacle (Old Testament Covenant), His time on Earth (Ministry time), and the Gentile church (New Testament Covenant)--bringing us to His ultimate plan for the church. The boundlessness of His Heavenly Sanctuary surrounding the whole. Also, in reference to time, He makes things happen approximately every 2000 years (ie Creation-2000 years later, Abraham-2000 years later He lived among us-2000 years later He will return).

The central stem is the central point that balances he whole. The four bowls are located on this stem symbolizing the four states, characteristics of Jesus. The first of the top most point is Jesus as the protector (eagle) with sheltering wings. Next coincides at the point where the Father Logos meets fallen man after the time of the Tabernacle (Old Testament Covenant)--Jesus as man. following that you see the space representing the time Jesus was on Earth which ends as the Son Logos meets redeemed man as Jesus becomes the sacrifice (calf) on the next bowl intersection. Just past that you see the time of the Gentile Church where the Spirit Logos meets glorified, resurrected man as Jesus is the King (lion) at this intersection over all as His last manifestation.

The stem under represents the Marriage of the Lamb to the Bride of Christ as they become one during the millennial reign of Christ and rule together as one. Notice the space all around is noted as the Heavenly Sanctuary that always surrounded the whole.

There are no dimensions given, reminding us that diety-since it's made of pure gold-knows no boundary and infinity has no limits. It was hammered out of one piece suggesting the One God, Jesus who creates all and saves all through His suffering. It was made of 90 (9 x 10 - spiritfruit complete) pounds of gold, which today would exceed $500,000, reminding us of the heavy, enormous price He paid for us.

Oil in the Tabernacle typifies the Spirit of Christ. It was used for lamps and for anointing. Pure olive oil was obtained for use by beating. Beating signifies suffering and the Spirit of Jesus, or Holy Spirit, can suffer. It can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30). He can feel our pain and sickness (Hebrews 4:15) and it can be provoked, or vexed, by rebellion (Isaiah 63:10). The Spirit is the Oil of Light within us which causes us to burn always (Exodus 27:20).

Anointing Oil was made by a special formula and reserved for holy purposes like consecrating priests (Exodus 30:22-33). Olive oil without spices was used to anoint the sick (James 5:13-16) to portray the trust we have in the Lord for healing through His Spirit.

The Linen Curtain was called specifically the Tabernacle. This is the only curtain in which fine linen was priority over the blue, purple, and scarlet colors (Exodus 26:1). Every other part of the Tabernacle has the colors listed first. Flax is a product of the soil from which linen is made. This curtain illustrates the righteousness which Christ manifest in flesh showed for us in His earthly ministry.

One of the special features in this curtain was several cherubim. Cherubim, once again, are the guardians of God's holiness. So in essence, the cherubim depicted were watching what happened in both parts of the Tabernacle. They were a warning for all to proceed with caution for they were treading on holy ground.

This curtain was composed of ten strips. Each strip was twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide. Five were set together in one section, five in another. These two sections were grouped together with one hundred loops of blue and fifty taches, buckles or clasps, of gold (Exodus 26:1-6).

The flax to make the linen was from the soil (4), also the width of each strip signifies the same numeral (4), and the quality was perfect (7). Quality times the width equals the length of each strip (7 x 4 = 28). Take into consideration that the soil (4) and the width (4) signifies together a new

beginning (4 + 4 =8). Only by grace (5) is righteousness obtained and grace with grace (5 + 5) is complete (10). This could be translated "The new beginning (8) is all through grace (5) in Jesus Christ to have righteousness completed (10) in us (4, the soil) to perfection (7)."

The fifty loops of blue (Heavenly One ) were on the edge of each section (Exodus 26:4,5), and the fifty clasps of gold (the diety and glory of Jesus) to put the two sections together should not be overlooked. Fifty is a number for which there is no substitute (5 x 10 = 50, grace completed). The fiftieth year was to be a Year of Jubilee (Exodus 25: 10-24). Debts cancelled, captives set free, etcetera. This is what Jesus did for us, He was and is our Jubilee (grace complete). Jesus began His ministry by reading from Isaiah:

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."(Quoting Isaiah 61:1,2 in Luke 4:18.19)

Notice He stopped reading in the middle of a sentence because "the day of vengeance" had not yet come. He came to preach Salvation through His sacrifice. He set us free from Satan's bondage of sin. This is all symbolized in the Year of Jubilee and this curtain which had the veil under the clasps suggest Calvary and the sacrifice He made there. He cancelled the sin debt and the veil was torn in two (Matthew 27:51) giving all who accept the gift of salvation, free access to His throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16) and taking away the veil of mystery of His godliness (1 Timothy 3:16; Romans 1:19,20; John 16:25; Matthew 13:10-15; 1 Corinthians 2:14).

By God's redemptive grace (5), the fine linen of righteousness is conferred to the believer by faith (Romans 3:22-26; 4:22-24). God's empowering grace (5) conveys to believers the grace to be able to partake of divine nature by experience (2 peter 1:4). When the conferred righteousness is brought together with the conveyed righteousness, and added to the faith and experience of salvation, you become the "one tabernacle" where God dwells. It is no longer just you, but Christ in you living your life with you.

The next curtain conveys two things to us. First it shows the sin of man, human failure, and

confusion. Secondly, it reveals Christ as our Sin Offering. The specification in Exodus 26:7,9 are as follows:

"And thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains

shalt thou make themselves."

And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by

God also uses the eleven curtains and goat's hair to show the dilemma of fallen man. Goats throughout the Bible are used to symbolize deception. Rebekah used goat skins on Jacob to deceive Isaac and make him believe Jacob was Esau (Genesis 27). Michal, David's wife, used a pillow made of goat's hair to deceive Saul's messengers (1 Samuel 19:12,17). When Jesus judges the world, the people on the left are goats (Matthew 25:31-46). The examples lead us to the conclusion that goats depict human failure and sin.

Six is the number of man and is shown by the six curtains grouped together point our fallen man. The doubled curtain hung over the Tabernacle door so it could always be seen from the altar as a reminder that even when our sins are forgiven we are still fallen man in our flesh.

This curtain is called "the ten" (Exodus 26:11,12,14). Our bodies are a temporary tent or shell in which we live. Eventhough we are redeemed by the blood of Jesus, we still groan inside while we wait for His coming (Romans 8:23). We must control ourselves so that our "sin nature" does not control us.

This Goat Hair Curtain also conveys to us that Christ is our sin offering (Isaiah 53:10; 2 Corinthians 5:21). The Bible distinguishes eleven different times that goats were used as a sin offering (Leviticus 4:22-26, 27-28; 9:3; Numbers 15:22-24; 28:11,17, 22, 29; 29:5, 11,16-38). In every one

these Jesus is illustrates Jesus as our atonement. He is the ultimate, and only all-for-one sin offering for us. Jesus knew no sin and became an offering for sin to break the law of sin and death (Isaiah 53:10). We are only made righteous through him (2 Corinthians 5:21). The greek word for sin here is harmartia. Jesus did not sin (1 Peter 2:22, and He knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus is holy, undefiled, perfect in all ways (Hebrews 7:26).

The scapegoat was also used to take sin away for Israel (Leviticus 16:10) and took them to an uninhabited place (Leviticus 16:20-22). Jesus also took our sins from us and put them as far as as the east is to the west. Because of this, you cannot justify continuing to do something you have been convicted and forgiven of.

Five (grace) curtains attached to six (man), shows how Jesus rescues us from our own failure and chaos (11). Just as the fifty (calvary) clasps brought the curtains together, Calvary (fiftieth year) brings the redeemed (6) to the gracious Redeemer (5) so they can be one.

Next we find the covering of rams' skins dyed red (Exodus 26:14). Rams were used to bless the priests for their calling. One was used as a burnt (Christ's suffering) offering (Exodus 29:15-18). Another ram was used for the sanctification, or consecration, of the priests (Exodus 29:19-22). Just for us, Jesus sanctified Himself (John 17:19) as our High Priest and our Sacrifice.

Ram's skins indicate Jesus as our Suffering High Priest consecrated for all eternity (Hebrews 7:26- 28). The skins had to be dyed red as a symbol of Christ's blood covering the whole. This is because without His blood there is no remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22).

Moving on we reach the badger's skin covering which is somewhat controversial. The Hebrew word for badger's skins is "striped skins." Therefore it could mean seal, porpoise, or sheep skins since badger are not found in Palestine. Some people believe it was no real animal intended but colors. Some modern commentators say it is a variety of different animals. Whatever it was, it was most probably very tough and durable. Maybe even some type of leather used in Making shoes. It had to be nonporous, water repellant and weather resistant to protect the inside of the Tabernacle.

This outer covering withstood burning heat, pelting rain, and the ravages of storms. This symbolizes the torture, ridicule, shame, humiliation, and the disbelief of people that Jesus suffered. Remember Jesus' earthly form was described in Isaiah 53:

"For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground he hath no form or comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him." Jesus looked like the "average Joe Jew" or maybe not even as good as average as there was "NO BEAUTY" in Him on the outside. He was even further mutilated to unrecognizability by His beating. "He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him, he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows yet we did esteem him stricken smitten of God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth."(Isaiah 53:3-7)

There are no dimensions given for the two upper coverings because that would set boundaries and limitations. The Rams' skins dyed red shows us the cleansing power of Jesus' blood. The "leather" type outer covering shows our unlimited protection when we are covered, or clothed, in Christ.

Non-Christians can never see the beauty within Christ. They see Him as a good man or a spiritual leader (fine leather). When we look closer into Christ covered with the understanding given by His sacrifice (Rams' skin dyed red), we see Him as He truly is--Lord, our Blessed Redeemer, and God. By this sacrifice fallen man can be redeemed from human failure and sin (Goat's Hair Curtain), Jesus is the righteousness of the saints (10 curtains of Fine Twined Linen).

Now we shall look at the structure that holds it up and together--the boards, bars, sockets, pillars of the veil, and the door. The building structure is found in Exodus 26:15-37 and 36:20-28.

Firstly, how do you get boards?The first step would be to cut down trees. By cutting the trees, they are severed from their roots embedded in the earth. Then they must be stripped of their branches. Just like the trees being transformed, we must have our fleshly roots cut and be stripped of all that reaches out to live worldly. Once we submit to Jesus this way, we can be upright members of Jesus' body. We need to change our hearts.

God promised His people this change of heart in Ezekiel 36. Yes the Jewish people are, and will be forever, His chosen people. However, we, as believers, have been grafted into His promises as adopted children when we accept Jesus as our Savior. "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and your idols. Also, I will teach you to respect me completely, and I will put a new way of thinking inside you. I will take out the stubborn hearts of stone from your bodies, and I will give you obedient hearts of flesh. I will put my spirit inside of you and help you live by my rules and carefully obey my laws." (Ezekiel 36:25-27)

Supposing that the tabernacle represents Christ and His church as we are referenced as being the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16), then the boards would symbolize the members of His Body, standing upright in Christ (encased in gold). The Bible never speaks of our soul's life ending. It speaks of eternal life with Christ or eternal damnation in the pit of Hell. It does speak of our temporal body's end in Genesis 3:19 when man fell from grace. He made us acceptable again when He, Jesus, came to Earth as the sacrifice. We are now His beloved (Ephesians 6), and we are His bride "fitly joined together" (Ephesians 4:16).

Every board was ten (complete) cubits long and 1 1/2 wide (mature and understanding God). These boards standing, encased ingold uniformally shows us a perfection man cannot achieve without being "clothed" or "covered" in Christ. The only way these boards could resemble perfection or unification was after they were encased in Christ (gold). (Colossians 4:12)

There were twenty boards on each side (10 + 10 = 20 dual completion). At the west side there were six (man) boards, plus two (union with Christ) corner boards tying all three (maturity) sides together (6 + 2 = 8 new beginning). Surely Christ is "the stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner"(Psalm 118:22).

Two is very common number found when looking at this structure. The believers in Christ are shown here by the boards overlaid with gold. Just as the boards yield themselves, we yield ourselves to identify with Christ. Union with Christ is the secret to life.

When the soldiers registered, they were required to give half a shekel of silver for atonement no matter their monetary or social status (Exodus 30:13-15). This illustrates that the cost of atonement is the same for all people. Three thousand shekels made one talent. One talent was the weight of each socket (Exodus 38:25-27). Each of these boards stood upon two sockets. The cost of two sockets is equal to the atonement money of twelve thousand men. atonement is EXTREMELY COSTLY. "No one can buy back the life of another. No one can pay God for his own life, because the price of a life is high. No payment is ever enough." (Psalm 49:7,8)

These boards stood side by side held together by five (grace bars all the way around. The bars were typical of the nature of Christ. They were made of shittim wood overlaid with gold. The middle bar, dead center, went through the boards from one end to the other (Exodus 36:33). This signifies Christ in you as the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). It also reminds us that Christ is at the center holding all sides balanced and together. It is Him and no other.

It does not specify the thickness of either the middle bar or the corner boards. A jewish historian, Josephus, suggests it was four fingers in the Complete Works of Josephus Flavicus. They were extremely heavy and had to be joined at some point as the tree they were made from has a maximum height of 25 feet. According to Josephus the bars that were 45 feet long were in five cubit sections. That would signify grace making spirit fruit (5 x 9 =45) when we receive grace through testing (40 + 5 =45). Josephus asserts they were joined together by male-female couplings showing themselves to be fashioned at the joints holding it firmly together. This signifies a marriage where the two become one as we become one with Christ as His bride.

Now we reach the veil that covers the Holy of Holies which was torn in two the moment Christ died. It was made of blue, purple, scarlet and fine twined linen with cherubim. It does not specifically state what the colors symbolize. However, Jesus matches the symbolism suggested by all the colors. He is the Heavenly One (blue). He is the Royal One (purple). He is the Suffering Servant (scarlet). He is the Righteous One [fine(white) linen]. Hebrews 10:20 tells us the veil represents Christ's flesh.

The rending of the Veil shows God's way for giving us a new, living way to the Holy of Holies which gives us access to the Mercy Seat which is sprinkled with blood. It also shows His interests in types and shadows.

Anyone who violated the sacredness of the Holy of Holies by trying to enter--unless you were the High Priest who entered with great caution--were punished by death. Because of Jesus' death we are now invited to "come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)

The veil, which was embroidered with cherubim, hung on four (earth) pillars of wood overlaid with gold (the diety and glory of Jesus), standing in sockets of silver (atonement). The four pillars represent Jesus' life on earth and His death. The hooks of gold, which held the veil, show His constant diety, even while hanging on the cross. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself." (2 Corinthians 5:19)

Past the veil, we reach the door which had a hanging of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen covered with needlework. The design is not described but you can see the colors and fibers were the same as the veil. The needlework not being described suggests the mystery of godliness. The pillars holding it were the same as held the veil--wood covered with gold. The three (maturity, Logos of God) entrances (the court, the tabernacle, and the Holy of Holies) all represent Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

There are also contrasts to the veil. It had no cherubim on it. There were five (grace) pillars not four (earth). It was held by brass (judgement) sockets not silver (atonement). The pillars were crowned with golden chapiters. The veil did not have these on it's supporting pillars. Why?

The veil, as we have discussed, shows the body of flesh in which Jesus suffered and died. During His earthly life, He wore no crown except a crown of thorns. He was humiliated and cut off in His earthly prime.

This door has five pillars that were crowned with golden chapiters. Five is the number of grace. Christ is how we have grace. He is no longer in earthly flesh. He is in His glorified, resurrected, ascended, crowned body as Lord of all.

Jesus is the door to the sheep fold. He is the Gate (Way), the Door (Truth), and the Veil (Life). Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. He was the Father of creation, and He will be the Producer of the completion.

The pillars here stand in five (grace) sockets of brass (judgement) just as Jesus took our sins on Himself for judgement. Now He is our judge. "Behold, the judge is standing at the door." (James 5:9) Grace abounds for us even in judgement. (1 Corinthians 11:31-32)

Now we reach the outer court with it's gate, pillars, and hangings (exodus 27:9-19; 38:9-20). The outer court separated the worship center from the outside world. Just as we, as Christians, are in the world yet not of the world. We are set apart as God's. This means we should discipline ourselves to keep our calling (Exodus 19:5; Amos 3:2; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Ephesians 5:11).

Around the court were sixty [96 x 10 = 60) man's (6) responsibility (10) on earth (wood from soil)] pillars of wood, sockets of brass, and hooks of silver. Wood typifies humanity. Since we discussed the boards shoulder to shoulder showing the church as the body of Christ, it makes sense that these pillars represent individual believers showing the world Christ. These wooden pillars were banded together with silver (atonement) and the hooks were of silver (atonement). However, they stood in sockets of brass (judgement). The nails were also made brass.

Sixty pillars, standing in sixty sockets of brass that were crowned with silver. So (6 x 10 = 60) as he rules with Christ. They are actually numbered as twenty on each side and ten at each end [2 x 20 = 40, 2 x (4 x 5) = 40]. Fellowship on earth with grace brings complete fellowship (10 x 2 ). Also, ((5 x 8 = 40) grace gives a new beginning as (2 x 10 = 20; 4 x 5 = 20) fellowship brings completeness with responsibility as we receive grace on earth.

The court was 100 cubits long and 50 cubits wide. It had hangings around it 5 cubits high. The fine linen (righteousness) was 5 (grace) cubits high from one end of the east gate around the court to the other end of the east gate. The gate was 20 cubits wide which left 15 cubits on each side of the gate to the corner. There was 100 cubits on each side and 50 cubits on the west end (2 x 15 =30 + 250 = 280 cubits). That is the exact same as the fine linen curtain on top of the tabernacle. Remember the Linen curtain had 10 strips each 28 cubits long (10 x 28 = 280 cubits).

There was no gold in the outer court. The gold (diety) was confined to the vessels, boards, pillars, and hooks attached or inside the tabernacle itself and covered with four coverings. Brass (judgement) and wood (humanity). However, at the top above the fine linen hanging were silver (atonement) chapters, fillets and hooks showing Jesus' atonement by standing in our place of judgement who arose victorious. The silver fillets carried the linen hanging. Our righteousness depends on His redemption of us. Apart from His atonement we have no righteousness.

The silver (atonement) hooks at the top of the pillars had ropes that attached the pillars to brass (judgement) pins that were driven like tent stakes into the ground. Each pillar was held erect in this fashion as we are secured when we are anchored in Jesus.

The wood typifies humanity and symbolizes believers in the body of Christ. The gold (diety) and brass (judgement) represent Jesus as King and Judge who was the Suffering Servant (scarlet) and is the consecrated High Priest (rams' skin dyed red).

The hanging of the gate (Christ) was very different from the pure white one in the court. The Hebrew work macak (cover) is used only for the four colored embroidered linens at the three entrances--the Gate, the Door, the Veil. The plain white hanging is queta (sling or screen).

The entrances previously mentioned had the four colors that portray aspects and attributes of Jesus--blue(heavenly origin), purple (His royalty), scarlet(His suffering), fine linen (His righteousness). These three entrances emphasize that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man will ever truly understand or know God without knowing Him as He is God and Lord of all (John 14:6). Each has it's own point to make. The Gate is only half as high as the Door and the Veil, but it is twice as wide. The Altar is just inside the Gate. The invitation to redemption is wide open to all. Our salvation (yard) is entered by way of the Gate, but the house (sanctuary) by the way of the Door (truth). Not everything that enters at the gate comes into the house (Matthew 13:41-42, 47-50).

The second passageway is the Door, only half as wide but twice as high. It is designed to admit while preventing entrance just as Christ does. He gives the choice. Those who choose the wrong path cannot enter where He reigns. Some who enter the Gate by outward profession are not willing to follow through with a crucified life. The closer you get to Him, the narrower the path becomes.

The third passage is through the veil which symbolises His death and the fact that we must die to our sin nature before we can be His disciple (Mark 8:34-38; Luke 14:26-27). He who is the Door will eventually be our Judge (Acts 10:42). Living crucified with Jesus (Galatians 2:20) assures us entrance through the Veil. Turning away from this new and living way is enough to prevent entrance when He calls His children home.

Outside the Tabernacle Door is the Brazen Altar and the Brazen Laver. The Altar was the place all their sacrifices were offered. It represents Calvary because God said if anyone offers a sacrifice,

and "bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation to offer an offering unto the

Lord

from among his people" (Leviticus 17:3-6,9). God's reason for this is that any substitute for Calvary is spiritually fatal. God chose the place and the sacrifice as well as the material and dimensions for the altar (Genesis 22:2; Exodus 20:24; Deuteronomy 12:5,11,14, 18, 26; 14:23-25; 16:2,6-7, 15-16; Exodus 27:1-2).

blood shall be imputed unto that man, he hath shed blood, and that man shall be cut off

The altar was made of shittim wood, five cubits long, five cubits broad, four square and its' height was three cubits. The wood shows humanity, reminding us that Jesus became man to experience our problems and "to minister, and give His life as a ransom for man" )Mark 10:45). We are reminded in Hebrews that "we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).

The length and breadth, five cubits four square, reminds us of the grace of God equally available to all mankind. The horns illustrate power (2 Chronicles 18:10; Habbak 3:4). The horns on every corner symbolize the power of the blood available to all people on earth. Four is the number of earth. The horns symbolize the power of Jesus' blood and spirit calling and at work in everyone who accepts Him equally.

The Bible tells us "That God (the Father) was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself."(2 Corinthians 5:19), and that Christ "through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without a spot." (Hebrews 0:14). This shows the involvement of the entirety of God at Calvary. All the expressions of the one God are evidenced at once in one person. Hence the three cubits of height signifies the Logos of God in maturity to man always present to those with unblinded eyes.

The wood and the horns overlaid with brass illustrates judgement. Calvary was a necessary manifestation of judgement upon sin. Jesus, God Himself, as the Son, the Just for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18), was the only Being that qualified to offer a sacrifice sufficient for our atonement.

The grate was of solid brass to be capable of bearing the heat of the fire. "And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar." (Exodus 27:5) Mid-altar shows His inner anguish when Jesus cried, "My God, my God why hast thou

forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46). He took on all our feelings on Calvary. Therefore, He must have felt as distraught as we do when we believe God does not answer us in our time of need. Halfway down put the grate at the same level as the Table and the Ark. Fellowship and the Mercy Seat were both made possible through Calvary.

"Seven days thou shalt make atonement for the altar, and it shall be most holy" (Exodus 29:37). Seven days of sanctification indicates its' importance. Remember seven is the number of completion and the implied eighth day would signify the new beginning.

The Laver typifies Jesus who "was ordained of God to be the Judge of the quick and the dead" (Acts 10:42). God as the Father was not qualified to be the "just judge" as He'd not felt human type feelings in fleshly form. Therefore, "the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son" (John 5:22). The Laver was solid brass with no dimensions given. This portrays Jesus' divinely inspired judgements immune from human limitation. It also shows the unlimited washing away of our sins.

The brass for the Laver came from women's looking glasses (Exodus 38:8). This is significant as the Bible tells us God's Word is like a mirror (James 1:22-25). God expects us to use His Word to judge and cleanse ourselves just as a mirror is used fro grooming our appearance. "For if we judge ourselves we should not be judged" (1 Corinthians 11:31).

The water typifies the Word of God by which we should all be judged. God's Word is called judgements eighteen times in Psalm 119. Jesus said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:48) In this statement, Jesus shows us two things. First that He will justly judge us according to God's word. Secondly, He is God as He judges according to what He has spoken.

The Laver held water that was used for ceremonial cleansing illustrating how His Word cleanses us (Exodus 30:19-21). The first step in consecrating the priests was for them to be washed with water (Exodus 29:4; 40:12; Leviticus 8:6). Jesus likewise sanctifies and cleanses the church "with the washing of water by the word" *(Ephesians 5:26). "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken to you." (John 15:3). This is the spiritual bath Jesus alluded to Peter with He said, "He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet" (John 13:10). The "feet washing" in this chapter of John Shows a much deeper meaning when the water typifies God's word. When we stoop to wash our brother's feet, we render ourselves to humbly serve each other.

Our feet symbolize our walk of life and the water is the word of God. If I bare my feet to my brother, I lay my life bare before my brethren as they help me by using the word to cleanse and improve my walk.

The Altar illustrates these doctrines:

atonement (Leviticus 17:11, 44; Hebrews 9:22) REDEMPTION (Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Titus 2:14) JUSTIFICATION (Romans 3:24-26; 5:1-2) INITIAL SANCTIFICATION (Hebrews 10:10,14; 1 Corinthians 1:30) The Laver illustrates these:

REGENERATION (John 3:5; 1 Corinthians 4:15; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23) ILLUMINATION (Psalm 119:105, 130; John 1:1,9) SELF-EXAMINATION (! Corinthians 11:28; James 1:22-25) PROGRESSIVE SANCTIFICATION (2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 5:25-27)

Do not forget that Jesus is a just judge. "Behold therefore the good ness and severity of God: on them which fell (and did not repent), severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shall be cut off" (Romans 11:22).

We should reproof ourselves and that which we teach others concerning God. "For the time is

come that judgement must begin at the house of God; and if it first began at us, what shall the end of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?" (1 Peter 4:17-18).

The Laver and the water does denote progressive sanctification for faithful believers while the brass also shows us the inevitable judgement of apostates. Judgement begins with God's people as we are purposed to walk in His Light. those who are apostates will have the judgement of God laid at their doorstep in an even deeper measure. WE must be crucified with Him by faith (Galatians 2:20). We must progress toward His perfection for that is how our faith in Him is measured.

Now let's look to the garments of the High Priest. The Ephod, the Girdle, and the Breastplate of Judgement are the only fabric connected with the Tabernacle that has gold woven into the fabric. It was gold (diety), blue (Heavenly one), purple (Royal One), scarlet (Suffering Servant), and fine linen (Righteous One). There is no coincidence that the order given is diety, heavenly origin, royalty, suffering, and spotless righteousness showing Jesus' revelation of self to man.

The Ephod had two shoulder pieces joined at the two edges. This joining was important as it shows Jesus' fellowship with man as Godman. The name Levi means joined unto. The Levites typified the church in many ways we will discuss later. They were joined unto Aaron (Numbers 18:24), a typological figure of the church joined unto Christ, their spiritual head. Even after the Northern Kingdom fell, God spoke of a time when Israel would come together with Judah and seek the Lord to be joined unto Him (Jeremiah 50:4-5). The two-piece Ephod, joined together on the shoulders shows Jesus' role as the eternal High Priest joining men to Himself.

The Girdle was made of the same gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen (Exodus 28:8). The Girdle bound the Ephod securely on the High Priest (Leviticus 8:7). It only held the Ephod in place. It did not reinforce or strengthen the loins of the wearer (Psalm 65:6; 93:1). It indicated the readiness for service (Luke 12:35-37; John 13:4-5). The colors all represent the superior attributes of Christ showing us His readiness and strength to meet our needs.

On the shoulders of the Ephod were two onyx stones. On these stones were the names of six tribes on each according to their birth (Exodus 28:9-12). The high priest bore their names on his shoulders daily before the Lord. shoulder are a place of strength. this being, it reminds us that Christ is our strength and will never let us down.

The Breastplate of Judgement was the most costly and possibly the most significant of the garments. It is listed as the first of the priestly garments (Exodus 28:4) which points to its' significance.

Each name of the tribes of Israel has its significant in Christ's life here on earth. Ruben means affliction and Christ was certainly afflicted. Isaiah 53," he was afflicted and we esteemed him not." This is symbolized by the sardis stone. This stone is noted for it's redness. We now call it a carnelian for it's fleshlike color. The Hebrew name means red, like flesh. The deeper the red, the more valuable. Christ certainly shed the deepest, richest, purest of blood for us all.

The next stone in the firs row is the topaz symbolizing the tribe of Simeon (unloved). This stone is the second (fellowship) in the breastplate and the ninth (spiritfruit) in the Heavenly Jerusalem. It is a wine yellow and is highly prized. Jesus was unloved, but when we come into fellowship with Him we bare His spiritual fruit which is highly prized.

The last stone in the first row is the carbuncle, or garnet, symbolizing the tribe of Levi (joined unto). The carbuncle is a sparkling gem that is a deep red color. The root word for carbuncle means to lighten or lightening. Unity joined unto maturity lightens your path with Christ. We are joined to Christ by His blood.

The second row shows us the fellowship stage of our maturity. The first (unity) stone in this row is

the emerald symbolizing the tribe of Judah (celebrated). The Hebrew word means to glisten or shining. It is a fine green color and ranks next in value to the diamond. Green is the color of growth and spring time. Christ was celebrated in unity and fellowship by His followers causing the glistening growth of the church. The first step toward fellowship with Christ is the joy we fell when we are united through spiritual growth. Jesus was celebrated and held in the highest esteem by His followers. When we first become believers we have an overflowing joy in our hearts. The closer our fellowship in unity with Him the more joyous we are despite the circumstances causing our growth.

The second (fellowship) stone in the second (double fellowship) row is the sapphire symbolizing the tribe of Dan (judge). The closer we get in fellowship the more we judge our actions. The sapphire is next in hardness to a diamond, is used to scratch other gems, and comes in various shades of blue (heavenly). The hardness of our judgement that scratches us comes in degrees of heavenly fellowship to perfect us in Christ. Jesus is the Heavenly Judge.

The last, third (mature) stone is the diamond (hardness) symbolizing the tribe of Naphtali (wrestled). When we mature in fellowship we wrestle with ourselves. The diamond is known for its hardness in cutting other stones and its unmatched value. When we use the matchless value of our mature fellowship with Christ to wrestle with our flesh, we are able to judge and cut out what is necessary in our lives. Jesus wrestled with the hardness of man to bring us mature fellowship.

The first (unity) stone in the third (mature) row is the ligure, or the jacinth, symbolizing Gad (a troop comes). The jacinth (hyacinth) is dark purple (royal) and looses it's color when heated and resembles a diamond. At this point in maturity we learn to face the fire in battle as soldiers of Christ to become like the diamond in value, resemblance, hardness, and glitter. Jesus will write with us in battle when He comes to rule His kingdom at the time His church comes of age.

The second (fellowship) stone in the third (mature) row is the agate (to flame) symbolizing Asher (happy). The Hebrew word for agate (sheboo') is comparative to the word sha-beeb' (flame as split into tongues). The agate is a quartz in colored layers. When we reach this stage of maturity, we have learned the many facts of Christ. As we learn to fellowship with Christ in maturity the flame of His Spirit renews the joy within through speaking in tongues.

The third (mature) stone in the third ( double maturity) row is the amethyst (dreamstone, cause to dream) symbolizing Issachar (bring a record.) It is alluded to in Revelation 21 as the twelfth (worldly government) foundation. It is a pinkish purple stone signifying a muted royalty we have as we reign with Christ. Real maturity allows us to see the dreams that bring a record of Christ in our lives. At this point, we understand that complete maturity comes only through Christ as we bring a record or a witness of Him through our lives.

The fourth (earth) row's first (unity) stone is the beryl (tarshish) symbolizing Zebulum (habitation). The beryl is a yellow emerald that Revelation 21 says the streets of the Heavenly Jerusalem are paved with. In our earthly unity of habitation with the Spirit we become priceless in our walk paving the way for others to see the light of salvation. We learn to live on earth in unity with Jesus being here as a witness in this life without being a part of the world system.

The second ( fellowship) stone in the fourth (earthly) row is an onyx symbolizing Joseph ( let him add), Manasseh (causing to forget) and Ephraim's (doublefruit) father). I include the meaning of Joseph's sons because they are a part (division) of his tribe. The onyx (shoham) is an agate colored like a fingernail. The row cautions us in our earthly walk of fellowship to add to His kingdom and forget our toil and past faults. By doing this without turning we will produce double fruit for Him by the work of our hands as His vessels.

The last, third (mature) stone in the fourth (earthly) row is a jasper stone symbolizing Benjamin ( the son of the right hand). Benjamin was first called Benoni ( son of my sorrow) by his mother. The jasper ( yahefeh) is a clear, crystal like, many faceted stone. The Hebrew word for jasper means secret or mystery. As you follow the Hebrew word for jasper to it's root you see many facets of

meanings. It begins as something clear and says it becomes insipid, to make as simple as possible, to polish like you would a gem, it could become a milestone or stumbling stone in its mystery. Simply, great is the mystery of godliness. When we reach this stage of maturity on earth, we see the clear simple truth of who Jesus is. We can stay the son of sorrow or look to the son of the right hand and become perfected through Him. All will stand before Him in judgement when His true being is disclosed to them. His finished work on earth. We have learned the simple clear truth as we have been polished as His gem if we have not allowed His mystery to become a stumbling stone. We CANNOT be blinded to His true self or we will not achieve His perfection in our earthly lives.

Notice each name was engraved twice on onyx stone and on a stone set in the breastplate. This indicates He will NEVER forget His people- Jew or Gentile. The names were also written on the gates of the holy city that descends from Heaven (Revelation 21:10-12). Keep in mind also that when white light shines through a crystal all the colors of the rainbow are present. Therefore when the light of Jesus shines through us to the world, all of His promises are evident in our lives when those are in the proper place it is called Urim & Thummin - light and perfection.

The Breastplate was securely fastened with four golden chains. Two were attached to the shoulder and two to the girdle so the " breastplate be not loosed from the Ephod." Four signifies earth, gold signifies diety. Shoulders are a point of strength, a girdle is clothing. Two is the number of fellowship. Fellowship with Christ brings us strength and protection here on earth. A breastplate covers your heart and protects it. Christ always has His children on His heart.

The Breastplate was a span (3 palms or 9.52 inches) wide, four square doubled (28:16) to form a pouch. The pouch was for the Urim and Thummin. The High Priest bore them close to his heart as he went to the Lord as well as having their judgements upon his heart (Exodus 28:30; Leviticus

8:8).

Urim and Thummin, as stated previously, are the lights and perfections. God revealed His will through them. They are a combination that represents God's perfect balance. They balanced perception with forbearance, justice with pardon, judgement with mercy." God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). " He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He: (Deuteronomy 32:4). Jesus is the true Light (John 1:9).

All of God's perfection are manifest in Christ. "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9). "For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." ( Colossians 2:9) "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). "Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person." (Hebrews 1:3) The Urim and Thummin were only a foreshadow of Jesus' lights and perfections.

Robes for the most part in the Old Testament were confined to kings and princes. The Robe the

High Priest wore was blue, which points to the Heavenly King.(Exodus 28:31-34) It was probably

seamless like the coat of Jesus (john 19:23). It was made " of woven work

midst of the robe" (Exodus 39:22,23). It had a full circle of golden bells and pomegranets around the hem. The pomegranates were blue (heavenly), purple (royal), and scarlet (atoning blood) denoting Christ on earth. The bells had their purpose in that they announced the Height Priest's approach to the holy place (Exodus 28:35). These bells foreshadow the sounds that were heard when Jesus ascended back to heaven and the shout that will be when He comes take His bride.

(with) a hole in the

Next they were instructed to make the Linen Coat and the Linen Mitre. These were apparently all identical for all priests (Exodus 28:39; 39:27-29). The High Priest's headgear was different though - a fine linen mitre - while the other Levites (priests) wore bonnets of fine linen. We all wear caps of reverence to God of fine linen (righteousness of the saints). However, the High Priest, the head of the body, Jesus, Is set apart as the Righteous One through whom we all are righteous. All the priests wore fine twined linen breeches of blue (heavenly), purple (royal), and scarlet (atoning

blood). The symbols of the needle work is not mentioned perhaps because each has its own work in the body of Christ. However, we all share in His Heavenly Kingdom and will rule with Him because of His Atoning Blood on Calvary.

On the mitre that the High Priest wore was a plate of gold with blue lace. This shows us that even holy things can be tainted by fallen man's nature. That being the case our Lord and High Priest, Jesus Christ, bears with us even with the best of intentions, gifts, and prayers we fall short. Those being acceptable only because of the blood of Christ. Those being acceptable through Christ's blood was foreshadowed by the "sprinkling and the vessels of the ministry" (Hebrews 9:21) at least every year.

Know that by choosing Christ you cannot choose your own garments ( Matthew 22:11-14). By rejecting being clothed in christ you insult His royal generosity in His gift and must accept the consequences. The priestly garments previously mentioned that being CLOTHED in Christ is the only garment we can wear to be admitted to the wedding supper of the Lamb (Romans 4:8,22-25). Faith in the blood of Christ, the baptism He prescribed to the Apostles, and the fullness of the spirit is the only righteousness we can claim.

Exodus 29:1-37; 40:12-16, Leviticus 8:1-36 tell us about the consecration of the priests of the tabernacle. First they were washed. Then they were anointed. A sin offering was given. A burnt offering was given. There was a ram of consecration.

Let us first look at the washing (Leviticus 8:5,6). The initial washing was the first ceremonial act connected with consecrating the priests. It foreshadowed the New Testament "washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5). When Jesus spoke of the feet washing in John 13:10. He used two different Greek words. Iouo, meaning complete bath (washing of regeneration), and nipto, meaning to wash only a part.

Leviticus 8 does not say anything about the linen breeches the priests had to wear to come near the altar. Exodus 28: 43 states that they had to be upon Aaron and his sons "when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute forever unto him and his seed after him." Since the fall of man, God desired the human body to be well clothed. Even though their coats reached their ankles, wearing these breeches was a life or death matter for the priests. Each item of clothing had its own unique significance, representing something only God can do for us.

Leviticus 8:10-12 tells us about the anointing. The Tabernacle, everything inside and in the outer court was anointed with oil and all the vessels were sanctified. Only the brazen altar was additionally sprinkled seven (complete/perfect) times in the anointing. Before Aaron was consecrated there was no high priest. Moses as God's proxy performed all the official duties.

Exodus 29:10 is the first mention of hands being laid on the head of the animal to be offered. This is a foreshadow of Christ taking our sins upon Himself. Immeadiately after this transfer of sins the animal was slain (verse 15). The animal for this kind of offering was NEVER burned on the altar, only the blood poured at the bottom of the altar, the fat, caul and two kidneys were burned on the altar. The rest of the animal was burned outside the camp (Leviticus 8:16,17). The sin offering, portraying the cost of sin, was not sweet to God thereby it was to be burned with fire without the camp.

The burnt offering was the same as from the beginning with Adam. It signified God's acceptance of the person by virtue and anticipation of His shed blood,"wherein He hath made us accepted" (Ephesians 1:6). For consecration the animal was specified to be a ram (Exodus 29:15-18).

Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the ram (Leviticus 8:18). By doing so they identified with the animal and claimed the acceptance by virtue of the blood. Moses killed the ram, sprinkled the blood, and cut the ram in pieces. Afterwhich he washed the inwards and legs in water then burnt

the whole ram on the altar. This offering was sweet to the Lord (Leviticus 8:19-21). The inwards symbolize the inner being, nature, affections, and attitudes. The legs, our walk in life. After we are redeemed by the blood we must progress toward sanctification "with the washing of the water of the word" (Ephesians 5:26) to be a sweet savor to the Lord. Faith without being fruitful is dead.

Because all of the passages about consecration are very lengthy, I advise you to follow them in your Bible. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the Ram of Consecration. Moses brought to acknowledge their need and guilt as they identified with the victim by touching its head. Then Moses slew the ram, took the blood, and put it on Aaron's right ear, the thumb of his right hand, and the toe of his right foot- also done to Aaron's sons. Notice there are three points touched-stages of maturity. His ear to hear God. His thumb to touch God. His foot to walk with God. Also note it was al done to the "right" side-the stronger or more dominant side. (Exodus 29:19-28; Leviticus 8:22-30)

These three points represent the parts of our relationship and person that we mature in with God- our hearing, our service, our walk. Let's not forget that it was touched "upon the tip" of each. This signifies that we must be careful of even the smallest of details in our life.

After this, Moses sprinkled the blood around and took seven parts of the Ram with the unleavened bread, and unleavened cake tempered with oil, and a wafer anointed with oil together to Aaron and his sons (Exodus 29:2,22-25; Leviticus 8:25-28). He placed all these on the hands of them, waved them before the Lord, then burned everything on the altar as a sweet smell to the Lord.

Remember that unleavened bread represents being free from sin. The wafers (unleavened) tempered with oil speak of being filled with the Holy Spirit. The unleavened wafers anointed show anointing by the Holy Spirit with power. All these things are ours because of Jesus Christ.

Following the ceremony through the scriptures we see Moses then took the anointing oil and sprinkled his garments, his sons, and their garments sanctifying them. (Leviticus 8:30) They took the rest of the ram boiled it and ate it with bread from the basket at the door. Everything left after this was burned-flesh and bread-with fire (Leviticus 8:31,32).

All of these things had to be repeated for seven days (Exodus 29:35-37). For each of the seven days they had to stay within the tabernacle. This suggests we must abide in Jesus always to gain His perfect complete consecration in our lives. The eighth (new beginning) day Aaron began performing his priestly duties (Leviticus 9:1-4). He had to give an offering of a calf for himself first as the man who'd made the golden calf (Exodus 32:1-6) and then he could give the priestly offering of a bullock so he could give offerings for others (Leviticus 9:7-14).

Hebrews 7:26-28 reminds us that our High Priest needed to give not an offering for His own sin

because He was sinless. He only needed to offer up His perfect sacrifice once for all sin for He is consecrated forever. We have been created by Him in our mother's womb (Psalm 139), bought with

a higher price, cleansed from all sin, and redeemed by His shed blood. He has sent us His very

own Spirit to live within us. Who are we to withhold any part or possession, and any gifts or plans

from Him? He owns us rightly by the shedding of His blood and our acceptance of that gift.

Notice now in Exodus 30 that the Lord introduces another implement in the tabernacle, the golden incense altar. This was done after the consecration of the priests. Perhaps this is because Jesus' earthly sacrifice had to be complete before we could go before Him at the Mercy Seat. "There is one God and one way human beings can reach God. That way is through Jesus Christ."(1 Timothy 2:5 NCV). The Golden Altar was squarely in front of the mercy seat showing Jesus' earthly form as the intermediary to connect us with Him.

It was made of wood (Jesus' humanity) overlaid in gold (Jesus' diety). He was man but His very

essence was God. Isaiah spoke of Christ as "the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, The Son who is given.' (Isaiah 9:6) The Hebrew word for "mighty" is ghib-bore'. It can be translated also as the "most high", the "mighty one" or the "chief". It signifies powerful. This same Hebrew word is

translated "the most high God" in Genesis 14:18-20,22. "For in Him dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9).

It was one cubit long and one cubit broad showing a need of unity in human relationships. It was two cubits high showing unity and fellowship with Jesus. This shows the relationship of the horizontal and vertical and how they should balance. We must live in unity and fellowship so that all things stay in the correct order and perspective.

There were horns and crowns upon it (Exodus 30:2,3). Horns symbolize power (2 Chronicles 18:10; Habbakkuk 3:4). On the Golden Altar they symbolize the power of prayer. A horn on each corner shows that this is equally available to all everywhere. The incense represents our prayers. As this altar represents Jesus, we see that through His "logos" we are able to have our prayers reach heaven.

Praying in His name gives recognition to His power and authority. We must make a conscious effort to pray according to His wishes or we will be ineffective in worship and our endeavors.

The Golden Crown signifies His Divine Royalty and victory. This crown declares the victim of Calvary is now the victor. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the Daysman who laid His hands upon God and man to reconcile us to Him.

This altar stood just outside the Veil, right in front of the Mercy Seat (Exodus 30:6) Jesus opened a new life (Hebrews 10:20) for us through none other than Jesus, God Himself. Now we can come boldly to Him because the Veil is gone (Hebrews 4:16). We know who He truly is -our Savior and Lord.

He fulfilled the entirety of the Levitical priesthood. We cannot bypass Calvary-self must be crucified. We cannot omit the "washing of water by the word"- the Laver. Nor can we live without the Living Bread at the Table of Fellowship.

All relationships go two ways. Jesus does all for us and we worship Him because of it. Our prayers to Him are a sweet smell to Him. The Golden Altar Was for sweet incense (Exodus 30:7). Our prayers should be full of love, devotion, and thanksgiving so they are not strange (Exodus 30:9). Our attitudes must be clear and free from sin. Else we will be like Aaron's sons who used a fire (passion) not prescribed and be burned to death (Leviticus 10:1-3).

Aaron burned sweet incense in the morning and evening each day. This symbolizes the way we should pray without ceasing. Prayer is vital to Christians (Revelation 8:3-5). Our spirit and relationship cannot survive or grow without communication.

The Anointing Oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Because of this, we can readily understand that all these things, as well as the Tabernacle, should be anointed with it. Each one shows aspects of Jesus and He is our ultimate example of anointment.

The Anointing Oil was made of four main spices (Exodus 30:23,24). It contained 500 shekels of pure myrrh, 250 shekels of sweet cinnamon, 250 shekeils of sweet calamas, and 500 shekels of cassia. In today's terms that would be twelve pounds of myrrh, six pounds of sweet smelling cinnamon, six pounds of sweet smelling can, and twelve pounds of cassia. These were mixed in four quarts of oil. This oil was strictly reserved for only holy use. (Exodus 30:25,32,33). What God sets apart for His sacred purpose is holy, sanctified, and inviolable.

Conclusion

There is really no good way to sum up what I've spoken of. There is no end to the things God is teaching me daily. We live in a world so full of chaos and confusion that sometimes even the elect can be deceived. We must use His Spirit within us to discern truth from lies. Satan may be good at what he does, but Jesus is more powerful. He has already won the victory.

Oh what an exciting time to be a Christian. We are on the brink of seeing so many prophecies be fulfilled. We need to stand and deliver for Him. The battle is raging but the war is far from over. We must equip ourselves to do battle for the souls of mankind. It is our duty and responsibility as members of the body of Christ. Does the wife stand idly by while her husband and family is attacked? Does she stand up and fight the good fight?

We are waging war against powers, principalities, demons, and spirits. Know this, you might not usually see them, but they are there. The closer you get to the point Jesus wants you at the harder they will attack to stretch your spirit and cause you to grow. Don't give up! Have no fear. We fight with no retreat for we know who's won the war. Our job is to use that which God puts in our hands to fulfill that which is in our hearts.

You must start at the foundation of any house to make it withstand the storm. Our house is built on the Rock, Jesus Christ. If your seed has been planted in fertile soil, you will grow with correct tending. The right amount of water and sunlight will bring a marvelous harvest. The time draws nigh.

Prepare yourself daily. Be able to give the reason for the hope within you to all you meet. Start each day putting on your spiritual armor. You would be pleasantly surprised how much it helps.

Ephesians 6:10-19 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the WHOLE armor of God; that ye may be able to STAND against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rules of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the WHOLE armor of God, that ye may be able to WITHSTAND in the evil day, and having done all, to STAND. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching there unto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the MYSTERY of the gospel.

Once you consistently learn to do this, start thinking of what your life has been-good and bad. God uses ALL for the good of those that love the Lord. It's real hard to witness to someone if they think you have never been in their "shoes." God will either direct you or them towards witnessing opportunities according to your life's example.

For example, for a long time I thought my life was worthless, that I could not possibly have ANY skills God could use. How wrong I was. God took me through the bible and showed me how fallible

so many were that He used for His purposes. Then I began to look back on my life.

I've had trials aplenty just like anyone else. More than that, I realized that every step of my life has been ordered for His purpose. Even the situations I caused myself to be in due to bad decisions. I began a list of anything I could think of that I could do even moderately well including my bad habits. I found out a lot about myself doing that. I haven't quite figured out what God has called me

to do, but at least I have a little direction. I'm still waiting for His leading and sending.

I realized I DO have skills God can use. I do not know when to shut my mouth. I am afraid of little-

even speaking to large groups as I took speech and debate. Because of debate, I know how to search out answers. I have a gift for administration. A burning desire to be close to Him. A strong will that keeps me on track. The list could go on as I found hundreds of possible traits and skills that God could use in a willing vessel.

Then I began to pray about it. Of course I was raised that women don't speak in church. But through research, I've found that certain circumstances allow it as well as the times we live in. I'm not saying that is what God wants me to do. Just that if He does I can be comfortable with that.

One day while in a bookstore looking for research material, I came across a great self-discovery book, Discover Your God-given Gift by Don and Katie Fortune. By reading and doing the exercises

in this book, God directed me further.

I could not understand why God kept directing me to Deborah in Judges and in some ways I am still

not sure. There's really not that much information there about her and there is not much in history books. All I gleaned was that she was a judge and prophetess. She was a wife and mother. People came to her for advice. She led the Israelite army when the men wouldn't for fear. She sat under a royal date palm tree. Not much to go on, as I said. I wanted to be like Ruth and be steadfast and researchable.

Any information I found was sketchy at best. Then I began the activities in the book. I was sure I'd have the gift of giving and serving. Not so, they were on the bottom of my scores, though most were very close together. I found my first gift was a perceiver or in old terms prophet. That kind of scared me. Prophets have a whole set of rules that they have to live by to be believable. Could I live up to that if that is what God called me to do? Sometimes I'm still not sure because I am fallible like everyone else. The next two gifts had identical scores-teacher and administrator. The next was less than four points from those-compassion person. I highly recommend this book, or one like it, to help you understand yourself and see what God has "built into" you as an individual.

I realized at some point even the "little" details matter, like your name. I always hated my name but

now it gives me comfort in the hard times. Tammy means palm tree. Do you know any girl that wants to be named palm tree? I always wished I had a more girlish or beautifying name until I found out what a palm tree was.

A palm tree is very hard to destroy. It can weather almost any storm. Even when uprooted, it will not

die as long as the roots are watered. It bends but very rarely ever breaks. Once it yields fruit it does so for 100 years and averages almost 100 lbs of fruit each of those years. It is a "jack of all trades" as there is an Arab saying "the Palm tree has 360 uses." Jericho was also known as the city of the palm tree. Everyone knows that the Israelites marched around Jericho. If I am even half of all that, my name's ok with me.

Needless to say, the journey toward my calling while waiting for my sending has been awesome. It has drawn me closer to my Lord, Jesus Christ. It has shown me new facets of myself. Helped me become comfortable with my mistakes. It has been a real birthing process. My method of discovery might not be right for every individual, but it's worth a try if you are seeking and lost in the mire.

The most important thing in all of this is submission to God. You must forget a lot to learn some

more sometimes. Perception is the key. We as human beings are naturally prejudiced towards our own perception. When you become a Christian, you no longer belong to yourself. YOUR way no longer matters. It's all about Jesus.

I know a lot of people that can quote hundreds of verses that do not essentially mean a thing in their daily life. The time has come to STOP quoting verbatim and let the scriptures live. They have life and breath in the Spirit of Christ. He alone is worthily to direct our lives.

We are keepers of the tabernacle lamp. We are to keep the fire burning with PURE oil that has been pressed to perfection. Our light must burn continually. Our lives are a testimony for future generations (Exodus 27:20-21). We are salt and light to the world (Matthew 5:13-16). Revelation speaks of the loveless church (2:1-7). Verse 5 says to repent and do the first works or He will remove your lampstand.

We are the keepers of the light of Jesus, the truth of Him. We MUST have a new sense of spiritual awareness. A revolution and revival is required. We must make each other accountable for our beliefs and go back to a pure belief to light His lamp of truth and make it shine worldwide. No polluted or twisted beliefs that have been conceived by personal ideals or additives-unadulterated truth. The truth pressed from study and prayer.

We must bring this truth to the forefront before the truth becomes muted beyond recognition to the world. As Jesus' lampstand we must be pure in all ways as REVEALED by God. His church MUST be all ONE body, not broken in parts. Jesus will enlighten our darkness with His light.

We must not retreat but move ever forward as God has not made a provision to cover our backs. Our head is covered with salvation to protect our thought lives. The chest is clothed with His righteousness. We are belted with truth so that we do not turn to our own understanding. Our feet are prepared to walk through life with His gospel. We fight actively with a sword-God's word living and breathing through us. The shield of faith protects us against the onslaught.

Nothing that touches the light of Jesus' truth should be impure in anyway so that truth will not be polluted. We must stay close to Him to remain pure of heart. As I said, we are salt and light. Season all that you touch with your godly life and God's truth. Jesus fulfilled the laws to enlighten us, not to destroy the law.

Remember, He is one God and He is a jealous God. Nothing in your life should be more important. Not your job, your family, your children---NOTHING! He could take it all away from you in the blink of an eye and you would be left standing alone. In the end, nothing that has been hidden will stay so. It will all be brought to light. So don't bother to hide the problems you have in life. Let a brother or sister help you out. No one who truly has Jesus within them hides it. He knows more than you know about yourself. Jesus burns within you like an erupting volcano scotching our entire beings and those around us with His truth that becomes a calm permanence that holds you strong in the storms. We must stand for Him no matter the cost. He did that and so much more for us. Pray with me as I conclude my writing.

Dearest Lord Jesus, author, founder, and Rock of our faith. Show us the way to fulfill Your will in our lives. Gird us up for battle for the war will escalate on the horizon soon. Light our path with

Your truth, Jesus. Manifest Yourself in our lives. Revive us oh, Lord! Create in us clean hearts and give us the courage and strength to stand. Help us to hold up our spiritual family in prayer all over the world and give aid to each other when in need no matter the cost to ourselves as You would. Make our hearts and souls ready for the revolution You have planned for Your bride. We are ready

and waiting. Even so Lord, come quickly. We pray in the name above all names be so, AMEN!

Jesus! Make it

In Loving Memory of Loaris Jean Gore Hale

Yesterday was a very hard day for me. I said my final farewell to my Aunt Lois. I cry still not for her. She feels no more pain or sorrow. She has no more worries or stress. I cry for myself. I cry because there will never be anyone else to fill the void that is now in my life. She was many things

to me: a second mom, a confidant, a smiling face when I was sad, a friend and champion when I

needed one most. I hope that she can forgive me for being so sad because she would not like to see the grief in my face or know it was in my heart. I know that time heals all wounds but it will be a long while before this time passes.

She taught me many things. She gave me strength, courage, determination in the face of adversity, and an example of someone who never quits. I know there were things that she did fear but she always met everything head on so fearlessly. I will carry the memories in my heart forever. When I returned from the funeral yesterday, I sat and thought about her for hours and wrote the following poem for her. I hope she sees me from heaven, if she's not too busy feeling freedom in a way we won't until we get there ourselves, to look down and smile because I love her so.

Simply Lois

Your smiling face; an understanding ear;

A hand reached out; arms drew us near.

A heart full of love, laughter ringing clear.

You always seemed to know no fear.

Surrounded by people yet so alone. Many seeds of happiness in your life were sown. Each chapter of life you meet head on. Spirit's at rest, now your finally at home.

The memories and love in our hearts 'ere more. Our hearts so sad, our spirits so sore. Eyes filled with tears, not for you do I weep.

I cry for myself each night 'fore I sleep.

So much life you gave to us all. Though it was time and Jesus did call. I'll meet you up there someday soon. Over the clouds, and above the moon.

Either in death or when Jesus calls, We'll walk together the heavenly halls. Say "hi" to Papa, Charlie, and Preston. I'll try my best not to question.

Look down on me every once in a while,

I hope when you do I make you smile.

So this is not good-bye, but farewell for now.

Your memory in heart forever, I vow.

Tammy lives in Corsicana, TX with her husband, three daughters, three sons and a crazy

Tammy lives in Corsicana, TX with her husband, three daughters, three sons and a crazy dog named Casper. She is member of CASPIAN, Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering. She is a staunch supporter of Endtime Ministries. An avid reader, she enjoys books on many subjects, but her passion is prophecy. She has had an active ministry since the late 1990's, Circle Of Friends Christian Friends Network, and is in the process of opening other venues of ministry on the internet, in print, and to the public live. She welcomes any and all comments directly to her email, HeChozNailz@aol.com, and invites you to visit her on myspace, HeChozNailz4Me, or in her myspace group, Soldiers Of Truth. She thanks you for supporting her ministry by aquiring this book and sends blessings from God to you all.