The Biblical Definition of "works"

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by The Biblicist, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    THE BIBLICAL DEFINITION OF "WORKS"

    2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive THE THINGS DONE IN HIS BODY, according to that he hath done, whether it be GOOD OR BAD.

    Ec 12:14 For God shall bring EVERY WORK into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be GOOD, or whether it be EVIL.

    Jude 1:15 ΒΆ To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their UNGODLY DEEDS which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

    In the above three texts, the same day of judgement is in view. In the above three texts the words "the things done in his body" and "every work" and "deeds" are all synonyms for the same thing.

    Hence, the Biblical definition of "works" is inclusive of all "the things done in your body." These are your "deeds."

    Hence, there is no difference between "the deeds of the law" versus "the works of the law" as the terms "deeds" and "works" are synonyms of the same thing "the things done in his body."

    What determines whether "the things done in his body" is "good" or "evil..bad" on judgement day?

    1. Your Conscience determines good and bad - Rom. 2:14-15.

    2. The Law of God determines good and bad - Rom. 2:11-13

    3. The "gospel" of Christ determines good and bad - Rom. 2:16

    For the "heathen" who are without the written revelation God will judge "the things done in his body" according to how he violated the law of his conscience:

    Rom. 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
    15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)


    For the "Jews" and all others who have been exposed to the written Law of God, God will judge "the things done in his body" according to the law's definition of right and wrong.

    However, the supreme standard of right and wrong will be the gospel of Jesus Christ or the life of the sinless lamb of God who said "I always do those things that please" the Father as His life is the revealed "righteousness of God" - Rom. 2:16; 3:21-22.

    So "justification by works" is the attempt to be justified before God by "the things done in his body...works....deeds." The standard of righteousness for justification by works is conscience, law and the life of Christ.

    If you have violated conscience, the law of God or come short of the glory of God as manifested in the life of Christ you are a sinner and the law condemns sinners to death rather than justifies them for life.
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    While all works are the things done in the body not all works are the same. There are other types of works listed in scripture that are specific as well.

    Eph_5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

    Here, above, is a set of works. No one would ever confuse with or coalate with earning salvation.

    Gal_5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,


    Above is another set of works that would never be confused with salvation.

    In dealing with works in regards to salvation the concern was not just any work but the works of the law which is a specific focus.


    Gal_3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?


    The context was is the receiving of the Spirit and how it was obtained either by the works of the law or faith. The works of the law is a reference to the keeping of the OT law. The ongoing concern was in dealing with the Jews who were trying to syncronise the new faith in Christ with OT law.

    Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.


    Again we see that works are a reference to the OT law.

    Eph_2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.



    The context in Epheisans 2 is given just after this verse in verse 15:

    Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
    Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
    Eph 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.



    We need to be careful of how we throw the word works around. It does not always mean the same thing.
     
  3. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    No, the Bible repeatedly says that "EVERY WORK" will be brought into the judgement and no text of scripture provides more than TWO different classes of works that will be brought in to judgement "good" and "evil...bad". Neither The Law or the day of judgement have a third, fourth or fifth alternative.

    Indeed, look at your own prooftexts:

    Eph_5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

    Gal_5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

    Do actually believe that "unfruitful works of darkness" is different than "works of the flesh"??? Where do you think "works of darkness" originate within human beings? Their flesh or born again spirit???? don't you realize that "heresy" is a work of the flesh (Gal. 5:20).



    Don't you realize yet that the "works of the law" is simply works that the law defines as "good." It is obvious the works that the law defines as evil cannot be in view. The "works of the Law" is simply God's most comprehensive written revelation of right and wrong given to mankind. It is inclusive of all lesser standards (conscience, culture, etc.). But in all of these it is still TWO classes "good" and "evil." Conscious does not provide a third, fourth and fifth category of works (Rom. 2:15). The Law of God given to the Jews simply provides the most comprehensive definition of good and evil in moral precepts, principles, and ceremonial types. In the ceremonial law there are no types for a third, fourth or fifth class of works, just "good" versus "evil."


    You have got to be kidding right???? the "middle wall of partition" was found in the temple that divided proselyte Gentiles from Jews. The believing gentile could go no further in participation of worship in the temple even though they were proselyte believers in the JEWISH LAW. Where do you think the "wall of partition" existed??????? The "law of commandments" were abolished by the cross because they were "enmity" against fallen man as THEY CONDEMNED HIM AS A SINNER because he always broke them and "come short of the glory of God" and never could acheive the righteousness God demands to be justified either as a GENTILE or as a JEW. God does not have two different standards of righteousness!

    So "works" in Ephesians 2:9 refers to "that which is done in the body" obviously considered "good" as no one in their right mind would put forth "evil" works for God to consider justification because of them.

    IF YOUR THEORY WERE CORRECT THERE WOULD BE ANOTHER CLASS OF WORKS BROUGHT FORTH ON JUDGMENT DAY other than "good" and "evil" as ALL our works will be considered in the judgement! See if you can find any reference in Scripture where on Judgement day a third, fourth or fifth classification of "works" can be found! Case closed!
     
    #3 The Biblicist, Oct 2, 2014
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  4. Revmitchell

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    This post is so absurd I struggle to even want to respond to it. I will be back later to deal with this.
     
  5. The Biblicist

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    What? I asked a very simple question. The Bible repeatedly speaks of the final judgement of men and repeatedly states that "EVERY WORK" will be brought into judgement but never goes beyond TWO classifications of works (1) "good" and (2) Evil. Never is a third, fourth or fifth, etc. classification ever spoken of on the day of judgement and yet "EVERY" work or ALL that "is done in the body" is examined. However, you come up with three or four classifications. I asked where do you find a third or fourth classification? Where?

    Ec 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

    Joh 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

    2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

    Where is the third or fourth category of works you speak about???? Where? The Bible ONLY provides two ultimate classifications for "EVERY WORK" (1) good/righteous; (2) evil/bad.



    What? I asked a very simple question. The scriptures speak of only TWO possible sources within man from which ALL WORKS spring (1) the flesh or (2) the spirit and they are classified only in two possible ways "good" or "evil" but you come up with a third or fourth source and classifications! I asked where do you find a THIRD or FOURTH classification? Where?

    Rom. 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

    Paul sees only TWO possible kinds of work coming from man (1) "good" (2) "evil" but no THIRD or FOURTH classification which you assert! Furthermore, he traces the "evil" to the "flesh" and "law of sin" indwelling him. He traces the "good" to the "inward man" that delights in the LAW OF GOD.


    What? I asked a very simple question. The scriptures speak of only TWO possible ultimate spiritual sources for all works (1) The Spirit of God or (2) demonic spirits and they are classified only in two possible ways "truth" or "error" and doctrinal error is explicitly classified as a fruit of the flesh which is "evil" whereas truth is classified under the fruit of the spirit which is "good."

    Gal. 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past
    ,

    1 Tim. 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

    Ac 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

    Truth is the fruit of the Spirit of God which is a RIGHTEOUS and GOOD thing. Just as "error" or "heresies" is a work of the flesh and originates with "doctrines of demons" which is an EVIL or BAD thing. But where is your third classification found?


    What? The law of conscience only provides two possible classifications that fall under "good" (acceptable) and "evil"

    Rom. 2:15 Which shew THE WORK of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

    Paul clearly states that the conscious "approving" or "accusing" "shew the work of the law written in their hearts" and the Law only accuses of evil and approves of good. Where is your third classification? Moral Law has only two classifications - what is condemned as evil and what is approved as good. Ceremonial law has only two classifications what is evil (unclean) and what is good (clean). Civil law has only two classifications (condemned as evil and approved as good). Where is your third, fourth etc., classifications.

    Spiritually "every work" no matter what it is originates with either The HOLY Spirit or with an UNHOLY spirit - but there is no THIRD source.

    Humanly "every work" no matter what it is originates within man either as a "work of the flesh" or from the new inward man "created in righteousness and true holiness" there is no THIRD source. What is "of the flesh" is called evil; bad. What is of the spirit is called "righteous" (good) but there is no THIRD option.

    Finally, the Mosaic law of God is the most comprehensive revelation for GOOD and EVIL provided man by God. The conscience is a lessor revelation doing the SAME WORK, as Paul says the conscience does "shew the LAW OF GOD written on the heart of man" performing the SAME WORK or FUNCTION - discerning between RIGHT and WRONG or GOOD and EVIL or TRUTH and ERROR all of which are SYNONOMOUS (good, righteous, holy, true VS evil, unrighteous, unholy, error) originating from only TWO possible ultimate spiritual sources "The Holy Spirit" OR "evil spirits" thus adopted WITHIN MAN either by "the works of the flesh" OR "the fruit of the Spirit" but NO THIRD OPTIONS or etc as you demand and assert.

    The only thing that is "absurd" is your unbiblical position and lack of any rational or Biblical response.
     
    #5 The Biblicist, Oct 3, 2014
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  6. Earth Wind and Fire

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    WOW, someone finally noticed! :laugh:
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    What is irrational is this post. I provided both. I will leave you to your misery.
     
  8. The Biblicist

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    "Misery"????? I am absolutely elated by the truth! It is self-evident to all readers why you are leaving the subject - you can't provide a Biblical based rational response. Therefore, you are wise to leave.
     
  9. Hark

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    Misery is never knowing if you pass all that for salvation, but yet, if the Holy Spirit is already within you by faith in Jesus Christ, then maybe you should consider with His help that you are applying His words wrong, because the Holy Spirit in you means you are saved ALREADY since for simply believing in Jesus Christ.

    So what could the references apart from the OT are to apply towards? What we build on that foundation as a saved believer on whethor or not we are abiding in Him and His words as His disciples in running that race for the high prize of our calling to attend the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

    1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

    Note verse 13 about how every man's work will be judged by what he has built on that foundation, and then note verse 15 in that if a man so defiled the temple of God, all his wroks shall be destroyed, but he himself shall be saved, but so as thru fire. ( I take it to mean being left behind to face the coming fire on the earth and thus the coming great tribulation as a result. )

    Now some will equate verses 16-17 as loss of salvation, but that would be overlooking verse 15, therefore verses 16-17 is about the physical body being destroyed as in receiving physical death. Here is proof.

    Revelations 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    So we see here God judging a church by her works with physical death after being cast into the great tribulation for not having repented with the help of the Good Shepherd in being ready when the Bridegroom had come.

    Now the hard truth that any one may oppose here is.. is this.

    Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    So how can that be? How can any one break one of His commandments and teach others so can still be in the kingdom of heaven but as the least?

    And again, the hard truth is repeated.

    2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

    In the meaning of this message, how can those that fail to depart from iniquity, can still be a vessel in His House, but as a vessel unto dishonour?

    So yes, God the Father will judge every child He receives, and so if any believer thinks that they can live in sin and just do whatever they want with no comeuppance coming from the Father, they will be very sorry for being the prodigal son that gave up his first inheritance for wild living, even though he is still son. The loss of rewards of crowns and becoming a castaway is a damnation in and of itself as those that become a vessel uto dishonour in His House can never be that vessel unto honour in His House once the door to the Marriage Supper has been shut.

    1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

    It is very important to note that running that race to obtain salvation is actually labouring in unbelief because we can only run that race as saved believers. Those already "saved" believers that are running that race to obtain salvation are still saved, but are at risk of being left behind also.

    1 Corinthians 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

    So if any one seeks to be be justified by the deeds of the law, then that is a work of iniquity of denying Jesus as your Saviour because you are saved already, and by the deeds of the law, no flesh shall be justified because by the law is the knowledge of sin, and those that try to live in them, will indeed be judged by them.

    Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

    So we either recognize what Jesus Christ has done in that we are His NOW as the Holy Spirit is in us bears witness that we are saved by faith in Him; or we are looking to ourselves to save ourselves and keep ourselves saved by the deeds of the law.... thus a life of misery indeed, because His words says no one will be justified by the deeds of the law.

    So there is a race to be run, but not for salvation, but for abiding in Him & His words of the New Covenant to obtain the high prize of our calling to be that vessel unto honour in His House to attend the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and that race can only be run by faith in the Son of God & all His promises to us to finish His workmanship in our lives so we can rest in Him now. That is why it is written that the just shall live by faith.

    So we shall be judged by our works of what we build on that foundation; but regardless of what was built on that foundation, the foundation remains; whethor it be unrepentant sins or religious works that deny Him as Saviour.

    If any one thinks they earned those crowns, then why will the 24 elders throw their crowns at His feet? It is only because the crowns they had received will be His crowning achievements in them which is why no flesh shall glory in His Presence as the Marriage Supper is held in His honour; not ours.
     
    #9 Hark, Oct 3, 2014
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  10. Hark

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    Thanks to the Father in Jesus's name, here are some of the promises that I rely on Jesus Christ for as my Good Shepherd.

    1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure....8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

    Psalm 19:12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

    Hebrews 12:1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God

    Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For 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. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for us.

    2 Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

    Those promises are available to all believers in Jesus Christ because we are saved and thus we are His so we can run that race by faith in Jesus Christ.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBcqria2wmg

    More encouragement for my brothers & sisters to run that race by faith in Him.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rR_Rdb1CTE

    AND if anybody doubt what saints left behind will be singing about...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlA5IDnpGhc

    1 Corinthians 13:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Psalm 89:28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. 29 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. 30 If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; 31 If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; 32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. 33 Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. 34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. 35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. 36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. 37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.

    Luke 12:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. 41 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? 42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. 49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

    Now is the time for repentance for saved believers in looking to Him for help in running that race to avoid being a castaway so as to attend the Supper.

    Run as saved believers with joy, otherwise, how can you run with joy if you really believe you are not saved yet, even though by His words, you are for simply believing in Him?

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    Saved from hell and the second death is not the prize; but being a vessel unto honour in His House to attend the Marriage Supper in His honour IS.
     
  11. The Biblicist

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    First, I agree with your overall assessment in regard to rewards, running the race and the ultimate prize. Good job.

    However, in the preceding context Paul is actually speaking of building the "church" body at Corinth (1 Cor. 3:5-9) through various ministers. Paul himself laid the foundation of the church at corinth as the wise masterbuilder (v. 10) while the others (Apollos, etc.) built upon that foundation (v. 11). Now, verses 12-15 refer to the works produced by their labors/ministry in building up the congregation at Corinth in contrast to the quality of works Paul did as a Masterbuilder. All these ministers would be rewarded according to the character of their ministerial labors (works) on judgement day. Verse 16 addresses the congregational body at Corinth depicting the character of the product that both Paul and previous ministers labored in building up. In verse 9 the church body is characterized as "God's husbandry, God's building" that these ministers labored together with the Holy Spirit to build at Corinth. In verse 16 that finished ministerial product is also "the temple of the Holy Spirit". Verse 17 directly addresses the present ministry at Corinth and any future ministry with a warning about how they build up the church body at Corinth of which Paul laid the foundation and other ministers labored before them. The current state of the congregational body at Corinth as described in both epistles shows ministerial corruptness by some there (some professing to be apostles - 2 Cor. 11-12). The New Testament church is the "espoused" bride and temple of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 11:2) and God will hold ministers accountable who destroy rather than build up his churches.

    In regard to verses 12-15 what is applicable to the ministry in fulfilling their calling is applicable to any individual Christian in fulfilling their own calling. Your calling is the race you are to run and how you run it will determine ultimate rewards and position in the coming new heaven and earth. Not all the "saved" in the new heaven and earth will be in the city (Rev. 21:24) due to failure in running their race. Not all will have the same participation of the tree of life (Rev. 3:7 "eat" versus 22:2 "leaves"). The tree of life takes us back to Adam and Eve in the Garden. Before they fell they were safe in a special place reserved for the obedient (Garden = city). After they fell, the first thing they did was take "leaves" to cover their shame for disobedience. However, after they fell they were redeemed and saved, but no longer were eligible to remain in the special place for the obedient (the garden = the city) but were outside the garden, as the "saved nations" are outside the city upon the new earth (Rev. 21:24). The overcomers in Rev. 2-3 have the right to "eat" of the tree of life and live in the city (garden) while those "saved nations" outside the city (Rev. 21:24) are allowed only the "leaves" of the tree of life (symbolism that covers their shame for not having overcome in good works). They also have "kings" reigning over them that represent them before the King of kings within the city (Rev. 21:24-25).

    The point is that those outside on the new earth and those inside the city are both saved but the difference between inside and outside then is between overcoming and failing to overcome here and now in regard to the calling you have been given in the service of God.

    Other than your interpretation of 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 I whole heartedly agree with your views.
     
    #11 The Biblicist, Oct 4, 2014
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  12. Hark

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    I give the Father thanks in Jesus's name for that.

    Although Paul did refer to the laying of the foundation which was by Jesus Christ and to others that build upon as the Lord enables, the message seem to steer away from the professed ministers by addressing the individual believers of that church at Corinth in how each build in regard to themselves.

    1 Corinthians 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

    This is why I see Paul steering away from your view of the message about ministeriel conduct towards the body of believers, the church, because this was addressing each reader as well as each hearer of this epistle in that church.

    So while Paul acknowledge his role of laying the foundation by His grace & by His help, he was cautioning each and every believer how they build on that foundation which is pertaining to how we live as His in this world, because each believer will be judged by what he has built on that foundation.

    The temple of the Holy Spirit is our physical body.

    1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

    Although this message was later on in the epistle, it still stems from addressing the individual believer in how they live their lives as His in what they build on that foundation. If any one defile the temple of God, him will God destroy. God is not going to destroy the body of believers at Corinth for one individual bringing in heresy, but He will destroy the physical body with death for defiling himself. Those that follow him, the defiled believer, run that same risk unless they repent by His grace & by His help, but not every believer may follow that defiled believer and so Paul's message applies to the individual believer as each will be judged by God on what they have built on that foundation.

    As many see "calling" as God calling them into the ministry, it should not be confused with the Biblical & actual calling to every believer in how we are saved.

    1 Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

    I am not sure how or when calling became identified with serving Him in ministry in church's history, but there is only one hope of our calling.

    Ephesians 4:There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

    There is a prize in that high calling of God, which is to live with Him forever, but as many are called, and why few are chosen is because they are unaware of the race to run by faith in the Son of God as His disciple to attend the Marriage Supper. This is why His disciples are to teach new believers in how to be His disciples too which is by faith in Him as the Good Shepherd.

    2 Peter 1:10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

    More like failing to trust Jesus as their Good Shepherd in helping them run that race by abiding in Him & His words. It is not so much about self as it is where our confidence rests in as He will finish what He has started in us.

    And even I need His help to trust Him to keep my confidence on Him to do it.

    More to be continued....
     
  13. Hark

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    Continued from last post....

    Revelation 2:7 is the correct reference but thanks for pointing that one out. It does lead me to take pause in a certain view of mine; more on that in a moment.

    I was under the viewpoint that the firstfruits did not need to eat from the tree of life. If we are changed, inheritting the incorruptible, which is to be liken unto angels that can never die and thus no longer married nor given in marriage...and meeting the Lord in the air to be forever with the Lord, I fail to see when this eating of the tree of life will occur.

    Luke 20:34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

    I had thought that the tree of life was for the generations coming out of the milleniel reign of Christ that remained loyal to Him after Satan's last staged rebellion has been put down and Satan casted into the lake of fire.

    But now, I have to take pause on that viewpoint because I cannot see how the two can be reconciled.

    However, another viewpoint of mine of those saints left behind and coming out of the great tribulation, I had believed them to be the kings and priests for the milleniel reign of Christ...

    Revelations 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

    and yet...

    Revelations 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

    I have to admit, I am confused now about how things will turn out.

    Romans 12:1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

    Again, there is our personal reasonable service and then there is how He leads us to serve Him in the body of believers. I really do not see that as a separate calling, but of believers unaware that God can use them in ministry.

    Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

    Well, as I have to take pause in how I view the Lord will dole out our portions as He deems fit in regards to running that race, I really believe 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 is referring to each individual believer on being ignorant in defiling the temple of God and not looking to Jesus for help in departing from iniquity whereas he will be punished with physical death when left behind.

    As it is, I had originally believed the left behind saints were the kings and priests as they would be scattered all over the world in serving the King of kings while the raptured saints ( of which I do hope in Him that I am chosen ) would live in the City of God giving tours to visitors of the marvelous things God has done for them and the city they live in, singing songs of deliverance that would resonate within the hearers for them to carry when they go home.

    Guess the saying goes..

    1 Corinthians 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

    Guess we will find out for sure, if not sooner, God be willing...
     
  14. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Yes, my mistake, I was typing too fast and did not recheck my address.



    I think you are confusing two different metaphors. The resurrection of Christ from the dead is the "firstfruits" of the resurrection while the resurrection of the righteous is the primary harvest (1 Cor. 15:20). The metaphor of "a chaste virgin" being given in marriage (2 Cor. 11:2) or a "bride" (Rev. 19:6-7) merely conveys faithfulness and purity that obtains a special reward or position in the new creation.

    The "tree of life" in the New heaven and earth (Rev. 21:1-2) does not convey literal eternal life to anyone as that has already been received in spirit by new birth at the time of conversion (Jn. 5:24) and in the body by resurrection when this mortal shall have put on immortality (1 Cor. 15:54) long before the judgement seat and new heaven and earth. The "tree of life" represents the PRIVILEGE of living in a special place reserved for the faithful which was lost by unfaithfulness by Adam and Eve. Revelation 21-22:3 occurs after the Great White Judgement seat (Rev. 20) and after the creation of a new heaven and earth when Jerusalem descends upon that new earth in that new creation (Rev. 21:1-2). There are "saved" living outside the New Jerusalem on the new earth (Rev. 21:24) and there are saved living inside the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1-3). The difference is not salvation but in faithfulness "in the way of the Lord" through His revealed way of service from Genesis to Revelation. The New Jerusalem is metaphorically described as having 12 foundations and 12 gates that represent Israel by the twelve tribes and the church by the twelve apostles. These represent the Old and New Testament revealed way of service through the "house of God" and its ordinances. Indeed, the entire book of Revelation has its imagery around the House of God on earth (Rev. 2-3 - the churches; Rev. 11 - Israel) and in heaven (Rev. 4-5, 14-15) and concludes with The Father and the Lamb being the "temple" in the new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:22).

    Correct, there is no LITERAL marriage in the new heaven and earth. The marriage of the lamb is purely metaphorical of Christ receiving the church into a special close relationship due to her faithfulness while on earth.

    The two are reconciled by the distinction of faithful versus unfaithful children of God in connection with rewards. For example, Lot is an example of a saved but unfaithful child of God in direct contrast to Abraham who is clearly set forth as the example of faithfulness. The two are reconciled by the fact that God said of Abraham that he knew him and that he would lead his children in "the way of the Lord." Abraham was LOOKING FOR THE NEW JERUSALEM while Lot was looking to sit in the gate at Sodom. The Lord has always had a revealed "way" of service for the saved and the way of Sodom is not that way. Those who are faithful in the "way" of the Lord will also have a special intimate POSITION in the new heavens and earth and that is the New Jerusalem which includes the faithful from the Old Testament (12 tribes) and the New Testament (12 apostles). However, salvation or entrance into heaven is not in view as those dwelling OUTSIDE the New Jerusalem on the new earth (Rev. 21:24) are "saved." The distinction is SERVICE not salvation.

    That is also correct. However, the nations during the millennial rebel against God and are destroyed. In contrast the "nations" in the new heaven and earth are "saved". Two different time periods and two different applications.



    This is the millennial period BEFORE the Great White Seat Judgement which judgement occurs AFTER the millennial reign.

    All the promises given to OVERCOMERS based upon WORKS have to do with the New Jerusalem AFTER the millennial reign and AFTER the Great White Seat Judgement and AFTER the creation of a new heaven and earth when the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven (Rev. 21:1-2) wherein is the tree of life (Rev. 22:1-3).



    If all Christians obeyed this, Paul would not need to "beseech" them to obey it. Just as in the case of the Old Testament and the revealed way of the Lord at that time. This is all about SERVICE not salvation. There is REWARD for service but salvation is not a reward but a GIFT not based upon works.

    All of Paul's letters were addressed to church members who embraced the same faith and order - that is the New Testament context. Paul was a member of such a congregation at Antioch and he was addressing members of New Testament congregations in Rome. They all had in common the same faith and order and membership in the same kind of church body, just as they all had in common the same kind of physical body that is used as the basis for this anaology. The New Testament congregation was and still is the revealed way of service in the New Testament economy. Serving God outside the membership of a New Testament congregation is DISOBEDIENCE to the revealed will of God.

    Contextually 1 Corinthians 3:4-17 is how the Holy Spirit uses ministers to build the congregation at Corinth and in every other place. The works of the minister in verses 12-15 is analogous to the works of any believer according to their special calling. That is the same principles apply to individual believers as it does to ministers, the only difference is that ministers are called to a specific kind of works that differ from other Christians, but the same principle of rewarding according to their works, as spelled out in this context equally applies. However, the direct address of 1 Corinthians 3:17 is towad the present ministry at Corinth which was teaching false doctrine and thereby destroying the work of the ministry that preceded them. It is a dangerous thing to destroy the sound work of the ministry that laid the foundation of a congregation and built it up in the truth. However, that is precisely what was occurring at Corinth contextually as false prophets and ministers of Satan were attempting to destroy "God's building..God's husbandry...the temple of God....the body of Christ" at Corinth and the chaos and destruction within this congregation is graphically pointed out in both epistles.
     
    #14 The Biblicist, Oct 5, 2014
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  15. Hark

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    How I had read this was that firstfruits is plural in following the precedent set forth at the end of verse 22 and the beginning of verse 23.

    1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

    Firstfruits being plural in how every man will be made alive in his own order would suggest two resurrections whereas the raptured saints will be the firstfruits followed by they that are Christ's at His actual coming to earth as the King of kings and not as the Bridegroom to take the bride to the Father's mansion above which I take it to be New Jerusalem which will come down from Heaven.

    Firstfruits was also a term used for referring of Christ in relation to those that have slept.

    1 Corinthians 15: But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

    Then there are report of some of the firstfruits mentioned as having been redeemed from the earth in becoming a special choir of Jesus.

    Revelations 14:3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

    Of course, there are others of NT firstfruits; and not just this special choir that shall accompany the Bridegroom at the Marriage Supper, but the OT irstfruits and the NT firstfruits will hold the same place in honour of Him.

    Luke 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. 29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

    Seeing how OT saints will be sitting down with NT saints that were chosen as His disciples, I would see them as the firstfruits as in plural, and thus separating from the "they" that be Christ's at His coming.

    I am under the belief still that the call for repentance towards those believers that have defiled themselves, if they heed that call and look to Jesus for help to depart from iniquity, they can still be that vessel unto honour in His House.

    2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

    More replies to come, God be willing....
     
  16. The Biblicist

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    True, "every man in his own order" infers multiple resurrections instead of merely one. However, "firstfruits" refers strictly to the resurrection of Jesus Christ alone and it is the first in the series of resurrections which follow. The next resurrection is "they that are Christ's" and that occurs at "his coming." The next resurrection is of the lost or as Paul continues to say:

    Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God..."

    This is the next order in resurrection which occurs at the end of the millennial reign "WHEN" Christ delivers up the kingdom rather than assumes his own personal reign over the kingdom. Hence, Paul lists only three specific resurrection orders. (1) Christ's; (2) Those who are Christ's at His coming; - the first resurrection (3) THEN cometh the end WHEN" He hands over the kingdom to His Father - the second resurrection. Christ's resurrection is the "firstfruits" of the first and second part of the resurrection of mankind.

    In the harvest of Israel the term is NEVER found in the singular but only signifies the first order in the steps of the harvest. It is used metaphorically here and the rule of metaphors demands it must be used in accordance with its literal usage. In literal usage the "firstfruit" of harvest did not contain multiple stages. Paul has just finished arguing that if Christ did not rise there would be no resurrection and thus his resurrection is essential to the resurrection of anyone else. Thus, his resurrection is like the "firstfruits" in the harvest.
     
  17. Hark

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    I understand your point here.

    A pause here;

    Revelations 21:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

    So the saved are those in verse 15 that did not repent and therefore not allowed to enter to live in the city as God has judged them to be without? I can see that.

    I reckon I need more discernment from the Lord on this because I still see this verse below as meaning more than just a priviledge of living in a special place and thus actually eating from the tree of life for overcomers.

    Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

    There are other rewards for overcoming that seems to be given to those saints left behind coming out of the great tribulation of reigning and serving Him as priests.

    Maybe the key to understanding this is to see how any believer overcome.

    1 John 5:1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.....4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

    Could some of the rewards mentioned for overcoming was actually referring to Christ overcoming what His saints failed to repent of? Would that reconcile how those outside the city for being rewarded as He does in according to what their works shall be for why they are outside the city and yet they are still saved?

    Revelations 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

    Jesus being the Overcomer, those outside the city would need to eat from the tree of life in serving Him outside the city as having a glorified terrestriel body with long life.

    Revelations 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

    Those coming out of the great tribulation are promised that they are protected from the power of the second death.

    Revelations 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

    Revelations 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

    Being made a vessel unto dishonour, I can see why a new name would be needed to wipe the tears from their eyes.

    Revelations 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

    Reads like this could be speaking of Jesus Christ as the Overcomer and why those left behind saints will be kings in the world reigning with Him.

    Revelations 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

    A double negative in the Greek Text on "not" is a promise that He would never do that.. ever. Once a name is in the Book of Life, it stays there.

    Revelations 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

    This may very well signify that the resurrected kings and priests coming out of the great tribulation will be representing New Jerusalem in the world; not that they actually live there, but comes and goes from there as they will no longer sin against God as going out no more from Him.

    Revelations 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

    Again, a promise to His overcoming what the saints left behind failed to do and that them being a seat to rule with Him in the world.

    Thanks for sharing as I believe the Lord is helping me to see how to reconcile what appears to be conflicting passages in Revelations when in actuality, those verses about overcoming is about how Jesus will reward the saints that did not repent in time before the Bridegroom had come.

    Having a resurrected terrestriel body & yet still need to eat from the tree of life shows how His kings and priests may still be marrying and given in marriage, for giving up their first inheritance of never dying like the angels for wild living. God would have his leaders to lead by examples still for the coming generations.

    1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

    Again, I will know for sure when the time comes, but I do thank you for sharing as He is leading you to help me see what I have not been seeing before and that those verses about overcoming was not about saints that were found abiding in Him, but those saints found for not abiding in Him as He is the Overcomer for them believing in Him, but their rewards will still be in according to their works.
     
  18. Hark

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    I would believe Christ's is referring to those believers that are with Christ as the firstfruits for having that apostrophe "s". If firstfruit was just meaning Christ alone, then it would not be plural, would it?

    Since there are three harvests or as you put it three specific resurrection orders that makes up the whole of the kingdom of heaven from which I take this parable to mean..

    Matthew 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

    Then Christ leading the resurrection as the firstfruits would mean that there will be others of the firstfruits; then they that be Christ's at His coming and then the end which is the last harvest of those remaining loyal to Christ after that last staged rebellion of Satan for a small season after the milleniel reign of Christ. Then after death, hades, and all the judgment has been given to put His enemies under His feet, The Son of God gives the ready made kingdom of heaven back to the Father... as I understand it by His grace & by His help.
     
  19. The Biblicist

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    There are more outside of the city than just the saved. The lost are also located outside the city. However, the same sins that characterize the lost also characterize the areas of unfaithfulness by those "saved" living on the new earth.



    Remember, every letter begins after introducing Himself to the church being addressed with "I know thy works." Remember these promises are directed to those "he that hath ears to ears" not lost persons. Remember, the saved have already passed from death to life at the point of conversion (Jn. 5:24) and already are sinlessly glorified in spirit, soul and body BEFORE they come before the judgement seat.

    Hence, partaking of the tree of life is limited to only those who are allowed to dwell where the tree of life is located in the new heaven and earth. And where would that be? Outside the gates where the "saved" nations exist or INSIDE the gates within the New Jerusalem? Inside! So this is a priviledge to all the saved living inside. The "tree of life" characterizes a special place of privilege. After the fall, Adam and Eve were saved, but no longer could dwell in the special place of privilege where the tree of life was located.


    In regard to initial salvation this is true. However, in relationship to REWARDS this is not true of all believers. Moreover, it is not "the world" that is presented in Revelations 2-3 to overcome but specific problems within the churches.

    Moreover, and please take notice of what I am saying, some of these things they are called upon to overcome in Revelation 2-3 require THE MAJORITY of the membership to act rather than INDIVIDUAL action.



    The issue here is not whether those addressed are saved or not for Jesus says of them that they are "rich." The issue here is the fear of death for being faithful. Jesus is encouraging saved people to persevere in faithfulness in the face of threatened physical death. The first encouragement he gives is his own personal experience of facing and experiecing death and overcoming and now holding the keys of death and hades. In other words, I have been there and came out victoriously and so will you.

    The second encouragement is the assurance they will not face the "second" death but only the first death - physical. The third encouragement is that faithfulness may require giving up physical life in this world but that faithfulness will obtain the "crown" of life or the highest reward in the next world.

    There is no conditional clause, as "if" you overcome you will not suffer the second death but rather is the plain assertion it won't happen to them and therefore the worst that can be done to them is physical death.

    Again, there is no conditional clauses but rather an factual assertion that the power of the second death does not concern them. However, it is not conditioned on being a martyr.

    In the Old Testament there was a special person who entered a special place where access to manna was located. That special person was only the high priest and that special place was the holy of holies under the lid of the ark. However, all the other priests worked in God's house and yet did not have that privilege. Likewise, many children of God will not have that privilege as they dwell as "saved" on the outside due to failing to be faithful to God's revealed way of serve. However, the overcomers were given this special privilege of that special place - the new jerusalem.



    Notice in Revelation 21:24-25 in the new world to come the "saved' have "kings" that rule over them. This is beyond the millennial reign (Rev. 20). This beyond the Great White throne. This beyond the creation of the new heaven and earth (Rev. 21:1-2) and after the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven.



    There are THREE different books of the living found in the Scriptures. There is the book of PHYSICAL living or those "under the heaven" whose names are blotted out when they physically die. There is the book of the SPIRITUAL living recorded in the Lamb's book of Life whose names are NEVER blotted out but were written there from the foundation of the world. However, there is a third book of the living that every city had at the front gate that listed those who were living in that city. Every citizen had civil duty and if they could not perform their civil duty for some reason they would write "idios" by their name on the book of the living citizens on the gate. If they characteristically failed to do their civil duty they were kicked out of the city and their name was blotted out. Likewise, the book of the living in regard to the New Jerusalem is CONDITIONAL on works. There are "saved" living outside the gates just as there were people living outside the gates of cities.

    True! Those who meet these conditions by their WORKS in faithfully overcoming the specific church problems will never be blotted out. However, the double negative is based on the stated condition not merely a unconditioned promise. The New Jerusalem does not come down from heaven until AFTER the Great White seat Judgement (Rev. 21:1-2).



    All saints rule with Christ but that does not mean there are some who sit on the right and left. For example, America is ruled by the people, but yet their are elected representatives and positions of authority that is not shared by every American citizen. Likewise, all saints rule with Christ in the new heavens and earth but not all share the same position of authority in that rule.
     
  20. Hark

    Hark
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    Sounds right. Just because someone did not take the mark of the beast, it does not necessarily mean they are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I can understand your point of view but ... something is amiss.

    Psalm 48:8 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah. 9 We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. 10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. 11 Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments. 12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. 13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. 14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

    This seem to be a prophesy concerning a future event of visitors to the City of God that speaks of the coming generation out of the milleniel reign of Christ that could still die.

    So I am somewhat reserve about your view because the left behind saints and the new believers coming during the milleniel reign should be able to have access to the City to tour it so they can tell it to future generations outside the City of God.

    I believe that if they have to enter the City of God. that would indirectly testify as not really being an occupant of the City of God as the raptured saints would be. So just because they can enter the City of God by the gates, it does not necessarily mean they actually dwell there in order to have access to the tree of life. If anything, new believers would be allowed to have access and then help themselves to the tree of life to live forever, but still go home wherever they live in the world where there is no longer any sea.

    Course, I am applying Revelations 2:7 to the initial recipients of the left behind saints coming out of the great tribulation as they would be allowed to enter the City through the gates to have access to the tree of life whereas the raptured saints have already been in the city as they are the actual citizens of the City of God. Once they have taken from the tree of life, they are to leave the city in living elsewhere in serving the King of kings.

    I'm reading the verses that specified about the overcomers as those saints that did not overcome with Him but He overcomes for them as He will finihs what He has started in them even without them and rewards them as being vessels of wood and earth; kings and priests of the kingdom of heaven on earth which would be the vessels unto dishonour in His House.

    I do not read that as being the case for the church at Thyatira.

    Revelations 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

    These following two verses in continuing from above reference reads to me as testifying of Jesus as the Overcomer as only He can keep His works unto the end as He is the One that has power over the nations to rule them with a rod of iron just as He breaks the vessels unto honour into becoming the vessels unto dishonour.

    26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

    Anyway, I do see it as each individual believers being judged because not all follow the errant doctrine that is/was in that church at Thyatira. As it is with that church, so must it be with other believers in the other six churches.

    to be continued... God be willing....
     

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