FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD AND THE DEITY OF CHRIST

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. ~ 1 John 4:1-3

The confession that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh speaks to the deity of Christ. In chapter one, John refers to Jesus as the word of life and the eternal life which was with the Father from the beginning, and was manifested to us.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. ~ 1 John 1:1-3

John refers to the deity of Christ at the very outset of his epistle by referring to Jesus as the word of life and eternal life. John testifies that Jesus, the Son of God, is the eternal life which was with the Father from the beginning.

John uses similar language in his gospel.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:1-4

John is heavy on the deity of Christ, such much so, that John declares that fellowship with God is contingent Jesus being divine: That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ is fellowship with the God and the One whom John claims is eternal life. In chapter 2, John addresses fathers, young men, and little children (most likely these are references to spiritual growth). To the fathers, he says, I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning (2:13) and,  I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning (2:14). 

At the close of his epistle, John declares Jesus is the true God!

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. this is the true God, and eternal life. ~ 1 John 5:20

Now, with regards to John’s statement concerning the confession that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, Jesus was God revealed in the flesh. Every spirit that does not confess God (in the person of Jesus Christ) was manifested in the flesh is the spirit of anti-Christ.

The Spirit of God exalts Christ. The spirit of anti-Christ makes less of Christ. One does not have true fellowship with God if he does not have fellowship with that eternal life which was with the Father from the beginning and was manifested in the flesh.

To claim otherwise is to be a liar and a deceiver.

Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. ~ 1 John 2:22-23

(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. ~ 1 John 1:2-3

THE LAW IN NEW TESTAMENT DOCTRINE

When the New Testament teaches that we are no under the law, it is referring to the letter of the Law – the specific commands and instructions given to Israel through Moses.

In this respect, Christ is the fulfillment of the Law as Paul says in Romans 10:4.

Does this mean that the Law no longer has any relevance for us now that Jesus has fulfilled the Law and established the New Covenant? Not at all.

The law is indeed beneficial for us, for the teachings and instructions given to Israel under the Law were preparatory for the doctrines given to us in the New Covenant, in Christ. It is very important that we make the distinction between the letter of the Law and the preparatory nature of the law with regards to New Testament doctrine.

The New Testament writers repeatedly make appeal to the Law for doctrine and instructions. Allow me to give you some examples of what I mean.

In 1 Corinthians 9, the apostle Paul makes appeal to the Law in his letter to the Corinthians that ministers are entitled to be supported.

13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

14 Even so hath the Lord ORDAINED that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:13-14

Notice that Paul’s position that ministers are entitled to support is predicated on the ordination of God established under the law.

Later, in chapter 14, Paul makes appeal to the Law regarding the use of tongues in a public assembly: In THE LAW it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. ~ Corinthians 14:21

In the text above Paul quotes from the book of Isaiah, meaning that Paul’s view of the Law was broader than just the 5 books of Moses. The prophets were the interpreters of the Law in view of the coming Messiah, Jesus.

According to Paul, the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. ~ Ephesians 2:20

The apostles were appointed to lay the foundation of New Testament doctrine and they did so under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The prophets, who interpreted the Law, prophesied of the coming of Jesus by the Spirit of Christ that was in them.

A few verses after citing to the book of Isaiah regarding the use of tongues, Paul again, refers to the Law for doctrine in verse 34.

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience AS ALSO SAITH THE LAW. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:34

If we were more studious of the preparatory nature of the Law, rather than being conditioned to dismiss the law, we might come away with a better understanding as to what Paul is really saying when he declares that women should keep silence in the churches.

Over and over again, the New Testament writers appeal to the Law to support their teachings. Consider the words of the apostle Peter: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation ~ 1 Peter 1;15.

Peter is quoting God’s words to Israel found in Leviticus 11:44-45, 19:2; and 20:7

Let’s consider these three texts from Leviticus.

44 For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore SANCTIFY YOURSELVES, and ye shall BE HOLY;

45 FOR I AM HOLY: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY. ~ Leviticus 11:44-45

Notice in verse 44 God commanded the Israelites: SANCTIFY YOURSELVES. Peter uses this same language in chapter 3 within the context of living godly and holy.

But SANCTIFY the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear… ~ 1 Peter 3:15

Now consider Leviticus 19:2 and 20:7

Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy. ~ Leviticus 19:2

SANCTIFY yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God. ~ Leviticus 20:7

The same doctrine given to Israel regarding being holy and sanctifying themselves, is given to the church. With Israel it applied to the outward life in the flesh and their approach to God under they types and shadows. Concerning the New Testament Church, it applies to the inward life in the hidden man of our heart, from whence we are called to live a holy life, in and through Christ.

Finally, I would like to share something I recently addressed in my writings. I addressed an error which has spread within the Charismatic movement: “getting drunk in the spirit.” This practice is spiritually in error because it is in conflict with the whole counsel of scripture.

I will not go into all the details here, but would like to show how the teachings and instructions given under the Law would benefit us if we’d follow the lead of the New testament authors in how they interpret the Law for doctrine, correction, and instruction.

In Leviticus 10 we read how the two sons of Aaron (Nadab and Abihu) took it upon themselves to go against the command of the Lord by offering “strange fire” on the altar of the Lord. The consequence for this sin was fatal as they suddenly fell dead in the presence of God.

God is Holy, and these two sons of Aaron offered strange fire before the Lord. They sinned against God by disobeying the command of God in the things which pertained to a foreshadowing of Christ.

This outward service of the Law under which Nadab and Abihu were judged, has been annulled by the death of Christ on the cross. The priesthood to which these sons of Aaron belonged is defunct. Yet the truth in Leviticus 10 for how we should reverence the presence of God is still pertinent for us today.

After the death of Nadab and Abihu, God commanded Aaron regarding how he and his descendants were to serve as priests in the presence of God. Among those instructions, God said the following to Aaron:

Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean… ~ Leviticus 10:9-10

The priests were to minister in the presence of the Lord in soberness, and not in a drunken stupor. They were to minister in the presence of the Lord with a sober mind so that they would have good judgment and be able to rightly divide between that which was holy and unholy, and between that which was unclean and clean.

The same truth applies to us today. We have many directives in the New Testament instructing us not to be drunk, but to be sober minded. Yet within the Charismatic movement, there are those who get worked up into an inebriated or intoxicated frenzy, slurring their words, and so doing they dishonor the holy presence of God. Such behavior is unsound doctrine, and condemned by the whole counsel of scripture, and leads many people into error.

When a minister is unable to preach or teach the Word of God because of drunkenness or intoxication of any kind, it is “scripturally” a sign of judgment and not blessings – and this is what the Law supports in doctrine.

ARE ALL YOUR PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE SINS ALREADY FORGIVEN?

The teaching that God has forgiven all your past, present, and future sins is a very dangerous teaching.

If you will bear with me for a few minutes, I will explain from the word of God exactly why this view is wrong. There is much more I could say than you will read here, maybe I will write more on this topic, but I want to briefly show you why this teaching is error according to scripture.

First, allow me to say that God has made “provision” for the cleansing of all your sins through the sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus is our advocate with the Father when we sin. So please don’t misunderstand me in this regard.

However, the ideology that all your future sins are already forgiven (which implies you don’t need to repent when you sin, because God can’t see your sins) is scripturally in error.

Allow me to explain with one simple question: Was the apostle Paul inspired by the Spirit of the Lord to write to the Corinthian Church?

Certainly he was.

If God doesn’t see the believer’s sins and the Holy Spirit doesn’t convict believers of sin, why did God, through his Holy Spirit, inspire Paul to address the sin of fornication within the church at Corinth?

Why did Paul, inspired by God, rebuke the Corinthians for not grieving because of the sin of fornication in their midst?

In 1 Corinthians Paul says: It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. ~1 Corinthians 5:1-2

If Paul inspired by the Spirit of God, reprimanded the Corinthians regarding this sin, God obviously knew about their sin. In fact, Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit chides these believers for permitting a sin that not even unbelievers commit.

Now consider what Paul says to these same believers in 2 Corinthians:

For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.  2 Corinthians 7:8-11 

According to the Bible, God saw the sin of fornication which the Corinthians were allowing in their midst, and after Paul rebuked them they repented.

Those who teach that God does not see your sins after you are saved because all future sins are forgiven, are teaching error. Did God see the sin of Corinthian believers? Absolutely! And he can see mine and your’s too.

JESUS WAS HOLY WHEN HE DIED

There is no precedent in Old Testament with regards to the sin offerings, which supports the theology that Jesus became sinful when he died on the cross.

The offerings for sin, which foreshadowed Jesus’ death, were NOT made sinful with the sins of the people and consequently rejected by God. Instead they were to be offered as unblemished sacrifices which were holy gifts to the Lord and they were accepted by God as a sweet fragrance.

Leviticus 6:25 says, Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, THIS IS THE LAW OF THE SIN OFFERING: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall THE SIN OFFERING BE KILLED before the Lord: IT IS MOST HOLY.

The sin offering was to be KILLED as a MOST HOLY OFFERING.

This was a foreshadowing of Jesus, who died, not as one who had been made sin with our sinfulness, but made a sin offering instead, a MOST HOLY offering to the Lord.

When Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “Christ was made to be sin for us,” he is not teaching that Christ metamorphosed into something unholy. Rather, he is echoing the truth of scripture: Christ was made a sin offering for us.

In both, the Old Testament Hebrew, and the New Testament Greek, the words “sin” and “sin offering” come from the same root word. That is why Paul, as does the author of Hebrews, uses the word ““hamartia” for “sin” as well as “sin offering” (see Hebrews 10:6). Paul is not teaching that Christ was made our literal sin, but our SIN OFFERING instead.

Jesus was MOST HOLY when he was killed. He redeem us with his precious blood as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

JESUS PLEASED GOD, NOT APPEASED GOD

But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.~ Philippians 4:18

Paul tells the Philippians that their gift of support, which was delivered to him by Epaphroditus, was “an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.”

In 2 Corinthians Paul uses similar language when he says the following:

14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest THE SAVOR OF HIS KNOWLEDGE by us in every place.

15 For we are unto God A SWEET SAVOR OF CHRIST, in them that are saved, and in them that perish… ~ 2 Corinthians 2:14-15

In both cases (Philippians 4 and 2 Corinthians 2) Paul appeals to the language of found in the Old Testament which described the atonement sacrifices foreshadowing the death of Christ.

No one reading Paul’s words in Philippians 4 and 2 Corinthians 2 would think the expression “sweet savor” means anything other than that which is pleasing to God. In fact, Paul uses the words “well pleasing” in his Philippians 4 description.

Yet when it comes to the sacrifice of Jesus, many have described it as anything but well pleasing to God, making claims such as “God poured out his wrath on Jesus” or “God treated Jesus like a sinner” or “God rejected Jesus in our place.”

The problem with this assessment is that it turns God against his dying Son, rather than God being pleased by the unselfish obedience of his Son who gave his life for us.

When Christ died on the cross, he wasn’t “role playing” in our place. He was paying a ransom, and he did this with his sinless and holy life which he offered to God as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. In this manner, Christ died for us, and PLEASED God, not appeased God, for Jesus was a SWEET SMELLING SAVOR to God FOR US.

Under the Law, the sacrifices that were “rejected” did not make atonement. Those that were accepted did, for they were offered as a sweet savor to God, bringing pleasure to him because they foreshadowed God’s Son in whom he is “well pleased!”

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God FOR CHRIST’S SAKE hath forgiven you. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God FOR A SWEET-SMELLING SAVOR. ~ Ephesians 4:32- 5-2

FAITH IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. ~ Romans 3:24-26

The word propitiation in Romans 3:25 does not mean appeasement, and has nothing to do with God pouring out wrath on Jesus at the cross.

The word propitiation, comes from the Greek word “hilasterion,” which is employed by the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) for the mercy seat. Also in Hebrews 9:5 it is translated as mercy seat.

A close observation of the context of Romans 3:25 shows that the word “hilasterion” is used in conjunction with our faith in the blood of Jesus, meaning that what ever “hilasterion” refers to, it refers to who Jesus is to us through our faith in his blood.

The expression “faith in his blood” is therefore the determining factor in each of our lives as to whether or not Jesus is our “hilasterion.” For God has set forth Jesus to be a “hilasterion” (atonement, reconciliation, mercy seat) through faith in his blood.

While some claim Romans 3:25 proves that God poured out his wrath on Jesus, the context is not about what God did to Jesus, but what God has made Jesus to be, according to his grace, in the lives of all who have faith in his blood.

Christ is the atoning sacrifice, the mercy seat, or the provision of God’s forgiving mercy to all who have faith in his blood.

Appeasement, on the other hand, is a concept which comes from the worship of pagan gods, because there was no natural disposition of good will in them.

Appeasement is not taught by the New Testament, nor is it foreshadowed under the Old. The worship of the one true God is nothing like that of pagan religions. The two are diametrically opposed to one another. Appeasement belongs to pagan worship, but expiation which is atonement or reconciliation through grace, belongs to the truth of the one true God.

The fundamental problem with appeasement theology is that it miss characterizes the character and nature of God. Appeasement is an act directed toward God in an effort to change him; to turn Him from wrath or anger. Expiation or atonement is an act by God directed towards man to show mercy and grace. The Bible never says that God was reconciled to man; instead it is always man who is reconciled to God because of God’s mercy and grace.

THE CROSS: A MOST HOLY ALTAR

And, having made peace through THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight… ~ Colossians 1:20-22
 
When God instructed Moses to build the tabernacle so he could dwell among his people, he commanded that AN ALTAR of sacrifice be made with acacia wood and overlaid brass.
 
This altar was known as: the brazen altar, the altar for burnt offering, and the altar of the Lord. It was here, ON THIS ALTAR, that the sacrifices foreshadowing the death of Christ were to be offered.
 
• the burnt offering
• the meat offering
• the peace offering
• the sin offering
• the trespass offering
 
These were to be offered on the altar as a sweet fragrance to the Lord, and were to be offered for atonement so that the people would be accepted by God. The first three (burnt, meat, and peace offerings) were voluntary offerings, and the last two (the sin and trespass offerings) were compulsory offerings.
 
Each had a prophetic foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Jesus. For example, the burnt offerings were to be “wholly offered.” This foreshadowed Jesus being wholly given to the will of God when he died for our sins. Jesus held nothing back when God laid it upon him to give his life as the offering for our sins. Jesus gave himself fully to God for us.
 
On the other hand, the sin offering was to be killed at the altar. The inward parts (the fat, including all the fat around the internal organs, the two kidneys and the fat around them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver) was to be severed from the carcass and offered on the altar as a sweet savor (a pleasing aroma) to the Lord.
 
Yet, unlike the burnt offering which was “wholly” burnt on the altar, the carcass of the sin offering was to be taken outside the camp and burned in a clean place there. Only the inward parts were burned on the altar.
 
There is a twofold significance here: First the inward parts of the sin offering were offered on the altar as a sweet savor to the Lord (Leviticus 4:31). This was a foreshadowing Christ who had no sin. Jesus was totally pure from within. Secondly, the author of Hebrews appeals to burning of the carcass of the sin offering in Hebrews 13.
 
10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
 
11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest FOR SIN, are BURNED WITHOUT THE CAMP.
 
12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
 
13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. ~ Hebrews 13:10-13
 
The word “without” in the reference above means outside.
 
Jesus died for the sins of everyone, even those outside of the camp of Israel. The message of the gospel did not stay within the camp, it was carried outside the camp to the whole world.
 
All the sacrifices which were offered on the brazen altar were to be offered as gifts for a sweet savor to bring God pleasure. This typified Christ in whom God was pleased, and in whom God would accept for us, granting us forgiveness from our sins.
 
When God commanded Moses to build the Tabernacle, the brazen altar had to be consecrated by the blood of the sin offering before it could be placed into service. It had no power to sanctify without first being the sanctified by the blood of the sin offering.
When the priests were initially consecrated for the service of the priesthood, the brazen altar was also consecrated for service.
 
Moses killed the sin offering and applied the blood to the horns of the altar to purify it (Exodus 29:12, 36-37; Leviticus 8:15). In scripture, horns are symbolic of power (Habakkuk 3:4). The blood of the sin offering applied to the horns was a type of the blood of Christ: THE POWER OF THE CROSS! The cross has power because of the blood Jesus shed.
 
After the blood was applied to the horns of the brazen altar, Moses poured the remainder of the blood at the bottom of the altar to sanctify it, so that reconciliation could be made upon it.
 
The blood sanctified the altar making it a A MOST HOLY ALTAR.
 
Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be AN ALTAR MOST HOLY: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy. ~ Exodus 29:37
 
“Most holy” is the same language used to describe the inner most part of the tabernacle where the glory of God rested on the mercy seat.
 
When Jesus died on the cross, the cross was set apart as most holy to God for every man, for it was there that Jesus died as a sacrifice to redeem us with his precious blood, and because of his blood, the cross has the power to make us holy in the sight of God.

CHRIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT – NOAH’S BURNT OFFERINGS

Years ago, Genesis 8:20-21 forever changed my life, because it was the beginning of the transformation in my understanding of the death of Christ on the cross as a sweet savor to God.

20 And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

21 And THE LORD SMELLED A SWEET SAVOR; and THE LORD SAID IN HIS HEART, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done. ~ Genesis 8:20-21

Noah’s burnt offering was the first act of worship in the new world after the flood. Noah’s offering was so pleasing to God that God SAID IN HIS HEART “I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake…”

Why was this offering of Noah so powerful, that it could move God to make such a vow in his heart? It was because this offering was a foreshadowing of Jesus. Throughout the book of Leviticus the offerings offered on the altar of sacrifice are repeatedly offered as a sweet savor to the Lord, just as Noah’s offering was.

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul tells us that Jesus loved us and gave himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor.

If Noah’s burnt offering was this pleasing to God, that he would say in his heart, “I will not again…” Think how much more pleasing the offering of Jesus was, when as a sweet savor offering he lovingly sacrificed his life for our sins.

CHRIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT – THE FIRST FRUITS

9 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, AND SHALL REAP THE HARVEST THEREOF, then ye shall bring a sheaf of THE FIRSTFRUITS of your harvest unto the priest:

11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, TO BE ACCEPTED FOR YOU: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf AN HE LAMB WITHOUT BLEMISH of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Lord.

13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, AN OFFERING MADE BY FIRE UNTO THE LORD FOR A SWEET SAVOUR: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.

14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. ~ Leviticus 23:9-14

These were the offerings that the Israelites were to offer to the Lord at the time of the feast of the first-fruits. First fruits was a foreshadowing of the resurrection of Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 15, the apostle Paul says: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the FIRSTFRUITS of them that slept (those who are dead).” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:20

During the feast of firstfruits, the Israelites were to offer

1. The sheaf of the firstfruits to the Lord “to be accepted” for them. Notice the language: the firsitfruits was not rejected in their place, it was an offering that was accepted for them.

2. A male LAMB WITHOUT BLEMISH of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Lord. 1 Peter 1:18-19 tells us Jesus redeemed us with his precious blood as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

3. A meat offering which is said to be “an offering made by fire to the Lord for a sweet savor.” The meat offerings (AKA grain offerings) were symbolic of Jesus’ perfect humanity. Jesus had no sin in him and according to the Bible, we are sanctified by the offering of THE BODY of Jesus Christ once for all. ~ Hebrews 10:10.

Jesus gave his body (the body by which he took upon humanity, being made in the likeness of men) as the offering for our sins. In John 6 Jesus says, I am that BREAD OF LIFE. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is THE BREAD which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I AM THE LIVING BREAD which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and THE BREAD THAT I WILL GIVE IS MY FLESH, which I will give for the life of the world. ~ John 6:48-51

  • Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection who was ACCEPTED for us.
  • Jesus is the unblemished lamb who redeemed us with his precious blood.
  • Jesus is the sweet savor offering (pleasing to God) who sanctified us through the offering of his body. He is the living bread from heaven that gives us eternal life.

ANSWERING THE HEBREW ROOTS MOVEMENT – THE LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL

There are Hebrew Roots teachers who claim the Gentiles in the New Testament were the lost tribes of Israel. Those who make these claims assert that the book of Galatians was written to the dispersed from among the 10 tribes and not to true Gentiles.

They use such arguments to support their view that the Law is still in force. This is wrong and can easily be refuted by the content within the book of Galatians.

I recently listened to a leading Hebrews Roots teacher (who btw, went to prison for fraud) teach this HR doctrine. He used a lot of scripture with sleight of hand. This tactic causes many who followed him to be mesmerized by his “knowledge” rather than responding to his claims as a Berean.

And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto BEREA: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, WHETHER THOSE THINGS BE SO. ~ Acts 17:10-11

The Hebrews Roots teacher I mentioned above used scriptures out of context to support his “theological scheme.” If those who listen to his teachings would read the full context of the scriptures he cites, they would find obvious discrepancies.

The theological scheme being advocated by this teacher was founded on the premise that the term “Jews” only refers to the southern tribes of Judah throughout the Bible.

If those who followed this man’s teachings continue reading the Bible through the theological lens he taught regarding the lost tribes of Israel, they will find themselves misreading many portions of scripture, and doctrinally in error. The aim of such teachings is to advance the Hebrews Roots ideology that the law is still in force.

Please know that term, Jews, does not refer to only the southern tribes in every place in scripture. There are many places where the term “Jew” or “Jews” is a reference to any and all Israelites.

Allow me to point out the following:

After the reign of King Solomon, the nation of Israel was splint into two Kingdoms. The 10 tribes of the north retained the name Israel, and the southern tribes (Judah and Benjamin) were known as Judah.

When God punished the northern tribes, they were over taken by the Assyrians and never recovered. When God judged Judah, they were taken captive by the Babylonians. After 70 years of captivity, they were brought back to their homeland.

The southern tribes of Judah (Judah and Benjamin) were just as sinful as the 10 northern tribes. The ONLY reason God did not permanently disinherit Judah from the land of promise as he did with the northern tribes was his oath to David. God’s promise to David was that one of his descendants would reign upon the throne forever.

In the book of Acts, the apostle Paul referred to this oath as “the sure mercies of David.” God fulfilled this oath to David in the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus.

Though Jews may have been a reference to Judah in the beginning, it became a reference to “all Israelites.” For example, many who were descendants of the dispersed from among the 10 tribes were scattered into the nations referenced in Acts 2. These Israelites, who were gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost in Acts 2, were called “JEWS.”

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem JEWS, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. ~ Acts 2:5.

In his sermon in Acts 2, Peter refers to these Jews as “Ye men of Israel” and “the house of Israel.” ~ Acts 2:22,36

Verses 6-10 mentions the nations that these Isrealites (called Jews) were living in. Isaiah the prophet foretold of this in chapter 11.

10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover THE REMNANT OF HIS PEOPLE, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble THE OUTCASTS OF ISRAEL, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. ~ Isaiah 11:10-12

Careful study shows that the places referred to by Isaiah in the scriptures above, corresponds with those mentioned in Acts 2.

All a person really has to do to know that the word Gentile(s) in the New Testament isn’t a reference to the 10 lost tribes of Israel, is study all the texts in the New Testament which mentions the Gentiles.

If you will do this, you will observe that the context often makes a contrast between the Gentiles and those who were given circumcision and the law.

You cannot fit the disperse tribes of Israel into the context of the Gentiles in the New Testament, not if you have any Biblical integrity at all.

Here are a couple of examples:

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…~ Romans 2:14

NOTE: The 10 tribes were given the law so the Gentiles in this verse is not a reference to them.

What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin… Romans 3:9

NOTE: In this text Jews refers to those who had the law (this include all the 12 tribes of Israel) and those who did not have the law are called the Gentiles. This is clearly understood by the context.

One of the ploys used by the teacher mentioned above was his misuse of out of context scriptures from Romans 9-11. He did this to claim that the Gentiles in Romans 9-11 were the 10 tribes of Israel.

This is error. Notice the following from Paul in chapter 11:

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation (jealously) them which are MY FLESH, and might save some of them. ~ Romans 11:13-14.

Paul wanted to win all his fellow Isrealites, not just those from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. In chapter 9 Paul says the following:

1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.

3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for MY BRETHREN, MY KINSMEN according to the flesh:

4 Who are ISRAELITES; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. ~ Romans 9:1-5

Those who are called Israelites mentioned above (Paul’s kinsmen according to the flesh) were given the covenants, the law, the service of God, the promises, they were descendants of the fathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and Christ came through their nation.

Israelites in the New Testament refers to those from ALL the tribes of Israel. Paul refers to them as Israel and Israelites multiple times in Romans 9-11.

If you think Gentiles is a reference to the 10 tribes and Israel in Romans 9-11 you will absolutely make a mess of the context and only be confused.

In the New Testament: a Gentile is a Gentile. Don’t get confused by those who twist the Word of God.