Shalom! My name is Adam Pastor

Welcome to ADONI MESSIAH which means
"My Lord Messiah" -
a fitting epithet to who Jesus (or Yeshua) is!

Here, I attempt to present the Apostolic Truths according to the Scriptures, that there is
One GOD, the Father, namely, YAHWEH,
and One Lord, GOD's only begotten Son,
Yeshua the Messiah.

And that one day YAHWEH will send His Son back to Earth to inaugurate the Everlasting Kingdom of GOD


Monday, July 05, 2010

Responding to Jesus

Responding to Jesus

It appears to us that very little attention is paid in church circles to how Jesus preached the Gospel. Radio waves and popular literature are replete with invitations to “accept Jesus in your heart,” to “accept the Lord,” or “pray the sinners’ prayer.” But how did Jesus make his evangelistic offer of salvation?
It is a shocking fact that he did not begin and end by offering his death as atonement for sins. Certainly the death of Jesus and his resurrection are fundamental elements in the Gospel of salvation. But that is not all. Listen to the master teacher in his final evangelistic statement and appeal.
John 12: 44: “Jesus raised his voice and said, ‘The person who believes in me does not just believe in me but in the one who commissioned me. I came into the world as a light so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in darkness. And if someone hears my message and does not respond to it, I do not judge him: I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who refuses to listen to me and will not receive my words has one who judges him. The word which I spoke — that is what will judge him at the last day, because I did not speak from myself, but the Father who sent me, He gave me a command as to what to say and speak. And I know that His command means eternal life…’”
It is perfectly plain from these climactic words of Jesus that our salvation depends on believing in Jesus: “The one who believes in me does not just believe in me but in the one who commissioned me.” But Jesus clarifies what he means by “believing in” him. This fact is mostly overlooked by Bible readers. Jesus goes on by way of explanation: “If someone hears my message/gospel/word and does not respond to it…” So, then, what Jesus demands for salvation is a response to his preaching. The crucial factor is intelligent, positive reaction to what Jesus said, not just to the facts of his death and resurrection. Jesus repeats this vital point with a different phrase: “The one who refuses to listen to me and will not accept my words…will be judged by my message.”
We have here a brilliant summary from John, who personally witnessed the ministry of Jesus, and understood what is involved in salvation. Jesus states, as he constantly did, that he came to save the world. But how is the world to be saved? By listening to and accepting Jesus’ word or words. Those who fail to respond to his word and words do not become disciples of the Lord Jesus.
It is a matter of concern and alarm that in current preaching nothing is made of the word/ words/message of Jesus. Only his death and resurrection are put to the public for belief.
But this is to cut the Gospel in half. The fact is that there are [30] chapters of recorded Gospel preaching by Jesus, the twelve and the seventy in which there is no mention yet of his death and resurrection. The Gospel preaching of Jesus, his word/words/message, centered entirely and exclusively on the matter of the Kingdom of God. An examination of Matthew, Mark and Luke shows that Jesus preached as Gospel much more than a message about his death and resurrection. The statistics look like this:
There are [30] chapters of Gospel preaching (Matt. 3-15; Mark 1-7; Luke 4-8), during which Jesus and the Apostles take the Gospel to the public. But in these [30] chapters there is not a single word said of his death. It was not until Matthew 16, Mark 8 and Luke 9 that Jesus “began to tell them” about his death and resurrection. But note well: the accounts make it quite clear that he had been preaching the Gospel prior to that moment. It follows, then, that the Gospel is firstly about the Kingdom of God and also about the additional facts of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Why is this so important? We have seen above (and the point is repeated throughout the teaching of the whole New Testament) that salvation comes by response to what Jesus said and taught, not just to what he did on the cross. Jesus raised his voice in John 12:44 to insist on this central truth: “He who refuses to listen to my words…He who does not accept what I say…” remains lost in darkness.
Professions of belief in Jesus are hollow until we allow Jesus and the Bible to define what it means to “believe in” him. The most personal and intimate aspect of Jesus is his words. His words declare his mind. So it is through intelligent acceptance of his words that a relationship is made with him, in addition to acceptance of his sacrificial death. Jesus did much more than die. He was a saving teacher as well as being the crucified, risen Savior.
Bible readers should earnestly question the foundation of their belief system and ask what those “cliché-like” phrases such as “accept the Lord,” “open your heart to Jesus” really mean.
The true disciples of the Bible are those who have “listened to” Jesus’ Kingdom Gospel. They are those who have received the words which God has given through Jesus. Jesus reported to God: “the words which you gave me, I have given to them and they have accepted them” (John 17:8). The born-again sons of God are those who receive Jesus by “believing in his name,” that is, everything he revealed in his preaching and teaching as well as his death and resurrection (John 1:12).
How wonderfully united the Bible writers were on this crucial issue of what it means to “accept Jesus as Savior.” Matthew and Luke record Jesus’ precious words about how the Gospel of the Kingdom is received or refused by various ones who are exposed to it. “When anyone hears the word/Gospel about the Kingdom and does not understand it, the Devil comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart, so that he cannot believe it and be saved” (Matt. 13:19; Luke 8:12). This is the essence of the Christian Gospel and how it must be received in faith. The critically important factor in salvation, says Jesus, is intelligent reception of the “word about the Kingdom” (Matt. 13:19).
Since the Devil knows well that this Message of the Kingdom is his greatest threat, he does all he can to remove it and suppress it. On no account does the Devil want the Gospel as Jesus preached it to be heard. The Devil wants the world to remain in darkness. Only the preaching of Jesus can dispel that terrible night of confusion and error.
In Luke 8:12 Jesus said that those who hear his Gospel-word are the objects of the Devil’s attention. The Devil, Jesus said, is bent upon taking that Gospel away from the heart of the potential Christian, “so that he may not believe it [the word/message/gospel of the Kingdom, Matt. 13:19] and be saved.” It is of the highest significance that Jesus is talking here expressly about how to be saved, and yet at this point in his preaching career he has not yet mentioned a word about his death and resurrection! (see Luke 18:31-34).
The evidence is entirely clear. Jesus’ concept of salvation is this: An intelligent reception of his Gospel of the Kingdom as well as the related information about his death and resurrection are essential for the saving process to get underway.
You may ask, “What is the Kingdom of God?” The answer is that it is the hope of all the prophets of Israel. It is the Kingdom which will supersede all present national governments at the time of the resurrection of the dead (Rev. 11:15-18). This is the moment to mention another devastating confusion which has hit some systems of Bible teaching. It is sometimes said that the Kingdoms of this world have already become the Kingdom of God and of His Messiah. This is fundamentally untrue. It is only when the seventh angel sounds the resurrection trumpet to summon the dead from the graves that the rulership of the present world passes fully into the hands of Jesus. Revelation 11:15-18 is an absolutely sure anchor of truth in relation to the Kingdom, the heart of the Gospel.
The Kingdom of God is in fact the heart of the new covenant which Jesus ratified in his blood by dying for the sins of all men. Just as Moses in Exodus 24 rehearsed all the words of the covenant in the presence of the people, and then poured blood on the document containing the covenant and on the people, so Jesus as the ultimate Moses laid out his Kingdom/Gospel/words before the people and then in the presence of those who had accepted it he prepared to pour out his own blood to ratify and seal that new covenant. What specifically is the content of the covenant? Jesus made it more than clear. “Just as my Father covenanted with me to give me the Kingdom, so I now covenant with you to give you the Kingdom, and you will be seated on twelve thrones to administer the tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:29, 30). There is the heart of the Gospel and the heart of the covenant.
Everything Jesus taught focused on the Kingdom and the invitation issued to us all to take part in that Kingdom and in its administration of the world — the world as it will be renewed at the great restoration promised in Acts 3:21: Jesus must be retained in heaven, said Peter, “until the time comes for the restoration of all things as declared by the prophets.”
To that great moment Christians are to look forward in joyful anticipation. The distress of the present time “cannot be compared with the glory which will be revealed in the Sons of God” (Rom. 8:18), immortalized at the resurrection and presented to Jesus as co-heirs and rulers of his coming Kingdom.
This article was taken from:
Responding to Jesus

Fitting the Pieces Together into a Harmonious Whole

Fitting the Pieces Together into a Harmonious Whole

During forty years involvement in the field of biblical studies and teaching, I have noticed that many Christians do not follow the fine example set by the Bereans in Acts 17:11: “They searched the Scriptures daily to see if what Paul was saying was true; so many of them became Christians.” Many today, however, simply believe what they have been told.
Take the issue of what happens when we die. Ask a typical churchgoer and he will quote the words of Jesus to the [criminal]:
“Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). This is supposed to settle the question with finality.
But the problem is this: Luke 23:43 is a fraction of the total biblical evidence available for study. Nevertheless many will settle for an easy “solution.” That verse obviously proves, they think, that Jesus and the [criminal] departed at the moment of death into the presence of the Father in heaven. On that basis, churchgoers are exhorted to believe that they too will survive death as “souls” and pass on to celestial regions.
Imagine a conversation between a child and her mother: “Mommy, where did Jesus go the day he died?” “Well, to heaven to be with God, dear. Do you remember he said that he and the thief would be together that day in Paradise?”
“But wait, Mommy, do you remember that Jesus earlier said that he would ‘be three days in the heart of the earth’? If he was in the heart of the earth, how can he have been with the Father in heaven?”
“Well, dear, perhaps Jesus’ spirit was with the Father while his body was in the heart of the earth.”
“But how can that be, Mommy? Three days after the day Jesus died he said to his friends: ‘I (Jesus) have not yet ascended to the Father.’ How could he possibly have gone to heaven to the Father, if three days later he said he had not yet ascended to the Father?”
Mommy’s attempt to answer the difficulty includes an immense and unproven assumption: that in the Bible a person can go on existing consciously as a “spirit” or “soul” separated from their body. For Mommy’s “solution” to be true that assumption must be biblically demonstrated. But the “departed soul” concept owes its origin to Platonic philosophy and not to the Bible at all.
The Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary says correctly: “No biblical text authorizes the idea that the soul separates from the body at death” (Vol. 1, p. 802).
So what is the solution to our question about what happens when we die? First we must lay out the facts:
1) Jesus apparently said that he would be on the day of his death with the [criminal] in the presence of the Father (Luke 23:43).

2) Jesus said with complete clarity that he would be in the heart of the earth when he died and remain there for three days (Matt. 12:40).

3) Peter confirms this by saying that God did not leave Jesus in the world of the dead, Hades (Acts 2:31). This proves that Jesus did indeed go to the world of the dead. But God did not leave him there. He brought him out of the tomb by resurrection three days after he died.

4) When the women arrived at the tomb, the angel said, “He is not here. He has risen from the dead” (Matt. 28:6). This proves that Jesus had indeed been in the tomb until he was resurrected.

5) On the Sunday after his death, Jesus expressly said: “I have not yet ascended to my Father” (John 20:17). So he could not possibly have been to heaven before ... Sunday.

Here is what the evidence presents:
Points 2-5 demonstrate that Jesus went to the grave at his death and that he did not go to the Father in heaven the day he died.
Point 1 alone (the very point which most rely on almost instinctively) appears to contradict the evidence of points 2-5.
How shall we resolve the problem?
The Bible does not contradict itself. If Jesus was in the heart of the earth he cannot have been with the Father in Paradise (the text does not say, as many assume, “heaven”).
Here is the solution which resolves the apparent contradiction.
What Jesus actually said to the [criminal] ... was: “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.” Punctuating the sentence that way — putting the comma after “today” — makes sense of the immediate context and brings the statement into line with Jesus’ other clear statements that he did not go anywhere other than to the grave that day — the day of his and the [criminal’s] death.
Now we are ready to follow the whole of Jesus’ conversation with the [criminal]:
The [criminal], in a repentant frame of mind, begs Jesus: “Lord, remember me
when you come [in the future] bringing in your Kingdom.” His request was to be remembered on the future day of the arrival of Jesus to set up the Kingdom of God, the Christian hope. The [criminal] demonstrated faith in the Gospel: firstly, that the Kingdom of God is coming and secondly that Jesus was the Messiah.
Jesus graciously gave the thief more than he asked. He said: “Truly I assure you today [you don’t have to wait to be remembered in the future], you will indeed be with me in the future Paradise [of the Kingdom of God on earth].” Paradise is the restored garden of Eden in the renewed earth of the Kingdom which Jesus will bring at his second coming (Rev. 2:7). Jesus equated Paradise, which he promised the thief, with the Kingdom of God in which the thief requested a place.
Jesus did not go to heaven at death. No one in the Bible goes to heaven at death. Everyone goes to the grave, the world of the dead (Hades), to await the resurrection which will occur when Jesus comes back to establish his Kingdom.
As I Corinthians 15:23 says so beautifully: “Those who belong to Christ will be resurrected at his coming.” Until then they remain in the grave (Hades), the residence of all the dead, including Jesus when he died, until they are called out of Hades as Jesus was three days after his death. Only Jesus has so far emerged from Hades into immortality. He did this on the third day, the day of his resurrection.
Now back to the “problem” of Luke 23:43, so often quoted as a supposed proof of an immediate presence of the soul in heaven, in contradiction to the plain statements that Jesus did not go to the Father the day he died.
In many New Testament Greek manuscripts the words are written without gaps and without punctuation. So Luke 23:43 would look like this: TRULYISAYTOYOUTODAYYOUWILLBEWITHMEINPARADISE.
Where shall we put the comma?
1) After “today” and read: “Truly I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise.”

2) After “to you” and read: “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

In some very early manuscripts of the Bible there is some indication of punctuation, as we shall explain.
We must investigate all the evidence before making up our minds on a biblical teaching. The Truth sets us free (John 8:32). Christians are those who believe what is true.
There are examples of the phrase “I say to you today…” elsewhere in the Bible. The phrase is used to convey solemn emphasis. In Deuteronomy 30:16, 18, 19 we read:
“I command you this day....”
“I declare to you this day....”
“I call heaven and earth to witness to you this day....”
And in the New Testament Acts 20:26 provides a parallel: “I solemnly witness to you this very day....”
Further examples will be found in Deut. 4:26, 39, 40; 6:6; 7:11; 8:1, 11, 19; 9:3; 10:13; 11:2, 8, 13, 26, 27, 28, 32; 13:18; 15:5; 19:9; 26:3, 16, 18; 27:1, 4, 10; 28:1, 13, 14, 15; 29:12; 30:2, 8, 11, 15, 16, 18, 19; 32:46.
Observe also Gen. 25:33: “Swear to me today…” Gen. 22:14: “that they might say today…” Gen. 41:9: “I today remember…” Deut. 9:6: “Today you will know…” Deut. 29:10: “Today you all stand…” Deut. 30:6: “I announce to you today….”
Detailed punctuation in the Bible has been added by translators and it can drastically affect the meaning of the text. ... It is only reasonable to repunctuate Luke 23:43 in a way which makes it harmonize with everything else the Bible says about death and Resurrection.
Daniel 12:2 and John 5:28, 29 remain as solemn testimonies to the fact that the dead are not in heaven, but that they rise from the ground or their tombs on the future great Resurrection day:
“Many of those who are sleeping in the dust of the ground shall arise…to everlasting life…”
“The hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice, those who have done good to a resurrection of life…”
Nothing should be allowed to disturb the central biblical doctrine of the future Resurrection of all the faithful from the sleep of death to life in the Kingdom of God. This stupendous event will occur when Jesus returns (1 Cor. 15:23).
Many of the Greek manuscripts of the Bible do not have punctuation. However, some very early manuscripts do have some marks of punctuation. In the Vatican Codex (4th century) there is evidence of a comma after the word “today.” And in the Curetonian version of the Syriac translation of Luke (5th century), we read “Amen, I say to you today, that with me you will be in the Garden of Eden.”
A German translation of the Bible, published in 1934 by Wilhelm Michaelis (Kroner Verlag, Leipzig) renders Luke 23:43 as follows: “Truly I give you my assurance today: You will one day be with me in Paradise.” The author adds this comment in a footnote: “Jesus does not wait until the last day, but promises the thief even now (‘today’ should probably be attached to the first part of the sentence) that his request will be granted. Paradise occurs in the NT only in 2 Cor. 12:4 and Rev. 2:7 and is the equivalent of everlasting life or Kingdom of God” (translation from the German mine). The Rotherham Bible (1895, reprinted in 1974) reads as follows: “Verily I say unto thee this day: With me shalt thou be in Paradise.” The official translation of the Roman Catholics, the Latin Vulgate, does not place a comma anywhere in this verse. It thus avoids the false impression that Jesus was in heaven on the day of his death.
The celebrated Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. 5, p. 385, says: “Paradise, as used in Luke 23:43..., is evidently not heaven (John 20:17, Acts 2:31).” In other words John 20:17 and Acts 2:31 show that Jesus could not have gone to the Father in heaven on the day of his death. And similarly, no Christian goes immediately to heaven at death.
This fact has not prevented popular preaching of Luke 23:43 as a guarantee of “heaven at death” for the believer.
As with all “restorationist” movements our purpose is to alert our fellow Bible readers to the paganism which has crept into the faith. We cannot think that serious Christians will be satisfied with the status quo once they are informed of doctrines which masquerade as truth, however popular. Popular phrases such as “so and so has passed on, gone home, gone to be with Jesus in heaven” do not reflect the teaching of Jesus at all. They have more in common with spiritism and illicit raising of the dead and are condemned in Scripture as worthless and dangerous.
We ask only for a fair examination of the facts and there is a vast quantity of additional evidence available.
This article was taken from:
Fitting the Pieces Together into a Harmonious Whole