Spickard's Signs of the Times

Increase Your Faith...Know the Signs of the Times

Perspectives on Prophecy

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What Time is It ? Volume 1, Part 1

              What time is it ?  Do you have the time ? Do you know what time it is  ? Our reckoning of time is sometimes based on important events. The way we divide ancient history, for example, is termed "B.C."  and " A.D." "B.C." stands for  the time before Christ. "A. D." represents the Latin phrase, "anno domini." This means "the year of our Lord," speaking of Christ. God reckons time much the same way. God has had many different time frames or epochs, or ages. For instance, the World before the Flood was called the "Antedeluvian Age." This was a time that followed the Creation Account in the Book of Genesis. The Earth possessed a different kind of climate then. There was no rain for example. The climate of the Earth was similar to a large humidifier. If you have ever ventured out early in the morning in South Florida, you would see great droplets of condensation on parked cars, shrubs, trees, and other foliage. This is kind of how the earth was watered then in that Age before the Flood. That Age came to an end as a result of a change in climate as Rain flooded the Earth, with only Noah and his family  being preserved by God.                                                               

 Noah preaching to the Antedeluvians about climatic changes that would change the earth's climate and would destroy them by the medium of water. Rain had never fallen before from the skies, nor waterspouts erupted from the earth, thus the Antedeluvians were incredulous at Noah's  assertions.  As a result, they daily mocked and jeered Noah in his construction of an Ark upon  dry land.

 

After the Antedeluvian Age, then  the Age of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and his twelve sons, ensued. Then following this, was Israel's sojourn in Egypt, for a time period of 400 years until the Time of Moses and Joshua. This was followed by the Time of the Judges, then the Time of the Kings. The Time of the Prophets started almost concurrently with the Times of the Kings. The Times of the Prophets continued through the captivities of Israel and Judah,  through Ezekiel and Daniel and then what was known as the Minor Prophets.The last Minor Prophet was Malachi. He prophesied that a Prophet would come, like unto Elijah.

Heralding the Gospel Age

Because of the disobedience of Israel and Judah, they were subject to  the captivities of the Babylonians, Medes and Persians, Greeks, and the Romans. As a result, there was no Prophet nor voice from God for over 400 years. Finally, there appeared this Elijah-type Prophet. He was John the Baptist (right). John started to announce another Time, that of the Kingdom of God. John was also a forerunner for Jesus Christ. Christ also announced this future Time, the Age of the Kingdom of God. This is what is known as the Gospel, or "good news" of the Kingdom of God.

The Last, or Latter Days, Becomes the "End  Times" ....

This Age of the Gospel is also termed by Paul the Apostle and the Apostle John, as the "Last, or Latter Days."  The Latter Days have been going on for nearly two millennia. However, there has been changes to that. The Very last part of the "Latter Days" is called the "End Times."  This is a brief time period, ordained by God, that is just preceding the Return of Christ. This "End Time" Time Period commenced in 1967 when the nation of Israel took the remaining third of the city of Jerusalem from the nation of Jordan in what is known as the Six-Day War. From this time, June 1967, there has been ushered in... 'the End Times." Jesus spoke of this particular time in the latter verses in Luke 21. This is perhaps, one of the most critical, perilous, and yet intriguing times ever to take place.  This "End Time Period"  is incredibly significant as it precedes the Return of Christ, to set up the aforementioned Time Period, known as the Kingdom of God.

What Time is It ? ... It is the "End Time..."

There has never been a time like this Time. It is not on a watch, or a calendar, or in a Farmer's Almanac. It cannot be measured by the ticking of a clock or the movement of an atomic timepiece. It is wholly under the control of God. This  peculiar time period has surreal qualities. It can seem as if it will never end, yet speed up exponentially where we cannot keep up. There are yet several "Signs"  that give us clues, as people of faith, as where we are at in this "End Time." ONE of these "signs" is similar to that in Noah's Day.... is climate change. This climate change is not due to fossil emissions or man's uncontrolled pollution of the environment... it is a result of Prophecy.

Next time, I will show more "signs of the times" in which we live in.

  The Apostle Peter spoke of how the present order , or man's systems, will be held in reserve for God's Judgments in the End Times. Peter spoke of a "World on Fire."  ( 2 Peter 3).

 

Perspectives ...  Vol. 1 No. 2

 

MANY SIGNS ... WHICH ONES ARE WE TO LOOK FOR  ? ....Ask most professing Christians this question... and you may receive a plethora of answers. Indeed, there is amazingly no definite consensus, unlike the early Christian believers in Jerusalem who knew exactly what signs to look for. These "Signs" were given  by Jesus in what is called the Synoptic Gospels, or Matthew, Mark,  and Luke, in what is known as the "Olivet Discourse," to Bible scholars.  Here, in this discourse, Jesus outlined the future for His Disciples by prefacing their questions by unequivocally stating that the Temple in Jerusalem would be totally destroyed... "not one stone left upon another, that shall not be thrown down" (Matthew 24:2b).  This  piqued, understandably the curiosity and concern of the Disciples, and they asked Him, ..."When will these things be (i.e., the Destruction of the Temple and the Sacking of the city of Jerusalem), AND what shall be the Signs of your Coming, and of the End of the Age"  (Matt. 24:3). Jesus then preceded in loose chronological order the Events to follow. He told of many who would come in His Name,  claiming to be the Messiah, or Christ.  The historian Josephus, tells in some detail, of the many who did this, as also references in the very Scriptures indicate ( Acts 5:36-37; and 21:38...which Commentator Albert Barnes elaborates), that this phenomenon was already occurring.

                           
            Jesus told also of political unrest, rebellions, wars, and natural disasters that would happen.  These events would precede the Desolation of Jerusalem, the Destruction of the Temple, and the Dispersion of the Jewish People, known as the "Diaspora,"  by the Roman Army, which was predicted by the Prophet Moses in Deuteronomy 28. These "Curses for their national disobedience" have been fulfilled upon the Jewish Polity in A.D. 70 and are specifically referred to in the same chapter of  Deuteronomy, in verses 49-57.  Again, Josephus documents these very judgments, or "curses" upon the Jews  in  his chronicles of the Roman invasion of Palestine.  Christ was referring  to these  Judgments  of  the  Jewish  Nation, when   He told   His   Disciples  to  pray  for  specific  conditions so that they might be able to escape from Jerusalem before being trapped inside by the invading Roman Army.
                                                                     
 

   Jesus told His Disciples of specific "signs"  that would precede the Destruction of the Jewish Temple that the Disciples well understood . He also warned them to pray for specific conditions such as "not taking flight in the winter, nor on a Sabbath Day, nor be pregnant or nursing," which might hinder their escape. These instructions were for 1st  Century Jewish Christians...not 21st Century Gentiles or Jews who do not observe Mosaic Law to any extent in secular matters. 

 

What "Signs" Are We to Follow Today ?

 In these same Synoptic Gospel accounts, Jesus went on to discuss further "signs"  that would lead up to the "End of the Age"  to the very "Signs of His Coming."  In these accounts, Christ talked about the "Times of the Gentiles being  Fulfilled or Ended," once all of Jerusalem was  again controlled by the Jewish People,  which event took place in 1967, following the Six-Day War.  This implies that changes have been taking place, in which the Gentile Powers, or Nations, would be somewhat less dominant than they had been previously in their heyday, especially in spiritual matters such as the Presentation of the Gospel and the edification of a True Church.  Jesus  told of the Sign or "Parable of the Fig Tree."  This was fulfilled when Israel became a nation in 1947.  Jesus said that when this occurred... that "Summer was nigh..." This implies that the "Harvest" is to follow... which Harvest is alluded to in the Parable of the Wheat and Tares in Matthew 13:25-30; 13:36-43.  This  "Harvest" is spoken elsewhere in the Scripture, and will precede the Lord's Coming. This is also known as the "Latter Rain Outpouring, or Revival."  Christ also stated that before His Second  Coming  that world conditions would be as ..."it was in the Days of Noah, "... and in the Luke account, ..." the  Days of Lot,..."   In these respective eras of Noah and Lot, there was little restraint to the wickedness and perversion of mankind, along with the sodomy and sexual license of fertility worship of Satan through pagan gods or  Idols, which  involved extensive human child sacrifice.  Incredibly,  conditions are being met for that very same phenomenon today,  which is being planned for the near future by the imaginations of powerful and corrupt men.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus had a very busy week before His Passion. Right, first He triumphantly enters Jerusalem, as a future type of King, and fulfills Prophecy by doing so (most notably...Zechariah 9:9). Next,   (above)  He cleans out the Temple for the second time in His Ministry, by casting out the Moneychangers, or Exchange Bankers, and their commercial lackeys. This is also a type... Christ will be doing the same again,,, during the Latter Day Outpouring,.. removing the Moneychangers out of the Popular Church...as prophesied by His brother, James, in the 5th chapter of his general Epistle. The Modern Moneychangers, called the "Rich Men" by James, though immensely rich, will be reduced to "weeping and howling," and their "wealth availing them no benefit," despite their grandiose plots and long-range plans being almost perpetrated, in making humankind their slaves. Christian Believers are told to be patient until this Great Latter Day Revival, which will turn out these Evil Men and their Machinations... who will be destroyed by the "Lord God of Sabaoth (Armies)" for the last and FINAL time ! 

 
Jesus then told His Disciples  to watch for "signs in the Sun, ...Moon...and in the Stars, or Heavens...and Upon the Earth"  which would cause "distress among the nations,"  and leave humankind bewildered, "with  perplexity;  the sea (rising ) and waves"  (risingand violently "roaring,"  exceeding their past boundaries. These Phenomena would occur by concurrent events, one exceeding the next, and as such, would cause "men's hearts to fail them for anxiety and fear in observing such things coming and more  such coming upon the Earth...."

                Thus,  it is evident that if these same  Early Believers were living today that Jesus had told these things to, that they would,  in stark contrast to popular believers today, have a clear idea and uniform consensus on what Signs that they would be looking  for and following  ....           

                                                                                                               ....  Do You ?

 

 A SIGN OF THE SUN ! ....This amazing phenonmenon captured by a photographer, ...occurred  only  recently,...perhaps, for the first time....as I  have never seen such a spectacle, nor anyone that I have asked before. This is being described as a "Sunset  Rainbow." Will there be more of this incredible sight or like it, as we witness  MORE  Signs   in  the  Sun, as Jesus prophesied  !

 

 Next time, I will show some more "signs" of the "last Days...,"  some of which are more obscure and not well known, if known at all.

 

 

Perspectives ... Volume 1  Number  3

 

<Sir Issac Newton, a genius in mathematics,  astronomy,  and  in physics  , has been discovered to be a profound Bible student and exegete. Newton wrote four million words on theology alone. This is a singular feat in itself,  as this was all written by hand.

The controlled Church says  little to nothing about a man who probably wrote more on theology than any man of organized Christianity  ever did. The sheer volume of Newton's work,  about four million words,  eclipses all others. He even reluctantly set a year date for an general approximation of the Return of Christ, apologizing for his temerity in doing so, but explaining that the Scriptures gave enough clues to do so, in his opinion.  What significance does Newton have for us in these End Times ?  Does his gift and genius extend to our times ?

Newton on the Prophecies

 Newton on the Prophecies


Newton said a few things about the End Times that hardly anyone has ever heard of nowadays.  He linked the Prophecies in Daniel with the Prophecies in the Book of Revelation. Because of his influence and that of Joseph Mede and others, the doctrine of Dispensationalism could not make a dent in Evangelical Christianity until the late 19th century.  Dispensationalism, or the Futurist interpretation of the Book of Revelation, was easily seen for what it was, a creation of Catholic Jesuits to counter the claims of the Reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Tyndale, and others. It was later re-packaged to a subverted Evangelical Christianity by the guile of the "Rich Men" to control popular Christianity, so that their agenda could be advanced.  This is evident today ...as no one exposes the origins of Futurism and Dispensationalism all the while such erroneous teachings discredit the Bible... which, by the way, is the plan of the "Rich Men."

 Newton predicted that in the End Times, that  " a body of men will be raised up, who will turn attention to the Prophecies, in the midst of much clamor and opposition." Climate change with related freak natural disasters; the spectre of pestilences... both natural and man-made; prospects of imminent starvation or famine from  developing food crises; the outlook of endless war and conflict; continued swift descent into moral depravity and lawlessness, and collapsing public confidence in  institutions and governments are generating increasing interest in Bible Prophecy. This interest in Prophecy is precipitating a need for clear and coherent interpretation of Prophecy, not from controlled religious agendas, but from men endowed with "spiritual gifts." Thus, the stage is being set for such Heralds. 

                           Newton believed  that there had been  an apostasy from  the Original Gospel. He believed that a Restoration of the True Gospel was necessary to restore a pristine Church or symbolic bride, to be received by Christ at His Return.                                            

 

< In the Book of Revelation (14:6), there John describes seeing an Angel " fly in the midst of heaven, HAVING THE EVERLASTING (age-lasting) GOSPEL to PREACH  unto them that dwell on the earth, ..to every nation,... kindred... tongue, and people..." What does this mean or signify ? 

What is the Everlasting Gospel ?

 The Everlasting or True, Gospel

The Everlasting Gospel is introduced in the 14th chapter of the Book of Revelation.  It will be promulgated by the agency of Preaching under prophetic or anointed inspiration. It is implied by the text that it is not a divided Church Gospel. This Gospel is ONE that is preached with authority to all the world, nations, kindreds, peoples, and tongues. It is apparent, by implication, that the kind of  Gospel that has been preached prior to this Everlasting Gospel is/was not sufficient nor qualified to do an End Time Work.  This Everlasting Gospel  is a revelatory message. It comes from heaven and is monitored by Angels to whom it is charged to through the agency of anointed preaching by anointed men.  It will effect a worldwide Revival, also known as the " Latter Rain Outpouring." It will also effect several Divine Judgments in the Earth, such as the Overthrow of Great Babylon ; indignation upon those who have worshipped the Beast and its Image ; and the Vine of the Earth : which is all prophetic symbolic language that depicts the destruction of the Wicked and the end of human control on earth.

Everlasting or True Gospel to be Preached in the 21st Century !

  True Gospel to be Preached Again in the 21st Century !

 

Newton believed that at the fulfillment of the 1260 year period (Historicist interpreters of Revelation like Mede, Newton, and all of the Protestant Reformers, believed the "1260 days"  were "a day  for a year," or a 1260 year "Gentile" time frame... based on the Julian Calendar), as noted by both the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation, the End Time Period would be at hand. The End Times would signify a turn of events and that one of these events would be that the "True Gospel" would be restored and preached once again during a brief time period... which would herald the Coming of Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth. 

 

                                                Newton wrote, in his estimation, that the... "True Gospel" was not to be preached until after the beginnings of the 21st Century.... and Newton maintained that it would be of such a magnitude of spiritual power, that the then present Protestant Reformation of his day, would be reduced to irrelevancy in the annals of Church history...

 

 What will be the content of this "true Gospel," or the "Everlasting Gospel"? What will be some singular features of this Gospel ?  Will it coincide with the "Latter Rain Outpouring," or Revival, or precede it ? I will give my thoughts on this in the next installment. 

Perspectives ....Vol.1 Number 4

 

When Peter (left), preached on the Day of Pentecost after receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, he introduced the fulfillment of the first part of Joel's Prophecy, namely the "Early Rain Outpouring," or Revival, saying " This is That (the Upper Room Outpouring) which was spoken of the Prophet Joel...." (Acts 2:16).  The second part, or what is termed "Exhaustive Fulfillment" of the Prophecy of Joel, is referred to as the "Latter Rain Outpouring,"  and is yet to be fulfilled !  Just as Peter had the Message of the Apostolic Gospel that day, so shall the Advent of the Latter Rain Outpouring have similar dynamics : It shall be an Apostolic, or Everlasting (lit. "age-lasting") Gospel.  This Gospel, just as its predecessor on the Day of Pentecost, will be marked by an Outpouring of the Holy Spirit. However, the "Early Rain Outpouring" was only local in scope, first in Jerusalem, and then its later effects throughout Judea. Finally, it was introduced to the Gentiles at Cornelius' household  in Caesaria, where they had an near identical outpouring as like the Upper Room (Acts 10:44-45). There was a limited, but further extent of this Early Rain Outpouring in Paul's Missionary forays.




                                       

The Early Rain Period Ends...

 The Early Rain Ends... & Gentile Apostasy Begins...

 

As a result of the Destruction of Jerusalem, the Period of the Prophecy of Joel regarding the Advent of the Outpouring of the Early Rain ended. The control of the Church became more and more effectively held by Gentile believers. There was no centralized location of Jewish Messianic believers, as Jerusalem had been, as a sphere of influence over Gentile believers as demonstrated earlier during Paul's ministry (Acts 15; Galatians 2). The Jewish Messianic believers, who heeded Christ's warning to flee Jerusalem before the siege of the Roman Armies in AD 67-70, became scattered primarily east beyond the Jordan River in Peraea and later, in the region of Syria.  Thus, the Gospel  started to take on increasingly Gentile Cultural influences as it was weaned more and more from Jewish beliefs and culture that were the original components of the Gospel. After all, the founders of Christianity, Christ  and His Apostles, were First-Century Orthodox Jews. These Apostles were responsible for nearly all the writings that we call the New Testament.

                                                                    

 

 < After the Destruction of the Jewish Polity in AD 70, as predicted by Christ in each of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 24; Luke 21; Mark 13), which included the Sacking of Jerusalem, the  total dismantling of the Jewish Temple and its Worship System, and the Diaspora of the Jewish Remnant, ...the Period of the Early Rain was effectively ended...

 

                        An example of the burgeoning Gentile influence, was the issue of a literal Kingdom of God upon earth, uniformly taught by the Messianic Jewish leaders and disciples. In a little more than two centuries after AD 70, this was universally rejected by Gentile Church leadership and taught only in an allegorical sense. Those that still held the original belief of a literal Kingdom, as taught by Christ and the Apostles, were mocked and esteemed grossly ignorant and stupid, by Gentile Clergy ( see Eusebius' History of the Church, translated by Williamson, p. 152).
 
                                       Indeed, another early Christian historian, Hegesippus, writes in the latter half of the second century in his "Reminiscences," that the Orthodoxy of the Jewish Messianic, or Christian  Church ( the word, Christian, was a Gentile or Greek appellation; Messianic was of Jewish origin at Jerusalem "still" prevailed in the Gentile Catholic Church (see B.W. Bacon's Studies in Matthew, p. 482, Henry Holt & Co., 1925 ; also, the term,  Catholic here does not refer to the Roman Catholic church, but was a general term for the Universal Christian Church that existed at that time...the word or term, "catholic" means "universal" ).  However, this opinion of Hegesippus contradicts what Paul, Peter, Jude, and a generation later, John the Elder said, about an imminent Apostasy taking place that would corrupt the Messianic Orthodoxy as taught by the Apostles. (For additional details, look at the "Signs & Wonders" page on this website:  http://www.spickardssigns.com/signswonders.htm#172779254 & http://www.spickardssigns.com/signswonders.htm#603431190 as I cover this to an extent there also). Moreover, even these claims that Hegesippus made were completely abandoned less than a century later by Gentile Clergy. In the years following, instead of relying on the Authority of the Scriptures, the Gentile Church convened great Councils and created belief statements known as Creeds, that further separated the Gentile Church from that of the original beliefs of the Jewish Messianic Church in Jerusalem under the leadership of James and Jude, Christ's brothers,  and Peter, the Chief Apostle of the Twelve. In her book, The Social Origins of Christianity (p. 27-28), Shirley J. Case remarks that,  "Not only was the social environment of the Christian movement largely Gentile well before the end of the First Century, but it had severed almost any earlier bonds of social contact with the Jewish Christians of Palestine... By the year  AD 100, Christianity was mainly a Gentile Religious Movement... living together in a common Gentile social environment." 
 

Messianic  Orthodox  Jewish  Believers

Messianic Orthodox Jewish Believers

Reader, ask yourself this...that if Christ and His early Believers were Messianic Orthodox Jewish believers, and that was the standard and background of their Belief System... then why has the Gentile Church been teaching "Orthodox"(?) views that are OPPOSITE Orthodox Jewish Views ?
                                                Indeed, what the Gentile Church calls and CONDEMNS as "heterodoxy," IS IN FACT, in many facets, THE ORIGINAL ORTHODOXY or TEACHING of the EARLY CHURCH !!!  
                                                 Now, with this revelation in hand, we can understand why there is NO PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ON A CONSISTENT BASIS IN THE GENTILE CHURCH... NOW, or for that matter, ANYTIME IN ITS HISTORY. Reader, you may object vehemently to this, but just look at the History of Revivals in the Gentile Church and you will find such Movings of the Holy Spirit WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE THE CHURCH SYSTEM... and WHEN the Revival or Moving of the Holy Spirit subsided, due to man's control and ORTHODOXY... that FORMER MOVING of the SPIRIT became ORGANIZED and ACCEPTED as PART of the Church System ! 
 
Reader, If Believers were to return to the Orthodox Jewish Faith of the First Century Messianic Church, and reject the TRUE Heterodoxy of the Gentile Church... which is really Greek Pagan and Greek Metaphysical Thought  coupled with "fables" from Judaizing Messianic Jews, who the Apostle Paul withstood (Acts 15, Galatians 2)... Then would this be the CONCEPT and BASIS of the Everlasting Gospel that WILL BE PREACHED AGAIN in the Earth, so that a PRISTINE BRIDE or Church, will be READY for Christ's Return ? 

Some Further Effects of "Gentile Christianity"....

 Effects of "Gentile Christianity"....

In their excellent introductory book on this subject , Pagan Christianity, authors Frank Viola and George Barna list several details about Early Christian or Messianic Church practices. Here are a few :

~ The Early Church often met in homes or outdoors for fellowship and Gospel meetings.

~ The Church gatherings were OPEN to all who wished to participate (which the Jewish Synagogue was a model of in this aspect ).

 

< Jesus preaching in the Synagogue in Capernaum, left, and Paul preaching in the Synagogue in Thessalonica, right. The "closed-door" policy of the Gentile Churches and denominational sects would never allow a stranger like Christ or Paul to speak without their teachings being strenuously examined..., and thus rejected before they ever had the opportunity to speak. This was not so in the early First Century period of the Jewish Synagogue. All Jewish males had the right  and opportunity to speak as they wished. Shouldn't Christians be allowed to speak in their assemblies as in the same manner as in the First Century Messianic Church without being interrogated like a victim of the Gestapo by their "pastor." And if not, ...which is the case... then WHOSE Church is it anyway ? Man's,  or the Holy Spirit under the HEADSHIP of Jesus Christ !  It is apparent with the lack of the Holy Spirit in the assemblies of "popular" Christianity, that MAN IS, under the headship of the Carnal and Serpent Mind, who always seeks to CONTROL and SUBJUGATE people.

                                                
~  Spiritual Gifts were employed by each member.

~ They saw themselves as a family and community in which nearly all was shared in common.

~ They had a plurality of elders to assist, and oversee, by example (1 Peter 5:1-3).

~ They were established and aided by itinerant Apostolic workers.

~ They were united and did not denominate themselves into separate organizations within the same locale.

~ They did not use "titles of honor" such as "Father, Papa, His Holiness, His Eminence, the Pope or Reverend."

~ They did not organize themselves hierarchically (Matthew 20:25-28; Luke 22:25-26).

 What ?  The Messianic, or Early First Century Church was not originally formed as a hierarchy ? The Christian Church today, is probably the best example of hierarchal leadership, and is how all businesses operate, in the world. That is one of the main reasons that is so stagnant, lifeless, and ineffectual to withstand the rising  tide of immorality and depravity in the world today.

                         Christ's Disciples twice fought over who would be the "Greatest" in Christ's Kingdom. Following the second controversy over this, Christ addressed this issue by comparing their wish  with the desire of Control and Influence that the Rulers of the Gentiles, or Gentiles, use in exercising and extending their authority and dominion over the peoples subject to them. This comparison of them to Gentiles proved to be an effective reproof. It was an affront to pious Jews to be labeled or compared to the Gentiles in some excess or fault. As a consequence, the Disciples never again desired authority and leadership over each other.

 

 < In Luke's Gospel account (chapter 22), the setting of Christ discussing the tendency of the Gentiles to dominate and rule, took place during the Last Supper. In Alfred Edersheim's classic "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah," Edersheim advocates that Judas Iscariot was the instigator of this argument (p.474, 494, Book V). This also can be deduced from verses 23 - 24. For as soon as Jesus declared that there was a traitor among them, Judas used this diversion to keep him from being identified as the Betrayer by the other Disciples ! Indeed, Judas instigated this argument with Peter, who was ashamed and took the lowest seat as a result, while Judas took the highest seat at the table. The explanation by Christ of the "least being the greatest" further alienated Judas, and as soon as he was prompted by Christ, Judas left to perpetrate the betrayal.  Judas found  despite being the "treasurer," or holding the money bag, that being a covetous thief was not enough. As it is for the Rich, they like to have control also, and when Judas found that Christ could not be handled, he felt that Jesus was  what His family had thought (Mark 3:21; John 7:3-5 ESV), becoming increasingly out of control, and wholly independent from influence of the Natural Mind, or Thinking of Men.

 
Yet it remains that the Gentiles, as Christ pointed out, have a distinct inclination and nature to tend to  dominate and rule others. This is exactly what has happened to the Church when the Culture of the Church moved from Jewish Messianic influence to Gentile control.  Christ taught His Disciples that "whosoever will be Great among you, shall be your minister... or servant of all. For the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister to others, and to give His life a ransom for all " (Mark 10:43-45). But as soon as the Gentiles took reins of the Church, this soon changed, and has been ever since. 

 

Being "Lords over the Flock".....

 "Lords over the Flock"

The New Testament tells  of some basic organization in the Messianic early Church. The churches were formed by Apostles, who when they left to go elsewhere to further evangelize, laid hands on those that were of "honest report, full of the Holy Spirit, and wisdom" to take responsibility of the Work. These men were called "Elders." They had the maturity and godliness to be "Examples" to the fellowship. Paul also talked about the office of a Bishop, in his letter to Timothy.  The titles, "bishop" and "elder" were the same office. The term, "bishop" is from the Greek, whereas "elder" is from the Jewish culture of the Synagogue. Another office in the Church, is that of a  Deacon. A Deacon corresponds to the same as a bishop or elder, yet signifies younger, active men, who assist the Elders. In Acts 6, the Bible records the calling of seven young men, as deacons, to assist in the ministration of daily bread among the Hellenist and native Jewish widows. One of these "table servers" was the Martyr, Stephen.

                        In less than two generations after the Destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, these terms, "bishop" and "elder" became altogether different roles, and were defined altogether differently. Instead of being "servants" to the Flock, they were now its "lords" and "rulers." I will examine the new roles of  "bishop" and "elder," and several  other changes in the Gentile Christian Church from its Jewish predecessor in the next installment, in which  I will reveal just what sin Christ "expressly hates" (present tense). It is still going on today, despite Christ's admonition, to the shame of the popular Church.