my life 4 jesus.co.za
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The Bible teaches inarguably that heaven is a real place in the spirit world and that Jesus, in His glorified, resurrected body, ascended into heaven “While they watched,” and two real supernatural angels “stood by them and said, ‘Why are you gazing up into heaven? ...Jesus, Who was taken up from you into heaven, will so return in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven,” (Acts 1:9-11.)
Rev. 21:9-27 describes heaven as “the city of God,” which measures 2,225 km in length, width and height, ‘according to the [literal’ measure of a man!’ Heaven is the awesome dwelling-place of Almighty God. And so, the minds of apostles can never contain this supernatural place!
The kingdom of heaven, according to the whole context of the Bible, is always described as being somewhere above the clouds ‘up there.’ If heaven were not ‘up there’ somewhere above the physical clouds, we would have to pray to ‘the god in us,’ not to “our Father in heaven.” Or to the god ‘in our spiritual minds.’ Or to ourselves, who are “gods and christs.” This would constitute the Platonist, Hindu/Buddhist pantheist dogma of ‘god is in everything that lives. Thus, everything that lives is god.”
In Hinduism and Buddhism, heaven is actually called “nirvana,’ which is not a real place in the spirit world but a positive, enlightened, ‘heavenly’ state of mind. Jesus said in Lu. 17:21, “...The Kingdom of God, [which apostles blend with the kingdom of heaven,] is within you.” The Kingdom of God is God’s spiritual Kingdom, which resides in the born again human spirit (not the mind that supposedly ‘became spiritual,’) through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the Kingdom of God on earth is manifested through the preaching of the Biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ in those who sincerely believe and accept Jesus as their personal Lord, God, and Savior, (Mt. 28:19-20.) The “fruit of the Spirit” is the Godly behavior of sincerely born again believers, who possess the indwelling Holy Spirit as a spiritual temple of God, (Gal. 5:16-22; 1 Cor. 6:17-20.)
QUESTION: “What is darkness?” [or hell,] (Apostolic Answer: Darkness is a lack of knowledge, doubt, mindlessness, and this is darkness together with all its works.)
This description of darkness is pure pagan Platonism, as seen earlier in this study. Apostles avoid a direct interpretation of eternal hell as the Bible describes it.
However, the OAC member who tried to convert me explained, “Hell is the opposite of heaven, [the ‘enlightened,’ ‘heavenly’ state of mind or ‘nirvana.’] Hell is a dark state of mind. (Afrikaans: ‘n ‘donker’ gemoedstoestand.) A depressed, negative, tormenting, hopeless state of mind…”
One may sincerely ask, “What is the point of following any religion without personal responsibility, accountability, and punishment for willful disobedience to, and rejection of God: the Truth of His Word, His Son, and His Holy Spirit? Biblically, all of humankind, who lives without a relationship with God in Christ, is in spiritual and emotional darkness, but not in hell as yet. Still, all lack of knowledge, depression, and physical suffering, is definitely not eternal hell. It is mostly lostness without Christ; being in the deceptive power of the evil one, and belonging to the devil’s spiritual kingdom in this world, (Jn. 3:16-17; 1 Jn. 5:19.)
The Bible declares that the devil himself, who is a real, supernatural entity, and not the ‘unenlightened minds of mankind, is spiritual darkness. In the devil there is no light, life, or truth, (Jn. 8:44.) The devil is a spirit; a fallen angel, [not the kind that ‘fell’ from the original doctrines of the Apostolic churches,] and God made hell especially for the devil and his fallen angels who rebelled against God in time immemorial, (Rev. 12:3-4.) According to Jesus, humans, who choose to reject Him as their personal Lord, Savior, and Truth, will ultimately join the devil and his demons in the everlasting fires of hell, (Mt. 25:41.)
Hell is indeed described correctly in “the eternal existence thesis” and in the “no escape thesis” as a place of “unending conscious yet spiritual existence. [Quotations from: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.]
According to the context of Biblical truth, hell is a real location underneath the earth somewhere, (Phil. 2:10-11.) Of course hell, as heaven, cannot be understood in the same way as we understand the material world, but hell can never relate to a mere ‘state of mind’ within the ‘darkened mind,’ which has a ‘lack of knowledge’ concerning the Apostolic Movement’s ‘path to enlightenment.’ (Isa. 14:9; Lu. 16:24; 2 Pet. 3:7; Rev. 21:8.)
Other Christian philosophies, opposed to the Biblical concept of eternal punishment in hell, (such as had been adopted by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists,) take the form of ‘annihilation’ or the non-existence of their departed souls, who did not belong to their churches, called “soul-sleep.”
Similarly, departed members of the Apostolic Movement “cannot” face the final judgment seat of God, as described in Rev. 20:11-15. This is because their departed simply become “disembodied spirits and angels,” who float somewhere among (or in) the ’spiritual minds’ of their “body of christ” members.
QUESTION: “What is sin?” (Answer: All disobedience is sin and darkness.)
F.W. Werner wrote in the ‘Die Dwaling Van Die Apostelkerk,’ Published by ‘Evangelie Uitgewers, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, [translated from Afrikaans,] “This means that all disobedience to the apostle is sin. In fact, this the Apostle’s only sin,” as obedience to God’s Moral law of Love does not enter the minds of those who belong to the apostle’s ‘kingdom, (Jn. 13:34!)
The OAC and other Apostolic churches believe that the human race is sinful because their ‘natural’ minds lack ‘spiritual illumination’ by spiritualizing the whole Bible. To those who remain in ‘sin’ and ‘darkness’ as defined by Apostolic terminology, the ‘apostle’ has the ‘authority’ to turn an imaginary key’ in front of your fact to ‘lock the kingdom of god for you for all eternity!
Sorrowfully, apostles omit the fundamental teaching of Jesus that “all men have sinned [against God not against the worthless doctrines of men,] and all fall short of the glory of God, (Rom. 3:21-23.)
Sin is ‘hamartia;’ a place or state of sin and cursedness outside the presence of God, (Gal. 3:10-14.) The only wat to escape the true state of lostness, darkness and sin, is to believe in Jesus Christ and all He has done for us on the corss; to accept Him wholeheartedly, and to follow His eternal Word, the real contextual truth of the Scriptures, obediently.
No one except God Jesus Christ Himself has authority to shut the kingdom of God before those who disobey the contextual truth of GOD’S WORD, the Bible Scriptures.
No one except Jesus Himself has authority to send souls to eternal hell, and to lock them out of the real, scriptural heaven, as described in the Book of Revelation, chapters 21-22.
QUESTION: “Who can forgive sin? And how do we receive forgiveness?”
(Answer: Jesus Christ, through the living mouth of the Apostle, (Jn. 20:23...) We can only receive forgiveness through the speaking mouth of God, [the ‘Apostles,] because those whom God has sent, speak the Word of God, (Jn. 3:34.)
Footnote, Spirit Filled Bible, “Jesus’ disciples are to preach both the Way of salvation and the way of damnation, explaining how sinners can be forgiven and the danger of rejecting the Biblical Gospel of Christ. Whether or not the hearers’ sins are forgiven, depends on their personal acceptance or rejection of Jesus as their personal Lord, Savior, Redeemer and God. “In the forgiveness of sins, salvation and redemption, Jesus Alone is the “apostle and High Priest of our confession,” (Jn. 1:12-13; Heb. 3:1!)”
Eph. 1:17, “In [Jesus Christ Alone] we have the redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
Acts 4:12, “Nor is there salvation [or forgiveness] in an other [name but the Name of Jesus,] for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
As such, my challenging OAC member wrote, “OAC members have become ‘equal’ to Jesus.”
Apostle-salvation does not focus on the Jesus Christ of the Bible and His complete atonement in our place. It focuses on “the substance of Jesus [sinful] human nature,” or sacramental salvation in and through the so-called angelic, ‘godlike ‘apostles’ of the ‘apostle-body of Christ,’ who had become ‘Jesus Christ in the flesh.’
If this could be true, they can really justify their own ‘sinful nature,’ as Christ also allegedly had a sinful nature! What pathetic ‘christs’ they pretend to be!
Jesus was allegedly not resurrected bodily from the grave either, but ‘spiritually, 'in the substance of His human [meaning sinful] nature;’ in the Apostle members, not in a glorified, immortal body. And so, they all became christ “in the flesh;” Jesus’ equal; Jesus Christ or God Himself.
In reality, then, according to these apostles, Jesus remained dead in His grave for nearly 2,000 years, until their church came into existence during the 19th century. Only then could Jesus be resurrected ‘spiritually’ in the ‘spiritual’ minds of these people! However, Scripture plainly states that, just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish for 3 nights and three days, Jesus was in the grave for three literal nights and three literal days: 72 hours.
There can be only One God, the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible, and no one can compare to Him! Heb. 1:1-2 testifies, ‘God, Who spoke by the (Old Testament) prophets in times past, has in these last (New Testament days) spoken to us by His Son… Through Whom also He made the worlds...’
Christ Jesus, the Creator of the ‘worlds,’ created humanity “lower than the angels,” (Heb. 2:7.)
Still, apostles, so-called ‘spirits’ and ‘ministering angels,’ aren’t simply ‘temples of the Holy Spirit’ and therefore Jesus’ instruments to bring His Gospel-light to the world. They have become equal to Jesus. They have actually ‘become’ Jesus Christ or God Himself in the flesh!
As if in anticipation of such horrendous teachings, the writer of Heb. 1:5 asked, “To which of the angels did He ever say, You are My son, today I have begotten you...”
“Jesus did not rise as a spirit, or bodily from the dead?”
The OAC member, who tried to convert me, wrote, “Jesus did not rise bodily from the dead, but in a ‘Spiritual’ body,” [inside the ‘spiritual’ minds of those who were enlightened by the realization that the Bible must be interpreted ‘Spiritually.’] “Lu.24:39 is an excellent example of the natural man, [so-called non-OAC members,] who looks at the body, and thinks Jesus’ hands and feet in this verse refers to the physical body of Jesus the Nazarene. The following verses also allegedly prove that Jesus did not rise bodily from the grave, but spiritually. 1 Pt. 3:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit.”
Actually, it is written “by” not “in” the Spirit — he Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the grave.! “In the spirit justifies the idea that Jesus rose from the grave as a spirit, not bodily.
If Jesus did not rise bodily from the grave, where is His body and tomb? (Mt. 28:11-15.) Scripture is very clear on this matter. After there nights and three days in the grave, Jesus was resurrected in a glorified, not spiritual body. Jesus disciple Thomas said, “Unless I [literally see and feel His physical wounds for myself, I will not believe that He is risen,” (Jn. 20:24.)
Chapter 24 of Luke tells us exactly what happened after Jesus tomb. After His resurrection, “the women, at His tomb, did not find His [physical] body…” And while the disciples were behind shut doors, “Jesus Himself stood in their midst [like a spirit.]” They [therefore] supposed they had seen a spirit… But He said, “Behold my hands an my feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have…”
“They gave Him fish and honeycomb, and He took it and ate it in their presence…” In Jn. 21, while the disciples were literally fishing on the sea, Jesus stood on the shore with fish on the fire, and bread… and said, “Come and eat breakfast…”
Mark. 12:18-27 teaches, “Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus saying… ‘Therefore, in the day of resurrection, when [a woman who had many husbands] rise, whose wife will she be…’ [But Jesus answered,] Concerning the [departed,] that they [will] rise [bodily from the grave;[ have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to Him, saying, ‘I Am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?’ Now He is not God of the dead [or spirits] but the God of the Living...”
“Jesus resides in the ‘body of Christ;’ or the ‘spiritual’ or ‘enlightened’ minds of the apostles.”
Apostles believe they “are the body of Christ in the flesh,” and their followers believe that the ‘spiritually resurrected’ Jesus now resides in the ‘spiritual minds of the apostles, who have become ‘spirits’ and ‘angels,’ and have become His equal through His spiritual resurrection in them.
Just one question: If Jesus was spiritually resurrected in them, where was His spirit since the first century A.D. when He died and was resurrected, until this church came into being in the 19th century? Clearly, they could not have been His grave for nearly 2,000 years, could they?
“We are the cloud into which Jesus ascended, and has already descended, not physical clouds!”
The OAC disciple who wrote me continued, “Heb 12:1: ‘Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race before us.’ We, who are in the cloud, reveal Christ in the flesh, or preach God to others, and so, God, Who is Spirit, is justified in the Spirit. This is the cloud on which Jesus descends, [as if Jesus had already returned without anyone else knowing about it — but He said every eye will see Him and every tongue will confess that He is Lord, in that Day when He returns on the clouds!] Thus God uses us, who represent His Son's body Spiritually, as 'n witnessing cloud, bringing Christ to others. We are the cloud which reveals God to the ‘natural’ [non-illuminated] man.”
Apostles also alleges it took Jesus nearly 2,000 years since His resurrection to ascend into heaven, as their heavenly minds only came into being nearly two millennia later! Just as importantly, where is the contextual Bible reference that declares Jesus had already returned or descended “into their spiritual minds?”
The writer of Acts 1:3 unmistakably declared, “Jesus also presented Himself [physically] alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days’ [before His ascension into heaven.]”
From where did this strange teaching concerning the so-called 19TH century ascension of Jesus in ‘minds’ of these people originate? Wikipedia reports, “The Gnostic tradition, by which Jesus was said to transcend the physical realm, becoming pure spirit without being resurrected bodily and returned to His home in the spirit world, contrasts with the Biblical account of Jesus ascending bodily into the clouds.”
Acts 1:9-11 states, "While they watched [with their physical eyes] Jesus was taken up, and a [physical] cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, two men stood by them [real angels from heaven,] who said, ‘Why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, Who was taken up from you into heaven, will so return just as you saw Him ascend into heaven."
This OAC member also wrote that “God is ‘justified’ by their preaching. However, Biblical justification means to be acquitted by God’s holy law; to stand before the throne of God through Jesus’ complete atonement in our place, as if we have never sinned. God cannot be justified by us; we must be justified before God’s judgment throne by Jesus’ atonement on the cross, when He fulfilled the entire law in our place! (Mt. 5:17.)
“This is how Jesus was resurrected and ascended [or returned] in Peter, (in us,) and in our lives”
The OAC member continued, “1 Cor. 15 actually describes the Spiritual resurrection which has to occur in our lives. Peter himself said in verse 31: "I die day by day.” It is clear that this is not a natural/physical death and resurrection, but the death of the old, sinful, human nature of the naturally thinking man, [he means the OAD mind,] and the resurrection of the Spiritual/sinless/heavenly man, [or OAC ‘mind.’] This is how Jesus Christ was resurrected in Peter’s life. This is how Jesus Christ is still being resurrected in our lives. He died literally as a man on the cross, for our sins, which means that we do not have to be crucified for our sins. But “Jesus was quickened in the Spirit,” not quickened in the flesh! [Jesus was made alive by the Spirit, not “in” the Spirit!] There is no mystery in the resurrection/ascension. Peter spoke of the [spiritual] resurrection, which will transpire when we die to our old, sinful, thinking man, [the natural human mind or soul,] and live Spiritual. The dead of 1 Cor. 15 are not in their physical graves. These are ‘natural’/carnal [people whose mind’s were not enlightened by turning everything in the Bible into ‘spirit.’] People who are still ruled by their natural thoughts, 1 Pt. 3:18. God will be quickened [‘in’] the Spirit in our lives, if we accept Him as our Savior, 1 Cor. 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall be made alive.” 1 Co 15:42, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body [or thinking, natural mind] is sown in corruption, [then a ‘spiritual mind is] raised in incorruptibly…”
In 1 Cor. 15, Paul taught neither on the renewal of the mind (Rom. 12:1-2,) nor on the spiritual, Scriptural rebirth of the human spirit through personal faith in and acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ, (Jn. 1:12-13; Gal. 4:6.) Paul warned believers not to accept the lies of the Sadducee sect, which denied the fact that Jesus had risen bodily from the grave. Paul wrote, “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised [bodily] from the dead, how do some you say that there is no [physical] resurrection of the [departed?] If there is no [bodily] resurrection, then Christ was not raised. And if Christ was not raised, then our preaching is empty and our faith is in vain… For if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still [spiritually dead] in your sins [without His complete atonement in your place!]”
This is how Paul explained the resurrection of those who are in their graves at the return of Jesus on the clouds, “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the [physically] dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall e caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Ths. 4:16-18.)
The heading of 1 Cor. 15:45-58 is “A Glorious [resurrected] Body!” “Someone say, with what body will they come?... There are celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies… So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown [into the physical grave to decay] and [at Jesus return on the clouds] it will be raised incorruptible [glorified, never to decay again — not as a spirit, as the human spirits of believers are already in heaven with Jesus, but in a glorified body similar to the resurrected body of Jesus.] I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep [in our graves] but we shall all be changed [into glorious bodies.] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised [in their incorruptible bodies] and [the living that remain] shall be changed. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory…’”
(Holy) Regenerating Baptism is the rite of initiation;
Wikipedia, [This rite is] “… conducted with floating water [the sprinkling of water] and children can be baptized on the faith of their parents like in the Dutch and other Reformed churches, Lutheranism, Catholicism, etc. This baptism is the participation in the church of Christ. Baptism is thus considered as rebirth with water and spirit,” just like in Calvinism.
Spiritual ‘church initiations’ stem from the dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church and all her Protestant daughters. In the truth of Scripture, only sincere, believing disciples of Jesus may be baptized by immersion in water as per Jesus’ example in Mt. 3:13-17, (Mt. 28:19-20.) The Biblical rebirth through ‘water’ and ‘Spirit’ is not from baptism, either by immersion or the sprinkling of unbelieving babies or adults, but through personal faith in, and acceptance of Jesus. The ‘water’ referred to in this verse is the Truth of Jesus’ Word, the Bible. The ‘Spirit’ in this passage is the Holy Spirit Himself, convincing people that Jesus is real and His Word is true, and the Spirit’s conviction of sin and judgment for rejecting Jesus and His completed atonement in their place, (Jn. 16:8.)