my life 4 jesus.co.za

© COURTESY, NOW UNBANNED PUBLICATIONS C.C.

(Continued from)                                                          ©  COPYRIGHT NOW UNBANNED PUBLICATIONS 

Question: “Where is the kingdom of heaven?” (Apostolics: “Luke 17:21: Inside you.”) 

F. W. Werner explained in ‘The Error of the Apostolic Churches,’ “It is difficult to know what they actually believe about heaven.  They do not believe in a heaven ‘above,’ into which Jesus literally ascended.  They do not believe in heaven as the dwelling place of God.  They believe that heaven is on earth and in their natural minds that turned into spiritual minds.  When one speaks of the ‘many mansions’ of John 14:2, they say this refers to three different places, which they are incapable of naming or explaining.  In fact, they do not believe that heaven exists.  Heaven is a ‘happy or heavenly state of mind.’  The truth of the matter is, when Jesus Himself taught His disciples to pray, ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name…’  the Apostle Movement did not exist yet.  So, someone rightly asked, ‘If heaven exists in the ‘spiritual’ minds of apostles, where exactly did God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit live from all eternity before this movement came into existence during the 19th century after Christ?’” 

Answer:  Sadly, members of the Apostolic Movement blend the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven, and believe that both these distinctly different locations of God’s Kingdom are “inside them.”  That is, inside their so-called ‘enlightened, spiritual’ minds, which interpret the entire Bible “spiritually,” (1 Ths. 5:23; Jn. 1:12-13; 1 Cor. 6:15-20.) 

¨ However, Jesus, the Real and Only God and Christ Himself, solemnly warned, “I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last...  Blessed are those who DO My commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life, (His heaven in the spirit world,) and may enter through the gates into the city, (Heb. 11:13-16: 12:22-24.)  But outside [the real heaven not ‘spiritual’ minds,] are dogs [sleeping watchmen,] sorcerers, sexually immoral, [emotional and physical] murderers, idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie,” (1 Jn. 3:15; Rev. 22:13-15; Deut. 23:18; Phil. 3:2.) 

 

By rejecting the Scriptural truth that Jesus said the “kingdom of God, [not of ‘heaven,’] is inside you” because you are a Biblical born again temple of the Holy Spirit, ‘apostles’ seriously confuse the spiritual Kingdom of God with the Biblical Kingdom of heaven, (Lu. 17:21 KJV.)  The Kingdom of God is God’s spiritual Kingdom, which resides in born again human spirits, (not the minds that supposedly ‘became spiritual,’) through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, (1 Ths. 5:23; 1 Cor. 15-20.)  Thus, as Jesus commanded, the Kingdom of God on earth must be manifested through the preaching of the Biblical Gospel to make disciples, who sincerely believe and accept Jesus as their personal Lord, God, and Savior, (Mt. 28:18-20.)  The “fruit of the Spirit” is the Godly behavior of Scripturally born again believers, who together, were “possessed” by the indwelling Holy Spirit as the living temple of God, (Eph. 1:7, 12-14; 1 Cor. 6:15-20.) 

 

The Bible teaches inarguably that the kingdom of heaven is a real place in the spirit world and that Jesus, in His glorified, resurrected body, ascended into heaven “while they [actually] watched.”  Then two really supernatural angel spirits “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 [literally] saw Him go into heaven,” (Acts 1:9-11.)  

¨ Revelation 21:9-27 and 22:1-4 describe heaven as “the city of God,” which measures 2,225 km in length, width and height, ‘according to the [factual] measure of a man.’  It is an eternal spiritual place in the spirit world and the awesome dwelling-place of Almighty God, The Spirit, (Jn. 4:21-24.)  And so, the minds of apostles can never contain that supernatural placeMoreover, 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,’ 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 allegedly “gods and christs.”  This would constitute the Plotinist, Hindu/Buddhist, pantheist dogma of ‘god is in everything that lives.  Thus, everything that lives is god.” 

 

QUESTION: “What is darkness [or hell and the devil?]” Apostolics: “Darkness is a lack of knowledge, doubt, mindlessness, and this is darkness together with all its works.”)  So, they do not only have ‘hell’ in their minds, but the devil as well.  The Old Apostolic Church member who tried to convert me explained, “Hell is the opposite of heaven, [the ‘heavenly’ state of mind or ‘nirvana.’]  Hell is a dark state of mind.  A depressed, negative, tormenting, hopeless state of mind.”  

Answer:  This description of darkness is pure pagan Platonism and masonry, as seen earlier in this study.  ‘Apostles’ also avoid a direct interpretation of eternal hell and the devil as the Bible describes it. 

¨ 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 those who live without a relationship with God in Christ, is in spiritual and emotional darkness, but not in eternal hell as yet.  So, the lack of knowledge, depression, and emotional and physical suffering is definitely not eternal hell as Jesus described it in the Scriptures. 

¨ Moreover, the Bible declares that the devil is a real, supernatural entity, and not the ‘unenlightened minds of mankind.’  There is no light, life, or truth in the devil, (Jn. 8:44.)  Satan is a spirit; a fallen angel, [not the kind that  supposedly ‘fell’ from the original doctrines of the apostolic churches, but the supernatural kind,] and God made hell especially for the devil and his fallen angels, who rebel against Him from time immemorial, (Rev. 12:3-4.)  According to what Jesus taught, humans who choose to reject Him as their personal Lord, Redeemer, Savior, and Truth, will ultimately join the devil and his demons in the everlasting fires of hell, (Mt. 25:41.)  Just as the spiritual bodies of human spirits, (1 Ths. 5:23,) angels, and demons are everlasting, so torment in hell is everlasting, (1 Cor. 15:35-40.) 

¨ Hell is indeed described correctly in “the eternal existence thesis” and in the “no escape thesis” as a place [in the spirit world] of “unending conscious, yet spiritual existence.”  [Quotations from: Stanford Encyclopedia.] 

Thus we can conclude, according to the context of Biblical truth, hell is a real spiritual location underneath the earth somewhere, (Phil. 2:10-11.)  Of course hell, as heaven, cannot be understood in the same way we understand the material world.  But hell too, cannot relate to a mere ‘state of mind’ within the ‘natural 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.)

 

QUESTION: “What is sin?”  (Apostolics: “All disobedience is sin and darkness.”) 

Answer:  We may ask, “Disobedience to what or whom, exactly, is their sin?”  F.W. Werner wrote in the ‘Die Dwaling Van Die Apostelkerk,’ Published by ‘Evangelie Uitgewers, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, [translated from Afrikaans,] “All disobedience to the ‘apostle’ is sin.  In fact, this the little apostle’s only sin,” [as obedience to God’s Moral law of love does not enter the ‘spiritual minds’ of those who belong to the ‘apostle’ kingdom,] (Jn. 13:34!)” 

Just as the masons Swedenborg and Blake, who were disciples of the Greek philosophers Plato and Plotinus, the Old, New, and other apostle churches also believe that the human race is sinful because their ‘natural minds’ lack ‘spiritual illumination’ by not spiritualizing the whole Bible.  These are the ones who choose to remain in ‘sin’ and ‘darkness’ as defined by apostolic terminology.  For them, the ‘apostle’ has the ‘authority’ to turn an imaginary key in front of their faces to ‘lock the kingdom of god for them for all eternity!’    

Sorrowfully, apostles omit the fundamental teaching of Jesus that “all men have sinned [against God, not against the worthless doctrines of ‘apostles’ and other men,] and all fall short of the glory of God,” (Rom. 3:21-23.)  That is why “the whole [non-Scriptural, Jesus-disobedient] world is in the deceptive power of the evil one,” (1 Jn. 5:19.) 

¨ Actually, sin is ‘hamartia,’ a spiritual position of lostness, bondage, and cursedness outside the presence of God, (Gal. 3:10-14.)  Church leaders cannot bring people out of sin as they themselves, being slaves to man-made systems, are in sin.  Thus, their dogmas and so called “ministrations” are meaningless, (1 Pt. 2:9-10; Jn. 1:12-14.)  The only way to escape the state of sin or bondage, lostness, and darkness, is to understand Jesus’ real Gospel, believe in Him and all He has done for us on the cross, accept Him wholeheartedly, and then to follow Him through the contextual truth of His eternal Word, the Bible, (Isa. 53:3-5.)  “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved — [save the Almighty Name of Jesus!]”  (Acts 4:12.)  Real salvation and a relationship with God is a one-on-one encounter with Jesus in total submission to Him, (Col. 2:9-15; Gal. 2:20-21.)  To remain saved and grow emotionally in obedience, we must seek God’s face constantly in all things, (1 Ths. 5:17.) 

¨ So, no one except God Jesus Christ Himself has authority and power to shut His kingdom for those who disobey the contextual truth of His Word, the Bible Scriptures.  No one except Jesus Himself has authority to send souls to eternal hell, and thus to lock them out of the real, Scriptural heaven, (Mt. 25:1-13; Rev. chapters 21-22.)  Jesus Christ of the Bible Alone is the “Head of all principality and power,” so that in the Name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He Alone is Lord above all else!  No matter who they are, not a single human, genuine angel, or real demon is excluded from the power, control, and judgment of the Lord Jesus Christ, (Col. 2:9-10; Phil. 2:10-11.) 

 

QUESTION:  “Who can forgive sin?  And how do we receive forgiveness?”  (Apostolics: “Jesus Christ, through the living mouth of the ‘apostle,’ Jn. 20:23, because those whom God has sent, speak the Word of God, Jn. 3:34”) 

Answer:  One promise we must continually stand on when dealing with deception, is John 6:63.  Jesus declared, “It is the [Holy] Spirit that gives life; the flesh [such as false dogma, false teachers, and so-called saving sacraments] profit nothing.  The words that I speak to you [in the true context of Scripture,] are spirit and life.”  John explained this reality in 1 John 2:3-4, “By this we know that we know God, if we keep His [truly Scriptural] commandments.  He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”  Hence, so-called ‘apostles’ were definitely not sent by God.  If they were sent by Jesus, they would fully submit to Him and not try to make themselves “equal” to Him or allege that they “became” Him, but humbly teach the entire truth of His Word, (the whole Bible in context,) and not the pagan doctrines of masonic orders, mixed with utterly twisted Bible verses. 

¨ The Pharisees, when they heard the Man Jesus forgiving sins, concluded, “This man blasphemes, [for only God Himself has the power to forgive sins!]” But Jesus or God Himself, Who became a mere man to atone for humanity’s state of sin, declared, “You must know that the Son of Man, [God Himself and not ‘apostles’ or anyone else,] has power on earth to forgive sins.”  There is no one in heaven or on earth equal to God and so, no one else in the whole cosmos can forgive sins.  Believers do not “turn into gods” even if they do have the real Holy Spirit living in them, (1 Cor. 6:15-20.) 

¨ The assumption that ‘apostles’ became Jesus and can forgive sins, is sacrilege or utter disrespect for the Most High God.  1 John 1:8-10 teach, “If we confess our sins [against God to God Himself] He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [by the blood of Jesus, Eph. 1:7.]”  And if we have abusively sinned against one another, we must also confess our sins to one another, ask one another’s forgiveness, and pray for each other, before God will forgive such abuse, (Jam. 5:16; Mt. 5:23-26!) 

¨ So, it is legitimate to ask, “If it were true that ‘apostles’ can forgive sins, can they also cleanse people with the blood of Jesus?” The entire Bible makes it plain that we can only receive forgiveness through the grace of God in the Lord Jesus Christ, if we personally accept Him and follow Him in the context of His Word.  Ephesians 1:7, “In [Jesus Christ Alone] we have the redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” 

¨ In John 20:23, it sounds as if Jesus gave His disciples authority to forgive the sins of people, (“what you forgive I forgive, what you retain I retain…”) but that is definitely not the case.  In context, this connects with the disciplinary steps Jesus commanded to rid the real body of Christ of unrepentant abusers and to reconcile believers to one another.  Paraphrased, Jesus said, ‘If a believer sins against you, speak to him in private.  If he refuses to repent, take one or two witnesses and confront him again.  If he still persists in sin, call him to account before the ecclesia or gathering together of believers.  If he still refuses to repent, let him be to you a “heathen and a tax collector” and have nothing more to do with him,’ (Mt. 18:15-20; 5:23-26!) 

¨ This is not playing god by distributing God’s forgiveness at will.  This is neither unforgiveness, nor revenge, nor exclusivism, nor sinful human control.  It is obedience to the protective, punitive commandments of Jesus.  Paul added in 1 Cor. 5:1-5, “Deliver such a [vile, unrepentant abuser] to Satan, [a real evil spirit, who is the prison warden over all unrepentant sinners,] for the destruction of the flesh, that [the abuser’s] spirit may [hopefully] be saved… [should he repent from his abuse and turn to God.]”  

¨ Footnote, Spirit Filled Bible, 1991 version, explained John 20:23 as follows, “When [believers’ act under the lordship of the Holy Spirit in administering discipline, God sanctions the action. This is more fully explained Mt. 16:19 where Jesus said, “[You have the authority,] or keys of heaven.  What you bind on earth will be bound in heaven [and visa versa.]”  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 Lord, Savior, Redeemer, and God.  In the forgiveness of sins, salvation, and redemption, Jesus Alone is the Only “Apostle and Mediating High Priest of our confession,” (Jn. 1:12-13; Heb. 3:1.) 

 

Church father Irving taught that Jesus had a fallen or sinful human nature 

In this context, the Old Apostolic member who challenged me, wrote, “OAC members have become ‘equal’ to Jesus as He had a sinful, human nature.”  In apostolic terms, this means, Jesus’ ‘natural mind’ was ‘fallen and darkened’ like theirs. 

AnswerPaul explained in 2 Cor. 5:21, “[God sent His Son] Jesus Christ, WHO KNEW NO SIN, [God Jesus the sinless sacrifice,] to become sin for us, [or rather, to carry in our place the entire cursed, sinful state or the whole load of sin and cursedness that we inherited from the fall in Eden,] that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ [through sincere faith in Him!]”  Jesus was born as a complete human being from an ordinary human mother, while He was “sinlessly begotten, not created, by God.” The normal bodies and brains or minds of animals and humans, are not sinful.   

Sin is spiritual.  That is why Paul explained in Romans 5:12, “Through [Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death [and moral corruption] spread to all men, because all sinned…”  That is why the Old Testament blood sacrifices of innocent animals could ‘atone’ for the Old Israelites’ sin.  Those perpetual sacrifices were symbols of the Sinless Lamb of God, Jesus, Who would atone once, in full, and for always in the place of truly believing man, (Jn. 3:16.) 

The “sinful nature” of humanity is spiritual.  It is not “the [darkened] mind” itself.  It manifests through humanity’s corrupt will, intellect, and emotions, which are contained by their normal minds or ‘souls,’ to steer their sinful thoughts, beliefs, and actions.  So, Jesus was fully human in a complete, sinless human body, without the “sinful nature” that humanity inherited from the fall in the garden in Eden.  As the most high and holy God Himself, “in Whom the fullness of the Godhead, [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,] dwells bodily,” (Col. 2:9,) Jesus partook of our fragile human state or ‘human flesh,’ and as a complete human, “the sinless Second Adam” became subject physically and emotionally to the pain and brokenness of this fallen dimension, not to it’s sin!  

 

On the other hand, ‘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,” and sacramental salvation in and through the so-called angelic ‘apostle gods’ of the ‘enlightened apostle-minds,’ which became “christs in the flesh.” 

If this could be true, they can justify their own ‘sinful nature,’ as their so-called ‘apostles’ all have a sinful nature.  Actually, they are their own saviors who do not need salvation through the full atonement of Jesus the Only Savior. 

¨ I share this quote from the study of the Seventh Day Adventist Church as it explains the truth very well.  Someone wrote, “[If Jesus God had a ‘sinful nature,’] we would have a monstrosity – sinless Deity inheriting a sinful nature!  If this could have been so, there could have been no sinless sacrifice, no hope for sinners, no [true] Savior.  And how could it have been written, ‘The prince of this world comes, and has nothing in Me,’ (Jn. 14:30.)  And, ‘In Him [Jesus] there IS NO SIN,’ (1 Jn. 3:4-5!)  If Jesus had ‘sinful flesh,’ [and/or a sin polluted mind,] it would have meant that He Himself was in need of a savior.  ‘Likeness of sinful flesh’ would then have meant that the humanity of the Savior was unreal!”  But in reality that means God Jesus became a real and complete human to atone for us on a human level. 

 

Jesus was not resurrected bodily from the grave, but ‘spiritually. Hence, He resides in the ‘spiritual minds’ of the ‘apostles.  Apostolics say, “He was not resurrected bodily in the substance of His [sinful] human nature; but in in the spiritual minds of the ‘apostles,’” (See 1 Cor. 15:39-40.) 

Answer:  In reality, then, according to ‘apostles,’ Jesus must have remained dead in His grave for some 1,800 years, until their church came into existence during the 19th century.  Only then, could Jesus be resurrected ‘spiritually’ in their so-called ‘spiritual’ minds! Or did Jesus’ spirit float around for nearly 2,000 years while His physical body was in the grave before He could be resurrected in their ‘minds?’ That’s just ridiculous.  Scripture makes it plain that, just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three literal nights and three literal days, Jesus was in the grave for exactly three literal nights and three literal days: 72 hours

Yet, the Old Apostolic Church 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.’] Luke 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.” 

¨ Watch now how masterfully they twisted the following verse to allegedly prove that Jesus did not rise bodily from the grave, but spiritually ‘in OAC minds.’  The man continued, “1 Peter 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 — Jesus was raised from the grave by the Holy Spirit!  By substituting only one little word, their “in the spirit” supposedly justifies the idea that Jesus rose from the grave as a spirit.  But instead, He was raised bodily from the grave by the Holy Spirit! 

If Jesus did not rise bodily from the grave, where is His mummified body? (Mt. 28:11-15.)  Scripture is very clear on this matter.  After nights and three days in the grave, Jesus was resurrected in a literal, glorified, (not spiritual) body.  Jesus disciple Thomas actually said, “Unless I [literally] see and feel His physical wounds for myself, I will not believe that He is risen,” (Jn. 20:24.) 

¨ Luke Chapter 24 tells us exactly what happened at Jesus tomb.  After His resurrection, “the women, at His tomb, did not find His [physical] body…”  [Surely, if Jesus rose “spiritually,” His dead body would still have been in the grave?] And while the disciples were behind shut doors, “Jesus Himself [appeared like a spirit and] stood in their midst.”  They [therefore] supposed they had seen a spirit…  But He said, “Behold my hands an my feet, that it is I Myself.  [Physically] handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have…  They then gave Him fish and honeycomb, and He took it and ate it in their presence…”  How can this be ‘spiritual?’  Spirits do not eat physical food either.  This is as literal as can be! 

In John 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 the God of the dead [in their graves] but the God of the living...” 

 

(Continue)