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The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 1: The Affliction of the Anointed

 
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The Epistles of Paul - 2 Corinthians Part 1: The Affliction of the Anointed

According to the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, Paul's second epistle to the Corinthians is attested to in 2 ancient Great Uncial manuscripts dating to the 4th century (א and B), 4 dating to the 5th century (A, C, I 016, and 048), and 7 dating to the 6th century (D, H 015, 0186, 0223, 0225, 0285 and 0296). It is also attested to in the Chester Beatty papyrus labeled P46, which is esteemed to date to circa 200 AD. The 28th edition of the Novum Testamentum Graece adds to that list the more recently discovered papyrus P99, which is dated to around 400 AD and in which are preserved considerable fragments of chapters from throughout the epistle, as well as the 5th century papyrus P117 which contains portions of chapters 7 and 8, and the 6th century papyrus P124 in which is preserved fragments of chapter 11. Therefore the contents of the epistle are well attested from ancient sources.

After spending approximately three years in Ephesus, Paul of Tarsus had departed from the city in 56 AD. We can date his departure by reckoning backwards from the time of his detention in Caesareia which is given by Luke in the final chapters of the Book of Acts, in relation to the tenures of office of the Roman procurators Festus and Felix which are known from secular history. For this the primary witness in Luke's writing is at Acts 24:26-27 which states of Antonius Felix that “He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him. But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.” While historians are divided over whether it was 58 AD or 59AD, the one year difference in the chronology is close enough for us. We cannot be absolutely certain, but for various historical reasons we are confident that the year was 59, and we can count back through the Book of Acts to this point in 56 AD.

Departing Ephesus, Paul went through the Troad and on to Makedonia, as he had outlined in his first letter to the Corinthians, in chapter 16: “5 Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia. 6 And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go. 7 For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit. 8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.” Paul sent Timothy and Erastus out from Ephesus to Makedonia ahead of him (Acts 19:22). However reading the account in the Book of Acts, and seeing that after the trouble with the silversmiths that Paul had left Ephesus unexpectedly, it is unclear as to whether he had actually managed to stay there until after Pentecost. We then read in the opening of Acts chapter 20: “1 And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia. 2 And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece”. We only learn from Paul's later address to the elders of the Ephesians that Paul had been in Ephesus three years, as it is recorded in Acts 20:31.

The Importance of Paul of Tarsus to Identity Christians

 
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The Importance of Paul of Tarsus to Identity Christians

Before commencing this program, I must make a confession, so that nobody is confused from the start. Myself and my ministry and all of its efforts are firmly grounded in the immutable fact that all of the promises of Yahweh God and of Yahshua Christ (or Jesus) which we have in our Bibles are absolutely 100% racially exclusive to the Saxon and Keltic and related peoples. There are no exceptions. All of the promises of God are made to one race of people only, who today are more loosely identified as White Europeans or Caucasians. Of course, even these labels are not specific enough, however listeners who are already Identity Christians should know what we mean when we use them. Nobody who has ever followed our work at Christogenea could fairly accuse us of being universalists in any sense of the word.

What we believe about the Bible can and should be described in two ways: first, it is Covenant Theology. We understand Covenant Theology to be the belief in God's Word as He made it: the covenants with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to their seed are made exclusively to their genetic descendants, and nobody else. This is an honest acceptance of the Word of God as He imparted it to men. Secondly, it is Christian Identity, or more fully Christian Israel Identity. It is Christian Identity because we seek to identify through both Scripture and history, with the support of language and archaeology, exactly what people on the earth today are the beneficiaries of those Covenants: who the children of Israel are, and who they are not, according to that same Word of God. It is the truth of Covenant Theology which leads us to the need for Christian Identity. Therefore to accurately understand Christian identity, one must first realize the truth of Covenant Theology.

The Prophecy of Habakkuk

 
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The Prophecy of Habakkuk

Habakkuk (LXX Ambakoum) does not date himself or his prophecy. Rather, we must rely on the circumstances of the prophecy itself for a date, and of course that cannot be absolutely reliable since the prophets of the Living God indeed foretold the future before it was inevitable that the events which they spoke of were going to happen. Habakkuk is written from a perspective which is oblivious to the Assyrian empire or the Assyrian deportations of Israel and much of Judah, which had occurred over several decades and well into the 7th century BC. The fall of Nineveh to the Scythians, Medes and Persians occurred right around 612 BC, and Nebuchadnezzar II ascended to the throne of Babylon in 605 BC, from which time Babylon would acquire hegemony over the remaining portions of the old Assyrian empire. This time, from 612 BC to 605 BC, seems to be the most appropriate for the proclamation that Yahweh would “raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation” here in verse 6 of the opening chapter. While it is also possible that Assyria was ignored and the oracle uttered before that time, it does not seem likely that such a prophecy would be uttered during the reign of the good king Josiah, which lasted until about 609 BC. It is much more likely that Habakkuk prophesied these things during the reigns of the three wicked kings which followed Josiah, which were Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. With these and other circumstances both Biblical and historical, the early portion of the rule of Jehoiakim is the most likely candidate for the time of this prophecy, between 608 and 601 BC.

According to Strong's Concordance, the name Habakkuk is a reduplicated form of a word, Habak, meaning to clasp (see Strong's #'s 2263 and 2265). This is appropriate, because the prophet presents two things which must be grasped, the first being a prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the second a prophecy of the destruction of Babylon.

The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 19: Anathema Maranatha! If They Only Knew...

 
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The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 19: Anathema Maranatha! If They Only Knew...

There are some fatalistic passages in the Old Testament which may lead men to believe that their spirits are dead after their fleshly bodies die, or some are persuaded that perhaps these spirits are merely asleep until the restoration (or resurrection). Yet there is a larger picture presented by Scripture which stands in contrast to the fatalistic passages. Perhaps men today are misinterpreting those fatalistic passages, because they are not what they seem to be on the surface.

For instance, in the Book of Job, in chapter 10, we see these words spoken by Job himself (we must be careful not to quote the words of Job's contentious friends as if they were Scripture): “20 Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little, 21 Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death; 22 A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.” Thusly did Job perceive death, but the same Job said later, as it is in chapter 19 of his book: “25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”

So where Job speaks of the “land of darkness” from which he “shall not return”, was he speaking of the flesh only, or was he speaking of the spirit also? In the Gospel of John, in chapter 6, Yahshua Christ says that “63 It is the Spirit which produces life, the flesh does not benefit anything. The words which I have spoken to you are Spirit and are life.”

The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 18: Eternal Life through the Spirit

 
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The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 18: Eternal Life through the Spirit

In the first portion of chapter 15 of his first epistle to the Corinthians Paul of Tarsus discussed several basic but important and foundational Christian concepts. Firstly, he explained the reality of the resurrection of Christ as it was attested by so many witnesses. Then he illustrated the fact that if Christ was resurrected then the children of Israel could also be fully assured of such a resurrection, since Christ had been slain for the sins of the children of Israel so that they may indeed share in such a resurrection, as promised by the Scriptures. Saying these things, Paul also interjected that if one is outside of these promises then one's faith is vain, and we illustrated how the King James Version and other translations of the New Testament ignore Paul's language in this regard.

Paul also asserted that not only the children of Israel, but also the entire Adamic race shall be resurrected, where in verse 22 he wrote that “Just as in Adam all die, then in that manner in Christ all shall be produced alive.” This assertion summarizes the same things which Paul had explained at length a couple of years later in chapter 5 of his epistle to the Romans. The children of Israel have a promise not only of eternal life, but also of justification. This promise is expressed in many places in scripture where the Word of God assures that all of the sins of the children of Israel shall indeed be cleansed. This promise is also expressed explicitly in Isaiah chapter 45 where it says that “In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” However the rest of the Adamic race shall also be resurrected, and they too shall face the judgment of Christ in regard to their works.

The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 17: Resurrecting Adam

 
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The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 17: Resurrecting Adam

Among the major points of discussion over the first 6 chapters of Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians was the division among the members of the assembly because apparently many individuals were opting to follow different personalities, choosing favorite apostles, rather than committing themselves to following Christ. Another point of discussion was the fornicator of 1 Corinthians chapter 5 and the action which the assembly is required to take in such instances in order to preserve its own integrity. In regard to this, in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 Paul illustrated how Christians should judge among themselves according to the judgment of God, rather than turning to worldly courts and the judgment of men.

Then for 8 more chapters of this epistle, Paul answered the questions posed to him in a letter by members of the assembly for which he had written this epistle as a response. Therefore Paul discussed things such as marriage and virginity in an age of persecution, Christian survival in a world of pagan idolatry, he answered questions concerning the conduct of his own ministry in Christ, and then he offered a lengthy discussion of general Christian deportment. In that last discussion, Paul spoke of how Christians should behave towards one another in their assemblies, how they should love and care for and esteem one another above themselves, and about the various gifts which God grants to men and how they should be dispensed, whether they be spiritual gifts or carnal gifts.

Now, beginning the closing of his epistle, Paul summarizes the purpose of the Gospel and its ultimate promise, which is a resurrection from the dead for all of the children of Adam.

The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 16: Christian Assembly

 
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The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 16: Christian Assembly

In 1 Corinthians chapter 11 Paul of Tarsus had been addressing Christian deportment within the assemblies of the Body of Christ. From there, in chapters 12 and 13 he discussed the various gifts which each member of the Body receives from God. While Paul does not speak explicitly of fleshly gifts, he does mention that various members of the Body are granted certain abilities, or are given greater wealth and therefore they have the ability to share in carnal things, and he lists among the noble things which a Christian may do which are generally perceived by men as being fleshly or worldly. Therefore it should be perceived that those with abilities, or those who have wealth, are also the recipients of spiritual gifts and that they also should use those gifts to edify the assembly in the same manner as those who interpret prophecy or those who speak in tongues.

All of this is evident in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, because in the very same place where Paul had written that “if I have the gift of interpretation of prophecy, and I know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if perhaps I have all the faith so as to remove mountains, but I do not have love, I am naught” he also wrote that “if perhaps I employ all my possessions in feeding others, and if I would hand over my body in order that I may boast, but I do not have love, I am due nothing.”

Making this exposition of the gifts within a Christian assembly in conjunction with an appeal for the need of Christian love among the members of the Body of Christ, it is evident that Paul's underlying purpose was to correct those Corinthians whom he had admonished in chapter 11, who had been bringing food and drink to their Christian gatherings and eating, while some less fortunate Christians were going hungry. While Paul had asked them directly in chapter 11 whether they had houses in which to eat and to drink, telling them that they should eat their meals at home, on the other hand in chapter 13 he made an example of things a noble Christian may do for the assembly that would be of benefit to him later, and one of those things was to employ one's wealth in the nourishment of the poorer members of the assembly.

The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 15: Christian Love

 
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Tonight will not be one of my longer presentations, but only because for the most part I wanted to limit the discussion to this one topic, while at the same time not beating it to death. The subtitle of tonight's presentation is Christian Love, and I am certain we all have our favorite passages to quote in relation to that topic. The children of Israel have yet to practice that Christianity which is found in absolute brotherly love on any great scale, yet it is one of the lessons of history that they must learn before perfecting their obedience to Christ. However misguided love probably does greater harm to the children of Israel than practically any other sin, especially since misguided love leads them into blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and to their very own demise.

The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 15: Christian Love

In 1 Corinthians chapter 11 Paul of Tarsus had turned from addressing aspects of Christian deportment in the pagan world to addressing aspects of Christian deportment within the assembly of Christ itself. However it must be remembered that from chapter 7 of this epistle Paul continues to address subjects which the Corinthians had inquired of him. For that reason Paul's discussions of these topics are not as complete as they may have been if he had intended to write essays explaining them, but instead they are based upon things about which the Corinthians had questions in relation to the things which they had already been taught. Therefore it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of all preceding Scripture before one may understand Paul, because Scripture is Paul's authority and the guide for Paul's worldview. Additionally, it is necessary to understand as much of Paul's own letters as possible, because his letters as a whole are a reflection of his study of Scripture as well as his reception of the Gospel. No one statement by Paul can forcibly be interpreted as if to conflict with either the balance of his own writings or with the Holy Writ. If one has such an interpretation of anything which Paul wrote, one must reconsider it, rather than unwittingly projecting one's own hypocrisy onto Paul of Tarsus.

The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 14: Inspiration and the Kingdom of God

 
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The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 14: Inspiration and the Kingdom of God.

In Romans chapter 4, Paul discussed the certainty of the promise of the faith to the seed of Abraham, to those nations which indeed had sprung from the loins of Abraham. In 1 Corinthians chapter 10, Paul identified the nations round about the Corinthians, those nations which were all practicing pagan idolatry, as Israel according to the flesh. Paul had told the Romans in Romans chapter 4 that Abraham was their forefather. Paul had likewise told the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 that their own ancestors were with Moses in the Exodus, ascertaining that they were also Israelites. An investigation of ancient history proves the veracity of these statements, and presenting 1 Corinthians chapter 10 we exposited some of that historical verification. The Romans and the Corinthians were from just two of those nations which had actually descended from the literal seed of Abraham through Jacob-Israel, and Paul brought them the Gospel in demonstration of the truth of the Word of Yahweh, that “the promise might be sure to all the seed”.

Therefore, with Paul himself having attested to all of these things, the balance of his epistle as well as of all of his writings must be understood within that contextual framework which Paul himself has provided. To attempt to apply Paul's statements so as to include to anyone who was not originally included in the promises of God which are found in the Old Testament is to pervert the message of Paul and is also an attempt to defraud God Himself. Paul defined his ministry to the Nations as a ministry of reconciliation, meaning the reconciliation of Israel to God, as Paul himself defined Israel as twelve tribes and as those very nations of the seed of Abraham according to the flesh. As Christ Himself said, as it is recorded in Luke chapter 16, “16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” Yet every man does not have a part in it, since Christ came only for the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 13: Communion, Ritual vs. Reality

 
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The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 13: Communion, Ritual vs. Reality

Continuing our discussion of this first epistle to the Corinthians, we must keep in mind that ever since the beginning of chapter 7 of the epistle Paul of Tarsus has been responding to specific questions which the assembly in Corinth had previously composed to him. So in chapter 7 he discusses with them the risks of marriage in a time of persecution, and then in chapter 8 the daily coexistence of Christians in a pagan world. Paul then addressed matters concerning the conduct of his own ministry in chapter 9, and then in chapter 10 he turned back to the discussion of idolatry.

In each of these discussions we gain important insights into Paul's own Christian worldview, in things such as how he defined marriage, divorce and fornication, and how he esteemed Christian license under the New Covenant, giving the procurement of food from pagan sources as an example of the bounds and resolution of Christian disagreements. Then Paul offered the conduct of his own ministry as an example for others, that continence and subjection of the fleshly will are of the utmost importance because men must subject themselves to Christ, and especially those men who are proclaiming Christ.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 10, Paul more or less continued the discussion from chapter 8, concerning idolatry, the tables of demons, and the bounds of Christian communion. Paul attested that idolatry was the worship of demons, and we illustrated that his words in Colossians chapter 2 concerning the worship of angels were related to this statement, while also citing the corroborating Enoch literature and the writings of the contemporary Qumran sect in order to show that the sins of the so-called fallen angels were related to these demons, which are also the spirits of bastards. In Psalm 96, in verse 5, we may read from the King James Version that “all the gods of the nations are idols”. However in the Septuagint version of the Psalm we find that “all the gods of the nations are devils”, or demons, and therefore we find agreement with Paul in a version of the Old Testament closer to the one which he himself had used.

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