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Fellowship of God's Covenant People - Scatterers and Gatherers

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This sermon was given at the Fellowship of God's Covenant People on Sunday, October 30th, 2016.

This visit to the Fellowship of God's Covenant People was decided on relatively short notice, and when I considered what I should present, I thought to speak on this subject of scattering and gathering upon being informed of certain events which took place recently here in this congregation. When I discussed my planned talk with Pastor Downey, he informed me that he himself had already said some of the same things which you may hear from me today. Mark even quoted from an essay on this topic which I had written a few years ago, and which I will incorporate into this discussion.

So when Mark asked me if I wanted to read what he had written, I politely declined, explaining that if I said the same things independently, that would better serve as a second witness to what he has already said here over the past few weeks. In my opinion, if we really do seek to please Christ and edify the body of Christ, we cannot entertain those who despise our core message. We cannot entertain those who in any way work contrary to our core message. None of the things which I say here today are for your admonishment. Rather, I would commend you for supporting Pastor Downey in his decision. Therefore I hope to say these things for your edification, that you have another assurance, knowing that you have made a necessary decision. I pray you continue to make such decisions in the future, because we should always expect that our faith may be tried in the fire.

Talking Politics to Death, with Pastor Mark Downey

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Clifton Emahiser on his beginnings in Christian Identity

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Clifton Emahiser on his beginnings in Christian Identity.

 

See Clifton's writings at http://emahiser.christogenea.org

 

 

 

 

Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 7: The Order of Melchizedek

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Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 7: The Order of Melchizedek

On several occasions in this epistle to the Hebrews, Paul of Tarsus has mentioned a priesthood of the “Order of Melchizedek” in reference to both Yahshua Christ and quoting the 110th Psalm, where David had written in reference to his Lord, or Messiah, and said “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” So we began to speculate as to what this Melchizedek priesthood may have been, and therefore we may understand why Christ is entitled to it for Himself.

Of course, all things do belong to God, but we have to consider this: the other things which Yahshua Christ had inherited, He inherited according to the law as it may be perceived by men, and this is one of the marvels of prophecy and Scripture. With His being the “lamb of God”, the ceremonial Levitical laws were fulfilled according to tradition, which made Him eligible to be so. This can be demonstrated from the laws concerning the passover lamb, the prophecy of Malachi, and the accounts of the Gospels. With His being the King of Kings, the laws were fulfilled in the circumstances of His birth which made Him eligible to be so, being the heir to the throne and promises of David, which is evident in the genealogies provided by the Gospels. With His having died for the sins of Israel, Paul explained in Romans chapter 7 just how that happened and how those sins were thereby forgiven, in accordance with the same Old Testament laws. So why should it be different with this Melchizedek priesthood?

Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 6: Confirmation of the Promises to the Fathers

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Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 6: Confirmation of the Promises to the Fathers

In the early chapters of this epistle, Paul had made several references to Yahshua Christ as a High Priest, asserting that He is the High Priest of the Christian profession in Hebrews chapter 3 (3:1), and more generally, that He is a high priest over the children of Israel, His brethren, in Hebrews chapter 2 (2:17). In that passage Paul had said that Yahshua Christ was a “faithful high priest of the things pertaining to Yahweh to make a propitiation for the failures [or sins] of the people.” Saying that, we know that Paul intended to describe the children of Israel because only they ever had the law, and therefore only they ever bore the stigmata of sin, or failure, in the eyes of God, because as Paul himself had explained in his epistle to the Romans 5:13 that where there is no law, sin is not imputed.

Then in Hebrews chapter 5 Paul informed his readers how Yahshua Christ, who was not of the priestly tribe, was nevertheless considered a priest, as he cited the 110th Psalm where it says “4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” It is inevitable that those words apply not to David himself, but to an expected Messiah, as David began that same Psalm with the statement that “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” So David’s lord, and not David himself, is the subject of the subsequent statements.

For this same thing we read in chapter 20 of the Gospel of Luke where Yahshua Christ had addressed certain of the Pharisees as it is recorded: “41 And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David's son? 42 And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 43 Till I make thine enemies thy footstool. 44 David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?” Therefore the lord which David refers to as his lord in Psalm 110:1 was indeed interpreted by all, and especially by Christ Himself, to be a reference to the expected Messiah.

Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 5: The High Priest of God

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Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 5: The High Priest of God

Thus far in his epistle to the Hebrews, Paul of Tarsus has cited many of the Messianic Psalms, attesting that they are prophecies of Yahshua Christ as the promised Son of Scripture, the Messiah or Anointed Son through whom Israel would ultimately attain salvation. Doing this he had also explained that the world was made through that same Son, which must indicate that the Son is one and the same with the Creator Himself, and that Son has also come to rule over His Own household, which are the children of Israel. In other words, the plan of God from the beginning was to become man. For that reason Paul also insists in this epistle that the Son is the first born, which is truly a status that He could only have if He is God. In Hebrews chapter 12 Paul refers to the Christian assembly as the “church of the firstborn”, as the King James Version has it, which is in reference to the assembly of Christ.

It must also be noted that where Paul had explained some of these things, the household of Christ and the household of Moses are still the same household under the New Covenant as they were under the Old Covenant. Furthermore, Paul had also cited the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy, and held up Moses, Joshua, David and Solomon all as types for Christ. Then, making an allegory from the history of the Israelites under Joshua, Paul explained that they had failed to enter into the period of rest promised to them by the Word of God due to their own disobedience, but that such a promise of rest still remained for the children of Israel if they would finally turn to obedience in Christ. And while we saw that this period of rest has a spiritual dimension, it was primarily a promise of national rest: deliverance from the ancient enemies of their God to enjoy the works of their own hands in relative peace. That deliverance is also a promise in Christ, as it is professed in the Gospel in the opening chapter of Luke. [Therefore Christians will only throw off the shackles of the Jew through Christ.]

Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 4: The Day of Rest

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Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 4: The Day of Rest

Many Christian students of Scripture have long realized that the accounts in the Bible contain types and allegories throughout both the historical and the prophetic writings, if we may break all Scripture down into those two categories. However in the Bible the lines between history and prophecy are not always clear because sometimes prophecy presents things which had occurred in the past rather than things which shall occur in the future. Moses was one such prophet, who presented prophecies describing events from both the past and the future, while also recording historical events from his own time. When Moses wrote of the past, his inspiration was not from any recorded histories, but from Yahweh his God. In that same manner, through the prophet Isaiah, Yahweh had challenged the idolaters as it is written in Isaiah chapter 41, where the Word of God says “22 Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.”

So here in his epistle to the Hebrews, Paul draws on facets of the accounts of the lives of David, Solomon and Joshua and applies them in a prophetic manner to Yahshua Christ. The writers of the Gospels did that very same thing, so the types and allegories in the historical events and in the lives of the figures of the Old Testament must have been understood by them as well. Along with them, Paul believed that things which happened to these historical individuals were described as they were in Scripture for the very reason that these men, who were all chosen by Yahweh to be leaders of the children of Israel, were living examples of the Messiah which was to come. These examples are commonly called types, and many Christian students have long understood that at least some of the events in the lives of these men were indeed prophecies of Christ. But there are other such types in Scripture which are not related to specific events or the lives of specific individuals.

Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 3: Christ is Head of His Own Household

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Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 3: Christ is Head of His Own Household

At the opening of this epistle we saw Paul of Tarsus proclaim the coming of a Son appointed “heir of all”, through whom God has chosen to communicate His will to man. So Paul inferred that God no longer conveys His will to men through prophets, as He had done in antiquity. Inevitably, Yahshua Christ is the last of such prophets. But Paul then spoke of this Son as being the image of the substance of God Himself, and many people who are too attached to their own perception of reality in this physical world do not fully understand the implications of such a statement. However some people are so attached to the physical world because it is the only world that they shall ever see, and therefore it is the only world that they can truly understand. This is the nature of true Christianity – that those who are from above hear and sincerely believe the things from above, while those who are not shall forever dispute such things. (And when we engage with them in their endless disputes, we allow ourselves to be captivated by them.)

For this reason Christ said to His adversaries, as it is recorded in John chapter 8: “Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” They will die in their errors, because they have no propitiation, nor any chance for communion with God. Quite ostensibly they are bastards, and therefore they must die in their errors, as there is no other choice for them. Their very existence is a sin against God. It is not as if the enemies of Christ had been given a choice to believe or not. In John chapter 10 Christ said “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” So those who are not of God are not expected to believe Him, and where Christ said “if ye believe not”, He was not giving them a choice. Rather, He was asserting a factual implication. And even in spite of the fact that they sometimes profess to believe, they are often found arguing with God.

Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 2: Angels, Spirits and Men

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Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 2: Angels, Spirits and Men

In the first six verses of his epistle to the Hebrews Paul of Tarsus extolled Yahshua Christ as the ultimate prophet and messenger of Yahweh God, and asserted that all of the messengers, or angels, of God must worship Him. But making this assertion, Paul quoted from Deuteronomy chapter 32, and doing so he also indirectly asserted that Yahshua Christ is God, because the statement which Paul cited from Deuteronomy 32 refers directly to God. We presented a brief examination of that chapter of Deuteronomy, which revealed that it contains an early outline of the plan which Yahweh had for the children of Israel: that they would be scattered on account of their sins, and then they would ultimately be offered salvation and reconciliation as their God takes vengeance on His enemies. So making this association here in Hebrews, Paul equates the Son, Yahshua Christ, as being one and the same with Yahweh, that God of war and vengeance described by Moses, as the Word of God also says in that same chapter of Deuteronomy, “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me”. If there is no other God with Him, then Yahshua Christ must be Him.

There are frequently similar statements in Isaiah which are also related to the salvation of the children of Israel, such as in Isaiah chapter 45 where we read “21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” In relation to those same opening verses of Hebrews we had already pointed out another similar statement which is directly connected with the Gospel of Christ, from Isaiah chapter 52 where the Word of Yahweh says “6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.” Then we compared that passage to the words of Christ in the Gospel where the apostles asked to see God the Father, and Christ replied that “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father”.

Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 1: The Last Prophet is Christ

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Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 1: The Last Prophet is Christ

Several things about this epistle to the Hebrews have been a subject of debate throughout Christian history, including the identity of the author, where and when it was written, and to whom it was addressed. We will rather confidently answer all of those questions here, even if some of our proofs are only circumstantial. First, it is evident from the closing salutation in the final verses of Hebrews chapter 13 that Paul of Tarsus is the author. There he says “23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.” This promise is similar to others made by Paul elsewhere in his epistles, however that alone does not prove Paul’s authorship. Unlike all of his other epistles, this one has no opening salutation. But that too is for an important reason.

Now many of those who acknowledge that Paul is the author of this epistle claim that it was written while he was under arrest in Rome, however that is not true. They base that claim on the next verse of Hebrews chapter 13, where it says “Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints”, which is also a statement sounding very much like Paul although we would translate it differently, and then “They of Italy salute you.” Now, on the surface that last phrase seems to support the assertion that the epistle was written in Rome, however it actually does precisely the opposite. In the original Greek wording of that statement there is a preposition, ἀπό, which denotes separation and origin. If Paul were in Italy, he did not need that preposition, but only the Genitive Case noun to denote the origin of those whom he meant to describe. Using ἀπό, he is actually saying that these individuals were from Italy, and it becomes evident that he is describing people who had originated from Italy but were not necessarily in Italy as he was writing.

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