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Consider the stories that were handed down to Paul about the appearances of Jesus after His resurrection.  Read 1 Corinthians 15.3-8 and see what is missing:  For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance (you at first):  That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter (Cephas), and then to the twelve.  After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.  Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all He appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Whether it was kept hidden from Paul or Paul just forgot, we know Jesus did not appear to Peter first but to Mary Magdalene and then to the other women.  One might argue Paul was only listing the order in which He, Jesus, appeared to the apostles.  The funniest thing is this:  When did Jesus appear to Peter?  It is not recorded except for this verse in Luke 24.34:  “It is true!  The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 

So what do you think?  You, who know Jesus appeared first to Magdalene and then to the other women.

There is much value placed on Paul’s writings.  Indeed, for some, it is even more important than the words of Jesus in the four Gospels and the Revelation.  And any hint that we are teaching that the so-called ‘Corpus Christi’ and the ‘Epistles’ be disregarded would be tantamount to heresy.  Far from it, the letters of the apostles, the Epistles as they are called, are invaluable to all and sundry, whether you are of the lineage of Jerusalem or whether you are of the lineage of Galilee.  As such, in answer to any charges that we are discarding the Epistles, we are not.  They remain integral to the outworking and schemes of God’s plans on Earth, as integral as Genesis, the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms.  As Genesis is for those who have never heard of Moses or Jesus, and the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms are for those who have heard of Moses and follow him, so the Epistles, the writings of Paul, Peter, John, James and Jude, are essential to the believers of Christ who are led by those who did not obey the command to go to Galilee on resurrection morning. 

As such, it is important in your handling of the word, of the Scriptures, to know which is for whom.

  • Genesis is for all sons of Adam who believe God… like Noah and Abraham.
  • The Law, the Psalms and the Prophets are for those who are under the Law of Moses and who seek to fulfill righteousness by its observance, whether in full or in part, and for whom Jesus is just another prophet.
  • The epistles are for those who believe the testimony of Jesus, but are led by the eleven who did not go, did not obey, did not repent and did not wait for the Holy Spirit before they made themselves the twelve again.

For if you had indeed gone on resurrection morning, you would have been to those who did not go as one who is abnormally born, as Paul said he himself was.  Abnormal because you would not only have witnessed the truth of the messages of the angels and the women, especially Magdalene, but you would have become witness to the full glory of Christ in the power of His resurrection as you stood with Him on that mountain and experience your own transfiguration.

Had that happened, had one gone and the other ten stayed, then it would have been an even worse disaster than the current situation where no one went.  For if you had gone, but the others did not, then the house of the Lord would have been divided from the beginning, and as the Lord said, “…no city or house divided against itself will stand.”  It would have been worse than it was for Israel when God had to tear ten tribes from Solomon and give them to Jeroboam.  As Israel was ten tribes and Judah alone remained with Solomon, so it would be the ten who did not go and the one who went to see Mary appointed the twelfth.  In a way, thank God the eleven were unanimous in their disbelief and disobedience.  That unity allowed something to be salvaged from a much worse situation.

However, the situation under the eleven and Matthias deteriorated to the point that when the time came, Saul of Tarsus was changed by the glory of Jesus to Paul the apostle.  In Paul’s own words:  For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  Was there no one else available from amongst the existing church who could have been raised up to do what Paul did?

What did Paul do?  Now read, see and understand why the Pauline Epistles are indispensable even for us… especially for us.  Except for Phillip, there is no mention of the Kingdom of God that Jesus spent speaking to the apostles about over a period of 40 days in any of the epistles of Peter, John, James and Jude.  Paul alone was the one who specifically spoke and taught of the Kingdom of God in his letters (eight times).  He was the one who defined for us that the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, not a matter of talk but of power. 

But Jesus in Acts 1.3, according to Luke, could only speak to the apostles about the Kingdom of God.  He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the Kingdom of God.  Jesus could only speak to them about it because they were not there to see it when God wanted to show them the Kingdom of God.  You see, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God.” 

After that verse, Luke recorded for us the Mount of Transfiguration, and in Mark 9.1 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God come with power.”  Then Mark recorded in verse 9.2 the Mount of Transfiguration event.  Mark wrote:  After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John…  And Luke recorded:  About eight days after Jesus said this, He took Peter, John and James…

We know what Peter, James and John heard and saw, and indeed, they did see a foretaste of the coming of the Kingdom of God with power.  Power that kept men alive over thousands of years like Elijah and Moses, one who never died and one who died only to receive back his body after the archangel Michael argued over it with Satan and won the argument by saying, “The Lord rebuke you!”  And power that came out of Jesus transfiguring Him, His face and His clothes, so that they might see and understand what He meant when He taught them, “…the Kingdom of God is within (among) you.”  That is right, all that power, joy, peace and righteousness are within those who are disciples, born again, called and chosen disciples who are in Christ.

Now James, the brother of John, did not live long enough to write an epistle.  Only John and Peter were eyewitnesses of the transfiguration to have their epistles included in the Library.  Yet both of them did not mention the Kingdom of God in their letters.  Peter mentioned the ‘eternal kingdom’, which one could suppose is the Kingdom of God… but it is not like Paul writing about the kingdom using these three words, ‘the Kingdom of God’… so that there is no room for suppositions.

Does it not occur to you that it is incredible that the Kingdom of God is not mentioned by its title, the title the Lord Jesus used in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, in 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John and 3 John?  A kingdom Jesus spent 40 days speaking to them about whenever He appeared to them.  Rather, it was Paul, the abnormally born one, who mentioned the Kingdom of God to us again and again in his letters.  For Paul is the one who took the stand alone against the men from James the Younger when Peter was hypocritical and Barnabas was led astray also. 

As such, elect, we do not dispense with the Epistles at all, for they are the clear recording of the events and consequences of the church raised up by those who did not go, did not believe and did not obey.  The continuation of the church as described and governed in the Epistles is what we will be in danger of perpetuating if we ourselves now disbelieve, disobey and disregard what we have read and seen with our own eyes, that which the Holy Spirit has recorded in the Gospels for us.

If you were there on the Mount of Transfiguration when the glory of Jesus was revealed, you would not need to be told about it, for you have been shown the Kingdom of God.  If Jesus showed you the Kingdom of God, He would not need to tell you about it.  However, in the wisdom of God, when one disobeyed, all disobeyed.  When someone suggested going to Capernaum that evening after the feeding of the 5000 instead of obeying and going immediately to Bethsaida, all twelve got into the boat, no one stayed behind for Jesus.

For at that point in time, unity, even in disobedience, was more important for the kingdom and the house than disunity… up to a period of time.  Just as it was important for the Lord to maintain the kingdoms of Israel and Judah as two kingdoms under one temple, overlooking the rebellions of the kings of Israel for the sake of David until the time came and the Assyrians destroyed Israel, leaving Judah as the only kingdom belonging to God… so likewise, the Kingdoms of Heaven and of God have been allowed to be considered as one and the same until the time for their separation.  Just as surely as there will be a separating of the saints in Heaven, those who died believers and those who died as martyrs in preparation of the first resurrection, so there will be a separation of the church on Earth.  No, not a civil war as some would think, but a war within that will bring about perfect unity and agreement.  A war that will not divide the kingdom but unite the kingdom, not divide the house but unite the house.  A war that is impossible with men but possible with God.

For those who hold to the Jerusalem lineage and heritage have their hearts set on Heaven and an eternity worshipping God there, but those whose eyes are opened to see the Galilean lineage have their hearts set on Jesus and working for Him throughout the millennium.  And those who hold dearly to Jerusalem and its heritage will oppose those who see what no eyes have seen, no ears have heard, no mind conceived, but what God has prepared in Galilee for those who agape Him.  Since it will be those who hold to Jerusalem, not Galilee, who will propose the war, then by the same right, the rules of war may be applied to them so that those who are faint hearted, who have built houses for themselves in Heaven, planted vineyards or made plans to enjoy Heaven, or pledged to worship God in Heaven, as it is written:  Let him go home… 

Hence, the perfect paradox of God yet again, the emergence of those who see the Galilean lineage provoking those who hold dearly to the Jerusalem lineage to civil war would permit the application of the rules of going to war whereby those whose hearts are set on Heaven will all go to Heaven, some to wait the second resurrection, others to return for the first because of the courage they will display in holding onto their testimony and the word of God, and those whose hearts and minds are set on remaining alive until Jesus arrives will likewise do so. 

So, out of war the Lord brings perfect peace and the Earth is prepared and all who are in the church are moved to the places they have desired for themselves in the Lord.  Those who desire Heaven will be in Heaven, and those who desire to be on the Mount of Transfiguration will be on that mount, and those who have through dedicated practice and trials shown themselves capable to be trusted will be on the Mount of Olives defending it until the beast and the false prophet are captured and their armies slain.  Then after the dead in Christ are risen, so shall those who are left alive rise to meet with the Lord in the clouds to be with Him forever, exactly as the one who was abnormally born has prophesied.

For Paul mastered the art of unity even when he did not agree with what he saw or heard as he wrote to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 1.10, making it amply clear we are to only follow Christ, not another man, not even Paul himself.  As such, if a man does not listen to Jesus, the Epistles are worthless and misleading for him from the beginning, no matter how well schooled or lettered he may be in theology, doctrine or church history.  But to one who does listen to Jesus, the Epistles are invaluable and hold the lessons to be learned of the consequences of not listening, not believing and not obeying Jesus Christ, the Lord and Master of His church.

And so to one and all, regardless of whatever lineage you choose to uphold and honour, the command does not change.  As it was in the beginning when the Father first spoke to the disciples of Jesus Christ, so it is the same now and forever.  The command remains, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!

So, listen to Him who is our Lord.  If He commands you to go to Heaven, then to Heaven you must go.  If He commands you to go to the Mount of Transfiguration, to the Mount of Transfiguration you must go.  If He commands you to go to the Mount of Olives, to the Mount of Olives you must go.  And when all are in place in Heaven and on Earth, then shall our Lord thunder forth on His white charger, leading His lords and kings out of Heaven on clouds of glory to bring the Kingdom of God to its full fruition on Earth and establish His kingdom on Earth as He is crowned in Jerusalem.  A Jerusalem that is rebuilt after it has been destroyed by the great earthquake.  A Jerusalem on Earth that no eyes have seen, no ears have heard, no mind conceived, but one God will reveal to those who agape His Son.  A Jerusalem cleansed of all the filth of the prostitute and her menstrual rags.  To those who cry, “War!” we give a peace offering – Jesus Christ, the Son of Man.  Listen to Him and live!  Amen. 

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