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Who Are You?

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The words ‘Hebrews,’ ‘Israelites’ and ‘Jews’ appear in the Bible to denote the descendants of Jacob… and we have been using them without understanding why they are there.  We assume that a Hebrew is the same as an Israelite who is the same as a Jew.  When we do that we insult our God who uses every word with precision and purpose.

The word ‘Hebrew’ is used to describe the descendants of Jacob when they were slaves in Egypt and were covered with the dust of the field, and the meaning of the word is ‘dusty ones.’  It is the term that is used for the people of God before they were set free from slavery.

When Moses led the descendants of Jacob out of Egypt, they became a nation and from then on the term ‘Israelite’ was used.  The term ‘Israelite’ is to denote the descendants of Jacob when they were a nation and a kingdom.

The first time the word ‘Jew’ appeared in the Bible is in the book of Esther.   It is a term used to describe the Israelites in exile, and not only in exile but also without a kingdom.  That is why the term continued to be used even in the days of Jesus, for though they had returned from the exile, they still remained a people without a kingdom.  The present Israel may be a nation, but it is not a kingdom.  Hence its people are known as Israelis and not Israelites, and the term ‘Jew’ is still in use.

Now then, what of those who profess to be believers of Christ, the Christians?  This term was given to the disciples at Antioch and is now the common term used to describe all who profess Christ in their lives in some form or another, regardless of their denomination and doctrines.  So then, what is a ‘Christian’?  To answer that, you must look at the church that was raised in Antioch.  It was a church raised as a result of the delay of the arrival of the Holy Spirit.  It was a church raised as a result of the failure of the eleven to go to Galilee on resurrection morning, and the failure of Peter and John as well as the other five to remain in Jerusalem after Jesus commanded them to do so on resurrection evening.  Therefore, the term ‘Christian’ refers to the descendants of the church that should not have been, not to the descendants of the church that should have been.

The truth is that most who call themselves Christian are looking forward to their kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven, which can only be accessed through death after repentance.  For the message about the Kingdom of Heaven is:  “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” [Matthew 4.17]  It has no good news.  Even in the parable of the wheat and the tares, both the good seed and the bad seed are harvested, that is, death comes for both the sons of the devil and those who are the sons of the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus only began to preach the Kingdom of Heaven after they disbelieved Him in Nazareth.  That is, when those who should know Him disbelieve Him, then all He has to offer them is the Kingdom of Heaven.  Only to those who do not know Him and yet believe Him can He offer the Kingdom of God.  Of course it goes without saying that if you know Him and believe Him, you are automatically in the Kingdom of God anyway.  That is why He said to the disciples that the Kingdom of God is within you and it is amongst you.  For a disciple is supposed to know Him and also believe Him, unless you are like the eleven.  Though they had spent two years with Him and therefore knew Him, they still did not believe Him enough to go on resurrection morning.  So the Kingdom of God was never launched through them or by them.  What power they were able to display as the sick were healed and the dead were raised only got them to be known as a cult… the Cult of the Way.  Nowhere in the book of Acts is it recorded that the people recognised them as the Kingdom of God.  Had they been recognised as the Kingdom of God, they would have been referred to as ‘Goddites.’

So when Paul wrote the letter and addressed it to the Hebrews, what was he trying to tell us?  Sure it was a letter to the church, but it was a letter to the ‘Christians,’ that is, those who are still waiting for their kingdom like the Hebrews of old were waiting for their kingdom.  That is why in it he had to teach all over again who Jesus is… as if he were teaching it to people who have believed but do not know.  Even though that letter was the apostle’s greatest epistle, it was only a letter directed to the immature, to those who had yet to receive their kingdom – ‘Hebrews.’  As such, understand that a ‘Christian’ is a nickname given by unbelievers to those who believe Jesus but are yet to receive their kingdom.

As for those who did receive the kingdom but then lost it, the name for them is ‘Cultist,’ for the disciples became known only as a cult and not a kingdom in their days.  Their display of power only caused people to view them as a cult.  It is a term that carries a derogatory meaning, like the term used to refer to the descendants of Jacob who lost their kingdom.  For the eleven were given the Kingdom of God and Jesus only spoke of the Kingdom of God during the forty days after He was raised from the dead.  However, their unbelief placed the kingdom in such danger that by Acts 15 they lost it for themselves when they listened to a man who did not have in mind the things of God but of men.

Though many have tried to call themselves the ‘Kingdom of God,’ no one has been able to provide the necessary credentials that can authenticate him to be a representative of the kingdom and has ended his days as a Cultist only.  They forget that it is not by their declaration that they become the Kingdom of God, but rather, it is by the declaration of the Holy Spirit with power that they become the Kingdom of God, for the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.  Calling ourselves as being the Kingdom of God is talk.  Being able to do the things that Jesus has been doing is the proof of that power.  As such, it is not a matter of talk or wise and persuasive words, but a matter of power, as Paul wrote.

Any Tom, Dick or Harry can prophesy that Jesus is coming, that the days of distress are coming, and that they are the ones sent to prepare the Earth… even myself.  Unless there is a demonstration of power of the standard of Jesus, then we are all just talking and the lame are not walking and there is nothing for the blind to see or the deaf to hear or the dumb to speak about.  It is only when the blind can see the lame walking and the deaf can hear the dumb talking that truly the Kingdom of God is amongst you.  So what is easier to do:  Cause a cripple to walk or to repent?  We need to repent and then repent some more.  Something that the twelve never did when they tried to go to Capernaum instead of Bethsaida, something the eleven did not do when they did not go to Galilee but stayed in Jerusalem, and something the seven did not do when they went to Galilee and did not stay in Jerusalem. [John 21]

For Jesus is indeed coming back and He is not coming back for His bride… no, His bride is New Jerusalem.  He is not coming back for His church, for His church is His body… but rather, He is coming back for His kingdom.  As He had taught in the parable of the growing seed, [Mark 4.26-34] the Kingdom of God is like a man who planted a seed, day and night how it grew no one knows, but there will come a time when it is ready for the harvest.  That is, there is a time when the Kingdom of God He had sown in His word will manifest and at that time He will return for it.  Jesus once asked whimsically whether the Son of Man would find faith when He returns. [Luke 18.8]  What sort of faith was He speaking of?  He was speaking of the faith that would bring forth the Kingdom of God on Earth.  The faith that would have compelled the eleven to go to Galilee and the ten to stay in Jerusalem. [Luke 24.49]  The faith that would have caused them to at least repent when they knew they had disobeyed.

So then, as a Hebrew is a descendant of Jacob who has yet to receive his kingdom and freedom, a Christian is a descendant of the disciples who has yet to receive his kingdom and freedom.  As a Jew is one who has lost his kingdom, a Cultist is one who has lost his kingdom.  And as an Israelite is one who has received his kingdom and is living in it, so then a Goddite is one who has received the Kingdom of God and is living in it.  And those who are in the Kingdom of God who are working for the King to prepare for His coronation are ‘Christocrats.’

So then, who are you?  A Christian, a Cultist, a Goddite or a Christocrat who is a citizen of the kingdom of God who is employed to establish the Kingdom of Christ.

Hr. Ed, manager of the Holy Spirit’s Workshop

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