Just How Christ-Centric Is Scripture?

V____wrote: To Mike Vinson and the other writers of iswasandwillbe.com, My name is V____. I am currently listed in the registry of a church called Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ). The reason I didn't outright say I am a member of that church is because I don't believe in a lot of its teachings anymore. If you are not familiar with this church, it is founded in the Philippines in 1914 by a Filipino named Felix Y. Manalo (the members believe that it is a reestablishment of the church founded by Christ during the first century). Some of their main teachings are: - The worm Jacob in Isaiah 41:14 pertains to Mr. Manalo - The angel ascending from the east in Revelations 7:2 also pertains to him. - They don't believe in the trinity, but they also don't believe in the divinity of Christ. My questions are: 1. Who really is the worm Jacob in Isaiah 41:14 and the angel in Revelations 7:2? 2. What verses in the bible are incontrovertible proofs that Christ is God? I pray to God that He continue to bless you as He uses you and your website for us to start seeing the Truths. Hi V____, Thank you for your story and for your questions. I am happy that you are reading and receiving edification from the writings on iswasandwillbe.com. Your questions are: 1. Who really is the worm, Jacob, in Isaiah 41:14 and the angel in Revelations 7:2? 2. What verses in the bible are incontrovertible proofs that Christ is God? In order to answer your first question you must know how to understand the prophecies of God's Word. Christ told His apostles: Mark 4:13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? There is a principle that is imparted only by God's spirit, that gives the understanding of "all parables," and allegories, examples and types. I strongly suggest that you read our paper entitled How To Rightly Divide The Word Using A Principle Only The Apostles Understood.

Once you understand that principle, God's word really begins to open up to you so that you can understand the scriptures. But receiving this principle is a work of the holy spirit only. It cannot be imparted by man: 1 Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Christ Himself told Peter as much: Matt 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. It was the ability to apply this principle, demonstrated in the way the Old Testament is quoted in the New Testament, which Christ imparted to His disciples in this verse: Luke 24:41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat ? Luke 24:42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. Luke 24:43 And he took it, and did eat before them. Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These [meat and honey, mature and immature] are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Luke 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, Christ told us plainly that His "meat" was to do the will of His Father. He told us that He was our bread of life and He told us all that life was to know Him and His Father: John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent . John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. So simply stated, the principle Christ revealed to His disciples when He "opened their understanding that they might understand the scriptures," is that anything written in the law or the prophets or the Psalms concerning the patriarchs or the prophets or the kings or the nation of Israel itself, is actually being spoken concerning Christ and His Christ. A few quick examples, which will never be understood by "the natural man" will serve to demonstrate this principle: Hos 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. Hos 11:2 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images. Here we have a prophecy concerning Israel's deliverance from Egypt. It clearly states that as God was in the process of delivering Israel, and Israel was in the process of backsliding, making themselves a golden calf and "burning incense to graven images." This is not a very flattering verse of scripture. It is rather a very shameful example, among many, of Israel's weak and sinful nature. To the natural man this would seem to refer to anything in the world except Jesus Christ. But the holy spirit has seen fit to let us know that in its highest application, this prophecy is

actually a reference to "the Christ." It is actually a reference, according to the holy spirit, to Christ and those who are in Him: Matt 2:14 When he [Joseph, Mary's husband] arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: Matt 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. How can this verse of scripture possibly be made to apply to Christ? It applies to Christ because it applies to Israel, and now through Christ, to the "new creature ... the Israel of God:" Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. Gal 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God . This principle applies to "every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." And so we are told: Matt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. All who are "in Christ" are "called out of Egypt and are "yet carnal" wanting to return to Egypt. Christ, our head, could never be guilty of sin, and yet He to had to "come out of Egypt," so as to "live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." In the very next verse in Matthew 2, this principle is again demonstrated: Matt 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Matt 2:17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, Matt 2:18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping [for] her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. Rama is not Bethlehem. Rama is a town which is about as far north and east of Jerusalem as Bethlehem is south and west of Jerusalem. And still the holy spirit, and any who "opens he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures," has no problem at all applying this prophecy to Christ and the events surrounding this period of His life. The Adversary will always attack and attempt to destroy all who are in "the Christ" soon after they are called into His service. Luke 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 1 Pet 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Another verse that will serve to demonstrate that all scripture is truly Christ centric is this: Deu 21:22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: Deu 21:23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him

that day; (for he that is hanged [is] accursed of God; ) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. Here is a verse of God's world which is plainly speaking of the very worst of mankind, " a man...worthy of death... hanged on a tree." To whom do you suppose this verse refers? According to the holy spirit we are once again talking about "the Christ" which includes both our perfect spotless Saviour and "His Christ." Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Was Christ not cursed until he was hanged on a tree? Is that what we are being told? No, Christ was hung on a tree because He came "in the likeness of sinful flesh." Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; The moment Christ entered Mary's womb, he stepped into "the lowest part of the earth," he stepped into "the valley of the shadow of death." Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Psa 139:15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Christ would have been incapable of dying if He had not been "shapen in iniquity." Was He born of the holy spirit from His mother's womb? Yes, He was. But His mother was "of Adam" just as are any of us who have also been "born of the spirit." John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Christ came in "the same...sinful flesh...as the children" (Hebrews 2:14). He came in this form so he could be crucified and die: Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Christ is now "both Lord and Christ." It was Christ Himself who declared to his apostles: John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. This doctrine of 'the Christ" of Christ is a major key to understanding the fact that all scripture is, in truth, concerned with Christ and His Christ. Here is the Truth of this matter:

1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. I say Christ and "His Christ," simply because those are the words of scripture. Anything that applies to Christ also applies to "His Christ...His body which is the church." The one exception to this Truth, as with Christ and His Father, is Christ's headship. The Father has given all He has to Christ. All but the power of the throne. Christ too, has given all He has to His body. All but the headship of the body. Christ did not suffer and die so the we could avoid suffering and dying. Christ suffered and died so that He could now fill up in our bodies that which is yet 'behind of the sufferings of the Christ.' (REV) Col. 1:24 Now, am I rejoicing in the sufferings on your behalf, and am filling up the things that lack of the tribulations of the Christ, in my flesh, in behalf of his body, which is the assembly, (EDT) Col. 1:24 Now I rejoice in the sufferings on behalf of you, and I fill up the wants of the afflictions of the Anointed one in the flesh of me on behalf of the body of him, which is the congregation; (KJV) Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: So when we read: Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. [It really means 'all things.'] Here is one more verse which helps to demonstrate that the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms are all about Christ and His Christ: Isa 54:6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. Isa 54:7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. Isa 54:8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. Isa 54:9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. Can Jesus Christ be "as a woman" and at the same time be the Son of God? Can you and I be both the bride of Christ and at the same time be sons of "the everlasting Father?" According to 1 Corinthians 11, and Ephesians 5 we are to be subject to Christ just as a wife submits to her husband and just as Christ submits Himself to His Father: 1 Cor 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Once again, what concerns Christ concerns His body, His bride, His church. And what concerns His body, bride, church, Israel, prophets, kings, etc, concerns Christ. Here in Isaiah 54, in adjacent verses we are told "I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee," and yet we are also told in these same few verses: "for a small moment have I forsaken thee, and in a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment." To whom does this all refer? Matt 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Once again those with eyes to see can indeed perceive that "the law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms" are all about Christ. Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Luke 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, To what does it all add up? It all demonstrates that The revelation of Jesus Christ begins in verse one of Genesis: Gen 1:1 In the beginning [Hebrew - H7225 - reshiyth - firstfruit - Christ] God created the heaven and the earth. H7225 ×¨× ×©× ×™×ª reÌ‚'shiÌ‚yth ray-sheeth' From the same as H7218; the first, in place, time, order or rank (specifically a firstfruit ): beginning, chief (-est), first (-fruits, part, time), principal thing. And the "revelation of Jesus Christ" continues on to Revelation 22:21. Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Rev 22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Our part in the things written in this book means that we must come to acknowledge that all that is in Adam is in us. Our part in the sayings of the prophecy of this book is the whole book. Just

as all the evil things concerning Christ are as "His Christ," made applicable to Him through our sins, so too, are all the sins of Adam made applicable to us, in all of us. But it is also true that just as Christ was "delivered through our offenses and was raised through our justification," so too, are we "accepted in the beloved." Rom 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; Rom 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Rom 4:25 Who was delivered for [Greek - dia - through] our offences, and was raised again for [Greek - dia - through] our justification. Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. "As He is so are we in this world" is the Truth of God's word (1 John 4:17). So with all of this in mind, let us now look at the verses in question: 1. Who really is the worm Jacob in Isaiah 41:14 and the angel in Revelations 7:2? Let's now read Isaiah 41:14: Isa 41:14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Inasmuch as all the verses we have demonstrated above concerning Christ and His Christ, this verse is certainly no different. If the first Adam, typifies Christ, why would not Jacob do the same? Jacob was one of the 'patriarchs.' When the scriptures speak of the patriarchs they are speaking of Christ. This principle goes all the way back to Adam himself: Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure [Greek - tupos - type] of him that was to come. Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed , and heirs according to the promise. Gal 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise ["in Christ"]. I don't write these things, I just point to them and quote them. Adam and all in Adam, "is the figure of Him that was to come." This "thou worm Jacob" is no exception to this rule. Look at the verses preceding this verse. They tell us of whom they speak: Isa 41:8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Isa 41:9 [Thou] whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou [art] my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee

away. Isa 41:10 Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isa 41:11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Isa 41:12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, [even] them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. Isa 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. This verse, we are clearly told is speaking of "the seed of Abraham." Isa 41:8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Is there anyone who can read these verses and fail to see that Jacob is Israel. And who is Israel today? Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed , and heirs according to the promise. When Mr.Manalo takes verses which refer to "the Christ" and "His Christ," the "Israel of God," and he applies these verses to himself alone, then it is far more likely that you, Victor, if you are humble, and are aware that Christ intends to save all men, will be "Abraham's seed," ahead of Mr. Manalo, who apparently thinks that he alone is, the elect of God. Please understand that I have nothing personal against this man. I have never in my life even heard of this man until this, your e-mail. Now let's look at your next verse in question, Revelation 7:2. Could it be that this verse also is Christ centric? Rev 7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, You have no hope of ever understanding any verse of this prophecy if you do not first see that you are instructed at the beginning and the end of this book as to how you are to approach "the sayings of the prophecy of this book." Here are those instructions for all with eyes to see and ears to hear: Rev 1:3 Blessed [is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. Whatever this angel is, he is to be kept and observed and done within each of us. Is there another verse of scripture which bears this out? Yes there is, but let us first see how this admonition is repeated right at the end of this book: Rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed [is] he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Again, whoever is this angel, he must be "kept" and lived inwardly, in each of God's elect. Who is this angel? Who are all of these angels? What exactly is an 'angel?' Here is Strong's definition of this Greek word translated 'angel:' G32 aggelos ang'-el-os From αÌ"Î³Î³ÎµÌ Î»Î»Ï‰ aggelloÌ„ (probably derived from G71; compare G34; to bring tidings); a messenger; especially an "angel"; by implication a pastor: - angel, messenger. So the word 'angel' simply means "a messenger." We must discern from God's word whether this messenger is a spirit or a man. Which is this messenger here in this 22nd chapter of Revelation? Let's allow this angel, himself to tell us who he symbolizes. He tells all with ears to hear in the very next verse in chapter 22: Rev 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Rev 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. This 'angel is but one of God's symbolic 144, 000 elect, who must all "keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book," from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. We are told the exact same thing three chapters earlier. Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant , and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. This 'angel here in chapter 19 is also "of your brothers who have the testimony of Jesus." Whether human messengers or spirit messengers, angels are but messengers of Christ and His Father. The angel of chapter 7 is no different. He is a messenger who is sent to judge God's elect." and we know to whom that office is given: 1 Cor 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 1 Cor 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? Again, remember, "As He is so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17). Christ inheritance "is in His saints" and His saints' "inheritance is in Christ." Eph 1:11 In whom [Christ] also we have obtained an inheritance , being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Christ's inheritance is "in the saints." The saints "have obtained and inheritance in Christ." Together they are called in scripture "the Christ." In Acts two Peter tells the Jews that they had crucified Jesus, who God had made "both Lord and Christ." Then in Acts four we find "the Christ" of Christ holed up behind locked doors praying this prayer: Act 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. And then there is this verse: Rev 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And this: Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. So Ephesian one ends with these words: Eph 1:21 [Christ is] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world [Greek - age], but also in that [age] which is to come: Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. This is already way too long. I hope you are given the eyes to see that everything from "Adam, who is a figure of Him that was to come (Romans 5:14), to a man worthy of death (Deut. 21"2122), to a woman who is forsaken and God turns his back on her (Isaiah 54:5-8), to all of us coming out of Egypt" (Hosea 11:1-2), it is all the revelation of Jesus Christ. It was through this revelation that both Paul and John came to see and know Christ: Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ . 1 Pet 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

I hope you can now see that "the revelation of Jesus Christ starts in Genesis 1:1 and ends in Revelation 22:21. I hope this helps you to see more clearly what Christ meant when He clearly stated: Matt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. I hope this helps you to better understand what "eat my body and drink my blood" means. John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. John 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. John 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. Christ's "body" and "this bread" are one and the same thing; both are His word, "every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God... [all] the sayings of the prophecy of this book" (Rev. 1:3 and 22:6-8). Your second question was concerning Christ being God. Christ is not the God who retains the power of the throne. Christ is God in the same sense that you and I are 'gods.' That is Christ's own assessment: John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; John 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? According to Christ, His claim to being God was no more than "He called them gods." It is Christ Himself who tells us: John 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come [again] unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And of course he also admits that He is the beginning of God's creation: Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I will quote but one more verse on this subject:

1 Cor 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and [ besides this "one God of whom are all things"there is also] one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Like Joseph in Egypt, Christ has been given all that His father has, including God's spirit, Christ has been given "a name that is above every name," including the names 'everlasting Father' and 'the Almighty.' But just as Pharaoh retained the power of the throne: Gen 41:38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find [such a one] as this [is], a man in whom the Spirit of God [is]? Gen 41:39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, [there is] none so discreet and wise as thou [art]: Gen 41:40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou . Gen 41:41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. John 16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. ...so too has the Father retained the power of the throne: 1 Cor 15:27 For he [the Father] hath put all things under his feet [Christ's]. But when he [the Father] saith all things are put under him [Christ], it is manifest that he [the Father ] is excepted, which did put all things under him [Christ]. 1 Cor 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him [Christ], then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him [the Father] that put all things under him [Christ], that God may be all in all. So much for the 'Jesus only' doctrine. I would suggest that you read or reread our newly revised Is God A Trinity article on iswasandwillbe.com I hope this answers your questions to your satisfaction. If not, please let me know. Mike V____ wrote: Dear Mike, Thank you for your answers. These motivate me even more to read the Bible especially the Old testament. Before, I'm ashamed to say, I found myself bored to read the OT for I thought it was just a series of stories about the patriarchs. But when I began to read articles from iswasandwillbe.com, I found their staggering significance.

For my first question, you said "...Mr. Manalo, who apparently thinks that he alone is, the elect of God". In fairness to Mr. Manalo, I forgot to mention that he also thinks Isaiah 41:14 also includes the elect. But the big difference between your teachings is who he thinks constitute the elect. As far as I know, he taught (he is dead now, the current executive minister of the church is his son Erano Manalo) that there are 3 groups that will be saved: 1) the patriarchs, 2) the disciples of Jesus Christ during his ministry and 3) the members of the Iglesia ni Cristo. In other words, they don't believe that all of humanity will be saved. About Rev. 7:2, they also state their interpretation that the word angel could pertain to a man. But that's where their interpretation stops from being dubious. Revelations 7:2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, According to them, the east is the Philippines, the seal of the living God is the word of God (which is probably correct), the four angels are the "big four" of WWI (Lloyd George of the UK, Orlando of Italy, Clemenceau of France and Wilson of the USA). I'm not making this up. I'm also not making fun of them, but these and their other interpretations of prophecies in the bible are but foolishness when God begins to open your understanding. Here's another verse that they teach as pertaining to Mr. Manalo: Isaiah 46:11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it. So how many guesses do I have who this verse pertain to? Seriously, how can our Lord and His elect be called or likened to "a bird of prey"? I will write more letters to you and will ask more questions. But I will also pray for you for God to give you more wisdom and strength so that you will continue to be a blessing to us. Please pray for me also, so that I may continue to have the zeal to study God's words and to have the faith of Christ. Sincerely, V____ Good morning V____, I am grateful that you are growing in your understanding of the mind of God. Thank you for clarifying Mr. Manalo's doctrine. Your clarification helps to demonstrate just how true it is that "the natural man... cannot...compare spiritual with spiritual [as] the holy spirit teaches." 1 Cor 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

1 Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. In Mr. Manalo's interpretation of Revelation 7:2, He compares spiritual with physical just like all natural minded men do: Revelations 7:2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, Mr. Manalo says the spiritual 'east' is the physical east. He declares that the spiritual four angels are four physical men at one certain time in history. Time has, of course, proven Mr. Manalo was wrong in his interpretations. All such attempts to compare spiritual with physical will always lead one into spiritual error and spiritual blindness. Both spiritual light and spiritual judgment, come from the spiritual east. They always have and always will come from the east. Light does not "come from the east" today but not tomorrow. So it is with the book of Revelation. "The time is at hand" today, and "the time ["will be"] at hand tomorrow, just as it was at hand yesterday. You are exactly right about the "seal of God." Christ said his words were spirit and Paul says we are "sealed with the holy spirit of promise." It is this spiritual component of God's Word which "cannot be received by the natural man." Eph 1:13 In whom [Christ and His Word] ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. God's spirit and God's Word are one and the same. Those who know God's Word know God, have His holy spirit and are sealed by this "angel ascending from the east." John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. The natural man has a really hard time with that verse. But it was true when it was first written, it is true now, and it will be true tomorrow. All attempts to compare physical things with spiritual things, ignores this "is, was and will be" character of God's word, applies these timeless words to one particular generation and robs us all of "keeping the sayings of the prophecy of this book." The four angels "are, were and will be" God's messengers to His whole church. Read the study on The Spiritual Significance of The Number Four on iswasandwillbe. Every time the natural man attempts to interpret God's Word with physical elements, he is denying that Christ and His words were just as relevant when they were first written as they are today: Rev 1:3 Blessed [is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

According to Mr. Manalo and every other orthodox Christian interpreter of scripture, "the time was [not] at hand" at all. Indeed, according to all dispensationalists, "the time would [not] be at hand" for another nearly 2,000 years. At the end of the book of Revelation we are reminded that we are to keep everything we have just read: Rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. Does that sound like something to be kept only after two thousand years have passed? When God's own people falsely claim revelation, they are automatically "adding to and taking away from the prophecy of this book." This is a very serious infraction to the mind of the spirit. So, what are we told right after repeating this clear character of God's Word in its very last chapter? Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. All Dispensational or Preterist interpretations of scripture deny the ever relevant character of scripture. What Mr. Manalo was doing when he said the four angels were four specific men at a specific time in history, was to deny that this part of this prophecy had any relevance to the men who read this book in the days of the apostle John. He was denying that those words had any relevance to any generation but his own and those who were living when those four world leaders were living. What the Dispensational or Preterist approach to God's word does is to say that no one but the first generation at the time of Christ, as the Preterists teach, or the last gerneration just before the return of Christ, as dispensationalists teach, must "keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book." Considering the warning at the end of the book, this is not a very good doctrine. This book is addressed to "the seven churches." Read our study on The Spiritual Significance of The Number Seven. The use of the number seven tells us that this book is addressed to the complete church of God down through the past two thousand years. As this book clearly tells us, this prophecy is for "he that hath an ear" in every generation since Christ. The book of Revelation is but the capstone to God's Word. It cannot be separated from the rest of the Bible. "Man must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" not just the words of the book of Revelation. But the book of Revelation makes it clear that this is a book whose words are always "at hand," and it is a book which is to be "kept" and the things in this book must all "shortly come to pass." As mentioned earlier, this is stated at its very beginning and at its very ending: Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein : for the time is at hand.

"The time is at hand?" Does that sound like an end-time prophecy of things not relevant for another two thousand years is about to be given? Oh yes, it is 'end time' all right, inasmuch as each life of each man in each and every generation of mankind since Christ comes to its very short end. That is just how much this book has to do with end time events. The Truth is that the words of the prophecy of this book will be just as applicable in the lake of fire as they are today. That is the very meaning of "is, was and will be." Rev 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; Rev 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come , the Almighty. Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Rev 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; Four times in this first chapter Christ tells us what is His character and the character of His Word. It is, was and will be true in every generation until the aions are consumed. John wasn't saying anything Christ had not already told His disciples about Himself and His Words: Matt 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. There is not one word of variation from one gospel to the next. All of God's Word is written in a way that makes it relevant from generation to generation, to the end of the aions. The reason for this is the spiritual character of "My words." "The holy spirit teaches comparing spiritual with spiritual" (1 Cor. 1:13-14). If God's word is to be "spiritually discerned", then the spiritual mind certainly would never think of "the lamb of God" as a literal lamb. Neither would it think of a physical lion when hearing of "the lion of the tribe of Judah." So a certain few spiritual symbols are universally understood even by the natural man. But the mind of the natural man who is "called" but is not truly "chosen or elect" is called a "spiritual...yet carnal...babe in Christ." The mind of a spiritual "babe in Christ can receive spiritual milk, and some can even receive spiritual herbs. But "babes in Christ" cannot receive "spiritual...meat" as the apostle Paul demonstrates in his first epistle to the Corinthians: 1 Cor 1:2 [Paul]...Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

1 Cor 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ . 1 Cor 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 1 Cor 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 1 Cor 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Consequently orthodox Christians cannot receive this very spiritual verse of Christ's teaching: John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. As demonstrated above, "yet carnal... babes in Christ can appear to receive basic spiritual knowledge. Even these "yet carnal" Corinthians knew that the "lamb of God" was a reference to Christ. But that was about as far as their spiritual understanding went. They certainly did not believe or understand the need for unity in Christ: 1 Cor 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 1 Cor 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? The book of Revelation had probably not been written yet, but it is certain that these Corinthians would not, at this point have understood the meaning of "keep all the saying of the prophecy of this book." These are the words used to introduce us to this book: Rev 1:3 Blessed [is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. "Keeping the things written...in this prophecy" is "foolishness...to the natural man." How can anyone possibly "keep" seven churches with all their shortcomings, four beasts, four and twenty elders around the throne of God, four horsemen, the sun, the moon the stars, mountains, rocks, kings, mighty men, small men, rich and poor men, a woman who brings forth a manchild, a wild beast, a harlot, seven seals. seven trumpets, seven plagues, etc., etc., etc. "Keep those things that are written therein???" It all sounds like foolishness to the natural man. 1 Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. And yet the book of Revelation ends with the very same words with which it began: Rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. Then, lest we try to reason our way around the fact that we have twice been told to "keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book," we are warned: Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. So then, any part of "the things which are written in this book" which you say is not for you to keep, will be taken away at this time, to be kept later in what is symbolically and spiritually called a 'lake of fire.' We know this is so because it was Christ Himself who decreed: Matt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Jesus Christ was certainly not guilty of the transgressions of the first Adam. And yet He is called "the last Adam." 1 Cor 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Why would Paul refer to Christ as Adam? Just look at what Adam has done for us all. It was through him that sin was passed upon all of mankind. All the sins that are in the world were all right there "in Adam." So then, was Christ possessing the nature of both of these men or did He possess only the nature of the last Adam? Let's allow Him and His apostles to answer that question: Rev 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first [Adam] and the last [Adam]: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. Here is Christ, claiming that He is both Adam's. And here is Christ confirming this Truth: Matt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Naming the seven churches, just like naming the twelve tribes of Israel in chapter seven, is designed by God to hide from the natural man the fact that "every word" of this book is to be "kept" by every man who has been given "eyes to see and ears to hear." The number seven simply tells us that these words are for the complete church. The number twelve always tells us that God is dealing with the foundation of His kingdom. See the study notes on the spiritual significance of both of these numbers. It was Christ Himself who told us that He speaks only in parables: Matt 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? Matt 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Matt 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

Matt 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. Rom 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. So all of God's Word is, in Truth, written to be received at this time only by those who are "given...eyes to see and ears to hear." Matt 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. ["But to them it is not given" vs 11] To all others the very thought of "keeping the sayings of the prophecy of this book is "foolishness unto him," and he "cannot know them because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. The natural man cannot accept what God frankly acknowledges as the works of "His own will." Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: His own will is "working all things." Which should make these verses much more meaningful to those with eyes to see: Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. How then can Paul call Christ "the last Adam?" The answer is that it was Christ who "created evil...wicked...Adam....for the day of evil. I the Lord do all these things." The Hebrew word for 'evil' in Isaiah 45:7 is 'ra.' It is the exact same word translated evil in Genesis 2: Gen 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil [Hebrew - ra]. So much for the doctrine which says that God does not "create evil" and that Isaiah 45:7 should read, as many new translations now have it, "I create good and calamity." Apparently a calamity such as a tsunami which kills 250 thousand people in one fell swoop is not an 'evil' event, it is but a mere 'calamity,' and God only creates calamities, but He would never "create evil???" Go figure the mind of the natural man. It will twist God's word out of all recognition to make God fit into man's image. I say all of this to answer your question: "Seriously, how can our Lord and His elect be called or likened to 'a bird of prey'?"

When you come to accept that "man shall...live by every word of God," you will understand how Christ Himself can be called Adam, a devouring lion, and even a serpent which heals those who look upon it of the serpents poisonous bite: John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: What had that "serpent" done for Israel? Num 21:5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. Num 21:6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Num 21:7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. Num 21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. Num 21:9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. "That old serpent the Devil and Satan" bites no one he is not sent to bite. 1 Sam 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. 1 Ki 22:23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee. Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. Satan does exactly as he is instructed; nothing more and nothing less. The "bite of the serpent" which causes "much people of Israel to die" is the work of "the God of this world." 2 Cor 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 2 Cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. And how are "them that are lost" to be saved from the poisonous bite of the lies of the serpent?: Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God," means that Christ was made sin, and that only those who can acknowledge this Truth can acknowledge that He was made sin in their own flesh. When we "look upon" a thing we are acknowledging it. Had Christ not come in sinful flesh, He would not have known our struggles because He would not have experienced our struggles. Christ was not made sin by "bearing our sins on the cross." Of course, He bore our sins on the cross. But he was "made sin" by being "made of a woman, made under the law"; both are stating that we as well as our sinless Savior were "shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin...under the law." So we are later told:

2 Cor 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more [after the flesh]. Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother [Mary] conceive me. Why doesn't David include his father in his conception? Here is why: Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, Christ's physical flesh came through his mother who was "in Adam." Christ' s Father was not "in Adam." This all tells us that our spiritual birth is in God while our physical birth is "of a woman" in Adam, out of whom Eve came. So David tells us that it was "my mother [who] conceived me in sin," and yet the "new man" is still called Adam: 1 Cor 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure [Greek - tupos - type] of him [Christ] that was to come. The first Adam gets "his power and throne and great authority" from the great red Dragon: Rev 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat [ Greek - thronos - throne], and great authority. But from where does this Dragon get his power and throne and great authority? John 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. So what did Satan cause Judas to do? Did Satan thwart the will of God, and cause Judas to turn on Christ? No, what Judas did and what all men do is "of God." Act 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. Act 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, Act 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. It is "thy hand and thy counsel" which are "working all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph. 1:11). It is "His own will" that He be recognized as the only one in the universe capable of causing "all things," both good and evil. It is "His own will that we see His flesh as "the same...sinful flesh...as the children." Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: It is "his own will" that we see that flesh of Christ as sin:

2 Cor 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 2 Cor 5:21 For he hath made him... sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [the words 'to be' are not in the Greek] Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same ["sinful flesh"]; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; It is "His own will" that we recognize Christ and His elect as "a devouring Lion" Hos 5:14 For I [Christ] will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him. Hos 11:10 They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west. Hos 13:7 Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe [them]: Hos 13:8 I will meet them as a bear [that is] bereaved [of her whelps], and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them. Num 23:24 Behold, the people [God's people Israel] shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain. Isa 31:4 For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, [he] will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. "Those Jews which believe on Him" yet want to kill Him (John 8: 30-40), are first God's adversaries, and then later God's elect. We all not only are guilty of wanting Christ dead, we are all guilty of His death. Ezekiel tells us plainly: Eze 19:1 Moreover take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, Eze 19:2 And say, What [is] thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions. Eze 19:3 And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured [Wicked] men. Eze 19:4 The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt. Eze 19:5 Now when she saw that she had waited, [and] her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps ["another Jesus" 2 Cor. 11:4], and made him a young lion. Eze 19:6 And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and devoured men [including Christ and His elect]. Eze 19:7 And he knew their desolate palaces, and he laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and the fulness thereof, by the noise of his roaring. Eze 19:8 Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him: he was taken in their pit. Eze 19:9 And they put him in ward in chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon: they brought him into holds, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel.

And that is where God's people are to this day; in Babylon without spiritual vision; completely unable to understand how Christ and His elect can be called Adam, a devouring lion, a brazen serpent who heals those who look upon Him, how he can be made sinful flesh, shapen in iniquity, conceived in sin; how He could come in sinful flesh, the same as the children, and how can He be made sin? The "bird of prey" of Isaiah 46:10 is not Christ and His elect, but this bird of prey is the work of Christ and His elect. It is only through His elect that Christ will eventually devour all flesh and yet save all men alive. 1 Cor 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 1 Cor 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 1 Cor 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. I hope this helps you to see the contrast between how God's word is to be properly and scripturally understood, versus the way it is interpreted by all the preterist and dispensationalist, ministers of all the thousands of denominations of orthodox Christianity. Is there an end of the aions? Indeed there is an end. It is called the great white throne judgment. But all who fail to see the ever relevant character of God's Words will be in that last judgment instead of being those doing the judging. I hope you can now see that any interpretation which robs Christ's words of their Christ centric character and their constant relevance to every man of every generation to the end of the aions, is a false interpretation which will rob you and me of any relevance which God's word has for you and me. I hope you can now see that you and I and all men of every age must "live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God," and "keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book, for the time is [always] at hand." Mike