Why Adherents of the Apostolic Age and Cessationism are Wrong

The apostolic period extends from the day of Pentecost to the death of St. John, and covers about seventy years, from 30 A.D. to 100 A.D. The field of action is Palestine, and gradually extends over Syria, Asia Minor, Greece and Italy. The most prominent centers are Jerusalem, Antioch and Rome, which represent respectively the mother churches of Jewish, Gentile and united catholic Christianity.

https://gracenotes.info/documents/topics_doc/apostolicage.pdf

The first problem is the suggestion that there was an apostolic age that began and then ended. But given that we can, with well-indoctrinated cognitive dissonance, suggest this Scripture is both the word of God and is not, it doesn’t surprise me one bit that some have defined an apostolic age:

"... And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, and various kinds of tongues."

In other words, Scripture clearly says one thing, and Man says another. Therefore, one either adheres to cessationism or continuationism. There is no middle road.

What is the Word of God?

But to have this conversion, we must define what is the word of God? Is the Bible the word of God, or does it contain the word of God?

I’ll answer that question with another question: was King David’s rape of Bathsheba and the murder of her husband God’s idea, or was it David’s? Let’s assume it was David’s idea, but not God’s. That makes David’s actions, not the word of God – not God’s idea.

So then, we’re left with suggesting how the story is told, and the fact that the story is in the Bible is God’s idea – making it the word of God because it’s His STORY, but not His IDEA. Hence, the Bible both contains the Word of God and is the Word of God.

If we bring that logic forward, we’re left with this question: at what point did parts of Acts, 1 Corinthians, and Ephesians stop being “God’s IDEA” (aka, His WORD) and become just His STORY that He wanted to tell to make some here-to-now unknown point? And which other parts of the New Testament are just His “story bits” that we should now ignore, presuming them to not be God’s idea?

Finally, who is in charge of discerning and promulgating what should be sliced and diced out as authoritative?

Milktoast Christianity

Do you want to know what’s wrong with America and the world at large?

I’ll tell you.

Very early in the church, from its foundation, we were taught how to “preach the gospel,” how to “save souls,” but never did we learn how to disciple nations (Matt. 28:19-20). From the beginning, His people were to be a kingdom of priests (Ex. 19:5-6), but they were afraid and changed the contract: “Speak to us yourself, and we will listen, but do not have God speak to us, or we will die!” (Ex. 20:19).

What do you think He meant when He said, “the government will be on His shoulders” (Isa. 9:6)? Did you think Jesus was going to come down to earth and run things from day one, or did you think God wanted us to go to hell in a handbasket until the 1,000-year reign of Messiah?

No, neither.

We are the body, He is the head, and the government was designed to rest on His shoulders. But mistakes were made, and consequently – at the end of this age – we have a global society filled with milktoast Christians who are comfortable tolerating things worse than a bogus POTUS and Watergate-esque corruption.

Many of this generation’s Christians shall pass in their tribulation: we are likened to the Israelites that crossed the red sea, to those who would not enter, who would instead take orders from a preacher than enter into a real relationship with their King.

You need to decide this: will you be a complainer and a sitter, or will you be a Joshua or a Caleb in the days to come? Are you willing to choose something new?

But what is God’s answer to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not knelt down to Ba‘al.” It’s the same way in the present age: there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 

Romans 11:4-5

Seeking first the Kingdom of God – Part II

But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  

(Matthew 6:33)

What is the Kingdom of God?

the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, shalom and joy in the Ruach HaKodesh. 

(Romans 14:17 CJB)
the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit 

(NASB)

I once heard someone say that the Kingdom of God is the Holy Spirit. That is a simplistic view; it is not entirely incorrect, neither is it entirely correct. It is better to focus on righteousness, peace, and joy, and work backward from there.

Recall that everything we do can be manufactured from any spirit we choose to align ourselves from. We can choose happiness in a legalistic spirit or joy in a religious spirit. We can find joy in evil:

Don’t let those who are wrongfully my enemies
gloat over me;
and those who hate me unprovoked —
don’t let them smirk at me. 

(Psalm 35:19)
For I said, “May they not rejoice over me,
Who, when my foot slips, would exalt themselves over me.”

(Pslam 38:16 NASB)

Thus, our fruit, the expression of Holy Spirit – the qualities of the Kingdom – must be grown from our relationship with Holy Spirit:

Beware of the false prophets! They come to you wearing sheep’s clothing, but underneath they are hungry wolves!  You will recognize them by their fruit. Can people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise, every healthy tree produces good fruit, but a poor tree produces bad fruit.  A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, or a poor tree good fruit. 19 Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire!

So you will recognize them by their fruit.  (Matthew 7:15-20)

Remember: trees do not labor nor choose to produce fruit at will. Fruit is a natural by-product of WHAT they ARE. Such is the fruit of the spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, self control. Nothing in the Torah stands against such things.

(Galations 5:22-23 CJB)

“… So you will recognize them by their fruit.”

What is Righteousness?

There’s no good, succinct way to explain righteousness as a concept, so I’ll refer you to this scripture and allow you to infer the implied qualities:

It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to obey all these mitzvot before Adonai our God, just as he ordered us to do.

(Dueteronomy 6:25 CJB)
and it will be righteousness for us if we are careful to follow all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us.

(NASB)

What is His Righteousness?

Jesus the Christ is God’s righteousness:

It is his doing that you are united with the Messiah Yeshua. He has become wisdom for us from God, and righteousness and holiness and redemption as well! Therefore — as the Tanakh says — “Let anyone who wants to boast, boast about Adonai."

(1 Corinthians 1:30 CJB)
When those days come, at that time,
I will cause to spring up for David
a Branch of Righteousness.
He will do what is just and right in the land.

(Jeremiah 33:15 CJB)

And the Kingdom of God is?

The Kingdom of God consists of these qualities:

  1. Seeking after Jesus and His righteousness
  2. Living by the spirit, so that the fruit of the spirit is naturally produced in your life.

Seek first the Kingdom of God

“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” It’s an interesting turn of phrases when we understand that the Kingdom of God is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Righteousness is a derivative: think of it as a verb or action word that can only be derived from the necessary quality of Holiness. Holiness is a state of being, a noun, and it means to be separate from the unclean. Hence, we are called to be holy: “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.”

An important distinction between the two is that any person can perform righteous acts – doing the right thing or being holy in behavior – but nobody can be made holy outside the new life imputed by God.

Seeking first the kingdom means that we seek those righteous behaviors, which consequently are followed first by peace, then joy.

But seeking “His righteousness” means to seek after that righteousness that can only be found in Jesus. Hence, we can seek “righteousness, peace, joy, and His righteousness” knowing that they are all distinct threads woven together making the tapestry of His kingdom.

The Stigmata of the Mark of the Beast

How many times can I say, “I told you so”? Perhaps at least once more.

In a few previous posts, I explained how the Mark of the Beast is not as simple as a simple “mark” or “stigmata” on one’s hand or forehead. Instead, the Mark of the Beast is first concerned with what might be described as Statolatry.

In his 1944 work Omnipotent Government, Ludwig von Mises defined Statolatry as being literally the worship of the State and analogous to idolatry.

Statolatry asserts the glorification and aggrandizement of ‘State’ or ‘Nation’ is the object of all legitimate human aspiration at the expense of all else, including personal welfare and independent thought. Thus, Statolarty can be observed to exceed simple patriotism, and it might best be described as super-patriotism or chauvinism.

People who worship their political party or State put their faith in an idea – or philosophy – that adherence to a given system of beliefs will solve society’s ills. When we do such a thing, when we trust the party’s philosophies or the State to care for us and solve our problems, we are practicing Statolatry – we are worshiping The Beast.

Today, people worldwide have been gently coerced to bow to a shared philosophy promulgated by the State. That philosophy, more or less – depending on where one makes an observation – classifies people as either clean or unclean. In many instances, unless proof of compliance is provided, certain goods and services are denied to those deemed unclean.

God’s Mark of the 144,000

Although I’m planning on covering this subject in more detail, I’ll suggest now that the mark God places on the 144,000 is directly tied to the mark described in the Torah. As such, it is a mark of worship: it is a mark of the submitted heart, mind, and soul to God:

You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

Deuteronomy 11:18

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart … You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

The Beasts’ Mark

COVID-19 Passport

Today, we see the implementation of the COVID-19 Passport as a prophetic harbinger to the future mark of the beast.

As such, it will come with identical but strictly enforced buying and selling requirements similar to that which we observe today:

  • It will be world wide.
  • It will be commonly accepted.
  • It will appear to be a reasonable guesture.
  • It will divide the clean from the unclean; the socially acceptable from the rejected
  • It will be used to enforce compliance for buying an selling

Making it Convenient

Today, we have at least two technologies actively suggested as a mechanism to make vaccine passport information quickly and readily accessible.

But let’s rephrase that:

We're no longer in the territory of theory or hypothesis regarding a method used to tag people with information that can be used to enforce their ability to interact with society (e.g., buying and selling). 

Instead of being theoretical, we have companies and scientists actively pursuing courses of action to convey vaccine information that marks people as compliant or non-compliant.  Information that is intentionally being purposed for enforcing the interactions permitted to the receipient of the vaccine.

… {A} lack of standardized immunization recordkeeping makes it challenging to track vaccine coverage across the world. McHugh et al. developed dissolvable microneedles that deliver patterns of near-infrared light-emitting microparticles to the skin. Particle patterns are invisible to the eye but can be imaged using modified smartphones. By codelivering a vaccine, the pattern of particles in the skin could serve as an on-person vaccination record

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/scitranslmed.aay7162

Thousands of people in Sweden get microchip implants for a new way of life –

Small implants were first used in 2015 in Sweden and since then people have become active in microchipping

https://www.scmp.com/news/world/europe/article/2145896/thousands-people-sweden-get-microchip-implants-new-way-life

The Harbinger of the Beasts’ Stigmata Has Arrived

How to Make Scripture Your Own

We’ve all been told to read the Bible. I would suggest that we’ve all been told to meditate on its’ words:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will achieve success. 

Joshua 1:8

But it’s a difficult thing to do when all you’ve been taught is self-condemnation – when perhaps that’s all you’ve heard from the pulpit most of your life, or perhaps when the messages you’re most familiar with are about Christmas, Easter, witnessing, tithing, or eschatology. Those topics don’t seem to mesh or coalesce well with a lot of the other things we might find ourselves reading.

If any of those things above are true for you, then consider that you might have a bad spirit about you – one that’s beating you around the measuring-up bush, one that you can’t seem to shake. I’ve been there; done that.

But, I’ll wager there’s something here you’ve never heard. So keep reading:

Matthew 18:18

Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

And let the astute reader complain: “I’ve heard that plenty of times; what does it have to do with reading the Bible?

Personalization

Let’s take a step back. The first thing we need to learn is how to personalize scripture: how to make it our own, to put it into a first-person tense that speaks directly to us.

Here’s a simple example:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.

That’s the commandment. It’s one with which most of us are very familiar. So what we do next is this: move it out of what I call the “command voice” and into what I call a “personalized,” or “acquisition voice.”

I trust in the Lord with all my heart;  I do not lean on my own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5

That makes all the difference, and it’s entirely scriptural: you are what you think – which is the intention of Joshua 1:8.

For as he thinks within himself, so he is.

Proverbs 23:7

While it’s not possible to do this with any random verse, a great many of the Psalms and Proverbs do lend themselves to this type of personalization.

Self Acquisition with Binding and Loosing

First, let’s recall the power of speaking, or as some might say, the power of the tongue:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 18:21

One who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit, and one who cares for his master will be honored.

Proverbs 27:18

A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but when it twists things, it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 15:4

The task, then, is to combine personalization with speaking the Word, and with binding and losing:

Matthew 18:18 

Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

Example: Pslam 37:1

Do not get upset because of evildoers, do not be envious of wrongdoers.
Personalized

“I do not get upset because of evildoers; I am not envious of wrongdoers.”

Personalization with Binding

“I bind myself to this Word: I do not get upset because of evildoers; I am not envious of wrongdoers.”

Example: Psalm 37:7

Do not get upset because of one who is successful in his way,
Because of the person who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and abandon wrath;
Personalization

“I am not upset because with one who is successful in his way, because of the person who carries out wicked schemes. Therefore, I cease from anger and abandon wrath.”

Personalization with Losing

“I lose myself from being upset because of the one who is successful in his way, because of the person who carries out wicked schemes. I lose myself from anger and I abandon wrath.”

Summary

We’re doing four things here.

  • Meditating on His Word.
  • Making His Word our thoughts.
  • Binding ourselves to His rigthousness.
  • Loosing ourselves from unrighteousness.

It’s a form of taking up our cross. We are casting away those things that so easily beset us and taking up those things that enable us to run the race with endurance:

Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

The Government on His Shoulders

Hang tight… I’ll get there in a minute. But, let me first ask you a question:

Are you living under a spirit of tutelage and correction? Don’t misunderstand: teaching and discipline are both excellent and necessary.

But is that all you’ve got?

Living most of my life in the Protestant world of the Baptists (specifically, the SBC) and under the preaching and teaching of their pastors and leaders, one learns very quickly that there are only a few things worth one’s time:

  1. Soul Winning.
  2. Going to Church & Sunday School.
  3. Reading the Bible so one can learn stuff.
  4. Doing programs that bring people to the church.
  5. Begging God – because prayer and worship are necessary things.

After I left the SBC for greener pastures, I began to learn how to hear God for myself instead of through the mouthpiece of a preacher. I became aware of how God would highlight a passage in my spirit during that process. Many times, it was something I needed to learn and understand. Other times, I was clueless because it didn’t seem to match anything that was happening or anything I was thinking at the time.

At which point, like any Good Baptist in a similar situation, I assumed that there was indeed something I needed to learn, but I just wasn’t able to discern what it was. Because, as we all know: God works in mysterious ways.

A Different Way to Pray

But things began to change many years ago. First, I realized that there was some scripture that I needed to declare.

For example, I became burdened for those in human trafficking at one point. So I began declaring certain Psalms over those involved in that practice. Lo-n-behold, not too long afterward, sex trafficking rings began falling left and right. Not that I’m claiming sole responsibility for such a thing – I’m just one of many involved in the process.

But, I wasn’t out of the woods yet: the vast majority of the time, when there was a scripture I felt prompted to read, I ALWAYS approached it from the point of view of tutelage or correction. It was usually frustrating since the passages seemed to be repeating. I began doubting whether I heard from our Holy Father correctly or at all.

Then it occurred to me: am I under the influence of a spirit of condemnation that manifests itself as tutelage and correction? My first clue was obvious: I was falling into discouragement and feeling like I did not measure up because I never learned the lesson – having to read the same scripture repeatedly.

Test Everything

Then I remembered the other lesson that Father has gently taught me recently: “test everything.”

but examine everything; hold firmly to that which is good 

1 Thessalonians 5:21

So… I tested it, and by that examination, I confirmed what I was suspecting: I’ve been under a spirit of condemnation. The scripture I’m being directed to isn’t always something I need to learn, rather something to be declared for a given situation in the world or my life. Or perhaps it’s just something I need to use in praise or worship.

But then I was made aware of a truth we’ve all missed:

The Government on His Shoulders

... for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  He is also the head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 

Colossians 1:16-18
For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

How did we miss this? If Jesus is The Head, and we are the body, then some are the shoulders.

I know how we missed this. I blame myself and others like me: those who came before. Those who changed the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matt: 4:23) into the Gospel of Salvation (web search) and changed “make disciples of all nations” into “make disciples of all people” (Jesus Film Project).

A New Direction

What does it look like to disciple nations? What does it look like for a Child of God to carry a Government on their shoulders?

We don’t know – it’s nothing we’ve ever been taught.

But I suspect we are destined to soon learn those fundamental truths we so quickly abandoned – or perhaps, never understood or knew they existed.

Refusing Victimhood

Being a victim is not a choice: we can’t help or avoid what happened to us in our past.

But victimhood is our choice, it is our choice of cooperation with evil to live in the past as a victim today.

Victimhood sees the world as an event: it is the attitude that life is happening to a person; it is never about how a better decision can be made or how one can change their circumstances. Instead, it is entitlement and self-absorption.

We choose what we do with things that happen to us. Once we walk down the path of choosing to cooperate with hostile social attitudes by constantly living in the evil that happened to us, then we choose victimhood.

But, when we make a decision to no longer be enslaved to our circumstances or those evil things that happened to us, then we make the choice to not live where we were traumatized.

The Spirit of Condemnation

… that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

Eph. 5:27

Let’s talk about “spots” and “wrinkles.”

Retained Sin

A spot refers to a blemish. A blemish or spot is a retained sin. Please understand that I’m not referring to things that affect one’s salvation, but those things which affect our faith walk; those things that touch our soul.

Jesus is looking for His bride to be free of the sins that so easily beset, or entangle us.

As an example, a besetting sin is unforgiveness. Unforgiveness keeps us in bondage to the past: it makes us a continual victim; it causes us to live in victimhood.

Another type of besetting sin is self-condemnation. These voices are created when others condemn us, and we stand in active or passive agreement. Self-condemnation shapes our self-image, it changes how we experience life.

Finally, a besetting sin is a hurt we do not let go of, we bring with us on a routine basis. An example is a grief: it is living in the past and allowing the past to define and shape our future.

Old Self Wrinkles

Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him

Colossians 3:9-10

The second thing that Jesus is looking for in His Bride, is for Her to be without a wrinkle. Wrinkles show up on old people. The wrinkle being referred to here is the “old man” that we are to leave behind after being born again.

As a normal course of life, we learn bad habits, things, and behaviors from the world, and we tend to retain those evil practices. As new creatures in Christ, we are to rid ourselves of those destructive behaviors by dying to ourselves, by putting them under the cross, and leaving them behind.

Self Condemnation & Trauma-Bonding

These two things, wrinkles, and blemishes have a great potential to remain with us day-to-day. When we hold on to these things, we place ourselves under self-condemnation and bondage to the past. In doing so, we carry the weight of our sin when it should be released to the cross.

Even when taking these failures to our Father, and asking forgiveness, we sometimes continue to live in these self-condemning places.

These types of self-condemnations are just as bad as carrying the harmful burdens of others. When we improperly sympathize and empathize with the trauma of others, we can trauma-bond with the hurts of others. This means we carry the pain of others, making it our own when we never should.

This does not mean we never empathize with others, but it does mean there are times for weeping, and times for rejoicing (Romans 12:15, Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Being Free

Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

Matthew 18:18

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:29

Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

John 8:31-32

If you want to be free from your spots, wrinkles, and the bondages of trauma, then take your injuries to God through the following prayers.

Prayer

Fill in these <items>

  • Dear heavenly Father, I want to be free from the injuries of <sins> committed against me by <name>.
  • I want to forgive <name> for their sin against me.
  • I ask that you separate <name> sin from them, and place it on the cross of Jesus.
  • I release any obligation <name> has to me for making me whole, and I thank You, heavenly Father, for making me whole.
  • I bind myself to Your forgiveness and to the blood of Jesus you provided for me.
  • Through the blood of Jesus, I loose the sin of <sins> committed against me, and condemn every effect they had over me.
  • I loose Holy Spirit to heal the wounds and to make me whole.