The Keys to the Kingdom

At Caesarea Philippi, also known as the “Gates of Hell”, Jesus is gathered alone with the Twelve in Matthew 16. Jesus is asking these chosen Apostles, “Who are people saying that I am?” Peter, with revelation knowledge, answers Jesus, saying, “Master, You are the Christ, the Son of Yahweh.” And as anyone with a basic knowledge of the scripture knows, Jesus tells Peter that He is correct, and that Yahweh has revealed Jesus’ identity to Peter. But Jesus proceeds to declare to the chosen twelve Apostles what their purpose would be in the days ahead.

Matthew 16:19-20
“I will give YOU (Peter) the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever YOU (Peter) bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever YOU (Peter) release on earth will have been released in heaven.” Then he instructed his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

Although “you” is singular here in the Greek, and Jesus was speaking directly to Peter, this implication goes to all 12, because they were Apostles. This passage, with the singular pronoun, is where the Catholic confusion was born concerning Peter. But Jesus has just told the ordained twelve, by addressing Peter’s revelation of His identity, that as God’s chosen Apostles for the establishment of the New Covenant, that the Apostolic office will be given sole authority in establishing doctrine and order. Hence Peter being told he was a Rock (foundation) the church would be built upon, as were the others.

Ephesians 2:19-20
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the FOUNDATION of the Apostles and Prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the Cornerstone,

Galatians 2:9
“..and when James and Cephas (Peter), and John, who seemed to be PILLARS, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me (Paul), that we should go to the Gentiles (nations) and they to the circumcised (Jews).

The Apostles are the foundation, or footing of New Testament faith. They are doctrine!! But before I proceed, who was Jesus talking to above? Twelve men He had chosen to be set apart for the founding of Christ’s New Covenant. Was Jesus speaking to you and giving you binding and loosing authority, to declare what is doctrine, to operate in signs and wonders in power, intended as a divine witness to unbelievers of this New Covenant? No, you nor I were there that day, and weren’t told to not reveal His identity to anyone. We aren’t hand-chosen Apostles called to establish the New Covenant. We aren’t authors of scripture. We didn’t witness Jesus in the flesh.

What is the New Covenant? What’s with the number of 12 Apostles, initially? And why is there a book distinctly called “The Acts (Works/Deeds) of the APOSTLES?” Strap in!!!!

Well, the New Covenant would be the above mentioned book, along with all Epistles, the Book of Romans, the Books of Hebrews, the Apocalypse (Revelation) of Jesus Christ, the Book of James, Jude, etc.. Basically all the books we call the New Testament. These books would be the foundation stones of the New Covenant, with the Gospels, which contain the teachings of Jesus Christ first and foremost, as the CHIEF CORNERSTONE of it all. All Apostle’s teachings are to be filtered through Jesus’ teachings, and NEVER vice-versa. So what is the significance of Jesus starting with 12 Apostles? Obviously Paul was an Apostle later, as well as James, the brother of Jesus, who also became the head of the Jerusalem Council at the mother church, when Peter died. But really, why the initial twelve? Twelve is the number of governmental perfection seen displayed throughout scripture. In the Genesis 1 narrative, we see the sun and moon created to rule two halves of the day. “The evening and the morning were the first….second….third….fourth….fifth…..6th…… and 7th day. 24 hours days, divided into 12 hour halves. But more distinctly, the point in the case of establishing the New Covenant with twelve foundational Apostles lies in the fact that Jesus is being presented as a new Moses. The old covenant was established with twelve patriarchs, that we know as the sons of Jacob, who was also called “Israel.” Israel is a term that denotes “the people of God”, whoever that may entail in a given period. For example, in the Old Covenant, Israel denoted the Jewish people and nation. But upon Jesus’ arrival, their Temple and works were corrupted. Only the remnant of that nation believed Jesus, and followed Him. That remnant would go on to be the root of a new “Israel of God”, called the Church.

Galatians 6:16
“And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the ISRAEL OF GOD.”

Under the New Covenant, ethnicity is not relevant to the new “Israel.” This Israel is made up of every people, nation, kindred, and tongue. A people made up of the “whosoever will take up their crosses and follow Me.” The New Covenant was cut with all Jewish Christians. Who were the first Believers? Yeah, JEWS who followed Jesus, rejecting the error of Judaism. The scripture says the gospel is to who?

Romans 1:16
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is Godʼs power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew FIRST and also to the Greek.

When an Apostle entered a Gentile city where did they go first? To the Jewish Synagogue. And point three: Why is there a book called the DEEDS OF THE APOSTLES? Well I’m glad you asked! It was Jesus as we saw, who decided that Apostles would have “binding and loosing authority.” What does that mean? It means that ONLY they would receive the authority by Him to be the curators of His gospel and to deliver it in His power. What kind of power did Jesus demonstrate? Signs and wonders and miracles and healings. Who did Jesus say would do the things He did? Me and you? Well, if your willfully ignorant of the scripture, and willfully blasphemous in trying to project yourself into conversations that happened 2000 years ago, then you very well may think He said that to you. But on the contrary, if you are someone who fears God, studies to show yourself approved unto God and rightly interprets the scripture through the lens and worldview in which it was written, then you know He wasn’t talking to Christians in 2021. Let’s look at the office of Apostleship, and the requirements by Jesus Christ to be eligible for that office, as well as what His Apostles said that an Apostle’s ministry performs? Shall we? Let’s do!

Acts 1:20-26
“For it is written in the book of Psalms, ʻLet his (Judas’) house become deserted, and let there be no one to live in it,ʼ and ʻLet another take his position of responsibility.ʼ Thus one of the men WHO HAVE ACCOMPANIED US during all the time the Lord Jesus associated with us, BEGINNING FROM HIS BAPTISM by John UNTIL THE DAY HE WAS TAKEN UP FROM US- ONE OF THESE must become a WITNESS OF HIS RESURRECTION WITH US.” So they proposed two candidates: Joseph called Barsabbas (also called Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, “Lord, you know the hearts of all. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to assume the task of this service and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” Then they cast lots for them, and the one chosen was Matthias; so he was counted with the eleven apostles.”

So David had foretold that one would betray the Son of God and declared that his office be filled by another. And the Apostles here in this this Upper Room meeting state clearly, before all the believers gathered, what the requirement is to be an Apostle: The person had to have known Jesus IN THE FLESH and witnessed His ministry from His baptism unto His death, and seen Him after His resurrection. Otherwise they were not eligible to be an Apostle. Folks, you cannot witness of what you did not see for yourself. That is called “bearing false witness.” Paul, a later addition to the Apostolic ministry, says this:

1 Corinthians 15:1-11
“Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, and by which you are BEING SAVED, IF YOU HOLD FIRMLY TO THE MESSAGE. I PREACHED TO YOU – unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received – that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that HE APPEARED TO CEPHAS (Peter), THEN TO ALL THE TWELVE. Then he APPEARED TO MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED of the brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then HE APPEARED TO JAMES, THEN TO ALL THE APOSTLES. Last of all, as though to one born at the wrong time, HE APPEARED TO ME ALSO. For I AM THE LEAST OF THE APOSTLES, unworthy to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been in vain. In fact, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God with me. Whether then it was I or they, this is the way we preach and this is the way you believed.

So Paul affirms who were Apostles, appointed by Jesus Himself, and that ALL were witnesses of His resurrection and ministry. NO ONE IS AN APOSTLE OTHERWISE. The biblical requirement for the office of an apostle is laid out by the Apostles and anyone who argues with that is an ignorant blasphemer and a heretic, PERIOD. They are contradicting the Apostles doctrine. It is written! There is a curse pronounced upon anyone who adds to or detracts from the Word of God. I don’t care how much you want your denominational god to be correct, to be a child of God you must bow to HIS Word, RIGHTLY divided. Otherwise your god is your belly (own desires.) and you mind earthly (sensual) things. Remember what Jesus said to Peter shortly after Peter recognized the Christ? “Get behind me, adversary! For you mind the things of this world, not the things of God!” Peter had tried to say “God forbid that you die, Jesus.” Jesus rebuked Peter for not being surrendered to the will of God, for his own desires and will. And He feels the same when we do it. Just like people do with trying to inject their desires for Apostles to still exist, by misappropriating this passage……

Ephesians 4:11-12
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

That meme applies to doctrinal error as well. You could alter the word “do” in the context and replace it with “believe.” People today want to read things into the text and say, “Well, right here it says Jesus gave Apostles within this list, so that means there are still Apostles today, because He was talking to the church!!” Ughhh no! People read what they believe, rather than believe what they read, and they’ll hate you for correction. Proverbs says that a fool despises correction, so….. He gave each position to do a role. The Apostolic role was to establish doctrine and operate in witnessing power of it. That role was completed. How do we know this, besides the fact of every other point made in this teaching? BECAUSE WE HAVE THE NEW TESTAMENT!! Their part in building the church was COMPLETED. They founded the church, and were called to be martyred as a witness to Christ, and they were. Who was Ephesians 4 written to? Was it is you or I? Have we ever sat under Paul and heard him speak? No. It was written in correction and guidance to the church at Ephesus THAT PAUL ESTABLISHED. That letter became a New Testament book! Hello?!? It was stated 2000 years ago to a distinct group who were part of the early church. Nowhere does it say or imply Apostles would be ongoing after the establishing of the Covenant! This kind of argument reminds me of the ridiculous overreach of pre-tribulation rapture people taking where Paul said that the Saints would be “caught up to the clouds to meet Jesus in the air, and so shall they ever be with the Lord”, as meaning that they go back to heaven for seven years. That is not even implied anywhere in the text, but it has been a doctrine in western so-called Christianity for over 200 years, and it is false doctrine. Prior to John Nelson Darby starting that nonsense in 1820, no one in church history believed that. But people remain willfully ignorant all the time. So be it! In antiquity, in these times, they fully well understood that it was referring to how the people would go outside the city to greet and escort their king, or a notable person back to their city. Culture, context, and language, folks!

The Apostle John says this of the Apostles:

1 John 1:1-3
“That which was from the beginning (Christ), which WE HAVE HEARD, which WE HAVE SEEN WITH OUR EYES, which we looked upon and have TOUCHED WITH OUR HANDS, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and WE HAVE SEEN IT, AND TESTIFY TO IT and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and WAS MADE MANIFEST TO US— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

Folks, can the Apostles themselves be any clearer? THEY saw, heard, touched, and were personally instructed by the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostolic ministry died with John. Anyone who tells you, that beyond the Apostle John, that they are an apostle is a liar. The office does not exist today. And Jesus even commended the church at Ephesus in Revelation for calling out liars …..

Revelation 2:2
“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those WHO CALL THEMSELVES APOSTLES AND ARE NOT, and found them to be liars.

How do you think Ephesus would have proved them to be false? THEY WERE NOT WITNESSES OF THE LIFE AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST! Hello? LOL! I mean, all it would have taken to verify such a person, would be to start by asking the true Apostle, who started their church: Paul, or another Apostle. No-brainer huh? Paul also dealt with Corinth over false apostles. I’ve said it to the point of redundancy in other writings that Corinth, the “original pentecostals”, were so deceived that they embraced these false, so-called, “SUPER-APOSTLES, and turned on Paul, labelling Jesus’ chosen vessel, WHO TOO FOUNDED THEIR CHURCH BTW, as a heretic! You know why they celebrated the false super apostles? Because they loved their flashy “charismatic speech and style, and the fleshly enticements of their false signs and lying wonders.” It’s historical fact. Look it up!! Ever wonder why you can’t show charismaniacs scriptural context?? Yeah, Paul couldn’t either! Heck, Jesus couldn’t help religious zealots. The Pharisees had learned the interpretation of scripture wrongly, being that they looked at everything “literally” and refused to be corrected. Nothing has changed today!! So they did what people still do; they seek to murder your name to others, and call you a false prophet or heretic, when it is they who are deceived and are the thing they label you. What discerns the matter? SCRIPTURE IN CONTEXT!! Scriptural discourse wins! Not proof-texting idol doctrines. They did it to Jesus! Did it to Paul! And John! And James! They eventually did what beast worshipers always do: they killed them literally. Sad thing is today, “Jesus” is a name in all professing churches, but it is the image of the Beast that they call “Jesus” most often, not the Jesus of the Bible.

Revelation 13:11-12
Then I saw another beast (false christianity) rising out of the earth. It had two horns LIKE A LAMB and it SPOKE LIKE A DRAGON. It exercises all the authority of the first beast (the world) in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants WORSHIP THE FIRST BEAST (the world system), whose mortal wound was healed.

This beast they serve looks like a Lamb but it has horns, folks. And that false image of Jesus speaks deceptively like the Dragon! (The healed mortal wound refers to the fact that after Nero killed himself, another rose in his place, namely Domitian, and the system rages on today). How did the dragon speak? He made Adam and Eve question the seriousness of God’s word. “Has God really said that? He is just keeping things from you guys! He doesn’t want you to be like Him, and know what He knows, because He knows if you eat of this tree you will become like God.” And that is exactly what most pulpits today are doing. Minimizing the seriousness of the word of God, as if it has mere suggestion. Is that what Paul THE APOSTLE said?

Galatians 1:8
But even if we (or an angel from heaven) should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be CONDEMNED TO HELL!

Yet in contending with the false super-apostles, Paul tells Corinth what the signs of the true Apostolic ministry would perform…..

2 Corinthians 12:11-12
I have become a fool. You yourselves forced me to do it, for I should have been commended by you. For I lack nothing in comparison to those “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. Indeed, the SIGNS OF AN APOSTLE WERE PERFORMED AMONG YOU with great perseverance BY SIGNS AND WONDERS AND POWERFUL ACTS.”

Hold on! What did Paul say the sign of an Apostle was???? Performing signs and wonders and powerful acts/deeds. Hmmmm. Would someone please explain to me why modern sects of delusional so-called Christianity try to make signs and wonders something for them to perform? We have seen BY AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE, (not charismaniac Joe’s opinion) that Apostles had to see Jesus and witness His resurrection, and that these powers of Christ were imparted to THEIR ministry as a witness to His Covenant that they were called to establish. Be mindful, THERE WAS NO NEW TESTAMENT IN THOSE DAYS. The ministries of the Apostles recorded, are the NEW TESTAMENT. Those authoritative powers in the office of the Apostle were given for the establishment of that New Covenant. Once it was established, we have a more sure word of prophecy, the scripture, and those power-witnessing miracles were no longer needed. They served their purpose in creating what we now have in our hands; God’s finished Words. At that point IT IS WRITTEN. Ever notice how Jesus, when Satan was tempting him, ALWAYS referred to what IS WRITTEN already? Jesus could’ve said whatever He wanted. He pointed to the written Word EVERY TIME. Have you now realized that the scripture was NOT written to us, but it was written for our learning?

Romans 15:4
For whatever was written IN FORMER DAYS was written FOR OUR INSTRUCTION, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

What was Paul telling the church at Rome here? That the old testament books were not written to Christians at Rome, they were written to whom they were written, which would have been the Israelites. So in the same way the book of Romans was not written to you, the 2021 professing believer, it was written to the Christians at Rome in the first century. Get it?? In the same way, when Jesus is alone at Caesarea Philippi with his 12 hand-picked Apostles, and he says I’m going to give YOU the keys to the kingdom, which is binding and loosing authority, he was not talking to people in the 21st-century. You know, people who ignorantly say things like, “I bind you, Satan!!, (you know, that thing even Jesus CANNOT DO until the appointed time?), or those who sing idiotic songs asking God to “send the fire”, which is a scriptural euphemism for divine judgment. Great song!! LOL, “Lord send judgement down on us!!” Hahaha, crazy!! And it appears that He answers their requests, because He has deluded them to believe their own lies about His word, to their own destruction! But, in regards to the conversation about “Keys to the Kingdom”, Jesus was declaring that to a distinct group of boys sitting in His presence. People need to stop making the scripture about them. It’s not about you. It’s about Jesus and his plan to redeem mankind and the earth back to Himself. When the scripture says that you must have seen Jesus Christ in the flesh, and witnessed his ministry from his baptism through his death, and witnessed his resurrection in order to be eligible for the office of an Apostle, it means what it says. Do you know who Antichrist is? The “Antichrist” is a metaphor, (as is ALL apocalyptic genre in scripture), for any person who has the heart posture of declaring that they know better than the word of God, therefore they “enthrone themselves” in the “Temple”, declaring themselves as God. What is the temple in the New Testament?

1 Peter 2:4-5
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual temple, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:20-21
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a HOLY TEMPLE in the Lord.

It is a metaphorical temple, consisting of Christ as the CHIEF cornerstone, the prophets and apostles as the FOUNDATION stones, and true believers as LIVING STONES, building up a most holy habitation for the presence of the Lord. So when Paul says that the antichrist “walks into the temple and takes a seat up on the throne and declares himself as God”, that is any human being who exalts themself above the knowledge of God, and is unsubmitted to his Word, in its right context. And that would include anyone who declares that Apostles still exist, and who declare that anyone other than Apostles (and those whom the apostles laid their hands upon, to impart signs and wonder power), is an antichrist, who declares themselves as God. PERIOD!

2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that EXALTS ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Christ is the WORD, as intently spoken by He and His Apostles!

So Paul has declared that the signs of an Apostle was the operation of signs and wonders. What did Jesus impart to the Apostles? Let’s look…..

Matthew 10:1-5
Jesus called his twelve disciples and GAVE THEM AUTHORITY over unclean spirits so THEY could cast them out and heal EVERY KIND of disease and sickness. NOW these are the names of THE TWELVE APOSTLES: first, Simon (called Peter), and Andrew his brother; James son of Zebedee and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Jesus sent out THESE TWELVE, instructing them as follows: “Do not go to Gentile regions and do not enter any Samaritan town.

Who did Jesus give this power to? Twelve set-apart disciples, which when endued with this power, made them APOSTLES, as the text clearly shows, to be the sign of an Apostle. In the Gospels we also see Jesus send out “the seventy” as well with this power. The seventy (or the textual variant of seventy-two) that Jesus sent out in twos, is again more imagery of the correlation between Moses as the Old Covenant law-giver, and Jesus as the New Covenant law-giver. I’ve seen people trying to pull from this PRE-NEW COVENANT example of the seventy Jesus sends before him into Jewish cities, to try to say that this power is for all believers to do now in 2021. Well, first of all, the Seventy represent yet another facet of establishing Jesus as the new Moses. In Matthew’s writing, the style of the book is laid out in a five-fold division of Jesus’ discourses to denote an allusion to Jesus being the new law-giver, symbolizing the Pentateuch motif. The five discourses are: Sermon on the Mount, the Mission Discourse, the Parabolic Discourse, the Discourse on the Church, and the Discourse on End Times. For anyone that doesn’t know what the Pentateuch is, it is simply the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, often called the Law of Moses, or Mosaic Law, or Torah (instruction in Hebrew). The seventy are representative of the Old Covenant, when seventy elders were appointed to be delegated authorities to take the load off of Moses. Some people refer to it as “Jethro’s Law”, because the idea came from Moses’ father-in-law, seeing Moses needed help. Were they of the same authority as Moses? No!!! They just performed a specific delegated task as commanded, so Moses could focus on other things. So the seventy delegates that Jesus sends out, He too gives them power to cast out demons, and heal, and deliver, just as He did the Apostles. Were the seventy Apostles? No. Were they given binding and loosing authority like the Apostles? No. They are PRE-NEW COVENANT!!! They had a two-fold purpose: To go ahead of Jesus and perform those tasks as a help to Him, and to signify Jesus as the New Covenant Moses to a people who would well recognize the symbolism. After all, Moses was a type and shadow of the Christ to come. So does the fact that Jesus delegated miraculous power to the seventy change the fact that all believers were NOT intended to possess that power? Absolutely not!!! Here is the fact: Jesus was THE authority. He delegated as He willed to these seventy for the purpose of symbolism to the Jewish people that He was their “now” Moses. The Seventy being sent out also represented the table of the Nations. 70 nations that were abandoned by God at Babel. When a first century Jew saw this act by Jesus, sending 70 with power to cast out the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim (demons), they saw the imagery. THAT was the purpose. To try to pull from that distinct example and say that that means all too can have that power is a blasphemous equivocation fallacy. PERIOD. The SEVENTY pre-date the cutting of the new covenant on the day of Pentecost. This was a part of Jesus’ ministry, not the New Covenant order to come. Do you realize that the day of Pentecost is the exact same day that the Mosaic covenant was cut as well? Nothing is random. God has a point and purpose for everything. And when you go to Exodus 19 and you look at the imagery when the covenant is cut with Moses, we see the imagery of a theophany. Quaking, fire, and wind! If you go to Acts 2, you see the same thing. In scripture, wherever the presence of God is, you see that theophany imagery. What I am writing here using a clear scriptural-evidenced discourse is called “exegesis.” What people who bark their self-righteous opinions about on social-media, with no responsible scriptural discourse is called “eisegesis.” Eisegetes annoy me. They are proud, knowing nothing but what they’ve heard said, rather than what they can prove.

So we’ve established by the word of God that the Apostolic ministry ceased with the death of John. Why? Because no one else could be qualified to be an Apostle according to Scripture, because no one living had been with Jesus and had first-hand witnessed His resurrection! PERIOD! And we have Paul, who did see the life of Jesus and was a witness of his resurrection, (although on the wrong side of Jesus at the time), saying that the apostolic ministry is signified by the power to perform signs and wonders and miraculous deeds. Who performs those? Apostles. But did anyone else, other than Jesus-selected Apostles perform spiritual gifts? Yes. But who? Those whom the Apostles laid hands upon and imparted those powers to. Is that possible in 2021? No, they’re all dead now for about the past 1900+ years! Who had binding and loosing authority given to them? The Apostles. In the Gospels, it was Jesus in the flesh who had that sole power. Hence Him delegating to the seventy. So the Apostles had been given the unique power of Jesus at Pentecost, that day on the Temple Mount. So could they impart and delegate to others for specific tasks, to people they deemed necessary? Absolutely, and they did. But you know what? Even the Apostles performing those things was not that common. As you read through the book of the “Acts of the Apostles” (there’s a reason its called that BTW) and the other apostolic writings, and you see the timeline, it was not a constant thing, folks. Are you seeing how ridiculous the overreach of scripture is amongst charismania today, to try to justify the carnal, fleshy, sensual, and devilish ideologies and behaviors? It is a delusion that God sends upon anyone who rejects His truth. I used to be in it. I’m ashamed of that now. I repented of anything to do with it, and have since been trying to help people see how deceptive it is.

Jesus said, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks signs…” It is idolatry for Christians to seek those signs. Damning! These people claim that they operate in these things for the furtherance of the gospel, but show me one time where Paul talked about his performance of such things? The apostles hardly mentioned it because it wasn’t the focus. But it sure is the focus today, yet the things displayed today are false signs and lying wonders. Why? There are no Apostles today. In 99.9% of people who unwittingly blaspheme the text to try to justify that nonsense, they have no personal desire and zero self-discipline of their own in the word of God. I have spent most of my faith life in charismatic church circles, and I’m telling you that out of 300 people you couldn’t find me five that knew their way around the Bible. But they declared they were “full of the Holy Spirit?” The holy scripture says that the “SPIRIT AND THE WORD ARE ONE”. Acts 5:32 says that God only gives the Spirt to them who OBEY Him. Hmmm, how can a person obey what they don’t know for themselves? And how can they have the Spirit, without the Word? Hahaha insanity. People are willfully deceived because they serve their own bellies (desires), and have created an image they call “Jesus”, but have wholly rejected the Word of God, who is Jesus! It is sensualism and all about emotions and “feeling things.” “Brother, I just FEEL LED OF GOD…..” God leads by his word, never feelings! Sensualism 101.

On that matter, in lieu of this conversation, I want to show you something perplexing that Jesus said. But first I want to share something with you. Several months ago my pastor and I were talking on the phone, and I had a thought about how a great tactic of Satan would be to give the appearance to someone who is bound in drug addiction, as being delivered under the guise of “Jesus”, only to be ensnared by a worse prison: false religion/christianity. I was telling him how that an addict would be freed of drugs, only to be imprisoned in a worse thing, which is thinking you are right with God, rather than knowing you were going to Hell as a drug addict. The person hooked on drugs knows where they stand with God. But the person deceived by “another Jesus”, (that John calls the image of the beast in the book of Revelation), are eternally damned in that state, thinking they know Jesus. when they really don’t. Terrifying! But one may say that isn’t possible, Chris. Let’s look at what Jesus said!!

Luke 11:14-20
“Now he (Jesus) was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” while others, to test him, kept SEEKING FROM HIM A SIGN from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid DESOLATE, and a divided household falls. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, BY WHOM DO YOUR SONS CAST THEM OUT? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Do you see it? The very thing they accused Jesus of, is by what power they were operating in!! Folks, deceived Jews who rejected Jesus were casting out demons!!! I saw this verse this morning and it shook me to the core, and I remembered the conversation my pastor and I had months ago. But today, Jesus confirmed my thought. The children of Judaism, that Jesus called the “children of Satan” in John 8, were casting out demons by the power of Satan. The kingdom of darkness was deceiving them by FALSE SIGNS AND LYING WONDERS. And in so doing, they were convinced they were right with God, because they equated this power with Yahweh, but they were being deceived and damned by Satan’s parodies. The nature of Satan is illusion, accusation, adversity, and slander. I have been called a false prophet just this week by people who have never talked to me, who are accusing me of exactly what they are doing! The word “devil” means slanderer. The word “Satan” means adversary. These are not proper nouns, but titles. But Lucifer and his children are known by their deeds, and God will judge every man according to his deeds. What did Jesus say about a house divided? It wouldn’t stand. What became of their Temple?

Matthew 23:38
Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

He told the religious Jews that not one stone of their temple would be left up on top of another. It lays desolate until this day. Jesus cursed the temple, their priesthood, and Judaism, which is anti-Christ. Every place that Jesus spoke judgment on in national Israel is still desolate! Capernaum, Bethsaida, and Chorazin are all still ruins, just like the Temple. Ever wondered why Christians support the rebuilding of a temple that Jesus cursed, rooted in a religion that denies him? Selah!!!!! That “Christianity” is the image of the Beast that looks like a lamb, speaks like a dragon, and causes it’s converts to worship the world system, aka….The lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life.

Who is it that deceives the world with FALSE SIGNS AND LYING WONDERS?

Mark 13:22
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Even him, whose coming is after AFTER THE WORKING OF SATAN WITH ALL POWER AND SIGNS AND LYING WONDERS And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause GOD SHALL SEND THEM STRONG DELUSION, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Who does God send it upon? Those who profess His name, yet reject His contextual word, twist His Word, add to His Word, and detract from His word. He isn’t talking about the lost people here. These people are professing Him, but misrepresenting His name, promoting what He DID NOT SAY, and therefore He deludes them so THEY WILL BELIEVE THEIR OWN LIES, AND WORSHIP THEIR FALSE SIGNS AND LYING WONDERS, and be DAMNED for it.

Do you think God takes it personal when you misrepresent what He said? I think it’s pretty clear!

Recap: Who performed signs and wonders in Jesus’ name? The Apostles! Does that office exist today? No! What was the sign of an Apostle? Performing signs and wonders. What is the prerequisite to being eligible for the office of the Apostle? You had to have been present with Jesus in the flesh, witnessing his ministry and death, and being a witness of his resurrection. Is that possible today? NO NO NO NO NO!!!!! And everyone speaking anything contrary to what I have shown the scripture clearly says is a liar. PERIOD!

Another point……

Mark 9:38-39
And John answered him, saying, Master, WE SAW one casting out devils in your name, and he follows not us: and we forbade him, because he follows not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man WHICH SHALL DO (accomplish) A MIRACLE IN MY NAME, that can lightly speak evil of me.

Who was the man? Who did Jesus impart this power to? The seventy and the Twelve. If he wasn’t an Apostle, and he obviously wasn’t, then he had to be one of the seventy, right? He was invoking the name of Jesus and accomplishing the task. Was it possible to invoke the name of Jesus and accomplish that without having had that ability imparted by Jesus at that time, or by the Apostles later in Acts? No! Let’s see how that turns out for some guys invoking Jesus’ name who were speaking wrongly of Jesus by their witness……..

Acts 19:11-16
“And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”

I’d say the Apostles hadn’t sanctioned these boys!! LOL!! Folks, “let God be true and every man a liar.” Jesus told those Jews who had believed on him in John chapter 8, saying, “you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” It is my sincere prayer that many of you get free of denominational bondage and false doctrines spoken in the name of Jesus, that blaspheme his word. But you cannot stay in those circles and walk with Him at the same time. That would be double-mindedness.

What class do these people teaching and professing to walk in the power of the Apostles, declaring to be performing signs and wonders, and to even claim to be Apostles, fall under? Based on scripture, they’re liars and false teachers, operating in FALSE signs and LYING wonders. Charismania is eaten up with it. It is delusional. If a person doesn’t understand the language, culture, and context of the scripture from the ancient worldview, that person is NOT qualified to instruct anyone. PERIOD. But sadly, that is the case today more often than not. But then again, these same people deny the clear and concise words of the true Apostles and interject their will upon the text, because their bellies are their god.

Philippians 3:18-19
For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly (desires), and what they glory in is their shame, with minds set on earthly (sensual) things.

James 3:1
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

Here are some charismatic rebuttals that completely sidestep EVERYTHING I have shown BY SCRIPTURE above to be truth.

1) They will point to the event of Acts 2, where the 120 all in fact spoke in foreign tongues that day ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT (not the upper room as they teach). Their intent is to say that the event performed by the remnant of Jews on this day, in God’s power, means that they too can all speak in tongues today. It’s erroneous. The event in Acts 2 is the cutting of a new covenant, starting with 100% Jewish Christians, who were the only Christians to date. The gospel was to who first? The jews!

The answer of why all those people spoke in world languages they hadn’t learned lies in the question: What was being accomplished on THIS DAY? In the Babel rebellion, God said, “These people are all in “ONE ACCORD” and unified, and nothing can be restrained from them. So let us go down and DIVIDE THEIR TONGUES, so that they cannot understand one another.” Now look at the scene of Acts 2. What language did Luke use to describe what occurred here at Pentecost?

Acts 2:1-4
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all IN ONE ACCORD in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And DIVIDED TONGUES as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Do you see the imagery being portrayed? Luke was tying the Babel scene and this New Covenant together, showing that Jesus has opened the door to every nation, kindred, and language for acceptance into His covenant. At Babel, they had rebelled against God’s command to Adam to cover the earth, and had declared to remain in one place together. So God judged them, and abandoned those 70 nations to be under other gods (elohim). Fallen angels were appointed as their gods.

Psalms 82:1
God (Elohim) has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods (elohim) he holds judgment:

Elohim is NOT a name. It is a title. El means God. Elohim is the plural form. in Hebrew, anything ending with the suffix “im” is masculine plural. Angelic beings God has placed in authority, whether good or evil angels, are referred to as elohim as well, in scripture. The cutting of the New Covenant that day at Pentecost was the REVERSAL OF THE ABANDONMENT OF THE NATIONS AT BABEL. Hence, Holy Spirit performing the miracles of having all these believers perform the languages of the previously abandoned Gentile nations. THIS WAS THE PURPOSE FOR TONGUES THAT DAY. It was not a sign that every believer going forward was willed by God to operate in speaking in tongues. And Paul makes that abundantly clear to the church at Corinth when he shows that not everyone is intended to speak in tongues, nor possess any other ministry office or sign power. This was a witness to the unbelieving nations whose Jews had come to Temple for the feast day. It was a heavenly proclamation of Jesus Christ’s redemption of mankind and the earth back to Himself. When we look at Joel’s prophecy of this day, it says……

Joel 2:28-29
“And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit ON ALL FLESH;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy (preach), your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male AND FEMALE servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit.

Does anyone see any of the signs and wonders of the Apostles in that prophecy for the reception of the Holy Spirit? No. Because these are not for everyone. But the Holy Spirit being given is the focus. It was a corporal outpouring upon all who obey Jesus, male and female. (Acts 5:32). It had nothing to do with speaking in tongues. The focus was the outpouring of the Spirit on all believers. It was a corporal gift to obedient followers, not some secret club thing that is received by prayer and evidenced with speaking in tongues. Idiotic! If what charismatics teach were true, do you not think that EVERY Apostle would have made a point to direct the attention of believers to this perceived necessary experience?? Of course, BUT THEY DON’T.

Concerning the spiritual gifts discussed with Corinth, notice they don’t include raising the dead, casting out demons, causing men to be blind for perverting the gospel, and so forth. Other than Jesus, who else raised a dead person? Paul and Peter: The apostle to the nations and the apostle to the Jews. Does that mean the other apostles did not possess that power? No, but those are the only examples recorded. But I can promise you one thing, Bill Johnson and Bethel church will never perform those signs and wonders, nor will anybody else, because they were the ministry of the Apostles, whose office no longer exists. That is not my opinion, I have shown you that is the word of God.

But people in the early church were given ministry gifts at the will of the Holy Spirit. Were those gifts available to all believers? Emphatically no!!! What were the purpose of those gifts in first Corinthians 12 through 14? Signs to UNBELIEVERS for the witness of the gospel. Are they the same as Apostolic powers? No. Are what people in America profess to be doing those gifts in operation? No. The point of all the signs and wonders and spiritual gifts were affirming the word of God. What need is there now? And the people defending their carnal attempts to portray a power they don’t have, are lying on the Holy Spirit. Do you think God is so reckless that He gives a gift to a person who doesn’t even submit to His Apostles’ teachings? Really? Everything they wrote that we call scripture was addressing the same kinds of people! Nicolaitans? Ancient Calvinists. Corinthians? Ancient pentecostals. Judaizers hiding in Christianity, trying to mingle circumcision with Christianity? Hebrew Roots Movement today. Folks, you can find the false doctrines we see in 2021 being corrected in your Bible. They are same false spirit the Apostles corrected, just rebranded.

1 Corinthians 12:11
All these (gifts) are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually AS HE WILLS.

But what was the function of spiritual gifts? As a witness to unbelievers of the message being established in the known world. So what is to be said of it all after the summation of the scripture is rendered? The need for such things ceased. Why did Jesus perform signs and wonders? To validate His identity. What validates it all today? The Word of God. We have the more sure word of prophecy: the Bible, that records all of those events. We walk by faith and not by visual evidence, folks. A cessationist believes the gifts of 1 Corinthians ceased with the Apostles. I don’t tie God’s hands with such a statement, but I do believe there is almost never a reason today for those things. The word of God is in print, and available in almost every language known to earth. What need is there to try to establish what the Apostles have already done?

James 3:13-18
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the MEEKNESS OF WISDOM. But if you have bitter jealousy and SELFISH AMBITION in your hearts, DO NOT BOAST AND BE FALSE TO THE TRUTH. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is EARTHLY, UNSPIRITUAL, DEMONIC. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be DISORDER and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, IMPARTIAL and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Peacemakers tell the truth! They bring justice by truth. They defend the truth as delivered by the Apostles. They are blessed.

People war and fight to defend their beliefs on Facebook. They attack opposing views, which is fine if the scripture is used in support. But most often, ad hominem speech is what is used, where they slander and attack the person who disagrees, and they almost never use a scriptural discourse to support themselves. Sure they may quote the name of a chapter, or some random verse, but that is NOT how it is done. I have laid out 14 hours of my life writing this one discourse. And you know what? They still will not listen.

Matthew 13:15
For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed,
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.’

Acts 28:25-27
And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:
“‘Go to this people, and say,
“You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed;
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.’

Hebrews 5:11-14
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

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