KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
1. Patriarchal age of the world
A. The world had its infancy as well as man. Families preceded nations. Family
worship was therefore the first religious institution. As head of this religious institution, the father was head of
each family, because of necessary guidance the father stood as the prophet, priest and the king of each household, he also
stood as judge.
As prophet the father instructed his house in the knowledge
of God and as time moved forward he gave instruction in regards to the history of Man. As a priest, he was the minister at the family alter, he interceded for those under
his care and pronounced blessings upon his children and servants, if he had servants.
As a lawgiver, which laws came from God he commanded his children and rewarded them according to merit of each. By divine ordinance the first fathers of mankind were thus considered as prophet,
priest, king and judge, therefore the first religious system was called the patriarchal.
B. Family and social worship.
During the first 2500 years or more it was the only social
worship divinely authorized by God. Though in latter times God added the public
law, written by Moses. However the patriarchal system has never been superseded
having its foundation in the matrimonial agreement covenant; the most ancient of all religions and political systems and this
being founded on natural instinct itself it can never be superseded.
While forms of worship have always been bound by the revelation
of God, and made good for mankind, it has continued to weather the changes of mankind down to Cornelius, in acts chapter ten. Other branches have never been allowed to spring off into different systems with different
laws, such was never the plan of God. It is not in his plan to this day, Acts
4:12. Family worship underwent no material change; so this is the period called
the patriarchal age of the world.
C. Families forming families.
So long as the offspring of one man and one woman continued
under the kings roof, or until they became head of families themselves they continued under this religious and political system
and administration. This system did not change neither was it removed from existence
when a law for Abraham’s seed who was in Egypt
was brought out as a chosen people. Another thing very different then from now,
after marriage they did not move a great distance from their parents and inheritance, the parents and their authority continued
to be acknowledged.
In the youth of the world families became large; the father
of the family could not always be at home and he might die at any given time before his children could become head of families,
therefore it became necessary if need arose for someone to take his place in the family.
Nature and common sense pointed to his firstborn son; therefore all privileges and honors of the firstborn son were
both religious and political and the duties placed upon him gave him a double portion of the inheritance. So Esau was both prodigal and profane in selling his birthright, however it seems to me that it could have
been God’s will.
D. The moral and religious system of the patriarchal or family worship which continued
from the fall of Adam to the covenant with Israel were the Sabbath when man came together to worship God. The service
of the alter, oral instructions, prayer and thanksgiving was still the responsibility of the father of the clan. The
religious observance of weeks or Sabbath was in commemoration of creation and the hope of eternal rest, Heb. 4:1-11.
There were to arise out of the sacrificial and typical system the law and erection of the
Jewish system in which the law said, “Remember the Sabbath day.” The righteous always remembered the weeks
and regarded the conclusion of the week as the holy day unto the Lord.
There were to arise out of the sacrificial and typical system
the law and erection of the Jewish system in which the law said, “Remember the Sabbath day.” The righteous always remembered the weeks and regarded the conclusion of the week as the holy day unto
E. Strange but true even after the apostasy, which
resulted in the neglect of family worship, in consequence of the sons of God intermarrying with the daughters of men, which
brought a flood of waters upon the evil of the world. But we find Noah religiously counting his weeks, even while being
confined in the ark. In the wilderness of sin, even before God gave the Law of Moses we find the Jew observing the Sabbath
Sin offering and thanks-offering on alters both of stone and
earth were presented to the Lord. The former in faith of the promise in regards
to the bruising of the serpents’ head Gen. 3:15, by the offspring of woman. We
find in Noah and the flood allusions to the patriarchal system. For as soon as
Noah made way out of the ark we find him erecting an alter of stone to make a sacrifice upon the earth, after it had been
baptized and immersed in water. Therefore Noah continued to worship the Lord
God under the patriarchal system. The flood did not change the status of the
During this period of history there was but one high priest especially sent by God. “He was king of Salem and priest of the most high.” To him the Patriarch Abraham paid tithes, that is he gave a tenth of the spoils of war he had just won
and he gave this to Melchisedeck, and God blessed him. Melchisedeck had no father
or mother, no predecessor. From this we learn about the patriarchal period of
the world and that the father of the family was king, priest, prophet and judge. First
to the father in the case where the father dies his oldest son carried on the worship services in his fathers’ stead.
interceded for Sodom until he was ashamed to push his importunities farther; and for Abimelech,
king of Egypt and his family, he made
his request to God. Of Abraham and his patriarchal character God said, “I
know Abraham that he will command his children and his household after him that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which
he has spoken” Gen. 18:19.
B. There were prophets
of a public nature occasionally raised up by God to go out and turn the hearts of the people back to God. To bring men back to the primitive simplicity of the patriarchal system and to open their minds forward
to the future developments of Gods’ purpose in reference to Abraham and to his working to fulfill God’s scheme
The future was revealed to Abraham, Gal.
3:8. The future was revealed to Isaac and Jacob, but before we go too far we
need to look at the root of all the past ages and look at God’s mercy and favor to man who was planted in the patriarchal
system. It is necessary to our study of the kingdom of heaven to pay close attention
to one of these patriarchs whose faith and courage certainly shows that he imitated his God as we should, Eph. 5:1. God bestowed honor above all that we today could imagine. He
is enrolled in the book of life as “God’s friend”, God said, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of
Isaac and the God of Jacob”. This is my name forever”. Does not Abraham occupy a great space in God’s plan drawn up before the foundation of the world? Is not Abraham the beginning of the spiritual kingdom lost in the Garden of Eden? Did Adam and Eve not forfeit their right to the spiritual kingdom? Was not all departed spirits cast into the hadean world whether good or evil? Abraham’s faith-unprecedented faith, in God’s promises because of this and of his piety he
was and is the father of all believers. Abraham’s life is a model for those
who choose to serve God.
C. What little we know about Abraham, it cannot be denied
that we can know him as an orthodox man and that based upon his faith and obedience to God’s teaching. With Abraham
there was no deviation from God’s prescribed regulations. It was death before deviation! Even in the sacrifice
of his son, he never questioned God. In Abraham we see that there was no room for such things as we hear taught today. For
Abraham to teach his family, his tribe some sort of universal open door fellowship with the world and to even hint of deviation
from original design is unheard of.
intended purpose as a belief in finite, based upon the testimony of reason, against the present philosophical terms. Belief in a final cause that is not intrinsically complete and therefore not a fitting
object of worship. Such teaching opens the door to anything goes religion! Not Christianity. For the original man
was the rational and moral ultimatum of the mundane system. Naturally or as he
came from God’s hand, he was the perfection of all terrestrial creations and institutions. In the elements of his constitution he was partly celestial and terrestrial of an earthly material as to
his body, but of spiritual intelligence and divine life. He very soon chose carnality
and sinned, so it is said death came through Adam the first man, Rom. 5:12.
D. We must now consider the Jewish institution, of great
importance to the world was the furnishing of a new alphabet and language (the works of heavenly science) without which it
would seem impossible to learn the spiritual which Christianity makes clear. That of the old therefore explains the language
of the new system. It is my scriptural opinion that no one can understand the dialect of the kingdom of heaven, who has
not done a sincere study in the dialect of the antecedent administrations of heaven over the patriarchs and Jews. More so
especially the differences in the two covenants. The most striking and interesting characteristic attribute of the sacred
dialect is that the elements of it are composed of the incidents of ancient history.
E. Apostle Paul encourages all
Christians to read the old testament, see what happened to those who deviated form God’s word and were destroyed, 1
Cor. 10:1-12. For sure these statements made by the apostle is pertinent to our salvation; they are statements that are
inexpugnable, that is, no one but God can assault them. This which is recorded in, 1 Cor. 10:1-12, leaves no room for
nebulous doctrines such as we hear about; they are in every sense of the word orthodox and in the same sense when we learn
the old testament and see how the wrath of God came upon those who deviated from his word we just might be more careful in
how we handle God’s word!
I am not reluctant to
be redundant for again when we talk or read about the kingdom of heaven in the new testament, we will not fully understand
the kingdom of heaven until we first understand the two covenants given to Abraham; and find the prescribed regulations which
governs the kingdom of heaven and those who see the kingdom Jesus says, “seek first the kingdom and His righteousness.” It is this last word we cannot attain to and it is this last word which denies us
the freedom to deviate from even one word spoken by God, Matt 6:33. Those today
who are taking God’s word and making it into a theistic doctrine will have their day in court, not only they; but those
who follow their teaching.
Theism is a belief in
one God, a belief in deity, a belief in the existence of one God. But to deny
the revelations of God and His sovereignty, to deviate from is theistic. The
acceptance of homosexuals without repentance is deviation from God’s word. Offering
universal open door fellowship to religions and denominations is deviation, but hear dear reader they are condemning themselves,
because they believe not the word of God, John 3:18.
III. Two Covenants.
promises in simple form God said to Abraham, Gen. 12:2 “I will make of thee a great nation and I will bless thee and
make thy name great and thou shalt be a blessing, I will bless them that bless thee and I will curse those that curse thee,
B. The second promise, “in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed,” Gen. 12:3. Covenant of circumcision, Gen 17:10-21 these promises when fully exercised and fulfilled,
contained many-many blessings. However in all their details separate and distinct from each other. Abraham’s family are personally concerned in the first promise, where all the families of earth forever
is seen in the second. Physical and earthly are the blessings for the first,
for the second is spiritual and eternal are their blessings, Gal 4:22,23. Paul
calls the second the gospel that was preached to Abraham, Gal. 3:8. The covenant
confirmed by God in reference to the Messiah four hundred and thirty years before the giving of the Law of Moses. The Jewish kingdom with all its glory was but the arrangement of the first promise.
The Christian kingdom in its present and future blessings is the fulfillment
of the second promise. In the investigation of the first promise and in order
to be exact and literal accomplishments, a covenant of circumcision was established.
The fleshly covenant as it is referred to today, never the less this covenant marked out and defined the descendants
of Abraham. This act, which had never been known before, gave to the world full
proof of the faithfulness of God, causing it to be bound upon everyone who chose to keep this covenant of promise. This gave to Abraham and his descendants the title of the circumcision and in certain terms represented
the separation of God’s people from the evil children of the world.
of Canaan, as the inheritance of this nation is a repeat over and over,
to Abraham; and as soon as Isaac, the child of promise, Gal. 4:22-31, is born and circumcised the promise of the, “seed”
in which all the nations upon earth would be blessed is confined to Isaac. Not
to Ishmael, but in Isaac shall thy seed be blessed, Gen. 21:21.
C. Sinatic covenant, when this covenant was ratified it
constituted the kingdom of God , a Holy nation peculiar people. All the blessings comprehended in the first promise made
to Abraham, which could render a personal relation to God which the promise contemplated were carried out in this transaction
which brought the whole nation together, But we see only temporal blessings, temporal and physical.
D. The second promise was no part of the Jewish system
or covenant at Sinai, nor did it effect the patriarchal institution. The typical of figurative part of the family worship,
was enlarged and improved and was translated into the national system and was made a part of it and whatever spiritual privilege
was enjoyed was enjoyed by the same principle with the patriarch so by faith in the second promise, and by common sense believing
attendance upon all means Which prefigured the coming redemption.
The spiritual seed was
in the nation it was the seed in which all families of earth would be blessed; but in no other sense than it was in the people
but it was dormant. Thus amongst the Jews, even before the coming of the Messiah
there were two seeds, the natural and the spiritual children of Abraham. The
whole nation were his literal and natural children; and such of them that believed the second promise and understood it were
not only his natural children, but his children in the same sense in which all believing gentiles are by virtue of the second
promise constituted the children of Abraham. Remember the scripture, in Gal.
4:22-31, Ishmael was born according to the flesh, the fleshly seed of Abraham, so Ishmael could not represent a spiritual
kingdom. The second like Isaac were a child of faith in the second promise, and
so Abraham is the recognized father of all who believe in the second promise; but the second promise was not fulfilled for
some fifteen hundred years after the first promise, or after the Jewish system was confirmed or ratified at Sinai.
E. The spiritual blessings, which were to come through
the seed of Abraham and was to come to all nations, and all people through faith and the fulfilled promises these accomplishments
and promise is the basis for a new spiritual kingdom of God . So the Jewish system is not to be totally regarded only
in a political, moral and religious nation. God so wisely and benevolently contrived it from its origin to its close.
It’s whole history showed its people to be ungrateful and God’s longsuffering with love for this people. God
was with them to their final catastrophe. This should be and exact and impressively shadow of the new and more glorious
order of the spiritual kingdom of heaven, and of God and of Christ.
We find in the Old Testament
all the prophets and writers unceremoniously applying every thing they quote or write from the law and the Psalms, to the
Messiah, the spiritual kingdom and the future of his people; The Jewish writings had no other object in mind than to unfold
the kingdom. Jesus begins, John 8:56, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to
see my day; and He saw it and was glad. And at this particular time the physical
kingdom existed, even after the death of Christ the old physical kingdom existed. We
must learn the truth as to when the physical kingdom was abolished, Heb. 8:13, and the new spiritual kingdom arrived. The physical kingdom could not exist at the same time it would have been chaos, so
the spiritual did not come on Pentecost. Rather He informed the apostles that
some of them would live to see Him coming in His kingdom, Matt. 16:28.
IV. The kingdom of heaven announced.
A. Here we change horses, and pick up a new rider, John the Baptist or Elijah, Mal. 4:5. John the forerunner came preaching, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”, Matt. 3:2.
On the Mount of Olives Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven”, Matt. 5:3. Matt. 3:10, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Now we look at, Luke 6:20, Luke refers
to the kingdom as the kingdom of God. Mark 10:14, Jesus here refers to the kingdom
of God. Now we must show
that there is a spiritual kingdom on earth and a spiritual kingdom in heaven.
Heaven and the kingdom
of heaven are not one and the same. God is not the kingdom of God, but as the
kingdom of God is something pertaining to God, an assembly of people, or an assembly of angels, so the kingdom of heaven is
something pertaining to heaven and the Godly rule over those families already there. So consequently this assembly of families
pertain to God. So then the spiritual kingdom on earth is called the assembly
of Christ, the called out. Joseph Thayer author of the Greek English Lexicon,
p. 196, gives a very good definition for the Greed word assembly, (English church).
“A company of Christians or of those who hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observing their own
religious rites, hold their own affairs according to regulations prescribed for the body for the orders sake. Those who anywhere in the city or village constituted such a company and are united in one body”.
B. It seems this would be understood by anyone,
but take note he mentions the prescribed regulations as something that before baptism one should know and in his or her confession
of faith should also make known to the assembly their intention to keep the prescribed regulations given by God in the gospel. Any one who diverts or goes beyond the prescribed regulations, 1 Cor. 4:6, has sinned
and have blasphemed God, for God wrote the regulations. In the assembly of Christ
there is no room for perverted universal doctrine, 1 Cor. 1:10.
C. First we must understand the type or we cannot understand the anti-type. Also we must understand that which is natural before we can understand that which is spiritual. Now we must ask what are the elements, which constitutes a kingdom as existing among men? They are five, king, constitution, subjects laws and territory. Such
are the essential parts of a political kingdom. In the kingdom, which God sets
up are the same for the constitution, which God, himself of his freewill tended the constitution, of this kingdom to His son.
D. To those who are curious to trace these phrases descriptive
of the relation of the ancient kingdom of God is encouraged to examine the additional passages, which makes distinction between
the old kingdom of God and the new spiritual kingdom of earth and that of heaven, Ex. 14:30; Ex. 15:16; Ex. 19:6; Deut. 4:37;
Deut. 7:6; Deut. 10:15; Deut. Deut. 14:1; 1 Kings 3:8; Psalms 105:6; Isaiah. 41:8; Isaiah 43:1, 3, 5, 7; Isaiah 51:27; Isaiah
51:2-4. Matt. 3, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. Matt. 5:3, “Blesses are the poor
in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Matt. 5:10, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for
the sake of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Mark 10:14 and Luke 6:20, it is called the kingdom
of God . From the evidence now before us and in the light given to us in these scriptures we learn first that God is
the author of the constitution of the kingdom of heaven; that through Abraham began and was tendered to His own son.
E. We have shown sufficient evidence to show that new
kingdom of God the kingdom of heaven was not ratified on the day of Pentecost. The assembly was established, the results of
the assembly would constitute the kingdom of heaven and the spiritual kingdom of earth. But now we have a most important
question that we must find evidence for the answer; if the kingdom did not come on the day of Pentecost, then when did it
1. We look at the prophecy of Jacob or (Israel) in Gen. 49:10, as Jacob blessed his twelve sons he also revealed
to them their future, therefore he prophesied and said to Judah his son
saying, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the rulers staff from between his feet, until Shiloh
comes”. (Christ.) The scepter being conferred on Judah as the tribe in
which king David and Jesus Christ would come through. The scepter represented
a kingly office, royal power.
2. So actually what Jacob is saying is that Judah will remain as a
kingly tribe with royal power until Christ comes, Jacob has no reference to the birth of Christ rather His second appearing. So
then what would happen to Judah when Christ returned? For one thing Christ would remove from Judah the scepter from his
possession, which means Judah would be left powerless and open for destruction, as Jesus foretold in Matt. 23:36-39; Luke
21:20-22; Deut. 28:48-66. The second thing it proves beyond any reasonable doubt, the time of the second coming. Both
truths are tied to the removal of the scepter from Judah . No question on this, any objection must be followed with evidence.
then the new spiritual kingdom could not be ratified until Judah
was made to disappear, Heb. 8:13.
was indeed the one who would take the scepter from Judah
and give it to a nation who would produce fruit of it, Matt. 21:43.
all the biblical and ancient history informs us that Judah
was indeed abolished in AD 70, by the Roman armies. This insurmountable amount
of evidence is inexpugnable and shows for one thing the exact time of the second appearing of Christ and Judah becoming obsolete is shown without debate or question; therefore the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven was then
6. Christ indeed was the testator of His will, which included, first
His establishment of His assembly drawn from men who had sincere faith to learn, practice and teach the prescribed regulations
of the gospel. These became sons of God it was men of these attributes, which would constitute the kingdom on earth and
the kingdom of heaven. Christ accepted men who would learn practice and teach the prescribed regulations of the gospel. Paul
said in Col. 1:23, that the gospel had been preached to every creature under heaven, and then invites all converts to imitate
him as he did Christ. So the will left by Christ was legal and in action 50 days after His resurrection. But, what
is happening in 2005 to those who have learned, believed, practiced and preached the truth and now have turned aside, and
entangled themselves in doctrines that are not prescribed by our Lord? “It has happened to them according to the
true proverb, a dog has returned to his own vomit”, 2 Peter 2:20-22. Solomon describes these people for what they
are, Proverbs 26:1-11. We are seeing the reproduction of Israel before King Saul was appointed, Judges 21:25. There
was no king in Israel, for the people had rejected God as their king, 1 Samuel 8:1-9; 10:18,19, so today many people are rejecting
Christ as their king for now, again they are saying prophecy is not fulfilled Christ has not come, the kingdom has not come,
Judah is destroyed we have no king, so we do what seems right in our sight!
God said to Abraham in, Gen. 12:3, “and the
ones who curse you I will curse. I will bless those who bless you. Abraham the
father of spirituality is being cursed and rejected on every hand. God is a keeper
of his word just look at the condition of the world today, what do you see that is good and leading to a spiritual kingdom,
God and Christ wrote into the gospel the prescribed
regulations for man to inherit the kingdom of heaven, a spiritual kingdom, Matt. 25:34.
Now with these regulations in place, (Thayer Greek Lexicon p. 196, assembly) why do church members continue to associate
with wickedness in the church, 1 Cor. 5:10-13? Why do churches invite fellowship
with “homosexuals without repentance, 1 Cor. 6:9,10? Why has some chosen
to teach different gospels, Gal. 5:16-21? Why do churches endorse same sex marriages,
Eph. 5:1-7? Why does liquor stores, grocery stores sell more wine, whisky and
beer to church people than any other, Col. 2:8,9? Why are Christians so ashamed
not to dissociate with false brethren, 2 Thess. 3:11-14? Why do churches violate
Gods regulations and appoint women preachers, 1 Tim. 2:11,12? Why disregard Paul’s
warning prescribe and teach these things, 1 Tim. 4:11-16? Where in God’s
regulations allows for abortion of unborn children? Where does the scripture
legalize young male and female living together without marriage?
Barnabas the companion of Paul, who possessed the
same Holy Spirit, as did Paul said, “Thou shalt not destroy thy conceptions before they are brought forth; nor kill
them after they are born”. The general Epistle of Barnabas 14:11.
First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians states,
“Ye are contentious, brethren and zealous for things that pertain not unto salvation. Look into the Holy Scriptures,
which are the true words of the Holy Ghost. Ye know that there is nothing unjust or counterfeit written in them”. Clement 20:1,2.
No church is exempt from these deviations; lets
search our hearts, what was the church designed by God to be throughout eternity? What
is it today? Do we really think these things constitute the spiritual kingdom
on earth? Where were the Christians when the Supreme Court ruled on Abortion?
We are going to plow ground where no man has been
when we mention 50 days after the resurrection of Christ, we find ourselves in the early morning hours of Pentecost. We must
consider the promise, Jesus made to his apostles.
a. John 14:16,17, “I will ask the Father and He will give you another helper, that
He may be with you forever, That is the spirit of truth”.
b. John 14:26, “But the helper the Holy Spirit, he will teach you all things, and
bring to your remembrance all that I said to you”.
c. John 16:13, “But when he, the spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into
all truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever he hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you
what is to come”.
d. John 15:26, “When the helper comes, whom I will send
from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father He will bear witness of me”. Four things
the spirit is to do when He came.
Four things the spirit is to do when He comes so
in chapter two He came, He will guide you into all truth. The Holy Spirit does
this by giving the apostles utterances to preach the gospel. The Holy Spirit
used the apostles as instruments to speak through. How do we know that for sure? The four scriptures in John confirms what the Spirit would do when He should come,
He is there. Acts 2:1, “And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place”. Acts 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as
the spirit was giving them utterance”. We want to closely examine the word
“utterance”, and look again at what the Holy Spirit would do when he came.
The Greed word for “utterance” has some interesting things that I have researched and offer here to the
reader. The sub joining Greek words to Logos offer the following translation. Article B, “The sayings of God, a decree, mandate, order”. (Thayer Greek English Lexicon p. 380.) “Utterance”
confirms. (Adam Clark Commentary, p. 693, vol. 5) States the following, “As the spirit gave them utterance, seems to
imply such utterances as produced from immediate inspiration and included oracular communications”.
I submit to you that Acts chapter two is the single
most important words clearly decreed by the Holy Spirit. Words, which established
and introduced fulfilled prophecy, Acts 2:16-47. Verses 16-21 confirms what Jesus said the Spirit would do when He came, John
16:13. “He would disclose what was to come”. The great tribulation, the persecution the coming of the Lord on that great and glorious day, AD 70, when
Judah was abolished, Heb. 8:13. No one will deny that Judah and Jerusalem were destroyed in AD 70; so then the prophet Jacob confirms the exact time when
our Lord would come back, Gen. 49:10.
The scepter would remain with Judah until Shiloh, Christ comes,
Christ, would take the scepter from Judah
and give it to a nation who would bear fruit. Christ would at this coming ratify
the new spiritual covenant, and take His bride. The kingdom on earth would result
from the Holy Spirit as the finisher establishing the Lords’ assembly on earth.
This assembly would constitute the spiritual kingdom in heaven.
Acts chapter two, is the most quoted from of the
chapters in the Bible. It is the most (misunderstood) denied the most violated
and now I hope will be the most discussed. It is the single most chapter, which caused people to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. People do not give the Holy Spirit the due credit for introducing fulfilled prophecy,
giving the time when Christ would come back in His kingdom, for establishing the assembly and setting forth regulations for
converts. According to Matt. 12:32, if, a person speaks against slanders or deny
the Holy Spirit and His works on that day has blasphemed the Spirit.
By Jessie Mills.
I find in Luke 16:22 ff, that the rich man assuming he had eternal life with the father, died and in hell he woke up
seeing Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham asked among other things that Abraham send Lazarus back to earth to testify to his
five brothers about this place of torment. Abraham responded by saying if they
will not hear the prophets, for sure they will not hear one who rose from the dead.
Although Adam Clarke has long been dead he lives through the sound doctrine he teaches in the observations below. The observation he made while living in regards to the to the first century Apostolic
Church of Christ. I use this especially since I have shown the church in the
first century and the conditions in 2005.
“Adam Clarke LL.D. In the book of Acts we see how the church
of Christ was formed and settled.
The apostles simply proclaimed the truth of God relative to the passion, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ;
and God accompanies their testimony with the demonstration of His spirit. What
was the consequence: Thousands acknowledge the truth, embraced Christianity and
openly profess it at the most imminent risk of their lives. The change is not
a change of merely on religious sentiment of mode of worship for another; but a change of tempers, passion, prospects and
moral conduct. All before was earthly, animal or devilish; or all these together,
but now all is holy spiritual and divine. The heavenly influence becomes extended
and nations are born unto God. And how was all this brought about: Not by might nor power: not by the sword nor by secular authority; nor through worldly motives and prospects;
not by pious frauds or cunning craftiness; not by the force of persuasive eloquence; in a word by nothing but the sole influence
of truth itself, attested to the heart by the power of the Holy Spirit. Wherever
religious frauds and secular influence have been used to establish or support a church professing itself to by Christian,
there we may rest assured is the fullest evidence that, that church is wholly antichristian.
Such a church possessing secular power has endeavored to support itself by persecution and persecution unto privation
of goods, of liberty and of life, It not only shows itself of be antichristian but also diabolic. The religion of Christ stands in no need of human cunning power.
It is the religion of God and is to be propagated by His power; this the book of Acts shows; and in it we find the
true model, after which every Christian church should be built. As far as any
church can show that it has followed this model so far it is holy and apostolic, When churches or congregations of people
professing Christianity, shall be found and regulated according to the doctrines and discipline laid down in the book of Acts
of the apostles, then the aggregate body may be justly called the Holy, Apostolic Universal Church of Christ.
The simplicity of the primitive Christian worship
as laid down in the book of Acts is worthy of particular notice and admiration. Here
are no expensive ceremonies: no apparatus calculated merely to impress, or excite the senses and produce emotions in the animal
system, “to help”, as has been foolishly said, “the spirit of devotion”. The heart is the subject in which this spirit of devotion is kindled; and the spirit of God alone is the
agent that communicates and maintains the celestial fire; and God, who knows and searches that heart is the object of its
adoration and the only source whence it expects the grace that pardons, sanctifies and renders it happy. No strange fire can be brought to this alter: for the God of the Christians can be worshipped only in spirit
and truth; the truth revealed, directing the worship; and the spirit given applying that truth and giving life and energy
to every faculty and power. Thus God was worshipped in His own way and through His own power as a sovereign God; every religious
act this performed was acceptable to Him; the praise of his followers rose up an incense before the throne and their prayers
were heard and answered. As they had but one God, so they had but one mediator
between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Request: “Ye different sects who all declare,
lo! Christ is here and Christ is there, your stronger proofs divinely give and show me where the Christians live”.” Adam Clarke, Commentary Matthew to Acts, vol. 5, pp. 680-681, preface to the acts
of the apostles.
Notes on (Acts 2:4).
“To speak with other tongues, at the building
of Babel the language of the people was confounded; and in consequence of this, they became scattered over the face of the
whole earth; at this foundation of the Christian church the gift of various languages was given to the apostles that the scattered
nations might be gathered and united under one shepherd and superintendent of all souls.
As the spirit gave them utterances the word in Greek seems to imply such utterances as proceeded from inspiration and
included oracular communications”.
Notes by Adam Clarke, Commentary, Matthew to acts,
vol. 5 pp. 693.
Observation; by Edward T, Hiscox. D.D.
“It is most likely that in the apostolic age
when there was but one Lord, one faith and one baptism and no differing denominations existed, the baptism of a convert by
that very act constituted him a member of the church and at once endowed him a member with all the rights and privileges of
full membership, in that sense baptism was the door into the church: now it is different; and while the churches are desirous
of receiving members, they are wary and cautious that they do not receive unworthy persons.”
The Standard Manual for Baptist Churches. By Edward
Hiscox D.D. The American Baptist Publication Society, Philadelphia, Pa. 1890, Ed. P. 22.
The above statement by Dr. Adam Clarke, a hard core
methodical Methodist Scholar, and Dr. Edward t. Cox, Baptist Scholar, has not been used to be critical or to praise. I do honor them for their scriptural honesty in relating from their heart the fact
that the Christ and the Apostles by following the regulations of the gospel established the one universal Church of Christ
on earth, when do denominations existed. Only after many years after the baptism
and death of St. Augustine, was the Roman Catholic Church born only through the political power