After Christ? Is there an after?
Anno Domini - After Christ?
The literal Latin meaning of Anno Domini according to the Oxford dictionary says " In the year of the Christian Era or advancing age", The common understanding of Anno Domini or (AD its usual written form) is 'After Christ'. This seems a contradictory term as it indicates that Christ is finished yet He has supposedly created a new religion called Christianity which continues after his death.
This whole statement could not be more wrong! Why? Firstly, Christ is very much alive and still working along side G-d fulfilling G-d's prophetic plans for mankind to return to him, therefore to say 'After Christ, when He still 'IS', equates to nonsense! Secondly, Christianity today is NOT the Christianity that Christ portrayed during his three years ministry! I clarify my statements below:
- All through various historical accounts (aside from the bible) point to Christ's life as a Jew in Israel, his ministry, his death on the cross and HIS resurrection from the tomb. These events were witnessed by hundreds of people and written about by various authors, including four New Testament bible authors; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These men were men of status and educated enough to write. They wrote their own versions of the events that took place as they witnessed them. Other witnesses shared their own versions of what they saw or experienced, these were then written in other ancient writings, which have been used in history lessons and lectures worldwide! The existence of these events cannot be denied, it has been accepted and recognised that His life existed and has made an impact on the world for over 2,000 years.
- People have spent their lifetime trying to fight against Him, to attempt to discredit His name, to deny His role as the Son of G-d, as saviour of the world and as the future king to come. They have failed! No one has the power to obliterate G-d or The Son or The Holy Spirit! For He created all things therefore how can the things He created have more power than the Creator!
- The second point concerning Christianity, demands in -depth explanation but I shall attempt to be brief. Christ's teachings are found throughout the whole of the New Testament writings, His words 'lived on' through the Apostles (Christ's disciples). They continued to write to others about the teachings Jesus had passed onto them before and after His death. How could he teach after his death? Because He is still alive! Death is only relevant to those who are of human flesh only; but those of the spirit are transformed from flesh to spirit. He also 'after His ascension' sent the Holy Spirit in His place to counsel all of Christ's followers and to convict the world of sin.
John 16: 7,Yeshua says " It is for your own good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement:...I am going to the Father, where you can SEE me no longer... But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth."
- To continue then with the point that Christianity today is not the Christianity that Christ taught. Christ taught his followers how they should live their lives as Christians, he provided them with gifts to help them to do so, gifts such as discernment, knowledge, love, healing, etc. They also continued (as Jews) to follow Torah law with the exception of temple law involving sacrifices of the Red Heiffer and the Lamb and the priestly ordinances as Christ replaced all of these. He became the high priest and replaced the purifying and atonement for sin, sacrifices also, therefore they were no longer required. And this is why Jews of today will build a temple and reinstate the purifying sacrifice (The Red Heiffer) and the lamb (atonement for sin) sacrifices because they still have need for atonement having not accepted Christ as there savior who was crucified (sacrificed) to atone for their sin).
- The disciples continued to observe the sabbath on the correct day which was a Saturday not Sunday (to be discussed in more depth in a separate article). They continued to attend the temple for the three festivals as commanded by G-d in Exodus 23: 14. They continued to follow the ten commandments and other social and justice laws. They also encouraged the gentile believers to follow the Noachide Laws which follow all of the important laws such as not eating the blood of animals.
- Sadly, Christians today either associate themselves with Gentiles (excusing themselves from following the law)instead of recognising or accepting their adoption into the Olive tree which means they become part of G-d's first born, as the Jews. Or they believe that as Christians they have replaced Jews entirely. They have become the new chosen, therefore G-d's first born, so disassociate with Jews and the Law altogether. Wrong! Romans 11:11 states clearly that Jews are and always will be "The First Born - the apple of G-d's eye", and he has through His Grace and Goodness, allowed Gentile believers the privilege of becoming part of this through faith in Jesus Christ. Israel has become a new Israel to include Jews and Christians! Christians have been adopted into G-d's kingdom and like any adopted children in any family structure are bound by the family rules. The same applies to Christians - they have been grafted into the family (the olive tree) as wild, untrained, ignorant children who need to be trained to the same standards that G-d requires of his chosen! Why do you suppose G-d continually allows you to suffer? It is so that through your sufferings (as Christ suffered, as the diisciples suffered , as the Jews suffered, you will be refined and purified and turned into the finest gold also! Do you think you as Christians, are the only ones who should escape suffering? Are you so proud that you think G-d would treat you, who were as gentiles and originally idol worshippers, better than HIs chosen!
- Christianity today is far from what G-d demands, Christians today still worship idols, still love material things and money more than G-d, Christians still watch pornography, steal, abuse their bodies and hide under a bushel, Christians today practice paganism, new age practices, astrology, watch witchcraft films and involve themselves in non-christian rites or sects such as freemasonry, rosicrucianism and other sects or cultic practices.
- True Christianity is practiced only by the remnant few, who are frowned upon because they are different, they are often accused of being "fanatical". True Christians embrace the Torah as they see Christ as the Torah and through Him, by following His teachings, they are observant of the Law. To the righteous being lawful becomes a natural process!
- The Torah Law contains regulations that many cultures adhere to already for example, we isolate people suffering from contagious diseases, for a period of time until signs demonstrate that the infectious period is over. We also are aware of the risks if we eat certain seafoods or certain animals - such as prawns, chicken or pork if not cooked correctly then there's a risk of food poisoning. These are rules we set to ourselves because we know there could be problems if we do not have these rules. It is the same for G-d's rules given to protect us but more importantly to bring us up to His standard of required holiness. G-d provided the Torah Law for Jews for a purpose - to make them aware of their sinfulness so that they became aware of G-d's HOLINESS and to guide them to righteousness. G-d could at anytime have sent His son to offer them salvation through Christ, or He could have removed the scales from their eyes and ears when they were in the desert, if he so wished. However, it was not part of His plan. The Israelites had a purpose the same as the Jews today have a purpose, the same as Christians have a purpose and the same as the remnant have a purpose.
- Ultimately, Jews and Christians will be joined as one, (Judah and Israel). Presently they are symbolically joined together to make the olive tree. Christians need to learn from the Jewish way of life, as it was demonstrated through Jesus and the disciples, to learn respect for G-d and all things holy, to give reverence to G-d's word.
- Yeshua meaning 'Salvation' said to all the Jewish/Christian believers who were listening to His speech on the mount where he introduced them to the Beatitudes and about being the salt of the earth, he also talked about the Law, all of these were for that time and relevantto believers today. Yeshua said "Until heaven and earth disappear not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
- To those of you who now come back with the argument that Paul says different, I would challenge you on whether you are following Christ or man? I say this because you choose to accept Paul's writings as you read them in the context of man's interpretation and not of Paul's meaning as a devout Rabbi of Judaic law! Like all deep scholars he writes in a complex style that only the learned can really grasp. But once you have been given an understanding of His background, his work as Yeshua's disciple or apostle, can you fully appreciate that he is saying exactly the same as Yeshua in the verse above.
- The difference is the Torah Law is not the way to achieve righteousness anymore it has been replaced by faith in Yeshua as the sacrificial lamb who atoned for our sins. Therefore the reason the law is to be observed today by Christians through Christ is to maintain that righteousness. The Ten Commandments for example are there to remind us not to be tempted to steal and through Christ and the Holy Spirit we are convicted of this when it enters our lives, what we do about it is down to us. We can either ignore it and continue to steal or we can come to Yeshua's feet and ask for forgiveness.
- I hear you cry out " but we have been forgiven for our sins for ever! Yes you have but it does not mean you can go on sinning and expect it to be ignored. Christ has forgiven your sins including those in the past that were intentional and unintentional, however, once you become born again then you are expected to follow in Yeshua's footsteps and that means not to commit intentional sins. The unconscious ones are forgiven, that's the sins that naturally occur because you are still human, but if you continue to do something wrong and refuse to change then you like anyone else can expect punishment! " What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? by no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Romans 6:Verse 19 "Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness (before becoming born again) so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness."
- in Romans Chapter 8 Paul makes a profound statement that sums up this whole topic, "Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Him the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death," This means the Law in itself was not enough to save people and bring them to righteousness they need also Yeshua! People need the help of the Holy Spirit." Verse 14 Those who are led by the Spirit of G-d are sons of G-d". 1 Corinthians 2: 14 "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of G-d, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them."
- Galations 3 Explains that if you try to acquire salvation and righteousness by rigidly observing the Law then you are going the wrong way, you observe the Law through faith in Christ and that is the difference and that is where Christians are being misled! It is simple yet complicated to understand just as the Holy Trinity is simple yet complicated.
- People find it difficult to acknowledge that there is the Almighty G-d who is also Christ and also the Holy Spirit. We try to comprehend these supreme concepts within the limits of human intellect and we cannot. It is beyond human understanding, that is where faith comes in. Faith is believing in what you do not understand or cannot comprehend, but trust in what you have been given! The Law is still a valuable tool for a Christian to use to pursue an understanding of holiness. It gives us a picture of G-d's holy standards BUT we cannot succeed to achieve these standards in the flesh, only through Yeshua and the gifts of the Spirit, do we qualify, only through Christ can be freedom from the guilt of sin (Hebrews 9 &10). Yeshua said " For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the pharisees and the teachers of the Law, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He says to exceed the commandment e.g.not to murder, you should also not hate another 'born again' believe or Jew. He also mentioned the commandment of adultery and said to supersede this commandment you must not even look at a woman (or man) lustfully. Adultery also goes further than the literal meaning - it relates to every believer who worships anything or any person more than G-d himself! A whole list of ways to exceed the righteousness of the pharisees and teachers of the Law are given by Yeshua in Matthew 5.
- Ask yourself this question why would Christ Yeshua say you must exceed their righteousness if he has excused and covered you from all intentional sin?
- Finally you cannot take one bible verse and use it to excuse your behaviour or to excuse you from responsibility or to justify your lack of desire to move forward into becoming holy as required of those who are called to be the holy priesthood. With that view you will just 'miss the boat'!
- In order to get a true picture of G-d's word you need to first ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to you, secondly, you need to look through the whole of scripture and see the complete, overall picture, thirdly, you need to let scripture interpret scripture.
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