God of Justice

Jesus Christ is coming soon to administer his government over the entire world, according to Scripture. Among the qualities of that government to rule all nations, we are assured, is justice. What makes God, the God of the Bible, “the God of justice”?

Please note: A reference is made in this sermon to II Kings 3:28, which is a not the scripture intended. The correct reference is I Kings 3:28.

Firstborn From the Dead

“Firstborn from the dead” is how Jesus Christ is referred to in Revelation 1:5 and Colossians 1:18 (New King James and other translations, some translations into English phrase it somewhat differently, but with essentially the same meaning). In this article, I want to discuss the implications of the title “Firstborn from the Dead,” as it applies to Jesus Christ.

Is this term to be understood only as a title denoting preeminence, as some have suggested? Or does it also imply that Jesus Christ is the first, in time order, to be “born” from the dead, as a metaphor for the resurrection? We know that others were resurrected from the dead before Jesus Christ was. He himself had resurrected his friend Lazarus, who had died, and had also resurrected others from the dead during his ministry (Matthew 9:18-19, 23-25; 11:5; Luke 7:11-16, 22; 8:41-42, 49-56; John 11:11-45). So why is Jesus Christ called the “firstborn from the dead,” and what significance does that have?

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FOT God’s Kingdom Established on Earth

An Introduction to the prophetic significance of the Feast of Tabernacles pointing to the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth, by Rod Reynolds. It is to be a kingdom of peace, where righteousness dwells. Far different from today’s world.

FOT God’s Kingdom Established on Earth,” COGMessenger is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Mankind’s Last Best Hope

In his “Second Annual Message” to Congress of December 1, 1862 President Abraham Lincoln proposed a plan for amendments to the Constitution to end slavery in the United States, with concessions he hoped would bring an end to the Civil War and reconcile the rebel states to the Union. In September of 1862 Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation, as an executive order which changed the legal status of enslaved persons in states in rebellion against the United States as of January 1, 1863, giving any enslaved persons in those states the status of free men or women under United States law. The Emancipation Proclamation applied only to slaves living in the rebel states, or serving in any segment of the executive branch of the U.S. government. However, it encouraged or required six states to abolish slavery during the war, including three Confederate states which had largely come under control of the Union army, and three Union border states. It also freed slaves living in other rebel areas which had been occupied by the Union. The plan for the Constitutional amendments proposed in 1862 was never acted on.

The plan was different from the thirteenth Constitutional amendment Lincoln championed in 1864-65 to permanently and immediately end slavery in the United States. By late 1864 the defeat of the Confederacy by Union forces was eminent, negating any rationale for concessions in the ending of slavery for political reasons. The thirteenth amendment was passed by Congress in January 1865, about two and a half months before General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, which effectively ended the Civil War. The thirteenth amendment had been ratified by a sufficient number of states to become law by December 6, 1865.

In his “Second Annual Message,” early in the Civil War, when things weren’t going so well for the Union army (cf. Battle Cry of Freedom, James M. McPherson, pp. 560-561), Lincoln described the United States as “the last, best hope of earth.” William Lee Miller, a professor of ethics, who has taught at several universities, in his book “Lincoln’s Virtues,” states the following concerning the phrase “the last, best hope of earth”:

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The Economy of God’s Kingdom

In the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, it’s stated: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Unalienable rights” implies rights that cannot be surrendered. But the fact is God can grant these rights, and he can take them away.

Adam and Eve surrendered the right to life through their sin, as has their progeny (cf. Romans 5:12). Most of humankind have been enslaved to sin since the time of Adam and Eve, through the choices they made and that their progeny have continued to make (cf. John 8:34). God liberated Israel from slavery in Egypt. But God removed them from their homeland and they were enslaved for a time by the Assyrians as a result of their unremitting sins (cf. 2 Kings 17).

It’s been suggested that it would be better to state that we have the right to pursue peace, God’s way. The Hebrew word often translated peace is not limited to an absence of war, but encompasses the idea of general welfare. “The Hebrew word [often translated peace] is shalom…, meaning, primarily, ‘soundness,’ ‘health,’ but coming also to signify ‘prosperity,’ well-being in general, all good in relation to both man and God.” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, “Peace”).

We are to pursue peace. “Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace [shalom] and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14). Under the rule of Jesus Christ, all nations will have a single government. There will be no war to destroy economies and impoverish nations. And there will be a single economic system based on God’s laws.

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:2-4).

Note that the meaning of shalom includes prosperity, financial security, as well as other aspects of security.

What is the key to financial security, the key to prosperity, the key to a life of abundance?

The Bible reveals the answers to these questions, which we will explore, from the perspective of the economy, or economic system, of the Kingdom of God, which will be established when the Messiah, Jesus Christ, returns to the earth and establishes his direct rulership over it (Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 11:15).

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