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SIGNS and WONDERS Who Has The Gifts?
by John Tyler
12/29/09
Not For Sale
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SIGNS and WONDERS - WHO HAS THOSE GIFTS?

We have to do a Bible study to determine who of us, if any, were (or are) given the gifts of laying hands on the sick, blind, dumb, lame, cancer patients…and healing them, raising the dead, handling poisonous snakes, speaking in languages not our own, the ability to cast out demons, drink deadly poisons and live.

Most denominations use Mark Chapter Sixteen and verses 14 through the end of the chapter as their basis to say that “all believers can have these gifts”.

Therefore, it is important to read Mark 16 – all of it, and to get the accounts of this same meeting spoken of by an apostle who was there - Mark, and slso recorded by another apostle who was there - John, the beloved apostle of Christ - and by Matthew…another apostle of Christ, and even by yet another eye-witness apostle of Christ by the name of Luke.

Let’s start with the verses that some adhere to and claim their rights to receive special “Signs, wonders and miracles” from God.

I am going to give you the original Greek meanings to key words found in these Scriptures because we don’t want any doubt to creep in regarding interpretation.

14 “Afterward he appeared (Greek word is Phaneros – pronounced fan-er-os' , which means to be plainly recognized or known) unto the eleven (Greek word is Hendeka – pronounced hen'-dek-ah - definition pertaining to Mark - of the eleven disciples alive after the death of Judas) as they sat at meat (Greek word is ajnavkeimai, - pronounced an-ak-i'-mahee which means – to lie at a table, eat together, dine) and upbraided (Greek word is Oneidizo – pronounced on-i-did'-zo – which means of deserved reproach ) them with their unbelief (Greek word is Apistia – pronounced ap-is-tee'-ah – and it means their unfaithfulness, their lack of faith, their unbelief, their weakness of faith) and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

Now, we will write this out using the Greek meanings, so there is no misunderstanding of what was taking place.

14 – "Afterward, meaning something had just transpired, Jesus made Himself plainly recognizable to the eleven apostles who now remained. Judas had hung himself earlier. These eleven apostles were, as customary to the day, lying down at a table of food to dine with each other and talk. Jesus then began to speak words of deserved reproach to them (He chewed them out for good reason). The reason Jesus was chewing the Apostles out was because of their unbelief….their outright unfaithfulness , their total lack of faith, their weakness in faith, and for the hardness of their hearts…meaning their impenitent hearts…meaning they had no sorrow in their hearts for their lack of belief. The eleven apostles failed to believe something. What? They failed to believe all that He had told them would happen, and they “failed to believe those who had seen Him after He was risen.” This is where the first word AFTERWARD comes into play.

Jesus appeared to them AFTER…let’s now go to Verse 1-13 to discover what had just happened before the AFTERWARD appears in verse 14.

Verse 1-13 – AMPLIFIED VERSION - “ And when the Sabbath (Saturday) was past [that is, after the sun had set], Mary Magdalene, and Mary [the mother] of James, and Salome purchased sweet-smelling spices, so that they might go and anoint [Jesus' body].

2-And very early on the first day of the week (Sunday) they came to the tomb; [by then] the sun had risen. 3-And they said to one another, Who will roll back the stone for us out of [the groove across the floor at] the door of the tomb? 4-And when they looked up, they [distinctly] saw that the stone was already rolled back, for it was very large. 5-And going into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting [there] on the right [side], clothed in a [long, stately, sweeping] robe of white, and they were utterly amazed and struck with terror. 6-And he said to them, Do not be amazed and terrified; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. HE HAS RISEN; HE IS NOT HERE -See the place where they laid Him."

7-But be going; “TELL THE APOSTLES AND PETER THAT JESUS IS RISEN, AND HE GOES BEFORE YOU INTO GALILEE…YOU WILL SEE HIM THERE”

Jesus told Mary Magdalene Uotside of the tomb) to tell the apostles AND PETER of the fact that He spoke with her, and she witnessed seeing Him. He emphasized PETER almosst as an added postscript note. TELL PETER ALSO...because Peter had just three days earlier denied that he even knew Christ. Jesus particularly wanted Mary Magdalene to tell PETER of His resurrection!

PLEASE READ MY ARTICLE "BIG INCONSISTENCIES IN THE BIBLE?...and you will unravel what appears to be many inconsistencies in this time of the crucifixion, death, and resurrection period. Mark appears to have recorded one set of events, and John appears to have written a series of events that contradict the other accounts. It is importnant for you to know that there are NO CONTRADICTIONS in God's Word.

Matthew recorded this same event in his writings…Matthew 28:8 –And the angel said, “Go quickly, and tell His disciples (the eleven apostles) that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you.”

8-Then they Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome – (three women) went out [and] fled from the tomb, for trembling and bewilderment and consternation had seized them. And they said nothing about it to anyone, for they were held by alarm and fear.

9-"Now Jesus, having risen [from death] early on the first day of the week, (Sunday) appeared first to Mary Magdalene, (In Galilee) from whom He had driven out seven demons."

According to the Gospel of John, the beloved apostle of Christ, there were two angels in the tomb: One sat where Jesus' head would have been, the other where His feet would have been. One of them spoke to Mary Magdalene. This is what Mark has recorded in verse 6 above.

She was still with the other two, according to Matthew’s account. Matthew 28:9 and 10 gives the account of what happened when the women actually met Jesus. “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.”

So now, it is evident, that Mary and her two companions had physically seen and talked with Jesus. Jesus then instructed Mary Magdalene to go and tell His apostles.

10 - She (Mary Magdalene) went and reported it to those who had been with Him. (Mary told the remaining eleven apostles), as they grieved and wept.

11- And when they (the eleven) heard that He was alive and that she had seen Him, THEY DID NOT BELIEVE IT.

YOU MUST NOW UNDERSTAND THAT JESUS WAS ALIVE - RESURRECTED...AND HE WAS WITH MARY MAGDALENE, MARY, the MOTHER OF JAMES, and other witnesses that day. HE TOLD THEM TO GO AND REPORT THIS TO THE ELEVEN REMAINING APOSTLES. MARY - and other witnesses told the eleven.

THEY DID NOT BELIEVE HER THAT JESUS WAS ALIVE. THEY REFUSED TO BELIEVE ALL OF THE EYEWITNESS REPORTS FROM PEOPLE WHOM THEY ALL KNEW.

12 -"After this, He appeared in a different form to two men (one was named Cleopas, the other unnamed). as they were walking [along the way] into the country. This account is given by Luke. He relates that Jesus walked with them, but caused them NOT to recognize Him. He taught them scripture from the time of Moses that spoke of the prophecy that would be fulfilled concerning Jesus. They invited Jesus in for a bite of food. There, He caused their eyes to clearly see Him, then He left abruptly. These two male witnesses went to see the eleven apostles...Luke 24:33.

Back to Mark's account in Mark 16:13-"And they returned and told the others, (the eleven apostles) but THEY (the eleven apostles) DID NOT BELIEVE THESE TWO WITNESSES EITHER.

SO NOW JESUS SENT TWO MORE WITNESSES TO PETER AND TEN OTHER APOSTLES. AND "THEY DID NOT BELIEVE THEM".

And this is what had happened prior to the beginning of verses 14.

Matthew's account of this meeting between Jesus and the eleven apostles was recorded in the last Chapter of the Book of Matthew’s writings, Chapter 28 and verses16-20. It is important to know what Matthew said as well as Mark’s recording of the meeting. –

16 -"Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 -And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but 'SOME DOUBTED". (This meeting in Galilee takes place during the 40-days that Jesus stayed with His apostles. Read "BIG INCONSISTENCIES" for details).

18-"And Jesus came and spoke unto them, (Jesus spoke to these eleven apostles) saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."

Matthew left out the part that Mark recorded, and that was that Jesus told them that HE had all of the “power from heaven and earth”, and He was about to give that power to them. Mark records exactly what those “powers” would be.

Then, Matthew recorded Jesus sayings – exactly as He told it to the eleven apostles. These were recorded by Mark, Matthew and John, the beloved because they were very important instructions given by Jesus to the eleven. 19 - "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20- Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (which means, “so let it be”).

Matthew did not record where the eleven met Jesus, but Mark did. Matthew said, “After they met Him, they worshipped Him, but SOME STILL DOUBTED that this was real…that Jesus actually was raised from the dead.”

Mark DID record the actual meeting in Jerusalem, however, in Mark 16. Mark's recording of the meeting gave us the entire picture. Yet, Matthew DID record the gist of the meeting where Jesus gave them instructions as to what He wanted these eleven to do.

John, the beloved apostle of Christ, penned this recording:

John 20:19-25 –“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week (Sunday), when the doors were shut where the disciples (apostled) were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20-And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD. 21-Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22-And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23-Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.“

Mark, however, recorded the chastisement by Jesus toward His eleven apostles.

Jesus chastised the eleven apostles for their outright unbelief of what He had already told them all while He was alive and with them for the time of His adult ministry.

In Matthew 26: we read about what Jesus had told the twelve apostles, including Judas – 31- "Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. 32-But AFTER I AM RISEN AGAIN, I will go before you into Galilee)."

Jesus told them that He would be risen from the dead, and that he would meet them in Galilee! And, in this room recorded of in Mark Chapter 16, Mark reports that these eleven also refused to believe Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Salome that they physically saw Jesus and spoke with Him.

In verses 15 and 16, Jesus told them what their jobs would now be. This is the same thing that Matthew recorded. -15 "And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16- He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Jesus then told the eleven apostles how He was going to give them authority that would allow them to accomplish the duties set out in verses 15 and 16. They were to go and preach the Gospel of Christ to others.

No one beyond the walls of that room where the eleven and Jesus met knew that Jesus had risen. In fact, with being empowered somehow by Jesus, thse eleven apostles were cowering - behind locked doors -"for fear of the Jews"...see verse 19 of John Chapter 20.

Who, in the earth, would believe these apostles that Jesus was risen, and that He could save those who would believe? No one would - unless the apostles were given special gifts and the Power of the Holy Spirit …unless they had Holy Spirit boldness to be witnesses of Christ, and unless they could also perform all of the signs, wonders and miracles that Jesus Himself possessed…”having all power of heaven and earth”.

On the first meeting with the apostles in the "upper room" in Jerusalem, most of the eleven would still NOT BELIEVE that this was really Jesus even though they saw Him there with them. They thought He was a ghost...and they thought it for eight more days until THOMAS felt the nail holes in His hand, and in His side.

Jesus would have to give these eleven (later Paul the 12th handpicked apostle of Jesus) certain powers. He told them all...the ones who DID believe Him now that they saw Him,that they would receive the same powers of heaven and earth that Jesus possessed before the crucifixion. Those of the eleven who still doubted would actually not be using the gifts. As we know, a few of the "chosen" did go on to become known by their deeds or by their writings. The ones that we hardly ever heard of again were: Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas ("Doubting Thomas"), Thaddeus and Simon, the Canaanite. On the other hand, Simon Peter aka Peter, James, John, Matthew Mark and Luke were very much in the limelight of the New Testament.

17-"And these signs shall FOLLOW THEM THAT BELIEVE." SOME OF THESE ELEVEN BELIEVED FULLY..SOME DOUBTED. JESUS POINTED OUT THAT HIS GIFTS WILL GO ONLY TO THOSE OF THIS GROUP WHO FULLY BELIEVED.

One only has to go to the end of Mark 16...to verse 20, to see that the SIGNS FOLLOWING were FOLLOWING these eleven apostles. Let's read it: - 20- "And they (THE APOSTLES) went forth, and preached every where,(AS INSTRUCTED TO DO BY JESUS IN VERSE 15 AND 16) the Lord working with them,(JESUS WORKED WITH THEM THROUGH HIS GIFT TO THEM OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT) and confirming the word (THAT THEY PREACHED) with signs following."

Jesus then said, “In my name shall they (THOSE OF YOU WHO CHOOSE TO BELIEVE ME) cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

THEREFORE, IT IS CLEARLY EVIDENT THAT JESUS GAVE THESE GIFTS TO BE USED AS "SIGNS" OF HIS AUTHORITY THAT THESE ELEVEN REPRESENTED HIM, AND THEY COULD DO ALL THAT JESUS DID BEFORE HE WAS CRUCIFIED.

Note - These same eleven also allowed seven deacons to have the same powers they had. THis is found in ACTS 6:3 and in verse 6. Also remember that ACTS are called ACTS of the Apostles. That's what the Book of Acts is all about...the Acts of the Apostles.

19 -"So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

Verse 19 would indicate that Jesus immediately, on this day that He met with the eleven apostles, ascended into heaven, but this is not so. This should be read in light of the rest of the Scriptures. We know that Jesus spent forty days with His apostles, and then He ascended into heaven and sat at the right hand of God, so Mark is not in error here, he just recorded the event of that meeting, and recorded that Jesus ascended AFTER He had finished speaking with them.

During the forty days after His resurrection from the dead (three days from the time He was crucified…so 43 days from the cross, and three days before the Feast of Pentecost), He left them permanently...He ascended into heaven.

We need only to review what another apostle said, and we find that accoutn in Acts...written by Luke who was at the meeting spoken of by Mark, Matthew and John.

Acts 1 & 2 -"Until the day in which He was taken up, after that He through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3-To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God"

Luke acknowledges the meeting with the eleven apostles, and that Jesus stayed with them and taught them what they should write about and teach....pertaining to the kingdom of God, and he recounted how Jesus had given them instructions to go and preach the Gospel of Christ...then He was taken up into heaven.

Pentecost means 50-days after Passover. As we know, the Day of Pentecost was when the eleven apostles went out to meet the people, and signs, wonders and miracles happened.

Jesus was now gone three days before the Feast of Pentecost, so Mark 16:19 reflects the time period of 40 days after their meeting took place.

Mark 16:20 - "And they went forth , and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following . Amen."

The timing of verse 20 confirms that verse 20 took place about 43 days after the crucifixion, and 40 days after this meeting on the Sunday that Jesus was resurrected from the dead, which was the time of this meeting in the upper room with His eleven apostles.

They were now educated for forty days by Jesus. Jesus empowered them all with His Holy Spirit, and they were given the gifts mentioned above. Three days later, the Feast of Pentecost would happen, and that is the first occurance of the power thee apostles had to preach Christ...and people would witness "SIGNS" following their words being preached.

John the beloved apostle records the part where Jesus breathed upon them and when he did that, they received the Holy Spirit.

John 20 “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22-And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23-If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."

These eleven had the gifts now, as elaborated upon in verses 17 and 18, and they had the added gift of the power of The Holy Spirit.

Like Jesus, they could do all of the “signs and wonders and miracles” that He did…as witnessed by multitudes of people before His death on the cross. Jesus had to give them these special gifts as "signs, wonders and miracles" because they would need thse miracles to convince unbelievers that Christ...the "Messiah" had, in fact, risen from the dead, and He had the power to forgive their sins.

In addition to being able to do “signs and wonders” to show that they had the authority of Christ upon them, and in addition to their now having the power of The Holy Spirit upon them, they could also forgive anyone of their sins, and if they did not forgive them of their sins, their sins were not forgiven.

So, was Jesus telling everyone who would believe – down through the ages, that THEY can heal the sick, raise the dead, touch poisonous snakes - forgive sins?

Entire religious denominations believe that Jesus empowered "ALL who believe", and that and believer could be endowed with these special powers. They are incorrect.

The THEY whom Jesus was talking to were the eleven apostles who needed these gifts, including “tongues”.

"Tongues" meant they (the eleven) would be able to speak to people, including on the Day of Pentecost) in their (the unbelievers who woud be in attendance) own languages.

On The Day of Pentecost, there were people gathered to hear the Gospel of Christ…preached, and they were from over twenty-two different nationalities….Greeks, Romans, Persians, Egyptians among them. Review Acts to see for yourself.

So who were the THEY that Jesus gave these gifts to? Mark told us who THEY were in the last verse of Chapter 16, so once more time...let's see who the "THEY" were...in verse 20-"And they went forth , and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following .” They are clearly the eleven apostles who went forth and preached everywhere, and Jesus was working with them because He empowered THEM with His Holy Spirit, and confirmed the words they would speak to the people with “signs” following their preaching - spoken of in verses 17 and 18.

It is not my intent to state that some people have established entire “religions” and “denominations” over interpretation of Bible verses, but it is the truth. Entire sects have preached that the THEY spoken of in Mark 16 means THEM...anyone who believes.

It might be a power thing for them to keep the “flock” in their congregations in subjection to them by stating that they have the same gifts that Jesus gave ONLY TO HIS APOSTLES.

If they can get people to believe that THEY have the power to heal the sick, raise the dead, hold poisonous serpents (some entire denominations were founded on that one gift of the apostles), heal the blind, cause the lame to walk, and THEY can speak in some “Holy language" they call “tongues”, then it gives them some special favor over others from God.

If they have some "special favor or annointing of God upon them, they can glean money from those people…they can exert some sort of Hierarchical powers over their congregation, and they can continue forcing Christians to believe THEY have these mystical powers. It is a heirarchy...an elevated priesthood.

The Bible teaches that God is no respecter of persons. He does not favor one over another. Romans 2:11 -" For there is no respect of persons with God." Even Peter the apostle of Jesus who wanted to be shown favoritm said this in Acts 10:34 -"Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons".

All of us who are born-again believers have the same ability to approach God directly because of the righteousness of Christ. Jesus exchanged His righteousness for our sins that day on the cross.

This “power” thing reminds me of the Old Testament rituals that were necessary for “atoning for the sins of men" under the Laws of Moses – the Ten Commandments.

Hebrews 9:6-7 –“Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship, 7-but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.”

Priests of the tribe of Levi would continually enter the outer tabernacle to worship God and pray for the sins of the people, and once a year (Day of Atonement), only the High Priest could enter into what was called the “Holy of Holies”…to meet with God’s spirit, and he was required to bring a blood sacrifice for his sins, and the sins of the people.

This was all done away with when Christ came to the earth and offered Himself as our one-time sacrifice for our sins. He was without sin.

Then, with His blood as the final sacrifice for the sins of all men, it allows all who choose to believe, to directly enter into the “Holy of Holies” – meaning we can meet directly with God, the Father…because of the blood of Christ that was freely sacrificed on the cross.

We do not need “elevated clergy” anymore. We do need “preachers of the Gospel of Christ” but they are there to teach those who are ignorant of God’s Word – the Bible, so they can become “conformed to the image of Christ”.

That is their only duty - to "preach the Word.”

But, they have to get it right in the first place. If these who preah were taught wrong in Bible College, they will continue to teach the “Doctrines of Men” that they were taught. These wrong teachings are then passed down from generatin to generation.

This is why Paul, the apostle of Christ, told us to be as the Berean Christians were….He warned us to “Study the Scriptures daily so that we would know what was being preached squared with the Bible.

Acts 17:11 “They received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

Jesus replaced (fulfilled) the Law of Moses when he sacrificed Himself on the cross for us.

Hebrews 9:11-12 –“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12-and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”

Jesus became our High Priest. He did not have to go into the Holy of Holies once a year for our sins, nor did He have to atone or cover up the sins of the populace doing the annual blood sacrifices. This all ended because Jesus entered the Holy of Holies – God’s throne itself in heaven…not a tabernacle made by man.

He entered through His own blood. He entered into the Holy of Holies ONCE FOR ALL, and He obtained eternal redemption for all who believe.
There was a Law of God . Hebrews 9:22 – “And according to the Law, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

The OLD COVENANT - "OLD TESTMENT" saints had their sins “atoned for”, not forgiven….just covered by the blood of sacrificed animals.

The New Covenant (New Testament) reveals that our sins are forgiven and forgiven because of the shed blood of Christ, and our belief that he is Lord.

Hebrews tells us that a Covenant…a Last Will and Testament if you will, cannot be a Last Will without the death of the one who made the Will.

Hebrews 9:16-17 in the KJV reveals this truth: “16 -"For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17-For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives”

Get these verses solidly into your hearts: Hebrews 9:24-“For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence. 25-Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26-Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared ONCE FOR ALL at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27-Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28-so Christ was sacrificed ONCE to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him"

This is a reflection of the much MISunderstood verses found in Hebrews Chapter 6:4 - "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5-And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6-If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. “

Whole denominations have interpreted those words to mean, "It is not possible for those who are saved to fall away (backslide) from God to come back to God again through repentance, because to do so would mean that they would have to crucify Jesus again on the cross, and put Him to an open shame.”

These denominations, of which I once belonged, teach that you can lose your salvation if you backslide, and it is not possible to be saved again.

That is not what Paul said.

He said, “It is impossible for born again Christians to lose their salvation BECAUSE Christ died ONCE for your sins and mine. It is, therefore, impossible to crucify Christ again in an effort for us to somehow regain salvation. You can NEVER lose your salvation…ever."

I suppose it is that same attempt to keep the members in subjection to the power of the clergy.

If one can lose their salvation, they had “better stay in church and not sin or be in danger of never being able to repent and be saved again!” How utterly wrong can an interpretation of Scripture be?

It makes Jesus’ death on the cross meaningless.

Jesus made a promise to all who believe. Go way back to the top of this article and re-read mark 16:15 and 16 – “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 - HE THAT BELIEVES AND IS BAPTIZED SHALL BE SAVED" - "HE THAT CHOOSES NOT TO BELIEVE, shall be damned .”

“Whosoever believes SHALL be saved. Whoever does NOT believe shall be damned.”

Hebrews 10:18 clearly states that when our sins are forgiven…and we are “SAVED”, our sins are forgiven forever. “18-"Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.”

We cannot offer any more sacrifices of animals – or of the Lamb of God…”it was finished” on the cross at Calvary. We cannot crucify Christ again and again, and put Him to an open shame again and again.

This is why we need Preachers of the Gospel of Christ, and not hierarchical or elevated clergy, to do the job that Jesus appointed them to do.

The job given to Pastors, Overseers, Elders, Bishops, Shepherds (James) is, as Jesus put it, “FEED MY SHEEP”. Feed them what?

Romans 10:13 –“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14-How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and HOW SHALL THEY HEAR WITHOUT A PREACHER?”

What will be their reward…these “saved” people who received the Gospel of Christ message from preachers, teachers - any born-again believer?

Romans 6:23, written also by Paul, stipulates for the record, “23 -"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Non-saved people are paid for their willingness to NOT choose Christ as Lord and Savior….they shall be judged by God at the end of times, at the great White Throne of Judgment, and they shall receive eternal death….a punishment which is separation from God, and they shall spend their eternal death in a place of torment…hell.

On the other hand, the reward for those who call upon the name of the Lord to forgive their sins, will be eternal life. They will spend eternity in a place called heaven. It is a gift…a free gift…delivered to them by the one who paid the price – ONCE – for their sins.

When Jesus was with His Twelve apostles (including Judas Iscariot - before the crucifixion), He administered what is known as the Last Supper with them. He gave them new wine in cups. He said, “This is a symbol of what I want you to remember me by, and as often as you remember me, do this “ordinance” - Matthew 16:28 –“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Jesus wants you to know that He died ONCE for the sins of mankind. The remission or forgiveness of their sins was paid for with His blood.

All who believe upon His name, and who ask for forgiveness, and who accept Him as their Lord and Savior, SHALL INHERIT THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE.”

The ETERNAL LIFE for a believer starts the moment that you trust Christ as Lord and Savior. You become a new creature in Christ. Your sins – past, present and future are forgiven, and you receive His gift of eternal life in heaven.

We can wrap this up by reading The Covenant between Jesus and those of us who are saved…forgiven…sanctified…made righteous by the sacrifice of His own blood on the cross:

Hebrews 10:14-17. –“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. ` By this one offering of Himself on the cross…he has made us righteous FOREVER."

Once saved, we are righteous FOREVER.

Verse 5 -"Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 -"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17-And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

This is my covenant…"their sins and iniquities will I remember no more against them….no more…EVER.”

John Tyler, Author

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