Sunday, January 12, 2014

What is the difference between "Zion" and "Sion"?

What is the difference between "Zion" and "Sion"?

Brian Kelson of Acts responds:

Zion or Sion, same place, is a mountain upon which the Lord, after He descends at the last Trumpet, will rebuild the Millennial Temple and from where He will reign and the kings of the earth bring tribute to Him. When Hebrews was written those saints had "come" to wonderful things on 2 grounds.
1. The Hebrews were those who had drawn near to Christ by faith. This means they had drawn near to all the privileges those of faith enjoyed when they endured, kept going unto perfection. But they hadn't reached the end yet and Hebrews appeals to them to keep going.
They were thus members of the elect remnant which would share with Abraham in the inner portion of the Promised Land. Thus they had drawn near to (come to) all the privileges that company were given in Christ. They, not the entire nation, would be with Christ where Christ would dwell, on His holy Hill. They had drawn near to the very center of the earthly Kingdom. However, being justified by faith through grace was one thing and continuing in obedience to the end was the other, that is being perfected. Justification THEN the added perfection. Their participation in the glory written about in Hebrews 12 was theirs IF they continued. Only then would they share in that great festive assembly with the spirits of (other) just men made perfect. Hebrews 11 lists ones who were made righteous by faith AND who had kept going.  If they drew back however, gave up, then the Lord would have no pleasure in them and they would miss out on some things. Hebrews is about perfection or perdition or waste the two alternatives. So do you see how much the writer of Hebrews urged them to keep going? They had drawn near, or come to wonderful blessings, but turning back, giving up would be a costly mistake. No one in any dispensation serves the Lord for nought.
2. When Hebrews was written, the trumpet coming of the Lord had "come" that is, had drawn near.
When the Lord returns to the earth with all His angels accompanying Him, those believers (who kept going) would have been taken up to the air to a meeting in the clouds which is commonly called the rapture. They had the honor of going out to meet him like the wise virgins who watched and were ready in Matt.25.
Then they would descend with him to the earth, where a joyous festival gathering would take place on Mount Zion in which they and all those saints who had been perfected would participate.
So they would be on Mount Zion soon after the Lord descended for that marriage supper of the Lamb. They would judge the world and angels, they would be there when the Lord built the millennial Temple and (later) they would be privileged to enter the New Jerusalem which would descend to the same location.
All those things had drawn near when Hebrews was written but were postponed at Acts 28.

What are the spirits of just men made perfect in Hebrews 12 – and how are they (already) come to Mount Zion?

What are the spirits of just men made perfect in Hebrews 12 – and how are they (already) come to Mount Zion?

What are the spirits of just men made perfect in Hebrews 12? And how are they (already) come to Mount Zion?

Brian Kelson of responds:

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, Heb.12:22-23 

What are the spirits of just men made perfect in Hebs.12? And how are they (already) come to Mount Zion?

When the Lord called Abraham out from his country into the one the Lord had prepared for him, it was designated, “a land I will show you”, Gen.12:1. When Abram arrived in the country it was said “to your seed I will give this land”, Gen.12:7. Then when Abram was invited to walk up and down in the Land it was said, “I will give it (the inner portion) unto you and your seed”, Gen.13:15, 17. Then when the blood was shed, and God made an oath by Himself, the Land was given to Abram’s seed, Gen.15:18. Thus the Land now belonged to Abram’s seed despite the fact the seed was not born and Abraham dwelt in the Land content to live in tents, purchasing only a burial place for his family.
All God’s promises are on resurrection ground. There is suffering to endure before glory and Abraham walked a life of faith and was rewarded because of it.
In our calling today, we have been raised and seated in the heavenly places where Christ is seated at the Father’s right;
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph 2:4-8 
We have been raised and seated in our place of inheritance so far as God’s Word is concerned. There is nothing conditional about this, it is done so far as the Father is concerned and so inspired Paul to write. However, “are we there yet?” Of course not, Colossians tells us when the spiritual truths become a blessed reality;
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Col 3:1, 4 
When our Lord appears, then the power already given us, will raise and seat us there just as it did our Lord. In this following passage, please note the power is associated with hope and inheritance;
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Eph 1:18-20 
To the malefactor it was said “I say unto you today, you shall be with me in paradise”. The malefactor was not instantly in paradise at his death, since the Lord was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, Matt.12:40 and after those three days had not ascended to the Father, see Jn.20:17. The malefactor will enjoy paradise of Revelation when he is resurrected and Revelation is about the coming of the Lord.
We find the context of Hebrews confirms the truth that hope is on resurrection ground. Context must include the immediate, the near and the remote. We must also consider other letters written about the same subjects, including Mount Zion, justification and spirit. Here is the immediate context;
Heb 12:12  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
Heb 12:13  And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
Heb 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Heb 12:15  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Heb 12:16  Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
Heb 12:17  For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
Heb 12:18  For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
Heb 12:19  And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
Heb 12:20  (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
Heb 12:21  And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
Heb 12:22  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Heb 12:25  See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
Heb 12:26  Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
Heb 12:27  And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Heb 12:28  Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
We notice from verses 12 through 15 that the writer continues his encouragement thread which has woven its way from the beginning of the epistle. For those who like to compare Scripture, notice the possibility of failing of the grace of God and compare Gals.5:4. Failing of the grace may not be falling from it. To be defiled, v15 is a term associated with the Temple and its services. The lame man healed was able to enter the Temple, leaping and praising God. These things encouraged the Hebrews not to fail of the grace of God, to pick up weary feet and keep going.
This epistle is about leaving the basics and going onto perfection, about striving; enduring like the OT saints listed in chapter 11 and the Lord Himself in 12:1-2. See these verses for the encouragement and warning theme of Hebrews, Hebs.2:1-4, 3:1-2, 12-19. Note the IF and to the end here in 3:14. This was to partake of Christ and His very near glorification, this is not about initial salvation but maturity and being with Abraham in the heavenly city. Also remember 1Cor.10 where the same failures of the past are brought before the Corinthians.
This theme of going onwards with warnings continues in chapters 5:11-6:12, and look at all the encouragement given in chapter 10. The inspiration the list of overcomers gives in chapter 11 must have been a great source of such for these Israelite readers. The writer is encouraging his readers to keep going, to go on despite the obstacles. He then can’t assure them in chapter 12 that they had come to Mount Zion in the real sense or that others had already arrived there. Mount Zion and the New Jerusalem, the very city Abraham stretched forth in faith and saw, is what was in view for those Hebrew readers IF they endure to the end.
Chapter 4 is particularly helpful. Hebrews 4:3 assures them that they which have believed do enter into rest, but that rest had not arrived; it was in view as verse 11 says. So while Paul says they had believed and entered the rest, it was not yet upon them. See also, 4:14 and 16. They were to strive to enter that rest. Yes they had come to Mount Zion, this was their hope, but this was conditional upon their endurance to the end. They were to observe the faithfulness of the saints who had lived before them and the life of Messiah Himself. The final chapter declares Hebrews was a “word of exhortation” and that statement after the final appeal to consider the Lord Jesus, who suffered outside the camp, see 13:10-13.
So what was the end to which they labored and when was it realized? Did the end, the hope they eagerly expected, include Mt Zion, the heavenly City and the spirits of just men made perfect? Of course it did.
But these were not the only things they had “come to”. They had come to an innumerable company of angels, God the judge of all, to Jesus the mediator of the New Covenant and the blood of sprinkling. All these things relate to the earthly purpose which was in operation during the Acts period and to these things they had come.
We have already seen in chapter 4 that they had not entered into rest despite the fact it was theirs by faith.
Mount Zion is a feature of the Acts period. Paul referred to Psalm.2 in Acts 13:33 and Ps.2 declares God has set His King on the holy hill of Zion. This was the hope of the Acts period as Roms.11:26 confirms. But when Hebrews and Romans were written, the Lord had not yet descended to sit upon that throne, but it was the hope then.
The New Jerusalem was another thing those Hebrews had come to, and the heavenly city is featured in Gals.4 where Paul wrote, it was the mother of them all. Hebrews writes of Abraham who looked for this same city, 11:10, but he and others had died in faith, not having received the promises. In Hebrews 13, the writer assured them they, like Abraham, had no continuing city but they sought one to come. In other words the New Jerusalem had not arrived but it was very near since the Lord was about to come.
All this is rather obvious, but it sets the stage for the other features in Hebs.12:22-23. Thus far we see in Hebrews that the rest had not been entered, the King was not yet upon His holy hill and the New Jerusalem was coming after He sat upon His throne.
Angels certainly ministered during the Gospel and Acts period, they had searched into the salvation of the Old Testament (1Pet.1:12) and the Lord would descend from heaven with thousands of them in train, 2Thess.1:7. Then these Hebrews would enjoy the company of an innumerable host of them. Just as angels were massed on Mt Sinai, so too they shall be there in a general festive assembly when the Lord washes away the filth of Zion and that marriage supper can take place. This was in view; it was also to this they had come because it too was very near.
The church of the firstborn is those who had been justified by faith and were not despising their firstborn’s position like Esau. Back in Hebrews 11 we read of many who died in faith, their spirits returning to God who gave them, but they would be there in that great general assembly of the heirs, the firstborn at the last Trumpet.
In Hebs.12:9 we see the Father of spirits chastising; correcting resulting in peaceable fruit unto righteousness of works and this results in the life, not of original faith, but life with Abraham in the glory of the Lord and his reign.
There are contrasts here in chapter 12. The Old Covenant and a mountain with a Trumpet descent of the Lord is contrasted to the Trumpet coming of the Lord and Mount Zion. The carnal men in the first incident trembled and could not endure the word spoken, but the writer encourages the Hebrews not neglect the Word spoke to them at that time, Hebs.1:1-2, 2:1-4. The author urges them to remain faithful to the saving of the soul and thus would not only touch Mt Zion but assemble there sharing the Lord’s glory. All of these things are in the “world to come”, Hebs2:5.
The Old Covenant was linked to a mountain and the New Covenant linked with another; Mount Zion. We know the New Covenant had not been initialized since the Old was waxing old and ready to vanish away, Hebs.8:13. So the Hebrews had not literally come to, the New Covenant.
The spirits of the just men made perfect were not on Mount Zion when Hebrews was written. But in resurrection, those of faith(fullness) would have those bodies of spirit as 1Cor.15 describes. First that which is natural but in resurrection, that which is spiritual. Thus the spirits of just men made perfect; mature would include those of faith of the past AND the Hebrews should they not draw back but go on to perfection, Hebs.6:1.
The Hebrews were reminded that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God because vengeance belongs to Him, Hebs.10:30-31, Roms.12:14. The Lord would have judged way back then at His return and through Acts the faithful were told not to judge before the time until the Lord come, 1Cor.4:5. Thus while they had come to the judgment of God, it was not yet upon them for the Lord had not come. So when was He to come when Hebrews, Corinthians, Thessalonians and Romans was written? In their lifetimes, the second coming had drawn very near.
Romans says that the night was far spent and the Day was at hand, 13:12. Corinthians says they would be confirmed to the end and not all die, 1Cor.1:4-8, 15:51. The Thessalonians would be those who would be alive and remain to the coming of the Lord, 1Thess.4:15, 17, Revelation declared things that would shortly come to pass and by the time Hebrews was written, the time was very short, in fact it was now only a little while;
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. Heb 10:35-39 
Notice these readers were urged to have patience doing the will of God so that they might receive the promise? In the very next chapter many justified people of the OT endured, not having received them, but died in faith expecting them. These promises were on resurrection ground which would take place when the Lord returned and His return was in a little while, a very little as the original has it;
For, yet a very little while, and the One coming will come, "and will not delay." Heb 10:37 (Hab.2:3)
The coming of the Lord had indeed drawn very near when Hebrews was written and the Hebrews were not to draw back unto waste or perdition. They were to go onto perfection, and in faith they had come to Mount Zion. Hebrews records that Christ suffered at the end of the ages, 9:27 and at that Last Trumpet (anticipated in Ex.19 and recorded in Hebs.12:19), all those who had died in faith, would be raised and the Hebrews who kept going, would go with them to meet the Lord in the air.
The Hebrews were not to forsake the assembling of themselves together, 10:25, which means they were not to forsake that meeting in air when the Lord comes in the clouds to descend and sit on the throne of his father David. Those who were asleep would rise and be taken with them to shine as the stars, Dan.12, and that included all those of Hebs.11.
Here is something interesting, the word translated “come” in Hebrews 12:22 is also rendered “draw near” in 10:22. It is mostly come or came, but it does not always possess the sense of arriving, rather drawing near. The original word means to approach, literally come near and these Hebrews were drawing near in two ways. They were right there when the coming of the Lord had drawn very near and as such were very near Mount Zion, the City of the living God and they, as member of the church of the firstborn, were very near to joining with angels and the spirits of all just, perfected people in that great festive occasion at His arrival.
The Hebrews had not come to Mount Zion, they had drawn near to it. They had not come to the spirits of just men made perfect, they had drawn near to that wonderful time when they and the other men and women of faith would be raised to meet the Lord and descend with Him to Mount Zion. They would be also the spirits in that place at that day.
This is how they had come to these things, they had drawn near to them by their labors, and were living in the time when the events had drawn near.


What is the difference between "Zion" and "Sion"?

Monday, January 6, 2014


A student of the word that calls himself, "Brother Mark," left a comment on my article,  DOES RICHARD JORDAN'S "DID PAUL BREAK HIS WORD?" REALLY REFUTE THE ACTS 28 POSITION?   

I have been on a similar journey. God led me on that journey to also test Mid-Acts position of rightly dividing...
But God showed me He has so much more for us waiting for us.... Just thought you would enjoy reading some of my similar journey ... Grace and peace and joy to all who love His manifestation and appearing and OURS in Glory..

My blog is

P.S. What a wonderful truth that Mid-Acts misses is there is much more then rightly dividing Peter and Paul... But we see how rightly divide Paul and PAUL. We see Paul first went to the Jews. Then after Acts 28... He goes full tilt to Gentiles and the New Man.   God bless, your brother Mark

I spent a happy 40 minutes reading the article at the top of the page on his site and enjoyed the logical and straightforward way that Brother Mark teaches the differences between scriptures that describe the second coming of Israel's Messiah to this earth to set up their earthly kingdom, and those that deal with that aspect of the mystery that "from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God" (Ephesians 3:9), our appearing with Christ in glory in the heavenly places far above the earth.

Giving up the idea of a "secret rapture" is made a lot easier when we realize that our hope is just as glorious and something we can await with excited eagerness!

Please take a moment and check out Brother Mark's site, won't you?