The 11 Commandments

C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

MosesGod started His legal system when He gave Moses the 10 commandments.

From Exodus 20 – with our commentary:

Commandment 1:

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

This commandment comes into sharper focus when we understand that Jesus is God who became flesh and dwelt amongst us.

“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30

See The Trinity Doctrine is NOT in the Bible.

Commandment 2:

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

Many Christians take this commandment as if God forbade the sculpture or painting of His likeness. That’s not the intent of the 2nd commandment at all. What God was saying was that we must not take the sculptures or paintings of things in heaven, like the sun many once revered, or the earth beneath, like the calf the Hebrews worshiped in the wilderness, or in the waters below, like Dagon the fish-god the Amorites adored, and bow down to them.

By the same token, we must not take the painting or sculpture of the likeness of Jesus and bow down to it either, as if that sculpture or painting were Jesus Himself.

Still, God did not forbid the depictions of Himself or angels or things on earth or in the waters as art. God Himself asked for sculptures of cherubim to be placed not only on the ark of the covenant, but on the walls of the Temple (Old Testament) as well.

“You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony which I will give to you. There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.” Exodus 25: 21-22

“On the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers.” 2 Chronicles 3:11

God is everything: a scientist, an engineer, a musician, an artist, etc.  He has freely distributed these gifts of His to all under heaven with the express purpose that we use them.

“In the hearts of all who are skillful I have put skill.” Exodus 31: 6

Commandment 3:

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

The way people take God’s name in vain or misuse it is by:

1) attributing to Him things He neither said nor commanded – like the erroneous tenets of church tithing and church services, and the mistaken belief that modern-day Israel is the fulfillment of God’s prophetic word in the bible;

“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:37

2) swearing by God when mere mortals are generally skittish and fickle, not to mention sinful and definitely not omniscient or omnipotent; that’s why Jesus reiterated the 3rd commandment in the following manner:

“But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes ‘ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.” Matthew 5: 34-37

See Pray for the Peace of which Jerusalem?

Commandment 4:

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

The Sabbath is for man and not man for the Sabbath. In other words, God gave the Sabbath to man as a gift so he can rest. Jesus Himself had to put this in perspective.

“And Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry; how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?’ Jesus said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.’ ” Mark 2: 25-27

The Sabbath might be a day of rest, but if there’s a need that we must take care of, the Sabbath is not to be worshiped to the point of ignoring that need.

However, employers are not gods and therefore must respect the fact that their employees have the God-given right to their day of rest, whenever that day may be following the six days of work.

In general – as a society, not necessarily as a biblical rule – we have come to establish that our 6 days of work are broken down thus: 5 days dedicated to satisfy the demands of our employers or our own businesses and 1 day to satiate the obligations of our households, or if in financial strait or seasonally busy that 6th day is instead geared towards our employers or our businesses.

Commandment 5:

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

Commandments 1 to 3 focus on God. Commandment 4 focuses on the individual.  Commandment 5 focuses on fathers and mothers. Commandments 6 to 10 focus on others. That’s the order God chose. As can be clearly seen, government and religious “leaders” did not even make it.

See The Family is God’s Plan.

Commandment 6:

13 “You shall not murder.”

This is another commandment that is pretty straightforward, one that Jesus reiterated with a warning to all – Christians or not:

” ‘You shall not murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ ” Matthew 5:21

Murder is usually the result of a hatred so powerful it can’t be controlled.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” Matthew 5: 43-46

See All Wars are evil. Period.

Commandment 7:

14 “You shall not commit adultery.”

Preachers” have messed up the meaning of adultery, and the catastrophic result has been that many Christians are now living in adulterous relationships.

See Of Fornication, Divorce, and Adultery.

Commandment 8:

15 “You shall not steal.”

And yet so many “Christians” are helping modern-day Israel steal land that does not belong to them, especially since Jews are not even the Israelites of the Bible.

“Do not trust in oppression and do not vainly hope in robbery…” Psalm 62:10

See How the Ashkenazi Jews conquered the West.

Commandment 9:

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

False testimony is not only forbidden in a court of law, but in gossips and rumors as well.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

See The Heart Adjustment.

Commandment 10:

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

If you catch yourself noticing that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, beware.

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4: 11-13

See Has God Planned BIG Things for our Lives?

ADDITIONALLY

The above 10 commandments were given to Moses by God, but when God became flesh and dwelt amongst us He added another one.

Commandment 11:

Jesus and the poor“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34

If we live our lives truly loving one another – Commandment 11 – we actually end up fulfilling commandments 4 to 10. Furthermore, by loving one another we actually love God Himself because in following His command to love one another we show that we love Him, the one true God, and thus fulfill Commandments 1 to 3. Consequently, we fulfill all 11 commandments when we genuinely love one another. That’s why Jesus summarized the laws thus:

“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 34-40

The Apostle Paul understood how these two commandments fuse together as one and put it this way:

“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Galatians 5:14

The Apostle John summarized it thus:

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates his brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” 1 John 4:20

It is so much more difficult to love our siblings and those within our family. It’s been thus from the very beginning since Cain killed his brother Abel. We expect them to conform to our disposition when God actually expects us to conform to theirs by making allowance for their faults.

“Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’ ” Matthew 18: 21,22

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13

No genuine need in our family is to be rejected.

“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” 1 John 3:17

Let us make sure our hearts are conditioned to accept and not reject those who are in need.

“Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” Matthew 5: 42

Beware lest we camouflage our hardheartedness with excuses and unforgivingness. God will not be mocked.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” Galatians 6: 7

Love is not a goosebumpsy feeling or emotion. To love is to actually do the things we’ve been commanded to do, no matter how hard they may be.

See Who Should Christians Give their Money to?

CONCLUSION

God gave us the laws so we can obey them. Those who ignore them do so to their own detriment. See Of Legalism and Christians.

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15

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Of Adoption and Surrogacy

C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

Adoption and Surrogacy in the bible are very scarce, so scarce in fact that there are no stipulated laws about them. They’re always choices made by biblical figures who were either desperate or had to help those in despair.

And desperation is not a way of life God wants us to rely on because it is the loss of hope, a debilitating state whereby we take our eyes off God Himself, the God of hope.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

ADOPTION

Adoption is a noble and sacrificial deed that many people choose to make. However, it has become so prevalent in this modern world that we feel obligated to broach the subject.

Crying Boy

Crying Boy

Though there are instances where adoption is a necessity or even a selfless act by those who undertake it, it is however something we must work hard to relegate to the smallest and infinitesimal quotient, as opposed to the brisk business it has become today, especially given the way many adoptions are currently being processed.

In a perfect world, every child would be brought up by their real parents. In fact, it is the way that God Himself intended it from the very beginning.

“For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice…” Genesis 18:9

However, there are harsh circumstances that push people to either adopt or give up their children. And by harsh we mean harsh.

Let’s check these biblical circumstances.

Moses rescued from the Nile

Moses rescued from the Nile

Moses had to be given up, otherwise he would have been slaughtered. Yet, her mother, under a false identity, was the one who ended up taking care of him anyway. Therefore family was involved in his upbringing. But when Moses realized he was adopted by the Egyptians, it did not turn out good for them.

Esther is the only other biblical figure who was adopted, but she was not a baby when Mordecai took her in, and he only did so because her parents had died. Thus, Mordecai, a cousin, a family member, was the one who took care of her. Still, she never called him “daddy”, even though she afforded him the respect due a parent.

“He was bringing up Hadassah, that is Esther, the daughter of his uncle, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.” Esther 2:7

Consequently, the bible shows us only one reason why “breathing” parents should permanently give up their children for others to care for – if they’re about to be slaughtered.

And the only example the bible gives us as a reason for anyone to adopt a child as one’s own is if that child is family and his parents have passed away (i.e., the child is an orphan). Accordingly, that child knows that those who adopt him are not his “parents”, though he still gives them the same respect as if they were. In other words, the adopted child knows the truth from the get go.

Adopting an orphan is the biblical duty of the extended family.

“But if someone doesn’t provide for their own family, and especially for a member of their household, they have denied the faith. They are worse than those who have no faith.” 1 Tim 5:8

That is why Christian families are commanded to take care of orphans.

However, if these children have no extended families, then an orphanage ministry can be set up, with a system of checks and balances to prevent depravation and abuse, and with the following goals: to provide food, shelter, clothing, education, mentoring, health care, and spiritual guidance.

Christian families are biblically commanded to visit these orphans and help them financially and relationally in their upbringing.

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27

The Greek word for visit is EPISKEPTOMAI which means to inspect, to go to see, to relieve, to visit. Thus to visit an orphan is to care for them, to protect them by making sure no harm is done to them, to relieve or soothe their needs, and to surround them with new “extended” families with each visit.

If certain families wish to bring in some of these children in their homes to be cared for, it’d be up to those at the orphanage ministry who are caring for them to prayerfully and carefully consider such requests.

Though there are no biblical directives that allow or disallow such a move, the bible in its totality, however, favors the adoption of an orphan by members of the orphan’s extended family or household. Releasing children to the care of total strangers is always a risky proposition, as there are many unscrupulous people and even weirdos out there.

Even Abram/Abraham, when he was childless, was rebuked by God as he was thinking of leaving his inheritance to one who was not of his blood.

“But Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’ And Abram said, ‘Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a servant in my household will be my heir.’ And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: ‘This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.’ ” Genesis 15: 2-4

People must understand that even if they get to adopt orphaned children, they are not and can never become their “real” parents. Many push these kids to call them “mommy” and “daddy”, which is basically a lie.

In these situations, the worst cases are the children adopted as babies. When they grow up and discover that those they’ve been calling “mommy” and “daddy” their whole lives are not their “real” parents, the majority of them usually become emotionally unstable and launch a search for their biological parents. Such a reaction is quite natural and to be expected; it is one that God intentionally designed in order to draw our attention to the importance He places on blood family.

Even Jesus, as a boy, knew who His real Father was. See how He indirectly rebuked His mother:

“His mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.’ And He said to them, ‘Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?’ ” Luke 2:48-49

However, many Christians use the following verse as if God had it carved for adoption purposes:

“To redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:5

These Christians have a bad habit of taking something God says in one circumstance and arbitrarily applying it to another (like old testament tithing vs church tithing or Ancient Israel vs the modern state of Israel). It’s exactly like comparing apples with oranges.

Just because God adopts all of us Christians into His family is not a general command for Christians to go out there and start adopting left and right. The circumstances that made God “adopt” us are different.

From the very beginning God created all of us to be His own children; but then we rebelled, and sin separated us from Him as we became by our actions subservient children of the Devil.

“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” Isaiah 59:2

So God had to “adopt” us back into the fold through the sacrifice of His son Jesus the Christ.

“To all who did receive him (Jesus), who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…” John 1:12

The word adopt comes from two Latin words: ad (towards) and optare (to choose). Therefore God moved TOWARDS CHOOSING to take us back as His own. The Greek word in the bible for adoption is itself HUITHESIS which means the placing as sons.

As sinners we were misplaced and under the sway of the evil one, but with Christ we have been established once and for all as the Sons of God we were created and predestined to be from the very beginning.

“He predestined us to be placed as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will…” Ephesians 1:5

Further, the way many organizations (some Christian ones included) are pushing the adoption process entices many feeble and financially-challenged parents-to-be to give up their babies (who are not orphans), so they can be adopted by well-to-do folks.

When one adopts a non-orphan child, one forever takes that child away from those who were destined to be his parents.

The mission of these organizations should not be to pull families apart, but to keep them together. That’s why their goals should be:

1) help orphans find their extended families, and care for those with none;

2) support parents and parents-to-be who can’t financially take care of their children.

Unfortunately, many of these organizations or agencies have actually constructed themselves as businesses disguised as non-profits, whose fuel is the wholesale adoption by strangers of newly born babies and toddlers.

An average adoption costs anywhere between $5,000.00 when one does it personally and up to $40,000.00 when an agency is hired. Ergo, most of these agencies are nothing but businesses.

Usually the reason people lean towards letting go of their babies – the preferred option of adoptive parents – is because of dire financial circumstances. So why not use these moneys and help these folks become parents to their offspring as God intended?

More often than not these organizations end up facilitating (willfully or not) the giving up of these young creatures to be adopted by total inconnus. To put it bluntly, they are actually ripping these children from their God-assigned parents.

Instead, if financial help were provided to these individuals, God’s command to care for the poor would be fulfilled, and their despair would instantly be replaced with hope as they would get to keep their children. That way the God of hope would shine through.

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5:20

To facilitate children to stay with their biological parents or family is the better course of action and the more natural one. However, by making it easy for people to give up their babies, mothers (and fathers) are thus “encouraged” to let go of their own flesh and blood.

“Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” Isaiah 58:7

Again, there are circumstances which call for adoption, and if they are not within the bible’s parameters, we can always rely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance to help with such an important decision, while keeping in mind the understanding that the word of God provides.

SURROGACY

Abraham and Hagar

Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael away

The first surrogate mother in the bible is Hagar. She was the maidservant of Abraham’s wife, Sarah.

When Sarah realized she couldn’t get pregnant she panicked and sent her husband to sleep with Hagar who got pregnant and gave birth to Ishmael. But when Sarah herself got pregnant, she regretted that fateful decision and forced Abraham to send Hagar and her child away.

The other two famous surrogate mothers of the bible are Bilhah and Zilpah, maidservants of Jacob’s wives Rachel and Leah.

When Rachel couldn’t bear children, out of frustration she sent Jacob to sleep with her maidservant Bilhah. To compete with her sister Rachel, Leah, Jacob’s first wife, also sent her maidservant Zilpah to sleep with her husband. The four women ended up giving Jacob twelve sons who later became the twelve tribes of Ancient Israel. See Can a man have many wives?

These surrogate mothers – especially the last two – were used by healthy women who were impatient and could not wait on God. Their frustration proved futile since later on they ended up getting pregnant.

Surrogacy the old fashioned way may be a viable option for women who can never have children (i.e., women whose biological clocks have run out or with birth defects or are sterile for various medical reasons, etc.).

However, the drawbacks in today’s western society can be numerous, especially for the surrogate mother – not to mention the remote possibility of it ever happening. Still, it could happen, and unless the arrangement is legally binding, it may create some nasty surprises.

In other words, it may engender conflicts that not only affect the children themselves, but those who are involved as well. Its negative effects, if materialized, could actually be more widespread than those of adoption since the different mothers may end up hating each other, which would then extend the strife to the fathers and the children they fathered along with their birth mothers.

That is why surrogacy, western style, has become not just a contractual affair, but also a clinical and medical experience that may wind up costing up to $150,000.

Men deposit their sperms which are used to fertilize surrogate mothers’ eggs. These eggs are then implanted inside the wives or inside the surrogate mothers themselves, following legal paperwork.

In the same manner, many single women, and even some married ones with supposedly impotent husbands, also use sperm banks to buy anonymous donors’ sperms in order to fertilize their own eggs.

Such procedures are so impersonal and so detached from basic human behavior and emotions that they usually leave the participants feeling probed, hopeless, and impotent; worse, it leaves the spawned children, who later discover the truth, desperately searching for nondescript fathers or mothers they may never locate.

The psychological, emotional, and spiritual impacts of such procedures leave behind a trail of wounded and lost souls frantically searching for their origins.

CONCLUSION

Adoption and Surrogacy are not solutions the bible dwells on because they are not God’s perfect problem solving methods, though in the very rare occasions they may be, especially when it comes to biblical adoption as previously described.

In general, God’s perfect solution for couples facing either dilemma is faith. God wants us to believe that He is the God of hope who can make the impossible happen, and that is usually why He allows these problems to surface in the first place.

“You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” Psalm 77:14

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

He wants us to rely on Him, within the confines of His established and created physiological rules.

For example, a ninety-year old woman cannot expect to ever get pregnant, even though Sarah was around the same age when she got pregnant for Abraham.

There is a difference.

God personally appeared to Abraham and told him that one day Sarah would get pregnant. Now if your wife is 90 years old and you want her or she wants to get pregnant, God had better show up at your doorstep – personally and “physically” – to tell you it will happen, otherwise your faith will be in vain. But if your wife is a healthy thirty-year old who can’t get pregnant, then you’d both better get on your knees and pray and have faith.

Still, the bible does provide solutions for single women who are having difficulty getting married and would like to have children, and for men who want children their wives are neither willing to breed nor capable of giving them. Click here to read it.

” ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8

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Of Nagging Women and Angry Men

C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

The actress/scriptwriter Nia Vardalos in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding wrote the following line: “The man may be the head of the household, but the woman is the neck, and she can turn the head whichever way she pleases.”

It may be a funny one-liner, but it’s a dangerous one.

Why?

Entertainment and media have a great influence on many people, and that one-liner has wormed its way into our society’s consciousness using a comedic wrapper to make it palatable, as it takes roots and reinforces a notion that many women are already inclined to develop. Some preachers even use it to make their audience laugh. But, in truth, it’s no laughing matter.

“But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:3

Adam and Eve 2The head of woman is man, not Jesus. The head of an unmarried woman is her father or the elder brother if dad is deceased. The head of a married woman is her husband or whomever the husband puts in charge after his passing, usually the elder son who has the right of the firstborn.

“he shall acknowledge… the firstborn (male), by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.” Deuteronomy 21:17

From the very beginning, in the Garden of Eden, the woman managed to usurp the man’s authoritative role, and the result has been the catastrophic state of sin we currently find ourselves in.

The Serpent knew what he was doing when he approached the woman.

“And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?’ ‘ ” Genesis 3:1

The most cunning of all creatures, he discerned that woman was the weaker vessel and therefore not built to withstand his attacks, and that man for all his bravado could not long endure a woman’s pleading eyes. He was certain that man’s ingrained chivalry would get the best of him.

He was right. Eve fell and then induced Adam to fall. Quite the bull’s-eye on both counts for the Serpent. In other words, he caused Eve to become the neck that turned Adam’s head, and voilà!

Since then women everywhere, way before Nia Vardalos penned that “funny one-liner”, have been either trying to “neck around” their husbands or have actually been doing precisely that.

The consequences of such a disposition are disastrous.

Women who embrace said frame of mind end up being these nagging and manipulative creatures that drive their husbands crazy or angry.

Many of these men bottle up their anger until one day they explode and divorce their wives. Some morph into these feeble, castrated individuals who are trapped and cannot move forward, while others are in a permanent state of resentment as they continually butt heads with their wives.

When God says that man is the head, He means it.

Wives, respect and obey your husbands…” 1 Peter 2: 1

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Ephesians 5: 22

Feminism has conditioned most women, even many Christian ones, to rebuff the above-mentioned laws. To masquerade their unbecoming behavior, these women usually use the following nonsensical statements about their husbands – with our rebuttal.

  • But he’s doing the wrong thing. Answer: Then advise him.
  • But he doesn’t listen. Answer: Then the onus is on him, not on you.
  • But he’s leading our family to disaster. Answer: Then why did you marry him?
  • But I thought I could change him. Answer: Did you, now? Is the bride of Christ the one who changes to accommodate Him, or is it the other way around?
  • But he’s gonna fail if I don’t take over. Answer: Then let him fail. There’s nothing wrong with failure. Failure sobers a man up and gives him wisdom. Moses failed to convince Pharaoh over and over until his persuasive argument won the day.
  • But he’s gonna bring shame to me and my family. Answer: Ah-Ha! It’s your pride then. Shade of Eve.
  • But he can’t make up his mind. Answer: Then wait until he can.
  • But he’s lazy. Answer: Then why did you marry him?
  • But I didn’t know. Answer: Did you follow The Biblical Marriage Blueprint?
  • But I thought I could change him. Answer: Aren’t we going in circle here?

Women can help their husbands, advise them, encourage them, build them up when they’re down, etc., but in the end final decisions are up to the husband. God is the one who put him in charge, and therefore he’ll have to answer to Him.

When a woman takes upon herself the man’s responsibilities, she takes upon herself duties that were not assigned to her, and sooner or later the result will be a frustrated woman who’ll end up disrespecting, even despising her husband.

Job’s wife is a great example of how women can step out of their supportive role and be putty in the devil’s hand. She could not see God’s purpose in Job’s trials, so instead of showing respect to her husband she cursed him (and God) instead.

“Why don’t you curse God and die?” Job 2:9

Likewise, most women prefer to nag and nag until they get what they want, not unlike female characters in many movies who insolently mouth off at their husbands or at their fathers. Such a devastating sinful trait will drive a family to ruin, just like Eve drove her family out of the Garden.

“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.” Proverbs 21:9

“It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.” Proverbs 21:19

“A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one’s right hand.” Proverbs 27: 15-16

Women like these grind down a man’s self-esteem. They are the reason many run away from their wives and into the arms of those who indulge and respect their God-appointed position.

“Your adornment must not be merely external– braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands.” 1 Peter 3: 3-5

Now to the men.

Be men, godly men! Not sissies, nor brutes.

“But if someone doesn’t provide for their own family…They are worse than those who have no faith.” 1 Tim 5:8

“Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5:28

“Fathers, do not anger your children, but rear them in the discipline and in the teaching of Our Lord.” Ephesians 6: 4

Husbands must work hard and provide for their families in every aspect: financial, spiritual, emotional, in knowledge, in wisdom, in decision-making, etc. In other words, they must become real men, leaders of their homes.

Some husbands actually cause their wives to become the necks that turn their heads, and then they wax all hot and bothered, even angry.

There’s nothing uglier than a man who’s not a man, meaning a man who does not fulfill his responsibilities. If that’s you, then it’s about time you took back your role as head of your family and applied God’s principles to turn your situation around. But in so doing, remember to exercise loving firmness and patient understanding, especially if your wife has already settled in the neck-turning-the-head role.

“Husbands, dwell with your wives with understanding, giving honor unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

Adam and EveWhat if Adam had put his foot down and told Eve to behave? What if he had said, “Now listen darling, God said it’s a no-no to eat of the forbidden fruit. Now throw it away because I’ll have none of it. Quickly go and ask God to forgive you!” Do you think we’d all be in different circumstances right now?

In conclusion, guys, be biblical men!

And you, ladies, be biblical women!

Your lives will be better for it.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

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When Money is the Problem

Absolute QE corrupts absolutely.
C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

What made America great was the fact that the average joe could work hard and provide for his family.

It was called the American Dream. But somewhere along the way something went wrong, and the dream became a nightmare.

WHAT WENT WRONG

The biggest culprit in the death of the American Dream is the US Federal Government.

In general, when a government stays put and does not infringe on the personal and financial lives of its people, one can almost bet that things will remain pretty stable.

Gargantua

Gargantua

However, sooner or later a Government becomes a Frankensteinian operation that must feed its Gargantuan creature called Bureaucracy.

And the only way to feed that giant monster is with money, which then becomes the State’s obsession since it can never have enough.

Soon the State’s relationship with the citizenry it was meant to serve becomes exactly like that of a two-bit Mafia don with its coerced victims: “I want my cut. Capisce?”

Eventually the State’s obsession with money trickles down to every stratum of society. As Newton’s third law of motion proved, for every action there is systematically an equal reaction accompanied by opposite reactions no one expected.

And that’s what went wrong in America.

As the money obsession spread, money morphed from a means to an end to the end of all means, with terrible consequences.

THE END

The purpose or the end of money has become money itself. As a result, all responsibility has been thrown out the window.

Federal

The problem began at the Federal level when the US Government (USG) allowed the Federal Reserve System to come into existence, without any Congressional oversight and without Constitutional Ratification.

The Fed – as it is called – is a private institution disguised as Federal that creates money out of thin air. Its primary purpose is to enrich its secret and not so secret members via unlimited money printing. Its secondary purpose is to feed the USG’s gargantuan operations – at the right interest rate, of course.

Hence to the Fed money is its own end. It creates money to get money. And the reason it is so is because the con-artists who control it via their private banks made it so. See How the Ashkenazi Jews Conquered the West

The robber Barons of old used money as a means to develop the United States by creating infrastructures and industries.

But not today.

Our contemporary robbers only want money for money’s sake. They create money with no worth (i.e., with no gold or silver to back it up) and give it the veneer of value through various money market instruments.

The Fed is an ungodly printing machine of fiat money or paper money solely at the disposal of irresponsible money-addicted monsters who can never accumulate enough. See The corrupt Federal Reserve is NOT Federal

Corporations

When a mom and pop business takes roots, its purpose is to take care of the family. Its end is noble.

Avarice by Jesus Solana

Avarice by Jesus Solana

However, as mega corporations displace the majority of the mom and pop businesses throughout the US, their only purpose becomes the satisfaction of their greedy shareholders who apparently can never get enough profit.

Thus profit becomes the ungodly god.

If there is not enough of it, employees who depend on their jobs to care for their families are laid off without any sense of responsibility or mercy, while CEOs still get to cash their multi-million dollar paychecks – salaries that could easily be reduced and redistributed to keep more employees on board until a recovery. In truth, these CEOs need a Heart Adjustment.

The bottom line is no longer the family’s well being, but the profit margin of corporations and the padded bank accounts of their executives.

Individuals

Though there are many good Americans throughout the land who still espouse good old fashioned morality, there are also many who embrace greed as their primary end in life.

Greed is an ungodly cancer that plunges those who harbor it into moral and spiritual bankruptcy. Strangely, it’s not just the rich and the super rich who are infected with its virus. Millions of Americans want money the easy way, just like the Fed. If you doubt it, then go to to a place where they sell that government-controlled monopoly scam called Lottery, and take a gander at that long line of folks hoping to win their ticket to unlimited money printing.

Greed can be the poor or middle class man’s obsession as well.

And that’s why credit cards have also been made readily available, thanks to the Fed’s “largesse”. The idea is to drive people into high interest debt which they accumulate purchasing trifles they don’t really need.

So the indebted juggle many jobs, not to feed their families, but to pay off their irresponsible debts and further enrich greedy banksters.

THE CONSEQUENCES

Federal

At the Federal level the aftermaths are numerous.

1) Inflation. Before the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, there was barely any inflation. However, following the Fed’s money printing addiction or QE (Quantitative Easing), inflation skyrocketed – get ready for a $10 loaf of bread soon. See chart below.

Inflation chart since the Fed

The Fed’s incessant and irresponsible money printing, or QE ad infinitum, has debased the currency and vaulted the cost of living through the roof, and the average family can only struggle to make ends meet.

2) Taxes. To pay the shysters at the Fed who convinced the USG bureaucracy to borrow from them, Federal Income Taxes began their reign of terror, even though in 1895 the US Supreme Court ruled that the Income Tax was unconstitutional.

Consequently, in 1913 – the same year the Fed was founded, no coincidence there – Congress, according to Tax Foundation, passed “the 16th Amendment to the Constitution (which) made the income tax a permanent fixture in the U.S. tax system. The amendment gave Congress legal authority to tax income and resulted in a revenue law that taxed incomes of both individuals and corporations.”

However, according to some experts, said Amendment was not properly ratified by all 50 states and therefore is invalid. No surprise or coincidence there either.

In other words, the USG created a problem called the Fed which they squarely laid at the feet of the American people. In so doing, the USG continually extracts pounds after pounds of flesh from American families, and in the process turns Shylock into a Saint. See Was Shylock a Jew?

3) Wars. To encourage the USG to borrow more money, the secret members of the Fed coerced it into various wars, which in turn caused the Income Tax to rise significantly along with inflation, thereby imposing an even greater burden on the American people.

“Almost all wars, in a hundred years or so, have been paid for through inflation, that is debasing the currency,” explained Ron Paul. See Warmongering and Economic Progress

4) Corruption. As the Fed befouled the members of the USG and Congress through bribe and coercion, mega businesses and groups of the super rich also began exerting their influence by buying their way in. It is no wonder that almost every federal agency (i.e., FDA, EPA, etc.) has also become corrupt, pimping for the likes of Big Pharma, Monsanto, etc. without any regard for how their decisions affect the well being of American families.

“… (America) is just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for President or being elected President. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and Congress members,” explained former President Jimmy Carter.

Supra-billionaire George Soros said in Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism Reconsidered that, “Individual states and national populations should not be allowed to govern their own economic affairs – instead, this process will be accomplished by a global financial elite.”

Oh, really?

5) Unemployment. Mega Corporations bribed Congress to pass various International Trade Agreements that siphoned thousands upon thousands of manufacturing jobs out of America. These companies then conveniently shipped these jobs overseas in order to pad their bottom line using cheap labor, which could have been found in the US if inflation created by the Fed did not cause costs to skyrocket.

6) Police State. In order to keep the Fed and Big Business in control of the USG, a Police State has been enforced to keep the sheeple docile. It has become so bad that the People’s Representatives even vote against the will of the people they supposedly represent, not feigning so much as a modicum of care for the wishes of their constituents. Said disposition has firmly trickled down to cops who have turned savagely wild on those they have sworn to protect and serve.

So how come the American people keep voting back in office all these so-called Representatives of the People? Maybe the American people are not to blame. Maybe the computers tallying the votes are rigged.

Corporations

There are two noteworthy aftermaths.

1) Mediocrity. The products of many American Corporations have become so bad that quality is now synonymous with Made in Japan. The idea is to make inferior products in order to drive repeat business.

Even the content of most Hollywood movies has turned so poor that many cinephiles look to Europe and beyond for quality entertainment. The main culprit is the perverted morality that permeates too many of Hollywood productions, which in turn corrupts their storyline. See The Consequences of Sin

2) Inflated value and the coming crash. The mostly unidirectional flow of investment brought about a bifurcation in its consequences.

a) Most publicly traded companies are overvalued. Frequent QEs have pushed investment bankers to look to the stock market for investment opportunities where their money-dumping has created a bubble.

According to Boris Marjanovic, Hedge Fund Manager, “…stocks (have been) bid up to unsustainable price levels – creating a huge bubble that will lead to an eventual stock market crash. For instance, the Shiller P/E ratio currently sits at ~28x, which is how high it got at the peak of the 2007 real estate bubble. That’s more than 65% above the historic average of 16.6x.”

Inflated Stocks

Shiller P/E Ratio is More Than 65% Above Historical Norms

The value of a company shouldn’t be according to stock-market-induced fluctuations and shenanigans. It should be according to the intrinsic and actual quality of the company’s product line, the fiscal responsibility and the efficacy of its administrators, its assets (tangible and intangible), and the potential profit outlook; and it shouldn’t necessarily be adversely affected by normal fluctuation cycles in the consumer marketplace nor by the company’s initial bumpy steps. A case in point is Apple.

When Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs – the progeny of one Abdulfattah Jandali, a Syrian Arab – was fired from the company he founded because of poor stock performance, which was temporarily tied to his obsession in wanting to create quality products, Apple almost went bankrupt until Steve came back and turned it around. A feat He accomplished by sticking to his previous principle of not producing but only quality and aesthetically pleasing products for his Apple and Pixar brands.

Steve had a vision that his then hostile and vision-less board members who initially fired him didn’t have. He was that rare light in an increasingly dim field of Mega Corporation Executives. That’s why he was and is still celebrated, even after his death. The happy result is that today Apple has the largest market cap of any listed company.

b) The blinkers fastened on most investment bankers have induced them to ignore small businesses, which apparently are of no consequence to them. In turn, their stock market aggregated outpouring of liquidity has caused credit to tighten for small to mid-sized companies. The result has been an avalanche of bankruptcies.

“Corporate Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in July have soared 77% year-over-year, to 637 filings, the most in nearly three years, the Wall Street Journal reported, based on data from Epiq Systems,” explained Wolf Richter of Contra Club.

Small businesses are the heart of America. Ignoring them by cutting their credit line is a fatal mistake that places millions of families on shaky ground, even uncharted territory.

“Banks have simply lost interest in making smaller loans, because they are costly to underwrite and yield less than larger loans,” explained former SBA Chief Karen Mills.

Individuals

There are also two noteworthy aftermaths.

1) Financial chaos.  It’s been an ongoing problem in the American household for quite some time. Samuel J. Gerdano, executive director of the American Bankruptcy Institute, said:

“A combination of economic stress, including high debt loads, rising unemployment and unsustainable mortgage burdens, left many consumers with little choice but to seek the financial relief of bankruptcy.

“Consumer filing totals have fluctuated over the past decade as there have been changes in law in addition to the housing and financial downturns. The year 2005 saw a high mark of 2 million consumer bankruptcies.”

So what did Congress do to corner the consumer and favor the bankers? It enacted the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which tightened requirements for filing.

“Consumer filings then dropped to 600,000 in 2006, but then rose each year until they registered over 1.5 million filings in 2010 amidst the housing and financial downturns,” further explained Gerdano.

2) Family chaos. The family unit in America is fast disintegrating. The causes are numerous: lack of jobs, debt that causes stress, breakdown of moral principles, the constant pursuit of the dollar above family relationships, etc. These cause marital friction and then divorce. It is estimated that close to  50% of couples who get married end up calling it quits. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint

According to Bruce C. Hafen, Professor of Law at Brigham Young University, “the contemporary disintegration of the nuclear family in America – due primarily to nonmarital cohabitation, childbearing out of wedlock, and the termination of close to one-half of all marriages by divorce – has profound implication not only for the health and happiness of the members of such families, but for all of society and for the stability, efficacy and survival of our form of representative, democratic government. The failure to responsibly form, respect and maintain marital families is not just a private tragedy, it is a public calamity that portends a developing social and political disaster.”

See The Family is God’s Plan

CONCLUSION

The obsessive pursuit of money for money’s sake has failed America. From the moment said objective was set in motion, America was doomed.

To an individual a noble purpose is important. And equally as significant are a Corporation’s goal and a Government’s mission. If the object of any entity is money above everything else, sooner or later a breakdown will materialize.

GodfatherFor example, the reason the Godfather movie series was a success was because of one simple factor. In the midst of all its crimes and conspiracies to commit more crimes, the heart of the storyline (its objective) was family – you don’t mess with the family and you don’t betray the family. Everything the head of the Corleone clan did was to protect and provide for his family, which he saw as his main purpose and duty – though we by no means approve of his immoral methods of achieving success, something the storytellers made sure he paid dearly for and something the Don himself no longer wanted to rely on.

The strength of The Godfather’s family unit and the might of its Patriarch – especially in the midst of a women’s lib movement trying to unseat man from his God-given role within his family – were what really stirred and still stirs the endearment cinephiles all over the world feel for the series, even if most people don’t realize why they love it so. These powerful undertows resonated loudly, and together with masterful filmmaking and acting catapulted the movies amongst America’s top classics and consolidated their enduring appeal. Check your TV listings, they’re always showing somewhere. Not too shabby for a mostly made-in-the-70s movie series. What other flicks – especially made during that period – can claim that?

End the Fed

After Brexit, Fedxit.

It’s time for America (and most of the world that follows America’s lead) to go back to the basics. It’s time to rediscover mankind’s true objectives. It’s time for God and His laws, loving patriarchal family, and purposeful responsibility.

In other words, money needs to be redefined as a refrained and practical means to these ends, while the intrinsic value it once possessed (with precious metals) needs to be reinstated.

However, for Money to ever recover its worth we must end the Fed.

“The love of money is the root of all evil.” 1 Timothy 6:10

Note

The pursuit of Money above everything else has even trickled down in the Church, where the relentless quest for earthly riches has replaced the truth of God’s Word and His plan for the family. See Ministry Money and the Tithe Lie and Has God planned BIG Things for our Lives?

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Can a Man Have Many Wives?

C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

edward-poynter-1890-sheeba-solomon-and-his-wives

King Solomon and his many wives receive Queen Sheba.

Are you ready for a biblical answer? Are you really ready?

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The Heart Adjustment

C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

The very essence of Christianity is Service.

Jesus serving the disciples

Jesus washes the disciples’ feet.

Unfortunately, the word “service” has been somewhat corrupted by its liberal use in the labeling of the erroneous principle of “Church Service”. See Church Services are NOT biblical.

TRUE SERVICE

Service implies that Christians become Servants.

There are a great many bible verses about becoming a servant, but here Jesus spells out the most important one.

“…whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” Matthew 20:26

To be a servant is to be of use.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

From a Ministry standpoint, Service is understood by most to be within the confines of the five-fold Ministry – explored at length in Understanding the Duties of Ministry.

However, there is the forgotten Everyday Life Ministry. The very one that Jesus lived and practiced constantly. The one where every instant becomes an opportunity to serve.

With these everyday moments God catches us unaware and pushes us to walk in the kind of service He has prepared for us.

There are myriads of them. They usually go unnoticed because they are simply needs. But just like Jesus, we only have to look around to find them.

“He [Jesus] got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet…” John 13:4,5

Feet washing is a service. The disciples’ feet were dirty and needed to be washed. So Jesus, without complaining and lecturing, took care of it. Mary Magdalene who washed Jesus’s feet with her tears also performed said service. (Luke 7:38)

Now all we have to do is look for similar opportunities, and we too will be in the Service Business – sorry, Ministry. 😉

Examples:

1. take out the trash;

2. don’t leave the shopping cart in the parking lot, take it back;

3. visit a sick friend or relative (read The Miracle of Healing before you go);

4. be courteous and responsible while driving;

5. pick up your boss’s clothes at the cleaners if he asks, or volunteer if the need arises;

6. cook dinner once in a while for someone who’s always busy;

7. babysit your siblings’ kids so they can have a night off;

8. bake your mother-in-law her favorite cake even if she hates you, or do your mother’s nails, or cut your father’s or brother’s hair;

9. serve the clients/customers in your business by going the extra mile;

10. mend broken family relationships;

11. help a family member or a trustworthy friend jump start his career;

12. give some money away. See Who Should Christians give their money to?

And the list goes on and on.

There is no need to fuss about how we can be of service, it bobs up incessantly. Let us catch the opportunities and run with them.

Whether our acts of service are acknowledged or reciprocated and whether gratefulness is expressed or not are irrelevant.

Peter reacted arrogantly and poorly to Jesus washing his feet, and yet Jesus kept at it.

“ ‘Then, Lord,’ Simon Peter replied, ‘not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!’ ” John 13:9

However, when we serve we must not complain. Here’s what happens when we complain.

“The people started to complain about their problems. The LORD heard them. He became very angry. He sent fire. The fire burned among them and it destroyed the edges of the camp.” Numbers 11:1

God is none too happy with such an attitude. All it does is create fiery conflicts. If we are griping and grumbling, it means that the disposition of our hearts is not that of servants but that of arrogant sinners with entitlement issues.

If such is the case, a heart adjustment is sorely needed.

THE RIGHT HEART

When our hearts are not right (and they usually aren’t), God has no choice but to fix them. Just remember that He has a very strange way of regulating them.

He uses something that we do not plan for. Something that doesn’t fit neatly into our preconceived idea of what Service or Ministry should be. Something that at first glance seems like nothing God would ever resort to. Something like this:

“As the Midianite merchants were passing by, the brothers pulled Joseph out of the cistern. They sold him to the Ishmaelites for eight ounces of silver. The Ishmaelites took him to Egypt.” Genesis 37:28

Well, how would we have reacted in a similar circumstance?

Many Christians in Joseph’s stead would have performed the binding-and-casting-out-the-Devil routine, and they would have prayed mountain-moving words of faith in order to pry themselves out of such a predicament. Unfortunately, it would have been to no avail.

Something more profound was in the works: the making of the right heart, of the obedient and grateful heart.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thes. 5:18

Joseph was sold into slavery in order to turn him into an obedient and faithful servant.

“Potiphar liked Joseph so much that he made him his trusted servant.” Genesis 39:4

A true servant nurtures within the core of his soul the virtue of obedience. And no egregiously unfair circumstance will turn him against the will of his God.

So when Potiphar’s wife made a sexual advance, the fruit of said virtue, buried deep within Joseph’s soul, showed its true color.

“… you’re his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9

To adjust our hearts, God has to instill in us the true spirit of obedience. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the way He goes about it is by placing us between a rock and a hard place, where He squeezes out the impurities.

“Although He was a Son, He [Jesus] learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” Hebrews 5:8

If Jesus, who did no wrong, had to suffer in order to learn obedience, how much more we who are all sinners.

None of us is perfect and everyone needs a heart adjustment. Without said adjustment no plan or dream of ours will bring forth fruits worthy of God’s Kingdom.

OUR PLANS

Joseph had a dream, a great dream. It was his dream. Or so he thought.

“Joseph had a dream and when he told his brothers, they hated him even more… Then his brothers asked him, “Are you going to be our king or rule us?” They hated him even more for his dreams and his words. Genesis 37:5,8

No matter the size of a dream or plan or goal, if it is from God it will meet opposition and face great hardship. But fear not!

The purpose of adversity is to mold us into Christ’s perfect image before God can make our goal a reality.

By dream or plan or goal we are not talking about marriage and such. Different situations require different biblical approaches. Let wisdom be our guide. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint and Of Authority and Christians.

What we’re talking about is the plan or goal that will cause us to deal with the world outside our own little world, like Joseph’s unexpected new environment as pertained to his destiny which was set in motion by his God-given dream.

When we execute such life-changing plans or goals, different scenarios might take place.

1) If a plan is not of God, we may still meet hardship. In turn, we will get discouraged and abandon it, or it will quickly succeed and then crash.

2) If it is from God, it will materialize. But if adversity causes us to abandon it, somehow it will, in spite of ourselves, become a success, especially after having put a lot of hard work into it. Still, that doesn’t mean it won’t fail later on.

“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.” Ecclesiastes 7:14

The vicissitudes of life and the pressures thereof are God’s tools to constantly adjust our hearts. A grateful heart welcomes them like David did.

“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” Psalm 119:71

Is it any wonder that God loved David?

CONCLUSION

No plan or goal is bigger than a regular act of service. In reality, God’s plan for our lives, once implemented, is itself also an act of service.

Joseph’s dream was not for his benefit. It was to be his opportunity to serve by saving the lives of others, including his family’s.

“I am Joseph, the brother you sold into slavery in Egypt! Now, don’t be sad or angry with yourselves that you sold me. God sent me ahead of you to save lives.” Genesis 45:4,5

Every plan or goal must be looked at from the angle of serving others, lest we’ve concocted it just to satisfy our own greed and ambition.

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:3

By taking real stock of how we plan to serve, we come to understand that the riches of God’s Kingdom and of our inheritance can only be measured by how much love we have one for another.

“A new command I give you: Love one another.” John 13:34

Love is not a feeling. It is an act of service, a sacrificial deed, a heart adjustment.

“Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” James 2:18

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The Family is God’s Plan

C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

God’s purpose begins and ends with the family.

Nativity

It started with the marriage of Adam and Eve and will end with the marriage of the Lamb to His bride the Church Assembly. It’s no wonder that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, performed His first miracle at a wedding in Cana (John 2: 1-11).

Throughout the various biblical covenants God chose the family to enact His will.

THE ADAMIC COVENANT

For the initial covenant God created the first family. Adam and Eve.

“And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ ” Genesis 1:28

Hence began the great journey of the family to subdue the earth. A task that proved extremely difficult following the serpent’s poisonous deception.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’ ” Genesis 3: 1

The end result was Adam’s fall from grace and into sin.

“…sin entered the world through one man…” Romans 5: 12

THE NOAHIC COVENANT

Sin metastasized and corrupted Adam’s descendants.

“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” Genesis 6: 5

Then God set apart Noah and his family. He saved them from His Judgment which took the form of a killer flood. Once the waters receded, God enunciated His covenant with Noah and his descendants.

“And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.’ ” Genesis 9: 12-15

Thus began the salvation angle of God’s plan for all the families of the earth. However, to ensure such salvation, an everlasting cure for the bondage of sin was needed.

THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

It was shaped with a promise by God to Abraham and his wife Sarah that they would have a son.

“Then God said, ‘Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.’ ” Gen 17: 19

“Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed…” Gen 26: 3,4

The Covenant took wing with Abraham’s twelve great-grandsons who grew into the 12 Tribes of ancient Israel. God then sent Moses as their deliverer to free them from their bondage in Egypt.

It then fully bloomed with Abraham’s offspring Jesus as the Savior of the world (i.e., as the Savior of all the families of the earth), through the everlasting covenant in His blood.

Consequently, the Abrahamic Covenant bifurcated into the following two covenants: the Mosaic Covenant and the Christian Covenant – though some would argue that the Christian Covenant was the culmination of the Mosaic one, itself a culmination of the Abrahamic one and so on and so forth.

In either case, two further covenants became reality.

THE MOSAIC COVENANT

It was a family affair.

God called Moses and his family to deliver and guide their 12 Hebrew families or tribes out of bondage and into the promised land.

The lineage of Moses’s brother, Aaron, became known as the Levites or the Priests, while Moses’s sister, Miriam, was a Prophetess.

“Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing.” Exodus 15: 20

God then established the Covenant.

“And Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.” Exodus 34: 28

The final blessings and duties of the Covenant are recorded in Deuteronomy 28:

“ 1 And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God…

15 But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you…”

and Exodus 19:

“…and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

The salvation inherent in the Mosaic covenant was to be sealed every year with the sacrifice of a lamb. It was known as Passover and was to be performed by every single Hebrew family.

“Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household… you will celebrate it as a statute forever.” Exodus 12: 3, 14

With mild exception, such a law was only for the families or tribes of Israel.

“No foreigner may eat of it.” Exodus 12: 43

The entire exercise or raison d’être of the twelve Hebrew tribes was God’s way of nurturing for Himself an earthly home and family for when He decided to visit in the person of Jesus, the Savior of the world.

THE CHRISTIAN COVENANT

It was also a family affair.

God chose Joseph and his wife Mary in order to care for His son Jesus. John the Baptist, Jesus’s cousin, was also chosen. He was to prepare the way for the Messiah.

“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ ” Matthew 3: 1,2

The New Covenant is recorded in all the Gospels.

“And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.’ ” Luke 22: 19, 20

Said covenant was introduced by Christ during Passover rituals.

“Say to the owner of the house, the Teacher says, ‘Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?’ ” Mark 14:14

It was followed by His Passover crucifixion which his cousin John predicted.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’ ” John 1: 29

There are more similarities with the Mosaic Covenant. The following are a few examples:

1. Wilderness Test. The Ancient Hebrews failed it, but Jesus came out swinging.

“Your sons shall be shepherds for forty years in the wilderness, and they will suffer for your unfaithfulness, until your corpses lie in the wilderness.” Exodus 14:33

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted… Then the devil left Him and angels came and attended Him.” Matthew 4: 1, 11

2. Sold for Silver. Both Joseph and Jesus were sold for silver.

As the Midianite merchants were passing by, the brothers pulled Joseph out of the cistern. They sold him to the Ishmaelites for eight ounces of silver. The Ishmaelites took him to Egypt.” Genesis 37:28

“Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?’ And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him.” Matthew 26: 14,15

3. Sin Offering. With the Old Covenant it was a lamb, but with the New Covenant God offered up Himself as the ultimate sacrifice.

“Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.” Exodus 12:3

“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood–to be received by faith.” Romans 3:25

4. The Priesthood. The Old Covenant priesthood was composed of a select group of men, but now thanks to the New Covenant it now encompasses all believers.

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron…’ ” Leviticus 21:1

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood.” 1 Peter 2:9

“And made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father.” Revelation 1:6

5. The Believer’s Home. Just like the slaughtering of the Mosaic Covenant lamb took place in the Hebrew home, church or assembly gathering and communion also take place in the Christian family home. See Church Services Are NOT Biblical .

“…each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.” Exodus 12:3

“To the assembly in your house.” Philippians 1: 1

“Likewise greet the assembly that is in their house.” Romans 16: 5

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.…” 1 Cor 11: 26

The reason for this resemblance is because all the end goals of the Mosaic Covenant, unlike its Christian counterpart, could not be permanently achieved.

“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” Hebrews 10:4

“For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.” Hebrews 8:7

The Everlasting Covenant in Jesus’s blood frees man from the bondage of sin.

“For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6: 23

Thus the Christian Covenant became the final chapter of the Abrahamic one, a process that started with the Adamic Covenant.

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned… For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.” Romans 5: 12, 15

As a result, the Mosaic Covenant was rendered obsolete as further evidenced by the fact that every family anywhere on earth can now participate regardless of race.

“Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.’ ” Acts 10: 34

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.” Acts 16:31

“By calling this covenant ‘new,’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete is outdated.” Hebrews 8:13

With a powerful new covenant in play, salvation has been made freely available to all families everywhere. Subduing the earth for the glory of God (i.e., the Adamic Covenant) has now become feasible, especially since deceptive and poisonous doctrines from the serpents are bound to fail.

Eve offers Adam fruit“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall raise their voices against the serpents (or malicious ones); and if they imbibe any poison (or poisonous doctrine), it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Mark 16: 15-17

CONCLUSION

The family is God’s plan to bring order to the world.

“The only institution which God loves.” Malachi 2:11

Therefore, evangelists should tailor their missions as much as possible to reach the heads of families. See Understanding the Duties of Ministry .

“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” Ephesians 5:23

The husband is not only the head of his wife, he is also the one whom God has anointed and commanded to teach his children.

“Fathers, do not anger your children, but rear them in the discipline and in the teaching of Our Lord.” Ephesians 6: 4

Fathers are God’s designated “Youth Pastors” to their children, and their wives their assigned helpmates. This means they are the ones to dedicate their newborns to the Lord, to lead them to Christ, to baptize them – water and Holy Spirit – upon the Holy Spirit prompting them of their readiness, to teach them God’s word, to partake of the Lord’s supper with them, and finally to marry them when the time comes. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

In order for the work of ministry to be effective the family must be reached, and the husband empowered.

In the end, the bride of Christ (i.e., Christians throughout the world) will be the amalgamation of all the blessed families of the earth that God promised Abraham his seed Jesus would deliver.

“And in your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed…” Genesis 26: 4

Continue reading

Of Fornication, Divorce, and Adultery

C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

Jesus and the Adulteress 2

Jesus and the Adulteress

Adultery (a consequence of Divorce and Remarriage) and Fornication (a consummation of lust) are distinct in nature. However, both damn one’s soul to eternal fire unless one truly repents.

FORNICATION

It is a sexual sin that is either performed by non-married individuals or by married individuals having affairs. In other words, it is sex outside the bonds of matrimony. Its literal meaning is to play the harlot.

“Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” 1 Cor 6: 18-20

If a married person cheats on his/her spouse, it is not adultery. It is fornication.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9

“It is reported commonly [that there is] fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.” 1 Cor 5: 1

Fornication is not befitting a Christian no matter how one tries to spin it. See Sex and the Christian.

“Flee fornication.” 1 Cor 6: 18

“Now the body [is] not for fornication, but for the Lord…” 1 Cor 6:13

“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Tim 2: 22

“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints…” Eph 5: 3

There are ways to avoid fornication.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].” 1 Cor 10: 13

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Col 3: 5

“Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” 1 Cor 7: 2

Fornication is not only forbidden, it is a sin that excludes those under its sway from any inheritance in God’s Kingdom. If you are under its spell, whether you’re a “Christian” or not, you better repent now and sin no more before death catches up with you.

“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Jude 1: 7

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. .” 1 Cor 6: 9, 10

DIVORCE

When Jesus was asked a question on divorce (the context), this was His answer:

“Haven’t you read, Jesus replied, that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19: 4-6

The “male and female” verse Jesus was referring to was this one:

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

But what does that verse really mean?

It means that there is a duality inherent in God, Father and Son. Therefore, God created that same duality in mankind, male and female. That duality is itself God’s image in mankind.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…’ ” Genesis 1:26

So God made them male and female, a duality that mimics God’s own duality of Father and Son.

“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30

See The Trinity Doctrine is not in the Bible for an in-depth exposé.

The resulting process of creating mankind male and female had more to do with reproducing the image of the duality inherent in God rather than with marriage. However, like Jesus pointed out, marriage does bring the two together as one. That’s why God hates divorce.

” ‘For I hate divorce,’ says the LORD.” Malachi 2:16

Divorce is a violent act that tears apart the union of male and female who are made in the dual image of the one God. Divorcing one’s spouse is tantamount to severing God the Father from God the Son.

” ‘The man who hates and divorces his wife,’ says the Lord God, ‘does violence to the one he should protect,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Malachi 2:16

A man and a woman become one flesh upon marrying. When they divorce, they commit a vicious act that rips that one flesh apart. Consequently, neither one can marry again – unless the woman committed fornication, which then would allow the husband to wed anew.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9

In God’s eyes divorce causes one to forfeit the privilege of marrying again because it belittles the seriousness that God imbued the marital contract with.

ADULTERY

Adultery is a by-product of Divorce and Remarriage. When a divorcé/divorcée has casual sex, that’s fornication. However, when he/she remarries, he/she commits adultery.

Furthermore, a non-divorcé who marries a divorcée ends up committing adultery because he’s marrying someone’s wife, even if she’s an ex. However, we couldn’t find a bible verse that describes a non-divorcée of committing adultery if she were to marry a divorcé.

“And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” Mark 10:12

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9

“Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from [her] husband committeth adultery.” Luke 16: 18

Jesus and the Adulteress

Jesus and the Adulteress

Shunning adultery is one of the 10 commandments:

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Exodus 20: 14

Even in the Old Testament when a man married another man’s ex-wife, it was adultery because what God joins together no man can put asunder. Therefore, even when a man divorces his wife, she’s still his wife in God’s eyes.

“And the man that committeth adultery with [another] man’s wife, [even he] that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” Lev 20: 10

“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery…” John 8: 3

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10: 9

A Christian husband cannot contemplate divorce unless his wife commits fornication.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9

However, we’ve scoured the bible trying to find a verse that allows a wife to divorce her husband if he commits fornication and couldn’t find one. Most likely it’s because the husband is the head of the wife. Consequently, God has allowed the husband some leeway.

“For the husband is the head of the wife…” Ephesians 5: 23

But such leeway is by no stretch a carte blanche void of consequences. As the helpmate the wife needs to do her level best to help her husband out of such a deadly sin.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:6

If she can’t handle it and decides to divorce him, this is the Lord’s command according to the Apostle Paul:

“A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.” 1 Cor 7: 10, 11

The only time a woman can remarry is when her husband or ex-husband dies.

“A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” 1 Cor 7: 39

However, there are those who say that the bible allows believers to divorce their unbelieving spouses. But the Apostle Paul clearly stated, in 1 Corinthians 7, that it was his opinion and not the Lord’s command.

12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

It is quite obvious that the Apostle Paul was mostly leaning toward the spouses staying together rather than divorcing one another. And even if divorce were to occur, the following scenarios (which could apply to any couple really) would kick in:

I. The wife leaves her husband.

a) He does not want her to leave and refuses divorce. Still, she leaves and forces a divorce upon him which he does not respond to, truly does not want, and wholeheartedly does not agree with. The divorce materializes anyway by legal default. She then finds another man whom she commits fornication with, or remarries and commits adultery. Upon such fait accompli, the believing husband is now free to remarry as per biblical laws.

However, even if the wife never commits fornication or adultery after said divorce, the husband can marry again because he is not the one who put her away.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife…” Matthew 19:9

We think (because there’s no direct biblical directive) that it is quite possible that if such a man, because of dire circumstances, has to legally work on and sign divorce papers in order to protect concerns and belongings he’s worked for his whole life, that God could still allow that man to marry again, but such a man would have to really have his heart right (i.e., wholeheartedly not wanting the divorce and/or trying hard to reconcile with his wife). It goes without saying that, in said particular circumstance, such a man must really seek the Lord’s face.

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

b) If the husband willingly and wholeheartedly grants his wife a divorce, the husband cannot remarry or have an affair, otherwise he will commit adultery or fornication.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9

II. The husband leaves his wife.

The wife would never be able to remarry unless her ex dies.

“…let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.” 1 Cor 7: 11

“A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” 1 Cor 7: 39

Releasing oneself from a bad marriage to an unbelieving spouse is not a blanket permission to get remarried. The Apostle Paul (not the Lord) only stipulated it as a condition to get out of bondage. He never implied or indicated that a person who divorces could remarry against biblical laws. If that person could, he definitely would have mentioned it because the laws against adultery are very clear.

Further, many believe that if a divorcé/divorcée was not a Christian when he/she got divorced, once he/she becomes a Christian he/she can remarry because salvation makes everything new. Sadly there are no verses in the bible to back that theory. It is also an egregious act of adding to God’s words.

“Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” Proverbs 30:6

If you were married prior to becoming a Christian, you are still married when you become one. Ditto for divorce. Nothing can change or expunge that.

Otherwise, it’s like saying for instance that if a single non-Christian teenage girl becomes pregnant and then turns to the Lord, she can expect her pregnancy to “miraculously” vanish because she’s now born again and thus everything has become new. Or better yet, if a murderer turns Christian, he can anticipate those he killed to “miraculously” rise from the dead because he’s surrendered his life to the Lord and thus everything has become new.

Sorry, but the salvation in Christ that makes everything new doesn’t work that way.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

How do new things come when one becomes a Christian?

“Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” Ephesians 4:28

Things become new by living a life that is totally different than the one prior to salvation. Therefore, one’s actions as a Christian (i.e., following God’s laws) prove one’s salvation.

“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:26

“Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.”  1 John 2:4

Salvation in Christ purges one’s soul of sins, but not of their temporal or earthly consequences. See The Consequences of Sin

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4

A true Christian must accept the consequences of his/her actions, even the aftermath of those that took place prior to becoming saved. In so doing, he/she denies himself/herself and carries his/her cross for the Lord.

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 6:24

That’s why, even when saved, one of the consequences of sin is hardship.

“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food…” Genesis 3:19

“There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin.” Psalm 38: 3

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.” Hebrews 12:7

The laws are for the believer to use properly, and for the unbeliever and lawbreaker to stand condemned.

“We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.” 1 Timothy 1: 8-11

Such air-tight laws are because God hates evil, and adultery is as such to Him. Therefore, to help prevent adultery He has thus made it almost impossible for a marriage to be dissolved.

“…you hate all evildoers.” Psalm 5:5

” ‘For I hate divorce,’ says the LORD.” Malachi 2:16

And you can bet that God’s hate is probably as strong as His love – okay, maybe not as strong since He gave us Jesus, but pretty strong – and that’s why marriage should not be rushed into without a clear understanding of what it entails, or without knowing how to avoid falling for the wrong person. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Gen 2: 24

Unless true repentance occurs, adultery not only destroys the soul, it also guarantees eternal damnation.

“… go and sin no more.” John 8: 11

“But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.” Prov 6: 32

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. .” 1 Cor 6: 9, 10

If you are already in the grip of adultery, wisdom, courage, and strength from the Holy Spirit will be fundamental, especially if you’re in a situation where you’re married to someone’s (ex) wife and children were born from such a union.

Repentance towards all implicated parties is a good first step. Then, here’s what Jesus commanded if one were ever bitten by adultery’s venomous fangs:

“But I say unto you, that whosoever looks upon someone’s wife to set his heart upon her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” Matthew 5:28-30

Therefore, the Lord did command that any and all adulterous relationships should be cut off; one of the parts of your body (i.e., your current “wife” who’s actually someone else’s wife and who became one with you, as in the two shall become one flesh) should be cut off. However, your responsibility towards your children (from said relationship) is not to be neglected.

“But if someone doesn’t provide for their own family, and especially for a member of their household, they have denied the faith. They are worse than those who have no faith.” 1 Tim 5:8

CONCLUSION

Fornication and adultery are the works of the flesh.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Gal 5: 19 – 21

Therefore, ask yourself one simple question: would you want to risk your eternal destiny just because you want to have sex or just because you want to remarry?

“…fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Romans 8: 13

Children born as a result of fornication or adultery are not guilty of any crime.

“The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.” Ezekiel 18: 20

When it comes to fornication, remember the old saying: “Flies spread disease – keep yours zipped.” And the nastiest disease fornication spreads is that of a warped soul. So, to get your mind off sex, find a way of escape by keeping yourself occupied: evangelism, helping the poor, a second job, prayer and fasting, etc. See Understanding the Duties of Ministry. However, if you really can’t get your mind off it, then get married. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

And when it comes to divorce/adultery, remember also that other saying: “It’s cheaper to keep her.” That goes for your wallet (divorce) as well as your soul (adultery).

So be wise.

“Fear the LORD and shun evil.” Proverbs 3: 7

ADDENDUM

Explaining Matthew 5:28-30

Matthew 5:28

Popular Translation:

“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” KJV Version

Biblicism Institute Translation (in bold color):

“But I say unto you, that whosoever looks upon someone’s wife to set his heart upon her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Biblicism Institute translation)

Comment:

The Greek word gune that is translated as woman really means a woman who is married or wife. In this instance someone’s wife or even an ex-wife since an ex-wife is still her husband’s wife in God’s eyes.

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10: 9

The Greek word epithumeo that is translated as lust after has even a more powerful meaning: set one’s heart upon. Remember, Jesus looks at the heart.

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

In Matthew 5: 28 Jesus was referring to someone’s (ex)-wife, just like the woman caught in adultery in John 8:3 was someone’s (ex)-wife who married another man, and Jesus told her to “go and sin no more”.

Remember, adultery is the by-product of Divorce and Remarriage.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9

When a man sets his heart upon someone’s (ex)-wife, Jesus already sees it as the foundational act which will cause that man to marry such a woman, hence that man is already in the throes of adultery.

Thus in Matthew 5:28 Jesus was really reiterating Matthew 19:9 in a more profound way, so profound that He said right after:

“If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30

That stark command was Jesus’s other way of saying “go and sin no more” (by cutting off the relationship), because those who are guilty of adultery will not enter the kingdom of God.

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. .” 1 Cor 6: 9, 10

Visit our Bad Translation section.

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Who should Christians give their Money to?

C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

Money is the reward for your hard work, therefore be judicious how you spend it.

It is foremost to satisfy your needs and the needs of your family – today, in bad times, and in your later years – while not forgetting those less fortunate.

DON’T BE LIKE THE UNRIGHTEOUS STEWARD

“In a wise man’s dwelling, precious treasures and oils are stored.” Proverbs 21: 20

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” Proverbs 13:22

You are just a steward of the money you earn, therefore learn to control it before it controls you. In other words, get in the habit of using and bequeathing it properly:

a. meet your family’s needs (vacation included);

b. don’t waste money on frivolous things;

c. save for bad times;

d. invest in your retirement;

e. lay away for your children’s future;

f. take eternity into account and apply Jesus’s parable of The Unrighteous Steward from Luke 16:

1 AND he said also to his disciples: There was a certain rich man who had a steward: and the same was accused unto him, that he had wasted his goods.

2 And he called him, and said to him: How is it that I hear this of you? Give an account of your stewardship: for now you can’t be steward no longer.

3And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, because my lord takes away from me the stewardship? To dig I am not able; to beg I am ashamed.

4 I know what I will do, that when I shall be removed from the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.

5 Therefore calling together every one of his lord’s debtors, he said to the first: How much dost thou owe my lord?

6 But he said: An hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him: Take your bill and sit down quickly, and write fifty.

7 Then he said to another: And how much do you owe? Who said: An hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him: Take your bill, and write eighty.

8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, for as much as he had done wisely: for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.

9 And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when you die, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.

10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?

With that parable, Jesus delineated a two-prong position.

1) Salvation. The unrighteous steward gave away commercial goods to those who could give back to him in return. Scratch my back, I scratch yours. That’s the way of the world, and for the world it is a smart way to deal. However, you, as a disciple of Christ, have something better to give. The Gospel of Salvation. And it is not to be exchanged for filthy lucre like many “preachers” do today. It is to be given to all, expecting nothing in return. That’s why Jesus said right after:

“No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Luke 16: 13

Many will argue that “preachers” don’t preach the Gospel for money. But how come they always find a way to ask for that unrighteous mammon? And how come they draw a salary as compensation? See Understanding the Duties of Ministry.

Jesus never asked for money and neither did the Apostles. Whenever the Apostles picked up a collection, it was always to give to the poor.

2) Money. You must not only give the Gospel away for free, you must also bestow money on those who can’t give back to you. That way they can see Christ in you, as well as getting a taste of the goodness of the Lord through your giving.

“Taste and see that the LORD is good.” Psalm 34: 8

“If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.” Luke 6: 33

When you give it is as if God Himself is giving. Said gesture affords you the opportunity to share Christ. It is also a seed impregnated with Christian love that later on could yield the fruit of change in marginal “Christians”, or salvation in the souls of those who do not know ChristThat’s why Jesus said to “make friends using unrighteous mammon”.

Thereupon, those at the receiving end of your gift, once saved, will be able to partake with you of the everlasting life, which is the real dividend or the true riches that God Himself will assign to you as your own.

Unfortunately, many are in the habit of telling those who are in need that they’ll “pray” for them. But of what use are these prayers?

“If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” James 2: 15-17

If God brings someone in need to YOU, or you hear of someone in need, and YOU do nothing to actually help, how will his plight be mitigated? God is not going to “personally” alleviate his suffering. He commanded YOU – His steward – to do so.

Instead, many have no qualms writing big checks for “preachers” in “ministry” who use their hard-earned money to live the high life. See Of Leaders and Servants in the Church.

In so doing they set in motion the exact opposite of what Jesus talked about in the parable. They reward these “preachers” for teaching the word, and in return these “preachers” keep preaching to get more checks.

Consequently, the whole lot become unrighteous stewards, especially as Jesus never meant for his church assembly to be a 501c3 corporation nor for it to run on money.

THE GIFT OF GIVING

Before you give make sure you take care of your family first. Then whatever you purpose in your heart to donate, do so 1) to those in your extended family or household who are in need, and 2) to those outside your family who are poor, needy, or struggling, Christians firstly and others next. See The Family is God’s Plan.

“But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, whatever I have that would help you has been given to God, he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” Matthew 15:5,6

“But if someone doesn’t provide for their own family, and especially for a member of their household, they have denied the faith. They are worse than those who have no faith.” 1 Tim 5:8

“Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?” Isaiah 58:7

” ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ ” Matthew 25: 37-40

“…let him labour, working with [his] hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” Eph. 4:28

That’s how God blessed the latter days of Job.  He multiplied – through Job’s hard work – the money his brothers, sisters, and friends gifted him in order to afford him a fresh new start.

“Then came there unto him all his brothers, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning…” Job 42:11,12

In other words, give to those you personally know and to those God puts in your path. If everyone did that, the world would be a better place.

GIVING ABOVE AND BEYOND

You’ll find that even after doing all of the above, the cacophony of those vying for your money is still unmistakably loud:

a) the local church; see Ministry Money and the Tithe Lie

b) other ministries and secular charities.

When it comes to giving above and beyond what is required (especially if you have plenty to spare), let Jesus Himself tone down the noise.

“Jesus said unto him, If you will be perfect, go and sell all that you have, and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven: then come and follow me.” Matthew 19:21

First, let’s make it clear that what Jesus told that man was for that man. He told him to sell everything and give it all away. As for you, you must listen to what Jesus has to tell you. The scope of His order for you might be quite different. And how do you hear Him? He tugs your heart gently and repeatedly until His will permeates your spirit – that is if you’re truly open to hearing Him.

Second, when Jesus told the man to give all his money to the poor, He didn’t demand that the money be given to “His ministry” or “His organization”. He told the man to personally go and distribute it.

The idea is to bless others one on one. Again, that way they can see Jesus working through you as it is an occasion to share the love of Christ – not to shove it down their throats.

“Let your gentleness be evident to all.” Philippians 4:5

Crying Boy

Crying Boy

However, for a tiny minority it might be logistically difficult to personally give away a large amount of money to a lot of different individuals. Still, nothing is impossible, and you’ll never know until you try.

Some alternative solutions might be to start your own foundation/ministry, or to give in-kind contributions instead of cash to existing ministries/organizations that cater to the needy.

In these instances, ministries that cater to the needy can 1) incorporate to help raise money and legally protect themselves, and 2) hire employees or contractors, if Christian volunteers cannot be found. See Understanding the Duties of Ministry.

However, if you feel strongly inclined to financially help one or various of those outside organizations or ministries, make sure you (or your accountant) personally examine how they’re handling (or mishandling) their finances, as well as keeping in mind that many of them are just fronts for unscrupulous individuals to draw hefty salaries. Again Please See Understanding the Duties of Ministry.

CONCLUSION

In God’s Kingdom on earth we Christians don’t give to get back. We give freely just the way God gives because we want to emulate Him.

“Remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “Acts 20:35

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

Therefore, God doesn’t bless us because of what we give or do.

“When you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have done only that which was our duty to do.'” Luke 17:10

He blesses us because of who He is.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” Psalm 23:1

Gifted money should almost always go to those who are in need, whether they’re in want for food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, bible, etc.

Consequently, follow the lead of the Holy Spirit and apply due diligence. In the end, you have to make the call.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
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The Biblical Marriage Blueprint

Heavenly Father knows best.
C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

Marriage is so important that God uses it to describe His own love and affection for the world.

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” Rev 19: 7

It is also the only institution God cares about.

“The only institution which God loves.” Malachi 2:11

Furthermore, God hates divorce: See Of Fornication, Divorce and Adultery

” ‘For I hate divorce,’ says the LORD.” Malachi 2:16

Therefore since marriage is so important, wouldn’t it make sense that God would establish a commandment and a blueprint on how to go about getting married?

Of course.

Find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters.” Jeremiah 29:6

Find wives for your sons… is God’s commandment. People in the modern Western world don’t like to hear that proposition, even though it is a system that used to be the norm once upon a time, and is still in vogue today in many other cultures.

But let’s believe God anyway and follow His trail or blueprint.

HOW GOD THE FATHER FOUND BRIDES FOR HIS 2 SONS

God the father had 2 sons: Adam (Luke 3:38) and Jesus. How did He get them wives?

He made one for Adam, someone who would be helpful to him.

“Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.'” Gen 2:18

The Spiritual Bride of Christ is composed of all believers. And who gave those believers to Jesus? His Father.

“While I was with them, I kept them in your name, those you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” John 17:12

But how does Jesus get helped in such a situation?

“So that He might present the assembly to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Eph. 5: 27

Therefore, as Christ’s betrothed, our selfless and spotless conduct here on earth helps glorify our spiritual husband.

HOW ABRAHAM THE FATHER OF FAITH FOUND A WIFE FOR HIS SON

“He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, ‘Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.’” Genesis 24: 2-4

This is quite interesting.

Abraham couldn’t go himself, given that he was well advanced in age and incapable of making the trip. Now the obvious question should be, why didn’t he send his son Isaac to get himself a wife? Why Eliezer, the senior servant? (Let’s keep in mind that in those days senior really meant senior and elder really meant elder.)

The answer is simple.

An older man is usually wiser and more temperate, whereas a younger man who is personally looking for a wife, more often than not, gets caught into various traps: the female’s outer beauty above all else, pernicious fathers-in-law, raging hormones, family quarrel, etc.

And the main reason younger men usually fall into those traps is because they’re not as wise and experienced as older men. Plus the fact that they are emotionally invested does not help matters – they can’t really think straight. Ask Jacob, Moses, David, or Solomon.

All these men found themselves entangled in major complications once they chose wives for themselves. Usually such ramifications have a way of destroying marriages, individuals, families, or a combination thereof.

Notice also how Eliezer had to go to a place where Abraham knew the people. You don’t just pick a stranger out of the blues to marry your son, especially one with ungodly customs. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Once there Eliezer found Rebekah. Beside the obvious fact that she was not a Canaanite (i.e., she was not worshiping false gods, which all Canaanites did at the time), she had something only an older and wiser man would recognize.

Rebekah and Eliezer at the well

Rebekah displays kindness to Eliezer.

Here’s what Eliezer prayed for.

“When I came to the spring today, I said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come. See, I am standing beside this spring. If a young woman comes out to draw water and I say to her, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your jar,’ and if she says to me, ‘Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too,’ let her be the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’ ” Genesis 24: 42-44

He didn’t pray for some magic trick or enchantment to materialize. He prayed for someone who’d be kind and helpful. He knew that to find Isaac a wife was to find him a helpmate.

Now contrast this with how swank Jacob got tangled up.

“While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherd. When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of his uncle Laban, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud.” Genesis 29: 9-11

Typical single man’s behavior, is it not? Spot a beautiful girl, get smitten, woe her by acting all chivalrous, kiss her, go home, and cry until your parents are forced to accept the one you chose.

But if an older man had gone instead of Jacob, he would have picked kind and helpful Leah, and not beautifully curvy and wily Rachel.

“Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.” Genesis 29:17

Leah was the one who was right for Jacob, but Jacob couldn’t see it. God chose Jacob and Leah’s offspring, Judah, to be the great-great-granddaddy of our Savior Jesus, who with his life showed us kindness and mercy. Rachel and her strange idols almost got herself and Jacob killed. God was the one who intervened by warning Laban the Aramean in a dream (Gen 31:24).

“Jacob answered Laban, ‘I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force. But if you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it.’ Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.” Gen 31:31-32

After the right girl is found, what then is the next step?

Her father must be in agreement because it takes a man to know another man. In this instance, Bethuel is Rebekah’s father. And the two most important things a girl’s father wants to know are 1) if the groom is a godly man, and 2) how his daughter and soon-to-be-born grandchildren will be taken care of.

Here’s how Eliezer in his wisdom framed the prospective groom before he was even asked. He wrapped him under the only covering that mattered: Isaac’s father and authority, Abraham, the guarantor of the proposal who could not be present.

The Lord has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.” Genesis 24:35

“I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham...” Genesis 24: 48

Once these main concerns are alleviated, the girl’s father can either accept or reject the proposal.

“Laban and Bethuel answered, ‘This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.’” Genesis 24: 50-51

Now that the girl’s father is in agreement, the girl is asked for her consent.

So they called Rebekah and asked her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ ‘I will go,’ she said.” Genesis 24: 58

Notice how Laban, Rebekah’s brother, was also involved in the decision-making process. A brother is next in line in case dad is deceased, incapacitated, or too old to see straight.

But also contrast how that same Laban later on would play Jacob like a fiddle, when his green-behind-the-ears nephew showed up on his own for his particular proposal regarding Rachel. Laban tricked him into marrying both his daughters, and in the process squeezed 14 years of free labor out of the poor sod. See Can a Man have Many Wives?

That’s what “love at first sight” and “raging hormones” get you – a lesson loaded with complications you never forget. Life is not a feel-good romantic movie. There are rules, young man.

THE PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE AND TODAY’S REALITY

Marriage is God and mankind (man and woman) working together to fill the earth with godly people.

“Did He not make them one… and why one? That He might seek a godly offspring.” Malachi 2:15

Happy MarriageIt is the foundation upon which children are to be raised. God would not even allow His own Son to be brought up outside its protective walls.

“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.'” Matthew 1:20

In the modern western world marriage has been so romanticized that it has lost its primary purpose. In fact, it has become a maudlin project where one seeks to fall in love with a so-called soul mate. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as “the one”.

Marriage was always meant to be the union of man and woman for the purpose of procreation (i.e., marriage is about making babies). But for procreation to materialize many things must first align, including the right spouse and the appropriate financial conditions. Once these things are in place, marriage can happen with babies immediately following.

“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them…” Psalm 127:4,5

However, many married couples today wait years and years before they have children. It seems that as a society we have completely sidestepped the fact that woman was created to be a nurturer, and if that void is not filled she will fall into either depression or unhappiness, which could then lead to marital problems and subsequently to divorce.

It is estimated that over 50% of couples who get married end up divorcing, a sad indictment against the romantics.

If romantic love were a true marital anchor, then divorce would not occur. The premarital “love” that is often experienced is either an emotional attachment or an intense sexual attraction, and in many cases a deluded obsession. Such a “feeling” is not a prerequisite to get married.  When the purpose of marriage is properly understood, those who decide to marry realize that their goal is to start a family that soon will involve children.  As for the emotional attachment that is mistaken for love, it’ll surely grow over time. Love is neither a feeling nor a shallow emotional connection or attraction. To love is to do what is right even when it doesn’t feel good. See The Heart Adjustment.

Without a good financial foundation, the true purpose of marriage will fall into disarray. Even a cursory study would show that most marriages today cannot afford many children as once was the norm.

As a matter of fact, a great number of them cannot even afford two or three children. Others refuse to even consider the possibility of any child whatsoever.

Many women wait until their biological clocks almost run out before having children. A costly mistake that takes a toll on their bodies and often on the newborns themselves.

When Mary, the mother of Jesus, was impregnated by the Holy Spirit, she was about fifteen years old. And the man she ended up marrying, Joseph, was anywhere between forty and fifty. The reasoning in those days was that a woman in her teens was a fertile ground for children, while a man of Joseph’s age was mature and financially stable.

The next time a sixteen-year old boy comes to date your fifteen-year old daughter, just ask yourself (or them) these questions:

– What does he really want from my daughter?

– What does my daughter really want from him?

The answers to these questions will make you realize that neither can give the other what each truly wants. She desires marriage and children while he most likely wants to satisfy his urges, something he could forcibly or easily steal from her, which in turn would leave her miserable and wounded. At least, that’s what happens in the majority of these cases. After all, a sixteen-year old boy is not ready for marriage. He would say so himself. However, ask any fifteen-year old girl if she’s ready for marriage, and her honest answer would unequivocally be, “Yes”.

Marriage entails personal and financial sacrifices that many today – whether young or old – are neither willing nor are prepared to make. See The Family is God’s Plan.

THE BIBLICAL MARRIAGE BLUEPRINT IN A NUTSHELL

Or How To Find A Wife For Your Son

1. What only matters in the Groom.

That he is a reputable, godly, and hard-working man from a good family, with the means to provide for his household.

“But if someone doesn’t provide for their own family…They are worse than those who have no faith.” 1 Tim 5:8

“Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5:28

“Urge the young men to be sensible; in all things be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say.” Titus 2:6-8

2. What only matters in the Bride.

That she is a reputable, godly, and kind woman from a good family, with a sincere inclination to help her husband. See Of Nagging Women and Angry Men

“As the assembly submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:24

“Wives, respect and obey your husbands…” 1 Peter 3: 1

“Encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, homemakers, kind, obedient to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” Titus 2:4,5

“Your adornment must not be merely external– braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands.” 1 Peter 3: 3-5

Proverbs 31: 10-31

3. Fathers of the Groom and Bride are heavily involved.

The children’s participation are not necessarily excluded. Fathers are the ones who stand at the forefront in order to protect their children’s interests. They are their kids’ marital agents.

The last major duty of a father is to make sure that the children God entrusted him with are married to spouses God approves of. One of the ways children honor their parents is by allowing them to fulfill that duty, and in so doing recognizing their God-given authority and all the years of sacrifice they went through to get them to that point.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1

4. Paternal blessings on both sides are primordial.

They are the only blessings that matter. They are to be heartfelt, not coerced or manipulated.

The state has nothing to say. Religious “leaders” have nothing to say. These two entities have usurped some of the God-given parental authority concerning the marriage process.

In fact, the entire marriage “ceremony” is just rehearsed theater. Neither a government permission nor a “church service” and/or counseling is needed to create a biblical union, especially as there is no verse in the bible that bestows on a “preacher” or a judge the right to perform said ceremony. The head of every man – in this instance every father – is Christ alone and not a preacher/church nor any local/state/federal official.

“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” 1 Cor 11:3

Fathers are the ones whom God appointed as His representatives to oversee, authorize, and perform the entire process (with elder brothers next in line). So go ahead fathers, YOU marry your children. Then throw a party if you wish.

“And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.” Gen 29:22

5. The conjugal night.

The couple’s first sexual encounter, which leads to the woman’s hymen getting pierced, is the final act of the process and the true seal of the biblical marriage covenant. See Sex and the Christian.

CONCLUSION

Biblical Marriage is a covenant by which two families consent to have their offspring, one male and one female, joined together as one for the purpose of making children.

“And why one? That He might seek a godly offspring.” Malachi 2:15

It is the only institution which God loves, and for which He established a certain process.

“The only institution which God loves.” Malachi 2:11

Obviously there will be those rare situations where such a systematic routine will be impossible to enforce in whole or in part. In those instances that deviate from established biblical norms, it’s up to every Christian to listen to the voice of His Lord. After all, each individual will give an account of himself to God.

“Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” Romans 14:12

That’s why the Holy Spirit has been given to us. He’s the Helper who guides each and everyone into all truths. Let Him help.

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears…” John 16:13

Note in the margin: In today’s world we think that either a marriage “license” or a legally-binding contract should not be discounted, given that either one can protect the parties involved. However, neither should be understood as a state-granted permission, but only as an agreed-upon article of fact that is registered through a third party for the protection of all. It may not necessarily be a biblical marriage mandate, but it may very well be inspired wisdom that falls under the purview of parental rights for the protection of their offspring. Your call.

ADDENDUM

DATING TRAPS

Dating causes your emotions to get all wrapped up in a person who may not be right for you; and even when you know they’re not right, time and/or desperation often cause you to become addicted to them.

Worse still, many give away their sexuality, some their virginity, only to get nothing positive in return. After desires are satiated and contempt is brought on by familiarity, they break up. Then the painful withdrawal process tees off as tangled emotions ferociously and pitilessly unravel – a needless situation that could have easily been avoided.

In addition, people put their best faces forward when dating; so if marriage materializes you have to get to know them all over again, because it seems you don’t recognize them.

When looking for a spouse keep these 3 succinct points in mind.

1. Don’t consider divorcés/divorcées (unless it’s a divorcé who divorced his wife because of her fornication). It’s not only a sin, but  a commonsensical point as well (i.e., if he/she divorced once, he/she could divorce again). There are plenty of fish in the sea, so look for those with no baggage.

2. Guys, don’t get involved with women who have kids, they’re usually looking for a financial anchor. These women will always put their kids ahead of you, and you will never be their kids’ fathers. Besides, why do some other guy’s job for him? Again, there are plenty of fish in the sea, so ignore the Hollywood propaganda that depicts stepfathers trying to surpass their stepkids’ real fathers by proving how much better they can be to them. It’s all bull biscuit geared toward social reengineering.

And you ladies with kids, if you find yourselves separated from your kids’ fathers, do not bring other men into the picture, as they will likely butt heads with your sons, possibly eye your daughters, and even take you for a ride financially – once more, pay no heed to the Hollywood propaganda. However, single non-divorced women can consider widowers with kids, since women have a maternal instinct that can be transferred to kids not their own, as opposed to men trying to do the same as stepfathers. Fathers are a whole different ball of wax. The bible tells us so.

“The glory of children is their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6

3. There’s no such thing as “the one”. The purpose of marriage is to start a family that soon will involve children (i.e., marriage is about making babies). So the only query that matters is this: Is he/she father/mother material from a respectable family?

Then, instead of dating, follow God’s blueprint.

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Has God planned BIG Things for our lives?

C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

Many Christians love to say that they expect God to do BIG things in their lives.

What is a BIG thing?

God creates AdamHopefully that BIG thing they talk about is considered with all humility. Even God’s tiniest and smallest creations are BIG. Take the elementary particle and the ant, for example.

The elementary or fundamental particle is so small that not even scientists can figure out if it is composed of other particles. Yet the building block of natural life revolves around this bad boy.

The ant is so small that all of us find it a nuisance to be swept away with a blast of bug spray. And yet God singled it out because it is a hard worker that gathers and saves.

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” Proverbs 6:6

Even God’s most miniscule creations are BIG. They may not be noticeable or they may be a nuisance, but in the giant cog of life they all matter.

However, we suspect that when most Christians talk about God doing BIG things in their lives, they’re really talking about vain expectations like fame, popularity, riches, glory, etc.

Some want to be on TV because they say they want to reach millions of souls for Christ. Others want to become millionaires by signing book/movie/record deals. And the list of this vanity goes on and on.

“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” Eccl 5:10

It may be that some of you will get to reach only 1 or 10 or 20 or 100 souls; or that you’ll end up writing just a simple blog, producing a free video for web consumption, or singing in a small assembly.

What’s wrong with that kind of scope? Nothing.

If you make it BIG and manage to keep the vanity out of your hearts, then there’s nothing wrong with that either. Whether one or the other they’re both BIG. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Here are some thoughts and verses for those who are caught in the grip of this “BIG” vanity.

1. No work is shameful

Life is a winding road, and navigating it prosperously is not meant to be easy. That’s why no success comes overnight and nor does it ever materialize on a straight line, which means you might have to do a lot of things you don’t like first before maybe do what you like.

Mike Rowe said it best, “Dream jobs are usually just that – dreams. But their imaginary existence just might keep you from exploring careers that offer a legitimate chance to perform meaningful work.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” Eccl 9:10

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” Proverbs 6:6

2. Be content

Whether financially or relationally be content of your situation. Grumbling and complaining indubitably create conflicts and engender more headaches than you can anticipate.

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phil 4: 11-13

3. Don’t be seduced by the world

Work hard and provide for your family, but do not let the accumulation of useless things you deem needful take hold of you.

“For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:16

The simpler the life, the better.

“A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.” Proverbs 13:7

4. Keep your plan in perspective

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.” Hebrews 11:13

That verse does not imply that your plan won’t happen in your lifetime, and it does not mean it will either. It may also mean that your children will carry it through.

“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? ‘ ” 2 Samuel 7:1

David’s son Jesus is the One who built the Temple. And the Temple Jesus built is a totally different temple than what David had in mind. Still, it is a Temple.

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” 1 Cor 3:16

Your plan is between you and God, and only God can impart to you whether it will come true in your lifetime or not. Many times God has to perform a Heart Adjustment before fulfilling it.

Conclusion

What many of you are currently doing may not be glamorous or even noticeable. But is it important?

Yes, it is.

Don’t ever let anyone bring you down because of what you do, or what you were supposed to be doing. The most important and valuable thing is that you are a child of the King of Kings.

That’s the only BIG thing that matters.

Everything else is vanity.

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” Eccl 1:2

Therefore, be wise.

“Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and turmoil with it.” Proverbs 15:16

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Sex and the Christian

C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

Gustav Klimt - The KissFrom the very beginning God intended sex to be special.

It is connected to marriage and must only happen within its confines. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Ephesians 5:31

But man in his rebellious streak seems intent on using it his own way.

SEX: GOD’S WAY

Sex is God’s idea. He has his reasons for it.

1. It is a spiritual act above all else.

“Now Adam knew Eve his wife.” Genesis 4:1

It is the act of knowing. The Hebrew word is Yada. It is used in a great variety of senses: observation, care, recognition, instruction, designation, punishment, acknowledgement, and myriad others. It thus encompasses the whole being.

Man gets to know his Bride by creating a bond. A bond that truly binds. A bond that is the fusion of man and woman. In other words, woman is reattached to man from whom she was taken.

“The rib which the Lord God had taken out of man, He made into a woman.” Genesis 2:22

Thus man becomes aligned with another part of himself.

“She is your companion and your wife by covenant.” Malachi 2:14

When a man knows his wife, it is a covenantal act. As with all covenants blood is involved. Blood is spilled when the woman’s hymen is pierced.

That blood-drenched punctured hymen is the true seal of the marriage covenant. God crafted the hymen for that very purpose, otherwise there would be no need for it.

If the union between man and woman is severed, one’s own Body is severed. And God is not well pleased. See Of Fornication, Divorce and Adultery

” ‘For I hate divorce,’ says the LORD.” Malachi 2:16

That very union is:

“The only institution which God loves.” Malachi 2:11

The union of man and woman is at the very center of God’s plan for humanity. It is an institution that points to the Lord Jesus Himself and to the New Covenant in His blood, when His body was pierced on the cross.

The church assembly is not a man-made religious institution. It is the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ. Jesus and His Saints form a spiritual institution which God loves. They are fused together as one through the fire of the Holy Spirit. That’s why He will never leave nor forsake His spiritual bride (Deut 31:6).

2. It is for procreation.

The reason sex is a spiritual act is because its primary purpose within the marriage covenant is to produce children.

“Now Adam knew his wife and she conceived and bore Cain.” Genesis 4:1

Man and woman become one because God is working together with them to replenish the earth with godly people.

“And why one? That He might seek a godly offspring.” Malachi 2:15

Without godliness the world would be intolerable.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13

Godliness is the only hope mankind has to restore balance in a topsy-turvy world. Godly people must produce godly offspring.

3. It is for man and wife to find pleasure in each other.

When a husband and his wife find pleasure in each other, opportunities for fight and quarrel become scarce, thereby creating a stable environment for child-rearing. See Of Nagging Women and Angry Men.

“You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.” Song of Solomon 4:12

“Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love.” Proverbs 5: 18,19

Pleasure is part of knowing one’s spouse; therefore, withholding pleasure is not an act of love.

“Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 1 Cor 7:5

SEX: MAN’S PERVERSION

Sex feels good because God is quite intent on having men and their wives produce children. Therefore He made sex a pleasurable experience, His way of encouraging them to copulate.

However, mankind has perverted the entire sex paradigm.

They fornicate outside the marriage parameter only to experience the selfish pleasure of it. They further debase it by having same-sex partners gratifying  each other, thus moving even further away from producing children. And finally they bend sexuality itself by morphing men into women and women into men or transgenderism.

The whole idea of this systematic perversion is to spit on God and His plan for humanity. By bastardizing sexuality, God’s enemies hope to thwart God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 9:7). In addition, by debasing it with homosexuality and transgenderism, they mean to say, “Hey God, you don’t know what you’re doing. We can find greater pleasure outside your commands.”

“For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:26-27

What they fail to realize is that man is not god, and therefore cannot make his own rules. In the end, those who break God’s commands will pay dearly for it. See The Consequences of Sin.

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5: 19-21

Venery needs the curb and not the spur. Immoral, unnatural, and inordinate sexual desires are to be turned off and conquered. In other words, sin can be overcome.

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” Col 3: 5,6

CONCLUSION

Sex is one of God’s ways of blessing man and woman. In turn, man and woman become a blessing to the world through their offspring. See The Family is God’s Plan.

“Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.” Psalm 127:3

Everything in God’s creation has been perverted by sinful man, sex included. Therefore it is our duty as Christians to make sure that all under heaven is brought back to godly alignment, especially in our own lives as an example to all.

ADDENDUM

Preemptive Question and Answer

The following question will certainly arise: what of the covenantal blood of a non-virgin, non-divorced woman who wishes to marry?

The answer is simple.

The man she hopes to marry can either forgive her and allow Christ’s blood to cover and replace hers, or he could opt to marry a virgin. Ultimately the decision is his, not ours to make.

We are only drafting what God intended when He designed sex within the marriage covenant. In situations that deviate from established biblical norms it’s up to every Christian to listen to the voice of His Lord.

After all, each individual will give an account to God for his actions and words. That’s why the Holy Spirit has been given to us. He’s the Helper who guides each and everyone into all truths. Let him help.

“Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” Romans 14:12

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