When Bad Things Happen

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

By Biblicism Institute

“When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?” Amos 3: 6

When bad things happen, it is because the Lord purposed it.

“And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that Job has is in your hand…'” Job 1:11

In effect, God handed Job over to Satan. As a result, disaster struck his house.

“…another also came and said, ‘Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you.’ ” Job 1: 18, 19

“Then Satan… smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head…” Job 2: 7

THE HANDING OVER

God doesn’t hand anyone over to the dark forces unless such a one has sinned. And all of us have sinned, so we’re all fair game.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Romans 3: 23

“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51: 5

Many will say that Job was a righteous man and always made sure his sins and the sins of his family were covered.

“When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, ‘Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ This was Job’s regular custom.” Job 1: 5

Job's children killed by Satan

Job’s children killed by Satan.

Were Job’s children sinning? Of course. So why the use of Perhaps? It was Job thinking, fooling himself, like many parents do today.

So even though the bible doesn’t openly reveal it, deep down Job knew about the unrighteous ways of his children. Parents always know.

Otherwise, what was that obsession or custom Job had in offering a burnt sacrifice for each of them?

It’s also no surprise God allowed them all to be killed.

They were most likely spoiled beyond redemption, with hearts lifted up, souls that ignored their Maker (hence Job offering sacrifices for them instead of them for themselves), and a lifestyle that welcomed excess – causal effects of their father’s unfathomable success, not unlike the sons of the prophet Eli.

“His (Job’s) sons used to hold feasts in their homes…” Job 1:4

“Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God…” Deuteronomy 8: 11 – 14

“Now the sons of Eli were corrupt and did not know the Lord… the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.” 1 Samuel 2:12, 4:11

Job might have been “blameless and upright” (Job 1:1), but he was also sinning in a way only God could see.

“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

He was conceited and arrogant, a sin that finally surfaced during the handing over.

“Know then that God has wronged me…” Job 19: 6

Really? God wronged Job?

At that point, Job had lost sight of the fact that none of us is righteous on our own. Therefore we cannot be wronged by God. Our righteousness solely comes from God’s election of us as His children, and as such only said choice causes us to become righteous.

When we become Christians, we become righteous through Jesus’s doing, hence neither righteous nor good in our own right.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5: 21

Even when we follow His commandments, we are not following our will but His, and therefore whatever good deed we end up doing becomes His since it was set in motion by His law.

“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

So, to set Job the Aramean straight, in addition to handing him over to Satan, God sent a Buzite fellow, a non-Hebrew like Job, purposely named Elihu or “my God is He” – shade of Jesus – to point out Job’s flaw to him.

“Elihu’s wrath aroused because Job justified himself rather than God…” Job 32: 2

Elihu realized there was more than a hint of vanity in Job’s life.

“In this you are not righteous… for God is greater than man.” Job 33:12

Prosperity and success had caused Job to become prideful and self-righteous.

“He was the greatest of all the men of the east.” Job 1: 3

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16: 18

Job had become so full of himself that he thought he was on par with God, a Prince who could approach the Almighty on an equal footing.

“Behold, here is my signature; Let the Almighty answer me! And the indictment which my adversary has written, Surely I would carry it on my shoulder, I would bind it to myself like a crown. I would declare to Him the number of my steps; Like a prince I would approach Him.” Job 31: 35-37

He injected the poison of his conceit and self-righteousness in what was his true righteousness, the righteousness of God.

God appears to Job

God appears to Job.

But when Jehovah appeared to him, the Glory and Holiness of the Almighty made Job realize how small, insignificant, and wretched he really was.

“My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 45: 5,6

As sin takes control of us, it spoils the righteousness we have been handed. It’s the fly in the ointment, the leaven in the lump.

“Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment…” Ecclesiastes 10: 1

“A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” Galatians 5: 9

Even the Apostle Paul experienced the handing over. But in Paul’s case it was a preemptive strike.

“In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” 2 Corinthians 12: 7

That is why Paul was so strict with Christians of his time. He knew sin needed to be dealt with. And many times the only way to deal with it is for the sinner to be handed over to the dark forces.

“I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 5:5

THE PURPOSE

When we sin, we basically tell God He’s not our Father.

Consequently, our sinful actions identify us as belonging to a different household, that of the dark forces. So, like the father of the prodigal son, God says, “You want it, you got it.”

Job and his wife

“Why don’t you curse God and die?” Job 2:9 Job’s wife curses him.

The handing over may seem harsh, but it is to help us get rid of sin, thus making us perfect.

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5: 48

To be perfect is to rule over sin. And how do we do that?

1) Constantly judge ourselves and recognize our sins.

“But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged by God in this way.” 1 Corinthians 11: 31

2) Wholeheartedly repent to God and other offended parties (not to a “catholic priest”). The prodigal son sinned against God and against his father, so he repented accordingly.

“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'” Luke 15: 21

3) Follow God’s commandments.

“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.” John 14: 21

Unfortunately, sin is quite insidious. It is a disease that’s always at the door, always at the ready to entrap.

“But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4: 7

It sometimes hides itself so deep within our hearts that, like Job, we don’t even realize we’re neck-deep in it.

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17: 9

So God many times resorts to the handing over in order to remove it.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1: 2-3

The handing over is a mark of God’s love. He orchestrates it to help those who will learn from it turn their lives around for His glory.

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” Hebrews 12: 7

CONCLUSION

Bad things don’t happen to good people.

“There is no one righteous, not even one.” Romans 3: 10

Bad things happen to sinners, all of us. But in their wake, if we truly repent, we let go of our unrighteousness or self-righteousness and become the righteousness of God.

“But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? May it never be!” Romans 3: 5,6

Once we learn our lesson, and when we’re ready for it, God hands us the pot at the end of the rainbow, containing only the blessings we can handle.

“Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.” Job 42: 12

It would do us no good for God to bestow upon us all the blessings in the world and in the process lose our soul.

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Matthew 16: 26

ADDENDUM: PREEMPTIVE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

The following questions will surely pop up.

1. Does this mean when someone is killed during an accident or a catastrophe that person was beyond redemption?

The answer is Yes and No.

“I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked…” Ezekiel 21: 4

Yes, it could be. And No, it could also be this:

“No one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.” Isaiah 57: 1

When the righteous are taken away in such a fashion, it simply means that God was done with them, that their mission was accomplished, and that God no longer wanted them to endure the evil in this world. But in the case of Job’s children, it is quite doubtful that they were righteous.

So how can one know which is which?

No one can, except God. He purposely made it thus so there would be no formula to figure Him out.

“God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.” Ecclesiastes 7:14

It’s one of the reasons those who preach church tithing are sinning, because what they’re saying is that tithing is the guaranteed formula to be financially blessed by God. In the end, even Job wasn’t blessed because he tithed. He didn’t tithe. He was blessed because God chose to bless him. And today God acts no differently, especially as the New Covenant changes everything. See Ministry Money and the Tithe Lie.

Even when we’re doing all that God wants us to do, there’s no telling what will transpire in our lives.

“For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:17

True faith is the understanding that God does whatever He wants, whenever He wants, however He wants.

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” Romans 9: 15

2. Why does the bible mention the righteous if none is righteous?

When God mentions the righteous, it is to be grasped as those who understand that their righteousness is of God and not of themselves.

Even in Job’s case God knew He could turn Job around, and that in the end he would become the righteousness of God. That’s why He told Satan not to take his life.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” Job 2: 6

3. Who created the Devil and why does God use him?

God created the Devil and his demons. God uses them to bring about His ultimate plan and purpose, which is to challenge man’s free will and put through the fire unbelievers, atheists, and Christians alike in order to test their zeal for either the truth of God and Jesus whom He sent or the lies of the evil one and his minions.

4. Doesn’t God violate His own commandment of “Thou shall NOT kill”?

What kind of a stupid question is that? 🙂

That commandment is for us who are the Thou or YOU. He didn’t say You and I shall not kill. He said “YOU shall not kill”. Period. Many have a bad habit of either taking bible verses out of context or adding to God’s word.

From the very beginning God told us we would die if we ate of the forbidden fruit. See The Consequences of Sin.

“…for when you eat from it you will certainly die…” Genesis 2: 17

Man saw fit to disobey and chose death. No need to spin it otherwise. And whether we die of old age or in an accident or by any other means before old age is irrelevant. Death is death.

The “inconvenient” means and timing of our demise don’t make death any less a result of our wrongful choice. So don’t be like Job and say God wronged you by not following the Thou Shall NOT Kill command.

We will all die or be killed someday, it’s just a matter of time. Our death – whether we see it as God “killing” us or not, same difference – and its timing thereof are dictated by the Almighty who uses whatever method and schedule He sees fit to bring about our demise, a consequence of our sinful nature.

We were never given any assurance that we would live beyond the instant we emerged out of our mothers’ wombs. From the moment we came into the world, a death appointment has been scheduled. So every day is a gift. Count your blessings.

“For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.” Philippians 2: 13

Some point to the various killings in the Old Testament to somehow “prove” that God always had a blood lust, and that He often commanded the ancient Hebrews to kill in wars.

What they don’t understand is that the Hebrews then were an extension of God’s army on earth. God used them to remove the wicked from the face of the earth. So when they killed on God’s order in specific and directed circumstances – which cannot be transferred to today’s circumstances –  it was God’s doing, not theirs.

“The LORD your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you…” Deuteronomy 20:4

But, as the prophet Zechariah prophesied, with the advent of Christ everything would change.

” ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6

Now it’s no longer by the might of the sword nor by the power of one’s army, but by the Spirit of Christ that things truly change for the better.

“The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:20

Ever since Jesus’s birth, death, and resurrection the world has not been the same.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5: 17

Those who really know God understand how He operated then and how He operates now, just the way Jesus understood and did not fear those who can kill the body.

“Pilate said to Him, ‘You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?’ Jesus answered, ‘You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above.’ ” John 19: 10-11

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10: 28

The only ones who utter such nonsense about the 6th commandment are those who hate God and fail to see that physical death is nothing compared to the eternal death of the soul in hell.

Such a harmful disposition prompts them to spit on the Father’s authority to do as He purposes, and to ignore Jesus’s sacrifice which was offered for the renewal of the world through peace and for the salvation of man’s soul through the New Covenant in His blood.

“But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.” Proverbs 8: 36

Consequently, remember this:

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” Ecclesiastes 12: 13

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Jesus and the Sword

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

By Biblicism Institute

Many are under the impression that Jesus Christ was a promoter of violence.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reason they think so is because of certain passages in the bible, which they either misunderstand or take out of context.

Sword # 1

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to this land. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law–a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ ” Matthew 10: 34-36

Jesus mocked by the soldiers

Mocking Jesus

The sword Jesus was talking about in those verses was not a physical sword to wage war willy-nilly. That sword was to be the conflict within the Hebrew house over who Jesus was. That’s why immediately after, Jesus said this:

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10: 37

When a household is divided over who Jesus Christ is, it is a household that cannot stand.

“If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Mark 3: 25

Further, Jesus (or God) had a contract with the Hebrews. They were supposed to love Him and follow His commandments, which they never did.

However, there was a stipulation in the contract in Deuteronomy 28:

15 “But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you:

25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated by your enemies…Your corpses will be food for all the scavenging birds and wild animals, and no one will be there to chase them away.”

So when Jesus brought up the subject of the sword, He was also telling the Hebrews that the curses of the contract were about to fall on them, because by rejecting Him and refusing to listen to Him they were not fulfilling their end of the bargain.

The curses did fall on them as God allowed Satan, their father, to unleash his war upon them using the Roman Army in 70 AD.

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning…” John 8:44

In that sense God “brought the sword” in that specific situation, which was covered under biblical laws and contractual obligations of the Old Covenant. He therefore removed His protection and allowed them all to be killed – all  who had rejected and crucified Him.

“For those blessed by Him will inherit the land, But those cursed by Him will be cut off.” Psalm 37:22

Consequently, the Hebrew house did not survive.

“Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!” Matthew 23:38

That desolation was the Apocalypse of AD 70 by the Roman Army that saw the end of the Old Covenant and the total annihilation of the Hebrew race – except for those who became Christians and fled beforehand.

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city.” Luke 21: 20,21

Sword # 2

The following verses are strangely used to promote gun ownership, violence, and even war:

“And He said to them, ‘But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one…’ They said, ‘Lord, look, here are two swords.’ And He said to them, ‘It is enough.’ ” Luke 22: 36, 38

Obviously, those who misunderstand those verses would also misunderstand the modern expression “batten down the hatches”, which means “prepare for a difficult or dangerous situation”. When somebody uses that expression, does someone actually go and literally batten down the hatches? Of course, not.

In the same vein, Jesus was warning the disciples of dangerous times ahead. He wasn’t ordering them to literally go and buy a sword. It was just an expression like “batten down the hatches”.

Betrayal of Jesus

Betrayal of Jesus

Still, when the disciples showed Him the two swords, He said “It is enough” or “It is plenty”.

That answer was Jesus setting up the disciples in order to truly demonstrate how anti-violence He was. As it turned out, when one of the disciples struck the servant of the High Priest with one of the swords, Jesus without flinching commanded them to put the weapons away.

” ‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.’ ” Matthew 26:52

He then helped the one who was struck by miraculously healing his ear, even though the wounded was an enemy who came to arrest Him.

Jesus was God who became flesh, and thus always knew what was about to transpire. He was wont to set things up in order to bring about an event or a discussion.

“He asked them, ‘Who do people say I am?’ ” Mark 8: 27

“Go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin.” Matthew 17: 27

” ‘How do you know me?’ Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, ‘I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ ” John 1: 48

Further, Jesus always spoke in parables. The “sword” metaphor of Luke 22:36 can be compared to the “leaven” metaphor, which the disciples also misunderstood.

“Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, ‘Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.’

“And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ‘Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?’ They said to him, ‘Twelve.’ ‘And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?’ And they said to him, ‘Seven.’

“And he said to them, ‘Do you not yet understand?’ ” Mark 8:14-21

Conclusion

Do you not yet understand that Jesus is anti-violence?

” ‘No more of this!’ And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.” Luke 22:51

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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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The Consequences of Sin

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

By Biblicism Institute

“Sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7

Sin is disobedience to God’s commandments, a cancer that destroys body and soul.

Yet everybody sins. The consequences are many.

1. Death of Body and Soul

Forgiven - Jesus

PaintedChrist.com

In the Garden of Eden, Adam disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit. That simple sin of disobedience caused his soul, or spirit man, to become foul and corrupted, dead to God. From that point on, he was also scheduled to physically die, even though originally God did not intend such a fate for mankind.

“From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2: 16,17

“For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption…” Galatians 6:7

“The soul who sins shall die.” Ezekiel 18:20

2. Separation from God

Sin causes us to be separated from God.

“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

A Holy God wants nothing to do with spoiled, unholy sinners.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Romans 3:23

3. Sickness and Accident

a) Sin worms its way through our body and homes in to destroy it with various sicknesses.

“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

“She does not want to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness…” Revelation 2:21,22

“There is none to uphold your cause, no medicine for your wound, no healing for you.” Jeremiah 30:13

b) Sin causes God to remove His protection from accidents.

“Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse sinners than all the men who live in Jerusalem?” Luke 13:4

4. Lawlessness

Sin causes us to be rebellious workers of iniquities who fight against God’s laws. See Of Legalism and Christians

“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4

“And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ ” Matthew 7:23

“And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against Me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.” Isaiah 66:24

5. Hardship

Sin causes asperity and adversity.

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

“…the years the locusts have eaten…” Joel 2:25

6. Lack of Understanding and Wisdom

Sin clouds our judgment and spoils our understanding.

“…fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7

“Hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” Matthew 13:13

7. Demon Possession

Sin opens the door for demons to dwell in our spirits.

“And someone from the crowd answered him, ‘Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.’ ” Mark 9: 17,18

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”Matthew 12: 43-45

8. Perversion

Sin causes our minds to become rotten; thus our speech and actions reflect perversity such as strife, ungodly talk, crushing of the spirit/soul, greed, and unbelief.

“Who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil, Who spreads strife.” Proverbs 6:14

“A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4

“Jesus answered and said, ‘You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you?’ ” Matthew 17:17

9. Depravation

Sin hatches debased impulses which then produce depravement such as drunkenness, fornication, adultery, and homosexuality, thereby polluting our bodies.

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. 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. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” Romans 1: 26-28

10. Eternal Fire

Sin destines us to Hell and Eternal Fire.

“And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell.” Mark 9:45

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ ” Matthew 25:41

“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46

“They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might…” 2 Thessalonians 1:9

THE SOLUTION

God wishes for no one to perish in the everlasting fire.

“God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:4

We can be saved by receiving Christ in our life. See How to Become a Christian

Forgotten Sin - Jesus

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“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ ” John 14:6

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

When we receive Christ, it is not a license to go on sinning.

“If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Psalm 66:18

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6: 7,8

If anyone thinks himself cunning by accepting Christ and yet refuses to do His will, just keep this verse in mind:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ ” Matthew 7: 21-23

Therefore, we must keep Christ’s commandments in our hearts and apply them to our lives.

“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 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…”John 2: 1-29

TEMPORAL CONSEQUENCES

Though salvation in Christ purges sins from our souls in order to spare us the eternal fire, it does not however relieve us of their temporal or earthly outcomes such as hardship, sickness, and physical death.

We Christians must accept the consequences of our actions, even the aftermath of those that took place prior to becoming saved. In so doing, we deny ourselves and carry our cross for the Lord.

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

For example:

i. if a single non-Christian woman fornicates, ends up pregnant, and then turns to the Lord, she must accept the fact that her condition is a consequence of her action, and therefore must care for the baby and not abort or kill her child. See Of Fornication, Divorce and Adultery

“Children are a heritage from the Lord..” Psalm 127:3

ii. if a murderer turns Christian, he must grasp the severity of his actions. Consequently, when the legal system throws the book at him, he must yield.

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

iii. if a divorcé/divorcée was not a Christian when he/she got divorced, once he/she becomes a Christian, he/she must come to terms with the fact that he/she cannot remarry – unless said divorce occurred because of the wife’s fornication, then the divorcé (not the divorcée) can remarry. Otherwise, he/she will commit adultery. See Of Fornication, Divorce and Adultery

Adam, Eve, and God

God kicks Adam & Eve out of the Garden.

“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

The temporal consequences of sins cannot be avoided – just like Adam and Eve could not avoid being thrown out of the Garden following their disobedience.

However, though they can’t be warded off, the consequences can be overcome.

a) Christians are commanded to endure hardship because in enduring we conquer it.

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all… All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Make every effort to… be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:7,8,12-14

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:35,36

b) Concerning sicknesses, the prayer that heals usually follows a confession of sins. For more details see The Miracle of Healing

“Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” James 5:14-15

c) As for accidents, Christ Himself becomes our protector. Ultimately, as with any other temporal consequence, whatever God decides we must submit to His will.

“He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

“For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:17

d) Lack of wisdom and understanding can be surmounted when we become part of Christ’s family.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” James 1:5

“The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” Psalms 119:130

Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” 2 Timothy 2:15

e) Demon Possession, separation from God, lawlessness, perversion, and depravation are now subdued in Christ.

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils…” Mark 16:17

“If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10

“No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God..” 1 John 3:9

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 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: 16-21

The only consequence that is full proof and cannot be remedied is death, the final end of all men. Our physical bodies will someday die whether we want to or not. It’s the ultimate consequence of our sins. But even in death we Christians have hope.

“…the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel…” 2 Timothy 1:10

The temporal consequences of our sins will catch up with us even after becoming Christians. Nevertheless, our obedience to God’s commands will cause our lives to become new.

“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 we are born again?

“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, our actions as Christians (i.e., following God’s laws) prove our salvation. See Of Legalism and Christians

“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

However, when we as Christians end up sinning because of weaknesses of the flesh, those sins will unfortunately generate more earthly consequences even when we wholeheartedly repent and sincerely ask God for forgiveness, and said forgiveness is granted.

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John: 1,2

“Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.‘ ” John 5:14

Therefore, beware!

ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES

Christianity is the only faith on earth that brings into sharp focus not only the temporal consequences of sin, but the eternal ones as well. That alone should tell the doubters that it is the only true faith.

Why?

Think about it.

Do we teach our children that actions have consequences? Yes. Do we ourselves follow that same rule? Absolutely, we call it accountability – an understanding that is also the foundation of every judicial system on earth. And where do we get that from? God.

As a result, if we can recognize that our actions here in this life have consequences, how much more should we ponder on the consequences of our sins in the next life? After all, we are spiritual beings.

Fortunately, there is a solution that cancels out the eternal consequences of our sins. In fact, it’s the only solution. It is Jesus.

“He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2

Hell's Fire

Hell’s Eternal Fire

With Christ, instead of eternal fire, eternal bliss in the Father’s house awaits.

“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? ” John 14:2

But there are those who say that other religions beside Christianity provide solutions as well.

No, they don’t.

First, they don’t define sin like Christianity does. In the Christian Bible there’s not one sin that is discarded as innocuous. The Word of God zooms in on every single one of them starting from the first sin of disobedience to the very last one of rejecting Jesus the Christ.

Second, for sins to be forgiven there needs to be a propitiation. Sins have consequences and the sinner must pay. In other words, in the spiritual realm as in the physical realm the consequences will not go away. Just like the physical body ultimately dies because of sin, the soul that controls the body must also die.

“The soul who sins shall die.” Ezekiel 18:20

Our sins have to be accounted and atoned for. And that atonement can either be we sinners in the eternal fire or Christ on the cross.

“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

No other faith or religion offers a propitiating solution for the eternal consequences of sin, and most of them do not stress the aftermath for rejecting the watered down solutions they offer. Those flaws are inherent in every religion except Christianity.

Why do you think that is?

Because the satanic forces are master deceivers and the authors of all false doctrines and religions. They want to drag as many people with them as they can when they burn.

Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels…’ ” Matthew 25:41

CONCLUSION

Walk with Jesus

Walk with Him

No other faith or religion takes the consequences of sin as seriously as Christianity.

No other faith provides temporal and eternal solutions.

Only Christianity offers a specific plan of salvation that delivers us from the earthly bondage and the eternal consequences of sin.

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

So if you are not a Christian, don’t delay.

Become one today and experience the Joy of the Lord’s salvation while willingly carrying your cross. See How to Become a Christian

“Cast all your care on Him, because He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7

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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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When Prophecies Echo

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

By Biblicism Institute

When God speaks, His words are alive.

When God speaks, it is prophecy.

When God speaks, it echoes throughout the universe.

Expulsion from the Garden of Eden

Expulsion from the Garden of Eden

THE WORD AND THE SEED

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11

God’s word is like a seed.

A seed does not look like much, yet when it grows it produces a trunk, stems, leaves, flowers and/or fruits with more seeds. Thus the result of planting that one tiny seed becomes the very real multiplication of manifestations.

A seed is impregnated with data God designed. Said data only materialize after the seed is planted and goes through its growth cycles.

In much the same way, when God says something it may appear to be only one simple thing, yet it is coded with data that are not noticeable at first, until it begins to display various manifestations throughout creation.

For instance, from the very beginning God spoke these words in the Garden of Eden:

“The LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.’ ” Genesis 3: 14,15

These prophecies are so loaded with meanings that it’s very difficult to even know where to begin. Let’s try anyway while keeping it simple.

1. The Serpent

In the natural world.  The serpent allowed Satan to take control of it, therefore it was cursed. In cursing the serpent, God’s words are still echoing today.

Snake & BirdThat’s why 90% of all people on earth have a visceral fear of snakes – a fear unlike any other. It echoes back to the Garden of Eden.

Those who are not afraid have a healthy respect for them because they know what snakes are capable of. Actually, such a favorable disposition is itself fear, but fear somewhat conquered and camouflaged as respect.

Further, with said curse the serpent lost its legs.

On your belly you will go…” Genesis 3:14

Still, this is how Discovery puts it: “Snakes used to have legs, and now new research suggests snakes lost their legs by growing them more slowly or for a shorter period of time until the legs eventually disappeared.”

Why are scientists so baffled by this when God Himself cursed the serpent so?

Discovery continues: “The research, outlined in the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, strengthens the belief that snakes evolved from a lizard that either burrowed on land or swam in the ocean.”

These pseudo-scientists refuse to believe that God is the one who caused the serpent’s legs to disappear. That’s because they don’t want to acknowledge His existence or recognize the veracity of His words and the incontestability of their echoes. Instead, they prefer to rely on unproven theories and conjectures, like the cockamamy Theory of Evolution.

Finally, when God said that the serpent would eat dust all the days of its life… well, it still does. Carl Wieland explains:

“There is an organ in the roof of a snake’s mouth called ‘Jacobson’s organ’. This helps the snake to smell in addition to its nose. Its darting, forked tongue samples bits of dust by picking them up on the points of the fork, which it then presents to its matching pair of sensory organs inside its mouth. Once it has ‘smelt’ them in this way, the tongue must be cleaned so the process can be repeated immediately. Therefore serpents really do lick dust and eat it.”

In the spiritual world.  Satan was also cursed. As a result, he was destined to fall.

“And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’ ” Luke 10:18

From that point on Satan never ceased to be known as the Serpent, the poor beast he took control of in order to seduce Eve. Again, more echoes!

“…the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan…” Revelation 12:9

2. The battle of the seeds

Satan’s seed was to be the Pharisees, his followers. They were the ones who pushed for the trial and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8: 44

Madonna and Child

Botticelli’s Madonna and Child

The woman’s seed was to be Jesus, born of the woman Mary.

Now keep in mind that a woman has no seed. Mary is the only woman since the beginning of creation who became pregnant without the use of a man’s seed. God implanted the divine seed in her. As a result, that seed became hers, just like a man’s seed is his.

“The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:35

3. The Enmity and the Bruising

Satan caused the woman in the Garden to induce God’s first son Adam to fall. So God used another woman, Mary, to bring forth His second son, Jesus, who this time was to battle Satan in order to bring about his fall.

“The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8

During their clash Satan managed to bruise Christ’s heel. He did so by killing Him on the cross, but that was not the end of the story.

Christ in Hades

Christ’s descent into Hades

Jesus’s Spirit went down into Hades, Satan’s territory.

“He went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” 1 Peter 3:19

As Christ took over Satan’s domain, the Serpent was bruised on the head. In other words, the Devil was defeated with a crushing blow.

“Now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” John 12:31

Then Jesus resurrected with power and in victory.

“I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” Revelation 1:18

Therefore Jesus’s death on the cross was just a slight contusion to the heel.

THE ECHOES

“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.” Deuteronomy 32:1

The words from Genesis 3:14,15 that God spoke in the Garden of Eden began their echoes or ripple effects the moment they were uttered.

Just like a seed with its set of data, they contained within them God’s entire plan of salvation for mankind. A plan that would bear fruit 4000 years later in the person of Jesus.

Here are some major echoes or ripple effects from those words that left their marks before Jesus would even appear.

1. Echoes on earth

Hawaiian Sacrifice

Hawaiian human sacrifice

Various cultures experienced distinct ripple effects, especially in their pagan religions.

Most of them had some sort of human sacrifice as part of their rituals. Sometimes they would require a virgin and at other times a baby or a child. It was their way of appeasing their gods.

What they actually felt was the echo of God’s prophecy that would ultimately bring about the sacrifice of a chosen one who would arrive on earth as a baby by way of a virgin mother. He would then become the sacrificial atonement for man’s sins.

53 Young Women

Mass sacrifice of 53 young women in Cahokia

However, they couldn’t decipher the true essence and the true meaning of said echo.

“For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it.” Job 33:14

It was like a thick dark cloud that hung over them, equivalent to a bad omen.

“Where there is no guidance, a people falls…” Proverbs 11:14

Satan saw this as his opportunity to encroach. It was his cue to do what he does best. He perverted the meaning of the bits and pieces of the ripple these people managed to grasp, and the end result was their demonic sacrifices that accompanied their pagan rituals.

Child sacrificed to Moloch

Child sacrificed to Moloch

Remember, Satan is an expert at twisting God’s word to embroil gullible people, especially those who are willing to serve him. He’s been a master deceiver since the Garden of Eden.

“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

These cultures also caught further echoes – from even more prophecies – that later on would make them appear to be even more “similar” to the Christian faith.

Nevertheless, many seem to believe that it’s the other way around, and that Christianity is the one that displays similarities to pagan religions. In other words, they fool themselves into believing that Christianity plagiarized its Jesus figure from the religions of the heathens.

Some of the names they mention to back their accusation are Mythras, Horus, and Zoroaster, just to name a few. Those who bring these charges conveniently sidestep the fact that the names they mention only came about after the Garden of Eden prophecy. What they also overlook is that none of the ones they mention managed to change the world the way Jesus did.

By and large, these so-called plagiaristic similarities that Christianity is accused of are so very insignificant that they’re not worth arguing about. Many of them are actually lies, with some blown way out of proportion. Even those that are “facts” are simply the ripples/echoes of God’s prophecy that wormed their way into those pagan religions.

2. Echoes in the heavens

Star of Bethlehem

Star of Bethlehem

The stars also felt the echo and obediently aligned themselves to announce the birth of Christ by the Virgin.

“And there was a great wonder [sign] in heaven; a woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered” Rev 12: 1,2

Dr Ernest Martin, history and theology professor, explains the ripple effect in the stars this way:

“The only time in the year that the Sun could be in a position to ‘clothe’ the celestial woman called Virgo … is when the Sun is located between about 150 and 170 degrees along the ecliptic. This ‘clothing’ of the woman by the Sun occurs for a 20-day period each year……In 3BC., the Sun would have entered this celestial region about August 27 and exited from it about September 15.

“In the year 3BC, these two factors came to precise agreement for about half an hour, as observed from Palestine, in the twilight period of September 11th. The relationship began about 6:15 p.m. (sunset), and lasted until around 7:45p.m. (moonset). This is the only day in the whole year that the astronomical phenomenon described in the twelfth chapter of Revelation could take place.

“This also shows one other important point. The Moon was in crescent phase. It was a New Moon day, the start of a new lunar month.”

The Star that shone over Bethlehem also felt the echo and had no choice but to clamor the birth of the Savior.

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judah, in the time of King Herod, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem saying, ‘Where is the one who is born king of the Judahites? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ ” Matthew 2: 1,2

The Open Scroll explains:

“The appearance of a new bright star in the head of Coma would have spoken loudly to the Magi.

Comah

The Comah Constellation

“The ancient name of the constellation Coma is spelled ‘Comah.’ It is a Hebrew word which means ‘the desired,’ or ‘longed for.’ The word is found translated that way in Haggai.

” ‘I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord almighty.” Haggai 2:7

“The association with Jesus is obvious!

“About this constellation, an Arabian astronomer named Albumazar (eighth century AD) is quoted as saying: ‘There arises in the first Decan (which means: ‘part,’ or, ‘associated constellation’) as the Persians, Chaldeans, and Egyptians, and the two Hermes and Ascalius teach, a young woman, whose Persian name denotes a pure virgin, sitting on a throne, nourishing an infant boy, having a Hebrew name, that some nations called IHESU, with the signification IEZA, which in Greek is called Christos. The boy in the virgin’s lap is widely recognized as symbolic of Christos – the anointed, the Messiah!’ “

GodCONCLUSION

When God speaks, His words are active.

When God speaks, it reverberates.

When God speaks, creation reacts.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

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Is Mary the Mother of God?

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

By Biblicism Institute

Mary was chosen by God the Father to carry His son Jesus.

“The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored (or full of grace)! The Lord is with you.’ ” Luke 1:28

The Nativity

The Nativity

Just because the Angel described Mary as “highly favored” or “full of grace” doesn’t make said representation anymore special than the hundreds of times the word favor or grace is used in the bible to describe other favored or graced ones.

“For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.” Psalm 5:12

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…” Ephesians 2:8

The reproductive seed that was placed inside Mary was not human. It was divine.

“The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.'” Luke 1:35

Therefore, unlike all other humans born on this earth, Jesus was both man and God.

“…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” Matthew 20:28

“And we know that the Son of God is come…” 1 John 5:20

BIOLOGICAL MOTHER

Jesus never called Mary “mother“.

Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” John 2:4

“When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved (i.e. John), He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ ” John 19:26

That’s because Mary was the mother of the man in Jesus but not of the God in Him. The God in Jesus took precedence over His flesh. That’s why Jesus did not fear those who could kill His body but had no power over the God in Him.

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the spirit. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both spirit and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

However, the combination of the two parts of Him – human body and divine spirit – made Jesus Lord.

“Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?’ ” Luke 1: 41-43

Even though Mary was the biological mother of the Lord Jesus, she was not the Mother of God.

“God is the head of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:3

The Mother of God expression is not found in the bible no matter how much Elizabeth’s words “the mother of my Lord” are spun. The unfortunate use of that expression “Mother of God” somehow conveys that Mary is the one who brought God into existence in the Universe when God is the one who created Mary in the first place. How she can be His mother is silly, to say the least, and places Mary above God Himself.

Those who utter such blasphemy are in fact twisting and adding to the confined and limited reality of Mary’s birth giving experience. What they are really selling is that when Mary gave birth to Jesus the man (and Jesus the God in Him), she actually brought God into existence (when God already existed).

It’s like saying that every mother who brings a child into this world is the one who creates and places the breath of God (or the spirit man) inside the child. Biological parents are not the authors of their children’s spirit men, much like Mary was not the author of Jesus the Spirit God. Women deliver the package, but they do not create it, especially the spirit part.

“It was You who formed my internal organs, fashioning me within my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

“…and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7

Man’s biological nature will rot and disappear, but the spirit man created by God will endure forever.

HEAVENLY BODY

After Jesus rose from the dead, He was wearing a new body. Not even His disciples could recognize Him, unless He opened their eyes.

“At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.” John 20:14

“Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.” Luke 24:31

“There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies… It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever.” 1 Cor 15: 40,42

Consequently, the earthly biological side Mary passed to Jesus was immediately gone upon His resurrection. But given that Jesus was crafted from the very beginning with the Divine seed when He was born, He kept His paternal and heavenly side which bore the mark of His crucifixion.

“As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!” John 20:20

After His resurrection Jesus was and is now fully clothed with a heavenly body that is wholly and solely crafted by the Father Himself. It is a body that is independent of mankind’s current nature, and no longer endures the weaknesses of the flesh.

BIBLICALLY SPEAKING

Many Catholics and others wrongfully call Mary Our Mother because of the following passage.

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, Woman, behold, your son!’  Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:26,27

The reason Jesus said that to John, the disciple whom He loved, was so John could take care of Mary in her old age as if she were John’s own mother.

Jesus did not utter those words to mean that Mary was John’s literal mother, and nor are those words to be interpreted to mean that Mary had suddenly become the mother of us all. Jesus was talking to John not to us. That’s why immediately after John wrote: And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” John took her in to care for her. Period.

As per Old Testament’s laws the firstborn male was responsible to care for his parents, since he was given a double portion of inheritance. It was the right of the firstborn. And Jesus was Mary’s firstborn. So He made arrangement with John because He knew He wouldn’t be around to take care of her.

“he shall acknowledge… the firstborn, 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

In addition, many Catholics and others wrongfully pray to Mary (and to many other “Saints“) as if she (they) could intercede or mediate on their behalf (click here to understand the meaning of the word “Saint” in the bible).

Biblically, we are commanded to only pray to God the Father, in the name of Jesus.

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven…'” Matthew 6:9

“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14: 13

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus…” 1 Timothy 2:5

The Assumption of Mary

The wrongly assumed Assumption of Mary

All who consider Mary to be divine (she’s not) believe she ascended to heaven without experiencing death, an event they call the Assumption.

However, there is no biblical record of such an astounding event.

Enoch and Elijah were both taken up to Heaven without suffering death, and yet the bible does not fail to mention such miraculous faits accomplis.

“Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”Genesis 5:24

Suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.” 2 Kings 2:11

Further, Mary never stayed a virgin. She had other children, Jesus’s half-brothers and half-sisters.

“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us?” Matthew 13:55

All those who harbor such unbiblical beliefs towards Mary need to wake up, adhere to the Word of God, and believe these man-made fables no more.

CONCLUSION

Mary was chosen by God to carry the infant Jesus.

That doesn’t make her any more special than all other true Christians who carry within them the Fire of the Holy Spirit. And those are themselves impregnated with Christ, much like Mary was.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19

Carrying God within is the very great mystery of Christianity.

“If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10

How mere mortals can bear the divine inside their sinfully polluted bodies is the mark that a merciful God, in His unfathomable and abounding love, considers all equally worthy of the fullness of His grace.

In fact, such a gift is the guarantee of mankind’s eternal salvation and of his victory over sin and death.

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:27

ADDENDUM

THE WORD OF GOD

No church organization is omniscient and infallible, including the Catholic church. See CHURCH REFORM for all the things the “Church” has gotten wrong.

Biblically, the church is the general assembly of all Christians.

“If I delay, you may know how one ought to behave with the family of God, which is the assembly of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

The pillar is not more important than the truth. The role of the assembly is to carry forth the truth of the word of God as given by God. That’s why HE gifted us HIS word or His truth, which the Apostles set down in writing and can now be found in the BIBLE.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3: 16

ONLY GOD is omniscient and infallible, and only His WORD is the final arbiter of the TRUTH. Therefore:

1) When choosing a bible, never buy one with commentaries. Let God Himself open the eyes of your understanding.

“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints…” Ephesians 1:18

2) Be weary of those who use a single verse out of the bible to make a point, especially an intricate one. Anyone can use such a technique to validate whatever propagandist idea they’re selling.

Verses throughout the bible are not only immersed in context but interconnected as well, making the bible a living biosphere of divine thoughts and articulated words.

“For the word of God is alive and active.” Hebrews 4:12

At times, that interconnection makes many verses appear truncated and/or cryptic, which in turn could lead to misinterpretations. God purposely made it thus in order to conceal what He is saying. It’s His way of nudging us to investigate and connect His thoughts on the matter, which are scattered throughout the bible.

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to investigate a matter.” Proverbs 25:2

We Christians are those “kings” in the above verse.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

Kings <=> Royal Priesthood <=> Christians.

Can you see now the concealment and the connection?

3) Every prophecy in the bible has already been fulfilled, except for those concerning the end of the world. The last biblical prophecies that materialized occurred in and around 70 AD. As for the end of the world, read Where is Satan Now? for a look at how it will come about.

4) There are some words and verses that are badly translated from the Old Testament Hebrew and the New Testament Greek in all current available versions of the bible. Get acquainted with them here, that way you can make a mental rectification when you come upon them.

5) The bible is not only a historical and literary work, it is also a sacred writ intended to redress the sinful spirit of man. Therefore it can only be fully grasped by a regenerated spirit, which the Holy Spirit of God guides into all understanding. That’s why degenerated souls are at a loss to fully comprehend it, thus making and inventing all sorts of malicious theories about what the bible is and stands for.

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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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Anti-Semitism is a trick? Oh Dear!

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

By Biblicism Institute

Anti-SemitismArabs, including cultural Arabs such as Chaldeans, Akkadians, Assyrians, Aramaics, Phoenicians, and Syriacs,  are the only living bloodline descendants of Abraham and the only true Semites, not converted Ashkenazic, Sephardic, Samaritan, African, European, and Indian Jews.

Why non-Semitic Zionist Jews would use the term Semite to describe themselves is intriguing, to say the least. However, upon close scrutiny the truth reveals itself.

They must pretend to be the  Chosen Semitic Hebrews of the bible – the real Hebrews are all dead – in order to steal the land of Palestine and treat the Palestinians as Untermensch.

Miko Peled

Miko Peled, son of an Israeli General

When facing criticism and condemnation for their barbaric policies towards their Palestinian victims, their tactic is to hurl the cry-wolf accusation of antisemitism in order to cower their opposition into submission. Furthermore, it doesn’t hurt that said accusation also camouflages their non-Hebraic, non-Semitic ancestry by making them appear to be Semites when they’re actually not.

“It’s a trick, we always use it,” admitted Israeli Minister Shulamit Olani.

The antisemitism trick is strengthened by the spurious “Holocaust” which converts it into a carte blanche for Jews to do whatever they want, while they effectively utilize it to scare away those who dare point out the following three facts:

  1. Jews have no divine right to Palestine because they’re not Hebrews;
  2. Jews control the Federal Reserve;
  3. the “Holocaust” is a dubious historical event full of holes.

They also use it to remove the Jesus-killer stigma by bribing compromised preachers, such as John Hagee, to brainwash the Christian flock into believing that to say Jews killed Jesus is an antisemitic act, and that only humanity’s sins did Jesus in – when the bible is quite clear on who actually killed the Messiah.

“…the Judahites, who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets.” 1 Thessalonians 2:14.

Consequently, these impostors, who are pretending to be Judahite Hebrews, get to keep their “chosen people” status, while avoiding culpability in the killing of our Lord. In other words, they enjoy the benefit of being something they’re not without taking on the guilt (i.e., they have their cake and eat it too).

But are there those who hate Jews?

Of course.

Just like there are those who hate Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, etc. There will always be bigots as long as there are humans on this planet.

Racist Israeli Jew

A Racist Israeli Jew

The Jewish Marxist Bolsheviks, who took over the Russian government in the 1910s, killed 66 million Christians, including 200,000 members of the Christian clergy, and destroyed 40,000 churches according to famed Christian Russian writer Alexandr Solzhenitsyn.

Now that’s hate! And a real Holocaust!

Yet, compared with the spurious Jewish “Holocaust”, we don’t get brainwashed with it day in and day out. There’s no school curriculum about it, and there are no laws against those who deny its accuracy, like there are in Europe. No Christian Holocaust Memorial has been built in Washington DC for these victims, and Jews are not labeled Christian-Haters.

So why don’t we Christians do like the Jews? Implement a similar Holocaust propaganda campaign and cry wolf every time we get a chance?

There are two reasons why we won’t do so.

1) The only death worth commemorating is the death of our Savior Jesus Christ who defeated death by rising from the dead. Actually by memorializing His death we are really celebrating His resurrection. Therefore, there’s no point in solemnizing or even worshiping death since it’s already vanquished.

2) The only way to eradicate bigotry is with love.

In His Amrs

In Jesus’s arms, only love.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22: 37-40

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” Matthew 5:44

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” Luke 6:32

Note in the margin: We have a section for all those interested in Judaica. It contains the following:

Judaica The HebrewsThe AshkenazimThe SephardimThe SamaritansZionismIsrael 1948Anti-SemitismJew or JudahiteJudaism or Pharisaism

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The Miracle of Healing

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

By Biblicism Institute

Many Christians wrongly assume that the following verse has to do with physical healing:

“And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

That’s because they have been taught thus by “preachers” who have taken it out of context. They should have read the beginning of that verse.

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our sins fell upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

Obviously, it takes an outside influence to teach anyone to mess up such a straightforward and simple verse.

In addition to Isaiah, the Apostle Peter also put that verse in proper context:

“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His stripes you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

By the stripes of Jesus we are healed spiritually, and our sins are thus forgiven. As for physical healing, Jesus demonstrated two methods He used in healing someone.

1. Divine Intervention. He either willed the healing or used His touch and/or a few simple words.

“Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.’ And his servant was healed that same hour.” Matthew 8:13

“But Jesus answered and said, ‘Permit even this.’ And He touched his ear and healed him.” Luke 22:51

2. Natural Procedure or Intervention. In such an instance, Jesus would use things in our world (backed of course by His divine power and will) before letting the healing take place. In other words, by His action He delineated the steps needed for the cure to materialize.

“After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. Then He told him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came back seeing. ” John 9:6,7

INTERVENTIONS

1. Divine Intervention: God’s Touch

“Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed…” Jeremiah 17:14

Before He left, Jesus gave the command on how His followers ought to proceed vis-a-vis the physically sick.

 Jesus heals the Paralytic“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: 17-18

We believers can lay hands on the sick and with a true prayer of faith they will recover (i.e., be healed in time) that the Son of God might be glorified.

However, if a particular sickness is unto death, no amount of prayer will heal the afflicted since a death appointment with that disease has been scheduled by God Himself.

“This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” John 11:4

In other words, a sickness unto death will cause the death of the afflicted, or the afflicted will either live with it until death (e.g., many natural degenerative diseases that usually accompany old age) or endure it long-sufferingly while subsisting normally. Even the Apostle Paul endured said affliction.

“…a thorn in the flesh was given to me… Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me… For when I am weak, then I am strong.2 Cor 12: 7-10

But if a sickness is not unto death, a prayer of faith will bring about a recovery, albeit a slow one. One that is usually preceded by a confession and forgiveness of sins, if any was committed. That confession is not to a “catholic priest”, but to the one who’s about to lay hands and pray and/or to the party offended – whether to God or to some other individual – by the one who’s sick.

“Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” James 5:14-15

“But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks [i.e., communion], eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.” 1 Cor 11:28-31

That’s why the Apostle Paul told Timothy the following:

“Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share in the sins of others.” 1 Timothy 5:22

It must first be established whether the sickness is caused by a particular sin that needs repentance before hands are laid and prayers prayed; if not, then whoever lays hand becomes complicit in the sin the afflicted is concealing. Once that concern is alleviated, Jesus’s command to lay hands on the sick can be performed, and a prayer of faith for recovery can be prayed.

The slow-process recovery that follows is a miracle nonetheless. It might not be instantaneous, but it’s still a miracle.

“The LORD will take away from thee all sickness…” Deuteronomy 7:15

No prayer of ours will produce spontaneous miracles. The power source of supernatural wonders and instantaneous miracles was reserved solely for Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone of the church, and the 12 Apostles, the foundation of the Church. See Understanding the Duties of Ministry for an exposé.

“You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone…” Ephesians 2:20

“And when he had called unto [him] his twelve disciples, he gave them power [against] unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” Matthew 10:1

When we are sick a spiritual introspection is the first thing that is needed, as opposed to a reactive focus on the physical.  Once that’s taken care of and prayers are prayed, if God then reveals His intention to immerse us in natural interventions, we must obey.

2. Natural Interventions

a) Doctors and Remedies

“Luke the beloved physician greets you…” Colossians 4:14

There are ailments that worm their way in not because of specific sins but because of certain pathogens that our fallen, entropic nature, which weakens day by day, isn’t fully capable of confronting on its own. The Apostle Paul recognized that and through his God-given wisdom recommended the curative power of natural remedies.

“…use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” 1 Timothy 5: 23

Ultimately, to avoid diseases we must get to know our bodies when they “talk” to us, what to feed them, and how to care for them. And if we’re sick it may be that God is trying to tell us something about both our spiritual conditions and lifestyles.

The root causes of our physical afflictions may be many things: toxic-laden food; stress; dehydration; lack of sun, relaxation, exercise, sleep, or prayer; bad diet; toxic medicines; toxic environment; etc. So we must listen carefully as God delineates the steps needed to be healed.

Said steps in and of themselves are not the ultimate cure; obedience to them is. For instance, God might inspire some individual to use a certain remedy for a particular ailment, which would work for such a person. Yet, another individual, upon hearing that such a remedy works, might try it for himself; but when that remedy fails, he’s at a loss to comprehend why. That’s because God did not delineate that certain step for him, which in the end might be for that individual to go see a real doctor.

A real doctor is one who understands that God created the body with the capability and the capacity to heal itself, particularly when it is given the right regimen, including ingredients of the God-created, organic kind since synthetic elements do not mesh well with its God-created, organic composition.

Some synthetic medicines may help, especially in trauma injuries, physiological impairments, and systemic organelle breakdowns. Unfortunately, because of their synthetic nature, their long term prescriptive use engenders many side effects, which usually end up destroying some organ of the body such as the liver, the kidneys, the brain, etc. Besides, most synthetic medicines are palliative and do not heal. They predominantly cover up symptoms of the maladies as they do not fix the underlying causes, while spawning other diseases via adverse effects.

True healing takes place when the body totally heals itself and the problem goes away, thus requiring no further treatment. A real doctor understands that. He is someone that God in His mercy has given the necessary knowledge to help and inform us through the healing process.

“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6

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

“To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom… to another gifts of healing…” 1 Corinthians 12:8,9

He is notably helpful to those who succumb to accidents and traumas, and to those whose sicknesses appear insurmountable because of their lack of faith.

“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’ ” Mark 9:24

Therefore, God uses him to help those with a weak faith overcome their unbelief by sparking faith’s hope that healing is possible. That’s how incredibly loving God is.

“That you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love…” Ephesians 3:18

God operates that way because He prefers to cloak Himself with anonymity, especially as it pertains to His healing miracles.

“Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, ‘See that you don’t tell anyone…'” Matthew 8: 3,4

“…after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret…” John 7: 10

In addition, He has a worldwide economy to run. He has to provide for a lot of people, doctors included, who are trying to make a living.

Thus, as God provides for these doctors and their fellow care workers, He simultaneously provides through them (or while “hiding” behind them or the remedies) His healing miracles.

Still, even with modern medicine or the alternative kind, there’s no guarantee of success or healing, especially when it comes to certain diseases and/or traumas that God allows to creep in for whatever purposes He has in mind.

“There is none to uphold your cause, no medicine for your wound, no healing for you.” Jeremiah 30:13

In these circumstances many doctors will tell their patients one of the following:

  • “All we can do now is pray.”
  • “Medicine is not a perfect science.”

The only perfect science is the power of a loving God who demands faith from us.

“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

Faith is not just the belief that God can do the impossible. It is also the firm understanding that God does whatever He pleases and that we must accept it, especially since He also appoints sicknesses that are unto death.

“For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:17

That’s why the Holy Spirit has been given to us, to guide us through all kinds of circumstances. He helps us understand the particulars of the situation God is walking us through: healing, long suffering, or death.

“… the Spirit of truth… he will guide you into all the truth.” John 16:13

Jesus - sick bedFurther, even when a real doctor is trying to help, we better pray and have faith that God will guide his thought processes. Otherwise, we may become a statistic.

“Between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death,” wrote Marshall Allen in ProPublica. See Beware of Pharmacology and Puzzled Scientists.

If it comes to the point where it’s  time to see a doctor, get busy and locate a real one; then if a diagnostic determines the presence of a sickness, thoroughly research everything on it.  However, when it comes to life-threatening illnesses, make sure you get various opinions from specialists who belong to different practice clusters.

“Without counsel plans go wrong: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” Proverbs 15:22

b) The Right Diet

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates, father of modern medicine.

Food is the ultimate medicine, and as such one’s diet is the single most important thing in achieving healing and/or maintaining optimal health, especially if under the weight of various auto-immune disorders, which now affect an estimated 50 million Americans.

Of all the diets out there, the Paleo Diet is the most sensible, as it uses true scientific processes. It is quite unfortunate that it is labeled “Paleo”. The reason it got stuck with such a sad name is because the people behind the diet believe that “our Paleolithic ancestors” did not eat many of the foods that we consume today.

However, such a mindset is not only false, given its conjectured hypothesis, but downright unscientific as well (science fiction is more like it). The Paleolithic era (an offshoot of the cockamamy Theory of Evolution) is an absolute fabrication that was whimsically concocted out of whole cloth in 1865 by John Lubbock, a politician and a banker who moonlighted as Indiana Jones an archeologist. Seriously John, where are the historical records from “millions of years” ago that confirm such blatant speculation?

In any case, the diet’s real name should be the Nutrient Diet because it focuses on consuming foods full of nutrients that the body needs and on rejecting those with anti-nutrients that wreak physiological havoc, particularly when they are not well prepared or they contain strange-sounding ingredients or additives.

In short, the diet’s focal point is to feed one’s body the nutrients it needs, not the toxins that harm.

“Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food for the stomach and the stomach for food…” 1 Corinthians 6:12,13

Unfortunately, many believe that their diet should be a vegetarian one that consists only of the following:

“Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.’” Genesis 1:29

That edict was before man’s fall from grace. After the fall, everything turned against man.

“Cursed is the ground because of you… both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you.” Genesis 3:17,18

With that curse man’s food, which was appointed by God before the fall, the seeds, grains, and legumes, became infected with anti-nutrients.

“Traditional cuisines and pre-industrialized peoples from around the world took great care to soak or ferment their grains before consuming them… All grains and legumes contain phytic acid, an organic acid that blocks mineral absorption in the intestinal tract,” explains Sarah Pope from the Weston A. Price Foundation.

In addition, man’s body began to slowly turn against him also (i.e., it began to slowly die) and needed more nutrients than plants, seeds, and fruits (i.e., a vegan diet) could offer. Therefore, an adjustment was needed.

“Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” Genesis 9:3-4

“Of all the creatures living in the water, you may eat …” Deuteronomy 14: 9-10

With that adjustment, which now includes meat, man gets to fully grasp the sacrifice required to maintain his health when he spills the blood of animals.

Further, God in His generosity even planned that on special occasions we should have pleasure foods and drinks as well.

“Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord.” Nehemiah 8:10

“A feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.” Isaiah 25:6

God has thus given us all things for our well-being and enjoyment, so don’t destroy your health for lack of knowledge.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6

But, as always, all things are to be in moderation.

“All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12

CONCLUSION

The totality of our being is comprised of spirit, mind, and body. Therefore, an equilibrium must be achieved to create healing and maintain health.

To attain that necessary balance, the following steps are needed: a godly life that leads to repentance from sins; a harmonious family life; the right diet; a sensible exercise regimen; eight to ten hours of daily sleep; and scheduled times for socializing, relaxation (preferably outdoors under the sun), and vacation to relieve stress.

Nevertheless, keep this in mind. God is no respecter of persons, therefore diseases will hit everyone, Christians or not. That’s because there is spiritual purpose in suffering and hardship.

“For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.” Hebrews 12:6

In the end, the full and final recovery or healing comes straight from the throne of God. He’s the one who decides if one’s efforts at healing will take hold.

“I am the LORD who heals you.” Exodus 15:26

Consequently, the most important thing is to have faith in God and in Jesus whom He sent.

Then pray.

“And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” Matthew 21:22

ADDENDUM

St John of the Cross, the celebrated Spanish mystic and poet, wrote a contemplative book about Christian hardship and suffering: The Dark Night of the Soul, available for free in our Resources section.

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

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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

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Of Authority and Christians

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

By Biblicism Institute

The word Authority comes from the Latin word Auctor which means Father, Producer, and Progenitor. Therefore, the very idea of Authority requires an Authority Figure who establishes his rule by producing and enforcing laws that ultimately fit his purpose.

God is the Father, Progenitor, and Producer of all seen and unseen things. He is the One to whom we must look in order to understand and apply the laws He has stipulated for us to follow.

Jesus on trial

His laws touch every sphere of life: family, workplace, church (assembly), and earthly secular governments.

FAMILY AUTHORITY

The following two verses are the most important in the whole bible as pertained to the alignment of heavenly and earthly authority.

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

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your Father and Mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6: 1-3

1) The head of woman is man, not Jesus. The head of an unmarried woman is her father or the elder son 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

For example, Jesus, who was Mary‘s firstborn male son and was looking after her upon Joseph’s death, asked his disciple John to take care of her when he was dying on the cross.

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’  Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:26,27

2) When the Apostle Paul mentioned Children in Ephesians 6:1-3, he did not mean little kids only. The root of the Greek word for Children is Tikto which means to “produce”, as from a seed. Whether one is a kid or an adult, one is still the child or “product” of one’s parents.

“And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? Bless me, [even] me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.” Genesis 27: 38

To Honor and Obey one’s parents does not stop after the traditional and arbitrary age of eighteen. Therefore, given the seriousness of parental authority God admonishes parents thus:

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

Many hardcore cult leaders, disguised as preachers, often tell young and unmarried adults in their congregations, that if their parents are not Christians (read: not attending “their” churches), they can ignore their authority.

That’s their way of isolating these folks from their families in order to control them and steal their money through the erroneous tenet of church tithing, much like a pack of wolves separate and hunt down the weakest prey from the herd.

God never said to obey and honor one’s parents only if they’re Christians. He said to obey and honor. Period. Just because the Apostle Paul said to “obey your parents in the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1) doesn’t mean that your parents are to be in the Lord. It means obey your parents because of the Lord, or because you are in the Lord, or because it is a command from the Lord.

“Honor your father and your mother.” Exodus 20: 12

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

These “preachers” are twisting God’s word to fit their own agenda.

WORKPLACE AUTHORITY

Christians should submit to their bosses and be the best workers in the workplace.

“Servants, [be] subject to [your] masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.” 1 Peter 2: 18

Christian bosses and workers should always go beyond that which is required.

“If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” Matthew 5: 41

Slaves (Servants), be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eye service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men,knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.” Eph. 6: 5-9

The meaning of the word slave is the one which Christ used in the following verse:

“…but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave…” Matthew 20:27

In other words, a slave is a servant, or in today’s parlance an employee, who does all to please his master or boss. The Greek word Doulos which means slave is also translated as servant.

Neither a Christian employee nor a Christian boss should do anything that could be construed as being against biblical laws, especially if a Christian worker is asked to do something that is forbidden by God or that goes against his/her conscience.

“…their conscience also bearing witness…” Romans 2:15

“The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.” James 5: 4

CHURCH OR ASSEMBLY AUTHORITY

Biblically, the “church” is an assembly composed of Christians, hence not an institution. It is the Body of Christ.

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Cor 12: 27

Therefore, Christ is the head of His own body. No one else. The only Authority that exists in the church or assembly is Jesus Christ working though His Holy Spirit.

But you are not to be called ‘Teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘Father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called Leaders (or Masters), for you have one Leader (or Master), the Messiah.” Matthew 23:8-10

Simply put, the head of every man is Christ.

However, there will be those who will point to the following verse in order to commandeer Christ’s authority unto themselves:

“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13: 17

Actually, the proper translation should be: “Obey them who esteem (care about) you…” And even if the above translation of “rule” were left intact, it would still need to match every other biblical verse that addresses the Authority paradigm, especially these:

“But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20: 25-28

Not that we have dominion over your faith…” 2 Corinthians 1: 24

[As a side note, please keep in mind that some verses concerning “Ecclesiastical Function” in the New Testament have been wrongly translated from the Greek using the English word “rule” or “authority” when it should be something else. Please exercise wisdom while using an appropriate Greek/English lexicon to guide you in your study.]

The only people who truly care and/or who can “rule” over anyone are the following:

1) God, head of Christ

“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5: 19

2) Christ, head of man

“If you love me, you (man) will obey what I command.” John 14: 15

“Cast all your care on Him, because He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7

3) Man, head of woman

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

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

4) Parents, heads of children

Children, obey your parents...” Ephesians 6: 1

5) Christ, head of the assembly

Christ is also the head of the assembly, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.” Colossians 1: 18

Every ministry worker, including Prophets, Evangelists, Overseers, and Teachers, are only servants, and they themselves must learn to submit not only to Christ but also to the body of Christ. See Understanding the Duties of Ministry.

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” Ephesians 5: 21

“But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” 1 Corinthians 12: 24-26

GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY

There is only one Government that controls everything on earth. It’s the Government of Christ.

“Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9: 7

True Christians are unequivocally under the jurisdiction of Christ’s government and thus under Biblical Laws.

However, because non-Christians do not follow Christ and His laws God has established sub-governments or governing authorities (i.e., federal, state, and local governments) in every country, with their own sets of laws to rule over these non-believers.

These governments or governing authorities are God-inspired institutions, which are also designed to better manage the people’s affairs, including meting out true and fair justice. Their existence is not meant to oppress a populace, even if they’re not Christians, or for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of them for personal gains.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” Romans 13: 1-5

True Christians cannot be, by any stretch of the imagination, wrongdoers or evildoers; but, as Christ’s Ambassadors on earth, God has ordered His people to follow and obey the laws of the various countries in which they temporarily live.

However, Christian obedience to man-made laws of sub-governments or governing authorities is not intended to be absolute, since there will be instances of these laws that violate scriptures. Therefore, if such laws from Governing Authorities are contrary to God’s laws, the following principle applies:

We must obey God rather than human beings!” Acts 5:9

For example, if a Christian is asked to go kill in the name of the State in some godforsaken war, this would obviously contradict God’s commands.

“Thou shall not kill.” Exodus 20:13

“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.” Isaiah 2:4

Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.’ ” Matthew 26: 52

Consequently, insofar as man-made laws of Governing Authorities do not violate God’s biblical laws, Christians comply.

CONCLUSION

Authority originates with God, and His laws establish His governance which is rooted in love for the protection of those under its umbrella.

“God is love.” 1 John 4: 8

Likewise, all earthly governing authorities must have love at their core and as their essence, otherwise they will descend into authoritarianism or dictatorship (i.e., authority excised from God’s parameters) and ruthlessness (i.e., absence of love).

However, love in and of itself is not void of discipline.

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” Proverbs 12:1

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

Cases in point: 1) if a parent commands his toddler not to stick his finger in an electric socket, it is for the well being of the child, even if the child doesn’t understand why his parent is being so “mean”; 2) if a father does not approve of the dating partner of his child (adult or not) for reasons his child is too blind to see, the child must yield to his father’s authority and wisdom. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

After all, if one cannot obey one’s earthly father whom one can see, how will one obey one’s heavenly father whom one cannot see?

Unfortunately, where there’s earthly authority there will be conflict. Hence, keep in mind this succinct formula we call Conflict Resolution 101:

Burned Angel Marital Conflict

Step 1

Love the other party as yourself.

Step 2

See step no 1.

Whether the scope of a conflict is personal, familial, marital, regional, or worldwide, there’s only the above two-step solution. It’s the easiest one in the world. Heed to it.

“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

The purpose of the authoritative system is to bring glory to God, as our obedience to His laws proves our love for Him. Therefore, let us ensure that everyone, whether in authority or under authority, elevates every sphere of life with love for the glory of the One who died for us.

“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: 36-40

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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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Of Legalism and Christians

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

By Biblicism Institute

In the past decades grace has been taught so much that many Christians have lost sight of God’s laws.

Unfortunately, the act of following God’s commands has been labeled by some as legalism, a pejorative term that is simply an excuse to avoid obeying God’s decrees.

Chrsit heals the blind

SUPERSEDED COMMANDS

Without the divine laws there can be no Kingdom of God and no Christian cultural dominion.

Everywhere we hear the “saved by faith not by works” mantra, but rarely do we hear preached the last words of our Lord Jesus before He was taken up to heaven.

“…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…” Mat 28:20

A command is a law and is by no stretch of the imagination a suggestion. Therefore, we must obey the whole law as remedied by the New Covenant, which renders many Old Testament ordinances – like the tithe – obsolete.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.…” Matthew 5: 38,39

Another example of a superseded command is how God now bestows salvation, which can no longer be received by sacrificing a lamb for Passover as was the case for the Old Covenant Hebrews. That’s been remedied by Christ’s New Covenant.

Eternal salvation is now the free gift by grace of the indwelling Christ in our spirit. We can’t work for that. We receive it free by faith. Hence those who try to obtain it through obsolete laws are engaged in a futile exercise that will yield no positive result.

“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God…” Ephesians 2:8

ENDURING LAWS

The reason Jesus gives Himself to us as a gift is for the express purpose of making us like Him, a doer of good works and a conqueror. And the only way to do good works is to follow all of God’s enduring commandments.

“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

The laws or commandments are for the believers to use properly, and for the unbelievers and lawbreakers 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

That’s why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit whose job is to quicken our spirit, mind, and body into all righteousness. In other words, it is to help us follow God’s laws and do the things we need to do.

“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

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

When we Christians become doers of the laws wonderful things take place, and society is content; but when we don’t, we become quite ineffective and fruitless. Nothing feels right. Nothing is right. A malaise creeps in with the unsettling palpability that things are heading the wrong way.

All because the salt (i.e., Christians) has lost its flavor.

“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

Even biblical Church/Assembly Gathering Laws have become a point of contention for many Christians who prefer to cling to tradition instead of adhering to God-given commands. See Church Services Are NOT Biblical.

“Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” Matthew 15: 6

No wonder we are currently losing the battle for cultural dominion.  We can’t even get our own house in order.

“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the assembly? Are you not to judge those inside?” 1 Cor. 5: 12

JESUS AND THE LAW

I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.” Matthew 5:17

Many love to pull that verse out of context to support various obsolete laws of the Old Testament, such as the tithe and the election of “Jews” as God’s chosen people.

But what did Jesus mean?

He meant exactly what He said. He came to fulfill all the biblical laws, because no one before Him managed to do so.

“For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Matthew 5:18

And accomplish them, He did.

“It is accomplished.” or “It is finished.” Matthew 19:30

And because He accomplished them, He was able to make some major changes. Consequently, He did away with the entire Levitical system.

“For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” Hebrews 7:12

Many laws – such as the tithe, the animal sacrifices, the Levitical priesthood, and the special status of the ancient Hebrews (today’s Jews are not Hebrews and no different than other non-believers) – have been done away with.

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

The New Covenant in Christ’s blood became the new law, while Christians became the new priesthood and the new chosen people – chosen to love and to do good.

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

Those who take Matthew 5:17 out of context are only beating a dead horse. The old body of the law has already been fulfilled… and then changed.

“I am not outside the law of God but am under the law of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 9: 21

CONCLUSION

Most Christians have lost sight of the Kingdom doctrine which purposes that we become conquerors by applying the divine commands.

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

All of God’s laws are for our edification so that we may build His Kingdom of love, peace, and morality on earth as it is in heaven.

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

The only way to build God’s Kingdom on earth is to obey His laws, and the following is the most beautifully circular of them all:

“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” 2 John 1:6

[Keep repeating the verse and you’ll get the circular part 🙂 ]

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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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Confusion in God’s House?

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

By Biblicism Institute

Prayer

Have you ever been to a congregation, and someone got up and said these terrible words, “Welcome to the House of God”?

Ugh? Wait a minute. The House of God? What’s up with that? Are we re-living Old Testament days?

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” 1 Cor 3:16

We are God’s House or Temple. The building where we assemble is not. It’s just a building. There’s nothing holy about that building. The Old Covenant TEMPLE principle – with its altar and a Levite High Priest hovering over everyone – is no longer in effect. See Church Services Are NOT Biblical for an in-depth exposé.

As a matter of fact, Christians can assemble anywhere. There’s no need to go into debt for a building. The early Church always met in homes. The money being wasted on mortgages can be put to better use by helping so many suffering Christians, especially in a downturn economy.

Each individual Christian is the Saint who is Holy or Separated unto God, because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. So when you help your Christian brethren, you are “helping” God. That’s the only building or temple God cares about.

So next time anyone errs like that – by making an edifice out to be what it’s not – please make sure that person is duly and lovingly corrected, publicly if necessary. The word of God is more important than someone’s pride or ego.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” 1 Cor 6:19
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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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The Evil of Rapture Theology

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

By Biblicism Institute

Raptured

The direct result of having lost sight of God’s true intent for imparting salvation to us has been a complete lack of positive impact by modern Christians on our society. No wonder people are saying that things aren’t getting any better, and that the rapture is near. Continue reading

An Urgent Appeal to Christians who Support Israel

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

By Biblicism Institute

We know deep down no real Christian would support evil.

IDF Sniping Palestinian kids

Notice the Israeli Sniper’s bullet right through the heart of the deceased Palestinian boy.

Doing so would be antithetical to everything our Christian faith stands for. Besides, we know that many of you have been fed a bunch of lies concerning the ungodly State of Israel.

Therefore, as you shake off these falsehoods, we ask the following of you.

Stop encouraging the US Government to fund Israel to the tunes of billions of dollars a year out of America’s coffers for Israel to wage war and oppress another people, while millions of Americans go hungry and homeless. Stop organizing fund raisers for the Zionist settlers. In so doing you’re actually helping these land thieves steal another people’s land, while empowering them to kill the original inhabitants in the process. Stop lobbying the US government to provide the Apartheid criminal state of Israel with diplomatic cover in the international community.

For the sake of peace, start doing the opposite.

Call your political representative and give him/her a piece of your mind: that Israel should no longer get away with murder, and that Israel should accept a Palestinian State. Then organize mission trips to the West Bank and Gaza. Stop these pussyfooting “Holy” Land tourist trips. Go and help the oppressed. That’s the Christian mandate.

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” Isaiah 1:17

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Life, Death, and the Afterlife

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

By Biblicism Institute

Are you afraid of death?

Don’t be.

LIFE AND DEATH

Think about this. You did not give Life to yourself. How you grew in the womb is a mystery even to scientists. Sure, they can explain it in terms of biology. But can they replicate it in a lab, without using the materials (DNA, sperm, eggs, etc.) that God provided?

Even if they could, would their creation have Life? That’s the crux. How on earth do Life and physical growth really occur together in the womb?

Only God knows.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalms 139:13

FetusWhen you die Life leaves your body, but your body remains and immediately starts to decay. The body is there but there’s no Life.

Whether big or small as a fetus, the body is distinct from Life. Life gives life to a body of any size. The One who puts Life in your body removes it upon the death of the body – whether that death is natural or induced.

Who puts Life there? God. Where does that Life go upon death? Back to God.

“…and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7

Then God is the one you’ll be seeing after you die. Because the Life that leaves your body upon death is YOU. The real YOU. Complete with the good and the bad. All engraved in YOU.

“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Cor 5:8

THE AFTERLIFE

Ask yourself these fundamental questions.

Can a sinful person stand in front of a sinless God? Can an imperfect man stand in the presence of a perfect Creator?

No and Yes.

On your own you can’t do it.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Romans 3:23

“He will say… ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ ” Matthew 25:41

But with Christ you can. Yes, you can.

Suffer the Children“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

When you accept Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, His blood washes you clean.

” ‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.’ ” Isaiah 1:18

“…wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7

“For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28

And when you ask Christ to live in you, the two of you become one person, one Life. With Christ in you, the perfect God will see the perfect Son in you.

“If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10

Consequently, salvation is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10: 9-10

JUDGMENT DAY

Christians and non-Christians are not treated equally upon death.

1) True Christians, who follow God’s commandments, go to be with the Lord when they die.

“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8

They live and reign with Him in Heaven, because they are partakers of the first resurrection (i.e., salvation in the resurrected Christ, who performed the world’s first resurrection).

“Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection! The second death [or eternal hell] has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6

The thousand-year period is not literal, just like the thousand in the following verse is not literal either:

“For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills.” Psalm 50:10

The word thousand in these instances means many or a great amount. The cattle on the thousand and first and second and third hills do not belong to someone else, they still belong to God.

With that same understanding, Christ is now reigning over the earth through the New Order or the New Covenant, and no one but God knows when that unlimited period will end.

2) Those who are NOT Christians are dead in spirit.

“The Spirit [of Christ] gives life because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10

The dead in spirit are placed in a holding pattern after their physical death. They await Judgment Day which will come about following the thousand-year reign of Christ and the end of the world.

“They [Christians] came to life [in heaven] and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead [non-Christians] did not come to life until the thousand years were completed…The dead [non-Christians] were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books… Anyone whose name was not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life [Jesus’s Book of Life] was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:4,5,12,15

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem [the Assembly of all Christians], coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her Husband [Jesus].  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.’ ” Revelation 21:2-3

“Then we [Christians] who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17

Does that mean every non-Christian will be thrown in the eternal fires of hell? We don’t think so, otherwise God would not have planned to waste His time judging the incredibly vast multitude that will appear before Him.

a. Jesus died to be the Savior of the whole world.

“We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:10

“In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” John 1:4

b. Because Christ is the light of all mankind, every non-Christian will have a chance to stand before God and give an account of his life. Thus, God will judge all non-Christians according to their deeds and the opportunities given them to live for Christ, and will punish those whom He decides deserve punishment.

“For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ So it is God who decides to show mercy.” Romans 9:15,16

Those non-Christians, whom God will show mercy to (only He knows how many), would have displayed in their earthly lives – just like true Christians – the fruit of the Spirit.

“He will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” Romans 2:6-8

“For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.  (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.” Romans 2:13-16

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

c. True Christians who follow Christ’s commandments will escape Judgment of Condemnation. That’s the beauty of being a true Christian. Forgiveness is asked by the Christian, and then granted by God while the Christian is still alive, repentant, and living for Christ; hence there’s no sweating before the Throne of God on Judgment Day, only a welcome hug from the Creator Himself.

“Well done, good and faithful servant!” Matthew 25:23

Still, the many so-called Christians who don’t really live the Christian life will not escape Judgment of Condemnation.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” 2 Corinthians 5:10

If you’re a non-Christian or a “marginal” one, don’t bet your eternal destiny on what you think you can get away with on that fateful Judgment Day. Frankly speaking, the odds are stacked against you.

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” John 3:36

HellCONCLUSION

The real reason people fear their death is because of the second death (or eternal hell). They quite presciently feel that it is there and waiting.

Save yourself.

Become a true Christian today. Click here.

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