Headline: God, Sex, And Religion

Headline“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge.Proverbs 18:15



In our Riposte section, we gave you the opportunity to ask tough and sensible questions. Many of you did.



God

From our RIPOSTE section

Question #1: Isn’t God an unknowable essence?

Answer #1: No.

There may be things about God that are mysteries to us, just like there may be things about women that are plain mysteries to men; but that doesn’t prevent men from knowing their wives.

God Himself wants us to know Him.

“Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9: 23-24

“This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3

God wants us so much to know Him that He became flesh and dwelt amongst us in the person of Jesus Christ.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

You can know God. Click here. Then He’ll come and make His abode with you.

“My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” John 14:23

Question #2: To be consistent in your article The Trinity Doctrine Is Not In The Bible, if you conclude that the Trinity is not part of the Godhead, thus a lie, and that the Holy Spirit is not a person nor a sentient being, but is a thing, then you should change your own use of “he” to “it”, especially as said doctrine destroys the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Answer #2: First, the fact that mainstream Christianity does not adhere to the truth that the Holy Spirit is not God and does not form a Trinity with the Father and the Son in no way destroys the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is salvation in Christ alone – a totally separate disputation. You are simply forcing one onto the other in order to make a false point.

Second, we never concluded that the Holy Spirit was not sentient and that He was a Thing. Your argument of He or It is absurd. Why?

a. God is not a person either, in the sense that we understand a person to be a human. He is God. A Spirit. So which pronoun would you use for HIM?

“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24

b. Angels are not persons either. They’re spirits, neither male nor female – with wings, to boot. So which pronoun would use to describe one? He, She, or It?

“At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” Matthew 22:30

Consequently, we’ll stick with He for the Holy Ghost, because the Power that He carries is to be respected as Christ succinctly pointed out.

“And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him.” Luke 12:10

Since when can one blaspheme against an It or a Thing? The Holy Spirit is the one who guarantees our eternal inheritance, and a “Thing” is incapable of doing so.

“…the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:14

“And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:3

Therefore you better be careful AND respectful.

“‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit…’ And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last…” Acts 5:3-5


Hearing God

From our RIPOSTE section

Question: In many of your articles you talk about hearing the voice of God, or that God would “show us” how to go about doing a certain thing. How do you hear God’s voice?

Answer: He tugs your heart gently and repeatedly until His will permeates your spirit – that is if you’re truly open to hearing Him. For His will to really permeate you, you have to be faithful in applying His commandments. After all, if you can’t be obedient to His written word, how will you be obedient to hearing His voice?

The more you study the bible, the more the Holy Spirit helps you cleave to the truth. The more you live out God’s commandments, the more sensitive you become to His guidance and His voice, the more cleansed your mind, the more attuned your soul, and the more fruitful your work.

Delve in our CHURCH REFORM series, which will get you on the right track to follow His ways, read the bible, spend time in prayer, and constantly apply what you learn. Then His voice will become as clear as a bell to your soul. We can confidently say, “We know!”


The Kingdom Of God

From our RIPOSTE section

Question #1: If the Kingdom of God was on Earth right now, wouldn’t the King take care of so many atrocious people himself? Don’t the Scriptures say that He would rule them with an iron rod? Jesus himself told Pilate that if His Kingdom was of this world more than twelve legions of angels would be fighting for Him. So now that His Kingdom is finally established, nothing happens and sin and injustice run rampant?

Answer #1: Jesus left us Christians in charge. WE are the salt of the earth. WE are supposed to take care of these problems by doing what God commanded, and by inspiring and helping people everywhere to look up to God for solutions.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14

As to “Jesus ruling with an iron rod,” that verse is referring to how Jesus keeps His people in line, away from sins. Read When Bad Things Happen to see how He does it.

In reference to the Kingdom of God and Pilate question, here’s Jesus:

“When asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ‘The kingdom of God will not come with observable signs. Nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.’ ” Luke 17:20,21

You are thinking like the Judahites of Old who wanted a military-style Kingdom. DON’T. God’s Kingdom is of the Spirit, which first and foremost changes the sinful nature of man and in turn allows positive change to take place.

Last, you say that sin is running rampant.

It is because:

1) many Christians have been poisoned with the heretical Rapture Doctrine, and consequently have given up on being the salt of the earth;

“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

2) the church has been hijacked by unscrupulous men peddling false dogmas that are contrary to the Lord’s commands;

“There will be men who abandon the true faith and allow themselves to be spiritually seduced by teachings of the devil, teachings given by men who are lying hypocrites, whose consciences are as dead as seared flesh.” 1 Timothy 4:1,2

3) many refuse to go through the narrow door that leads to life;

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14

4) the weed is growing with the wheat.

“Jesus said, ‘if you pull the weeds now, you might uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” Matthew 13: 29,20

When is the harvest? Read Where Is Satan Now?

Question #2: When did the Kingdom of God on earth as stated by Jesus start?

Answer #2: It started with the birth of our Lord, who was born King.

“Where is the one who has been born king of the Judahites? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2

His dominion throughout the earth began spreading “officially” or “widely” on Pentecost in 30 AD. However, Jesus waited 40 years for the disobedient Hebrews to accept Him. Then, in 70 AD, He shut down the Old Covenant and overthrew Satan as god of this world, thus solidifying Himself as sole potentate.

“To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:11

His dominion is currently in effect. See Where Is Satan Now?

Question #3: a. Jesus expressly said that His kingdom was not of this world.

b. When the Devil tempted Christ and told him to bow to him in order to rule the kingdoms of the world, Jesus refused the kingdoms. So why would Jesus want to establish his kingdom on earth when he refused to take it from the Devil?

c. This World is not fixable. All we have is faith and prayer. I do try to make myself perfect which is vain.

Answer #3: a. Jesus’s Kingdom may not be OF this world, but He came to establish it IN this world.

“From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” Matthew 4:17

b. Jesus did not come to get anything from Satan, he came to destroy his works.

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

So why would Jesus accept anything from him? After he defeated the devil, His Heavenly Father gave Him everything.

“For God ‘has put everything under his feet.’” 1 Corinthians 15:27

c. God’s desire for us in this world is to do His will, which is to do His business until He returns.

“Occupy until I come.” Luke 19:13

And if this world is not fixable, then Jesus died for nothing. Of what use are your faith and prayers then?

Jesus came to fix mankind, so the world can in turn be fixed. Are you fixed? You don’t think you’re perfect?

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

If you’re not working toward perfection, then you’re NOT a Christian. Jesus commanded us to be perfect, which won’t happen overnight: it’s a lifetime endeavor.

As perfection takes hold, each man’s world in turn becomes perfect through the workings of Christ in our lives. And without said PERFECTION, we will not inherit the truly new PERFECT earth that Jesus will bring forth, because only PERFECT beings can inhabit a PERFECT place.

“Without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12: 14

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away…” Revelation 21:1

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5

Question #4: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14

In light of what Jesus said, what are these greater works of the Kingdom?

Answer #4: Each individual must go to God and find out the works he must do for the kingdom. However, even a cursory look would show how Jesus’s disciples “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6), and how Christians afterwards greatly managed to change the world from the time Jesus was around to today.

Question #5: What does the following verse mean:

“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Matthew 16:28

Answer #5: Christ’s Kingdom was fully established in 70 AD, after He shut down the Old Covenant.

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

Once the Old Covenant disappeared and Satan was captured and thrown into the Abyss, Christ fully came into His Kingdom, since previously Satan was god of this world – no more.

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers…” 2 Corinthians 4:4

Therefore, from 30 AD, when Christ uttered these words, to 70 AD, some did not taste death and witnessed the full establishment of Christ’s New Covenant, along with the end of Satan’s dominion and the termination of the Old Covenant.


Fear God

From our RIPOSTE section

Question: On one hand the bible says to fear God, and on the other it says that perfect love has no fear. Isn’t that a contradiction?

Answer: No, it’s not a contradiction because you did not place those verses in context.

1) “Fear God and keep his commandments.” Ecclesiastes 12:13

The reason we should fear God is because when we disobey His commandments the consequences will surely come, just like when a disobedient child is punished by a parent. Therefore, that fear is actually an expectation of God’s judgment of our disobedience. And while we’re still alive, His judgment is not geared towards destroying us, but towards correcting us so that we may experience life to the fullest.

“The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.” Proverbs 19:13

2) “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love… This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.” 1 John 4:18, 5:2

Perfect love knows no fear because perfect love has been accomplished following God’s commandments. Once that stage of perfection is achieved, there is no more fear to contend with; and whatever unpleasant things may come in our lives will be accepted grounded in faith and not in fear, even when those unpleasant things come not because of any command we may have broken. Many times God is simply testing us to make us better still, since only the truly perfected ones will inherit the perfect new world that Jesus will create at the end of time.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1: 2-4


Sex

From our RIPOSTE section

Question #1: Why is fornication a sin against one’s own body?

Answer #1: Once you become a Christian, it is not just your soul that is given to God but your body as well.

God intended sex for husband and wife to produce children, itself a great spiritual act whereby God is working with mankind to fill the earth. However, fornication is sex outside these God-given parameters.

By fornicating, itself a selfish pleasure, the body is thus defiled, because the commandment of God regarding sex is made of no effect and DEBASED (or defiled), which in turn defiles the body that commits it.

There’s no other circumstance where one uses his whole body to sin thus.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” Romans 12:1-2

Question #2: Does the Greek word porneia really translate as fornication? Because some sources do translate it as prostitution, as in sex for money.

If so, isn’t Matthew 19:9 wrong when it says, “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.

Shouldn’t it be “except it be for prostitution”?

Answer #2: The Greek word porneia derives from porneno, which has a literal meaning of “indulging lust,” and which is also the root word for the English word porno. So it’s not just sex for money, though it is translated as both “fornication” and “harlotry.”

Fornication (i.e., playing the harlot) is the indulgence of unlawful lust for selfish pleasure, whereas harlotry or prostitution is the indulgence of unlawful lust for money. Their common core is the indulgence of lust. See Of Fornication, Divorce, And Adultery.

Consequently, Matthew 19:9 is perfectly translated as is. See some real Bad Translation.

Question #3: a) Does sex between two virgins living together create a marriage?

b) Doesn’t consensual sex equal marriage, regardless of the situation, and that while sometimes there is a marriage covenant, the covenant ends at the consummation and then it’s just a marriage?

Answer #3: a) Did those two virgins enter into a marriage covenant with each other? Unless it’s marriage, it’s a sin. And did they get their fathers’ blessings?

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father and kept all his precepts and done all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me.” Jeremiah 35:18,19

Besides, would you like it if a boy shacked up with your daughter for his personal pleasure as if she were a whore?

b) Consensual sex is still fornication, a sin. Sex in and of itself is NOT marriage.

Biblical Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman, who join as one for the purpose of making children, with God-assigned authorities, the parents on both sides, agreeing to the union of their offspring.

Besides, let’s check Exodus 22:16,17:

“If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife.  If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.”

In that situation sex occurred, but when the father refused to give her daughter to that particular man, marriage did not materialize; and she did not run away and married him without her father’s approval either.

See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

Question #4: Matthew 5:32 says that, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery.”

Shouldn’t we construe that the cause of fornication in that passage is the same as the cause of fornication in this Deuteronomy 22 passage:

23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.

In other words, the only time a man can put away his woman is when she’s betrothed and commits sexual immorality or fornication, and not when she’s actually married. Besides, that would help stem the tide in our divorce-obsessed culture.

Answer #4: You’re wrong. It’s NOT the only time.

First, Jesus said, “except for fornication.” Period. He didn’t say, “except for fornication during betrothal.”

“Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:6

You’re the one who added “betrothal” by making strange connections with unrelated biblical circumstances.

Second, that Deuteronomy passage is very well defined with a specific situation, as opposed to the passage in Matthew which doesn’t confirm a Deuteronomy-type circumstance.

Third, you are insinuating that the Deuteronomy passage is the only instance of fornication within a “marriage” context that can happen. Wrong.

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.” 1 Corinthians 5:1  

Paul was very explicit in that verse, and just because the Matthew verse you quoted is not as categorical doesn’t automatically make it Deuteronomy-like. If it were, Jesus would have made it very clear.

Arbitrarily connecting bible verses because you want to stem the divorce tide is not the way to go. The only way is to obey God’s commandments and apply His principles. See Sex and The Christian.

And finally fourth, you totally neglected this other passage from Deuteronomy 22: 13-21:

“If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin…

“If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.”

That woman, who committed fornication while betrothed, ended up fully married when she was discovered, and the law demanded that she be executed.

However, Jesus removed the death penalty from that law when He told the accusers of the adulteress: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)

Still, He commanded the adulteress in John 8:11 to “go and sin no more (i.e., go and cut off the unlawful relationship).” And in the case of a married woman who fornicates, instead of death He said “to put her away, for the cause of fornication (Matthew 5:32).”

Consequently, now, instead of the death penalty, they get a chance to repent, sin no more, and cut off their unlawful relationships as the new way of purging evil, because evil still needs to be expurgated before facing God on judgment day.

“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 5:30

See Of Fornication, Divorce, And Adultery.

Question #5: I always understood that according to the bible if a woman has committed fornication (i.e., have had sex) with another man, that alone constitutes marriage.

Answer #5: Fornication is distinct from the sexual act within a marriage covenant. Its literal meaning is to play the harlot (i.e., having sex here and there with no responsibility and no commitment, just for the selfish pleasure of it). Biblical verses after biblical verses prove that. See Of Fornication, Divorce and Adultery.

Marriage takes place when two people, man and woman, enter into a marriage covenant, with parents on both sides agreeing to their siblings being joined as one. Please read The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

With your understanding, you make the marriage Covenant as ordained by God of no effect. Biblical marriage is sealed with the first copulation of the married couple, but is NOT just the sex. It is a COVENANT whose main goal is to produce children. Otherwise, according to your definition, rape would also be considered marriage.


Religion

From our RIPOSTE section

Question: Isn’t religion the bane of human existence?

Answer: Religion, as some interpret and use it, may be. However, a personal relationship with God through Christ Jesus is not. It’s the salvation and redemption of man’s soul.

Religion is man-made with earthly rules and agendas. A relationship with Christ is not. They are two different concepts.

Besides, imagine a world without Christian love and compassion. That would be the bane of human existence.


Bible Discrepancies

From our RIPOSTE section

Question: Could there be manipulation at the root of some discrepancies in published bibles?

Answer: Yes, though it’s limited to the word Jew.

In all currently published bibles the word Jew is what is printed, instead of Judahite or Judean as it should be. However, in the 1985 New King James version, published by Thomas Nelson, Inc., there’s a glaring discrepancy:

“…the Judeans, who both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men.” 1 Thessalonians 2:15

That’s the only place in that version where the word Ioudaios is rightly translated as Judean instead of the conspicuous word Jew.

Which prompts the following questions:

Did Jews bribe Thomas Nelson, Inc. to do it? If so, what did they stand to gain? And do the editors at Thomas Nelson, Inc. actually know that the word Jew is NOT in the bible?

All in all, it simply is deliberate manipulation. Because, simply put, the same Greek word Ioudaios is oddly translated two different ways in that version.

And the only place where it’s different is in that very uncomfortable and crucial verse where we are being led, like sheep to the slaughter, to envisage “Jews” (of today, of course) as not contrary to all men and not the killers of our Lord; while the “Judeans,” of the tribe of Judah, were the actual contrary ones who crucified the Lord and persecuted Christians.

Still, in other verses where the word Jew is maintained throughout, the Talmudic Rabbinists (aka Fake Hebrews or Jews) get to be seen as the Hebrews of old – a misappropriated appellation that is full of benefits for them, including the theft of Palestine to create modern-day Israel.

Consequently, yes, the editors at Thomas Nelson, Inc. do know that the Word Jew is NOT in the Bible, and yet they keep using it.

See The Word Jew Is Not In The Bible.


The Clergy

From our RIPOSTE section

Question: Where did the Christian clergy get their fancy ecclesiastical titles from? Obviously not from the bible.

Answer: Correct. They did not get them from the bible.

Contrary to the Lord’s command, so-called “church leaders” have given themselves fancy titles like Reverend, Monsignor, Pope, and Pastor.

Reverend comes from the word Revere, meaning Worship; Monsignor is from the Italian word Monsignore, meaning My Lord; Pope is from the Greek word Pappas, meaning Father; and finally Pastor comes from the Latin Pastor, meaning Shepherd.

“The Lord is my Shepherd.” Psalm 23:1

Pride and arrogance could not be any clearer. Jesus called His disciples to be servants. Period.

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

See Of Leaders and Servants in the Church.


Unclean Food

From our RIPOSTE section

Question: Is a Christian allowed to eat food deemed unclean by the bible?

Answer: If your conscience reproaches you, don’t eat them.

After the fall, God gave all live animals as food to man.

“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

Later on, many of these animals were declared ceremonially unclean by God in Leviticus 11 and were not to be consumed by the ancient Hebrews.

“It is ceremonially unclean for you.” Leviticus 11:4

However, when Jesus walked the earth, He said the following:

“Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” Mark 7:18-19

Which prompted the author of the book of Mark to say this:

“(In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)” Mark 7:19

What the author meant was that all clean foods were still clean even after one ate “without the ceremonial washing of one’s hands,” which was the actual context.

“Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?” Mark 7:5

Some also use the Apostle Peter’s vision to declare the same, that all foods are clean. Acts 10:

About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

Unfortunately, Peter’s vision, like all symbolic dreams and visions, was not literally about food. After meditating, Peter understood what God was trying to tell him.

Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: ‘You are well aware that it is against our law for a Judahite to associate with or visit a Gentile. God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.'” Acts 10:27,28

What then?

Let’s recap.

In the beginning, God gave all animals as food to us. He then restricted many of them as “ceremonially unclean” in Leviticus. Subsequently, those Old Covenant “ceremonies” became defunct with the advent of Christ’s New Covenant. However, there’s nothing in the New Testament that specifically revokes the Old Testament ordinances on eating unclean food.

Yet, as Christ succinctly put it, it is not what one eats that defiles a man.

“’What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.’” Mark 7:20-23

Consequently, as to unclean food it truly becomes a question of necessity or of conscience.

“Holding faith, and a good conscience.” 1 Timothy 1:19

“‘All things are permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will destroy them both.” 1 Corinthians 6:12,13


Chosen Ones

From our RIPOSTE section

Question #1: Why do many Christians fall on their knees to Israel in respect for the so called “God’s Chosen”?

Correct me if I am wrong. Those who believe in Jesus as the son of God are now “God’s Chosen.” I can’t understand why Christians are not taught this. Besides, Jesus made it quite clear in Matthew 21:43.

“The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will bring forth the fruits thereof.” Matthew 21:43

Answer #1: You’re absolutely right.

Figuratively, many “Christians” do fall on their knees in respect to converted Jews and Israel, even though they are taught that Christians are the new chosen people – chosen to love, to do good, and to spread peace.

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

At the same time, they are also taught by unscrupulous preachers that God has two covenants simultaneously at play, one for Christians and another one for Jews, never quoting the truth of the bible that says quite the opposite.

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

In addition, those preachers don’t teach their congregations that Jews today are not the Hebrews of the Bible, that the Old Covenant was never for those who converted but for those of Hebraic blood only, that all Hebrews are irrevocably dead, and that the word Jew is not even in the bible.

That’s what we call religious Bully-Pulpitism, a method by which Christians are brainwashed to their own detriment. See also The Chosen People Syndrome.

Question #2: Are you claiming that the Old Covenant was only with the chosen ethnic Hebrews, while the non-ethnics stood by and watched in exclusion?

God’s covenants have never had ethnic dependencies. From the very beginning, faith and obedience have been the sole covenant requisites.

Answer #2: The purpose of the Old Covenant with the ancient Hebrews (mind you) was to bring forth the Messiah, who Himself was a pure Hebrew of the tribe of Judah. Therefore, the Old Covenant was purely ethnic-centered.

“The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘These are the regulations for the Passover meal: No foreigner may eat it.’ ” Exodus 12:43

However, proselytism within the Old Covenant was allowed and was different from the Covenant itself. That’s why Jesus told the converted Samaritans, who also worshiped Jehovah just like the Hebrews:

“You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from Judah.” John 4:22

What Jesus meant was that Salvation would come about and bear fruit out of the Old Covenant, with Jesus Himself, a pure Judahite Hebrew, being the Salvation.

Now with the New Covenant things are totally different. It’s no longer ethnic-centered.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES: first to the Judahite, then to the Gentile.” Romans 1:16

The purpose of the New Covenant is to prepare and deliver a new chosen people throughout all the nations of the earth, who will become a spiritual bride for the Messiah.

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

“And in your seed [Jesus] all the families of the earth shall be blessed…” Genesis 26: 4

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7-9

In other words, the Old Covenant brought forth the Groom, while the New will bring forth the Bride.

Question #3: Israel is mentioned many times in the New Testament. Since ancient Israel no longer existed, why was the word Israel used?

Answer #3: In the context of the New Testament, Israel does not refer to the Israel of today nor to the ancient Kingdom of Israel, but to the promise that God made to Jacob, whom God renamed Israel, and which promise was fulfilled in the person of Jesus.

“In you and in your seed shall all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 28:14

That seed was to be Jesus the Messiah. In addition, said promise was similar to the one God made to Jacob/Israel’s father, Abraham.

“Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘And to your seed,’ that is, Christ.” Galatians 3:16

Further, Judah was Jacob/Israel’s son and the tribe Jesus was born in. So Israel was interchangeable with Judah, since Judah was Israel’s son by whom the promise was fulfilled.

It’s somewhat not unlike Jesus and His Father who are one and the same. Remember when Philip asked to see the Father, and Jesus answered:

“Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?” John 8:9

Question #4: What’s the difference between a covenant and a contract?

Answer #4: A contract is signed with ink (or a handshake), whereas a covenant is signed with blood. In the Old Testament, the blood of a lamb had to be spilled once a year by the ancient Hebrews, whereas in the New Testament the blood of Jesus Christ was spilled once and for all for the New Alliance.

Today, there’s only one covenant whereby blood is still spilled: marriage. See Sex and the Christian.


Should Israel Exist?

From our RIPOSTE section

Question #1: There are 56 Nations with Islamic majorities, 49 with Catholic majorities, 20 with Protestant majorities, 12 with Orthodox majorities, and 4 with Hindu majorities. Shouldn’t there be 1 with a Jewish majority? In other words, shouldn’t Israel exist?

Answer #1: No.

a. When you take the entire land of Palestine, which the Jews have stolen to create Israel, the Palestinians (Christians and Muslims) constitute a majority, not Jews. That’s why it’s an Apartheid state.

Besides, very few countries, if any, impose religious conformity within their borders or turn the religion of the majority into a mandatory state religion which everyone must follow.

In the US, it’s forbidden by the constitution to have a state religion. If tomorrow the US decides to become a Christian-only country, the Jews would be the first to cry foul, while they hypocritically do the same with Pharisaism in Apartheid Israel.

b. Being part of a religious group does not entitle one to a country. The following religions (just to name a few) have none:

Druze
Babi
Yazdânism
Atheism
Gnosticism
Meivazhi
Jainism
Din-el-Ilahi
Shabakism

c. Judaism is Pharisaism, not an Abrahamic religion. Today’s Jews are NOT Hebrews (all HEBREWS are irrevocably DEAD), hence they have no right to the land of Palestine. Those who believe otherwise suffer from the Chosen People Syndrome.

d. No country has a “right to exist.” People have that right, and people can exist anywhere. Cases in point: when the Soviet Union was dissolved, its people continued to exist without the “Soviet” moniker; while the US is inhabited by people who gave up their countries of origin in order to make a fresh start in a new land.

Question #2: Wasn’t Israel created as an act of reparation for what the Jews went through during World War 2?

Answer #2: No.

Israeli monster and Palestinian fortitude.

Israel has been in the planning since the late 18th century, way before World War 2 – a war that was orchestrated by Zionist Jews in order to 1) favor their fellow Jewish bankers who stood to make a “killing” loaning money to Western Governments to wage war, and 2) finally give birth to Israel.

And what’s with this “act of reparation” business? Stealing another people’s country in the Middle East, which had nothing to do with what was going on in Europe at that time, is what you call act of reparation? Is that your sense of justice?

Besides, who’s going to pay acts of reparation to the Palestinians for what they have suffered at the hands of the Jews? Who?

Question #3: Wasn’t Israel as a country sanctioned by the United Nations? And doesn’t that make it legitimate?

Answer #3: No and no.

Blatant Apartheid in Israel: Racist Israeli Jews on the wide side and Arabs on the cramped side.

Most countries of the world were bribed and bullied by Britain and the US to shamelessly recommend the partition of Palestine at the United Nations in 1947, though the resolution of said recommendation was non-binding and never implemented by the Security Council.

Israel segregates and oppresses its majority Arab population, and treats them like animals. It is therefore not a legitimate country by any stretch of the imagination.

Question #4: First, Israel won their lands by right of conquest, the oldest and most salient form of land acquisition; therefore yours is an infantile argument. Second, Palestine was a creation of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. But you don’t know that because you obviously don’t know history.

Answer #4: First, as per your argument, it’s okay for China today, for instance, to invade the US in order to acquire more land and expand its Empire, since the right of conquest is the most salient form of land acquisition. And then when Chinese folks begin to take over the homes of Americans (like Israelis did of Palestinians), no one should utter a word. Yours is the argument of a THIEF!

“You shall not steal.” Exodus 20:15

Second, every nation on earth was started at some point by some entity. But you wouldn’t know since you’re having fun picking and twisting the history that suits you. Still, according to you, because the Roman Empire created Palestine, it’s quite just for it to be erased from the map, while Israel maintains Palestinians segregated in the ugliest form of apartheid.

Again, yours is the argument of a THIEF who wishes to appease his conscience by wrangling with false contentions that make no sense. There’s a better way to appease your conscience, since obviously you’re a Zionist Jew leaving on stolen Palestinian land: follow God’s commandments instead.

“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.” Exodus 20:17

Question #5: One of the things Israelis love to say is that there’s no such thing as a Palestinian people. How do you respond?

Answer #5: That there’s no such thing either as:

– a Jewish/Israeli people – because Talmudic Judaism is Pharisaism, a non-Abrahamic religion that follows an evil book called the Babylonian Talmud, full of satanic superstitions, hence not a race;

– or an American people – because America is comprised of different races from all over the world that make up a community of inhabitants seeking a better life in a new land, hence not a race either.

The Israelis love to muddy the water in order to take the focus away from the fact that they’re not Hebrews (all Hebrews are irrevocably dead) and have no right to the land of Palestine, a country they’ve stolen and destroyed.

They hoodwink the uninformed into believing that the Palestinians – whether a race or not (like Americans) – do not exist, when said Palestinians have inhabited Palestine for about 2000 years, roughly 1600 more years than Americans have inhabited America.

They also impose on the world their psychotic Islamophobia and unabashed Hebraic pretense, as well as creating all sorts of malicious lies and satanic-inspired false flag terrorism, in order to choke the truth and lure the weak-minded into looking over there (Palestinians???) and not over here (Jewish impostors and terrorists!!!).

Unfortunately, a large number of people, especially brainwashed Christians, swallow the bait hook, line, and sinker, and consequently fail to see the following:

a) modern Israel is not comprised of the 10 Hebrew tribes like in scriptures; b) the country’s current geographical demarcation is not as delineated by God in the book of Joshua; c) the nation would be called Judah instead of Israel, with the Levites sheltered therein, if Jews today were of the tribe of David; and d) the modern impostor state of Israel is made up of Jewish converts who are not Semitic descendants of Abraham.

“To your (Abraham’s) descendants I give this land….” Genesis 15:18

However, Palestinian Arabs are Semites, descendants of Abraham; and therefore rightful inheritors of the land, not converted Jews. To obfuscate that reality, Israel engineered a hate-mongering and demonization campaign against Arabs and Muslims, which metastasized worldwide and seduced many Christians into sanctioning Israel’s foul anti-Christ spirit of “Hate Thy Neighbor.” See Israel Is The Problem.

Question #6: Haven’t the Jews always had a connection to Jerusalem?

Answer #6: No.

The Hebrews did, for a while. Before them, the Canaanites founded that place. And after Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD during the Hebraic period, the Arabs then took over.

The Jews never had a role in that city until Zionists stole Palestine and created modern Israel in 1948. Remember, Jews are converts to Pharisaism (now called Judaism), so they are non-Semitic people from other nations – though they are pretending to be Hebrews. See Pray for the Peace of which Jerusalem?

<<<<<<>>>>>>

Discover more Questions and their Answers. Click on the banner below.

riposteNote: This HEADLINE post is updated on a rotational basis with articles from our other pages that may not appear on our HOME/ARCHIVES page nor on the RECENT POSTS widget. Consequently, they do not stay here for long, but they can always be found in their pertinent sections: CHURCH REFORM JUDAICAWISDOM FOR TODAYRIPOSTEVIEWS OF NEWS & BAD TRANSLATION.

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When Bad Things Happen

God Is Not Unaware
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

When our flesh is destroyed, our sinful nature is henceforth dashed to pieces like pottery; and God’s iron scepter is made evident in our lives as he keeps us in line, away from the malicious influence of life’s alluring but deadly valley of sin.

“You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” Psalm 2:9

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

THE MARK OF PERFECTION

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.

“You must rule over sin.” Genesis 4:7

And how do we rule over it?

1) Constantly judge ourselves and recognize our wrongdoings.

“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 could 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 covenant with the Hebrews. They were supposed to love Him and follow His commandments, which they never did.

However, there was a stipulation in the covenant 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 covenant 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.

“I have come to bring fire upon this land, and how I wish it were already kindled!” Luke 12:49

Jesus wanted the fire kindled so He could shut down the Old Covenant and allow free rein to the New.

“The ax lies ready at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 3:9

He therefore removed His protection and allowed all the Hebrews 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

“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” Matthew 21:43-44

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 70 AD 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

“From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up…” Daniel 12:11

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 (again, the Apocalypse of 70 AD). 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

They’re No Longer 10
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 ancient 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.

In addition, God singled out the 5th Commandment by attaching a promise to it, thus emphasizing its importance.

“‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise).” Ephesians 6:2

“Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you.” Deuteronomy 5:16

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

All enduring biblical laws are now sub-laws to the 11th Commandment.

They delineate and detail its intrinsic content in order to help us succeed in applying the Greatest Commandment of all.

God gave them to us so we can obey them. Those who choose to 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 Timothy 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 are plagued 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; the strife would then extend to the fathers and the children they fathered, along with their birth mothers.

That is why surrogacy, western style, has become not just a legally-binding and 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, drug addiction, 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

PaintedChrist.com

“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 Of Healing and Miracles.

“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 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

“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment…” Hebrews 10:26,27

Therefore, beware!

“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12

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 of Sheba

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

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