Category Archives: House of the Nazarene’s Posts

House of the Nazarene’s Posts, Research News and Studies, articles and information. Brings news about the latest discoveries and research projects covering topics from the Bible that is relevant, posted weekly.

Bernie Sanders Attacks Christianity by Attacking Trump Nominee Russell Vought’s Faith

Now would  Bernie Sanders be Attacking Trump Nominee Russell Vought in Sanders rant, if Vought confessed to being Socialist, Communist, Jewish, anti-Jesus, Democrat or moslem? Or is Bernie Sanders saying that only a person practicing Socialism, Communism, Jewish, anti-Jesus, Democrat or muslim should work for the government? Or non-inclusuve, intolerant, liberal minds the only people qualified to hold public office and the prerequisite is that they be atheists?

First they came for the wedding planners and the bakers. Then they came for the Catholic farmers and the Baptist high school valedictorians. And now, the secularists are coming after the evangelical public servants.

“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:10-12 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: President Trump’s latest government nominee Russell Vought drew the unmitigated ire and fury of Bernie Sanders because of a statement of faith he signed while in Christian college. Vought stated that he believed that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, excluding all other beliefs, ideas and systems to the contrary. This is, of course, is what the King James Bible teaches from cover to cover. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, declared such thinking to be “anti-American” and called for Vought’s nomination to be blocked. I wonder if Sanders will be equally passionate about his anti-Jesus rant on the day when he stands before Jesus Christ to give an account for his life? 

On Wednesday, Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee to be deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, was viciously attacked by Sen. Bernie Sanders over his Christian faith.

Sen. Sanders deemed Vought unsuitable for office because he believes that salvation is found alone through Jesus Christ. He said someone with that kind of a religious belief system is “really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.”

Sen. James Lankford warned that Sander’s comments “dangerously close to crossing a clear constitutional line for how we evaluate qualifications for public service.”

Bernie Sanders really, really, really hates Jesus Christ and Christianity:

“The First Amendment is crystal clear that the federal government must protect every American’s right to the peaceful and free exercise of religion,” the Oklahoma Republican said. “We cannot say we have the free exercise of religion and also require people to practice their faith only in a way that government officials prefer.”

The Vermont senator’s comments brought strong condemnation from Christians across the nation – including Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

“Senator Sanders is taking the Obama era’s religious hostility and putting it on steroids,” Perkins said.

Thousands have signed a Family Research Council petition demanding Sanders apologize for his outburst of religious bigotry.

Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, said that there are only two choices for the senator: “Apologize to the country for his foolhardy attempt to introduce an unconstitutional litmus test that would exclude 41 percent of the country, or resign.”

The controversy stems from an article Vought wrote in 2016 defending his alma mater, Wheaton College. In that article, he described Islam as a “deficient theology.”

“This is a fundamental problem,” he wrote in The Resurgent. “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”

Sanders confronted Vought during the congressional hearing. The following is a transcript provided by FRC:

Sen. Sanders: “‘Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned.’ Do you believe that that statement is Islamophobic?”

Mr. Vought: “Absolutely not, Senator. I’m a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith…

Sanders: “…Forgive me, we just don’t have a lot of time. Do you believe people in the Muslim religion stand condemned? Is that your view?”

Vought: “Again, Senator, I’m a Christian, and I wrote that piece in accordance with the statement of faith at Wheaton College…”

Sanders: “I understand that. I don’t know how many Muslims there are in America. Maybe a couple million. Are you suggesting that these people stand condemned? What about Jews? Do they stand condemned too?”

Vought: “Senator, I’m a Christian…”

Sanders [shouting]: “I understand you are a Christian, but this country [is] made of people who are not just — I understand that Christianity is the majority religion, but there are other people of different religions in this country and around the world. In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?”

Vought: “Thank you for probing on that question. As a Christian, I believe that all individuals are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect regardless of their religious beliefs. I believe that as a Christian that’s how I should treat all individuals…”

Sanders: “…Do you think that’s respectful of other religions?… I would simply say, Mr. Chairman that this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.”

As Perkins pointed out, salvation through Jesus Christ is a core biblical tenet held by Christians for millennia.

“Yet Senator Sanders is making it clear that he believes the U.S. Senate should disqualify nominees who express this most basic biblical belief,” Perkins said.

“Americans should never be forced to choose between their faith and public service. Nor should the U.S. Senate try to impose a stealth litmus test that says ‘you can be religious as long as you don’t actually believe or talk about what the Bible teaches.'”

After Sanders’ wrapped up his rant, David French wrote a powerful rebuke of Sanders for National Review.  “There is nothing ‘extreme’ about his statements, and they mirror the statements of faith of countless Christian churches and schools across the land,” French wrote. “Are these believers also not fit for public office?”

It’s a fair question and one that I posed to Sen. Sanders’ office. Does he believe Christians are unfit to hold public office?

The senator’s press office did not answer that question directly.

“The question at hand is not about Mr. Vought’s freedom to hold certain religious beliefs,” the senator’s spokesman told me. “The question that concerns Sen. Sanders is whether Mr. Vought will carry out the duties of his office in a way that treats all Americans equally, even those whose beliefs he has criticized.”

It was an ugly moment in American politics, but it was also an instructional moment for American Christians.

Progressives and secularists are waging a brutal assault on people of faith – and it’s only gotten worse since President Trump took office. People of faith must stand together and renounce anti-Christian bigots and bigotry – Especially when those bigots walk the halls of Congress. source

Leave a comment

Filed under House of the Nazarene's Posts

Is The ‘Blessed Mother’ Of Roman Catholicism, The Same as The Mary In the King James Bible

The Mary In the King James Bible Bears No Resemblance To The ‘Blessed Mother’ Of Roman Catholicism.

Catholics are taught to “pray to the Blessed Mother” for leading and guidance in their daily lives, yet incredibly the real-life Mary never advised anyone on anything. When she attempted, one time, to give her opinion, Jesus instantly rebuked her!

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 1:18 (KJV)

Almost 1,900 years after the birth of the biblical Mary, the Roman Catholic Church declared some startling and amazing things about her. Not the least of which was the blasphemous and heretical notion that she was born sinless.

“The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”. By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.” Catechism of the Catholic Church

This idea was unknown to any writer in the New Testament which clearly states that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” in the book of Romans. Yet the idea of a “sinless Mary” forms the basis of Catholicism. Why else do you think that when Catholics “pray the rosary”, they say 10 “Hail Marys” to every one “Our Father”?

If Mary was, as the Vatican asserts, “fashioned by the Holy Spirit” and then “kept free from all sin”, then the birth of Jesus is not so special after all. Mary kinda beats Jesus to the punch, wouldn’t you say? But then, stealing the glory from Jesus Christ is really what the Roman Catholic “Mary” was invented to do.

Things you were taught about Mary that are not supported in the Bible:

  • Mary was not sinless: After the birth of Jesus, Mary went to the Temple to make an atonement for her personal sin according to the Law of Moses. Sinless people don’t need to make sacrifices, Jesus never made one, He was one. Vatican teaching answers this by saying that Mary just made that unnecessary sacrifice because she “was humble”. Well, if she was sinless and pretended to have sin and make a phony sacrifice, that’s not humility, that’s a lie. And lying is a sin, so you do the math. “And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Luke 2:22-24 (KJV)
  • Mary never consulted on anything ever: Catholics are taught to “pray to the Blessed Mother” for leading and guidance in their daily lives, yet incredibly the real-life Mary never advised anyone on anything. When she attempted, one time, to give her opinion, Jesus instantly rebuked her. “And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.” John 2:1-4 (KJV)
  • Mary had no voice in the early Church: If Mary was indeed the miracle-working super saint that the Vatican claims she is, like all the apostles actually were, then the time for her to “show her stuff” would have been on the day of Pentecost, right? Think about it, the prophecies of Joel had started to come to pass, the apostles were having dreams, visions, signs, wonders and tongues…but where was Mary? She was with the other women, NOT “above the other women”, and simply one of the saints the Bible records as praying to the Lord. Please note that no one in the Church as it was being formed prayed to her, or even recorded that she even had anything to say. What a shocking contrast to the all-knowing, prayer-answering, floating apparition “Blessed Virgin” of the Catholic Church. “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”Acts 1:14 (KJV)
  • Mary had other children: If you take away the perpetual virginity of Mary, then the bulk of all Catholic doctrine built around her collapses. And this is exactly what the King James Bible does so you won’t be confused about the matter. Not only that, Mark gives you the NAMES of the four half-brothers of Jesus! These are not “cousins” as the Vatican pathetically asserts, these are others brothers from the SAME mother. Mark also said there were sisters, so that makes a minimum of 6 kids born to Mary and Joseph during the time she was a “perpetual virgin” Hmm…”And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” Mark 6:2-4 (KJV)
  • Mary’s role as Jesus’ mother ends at the cross: In His final moments on the cross, Jesus makes a very anti-Catholic statement. He tells Mary that she is no longer His mother, as the soon-to-be-risen Saviour is “from everlasting” and needs no mother. Jesus feels so strongly about the transfer that it’s recorded with two of the very rare exclamation points in Scripture. Instead of “promoting” Mary to lead the guide the new Church, He lets us know she has no active role in the Church other than simply being a good role model for other women of like faith. “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” John 19:25-27 (KJV)
  • Mary is never called the ‘mother of God’: The Roman Catholic “Hail Mary” prayer is loosely based on the biblical account of the angel Gabriel appearing to her, but with plenty of embellishment thrown in for good measure. She is NEVER called the “mother of God” one time ever, this is a complete invention of the Vatican. In fact, the Bible goes one step further with Gabriel not even referring to her as the “mother of Jesus”, but calls Him the Son of God. “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35 (KJV)
  • Mary is not the woman in Revelation 12: The Vatican teaches that Mary is the woman in Revelation 12 with the “12 stars” around her head, but nothing could be further from the truth. The woman in Revelation 12 is the nation of Israel to whom the Saviour was born, and that “woman” flees” into the red rock city of Selah Petra to escape Antichrist in the time of Jacob’s trouble. “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” Revelation 12:1,2 (KJV)

If you are a Roman Catholic reading this now (I did not say ‘Catholic christian’ because there is no such thing,) why don’t you use your brain and think for a moment? the Vatican makes these outrageous claims about Mary, but NONE of them are found in the Bible. Where are they found? In the writings of the Catholic Church 1,500 years later.

This is why the Roman Catholic Church does not have the Bible as its sole authority, because the Bible is against what they teach as I have shown you above. The King James Bible actively contradicts official Vatican teaching in dozens and dozens of places regarding Mary.

Don’t believe the lies of the Catholic Church:

Did you know that the Catholic Church teaches that the very first apparition of Mary was while she was still alive? Incredible but true, that’s official Vatican teaching.

The real Mary in the Bible was a sweet and sanctified young lady who loved the LORD with all her heart, and accepted the awesome task given her. But she was born in the image of Adam and Eve, as we all were, and acknowledged Jesus as her Saviour. Sinless people have no need of a Saviour, just as well people have no need of a doctor.

“And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” Luke 1:47 (KJV)

The real Mary in the Bible performed no miracles, there is no record of her advising anyone or anyone seeking her advice. Have you ever wondered about that? None of the astonishing things the Catholic Church attributes to Mary are never once found in the Bible. The real Mary in the Bible would be horrified if she knew what was being taught falsely about her.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” 1 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)

The real Mary in the Bible was a saved sinner who needed a Saviour just like anyone else who ever lives. Don’t pray to her, don’t ask her advice, worship Jesus instead.

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”Hebrews 9:28 (KJV)

Why Is Mary Crying

Leave a comment

Filed under House of the Nazarene's Posts

Is the Cross of Jesus an Idol

In Genesis Satan spoke through a serpent in the Garden of Eden and the first promise of the Messiah was prophesied.

And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:14–15)

THE SERPENT ON THE POLE AND THE CROSS OF CHRIST

When the fateful day of disaster came, everything changed—and rightly so. God warned us that if we were to disobey Him then we would surely die. After sin, God fulfilled His warning in just manner. The serpent was cursed (more than all the other creatures) and mankind was to return to dust (i.e., die). Yet we should never overlook the first great working of God’s unlimited grace in the midst of His righteous judgment. God said to the serpent (Satan), “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15). This coming Seed that will crush the head of Satan was promised by God. From this point on, we see in Scripture and understand our true need for the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

SERPENT ON THE POLE AND THE CROSS OF CHRIST ILLUSTRATION

SERPENT ON THE POLE AND THE CROSS OF CHRIST ILLUSTRATION

In theological terms, this is called the proto-evangelium (the first Gospel). God promised that through the Seed (i.e., descendant) of a woman (Eve) would come one who would crush the head of Satan. This is the first promise of a Savior and the first great act of God’s grace after our tragic act of rebellion.

When we read the account of Genesis, and particularly the first eleven chapters, we get a full historical foundation for understanding of the significance of this promise of a Savior, and the depth of our desperate need for salvation. Not only do we see that we are rebellious, and under the wrath of God, but Genesis also tells us that since that rebellion, sin is constantly and aggressively crouching at our door (Genesis 4:7), and that we are totally consumed by sin (Genesis 8:21). The promise of a Savior from man’s rebellious nature is something we see consistently throughout Scripture—from its origin in Genesis, all the way through to Christ’s ultimate victory in Revelation.

So, we move to throughout the wilderness wanderings of Moses and the Israelites, God was constantly teaching them things about Himself and about their own sinfulness. He brought them into the wilderness, to the same mountain where He revealed Himself to Moses, so that He could instruct them in what He required of them. Shortly after the amazing events at Mt. Sinai, God brought them to the border of the Promised Land, but when the people heard the reports from the spies, their faith failed. They said that God could not overcome the giants in the land. As a result of this unbelief, God sent them into the wilderness to wander until that generation died out (Numbers 14:28-34).

In Numbers 21, the people again got discouraged, and in their unbelief they murmured against Moses for bringing them into the wilderness. They had already forgotten that it was their own sin that caused them to be there, and they tried to blame Moses for it. As a judgment against the people for their sin, God sent poisonous serpents into the camp, and people began to die. This showed the people that they were the ones in sin, and they came to Moses to confess that sin and ask for God’s mercy. When Moses prayed for the people, God instructed him to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole so the people could be healed (Numbers 21:5-7).

God was teaching the people something about faith. It is totally illogical to think that looking at a bronze image could heal anyone from snakebite, but that is exactly what God told them to do. It took an act of faith in God’s plan for anyone to be healed, and the serpent on the stick was a reminder of their sin which brought about their suffering. This serpent was symbolic of the serpents God used to chastise the people for their unbelief.

A couple of additional lessons are taught in the Bible regarding this bronze serpent. The people did get healed when they looked at the serpent, and the image was kept for many years. Many years later, when the Israelites were in the Promised Land, the serpent became an object of worship (2 Kings 18:4). This shows how easy it is for us to take the things of God and twist them into idolatry. We must never worship the tools or the people God chooses to use, but always bring the honor and glory to God alone.

The next reference we find in the Bible to this serpent is in John 3:14. Jesus indicated that this bronze serpent was a foreshadowing of Him. The serpent, a symbol of sin and judgment, was lifted up from the earth and put on a tree, which was a symbol of a curse (Galatians 3:13). The serpent lifted up and cursed symbolized Jesus, who takes away sin from everyone who would look to Him in faith, just like the Israelites had to look to the upraised symbol in the wilderness. Paul is reminding the Galatians that Jesus became a curse for us, although He was blameless and sinless—the spotless Lamb of God. “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).

SERPENT ON THE POLE AND THE CROSS OF CHRIST

When Jesus explained the nature of His atoning death on the cross to the Israelites of His day, He appealed to what is arguably the most fascinating of the redemptive symbols from the history of Israel’s wilderness wandering–namely, the bronze serpent on the pole (Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14). The bronze serpent is the clearest type of the saving work of Jesus at Calvary. Of all the types and shadows, there was not any that showed forth the principal work of the Savior better than this type. Jesus could have pointed to the Passover, or to any of the sacrificial types that foreshadowed His atoning death, but He chose to point to this type in his discussion with Nicodemus. Here are 14 points that are meant to teach us how the account of Numbers 21:4-9 serves to deepen our understanding of the Gospel:

1. The bronze serpent was God’s means of salvation for the Israelites who were bitten by the serpents in the wilderness. Jesus Christ crucified is God’s means of salvation for everyone who has been bitten by the deadly venom of sin in the wilderness of this fallen world.

2. The bronze serpent was God’s only way of salvation for the Israelites. Jesus Christ crucified is God’s only way of salvation for Jew and Gentile (consider the redemptive-historical reading of John 3:16 in light of John 3:15. In the OT the Israelites were loved by God and so given a typological way of healing; in the New Testament we are told that “God loves the world,” that is, Jews and Gentiles, as so gave His Son for the redemption of His people from every tongue, tribe, nation and language).

3. The bronze serpent was a visual representation of the wrath of God against a grumbling and complaining people. Christ crucified is a visual representation of the wrath of God against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.

4. The bronze serpent represented the propitiation of the wrath of God. Whoever looked at the serpent would know that the wrath of God was turned away. The cross of Christ displays the wrath of God as well as the turning away of that wrath. Mercy and truth meet together at the cross; righteousness and peace kiss one another in the death of Jesus.

5. The bronze serpent was a symbolic representation of the venomous serpents that bit the people and brought deadly consequences on account of their sin; however, it was without the venom that caused their death. Christ represented those who were ruined by sin, taking to Himself a body in the likeness of sinful flesh–yet without sin–so that He might, through His death, save those who by their own sin were poisoned unto death. He was made a curse for us that we might receive the blessings of God.

6. The bronze serpent was meant to remind the Israelites of the cause of their sin. It was meant to carry their minds back to the Garden of Eden where Satan came in the form of a serpent to tempt their first parents. The punishment for the sin, brought into the world through the temptation of that Serpent of Old, was laid on Jesus at the cross. The penalty for our sin fell on Him. He became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

7. With respect to the serpent in the wilderness, the healing was dependent upon the word of God concerning His means of salvation. With Christ crucified, salvation is dependent on God’s word concerning His means of that salvation.

8. As the poisoned Israelites were called to believe God’s command–and the bronze serpent was made the object of that command–we see that both the means and the instrument of God’s salvation are typified. In the account of Jesus’ interaction with Nicodemus both the means and the instrument of God’s salvation are pointed out. A crucified Savior is the means of God’s salvation. Faith (or looking to Him) is the instrument of salvation.

9. The plagued Israelites were externally called to look upon the bronze serpent in order to be healed. Sinners are externally called to look upon the crucified Son of God to be saved.

10. The serpent was lifted up before the Israelites in the midst of the camp so that those who were bitten might look and be healed. Christ was lifted up–first on the cross, then in His resurrection, then in His ascension, and finally in the preaching of the Gospel–so that sinners might look on Him and be saved.

11. The bronze serpent was the central and all sufficient means of healing for the Israelites. The cross is the central and all-sufficient means of the saving work of Christ for the healing of all who believe in Him.

12. Just as God chose a man, Moses, to lift up the bronze serpent on the pole so that men might look and be healed, God has chosen ministers to hold up Jesus in the preaching of Christ crucified so that men might look to Him and be saved.

13. Just as looking to a bronze serpent was a foolish means of healing poisoned Israelites, so looking to a crucified Savior (an publicly executed Man) is a foolish means, in the world’s eyes, for the salvation of a sinners condemned to death.

14. The bronze serpent was held up for many for salvation from the wrath of God and the deadly consequences of sin. Christ was lifted up for many for the salvation of men from the wrath of God and the deadly consequences of sin. Only those who looked were saved from the poison of the serpent bites. Only those who look in faith to Christ are redeemed from the deadly bite of sin.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under House of the Nazarene's Posts

The Marriage Feast of the Lamb in Jewish Wedding Customs

Since June is the month of weddings, there is no better time to reflect on the much anticipated gathering of the bride (kallah) and the wedding of the Lamb!
“For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. … Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”  (Revelation 19:7, 9)
While the exchange of covenant vows between a man and woman who love each other is a blessing in any culture, there are aspects of the Jewish wedding celebration that are rich in spiritual truths.
This ancient ritual prophetically points to the coming of the Messiah and the great celebration of the marriage supper of the Lamb.  It also teaches us unique lessons about God’s covenant love for His people.
One would be hard pressed to find an occasion more joyous than that of a Jewish wedding.  In Hebrew, it’s called a simcha (a joyous occasion).
“Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom.”  (Jeremiah 33:10–11)
 
An Orthodox Jewish wedding in Jerusalem: Traditionally, the chatan
(groom) on the day of his wedding first wears the kittel (white linen garment),
which signifies purity, holiness, and new beginnings.  Thereafter, he wears it
on special occasions such as Rosh Hashanah (New Year’s), Yom Kippur
(Day of Atonement), and Pesach (Passover).
Since Yeshua (Jesus) used the model of the ancient Jewish marriage ceremony to refer to His future second coming, to recognize exactly what He was talking about, it’s helpful to understand the nature of marriage during His earthly ministry in Israel.
There are three distinct parts to the ancient Jewish wedding:
  • shiddukhin (mutual commitment),
  • erusin (engagement), and
  • nissuin (marriage).
Shiddukhin:  A Time of Mutual Commitment
“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him.’”  (Genesis 2:18)
Shiddukhin refers to the preliminary arrangements prior to the legal betrothal.
 
Signing the ketubah (marriage contract): in ancient times, the ketubah
protected the rights of the wife by specifying the groom’s responsibilities in
caring for her, and the amount of support that would be due her in the event
of a divorce. 
In ancient times, the father of the groom often selected a bride (kallah) for his son, as did Abraham for his son Isaac (Genesis 24:1-4).
In Ultra-Orthodox Judaism today, many marriages are still arranged by a marriage broker or matchmaker called a shadkhan.  It’s considered an exalted and holy vocation to find and arrange a good marital match, called a shiddukh, between a man and woman.
In ancient times, marriage was looked upon as more of an alliance for reasons of survival or practicality, and the concept of romantic love remained a secondary issue, if considered at all. Romantic love grew over time for some.

Rebecca at the Well, Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini
Of course, the consent of the bride-to-be is an important consideration. Rebecca (Rivkah), for example, was asked if she agreed to go back with Abraham’s servant to marry Abraham’s son, Isaac.  She went willingly (Genesis 24:57–59).
Likewise, we cannot be forced into a relationship with the Son, Yeshua (Jesus).
In the same way that Rebecca was asked if she would go with Abraham’s servant, the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) asks us if we are willing to follow Him to be joined in a covenant of love with Yeshua.
Traditionally, in preparation for the betrothal ceremony, the bride (kallah) and groom (chatan) are separately immersed in water in a ritual called the mikvah, which is symbolic of spiritual cleansing.
In Matthew 3:13–17, we read that Yeshua has already been immersed (baptized) by Yochanan (John) in the waters of mikvah at the Jordan River.
As the Bride-to-be, we are also asked to be immersed.
“Whoever believes and is baptized [ritually immersed] will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”  (Mark 16:16) 

A groom rejoices by dancing with his friends after immersing
himself in the mikvah.  The water for this mikvah bath is outside
and fed by a spring from which the natural water runs down a
hill into the mikvah, just outside of Jerusalem.

Erusin:  The Betrothal

“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.”  (Proverbs 18:22)
After the immersion, the couple entered the huppah (marriage canopy), symbolic of a new household being planned, to establish a binding contract.
Here, the groom would give the bride money or a valuable object such as a ring, and a cup of wine was customarily shared to seal their covenant vows.
In this public ceremony under the huppah, the couple entered into the betrothal period, which typically lasted for about a year.  Although they were considered married, they did not live together or engage in sexual relations.

An outdoor Jewish wedding under a huppah in Vienna
To annul this contract, the couple would need a religious divorce (get), which had to be initiated by the husband.
 Matthew 1:18–25 provides an excellent example of this.
 During the erusin of Yosef (Joseph) and Miriam (Mary), Yosef discovered that Miriam was pregnant, and he considered divorcing her, although he had not yet brought her home as his wife.
“…he had in mind to divorce her quietly.  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.’”  (Matthew 1:19–20)
During the erusin period, the groom was to prepare a place for his bride, while the bride focused on her personal preparations—wedding garments, lamps, etc.
 Although the bride knew to expect her groom after about a year, she did not know the exact day or hour.  He could come earlier, and it was the father of the groom who gave final approval for him to return to collect his bride.
 For that reason, the bride kept her oil lamps ready at all times, just in case the groom came in the night, sounding the shofar (ram’s horn) to lead the bridal procession to the home he had prepared for her.

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, by William Blake
In the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1–13), Yeshua (Jesus) likened the Kingdom of Heaven to this special period of erusin, when the groom comes for his bride:
“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom!  Come out to meet him!’  Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.”  (Matthew 25:6– 7)
So too today, in the season of Yeshua’s end-time return, we should be careful to remain alert and prepared for His coming, since Yeshua was speaking to His disciples prophetically about the condition of the Church in the last days.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”  (Matthew 7:21)

In Jewish weddings today, there are two cups of
wine during the wedding ceremony.  After the rabbi
recites the betrothal blessings accompanying the
first cup, the couple drinks from it.  Since wine is
associated with Kiddish, the prayer of sanctification
recited on Shabbat, and since marriage is the
sanctification of the bride and groom to each other,
marriage is also called kiddushin.
Nissuin:  The Marriage
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”  (John 14:3)
The final step in the Jewish wedding tradition is called nissuin (to take), a word that comes from naso, which means to lift up.
At this time, the groom, with much noise, fanfare and romance, carried the bride home.
Once again, the bride and groom would enter the huppah, recite a blessing over the wine (a symbol of joy), and finalize their vows.
Now, finally, they would consummate their marriage and live together as husband and wife, fully partaking of all the duties and privileges of the covenant of marriage.

It is traditional in some Jewish communities for the
bride to circle the groom seven times and then stand to
the groom’s right side under the huppah.  Since the
number seven biblically symbolizes completion and
perfection, this represents the wholeness and
completeness that they cannot attain separately.
Likewise, the Messiah, as the Bridegroom, has gone to prepare a place for us.
The day of the return of the Messiah for His Bride is soon approaching.
Although, we know approximately the time of His return from the signs of the times, “the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”  (2 Peter 3:10)
The Bride (Believers in Yeshua) should be living consecrated lives, keeping themselves pure and holy in preparation for the Nissuin and the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, when the Groom comes with the blast of the shofar (1 Thessalonians 4:16) to bring His Bride home.

A Jewish bride and groom take a walk beside the ocean together for the first
time as man and wife.
Traditional Jewish Marriages Today
“Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber [huppah].”  (Joel 2:16)
Today, in traditional Judaism, the erusin and the nissuin are combined into one.
The bride and groom sign the marriage contract (ketubah) in the presence of the rabbi and two witnesses before the ceremony.
Unlike a Christian wedding, where it’s generally taboo for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony, in a Jewish wedding, the groom must see his bride before the ceremony.
Why?  Remember the story of Laban, who tricked Jacob into marrying his eldest daughter, even though he loved Rachel?
Since Jacob didn’t ensure the identity of his bride, he ended up marrying the woman he thought would be his sister-in-law, Leah (Genesis 29).

Jacob Meets Rachel at the Well, by William Dyce
In ancient times, the wedding feast (seudah) after the nissuin might have included seven full days of food, music, dancing and celebrations (Judges 14:10–12).
Today, the Jewish ceremony is usually followed by a wedding supper and reception with food, wine, music, and dance!
However, Orthodox Jews do celebrate after the wedding for seven nights with friends and family, hosting festive meals in honor of the bride and groom.

Jewish Wedding in Morocco, by Eugene Delacroix (Louvre Museum)
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”  (Revelation 21:1–2)
When Messiah returns for us, and everything in the world today indicates that this will be very soon, we will celebrate the marriage supper of the Lamb with Him and our joy (simcha) will be beyond measure.
But there will be those who won’t share in our simcha or celebrate with us because they do not know Yeshua!
Now is the time to reach out to them, while we are still in the erusin period, before the Bridegroom comes.
“Behold, I am coming soon!  My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. … The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’  And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come.”  (Revelation 22:12, 17)
Now so much more can be said on how Jesus has already fulfilled the first two distinct parts to the ancient Jewish wedding, like the covenant has been fulfilled by God, giving us His word the Holy Bible! and how He plans on fulfilling the third! But for now the point is made, and I hope you have a fresh understanding on what is in God’s heart for you and me!
In these end times, please help us bring the Good News of Yeshua and of His Salvation to Israel and the world, so that everyone has the opportunity to come to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Time is Short!

Leave a comment

Filed under House of the Nazarene's Posts

The Body Of Jesus Christ is also The Bride Of Jesus Christ

The Body Of Jesus Christ is also The Bride Of Jesus Christ. How The New Testament Church Can Be Both The Bride And Body Of Jesus Christ At The Same Time.

Going 6,000 years back into the past, in the very beginning of Genesis, God has placed a wonderful and amazing type of the New Testament Church in the creation of Adam and Eve.

“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.” 1 Corinthians 15:45-47 (KJV)

On a fairly regular basis, people will send us emails or comment on our site about the identity of the body of Christ and the bride of Christ. And more often than not, people seem confused about who this Bride is, and what constitutes the Body of Christ. Rarely do people make the connection that the Bible teaches us that the Bride and Body of Jesus Christ are one and the same entity, the Church. The trail of Scripture which proves that goes all the way back to the creation in Genesis, where we read about an amazing event that almost no one connects with the New Testament church.

Adam’s bride was taken from his own body

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Genesis 2:21-23 (KJV)

The Bible tells us that God created Adam in His own image in Genesis 1, right? If you would have been alive in the Garden of Eden and seen Adam, you would have seen the very image of God Himself. OK, shortly after God created Adam, it was decided that he needed a wife for him to be complete, so God created a bride for Adam. But Eve was not taken “from the ground” as Adam was, she was made up of very different material. Eve was formed from one of Adam’s ribs, from Adam’s own body. This means that Adam’s bride was also his body at the very same time. You might want to pause here for a moment and reflect on that, and allow that thought to wash over you as it did me the very time the Holy Spirit revealed that to me.

Jesus’ bride is taken from his own body

Going 6,000 years back into the past, in the very beginning of Genesis, God has placed a wonderful and amazing type of the New Testament Church in the creation of Adam and Eve. For the “first Adam”, God fashioned him a bride out of his own body. For the “last Adam” which 1 Corinthians tells us is Jesus Christ, God has done exactly the same thing. He has given Him a body from which He also has created a Bride.

“For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:30-32 (KJV)

If you are a born again, saved sinner in the Church Age, you are part of the body of Jesus Christ. You have been grafted in to His Body so that He now dwells inside of you. This doctrine is one of the great mysteries revealed to the apostle Paul:

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” Colossians 1:26,27 (KJV)

The Church is both the body and bride of Jesus Christ

Just as Adam was presented with a bride that was taken from his own body, so will God also present His Son, Jesus Christ, with a Bride also taken from His own body.

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV)

If a “virgin” is presented to a “husband”, then by very definition she is a “bride”. This is exactly what the Holy Spirit had in mind when He wrote the following through the apostle Paul:

“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” Ephesians 5:23,24 (KJV)

Now we also know the identity of New Jerusalem

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:2 (KJV)

This verse puzzles a whole lot of people who study the Bible, and rightly so, it’s a tough one. I “chewed on it” for quite some time before the Lord allowed me to “connect the dots”. The question here is this – if the Church made up of people is the bride of Jesus Christ, how is it possible that it can be a “city” at the same time? A city is a place where people live, yet Revelation seems to somehow be merging the two.

In John 14, beloved by so many millions of Christians, we read about the promise of Jesus to build us a “mansion” in Heaven. Not only that, the same passage also tells us that Jesus will “come and get us” in the Pretribulation Rapture. Those “mansions in Heaven” is what makes up the New Jerusalem from Revelation 21.

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3 (KJV)

So now we clearly see where where the Church, the Bride, will live for eternity, but how is the Bride also a physical city? The answer is found in 1 Peter:

“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” 1 Peter 2:4-6 (KJV)

And here is where the “dam breaks open”, and it all comes together in one glorious revelation

All through the Bible, Jesus Christ is revealed the foundational building block of our salvation, please note the following:

  • THE STONE MADE WITHOUT HANDS: “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.” Daniel 2:34 (KJV)
  • THE CORNER STONE: “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” Isaiah 28:16 (KJV)
  • A STONE OF STUMBLING AND ROCK OF OFFENCE: “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” 1 Peter 2:7,8 (KJV)

If you have been born again, you are “flesh of his flesh” and “bone of his bone”. Jesus is the “chief corner stone”, we are His precious “living stones” who make up the New Jerusalem.

“And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.” Revelation 21:19,20 (KJV)

We don’t just live in the New Jerusalem, we are the New Jerusalem, though yes there is still a physical building that does come down from Heaven. What I’m saying here is, it was made for us!

The Church is the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, and the New Jerusalem where God will once again and for all eternity “dwell with man”. God’s glory will be forever made manifest in the thing for which He shed His own blood – the Church of Jesus Christ.

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5,6 (KJV)

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28 (KJV)

“Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.” Hebrews 13:12 (KJV)

Amen, come and get us Lord. We’re ready! If your your not ready click here: Salvation

1 Comment

Filed under House of the Nazarene's Posts

The Pretribulation Rapture And The Mystery Of Iniquity Found In 2 Thessalonians 2

The context of 2 Thessalonians 2, taken as it is written, is the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church which leads to the Antichrist coming to power.

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” 2 Thessalonians 2:6,7 (KJV)

The other day, I saw some postings where people were talking about how the Holy Spirit is now “restraining the appearance of the Antichrist”, and when the Holy Spirit is “taken out of the way”, Antichrist will come upon the world stage. They base their assumptions on verses found in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-9 (KJV). I would like to examine those and other verses in that chapter, and see if we can rightly divide our way to a deeper understanding of those passages.

The apostle Paul was writing to people in Thessalonica who had received letters from people purporting to be Paul, and had told them that they had “missed the rapture” of the Church that is such a central pillar in Paul’s writings. So here in 2 Thessalonians, Paul is writing to assure them that they had, in fact, not missed the rapture, and he proceeds to tell them what some of the things that will signal the Rapture of the Church, and what will immediately follow after that event.

Living in the time of the great falling away is right now

In verse 3, he tells them that there are two things needed before the Rapture of the Church can take place, and they are these:

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” 2 Thessalonians 2:3 (KJV)

The “falling away” is a departure of the Church from sound doctrine, and replacing it with “ear tickling” nonsense that appeals to people’s flesh and not to their soul or spirit. Paul would go on to discuss that in more detail in his letter to Timothy:

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3,4 (KJV)

That period of time began in the mid-19th century with the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc, and is now in full bloom here in 2017 with such heretical junk by false teachers and preachers that sadly make up the main body of professing Christians worldwide. But depressing as it may be, after reading all our examples you will be 100% convinced that the great “falling away” is well under way. So you can add this one to the “fulfilled/being fulfilled” column from Paul’s list. Now let’s look at the other one, the revealing of the “son of perdition”.

Does the King James Bible reveal the Antichrist to be Judas Iscariot?

In our article entitledDOES THE KING JAMES BIBLE REVEAL THE IDENTITY OF THE ANTICHRIST?“, we make our case for why we think that when the Antichrist shows up, it will be none other than Judas the Betrayer brought back for the end times. If you have not already done so, please click on the link and go read it now. But suffice to say, Paul says that the revealing of the Antichrist is the second thing on the list that must take place for the Rapture of the Church to happen. In one sense, that has already happened because, if you’re a Bible believer, then you already know who the Antichrist is – it’s Judas. But since you can understand something intellectually without it being revealed physically, let’s assume that Paul’s main meaning is that the Antichrist has to physically show up before the Rapture. No problem there. Paul never wrote one, single verse of Scripture in all his writings tells Christians how to live under the rule of Antichrist. Not one. So it’s safe to assume that the Church will see the Antichrist, know him for who he is, and be taken out in the rapture without living under his deceptive and demonic rule.

An excellent example of this is found in recent history, in type, with the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. In our article “7 WAYS THAT ADOLF HITLER WAS A PERFECT TYPE OF THE COMING BIBLICAL ANTICHRIST“, we showed you how Hitler fulfilled many of the Biblical qualifications of the Biblical Antichrist. There were people living in Germany in the late 1920’s who saw Adolf Hitler for the evil man he truly was, knew what was coming, and got out before Hitler actually came to power. In much the same way, this is how the Church will see Antichrist, and we will surely get out before he actually takes over. This, I believe, is what Paul is saying in verse 3 in 2 Thessalonians 2. Let’s move on.

Is the Holy Spirit taken out of the the way?

So the context of 2 Thessalonians 2, taken as it is written, is the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church which leads to the Antichrist coming to power. The Berean Bible student, seeing if these “things are so”, will take careful note that nowhere in the chapter so far is there a mention of the Holy Spirit. Not one. So how do people come to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is “taken out of the way” to reveal Antichrist? This wrong interpretation happens for 2 reasons. The first reason being that since most of the 20th century Bible commentators has declared this to be, people have just agreed without researching it for themselves. The second reason for this are the corrupt “new” Bible translations that remove the word “let” and attempt to replace it with “restrain”.

The word “let” is the key to unlocking this mystery

The word “let” is found exactly 1,511 times in your King James Bible, appearing in exactly 1,219 verses. It is used in all the usual ways you might expect, such as “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”, “And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines,”, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.”, and the list goes on in the both Testaments in exactly how the word “let” is still used in 2017. The word “restrain” is found exactly twice in Job 15:8 and Psalm 76:10, and used exactly the way it is still used today. So accounting for variances in the English language between 1611 and 2017, which as far as these two words go is nil, there is no reason at all why the KJV translators could not have used “restrain” or “restraineth” in place of “let” if what they wanted to show was the act of restraining.

And this is where it gets really interesting. I don’t think they wanted to show the act of “restraining”, so much as they wanted to point you to a much more pointed application of the word “let”.

The Webster’s 1828 Dictionary , the absolute best dictionary to understand English words in light of Scripture, shows a whole lot of meanings for the word “let”, and I would like to point your attention to the first two, and they are as follows:

  1. To permit; to allow; to suffer; to give leave or power by a positive act, or negatively, to withhold restraint; not to prevent. A leaky ship lets water enter into the hold. let is followed by the infinitive without the sign to.
  2. To lease; to grant possession and use for a compensation; as, to let to farm; to let an estate for a year; to let a room to lodgers; often followed by out, as, to let out a farm; but the use of out is unnecessary.

Webster tells us that the first and second applications of the word “let” means to “permit or suffer/allow”, and to “rent or lease”. I was watching a movie on Netflix awhile back and it took place in England. The character was looking to rent an apartment, and stopped when he saw a placard advertising that one was available. How did that sign read, you ask? It simply said “Flat To Let”. “Flat” being the British word for apartment, and “let” being the British word for rent/renting.

At this point in our study, for some of  you, that “cold chill” traveling down your spine is right now resulting in your “light-bulb moment” of clarity. You know exactly where I’m going with this, so let’s go there right now. (for the rest of you who never got past the “is this another Pretribulation Rapture heresy article?”, take a seat, we’ll deal with you later. Or not.)

The body of Antichrist is “let” to the Devil for a short time

Let’s review the whole passage in it’s entirety:

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,” 2 Thessalonians 2:6-9 (KJV)

Rather than trying to force this passage to say it’s the “Holy Spirit that’s restraining”, which is in no way supported by the context or any verse thus far, I would like to make the bold statement that it says exactly what it means when it uses the word “let” to do so. These verses are showing you how the Devil uses the body of Antichrist, how he “rents” a physical body until the time he no longer needs it.

There are various places in the Bible that prophetically refer to the Antichrist getting killed, then resurrected:

  • “Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.” Zechariah 11:17 (KJV)
  • “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword.”Ezekiel 30:21 (KJV)
  • “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Revelation 13:3 (KJV)

When Lucifer became Satan, he raised his ugly fist towards God, and declared that he would “be like the Most High”, with the uttering of his 5 “I Will” statements we see here:

“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Isaiah 14:13-15 (KJV)

If you’ve made it this far, putting the cherry on top the sundae is no struggle at all.

We understand from the Bible that Satan is the great imitator of God, a cheap copy pretending to be the real thing, right? That’s what Satan declared in Isaiah, that he would be just like the Most High. With that in mind, note the following regarding the end times on how Satan copies God to fool the unsaved:

  • God has a body, Jesus Christ, and Satan has a body, the Antichrist: The Bible tells us that God sent His Son, Jesus, to be the physical representation of God on Earth. The Antichrist sends “his son”, the son of perdition Judas, to be his physical representation on this Earth in the time of Jacob’s trouble.
  • The Antichrist is worshipped as the real thing: For a brief 3.5 year period, the world is fooled into thinking that the Messiah has arrived, and they worship him as such. Only it’s not THE Messiah, it’s the phony messiah, Antichrist.
  • Antichrist killed and rises again: When Jesus came the first time, He had a ministry that lasted approximately 3.5 years, then He was crucified and rose again 3 days after that. The Antichrist will be worshipped for the first half of the time of Jacob’s trouble, 3.5 years, killed, then rise again in all his unholiness as the Devil Himself.

Now do you see why the KJV translators used “let” and not “restrain”? They were showing us a deeper prophetic truth of how Satan will “rent” the body of Judas in order to fool people, and when he, Judas Antichrist, is killed and “taken out of the way”, Satan comes  upon the Earth in full form. So we see it is the body of Antichrist, and not the Holy Spirit, that is taken out of the way, to reveal that “Wicked”, capital W, Satan himself.

In conclusion, the passages dealing with the Antichrist in the time of Jacob’s trouble ends with verse 12, with verse 13 and its paragraph marker denoting a new topic and a new context where we read this:

¶ “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14 (KJV)

It is here that, for the first time in the chapter, we finally do see a mention of the Holy Spirit, and it has nothing to do with the Antichrist, Satan or the end times. Paul is simply reminding us to be grateful to God for saving us, and leading us into all truth  by the “sanctification of the Spirit”, the Holy Spirit denoted with a capital “S”.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

When we, as workmen, attend to rightly dividing the Scripture, the fruit of our labors is Bible truth. And now you know why God used “let” and not “restrain” in this chapter.

Amen.

Leave a comment

Filed under House of the Nazarene's Posts

UK Prime Minister May’s statement following London attack

ISIS Again Strikes Fear Into Britons With Bold Islamic Terror Van And Stabbing Attack On Fabled London Bridge

EDITOR’S NOTE: A witness told Reuters she saw people with apparent knife wounds on the bridge. And a man was caught on camera running away from the terrorist murders without spilling his pint! Now excuse me for a minute or indulge me in this if we are to be so tolerant, why are people running away when this happens? People go out in droves to protest others rights to murder, but when they actually commit the rampaging murder, those people run away and say it was someone else that did it, or, a different sect of people did it! Not knowing who the protesters protested for really did it! Shouldn’t those same protesters stand and yell, “Thank you, for we have given you this right to Murder, Pillage and Plunder, now do it to us. So, why do they run when they get what they protested for?” Just askin’!

Despite attack after attack by Islamic terrorists on the citizens of England, leaders of that country still cannot bring themselves to utter the words “Islamic terrorism”. And because they refuse to do so, the people of England continue to be sitting ducks in a war its leader refuse to call by name and fight head on. But the good news is, makers of teddy bears and votive candles are having a banner year. 

Up to 20 people are feared to be injured after a van reportedly plowed into pedestrians on London Bridge in a suspect Islamic terrorist attack.

The vehicle mounted the pavement at the scene in central London this evening, according to shocked witnesses. Witness at the scene have claimed three men jumped out of a van and started stabbing people.

Metropolitan Police have confirmed there is a second incident at nearby Borough Market and a third incident at Vauxhall.

“From 2208hrs officers responded to reports of a vehicle in collision with pedestrians on London Bridge,” police said. “Officers have then responded to reports of stabbings in BoroughMarket. Armed officers responded and shots have been fired. “Officers are now responding to an incident in the Vauxhall area.” The incident comes just two months after a terrorist mowed down pedestrians at Westminster Bridge before stabbing an unarmed cop. Five victims were killed in the attack.

Now a new revelation from the PM Theresa May!

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May responded on Sunday to an attack in London which killed seven people, declaring “enough is enough” and calling for a review of Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy.

Below is the full text of the statement:

Last night, our country fell victim to a brutal terrorist attack once again. As a result I have just chaired a meeting of the government’s emergency committee and I want to update you with the latest information about the attack.

Shortly before 10:10 yesterday evening, the Metropolitan Police received reports that a white van had struck pedestrians on London Bridge. It continued to drive from London Bridge to Borough Market, where 3 terrorists left the van and attacked innocent and unarmed civilians with blades and knives.

All three were wearing what appeared to be explosive vests, but the police have established that this clothing was fake and worn only to spread panic and fear.

As so often in such serious situations, the police responded with great courage and great speed. Armed officers from the Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police arrived at Borough Market within moments, and shot and killed the 3 suspects. The terrorists were confronted and shot by armed officers within 8 minutes of the police receiving the first emergency call.

Seven people have died as a result of the attack, in addition to the 3 suspects shot dead by the police. Forty-eight people are being treated in several hospitals across London. Many have life-threatening conditions.

On behalf of the people of London, and on behalf of the whole country, I want to thank and pay tribute to the professionalism and bravery of the police and the emergency services – and the courage of members of the public who defended themselves and others from the attackers. And our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and with their friends, families and loved ones.

This is, as we all know, the third terrorist attack Britain has experienced in the last 3 months. In March, a similar attack took place, just around the corner on Westminster Bridge. Two weeks ago, the Manchester Arena was attacked by a suicide bomber. And now London has been struck once more.

And at the same time, the security and intelligence agencies and police have disrupted 5 credible plots since the Westminster attack in March.

In terms of their planning and execution, the recent attacks are not connected. But we believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face, as terrorism breeds terrorism, and perpetrators are inspired to attack not only on the basis of carefully-constructed plots after years of planning and training – and not even as lone attackers radicalised online – but by copying one another and often using the crudest of means of attack.

We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are. Things need to change, and they need to change in 4 important ways.

First, while the recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism. It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam. It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth.

Defeating this ideology is one of the great challenges of our time. But it cannot be defeated through military intervention alone. It will not be defeated through the maintenance of a permanent, defensive counter-terrorism operation, however skilful its leaders and practitioners. It will only be defeated when we turn people’s minds away from this violence – and make them understand that our values – pluralistic, British values – are superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate.

Second, we cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet – and the big companies that provide internet-based services – provide. We need to work with allied, democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorist planning. And we need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online.

Third, while we need to deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online, we must not forget about the safe spaces that continue to exist in the real world. Yes, that means taking military action to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But it also means taking action here at home. While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is – to be frank – far too much tolerance of extremism in our country.

So we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out – across the public sector and across society. That will require some difficult and often embarrassing conversations, but the whole of our country needs to come together to take on this extremism – and we need to live our lives not in a series of separated, segregated communities but as one truly United Kingdom.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing Street after an attack on London Bridge and Borough Market left 7 people dead and dozens injured in London, Britain, June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

Fourth, we have a robust counter-terrorism strategy that has proved successful over many years. But as the nature of the threat we face becomes more complex, more fragmented, more hidden, especially online, the strategy needs to keep up. So in light of what we are learning about the changing threat, we need to review Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy to make sure the police and security services have all the powers they need.

And if we need to increase the length of custodial sentences for terrorism-related offences, even apparently less serious offences, that is what we will do.

Since the emergence of the threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism, our country has made significant progress in disrupting plots and protecting the public. But it is time to say enough is enough. Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.

As a mark of respect the 2 political parties have suspended our national campaigns for today. But violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process. So those campaigns will resume in full tomorrow. And the general election will go ahead as planned on Thursday.

As a country, our response must be as it has always been when we have been confronted by violence. We must come together, we must pull together, and united we will take on and defeat our enemies.

Spot on PM Theresa May! Taking over the internet also needs to be done in these end times, for the mark of the beast to be implemented.

Islam and the rest of the world has been in a jihad since the time muhammad raised armies a long time ago, not long after he supposedly received word from an Angel.

Lord Jesus is coming soon! Come soon Lord Jesus!

Amen!

(Reporting by William James, editing by Estelle Shirbon) source

Leave a comment

Filed under House of the Nazarene's Posts

The Nature of the Human Soul

There are a lot of teachings and opinions regarding what a soul is, what it does, is the human soul mortal or immortal and where it goes at death.

The Bible is not perfectly clear as to the nature of the human soul. But from studying the way the word soul is used in Scripture, we can come to some conclusions. Simply stated, the human soul is the part of a person that is not physical. It is the part of every human being that lasts eternally after the body experiences death. Genesis 35:18 describes the death of Rachel, Jacob’s wife, saying she named her son “as her soul was departing.” From this we know that the soul is different from the body and that it continues to live after physical death.

The human soul is central to the personhood of a human being. As George MacDonald said, “You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” In other words, personhood is not based on having a body. A soul is what is required. Repeatedly in the Bible, people are referred to as “souls” (Exodus 31:14; Proverbs 11:30), especially in contexts that focus on the value of human life and personhood or on the concept of a “whole being” (Psalm 16:9-10; Ezekiel 18:4; Acts 2:41; Revelation 18:13).

The human soul is distinct from the heart (Deuteronomy 26:16; 30:6) and the spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12) and the mind (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). The human soul is created by God (Jeremiah 38:16). It can be strong or unsteady (2 Peter 2:14); it can be lost or saved (James 1:21; Ezekiel 18:4). We know that the human soul needs atonement (Leviticus 17:11) and is the part of us that is purified and protected by the truth and the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:22). Jesus is the great Shepherd of souls (1 Peter 2:25).

Matthew 11:29 tells us that we can turn to Jesus Christ to find rest for our souls. Psalm 16:9-10 is a Messianic psalm that allows us to see that Jesus also had a soul. David wrote, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.” This cannot be speaking of David (as Paul points out in Acts 13:35-37) because David’s body did see corruption and decay when he died. But Jesus Christ’s body never saw corruption (He was resurrected), and His soul was not abandoned to Sheol. Jesus, as the Son of Man, has a soul.

There is often confusion about the human spirit vs. the human soul. In places, Scripture seems to use the terms interchangeably, but there might be a subtle difference. Otherwise, how could the Word of God penetrate “even to dividing soul and spirit” (Hebrews 4:12)? When the Bible talks about man’s spirit, it is usually speaking of an inner force which animates a person in one direction or another. It is repeatedly shown as a mover, a dynamic force (e.g., Numbers 14:24).

It has been said that there are only two things that last: the Word of God (Mark 13:31) and the souls of men. This is because, like God’s Word, the soul is an imperishable thing. That thought should be both sobering and awe-inspiring. Every person you meet is an eternal soul. Every human being who has ever lived is a soul, and all of those souls are still in existence somewhere.

The question is, where? The souls that reject God’s love are condemned to pay for their own sin, eternally, in hell (Romans 6:23). But the souls who acknowledge their own sinfulness and accept God’s gracious gift of forgiveness will live forever beside still waters with their Shepherd, wanting for nothing (Psalm 23:2).

2 Comments

Filed under House of the Nazarene's Posts, What Is?

Dispensational Premillennialism and Historic Premillennialism

Dispensational Premillennialism and Historic Premillennialism are two very different systems of eschatology. Here are just a few examples of the many differences between the two:

• Historic premillennialism taught that the church was in the fore-vision of Old Testament prophecy, while dispensationalism teaches that the church is hardly, if at all, mentioned by the Old Testament prophets.
• Historic premillennialism taught that the present age of grace was designed by God and predicted in the Old Testament. Dispensationalism holds that the present age was unforeseen in the Old Testament and thus is a “great parenthesis” introduced because the Jews rejected the kingdom.
• Historic premillennialism taught that one may divide time in any way desirable so long as one allows for a millennium after the second advent. Dispensationalism maintains that the only allowable way to divide time is into seven dispensations. The present age is the sixth such dispensation; the last one will be the millennial age after the second coming. It is from this division of time that dispensationalism gets its name.

As a result, the premillennial theory of the end times is advanced in several different ways. Frankly, it is not an easy task to generalize regarding this system of doctrine. So, for the purposes of this article we will focus mainly on that branch of millennialism that is known as historic premillennialism. However, in looking at historic premillennialism, it’s helpful to understand that this term is one of many that pertain to the study of eschatology, i.e., the study of the end of history from a Christian perspective. The Bible references many prophecies about the future with the New Testament speaking extensively about the return of Jesus to this earth. The 24th chapter of Matthew, much of the book of Revelation, and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 are the more salient references to the second advent of Jesus.

There are a host of various interpretations regarding the second coming, both symbolic and literal. A literal interpretation of the Bible shows that four important events are predicted: the Millennium, the Tribulation, the Armageddon, and the Rapture. Nevertheless, biblical passages predicting the future are ambiguous with the events themselves being open to many interpretations. As a result, there is no clear indication of either their timing or sequence. For example, some Christians believe that “millennium” does not mean a time interval of exactly 1,000 years. Rather, it refers to a long period of time. Then others interpret these events as descriptions of real happenings in our future, while still others interpret them symbolically and/or as events that have already occurred.

This leaves the passages open to many conflicting beliefs about the end times. A lot of intra-denominational and inter-denominational strife has resulted from disagreements about end-times prophecy. For example, the Roman Catholic Church and most mainline and liberal denominations do not expect that a Rapture will occur in the way anticipated by many fundamentalist and other evangelical faith groups.

All this, then, brings us to historic premillennialism. Historic premillennialism was held by a large majority of Christians during the first three centuries of the Christian era. It draws its name from the fact that many of the early Church fathers such as Ireneaus, Papias, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and others taught that there would be a visible kingdom of God upon the earth after the return of Christ. It taught that the Antichrist first appears on earth and the seven-year Tribulation begins. Next comes the Rapture when Jesus and His Church return to earth to rule for a Millennium. The faithful then will spend eternity in the New Jerusalem, a gigantic cubical structure, some 1,380 miles in height, width and depth, which will have descended to Earth.

The New Jerusalem is also known as the Celestial City, the City of God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, the Holy City, the Shining City on a Hill, the Tabernacle of God, Zion, and so on. It is then that the forces of evil will have been conquered. The faithful will live during this thousand-year period of peace in Jerusalem, while occupying spiritual bodies. After this period, all people are judged.

When Christianity became the official religion of Rome in the fourth century, many things began to change, including acceptance of historic premillennialism. Amillennialism soon became the prevailing doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church.

One of the most influential historic premillennialist works is that of George Eldon Ladd, who was an evangelical New Testament scholar and professor of New Testament exegesis and theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. Ladd was recognized for his enormous appreciation of the redemptive-historic significance of the first coming of the Christ. It was through his work that historic premillennialism gained scholarly respect and popularity among evangelical and Reformed theologians. Other well-known historic premillennialists include ministers and scholars such as Walter Martin; John Warwick Montgomery; J. Barton Payne; Henry Alford, a noted Greek scholar; and Theodor Zahn, a German New Testament scholar.

Various Protestant denominations and other church organizations promote one of many systems of prophecy concerning the end times, of which historic premillennialism is one. Additionally, as we’ve seen, there is the dispensational premillennialism. All of the theories that have been proposed about the timing of the Rapture appear to contradict some passages in the Bible. Current beliefs include the pre-tribulation Rapture, the post-tribulation Rapture, the mid-tribulation Rapture, the pre-wrath Rapture, and a partial Rapture. Generally, all of the premillennialist beliefs mentioned teach that the Tribulation is followed by 1,000 years of peace when all live under the authority of Christ. Afterwards, in a brief, final battle, Satan is permanently conquered.

Leave a comment

Filed under House of the Nazarene's Posts, What Is?

Evangelical Christian

To Spread the Gospel.

To begin, let’s break down the two words. The term Christian essentially means “follower of Christ.” Christian is the term given to followers of Jesus Christ in the first century A.D. (Acts 11:26). The term evangelical comes from the Greek word that means “good news.” Evangelism is sharing the good news of the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ. An evangelical, then, is a person dedicated to promoting the good news about Jesus Christ. Combined, the description “evangelical Christian” is intended to indicate a believer in Jesus Christ who is faithful in sharing and promoting the good news.

In Western culture today, there are many caricatures of evangelical Christians. For some, the term evangelical Christian is equivalent to “right-wing, fundamentalist Republican.” For others, “evangelical Christian” is a title used to differentiate an individual from a Catholic Christian or an Orthodox Christian. Others use the term to indicate adherence to the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. In this sense, an evangelical Christian is a believer who holds to the inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and salvation by grace through faith alone. However, none of these definitions are inherent in the description “evangelical Christian.”

In reality, all Christians should be evangelical Christians. The Bible is consistently instructing us to be witnesses of the good news (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 1 Peter 3:15). There is no better news than Jesus! There is no higher calling than evangelist. There is no doubt that holding to the fundamentals of the Bible will result in a certain worldview and, yes, political belief. However, there is nothing about being an evangelical that demands a certain political party or affiliation. An evangelical Christian is called to share the good news, to preach God’s Word, and to set an example of purity and integrity. If these callings require political action, so be it. At the same time, evangelical Christians should not be sidetracked into abandoning our highest calling-sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

1 Comment

Filed under Christianity and World Religions: Sermon Series, House of the Nazarene's Posts