Church…the gap in prophetic time

 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,  According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: (Ephesians 3″9-11)

The Bible is primarily about Israel; how she came into existence, how God prepared her to be the custodian of the Word, the worship, and to be a witness to all nations, also how Israel fell into sin and apostasy, Her exile from the land, and her prophesied return in unbelief in the last days, and how the Messiah will come to save her in one day!

The Stories of the Bible are told in a Hebrew context, the prophets also are Israelites, and the theme of the prophets are of the fall and future redemption of Israel. Finally, the Messiah, the world’s Savior , is Jewish.

But there is a huge gap in the middle of many of these prophecies, an intimation of a secret to come, ie a mystery. That mystery would prove to be the church, and the age of grace.

Isaiah 61 gives us a wonderful example of this ‘gap’ in time and history, in the prophetic account of Israel’s future. Jesus quoted it in his hometown sermon, but when he didn’t finish the verse, his own people tried to kill him. The text says,

 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;  To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; ( Isaiah 61:1-2) 

But when Jesus read it he stopped at “The acceptable year of the LORD…” , leaving out the part about “The day of vengeance of our God…”.

This is because there is a 2000 year gap between “the acceptable year of the LORD…” and “the day of vengeance of our God…”.

The Prophecy is accurate, for the Messiah has come to Israel, and a terrible judgment is yet coming to the earth, but in between these two facts is a long period of time, two thousand years, in which Israel is in a state of suspension in God’s purposes.

She has been sent into exile, scattered throughout the nations of the earth, as a consequence of the curse of the Law of Moses, and of her failure to enter into the New Covenant spoken of through Jeremiah.

Israel is a witness , even in her suspension, for she has been put on display throughout the nations of the earth, as a byword, an object lesson, as Moses predicted she would be.

The prophet Hosea predicted this gap and suspension in his prophecy,

For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:  Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:4-5)

For many days, Israel has been without nation, national symbol, Government, national sovereignty, Priesthood and temple apparatus, sacrifice, national leadership. This has been going on since 70 Ad!  But there is a turning point word, “AfterWard”, in which Israel “returns” and eventuates in her “seeking the LORD…” .

How long did that gap last? Israel was exiled out of national existence in 70 AD, and has never since been a political entity until May 1948! Hosea warned us it would be “Many days…”.  Only recently have we entered into the phase called “Afterward…”, in which millions of Jews have been streaming from the ends of the earth in the great return.

Even the” return” which comes “Afterwards”, is divided into two parts; First there is a geographical return, a new Exodus. Second there will come a spiritual return of the chosen people, in which they will “return”, ie Teshuvah, repent, and turn back to their God, and to Messiah (the Son of David, their KING). We are currently situated between the twofold returns.

Hosea goes on to explain why Israel has been put into suspension for this “long time”, for the LORD speaks to them in the first person, explaining, that because of their unconfessed national sin, He must go back to His place until they” acknowledge their offense…”,

 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. (Hosea 5:15)

In what sense can the omnipresent God “go” anywhere? Only in this sense; though God is everywhere at once, He did sanctify a piece of real estate in the city of Jerusalem, and gave Israel the instructions to construct a Holy House for Him to dwell in, and when all things were ready, He descended in a cloud and inhabited the Holy House, and the nation, animating the only nation on earth which was the custodian of true worship.

But the LORD removed himself. He left the temple desolate, first the Babylonians came and destroyed the temple, and took Israel into captivity for 70 years, then the Romans came and utterly destroyed the temple and nation, sending the Jews into a two thousand years dispersion.

Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.  After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.(Hosea 6:1-3)

The “Two days” is the length of the gap, and corresponds to Moses’ Psalm in which he prophesied that with the LORD, a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. Hosea says that after “Two Days” Israel would be perfected, and she would live again in the LORD.

Jesus was challenged that Herod wanted to kll him, and his anger alludes to this scripture, but from the perspective of the Church which was to come,

And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.(Luke 13:32)

For Two days, Israel shall languish in exile and estranged from her God, whilst for two days, the church will cast out devils, heal the sick and reconcile men to God in the name of Jesus. but the third day os for both os us to be perfected.

The LORD knew from the beginning what the end would be, and what Israel would do. He had purposed all along to provide a second witness through a “non People”, composed of Gentile and Jew, strangers, foreigners and remnant believers from among Israel, to make up that gap in the time of Israel’s temporary blindness and hardness. That mystery is called “The Church”.

The church does not by any means replace Israel, but she is a co-witness with her to this dark world, of the reality  of God and of the blessedness of his grace. None of the Apostles knew of her existence before the resurrection, nor did the prophets which preceded them, the church is a mystery, kept hidden in God until the proper time.

 

 

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An Encouraging Testimony

This testimony was sent to me today by a precious sister in our church. She and Her husband have stood with us in the Gospel for many years. I found this testimony so encouraging I wanted to share it with you…enjoy, Pas Bill
(I know this is much lengthier, with the added testimony, than the typical prayer request you would receive and post;  but prayerfully consider and add if able.
I’ve felt led to share these things, and thought to share when Pastor asked for testimony last Sunday, but I felt the Lord wanted it in writing, and perhaps where more could read than what was in attendance at service.
Thanks! – Annie)
Please pray for wisdom for the doctor as I go to see a salivary gland specialist on Tuesday.  Symptoms of what is pointing to potential Sjogren’s Syndrome manifested very obviously in January when I lost my sense of taste along with having a very dry mouth.  I’ve also had very dry eyes and other symptoms.
Testing has so far ruled out suspected brain tumor (praise God!), and other possibilities, so doctors are zeroing in on SS (an autoimmune condition) which has no one good means of diagnosis, and no cure.
It has been frustrating at times, but the Lord has sweetly used this time to instruct me in His wisdom for this day we live in, and I feel I’ve carried this affliction partly so that I can now share what I’m learning from Him.  (Please pardon this more lengthy “prayer request” as I share some of this journey!!)
With the loss of taste and dry mouth, the foods that I could get down were few, and those I could enjoy, none!  My appetite was normal, and food smelled wonderfully tempting, but it was like dirt in my mouth!  I began to grumble and complain, and became depressed.
Numbers 11:1,5,6
And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord… We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
The Spirit sweetly reminded me of those grumbling in the wilderness that all they had was the manna God gave them!!  I realized what a sin it is to grumble – how it displeases God -, and how truly blessed I am, with God supplying all my needs.  I truly lack no good thing!
As to not being able to taste any good thing, I was reminded of Psalm 34:8  – O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
And again, the sweet Spirit prompted me to give my soul a good “talkin’ to” with Psalm 103… reminding me throughout its 22 verses to Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits!!
God literally used the mouths of babes then, to instruct me to focus only on Him and His goodness.  When visiting Vanessa’s family, our 2 year old grandson dropped everything one day when the “10,000 Reasons” song came on, and began singing “Bless the Lord, O my soul…” with all his heart, raising his eyes and his hands, dancing before the Lord, totally oblivious to anything else going on in the room, anyone watching… YES, a TWO year old BOY, totally undistracted, fixing his eyes and heart on blessing the Lord!!  It humbled and blessed me so!!
My eyes, too, began drying out then, but with my eyes fixed on Him and His goodness, how could I be downcast?  And when the first 2 specialists I saw spoke immediately of brain tumor and gave me option of Mayo or UI… I kept talking to my soul and rejoicing in the good God Who I knew I could trust.
Then one day, as I read Psalm 32, vs 4 jumped out at me:  “…my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.”!!  Yep! – that’s me!!  I realized the Psalm was speaking of unconfessed sin, and the Spirit quickened to me a bitterness I’d been holding against a relative who I considered a sister in the Lord, but had been betrayed by and falsely accused.  I’d “argued” for some time that I was just hurt, not bitter.  But I cried out, asking God to put His love for her in my heart, and He enabled me to do as the next verses say:  I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.    For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found:
I confessed my sin, and forgave the offense…. And the bitterness became sweet freedom – bitter waters made sweet by the Tree of the Cross!!
When I realized there had been bitterness there, God spoke to me about my sense of taste.  As some aspects of my taste started to return, I could taste saltiness, but I could still taste nothing of sweetness… anything sweet turned to bitterness in my mouth.  When the doctors did a taste test on me, even the sour I detected as bitter… and yet I didn’t recognize the bitter as bitter!… I couldn’t detect it at all!
Oh how deceptive our enemy is!!… that bitterness hides itself so easily!!… and yet it has the power to turn even the sweetest sweet to bitterness, and distort everything good!
It was shortly after that we had the blessing of the Conference with brothers Prasch and Nathan, and David Nathan spoke on bitterness.  Please get the CD or watch/listen online if you’ve not heard it, and listen again if you have!  SUCH a vital message for these last days when our hearts must be purified for our Bridegroom!
Prior to the Conference, I’d prayed for God to show me what else I needed to learn from this condition, both for the health of my body and my spirit and soul.  In my reading, there was much emphasis on people with Sjogren’s needing to keep water with them at all times!  In past years, I’d said often that I need to drink more water, but never did… Now I have that constant reminder with the dry mouth, so I drink!!  Similarly, in recent years, I’ve preached to our kids and grandkids about the vital need in this day to stay constantly in the Word (the lifegiving & cleansing water of the Word!)… yet not practicing what I’d preached!  The first of this year I carved out times in my day, and a quiet place, to draw aside and drink of the Word… and oh how full it has been!!  Even what I considered the “dry” Old Testament books have spoken directly to me day after day so richly!!  I see more than ever how I NEED that constantly with me, just like those with Sjogren’s have constant reminder of their need for water!  With that in mind, I can no longer resent the dryness of my mouth.
I also learned those with Sjogren’s have a great need to take in good oils for the body’s health!  At the conference there was emphasis on the need for the Holy Spirit oil in these last days… that we be found with our lamps full, giving light, doing the work of the ministry by the Spirit!
And more recently, as my eyes have had drier days, I’ve been reminded of the need for eyesalve in  Revelation 3:18, another pertinent end time message for the church, spoken of at the conference – I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
We need that understanding only the Spirit can give for these days, opening our eyes to see, that we be not deceived and fall away from Him before His coming!!
God is so good!  It is our prayer that we all be found faithful at His return, having endured all testings to purify and prepare us as His bride!  I have gratefully endured the affliction of these symptoms, for the instruction and constant reminder they’ve provided of my need for Him, these last several months!!  Please receive anything from what I have learned, if the Spirit is speaking to you as He has to me!
Thank you for your prayers!
Annie Pedersen
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Church Splits Serve a Higher Purpose

Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.  For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.     ( I Corinthians 11:17-19)

All things work together for the good, to those who Love God and who are the called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28)

I hope my readers will indulge me briefly on this subject a bit further. I blog about what I am going through, in the hopes that these experiences will be transformed into beneficial “teachable moments”.

Trials in churches always present a severe contrast to those going through them. On the One hand it is obvious that Satan, the adversary of the church, is working through unwitting people, setting brethren at nought with each other, lighting fires through careless tongues, and re-interpretting e-mails, letters and comments and even looks to cast everything into the worst possible light.

But there is another side to this according to the scripture above in I Corinthians. Paul tells us that occasional Heresies (Divided opinions, i.e. Divisions) must arise among us, as a test, that those who successfully come through it might manifest the reality of their faith.

In short, God doesn’t cause splits but HE allows them to arise as a test.

It is hard, humanly speaking, to maintain the unity of a disparate group of people of all walks of life, and station. Particularly in these days where the “Love of Self” is taught as a virtue and rebellion is literally the spiritual mothers milk we in our modern autonomous culture are raised on. Slogans such as “Follow Your Own Heart, Don’t let anyone limit you, Be yourself, Be the best You, Define your own code…”saturate the Media, Sports and education systems of our age. People are highly into self, just as Paul warned us.

That is why the ongoing functioning of a true, God centered church is a modern miracle.

I had been a member of a massive Catholic Parish since my youth, but my first encounter with Church in the New Testament sense of the Word occurred in a little Assembly of God church in Ames Iowa in the late 1970s. I walked into a worship service, and saw people from all paths and walks of life lifting Holy Hands unto God, and singing songs of Redemption from the heart, many with tears streaming down their cheeks as they worshipped.

I cannot describe the feeling of deep mystery and awe I felt, some kind of “Knowledge of the Holy”. I didn’t understand much of it, but I knew one thing, there was someone awesome on the receiving end of those songs and prayers. How separate I sensed myself to be from the beauty I experienced,  yet I wished I was worthy to join them in worship, but each hand felt as though it weighed a hundred pounds.

I entered into a world I had never known; a company of people who prayed for each other, loved one another, cared about me, (I was a starving college student, and several times people I didn’t know felt “led” to slip me some cash for food or to invite me into their homes for meals. Eventually the love brought me to the altar of God and to saving faith. I didn’t know what “Church” was until then.

How could a church split be anything other than a hideous tragedy?

What causes splits in churches? Important things, such as differences in doctrine, (Doctrine is not trivial, it is the very body of Truth, the “Deposit” given to us by the Apostles).Other things also cause church splits, such as Pride, Ego, unwillingness to repent or admit to wrong, envy, factions and party spirits which are natural to carnal people, but transcended when people allow the Spirit of God to empower and guide them.

When those issues are forced and even injected into  a body of people, by strong personalities, they present a test.

In our case a couple refused to even consider being corrected for losing their temper and truly being clamorous and abusive, verbally.  Would they put their own feelings of importance above the unity of the church?  Are some people forbidden to be clamorous, but other people who have served longer and risen “higher” exempted from it? (These people were in leadership).

By not accepting the slightest call to repentance, and instead coming up with their own list of grievances against the one bringing the correction…their test became their families’ test and their friends test and their relative’s test, for all of the above were also very much a part of the church.

It is called a “Party Spirit”. Everyone on that wider circle was brought into the test; would they become “partisans” in a fight?  Would they go with the “faction”which had arisen? Or would they put the unity of church even above their friends in the church? Suddenly “sides” are being taken and the beautiful unity of the Spirit which is such a sign and a wonder, evaporates.

Tests do not add anything to anyone or take anything away from anyone, the function of a God ordained Test is to manifest something within all of us which is already there. This is how Splits are beneficial, they show everyone what is in their own heart, and they reveal who is approved of God and who is disapproved.

King Solomon once tested two women who were arguing over a baby, both claimed the baby as her own. The Son of David called for a sword to split the baby in two as a compromise between the two women. The answer seemed reasonable to one woman but outrageous to the other, for she was the True Mother of the Child. In this way Solomon tested to see who was real and who was fake.

The church is like that baby. She is often weak and despised, but precious to God.

When envy and strife arise in a church and factions break out among the members, some completely disregard the good of the church, it becomes evident that the church itself means nothing to them compared to their own sense of entitlement, or grievance, they are more than willing to split or destroy a church to preserve themselves. There is no way they would suffer a possible wrong, or commit themselves and their cause to the LORD, or any such thing. The church is nothing compared to their own feelings of hurt or embarrassment.

Believe it or not, that needs to come out, and God will allow a situation to arise which will bring it out, in the crucible.

I have seen that these things prove leadership as well.  Elders need to be tested and proven. What does a real Elder do when a church is gong through a trial? He cares enough for the flock, to hang in there, humble himself, work for unity, listen and pray with the people, advocate humility and repentance, and submission to God, and keep teaching by word or deed the gospel, applying it to the situation at hand.

But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  ( John 10:12)

These situations are painful but instructive. We need to know where we stand, just as Peter needed to know HE wasn’t ready to stand and fight to the last man, on the night Jesus was betrayed. God provided a test which showed Peter what was in Peter. Fortunately Peter gained from it, and walked with a spiritual limp for the rest of his Life.

God will keep his church, Only He can do it. The ongoing, true church is a miracle.

Church can be a crucible, where things come out, and all is revealed in a safe, loving environment. The problem with many of us, is that just when we are put in the crucible and things began being revealed about ourselves, and The LORD is poised to do his skimming and refining, we often run away to another greener pasture.

Keep your feet in the fire if at all possible! Let God work! Love the ones He put you with!

The callousness I have seen, of people who simply turn their backs on others who have loved them, been there thru thick and thin, prayed, cried and consoled them and their children, taught their children and youth,  out of offense or sense of grievance, is incredible to me. Is this how it is supposed to be?  Are we Christians?  It is not just the Pastor or leadership you have forsaken, but the other families you were raising children with, or those older people who pulled for you when you were young, or those people you taught in children’s church or Sunday School. Do we not have any obligation to each other?

Church splits reveal that spiritually toxic callousness, that love of Self, that strife, vindictiveness, cowardice, and party spirit.  This is a good thing, although ugly.

We must remember that Jesus told us “If You LOVE ME ,Feed My Sheep”.

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Dare Not Destroy The Church…

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.  Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.( ! Corinthians 3:16-18)

We are currently living in the very times that the Apostles and Prophets long warned of, the terrible “last days” which would be marked by such things as Betrayal, loss of Love, and defection from God due to Love of Self.

“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another… And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”  (Matthew 24:10, 12)

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves… Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:1-2,5)

Notice that Paul predicted that these dreadful characteristics would be shared by those professing godliness as well as by the secular.

Over the past three decades. there has been a general debasement of the definition of what it means to be truly born again. Much of this has to do with new methods of evangelization, the Church growth movement, (Which turned the filling of pews into a social science and even consulted unsaved marketing experts to take on the challenge of growing the church) , experience based Christianity, and a terribly low standard of Christian teaching.

One way this new, debased form of evangelicalism expresses itself is in the way people now view the church.

Church is often seen as a consumer choice; christians go shopping, asking themselves,  ‘what does this church offer me?’, what programs or experiences  as compared to other churches? Tiny churches are wiped out, unable to sustain in the face of the ‘benefits’ of Mega-Churches , in much the same way as Wal /Mart wiped out the old fashioned neighborhood ‘Mom and Pop’ stores.

Should a church ever disappoint in any slight way, perhaps the preaching is too long, or the lack of a Youth Group, or I have even heard that the ‘music’ was outdated, the people simply leave, cutting off support for the very body of believers that they raised their children with, were married in, and which prayed with them through previous trials of life.

The truth is…modern evangelicals routinely treat the church, it’s officers and authority with utter contempt, very nearly as much as the most ardent secularist.

 

I have seen longtime Christians who thought nothing of “going off” on an angry tirade, screaming in their Pastor’s  face, disparaging, mocking and even sneering at attempts at reconciliation, and when called upon to consider repentance, they proceeded to lobby everyone in the church to take their “side”, in an attempt to cause a split in the church.

They put their hurt feelings above the church, and have set out to destroy it.

Even many Pastors despise the church. I have a ‘colleague’ in my town, a Calvary Chapel Pastor, who has lived here 9 years, and has never had a substantive conversation with me in all of those years, but who inserted himself into the above named split, confiding in a widely circulated e-mail that he has been praying for the dissolution of “that so called church” (Believers in Grace) “for many years now”!

What is the church to these people? Do they not realize that as small and weak as it seems to be to them, it is something Jesus himself ordained, and ‘purchased with his own blood”? With all of her flaws, the church is precious to Jesus. Wouldn’t it be better to just leave, then to conduct a “scorched earth” policy, contacting everyone associated with the church, and seeking to delegitimize it?

But this is the very “Love of Self” which Paul warned of.

Assume for a moment that these people were wronged somehow…no one is of perfect knowledge yet except Jesus.

Wouldn’t it be better to suffer wrong, than to destroy a valid, longstanding church? If you can no longer function in a given local church, why try to take everyone else out also? Is it ever right to destroy a church?

What is Church anyway? We all know that a church isn’t a building. Jesus ordained the Eccelesia, that is, “the called out ones”, telling his disciples, “Where two or more are gathered together, there am I in the midst of them”. 

In the Old Testament, God was localized on earth. The city of Jerusalem was where the Holy House of God had been erected, and when He descended to earth in the days of Solomon, he inhabited that Holy House, and people streamed into Jerusalem from the ends of the earth, that the temple might be a house of prayer for all nations.

But in the New Testament, the place of worship is now decentralized and diffused throughout the earth. God has been gathering two or three here and two or three there, and the redeemed of the LORD gather in these companies to pray, worship, break bread and receive the teaching of Jesus. Jesus said “…I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16). 

Obviously the church will never be wiped out, although it is Satan who spends his fury on attempting to do so. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again…”.

The church is the temple of God, it is where God dwells. The least, most humble church is still a place where God’s saints can resort to on a regular basis, break bread, be built up, hear the Word, pray and bring people to be evangelized.

Though there are times where Christian people see flaws and incompatibilities, and in some cases judge a church which they once belonged to as inadequate for some reason…the thing to do is leave and if possible leave on good terms, and hook up with a more compatible church.

I myself have had to leave a few churches, for doctrinal reasons, or because I thought the leadership a bit heavy handed, but I would never dream of discrediting that church or seeking to dislodge members from it. I fear God.

But to try to destroy a church, in order to justify one’s self, is to strip those blessings from others. Modern people may despise a weak, struggling church, full of flaws, spots and blemishes, but still faithful to be a constant presence, a witness to Jesus, a place of regular worship, breaking of bread and teaching… . Jesus doesn’t despise that, not in the least.

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Satan’s War On Children…

And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:2-6)

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The world I was born into, was already undergoing a moral and social transition which probably alarmed my elders, but it is all but gone now. The only thing my children, grandchildren and their generation can know of it, is the anecdotes we who once lived in it pass on to them.

Particularly in the summertime, It almost seems now like a fantasy world; of children running the streets or country fields, all running and playing outside, girls chanting sing song  rhymes as they turned a jump rope, jacks and hopscotch, little boys playing baseball with made up bases, a few gloves, a beat up Bat and ball, or playing army, or tag, or hide and go seek, in the summer, hoping not to be called inside by our mothers when the street lights went on.

I am not saying it was a perfect world, there were already spiritually deadly encroachments pouring in, as Television became darker and more sensual and the old barriers against pornography collapsed. One shouldn’t look at everything, particularly in the tender years.

There were still a good deal of adults around us who made an earnest effort to shield us from the unseemly aspects of the world, and to preserve something of the blissful ignorance of our youth, of things which are toxic to the soul. My mother, for example would always say something like, “don’t watch that movie, or read that book, ” and the reason why we shouldn’t? “It is not good for your soul”, she would say. and though I had no idea what she meant by that, for a while I took her word for it.

For the most part, we knew none of the depressing and confusing vocabulary foisted upon modern children these days, such as “Gay”, “Lesbian” ,”Transgender”,”Bisexual”, ‘safe sex’, ‘birth control” and I could go on and on listing the bewildering and confusing terminology modern children are laden with, at ever younger and more tender ages.

Why should a child know what a homosexual is? Who does this help? The child or the degenerate?

It would have been unthinkable to imagine a time when American school districts would bring in Homosexual activists to teach children the perverse and complex sexuality which they themselves are immersed in. One would have thought it a joke to be told that in the future a wholesome institution such as the Boy Scouts would be forced to allow degenerates in as Scout Masters.

In our day many adults still realized something of the sacredness of children, I think their outlook was still influenced by the stern warning of Jesus himself , when he told us

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.(Matthew 18:10)

It was the Judeo Christian revelation which elevated children, in much the same way as it elevated women.

In the old pagan world, children were seen as inconveniences, and even non-persons. The Romans practiced”exposure”, which means when a Roman had an “unplanned pregnancy” they would often put the newborn babe out in the wild to get rid of it. The early Christians condemned this practice and even ‘reaped’ those exposed babies, taking them in at their own expense and adopting them to be raised as Christians.

Roman law gave the Father complete rights over Wife and children, a Roman father could beat a child to death and not be tried or punished for it, under the law of Pater Familia.

The following is from an article, called “How Christianity Invented Children”,

As the historian O.M. Bakke points out in his invaluable book When Children Became People, in ancient Greece and Rome, children were considered nonpersons.

Back then, the entire social worldview was undergirded by a universally-held, if implicit, view: Society was organized in concentric circles, with the circle at the center containing the highest value people, and the people in the outside circles having little-to-no value. At the center was the freeborn, adult male, and other persons were valued depending on how similar they were to the freeborn, adult male. Such was the lot of foreigners, slaves, women…and children.

The Jewish world, was not as callous in their view of children, having been tutored under the law of Moses , which definitely elevated children. But the LORD’s disciples, being typical first century Jews had to be rebuked when they acted as though Jesus had no time to waste on mere children…

Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.  And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.(Matthew 19:13-15)

The fate of  Women and children go together. To restore the dignity and value of the one is to directly impact the other. On the other hand to diminish one is to diminish the other. The Right to abortion, which we saw the Irish celebrate in the streets recently(as tho they had won a war), does not elevate women it diminishes them.

What makes a woman special, beyond the fact that she too is made in the Image of God ?

The fact that to her has been entrusted to conception and development of life in the womb.This is why no western nations would send women off to combat as though they were interchangeable with men. Women are to be protected, the womb is a sacred place, because life itself is sacred. This is the unique Judeo Christian revelation, which has give the world a brief glimpse of what true freedom and happiness can be like.

But we are currently Paganizing, and leaving all of that. Many modern children know nothing of the older world, other than the negative emphasis of it taught in the propaganda mills they are calling schools. “All that is old, is bad, evil, oppressive and binding”, they don’t know that in so many ways it was so much better.

Once we as a society have cast away the sanctity of life itself, we diminish the bearer of life as well. Once we divorce human sexuality from potential life, and reduce it to a momentary ecstatic experience, then women are rendered as objects, a means to an end, interchangeable with a perverse variety of other objects for gratification.

This is why homosexuality and all other forms of perversion are devastatingly destructive of women, children and the family. The acceptance of homosexuality, whether in practice or politics or out of a twisted sense of equity is the current watershed, as is abortion, of heaven and hell. Those who accept it in any way prove by doing so that they are damned.

The thing to remember is that God knows how to make a millstone, for the lake of fire.

 

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The Enmity of the Serpent for Women…

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 3:15)

When man fell from grace and Righteousness God promised him salvation …but it would come through a woman.

Genesis 3 is the account of that fall and of the promise which was offered in the midst of it.

The Judge of the Universe summonsed three perpetrators to come out of hiding and to stand before Him, in inquisition for sin and guilt.

First, the Most High asked the man to give account of himself. The man is held primarily responsible for the fall, He merely stood there as Eve was tricked by the Serpent,. Adam was passive, abdicating his God assigned regency of the garden.

Why does the Most High ask Adam questions? Because he wanted to elicit a humble confession, in order to save him. But the man only shifted blame to his wife and to God himself.

Second theLORD asked of the woman…but she too refused persona accountability, blaming the serpent.

Finally he brought the Serpent up, but he asked him no questions…rather he pronounced a judgment upon the serpent, which would provide a ray of hope to our first parents, penetrating the gloom of shame and guilt.

The Serpent had tricked and seduced the woman, and the man through the woman, but the LORD would bring salvation to the couple and judgment upon the serpent, through the woman also.

In my book, CREATION,FALL, And THE HOPE Of REDEMPTION,   I discuss this fact that Satan hates all men but has a particular hatred for women,

  • Satan hates all mankind but has a special hatred for women . . . The devil hates women particularly, because the salvation of man would be born of a woman. This is why false religion such as Islam is so harsh and unjust to women, using and abusing them like so many chattels.

Secularism, also being satanic, is hateful of true womanhood. What is feminism but the hatred of the truly female? It is war on motherhood, nurture, love and support of men, marriage, romance and loyalty. The greatest modern expression of the serpent’s hatred of women would have to be abortion and its twisted twin, homosexuality. Ironically this generation imagines that it has exalted the status of women, when in truth it is ruthlessly destroying it.

  • But there is a typological understandingof “the woman”. The Book of Proverbs is a revelation of God that revolves around the choice of a young prince, between two women; the gaudy harlot and/or the virtuous wife. Both women offer wisdom, and call out to the young and naive, but only one of the women is true and can lead to God. The other woman’s steps lead to death and hell.

Revelation likewise features two metaphorical women–the appalling “great whore . . . mystery Babylon”, and “the Bride, the Lamb’s wife”.  In Scripture, women are metaphors for spiritualities. There is a true woman, whom the serpent hates; she encompasses the true congregation of God. She is called the daughter of Zion, the Bride of the Lamb, for there is an unbroken continuity from Old to New Testaments.

The serpent hates the woman, and has always sought to defile or destroy her. This is the meaning of the hatred of Israel, the wayward wife of the LORD. This is also the reason why the true church has always been persecuted and rejected.

In the beginning of the Bible there is a talk between a woman, and a serpent in a garden, a fallen angel. She and her husband in effect said “yes” to the devil, and “no” to God.

At the time of the Incarnation of God, in the annunciation to Mary, we also have a conversation between a woman, and an unfallen angel, Gabriel. She said, “yes” to God, and so too, did her engaged husband-to-be.

And at the end of the Bible, in the Revelation we have a vision of a woman, clothed in the sun, crowned with twelve stars, writhing in agony of childbirth as a consequence of saying “yes” to God. She is confronted by a terrible dragon (this is how the serpent would develop), who hates her and her seed, seeking to destroy them.

But he can’t, for she is God’s woman.

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 3:15).

All of the modern evils which ate converging in our world, have this in common, they denigrate and degrade true womanhood. Islam? Woman are chattel, evil, and need to be covered up as though the very sight of a woman’s ankle or neck is designed to plunge Muslim men to hell. The Quran has most women going to hell, and a woman’s testimony is not even a fourth as valuable as any man in a court of law.

Homosexuality is a profound hatred for women. It destroys marriage, confuses gender and destroys the unique complimentary nature of men and women, replacing it with a perverse interchangeability, rendering the deep sacred meaning of sex within marriage, with all of its promise and orientation towards the future, obsolete, meaningless, and reduced to mere ecstasy for a momentary and degraded present.

Of course we know feminism is a vicious attack on womanhood. Femnism is man envy. Femnists don’t want to be women in the true sense, they want to compete with and best men in every field. It sets women against men (and boys) and destroys boys in our feminized schools before they can ever become men.

(Notice the feminists have no problem with the plight of European women at the mercy of Islamic Immigrants? They have nothing to say about it, they are too busy trying to catch western men in the fantasy of suffering under a “Patriarchal oppression”.)

What makes a woman a woman?  God fashioned a woman to bear and nurture life, and to endure a special kind of vicarious suffering just to bring that life into the world.

The feminist insistence upon Moloch worship (Abortion) is a demonic assault on the uniqueness of a woman.  Abortion is the destruction of womanliness, it is the antithesis of it. Thus our culture has created legions of sad, empty, angry, masculine looking women, who relish the idea of being as raunchy, crude and calloused as any sailor, construction worker, or convict out there. This has all of the hall marks of the Devil and his War on woman.

There is a reason why for centuries in the Judeo Christian world, it was men who marched out to war, not the women.  The womb was seen as sacred, something to protect, and a sanctuary of life.

Before that the plight of woman was as foretold in the original message of Genesis. The serpent would hate her and persecute her, and people of the serpent would abuse and oppress woman. This is pretty much the case, until the Revelation given to Moses and to the Israelites on Sinai, which came as a virtual sexual revolution to the Ancient world, and which elevated the status of women and children.

If that was the sunrise, the coming of Christ was the full noontide for th elevation of women. Everywhere in the world that the Hebrew Prophets and Christian apostles have been listened to, worn have been elevated, respected and honored in comparison to the pagan world.

But as we recede from the light of the Word of God, the old barbaric practices return which are all expressions of the Serpent’s hatred for women, birth, motherhood and sexual chastity and marital protections .

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The Uniqueness of Male and Female…

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

In all of the rest of Creation, the LORD God spoke and it was. Creation by Fiat, The Lord said…”Let there be Trees, fish, beasts, domestic animals, etc.” . But when He made man, The Most High got down in the clay, and formed with his own hands the marvelous body of the first man, Adam.

Then he did something completely intimate, something very close to ‘mouth to mouth’ , He breathed into his very nostrils the Spirit of Life. (Who do you let breath into your nostrils?).

Man is unique, He is different from all of the rest of Creation, which seems to have been brought into being to serve his needs and to make him comfortable in a suitable habitation, by the merciful Creator.

But if Man is unique, what is Woman? She is totally special, and was brought into being in an eve more intimate way.

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.  And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.  And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.  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. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed (Genesis 2:18-25).

The first “not good” pronounced by the LORD God on any aspect of His creation, occurred before the Fall of man. Therefore, it had nothing to do with Satan, sin or evil. God’s plan was not yet complete, for the LORD God had purposed that man was not to be a solitary actor. It was not good that the man was alone. God would make for him a help meet (suitable and complimentary) for him.

This need for marital companionship was seemingly underscored by the divinely assigned task of naming all of the animals. Obviously, none of the beautiful creatures, as unique and interesting as they were, could possibly meet the need of the man for a life companion.

How does God turn a “not good” into a “Good”?

The LORD God did something about the problem that looks a lot like death and resurrection.

 

God put Adam into a deep sleep, that He might perform a kind of surgery upon him. The first human blood was shed here, for God removed from the first man a side, (not a rib as the KJV says), but a side in the Hebrew. He took a side out of Adam’s flesh, to form a woman from Adam’s side. Then the LORD God had to close up the flesh of Adam. (Was this the first scar?)

The woman, who came out of Adam’s side, was different from Adam, but she was complimentary to him. Both of them comprise the image of God, for it is written, “Male and female created He them in His Image . . .”. But the woman was fashioned in a different and more refined way than the man. Man was formed out of the “dust of the earth”, the soil. But woman was fashioned out of the side of man, refined and refashioned soil.

Even the order of Creation is significant. Man was created first, then woman. The woman was formed as a help suitable to the man. Centuries later when the apostle Paul was teaching the church, he referred to the order of Creation as a reason why leadership in the church should primarily be male.

But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve (1 Timothy 2:12-13).

Men and women are equal but different, according to the Word of God. Gender is not a mere human construct, as the spirit of this evil age insists. Male and female are, in fact, God assigned roles, based upon the mode and order of Creation. The deliberate repudiation of these roles is one of the ultimate expressions of the world’s final rebellion against God Himself.

As Adam came out of his deep sleep, he stood there before God, with the scar in his side, waiting to be presented by the LORD God, with the first woman–a creature of astonishing beauty and grace, no doubt.

This particular scene in the Scripture, foreshadows the final triumph, for the ultimate Groom also has a scar in His side, and awaits the time when the Father presents the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, the body of the Messiah, the church, purchased by His blood.

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.  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed (Genesis 2:23-25).

There is a wedding at very near the beginning of the Bible, and a wedding at the end of it. The union of man and wife is the fundamental human relationship. Before any other relationship–father/son, brother/brother, or brother/sister, friend/friend, employer/employee–the fundamental and primal relationship is husband/wife.

This first wedding is of prophetic significance, because the original groom, who had a scar in his side, from which his wife was taken, foreshadows the ultimate Bridegroom, Jesus, out of whose side blood and water poured forth when they pierced Him, whilst He was paying the price for His bridal church, (which He purchased from sin with His own blood).

Centuries later the apostle Paul would reveal to us by divine revelation, something of what Adam had been given a glimpse of on that hopeful day,

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 5:31-32).

The mystery of marriage is that it is, in itself, a sign that points to a greater reality– the love of the Messiah for His church. The word that God used when He said that He formed the woman out of Adam’s side, is the same word that will be used to describe Cain building a city. We will see in Genesis chapter 4 that in rebellion against God, Cain built a city of rebellion. Enoch, (means “Inauguration”), a “New Start” without God, for all of those who wish to leave the presence of the Lord and to make their own life on their own terms.

But God has built a bride for Adam, and He has been building a bridal city for the Messiah, the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, which is a “bridal city” of God,

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.  And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal (Revelation 21:9-11).

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