Friday, June 26, 2015

So who opened "The door to the Gentiles?" 533-1 - 7 - 2

Before Peter had a vision of a sheet full of unclean animals being lowered to earth I would contend that Jesus quite thoroughly flung open the door to the Gentiles.  Twice Jesus had attempted to reclaim the outer court of the temple for the Gentiles. Jesus fashioned a whip and had the merchants running in all directions. Jesus released animals that were to be sacrificed and overturned tables. The merchants were madly trying to pick up the coins that had been scattered. Matthew 21:13, “And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
Jesus healed Gentiles even on the Sabbath.
Jesus was on his way to heal a child when a woman touched the border of his garment. The hem of the garment was considered of great importance and whether this Gentile woman knew that or just was reaching out in desperation is unknown. What is known is that she was immediately healed of an issue of blood.
Luke 8:43-44, “And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.”
Jesus had an interesting conversation with a woman looking for healing for her daughter. On the surface it sounds almost like Jesus was being cruel but not at all.
Matthew 15:26-28, “26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”
But, as usual, I digress. We read in Acts 11 of Peter’s vision. Acts 11:6-7, “6 Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 7 And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.” Peter protested that he had never eaten anything considered unclean. God had to repeat the same message three times before Peter finally got it, the Gentiles were to be included in the church.
Peter seemed to be receptive to the Gentiles but later had to be gently chided by Paul for reverting during a meal with believing Jews and Gentiles.

Interestingly Jesus chose Saul/ Paul, one of the biggest enemies of Christianity, to be an Apostle 533-1 - 7 - 7

Saul was fully convicted concerning the requirement for the Law and was a force in the administration of it. To him the new believers were heretics and were to be stopped from spreading their heresy. The conversion of Saul would do two things. One it would eliminate one of the more obsessive persecutors of the new believers and it would channel his drive to spreading the faith.
Saul/ Paul certainly lived up to his names. As Saul he was the “destroyer” and officiated at the stoning of Stephen. Paul persecuted the early believers and was very instrumental in forcing them to leave Jerusalem and spread the Word. Saul was given the awesome privilege of seeing the risen Christ on the road to Damascus and went from persecuting those of the Way to being one of the persecuted.
It is likely that Saul now Paul spent several years after his conversion on the road to Damascus being tutored by the Master Himself. Paul means “builder” and build the church he did. While Peter is given credit as the “door opener” to the Gentiles, Paul certainly carried the gospel to the uttermost parts of most of the known world. Paul was a Hellenistic Jew, likely one of the greatest minds of all time and a citizen of Rome.
Paul had the ability to deliver milk to the new believers as well as meat to those more mature in Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul speaks to the simplicity of the gospel; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
Paul was fearless and carried the gospel throughout what is now known as Turkey and into Rome itself. Under inspiration, Paul wrote a large portion of the New Testament. Paul never seemed to doubt Jesus as did the original disciples who couldn’t seem to fully internalize the mission of Jesus.
Towards the end of his ministry Paul wrote, 2 Timothy 4:6-8, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Jesus had told Paul that he would suffer greatly for his name. Paul was beaten a number of times, stoned, shipwrecked and thrown off a cliff and left for dead. At the end only Luke and possibly Mark were with Paul. However one quick bite of the axe and Paul was alive in Christ.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Cremation vs Ancient Jewish Burial vs Contemporary burial 533-1 - 6 - 8

I’ve been told by my born-again friend that cremation is a very pagan ritual. I would contend that the modern means of burial are far more pagan and entirely out of touch with ancient Israel.
“Ancient Jewish practices concerning the dead instructed that the individual be buried and not cremated, a law still in observance today. This is because cremation is believed to be a punishment that is reserved for idols, criminals and enemies of the Jewish faith; for example, during the Exodus, Moses destroyed the golden calf in order to punish the Hebrews for their idolatry. Similarly, the early Christian Church also rejected cremation, because it was associated with Greek and Roman pagan beliefs.”,
Burial was to be done within 24 hours of death. The body of the deceased was washed, anointed with various oils and spices and then wrapped in linen clothing containing more spices and placed on a stone shelf within the burial tomb.
Two important ancient Jewish burial practices were that the burial was required to take place outside of the village where the decadent lived that he or she be buried in the same tomb as his or her family.
Often there would be a secondary burial in ossuaries. After the flesh had been left to decompose and desiccate the bone were collected and placed inside an ossuary. As an aside, the subject of ossuaries brings to mind favorite passages, Matthew 23:27-28, “27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”
2000 years later and an American rite of passage….
Lots of good tips for spending on burial services, really, just another major money maker. has lots of tips. As for the Coffin or Casket in which the body is going to be buried, and I quote, “This should be just the right size and must be comfortable.” Next to consider is embalming. “The body has to be cleaned properly and this can only be done with the use of a professional service. The embalming part of the process has to be picture-perfect and has to be done to ensure everything is as it should be.”
Then there is the Chapel. “Most funerals take place in a chapel or church, and that is a big part of the process. This is where the burial is going to start off and that is where you get to remember the lost soul that has passed away.”
Often people will say at a viewing, “It looks like he/ she is sleeping.” Then there is “He/ she looks so peaceful and is in a better place.” Well…maybe.
Finally the coffin is closed and sealed and at the cemetery is lowered into a concrete value. Now exactly returning to the earth.
As for me it’s off to Science Care when the time comes unless Jesus comes for His Church first. 

The Ethiopian Treasurer was confused when arriving in Israel and heating of the crucified Jesus 533-1 - 6 - 3

 The saga of the Ark of the Covenant reads like a soap opera. The Ethiopian version begins with the Levites who sought to protect the ark from the evil King Manassah and Pharaoh Necho, an Ethiopian, was given custody of the ark. However the good king Josiah wanted the ark returned to Israel and fought his ally Pharaoh Necho for it. Unfortunately King Josiah was killed in battle in the ark has remained an Ethiopian custody all these hundreds of years.
According to legend, the Ark of the Covenant was to be presented to the Messiah “When He rules on Mt. Zion.” Fast-forward several hundred years and the Ethiopian Treasurer traveled to Israel likely under orders from Candace, the Queen of Ethiopia to investigate the rumors of the appearance of the long sought Messiah. When the Ethiopian treasure arrived in Israel he found out that the prospective Messiah had been crucified. One can only imagine his confusion, how could the man who was crucified possibly be the Messiah?
When one considers that the disciples of Jesus who lived and shared his ministry for 3 ½ years still did not fully understand the mission of Jesus it certainly makes sense that the Ethiopian treasurer was very confused.
God arranged a divine appointment between the Ethiopian treasurer and the deacon Philip. The Ethiopian had started out on his arduous 1500 mile trip home and was resting in his chariot and reading from the Book of Isaiah. Philip joined the Ethiopian and his chariot. Philip taught the Ethiopian from Isaiah chapters 52 and 53. The correlation between Isaiah 53 written hundreds of years before the crucifixion of Jesus was obvious to the Ethiopian. He became a believer and was baptized in the nearby river. Acts 9:39, “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”

Friday, June 5, 2015

False witnesses and slanderers are within the Church Body today 533-1 - 5 - 3

I am currently working on an article for the Issachar course I620. I selected as my subject the Mormon Law of Eternal Progression. I have been overwhelmed with information through the Internet both pro and con and numerous books including the New Translation of the Bible by Joseph Smith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This is a parallel Bible having the inspired version of Joseph Smith and the King James Version of the Bible side by side. Joseph Smith claimed that “Sweet and Precious” things were deliberately left out of the Bible. He changed John 1:1 from the” Word was God” to “the son was with God and the son was of God.” This reduces Jesus to a creative being rather than God.
Mormonism with its “Law of Eternal Progression” is attempting to evangelize the world. The major heresy of Mormonism is summed up in its central theological, "As man is, God once was, and as God is, man may become; that trillions of planets scattered throughout the cosmos are ruled by countless gods who once were human like us. Elohim and one of his goddess wives came to Earth as Adam and Eve to start the human race. Thousands of years later, Elohim took on human form once again and journeyed to Earth from the star base Kolob. He had physical relations with the Virgin Mary in order to provide Jesus with a physical body.”
While it is easy to denigrate the Mormon belief in eternal progression, some in the emergent church are promoting their version of godhood. Then there is the recycled “New Age” with its self-proclaimed gurus. The Give examples of false witnesses and slanderers within the Church Body today? and Eastern religions might not be an issue, however, some churches welcome them In the name of diversity and tolerance.
Paraphrase Bibles such as The Message deviate greatly from the KJV. Yoga, which may open participants to the dark side, is being promoted in many churches. As I understand, the Kingdom Now Movement promotes the theory that the church will remain on the earth during the tribulation to bring the Kingdom to the earth. IMO, this could be equated not only to false witness but to the very slander of the Word itself.
Then there is the New Apostolic Reformation movement. The self-anointed anoint each other and so on. I’m not quite certain what all this means except the few times I have watched Word of Faith tele-evangelists the word anointed is freely thrown around.
As for me, it is Sola Scriptura.