Archive for April, 2013

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17
Apr

The Good News And The Prophecy To The Church – When was the Good News last preached fully and accurately?192

[Preface:    Man deceives himself when he assumes superior air and puts himself on par with Christ just because Jesus Christ came to earth as a man.  Man can not only not put himself on par with Lord and Savior Jesus Christ but also a spiritual man would know that Christ cannot be brought down on level with him, even as a man.  Why?  The reason is before you to unravel in this first-time ever accurate presentation of the Good News, so that you may enjoy true and absolute deliverance.  Because, deliverance or salvation can only begin with the knowledge of self-unworthiness followed up with knowing how much you are in need of the Savior every living moment, man or woman.  On the contrary, the blasphemous doctrine of male superiority both impedes and thwarts the saving message of the gospel.  It only subjugates women and justifies their ill-treatment.  So much so that crimes and injustices against women have escalated to unmatched and interminable proportions.  And, churches cannot wash their hands off their responsibility. Moreover, churches can no longer shut their eyes to what is coming to them in particular and to the world in general as a result of this monster of falsehood unleashed by them.  So, here it is!   Read, and benefit!]

PART  I

 THE SON OF MAN

INTRODUCTION:  The greatest lie or the greatest deception shrouding the world at large is the premise on which it functions – THE MALE SUPERIORITY.  The visible church represented by various organizational bodies of Christianity, has on its part done nothing but propagate this lie.  The very few among these organizations (if at all!) that pretend to encourage equality do so only on the basis of a tacit understanding for healthier co-existence; and not by teaching or preaching the truth.

MORE LIES AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES

MORE LIES:  Therefore, the pervading lie that “only Adam or only the male of the man was created in the image of God” continues to prevail unchallenged within the Church.  As a result, it gives credence to yet another GREAT LIE that God’s likeness is vested in the sexuality of ‘man’!  What is sexual difference, if not fleshly difference waiting to perish?  Can the imperishable be confined in the perishable? And, isn’t sexual difference merely for propagative purpose in God’s plan?  Refer Gen 1:28; Gen 1:22; Gen 7:1-3; Gen 7:15-16; Gen 8:15-17.

And what kind of propagation?  Do husbands and wives who claim to have been united in holy matrimony fulfill their holy obligation to God by raising godly offspring for Him?  Read Mal 2:15, “Has not the Lord made them one?  In flesh and spirit they are His.  And why one?  Because He was seeking godly offspring…”.

WHAT ABOUT THE EUNUCHS WHO KEEP NO SEXUAL IDENTITY?:   Aren’t they ‘men’?  Don’t they include in God’s plan of redemption for ‘men’?  Didn’t God send Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch on the road to Gaza with the sole purpose of redeeming him to the Lord?  Refer Acts 8:26-39.  Jesus reveals the extra special honor He has reserved for all those who have been faithful eunuchs for the kingdom’s sake in Rev 14:1-5.  Also refer Matt 19:11-12 and the parable of ten virgins in Matt 25:1-3.  Isa 56:3(b)-5 reads, “….and let not any eunuch complain, ‘I am only a dry tree’.  For this is what the Lord says:To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths; who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant – to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off’.”

WISDOM AND FOLLY: Just as wisdom is proved right by her actions (Matt 11:19(b)), folly exhibits herself in hers.  The relentless patriarchal order, the terrible insubordination of women, the self-assumed high places of church leaders and elders, their various yokes of oppression by which they either suppress the gullible or denounce as heretics the wise and such other examples, too shameful to mention; are all proofs of satanic servitude brought about by folly.  For isn’t serving mortal men instead of serving the Only Worthy Son, satanic servitude?  And, how we misappropriate Ps.45, the matchless wedding song of the Lamb and His Bride, the Church, in our marriage ceremonies and lure naïve brides away from the Divine to human and impose upon her total submission!

THE LIGHT THAT IS DARKNESS: Jesus planted His Church (Matt 16:18(a)) in this world to be the light of this world (Matt 5:14-16).  But thanks to our folly, not only are those outside continuing in darkness but those inside dragged into its very vortex (Isa 42:22).  How can there be any light when the so-called propagaters of faith themselves live in darkness?  Matt 6:23(b) reads, “If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”   And Isa 42:18-20 prophesies of them, “Hear, you deaf, look, you blind, and see!  Who is blind but my servant, and deaf like the messenger I send?  Who is blind like the one committed to me, blind like the servant of the Lord?  You have seen many things, but have paid no attention, your ears are open, but you hear nothing.”  Also refer Matt 15:14.

Jesus forewarns the Church of the impending judgement on these blind guides in Jn 9:39-41. Prophet Isaiah has also prophesied along the same lines in Isa 50:11, “But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze.  This is what you shall receive from my hand:  you will lie down in torment.”

But to the hopefuls, there is relief yet.  Isa 50:10, Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of His Servant?  Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.”  As Jesus directs in Jn 3:21, true relief is in coming to true light, “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light.”  Yes, Truth is as plain as light (Jn 8:12).

TRUTH AND DELIVERANCE

TRUE LIGHT:  God establishes Truth at the very beginning itself.  Refer Gen 1:26-27; Gen 5:2.  And the truth is that the female is as much a ‘man’ as the male.  Read Gen 5:1-2, “..When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.  He created them male and female and blessed them.  And when they were created, He called them ‘man’.”

SON OF MAN:  The truth is re-iterated as Jesus restores unto woman her former dominion by pointedly referring to Himself asSon of man’ (Mic 4:8 vs Gen 1:26, Gen 5:2).  Son of man, a title which continues to confound even the best of Bible expositioners!  They readily propound the most absurd theories, all far removed from the truth.  However, Truth is delightfully simple and explicit.  Jesus Christ, by virtue of being born Son of Mary, the woman, is as much Son of man as bearers of the same title before Him, namely Ezekiel and Daniel, both sons of mortal men.

The God-ordained oneness in ‘man’, inclusive of both male and female, will remain difficult to comprehend as long as we choose to turn a blind eye to the image and likeness of the One, in which Adam and Eve were created.  Let us understand better :-

THE GODLY FEATURES OF ‘MAN’:

Yes, clarity on the term ‘man’ is best gleaned from the divine formula by which Adam and Eve were created.  Again, refer Gen 1:26-27.  They were created in God’s image, in God’s likeness.

What do we understand by His image?  His likeness?  Surely, God doesn’t have a physical form as God is Spirit! (Jn 4:24).  However, the Word of God is descriptive of the divine features of His awesomeness.  They are :-

A. GOD IS HOLY:  Lev 19:1, “Be holy, because I, the Lord your God am holy.” Also refer 1 Chron 16:29(b); Ps 29:2(a); Ps.96:9, Isa 6:3.  He is the Holy One of Israel.  Ex.15:11, Majestic in holiness, awesome in glory….”;  Ps.50:2, “From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.”; Ps.104:1-2; Ps.93:1; Matt.17:2, “..clothed with splendor and majesty.  He wraps Himself in light as with a garment;…”; Ps.110:3, “Arrayed in holy majesty…..”.   Thus, in His image means in His Holiness.

B.GOD IS ONE AND GOD IS TRIUNE:  Deut 6:4, Hear O Israel; the Lord our God, the Lord is one.”  And the very first verses in the scripture introduces the Triune God (Gen.1:1-2).  Also refer Jn 1:1-3.  It means God is One but Triune, i.e union of Three.  The Holy Trinity.  They function  as One (Jn 5:19-20; Jn 16:12-15), in perfect unity (Jn 17:11).  Egs. Gen 1:26, ‘….”Let us make…”..’ When  Jesus commissions His disciples (Matt 28:19), He instructs them to baptizeIn the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’.  And Jn 17:11, “…That they may be one as we are one.”  As such, in His likeness means in the pattern of His Trinity and in the awesome oneness thereof.

[The redemptive work of God is a complete revelation of His Triune Self:  The calling of Israel by God the Holy Father with great wonders and mighty works of His Hands, out of whom would come the Savior of all mankind;  The salvation wrought by His Only Son, Jesus Christ with His own Holy and Precious Blood; and The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit for the regeneration of all who believe.]

 ‘MAN’ – THE SUPREME CREATION: 

After creating all things until ‘man’ by simply commanding them into existence, God precedes man’s creation by a superior planning – Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image; in our likeness, and let them rule over…’.”  The term ‘man’ represents the Oneness in God.  And we learn that both male and female are created in the pattern of His trinity; arrayed in the glory of His holiness.

Thus, they become the only animate beings with a trinity combination of Body, Soul and Spirit of life.  Yes, all others lack the additional component of ‘Soul’ in them.  Soul is the total embodiment of a person with which it identifies self, thinks, emotionalizes, intellectualizes and interacts – even with God!

In other words, human beings were created to fellowship with most holy God – eligible in their individual selves and perfected in their oneness.  As the psalmist has revealed, ‘man’ was created just a little lower than the heavenly beings [which partly explains why they were placed in Eden, God’s garden (Gen.2:15; Ezek 28:13(a)) and not in Heaven].  Ps 8:5-6 – “He was crowned with glory and honor and made ruler over the works of God’s hands, everything having been subjected under his feet.”  Just as we find in Gen 1:28, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it, rule over….and over every living creature…’.”

EFFECTS OF THE FALL ON ‘MAN’:    

Spiritual death was instantaneous.  Their glorious bodies declined into a sinful state.  And their souls, exposed in their sinful nakedness had died for all godly purposes.  They were reduced to an imperfect trinity, no longer bearing the image of God, but a corruptible image of SINFUL BODY, SPIRITUALLY DEAD SOUL AND SPIRIT OF LIFE RENDERED TEMPORAL DUE TO ADAMIC CURSE!  As good as beasts! (Ps 49:12; Ps 57:4; Ps 22:12-13; Ps 73:22).  Lastly, their almost perfect pre-fall oneness was seemingly shattered for ever!  Thus they become completely unfit for fellowship with most holy God. Ps 58:3-5; Ps 53:2-3.  And they are banished from Eden.

THE NETWORK OF LIES:  The pre-fall glorious features of Adam and Eve, bereft of any sin, had gifted them the joy of holy God’s fellowship.  The joy of which they hadn’t the full grasp of, until to their utter dismay, they’d lost it completely.  And to think it was a well-conceived lie that had brought it about! (Gen 3:1-4) – It would be the onset of a network of lies that would submerge the world in darkness, humanly impenetrable!

So, the only ray of hope that had come in the form of serpent’s curse, viz. Gen 3:15, And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel. was soon thwarted by yet another devastating lie.  Because we find that Adam and Eve begin to seek the Promised Son, the Messiah, in the seed of mortal man, eg Gen 4:1-2.  And, son-seeking came to be transpired from generation to generation until it had become an obsession with the entire human race.  Eg.Gen 5:29, “He named him Noah and said, ‘He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed’.”

THE MORTAL MAN :  Gen 3:17-19 reveals that Adam and all his male progeny would bear and carry the curse of death, decay and destruction  which had already begun to permeate from him to the entire creation.  Moreover, having lost the likeness of God, the image of God; all his descendants i.e all mankind would only bear his likeness, his imperfection.  Gen 5:3, “Adam …had a son in his own likeness; in his own image….”   As such, assuming and propagating that ‘man’ is still the image of God, the likeness of God is a terrible mistake.  For it is A LIE, A DECEPTION AND NOTHING SHORT OF BLASPHEMY!   Thus, seeking the Messiah, the Perfect Sacrifice, for their sins from among the seed of mortal man added to their increasing folly.

How could he who is sinful from conception (Ps 51:5); who is brought down as low as dust (Gen 3:19); whose days are fleeting like grass (Ps 103:15-16; Ps 144:4) and in whom is found nothing good (Ps 53:2-3; Gen 6:5-6; Mic 7:2-4; Isa 64:6 etc) ever work salvation?  Ps 49:7-9 reads, “No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him……”, Ps 146:3-4, “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save….” and Isa 2:22, “Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils.  Of what account is he?”.

Thus we find, their hope notwithstanding, the curse manifests itself as one by one, all Adam’s male descendants ultimately follow him in death (Gen 5:5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31; Gen 9:29 etc). The only exception that was Enoch could do no more than save himself due to his righteousness and close walk with God (Gen 5:24).  Same with Elijah.

THE SON OF GOD:

In spite of their repeated failures, ‘men’ do not turn to God to seek their salvation.  Moreover, Eve’s ready submission unto Adam only added to her folly of repeatedly knocking at the wrong door.  First, she was deceived into seeking wisdom at the wrong place and now, the Son!  A mistake the woman would only unlearn about two millennia later.  Read Luke 1:26-38, “….’How will this be’, Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’   The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the most high will overshadow you.   So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God…..for nothing is impossible with God…”.

WHEN GOD SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO WOMAN

Why did it take two thousand years for the woman to undo her wrong and declare, “I am the Lord’s servant.”?  And, in worthy submission, “May it be to me as you have said.”?  (Lk 1:38).

Because, such was the oppression that had overtaken her!  Such was the wickedness unleashed and total subjection imposed upon her by sinful and arrogant men.  Thus, though the seed of Good News (Gen 3:15) was granted by God at the beginning itself, men by their sinful volition take upon themselves the glory, honor and power due to the Only Worthy Lamb of God.  Their disobedience and waywardness led to their total depravity.  God worshipers became men worshipers and worser still.  ‘Son’ seekers, merely seekers of self-glory, raising a harvest of wicked sons in its wake.  The lies they served to multiply deluded them all the more, till they had brought upon themselves the condemnation of no return!  Refer Ps 81:12, 2 Thess 2:11-12, Rom 1:21-23; 25 & 28-32.

COULD PATRIARCHY SAVE ITS SONS?:   See, how we’ve been conditioned to boast about patriarchy and our traditional lineages!  Could patriarchy save its sons?   Is Jesus’ geneology actually found in patriarchy in its fleshly application?  PRAISE GOD, IT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE!

Don’t we just pretend to be spiritual when all our teachings continue to boast in the flesh?  You who boast in flesh, how like your first father you sin and rebel against God! For, are you not in flesh still one with him?  Read Isa 43:27, “Your first father sinned; your spokesmen rebelled against me.”  And Hos 6:7, “Like Adam, they have broken the covenant – they were unfaithful to me there.”

[It is only given to a spiritual person to understand and acknowledge that Israel or God’s holy people is not a physical nation, but a spiritual nation.  For example, read Matt 3:9, “And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’.” ]

Noah was the first righteous man of God who was faithful to persevere in God’s Word in the sense that he was able to acknowledge God’s plan for all in his family (Gen 6:18, 22..).

But, when it came to Abraham’s turn, again, we find him failing to acknowledge Sarah’s inclusion and election in God’s plan even after it was emphasized upon in Gen 17:15-21.  Hence, like Adam who ended up eating the forbidden fruit, Abraham ended up fathering in Ishmael, a wild donkey of a son – full of hostility and strife against his own! (Gen 16:12).  So it has been with all those who compromised with God’s Word – be it Moses, Eli, Saul, David, whoever.  Everyone had to pay for it in some measure or the other – some even ending up with eternal damnation!  Refer Jer 23:28-29, “….but let the one who has My word speak it faithfully.  For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord.  “Is not My word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?’    Also, refer Gen 18:19.

IT HAD TO BE HER SON:

SARAH:   Finally, God Himself speaks to Sarah’s eager heart.  [Until then, we find Sarah was no improvement over her first mother.  Still in hiding as Eve (Refer Gen 3:8(b) and Gen 18:10(b)) and as fearful too (Gen 3:8, 10; Gen 18:15).  The only notable but sad difference is that unlike Eve, Sarah lies when confronted (Gen 3:13 vs Gen 18:15)].

But, what a transformation for Sarah after that wonderful day when God’s Word comes to her directly!  Refer Gen 18:9-15.  The woman, now no longer dependent on her husband for God’s Word, learns in addition that God is her only Provider, Sustainer and Protector (Gen 12:17; Gen 20:3-7, 18; Gen 18:14; Gen 21:1-3).  Indeed, Sarah sets a precedent by her example, and the wise among women follow in the same path.  Eg Tamar, Shiprah, Puah, Rahab, Hanna, Zelophehad’s daughters, Jephthah’s daughter, Esther, Abigail, Ruth etc.  And for their wisdom, each of them fulfill God’s purpose in  their lives and bring Him glory, truly uplifted beyond the reach of their curses.

Therefore, as God directs in Isa 51:2, “Look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth…”.  Yes, look to both Abraham and Sarah!  Again, Isa 51:2, “…..when I called him he was but one, and I blessed him and made him many.”   Isn’t the ‘one’ness here inclusive of both Abraham and Sarah?  Does it mean one as in single or alone?  If in doubt, see Gen 12:1-5 & Gen 11:29-30.  Weren’t they already made one in wedlock when God called Abraham?  Yet, God’s covenant continues to be broken, and we find women are excluded from all sense of oneness, and churches continue to shamelessly lord it over and advocate total submission of women unto men.   Why?  Simply because they fail to look beyond themselves – they fail to ‘Look to the Rock from which they are cut and to the Quarry from which they are hewn’ Isa 51:1.

FROM SARAH TO MARY:  From Sarah’sson of the covenant of circumcision’ to Mary’s ‘Son of the promise of redemption’, the spiritual journey of the woman has been painfully slow, but steady.   The journey that began with the question in Gen 18:14, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?…” until the answer was found in Luke 1:37, For nothing is impossible with God.”   Praise God!  God’s Word stands true, and all of It will come to pass without fail (Matt 5:18).  And, Praise God for His patience which can only mean salvation for us.  The patience by which He readied the woman for His Divine Purpose.  The Good News was emphatic enough from the beginning – IT HAD TO BE HER SON!   (Gen 3:15, Gen 17:16, Gen 18:10, Lk 1:30-33).

BY FAITH AND NOT BY FLESH:   The men, since of yore, whose names belong in Christ’s genealogy find mention due to faith and not due to flesh.  Just as all men and women of God of all times.  Eg Abel, Enoch, Noah’s wife, Noah’s daughters-in-law, Samuel, Daniel, Joseph, Mary Magdalene, Priscilla, Phoebe, Dorcas, Lydia etc, and of course the great prophets and apostles.  Jesus testifies, Matt 12:49-50, “Pointing to His disciples He said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers.  For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother’…”.

Mary proved herself worthy of the greater honor, Blessed are you among women!’ (and it didn’t come plummeting down like that of John the baptist’s, due to his tottering faith in prison!).  Indeed, she was worthy both in flesh and in her remarkable faith; most exemplified at the foot of the cross.  Praise God!  May her tribe increase.

THE PARABLE OF WEEDS

The parable of weeds illustrated by Jesus in Matt 13:24-30 and Matt 13:36-43 is clear depiction of the whole truth in a nutshell, so to speak :

THE GOOD SEED:  God is the ‘first Planter’ in the harvest-field of this world.  He plants the SINGLE SEED OF WHEATthe Good News of His Promised Son, the Messiah.  Whoever believed in the Word and looked to God for its fulfilment, had due to their faith become sons of the kingdom.  Eg Abraham (Jn 8:56), Hannah (1 Sam 2:1-10).

Jn 12:24 reveals, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.   But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”  Yes, the Word has since become flesh and His Promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the ‘offspring of the woman’ (Matt 2:11)  THE KERNEL OF WHEAT THAT DIED AND ROSE AGAIN TO PRODUCE MANY SEEDS.  Conceived, not of man but of the Holy Spirit, He was born neither spiritually dead nor with the Adamic curse of physical death (the curse of which though as the descendant of Adam the woman is a victim, she is not a carrier).  And by His obedience, He remained faithful and offered Himself to die for our redemption – as a Holy and Perfect Sacrifice, even though He did not deserve to die either by His birth or by His deeds (Jn 10:17-18).  And true to His Word, Matt 16:18(b), the kingdom of God is since forcefully advancing, restoring the Word-deprived – the lost, the broken-hearted, the lowly, the blind, the lame, the prisoners, the hungry, the poor and the oppressed, all who fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.   Refer Isa 7:14, Isa 9:6-7, 1 Chron 17:11-14, Isa 35 etc.

THE WEEDS OF LIES:  While the Good News served to bring hope to the lost and straying, it spelt definite doom to its recipient, Devil, the great deceiver (Gen 3:15).  Therefore, seizing upon every available opportunity, he began to plant his weeds of lies, raising a harvest of wicked sons (Ps 1:4, Matt 3:12) alongside the sons of the kingdom.   Jesus reveals his modus operandi in Matt 13:25.  THE ENEMY OF THE SON OF MAN PLANTS HIS WEEDS OF LIES UNNOTICED WHEN THOSE ENTRUSTED WITH THE WORD OF GOD ARE FOUND SLEEPING, HAVING DROPPED THEIR GUARD!  Refer Mk 13:36.  Yes, devil is the ‘other planter’ in the harvest field of this world.

Be warned!  “..Let the one who has my word speak it faithfully…” Jer 23:28-29.  1Tim 4:18 reads “Watch your life and doctrine closely.  Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”   Unlike Adam, who sets the wheel of his fall rolling when he fails to keep watch and persevere in  God’s Word.  He could neither save himself nor Eve, his only hearer.  And thus it continued to be with almost all others after him, with very few exceptions like Noah, Samuel, Hannah, Huldah, Josaiah, Deborah, Nathan, Naomi etc. Things are no different even now, as we very well know.

However, whoever believes in these lies, being given to deception and to deceive are called children of the evil one or children of darkness.  Read Jn 8:42-47, “Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I came from God and now am here.  I have not come on my own; but He sent Me….you belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.  He was a murderer from the beginning; not holding to the truth, for there was no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me!….he who belongs to God hears what God says.  The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” Also refer Zech 10:3.

THE END-TIME HARVEST:  True to the parable, the end-time harvest is the culmination of all things.  Also called the Day of the Lord.  The Day of God’s Judgement by fire.  Matt 13:39-43, “….The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned up in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.  The Son of man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.  They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  He who has ears, let him hear.”   He who has ears, let him hear!  The field is ready for harvest.  Repent and turn to the Only Worthy Son, the Lamb of God.

Forsake your high places and purge yourselves of your idolatory and all yokes of oppressions (Isa 58:9-12).  Repent of your lies and set the captives free.  Humble yourselves before God and put your trust in Him (Zeph 3:12), perhaps He will yet show mercy and save you (Amos 5:15-17).

For, the Son, the world has been waiting for, has been revealed to the righteous and the wicked alike.  What now remains is only the fearful expectation of judgement and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God (Heb 10:27).  Also Heb 10:29-31, “How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know Him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge His people’.  It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.” 

GOD’S WORD STANDS HOLY AND TRUE:

Rom 1:18-20, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them…..for since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”  His anger will soon smite the earth off its inhabitants.  Mic 7:13, “The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as the result of their deeds.”  Isa 13:12, “I will make man scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of ophir.”   As for the women who refuse to turn to God, Isa 4:1, “In that day seven women will take hold of one man and say, ‘We will eat our own food and provide our own clothes; only let us be called by your name.  Take away our disgrace!’”  – a possibility perhaps doubted by the people of Isaiah’s time but no longer, as scarce a woman can be found who is dependent on her male counterpart as the sole provider.

For God hears the desire of the afflicted.  He encourages them, and listens to their cry.   He will defend the fatherless and the oppressed “…In order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.”  Ps 10:17-18.

Your idolatory will be exposed when you will be forced to forsake the name of the Lord your God from whose bounty you have been fattening yourselves, but for slaughter!  Then, you will readily relinquish your self-glorifying high places to bow before the beast who is soon going to be revealed to the world in all his beastly fullness – in the spirit of the antichrist.

For how much longer do you suppose you can give vent to your beastly aspirations and not be brought to complete subjection before him who is their only source?  You who now hold captive will be given over to captivity.  And you will have none to save you.  For the sons and daughters of your flesh in whom you glory will turn against you and hand you over.  Everywhere you turn, you will find foes and none who is a friend.  You will cry out to God but He won’t come to your defense.  So it will be!   For, “…..Every plant that My heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots’…”  Matt 15:13.

He who has ears let him hear! The Holy Spirit continues to speak to us.  But He will not speak for much longer.  Therefore, ‘..Kiss the Son (be reconciled to Him), lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.”  Ps 2:12.

Yes, blessed are all who take refuge in Him, Jn 8:12.  For “THEY WILL BE CALLED OAKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, A PLANTING OF THE LORD FOR THE DISPLAY OF HIS SPLENDOR.”  Isa 61:3(b).

PART II

 THE DAUGHTER OF ZION

THE NEXT STAGE IN THE REDEMPTION PLAN:   Having learnt that the seed of Good News planted by God is His Only Son – Jesus Christ, we find to our indescribable joy that in Him alone is the fulfilment of all things.  Therefore, we eagerly join all creation and await the next stage in the redemption  plan of God, which is the revelation of the Bride of the Lamb.  For, the wedding of the Lamb draws near (Rev 19:7).  It will onset the glorious freedom of the children of God and whole creation, besides! (Rom 8:19-23; 2 Pet 3:13; Heb 9:28).

THE BRIDE:  Who could the Bride of the Lamb be?  What do we understand by ‘the Bride of the Lamb’?  Beware! Something that is divinely conceived may only be perceived spiritually.  Thus, we learn that in abstract terms, the Bride is the Oneness of God fulfilled in ‘man’.  In spiritual terms, She is the Church – the collective body of the children of God.

INTRODUCING THE BRIDE:  Gen 2:21-22 is that part of the Good News which announces the arrival of the bride.  God formed Eve out of Adam and presented to him his perfect match.  The bride part of the Good  News to all mankind is the self-same thing – THE BRIDE OF THE LAMB IS CREATED OUT OF THE LAMB.

And, just as God’s image and likeness was vested in the oneness or sumtotal of the spiritual ‘man’ represented by both male and female (Gen 1:27), the Bride of the Lamb – Who is God’s Only Son, will also have to be the oneness or sumtotal of the spiritual ‘man’ represented by both male and female.   In other words, JUST AS THE ‘MALE’ BY HIMSELF DOES NOT REPRESENT GOD, SO ALSO THE ‘FEMALE’ BY HERSELF CANNOT REPRESENT THE BRIDE OF THE HOLY BRIDEGROOM.  Thus, restoring and perfecting their lost oneness.

THE MAKING AND PERFECTING OF THE BRIDE

We know that after their fall, “Adam and Eve”, the first spiritual man, lost their glorious likeness to God and became sinful.  No longer spiritually alive!  All mankind, since then, have borne the likeness and image of their sinful progenitor with the added burden of their ever-multiplying curses (eg. Gen 3:16-19, Gen 4:11-12……).  Yet it is from this broken and marred pottery, otherwise destined to perish, that God the Potter re-creates a spiritual body of children of God to form the Bride of the Lamb (Jer 18:4-6).  How?  By the Spirit, Water and Blood of the Lamb (1 Jn 5:6-7).

Let us understand better and learn about the born again experience.  To that end, let us first study the role of the Spirit, Water and Blood of the Lamb in our regeneration :

I  ROLE OF THE SPIRIT AND WATER :

(i)Jn 3:5-7, “I tell you the truth.  No one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of Water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh.  But the Spirit gives birth to Spirit….’you must be born again’.

(ii)Jn 6:63, The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.  The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life.”

While the Word is the Sanctifier (Jn 17:17; Jn 15:3; Jn 13:8(b)..),  eg. as Jesus says to the faithful eleven, Jn 15:3, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.,  the Spirit is the life-giver – the Living Word (Jn 4:10) that stirs awake a soul to life.   Egs.  just as it is written in Isa 34:16(b), “…..’for it is His mouth that has given the order, and His Spirit will gather them together’.”   Further, as Jn 3:8 says, ”The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. “    Hence a mystery waiting to be revealed (Eph 5:32).

II  ROLE OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST :

 (i) Purifies us from all sin (1 Jn 1:7(b))

 (ii) Gives us confidence to enter the Most Holy Place (Heb 10:19)

 (iii) Helps us overcome the devil (Rev 12:11)

THE BORN AGAIN EXPERIENCE:  Summarily, this is exactly what happens to a spiritually awakened soul – Holy Spirit, Who has been working on it from the beginning gives it a spiritual bath with the blood of Jesus, which acts as soap, and His Word, which acts as water, to complete the sanctifying act.  Again refer Eph 5:25(b); Jn 13:8(b).  This is the born again experience, the immediate outcome of which is the overwhelming joy and peace it leaves behind.  Thus one is enabled by the Spirit to call on God the Most High, “Abba! Father’, Rom 8:16; Heb 10:19 etc, paving the way for an eternal fellowship.  Eph 5:25(b); Jn 13:8 and Jn 15:1-8 teach us how to continue and remain in it.

THE ONLY VALID TESTIMONIES:   As apostle John re-asserts in 1 Jn 5:7, “For there are three that testify: The Spirit, the Water and the Blood, and the three are in agreement.”   They are the only Valid Testimonies in the making, perfecting and revelation of the Bride.  They are always in agreement because they belong to One, Jesus Christ.  1 Jn 5:6, “This is the One who came by Water and Blood – Jesus Christ.  He did not come by Water only, but by Water and Blood.  And it is the Spirit Who testifies (about Him), because the Spirit is Truth.”   Finally, just as the Three are united in Christ, the Three also function to unite us.  Yes, they are the Unifying Agents Of God, without Whom the perfection of the Bride could never be accomplished.

HARK! THE TIME-BOUND CALL OF THE GOSPEL

2 Cor 6:2(b), “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”   Hark! Listen to Jesus calling out in  a loud voice, Jn 7:37-38, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in Me as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”   Yield to His Spirit’s calling and let this ‘spring of water well up to eternal life’ in you, (Jn 4:14).

Therefore, hasten and heed.  Isa 55:1-3 – “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.  Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?  Listen, listen to Me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.  Give ear and come to Me; hear Me that your soul may live.  I will make an everlasting covenant with you, My faithful love promised to David.”

To those languishing outside, Isa 55:6-7, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.  Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.”

Reverting to Jn 7:37-38, whoever believes in Him as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.  Belief is an act and not abstract, as some might presume.  It is the act of entrusting oneself to God, of yielding oneself to the Spirit’s leading, of growing in the Word and of becoming fruitful, all combined together.  Only then the streams of Living Water will flow from within oneself and well up to eternity – Jn 4:14; Jn15:7-8.  Such a one will find fulfilment of the prophecies in Isa 58:11(b) and Isa 58:12(b), in oneself and become fruitful like ‘a well-watered garden’ and be called “REPAIRER OF BROKEN WALLS AND RESTORER OF STREETS WITH DWELLINGS.” 

Finally, read Zech 9:11-12, As for you, because of the blood of My covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.  Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.”

THE WEDDING OF THE LAMB

Next, let’s look at what’s in store for the Bride after her election :-

THE PRINCIPLE OF MARRIAGE:  God’s revelation of the glorious future of His children was handed down to man, symbolically through the principle of marriage, found in Gen 2:24, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”   It heralds the prophetic wedding of the Lamb.

The various stages of its execution by Jesus Christ, until final fulfilment of the prophecy, BEHOLD, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW!” (Rev 21:5 kjv) is the God-ordained principle of marriage in its entirety for the total and perfect redemption of the Bride.

To help her along, God has pre-ordained in her the “enmity with the enemy” (Gen 3:15).  Therefore, she becomes the ideal helpmate both in its earthly concept as in the divine (Prov 18:22).   [As such, its of no wonder that woman is always targetted in her earthly nature just as she is in her spiritual nature as the Church – Rev 12:13-17].

THE VARIOUS STAGES LEADING UP TO ITS FULFILMENT:  Let us study the aforementioned stages and understand the true implication of marriage as Jesus, the Holy Bridegroom both exemplifies and teaches us : 

  1. The Separation or the First Coming.
  2. The Bride-price or the Ransom.
  3. The Betrothal or setting apart of the Bride.
  4. The Preparation or Spiritual Journey of the Bride.
  5. The Second Coming and the Revelation of the Bride.
  6. The Wedding or the Home Coming.
  7.  In the Inseparable Fellowship and Eternal Kingdom of Heaven.

1.THE SEPARATION:  Gen 2:24,For this reason a man will leave his father and mother……”.  The Holy and Only Son of God left  His Heavenly abode to seek His bride.  Also known as the first-coming of the Lord.  Refer Ps.45:3-4.

2.THE BRIDE-PRICE:  Matt 20:28, “Just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”   Yes, He paid the bride-price, the ransom for her freedom, with His own Holy and Precious Blood.  And, according to the perfect plan of God, Jesus rose again from the grave on the third day to once and for all seal and complete His claim on His bride.  Thereafter, He ascended back into Heaven as promised, and poured out His Spirit for her as a deposit guaranteeing her eternal inheritance with Him.  Refer Ps 45:5-8.

3.THE BETROTHAL:  Ps 45:10, Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear; forget your people and your father’s house.” Also Matt 10:37-39, Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me…”.  Refer Ex 32:29. Betrothal follows the bride’s consent or willingness.  It is imperative that the bride accepts the offer of His salvation and proves it by forsaking her all to follow Him.  Rebekah exemplifies bride’s role in betrothal for us.  Refer Gen 24:58, 61.

Betrothal seals the Holy Covenant between the ‘two’ and hence should not be broken Note how Joseph was forbidden to break faith with Mary (Matt 1:19-21).  Also, refer Mal 2:16.  True to His Word, the Son Who is also called Faithful and True” (Rev 19:11) will remain faithful and in due time return to take Home His bride.  Refer Ps 45:2; Rev 21:7.

4.THE PREPARATION:  Ps 45:13,All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold.”  Refer Rev 3:18; 1 Pet 1:7.  The preparation of the bride is best exemplified by queen Esther in Esth 2:9, 2:12, 2:17-18.  By her willingness and obedience, she readied herself under the special care and tutelage of Hegai.  And, she  won the favor of all who saw her.  She also won the favor of the king who promptly declared her his queen!

Read Matt 24:44, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”  Yes, the Bride has to ready herself in the splendor and beauty of the Lord to receive her King.  Her beauty is not the physical beauty which the world has been deceived into substituting for God’s Holiness.  Therefore, beware all God’s children – whether male or female, whole or maimed, blind or seeing,  black or white, attractive or not, without His Holiness one cannot hope to enter God’s presence (Matt 18:7-9).

The ‘gold’ of her gown in Ps 45:13 and Ps 45:9(b) alludes to both her purity and its Source – the unadulterated Word of God, tested, proved and refined in fire.  Refer Eph 5:26-27.  It describes the preparation of the Bride by the Word under the tender care and tutelage of Holy Spirit to present her as a radiant church.  The Perfect Bride for the Perfect King, The most excellent of all men (Ps 45:2).

5.THE SECOND COMING AND THE REVELATION OF THE BRIDE:  Mk 13:26-27, “At that time men will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory.  And He will send His angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.”   Also refer 1 Thess 4:15-17; Rev 20:4-6; Rev 19:11-16.

Gen 24:64 – just as Isaac met Rebekah midway and the bride was received unto her husband, the Lord Himself will appear in all His majestic splendor and His Bride will be caught up with Him in midair (1 Thess 4:16-17).  What a place to set the stage for her revelation that all might see!  (Matt 24:27-28, 30-31; Mk 13:26-27; Lk 21:25-28).

The fulfilment of Ps 45:9, “....at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of ophir.”  Also refer Ps 45:12.  Matt 25:33 reads,And He will put the sheep on His right hand….” and Matt 25:34, “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom  prepared for you from the foundation of the world’….” [kjv].

6.THE WEDDING OF THE LAMB:  Gen 24:67, “Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah.  So she became his wife, and he loved her,….”.  The Wedding of the Lamb teaches us the four-fold concept of marriage:

A. IT IS THE HOME-COMING OF THE BRIDE:   Jn 14:2-3, In My Father’s house are many rooms;…I am going to prepare a place for you.  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.”   Also refer Jn 17:24; Ps 45:14-15.

The Bride’s home is the Heavenly abode of God.  Who can measure the depth of His love for us?  For, He will not rest until the fulfilment of His redemptive plan for His children has come to pass, Jn 5:17, Ps 121:4.  And, its fulfilment is in the home-coming of the Bride – by  the wedding of the Lamb.  Heaven is the place from whence she’ll never depart or be separated from her Husband, her Maker, her King.  She’ll behold His face and be satisfied.  He will wipe away her every tear.  Kingship will be restored to her.  Her former days of estrangement and painful waiting will be forgotten.

B. WEDDING CONSUMMATES ONENESS:  Gen 2:24(b), “..and they will become one…”.   Refer Jn 17:21-23, “That all of them may be one….may they also be in Us….I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one; I in them and You in Me….  Let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.”

Heaven is for the Spiritual.  Flesh and blood cannot inherit it. (1 Cor 15:50).  Refer Jn 3:5-8.  And, Matt 22:29-32 which clearly states that any idea or suggestion  to the contrary is absolutely wrong; a lie; and therefore of the evil one.

Therefore, the oneness referred to here is the Spiritual oneness derived in the glory of God.  Eph 4:3-6, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  There is One body and One Spirit – just as you were called to One hope when you were called – One Lord, One faith, One baptism; One God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all.”

Further,  Eph 4:13, “….until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ.”

Yes, it has to begin here, in this world and perfected.  This is the reason apostle Paul chose to describe ‘the oneness’ of the Church with Christ as the oneness of body with its head. The oneness of body further ascribed in its members or parts, all of which function collectively (Eph 5:21) under the Head for its wholesome well-being.

C. WEDDING DESIGNATES THE BRIDE ‘CO-HEIR WITH THE SON’:  Rom 8:16-17, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our Spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…”   Refer Jn 16:15, All that belongs to the Father is Mine.  That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is Mine and make it known to you.”   Also refer Jn 17:6; Jn 3:16; Jn 16:23-24; Jn 17:8(a), 10; 1 Cor 2:9-10.

Just as Rebekah began to receive of her inheritance from the moment of her election (eg Gen 24:22; Gen 24:53), the Bride also begins to partake of her Heavenly inheritance in this world itself, thus guaranteeing to her, her heirship with Christ.  Again refer Gal 4:6-7.

Men have been misled to believe that Eve was created to serve Adam by cooking, mending, cleaning and washing for him!!!  HOW UNTRUE!  FOR IN EDENIC LIVING CONDITIONS SUCH THINGS WERE NOT AT ALL REQUIRED.  God’s Word is very clear, Gen 1:26, 28; she was to have dominion with him over everything, to rule and subdue!  And, even so, the Bride will reign with the Lamb for ever and ever (Rev 22:5(b).  Refer Ps 45:12; Mic 4:8; Ps 45:16-17; Matt 24:45-47.

[From the very beginning, God’s role as the Provider has been consistent.  Even through all our inconsistencies!  There’s nothing that God hasn’t provided for – from our basic and temporal physical needs to our superior and eternal spiritual needs.  However, the knowledge of bride’s co-heirship with the Son brings us to new levels of understanding of God the Father in His role as our Provider.  The Heavenly provision alluded to here surpasses anything that is and could be seen, heard or imagined (1 Cor 2:9).  But Praise God, for even when it remains a mystery to many, He has revealed it to us by His Spirit (1 Cor 2:10,Jn 16:15) so that we are certain of the goal we are pressing toward (Phil 3:14).]

D. WEDDING PROMISES THE STATE OF BLESSEDNESS:  Rev 22:3, No longer will there be any curse…”,  Gen 2:18, It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him.”    Heb 12:2, “….Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…”,  Ps 45:11, “The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor Him, for He is your Lord.”  Refer Isa 54:5, “For your Maker is your husband – the Lord Almighty is His name – the Holy One of Israel if your Redeemer”.   And Rev 22:3, “…The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him.”

The cursed existence of mankind brought about by the evil one will become a thing of the past.  And lo! behold – there she will be – the Holy Bride, fit to serve the Only Worthy King.  The state of blessedness has no equal.  Refer 1 Cor 2:9, “However as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him’.”

Again, let us revert to Isa 54:5, “For your Maker is your Husband – the Lord Almighty is His name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer…..” and let us not forget, just as God caused Adam to sleep to create Eve out of him, Christ’s brief sleep of death sets the stage for the creation of His Bride.  The marked difference, however, is that unlike Adam, Jesus Christ is God – the Maker, the Husband and the Redeemer.  The bride, which was once a mere creation, by His abounding love has been granted the sonship (Rom 8:23(b).  The thought itself should bring worship anew.   Read Ps 5:7-8, “But I, by Your great mercy, will come into Your house; in reverence will I bow down toward Your holy temple…..”.

Therefore, even though we’ll reign with Him, we’ll serve Him just as it is revealed in Rev 5:9-10 and 12 by offering Him perfect praise and worship.  You are worthy…because You were slain, and with Your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.  You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”  And, “Worthy is the Lamb, Who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”  Also refer Rev 21:1; Rev 21:24-26; Ps 45:12, 17; Rev 1:5-6. Further, for more on our blessedness refer to Rev 22:1-3; Rev 21:4-7; Rev 22:12-14; Rom 8:23(b) etc.

7.IN THE INSEPARABLE FELLOWSHIP AND ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN:  Matt 19:6, So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” .   Also Matt 18:7.  Rev 21:5, “Behold, I make all things new!” (kjv).

It is the eternal union and fellowship of God and ‘man’, that is ultimately portrayed in the fulfilment of the God-ordained principle of marriage.  Ps 45:6, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of Your kingdom.”  Rev 21:3, “…’Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them and be their God’.”

ARISE! DAUGHTER OF ZION, LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE FORTH

Mic 4:8 reminds, “As for you, O watchtower of the flock, O stronghold of the daughter of Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to the daughter of Jerusalem.”

The daughter of Zion, since of yore, is the Bride of the Lamb readying herself for her King.  Therefore, all children of God, particularly the women of God, whose plight has been likened to that of the captive “Daughter of Zion”, listen to what the Lord has to say to you:-

Lam 2:13, “What can I say for you?  With what can I compare you, O daughter of Jerusalem?  To what can I liken you, that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion?  Your wound is as deep as the sea.  Who can heal you?”

Lam 2:14,  “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading.”

Oh!  Yes, Word-deprived and misled, we’ve been tossed about in captivity far too long.  Not anymore!   For this is what the Lord says to you, O wise and the spiritually discerning virgin (perfected and holy) daughter of Zion:

Isa 54:1, “Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.”

Isa 54:2, Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.  For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities….”.

Isa 54:4, “Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame.  Do not fear disgrace, you will not be humiliated.  You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.”

Isa 54:6-7, “The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit….. For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.”

THE WOMAN WITH THE HUSBAND:  Consider now for yourself and understand who is truly blessed?  Whether the desolate woman or the one who has a husband?  Spiritually discern between the two (refer Rev 17 vs Rev 12).  Again, ponder and consider for yourself, is bearing children of the seed of mortal man a state of blessedness when all you end up doing is stretch or channelise the cursed estate of sin and death?

Submit yourself to the Lord the Marian way and declare, “I am the Lord’s servant”…”May it be to me as You have said.”   Be a spiritual people.  He is able to bless you and fill your tent.  You will spread out to the right and to the left.  Remember, nothing is impossible with God.  Read Ps.45:16, “Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land.”  Look to the surpassing glory of the future.   Yes, your grief will become a thing of the past, blotted out of your memory. 

Just as it was with Mary (Lk 1:35(a)), blessed of all women, so it will be with you, O daughter of Zion – all of  this will come to pass.   By the Spirit of the Lord.  Read Zech 4:6(b), “….’Not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”   Therefore, sow by the Spirit and raise a spiritual harvest of the children of God, the sons of the kingdom, as Jesus calls them (Matt 13:38).   Also refer Matt 9:37-38.

For, as it says in:

Isa 54:5, “For your maker is your husband – the Lord Almighty is His name – the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth.”  

Isa  54:13, “All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace.”      

Ezek 34:15-16, “I Myself will tend My sheep and have them lie down…”.

Jn 10:16,   “…..There shall be one flock and one Shepherd.”

Therefore, as Isa 52:1-3 exhorts :

“Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself  with strength.  Put on your garment of splendor, O Jerusalem, the holy city.  The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again.  Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem.  Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.  For this is what the Lord says: ‘You were sold for nothing, and without money you will be redeemed.”

Heed the call of power and authority gifted to you by your Redeemer :      

Mic 4:13, “Rise and thresh, O daughter of Zion, for I will give you horns of iron; I will give you hoofs of bronze and you will break to pieces many nations.”                                                                                          

For, lo and behold!  This is your glory!  Isa 60:1-4,  “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples.  But the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you.  Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.  Lift up your eyes and look about you:  all assemble and come to you; yours sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm….”

Refer Matt 5:14, “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”   And Heb 12:22-24,  “ But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God…..to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written i n heaven….to God, the Judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant…and to the sprinkled blood…”. 

Yes, you will be called sought after, the city no longer deserted: 

Isa 54:11-12, “O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I’ll build with stones of turqoise, your foundations with sapphires.  I’ll make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones…..”.  Also refer Rev 21, particularly Rev 21:9-11, 18-21.

Arise, rejoice and get ready :

Isa 62:11-12, “The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: ‘Say to the daughter of Zion’, ‘See, your Savior comes!  See, His reward is with Him and His recompense accompanies Him’.   They will be called the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called sought after, the city no longer deserted.”

 God bless you!

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16
Apr

Marian Way of Wisdom (the message)73

INTRODUCTION

Mary, mother of Jesus, will always be a pioneer in the ‘way’ of righteousness.  Such was her wisdom.  But we willingly dilute her wisdom by either deifying her or ignoring her altogether. Hence, even though it has been more than two thousand years since she made the life-changing decision for all of us, it is to our shame that we continue to live the ordinary and cursed existence of a people in bondage.

Adam set the course long, long ago when he began by putting the blame on Eve and lest we ignore, even on God.  Gen 3:12, The woman  you put ……”.

The now innate fallen man trend continues unabated – yes, to our shame!  The lost glory was something to cry about, for it had become irretrievable.  But could that excuse for the oppressive patriarchal order that refuses to relent even among the redeemed of the Lord? Christian men and women, particularly women, believe it is their lot and help stir up more fire by willingly offering themselves as fuels. If this is the scenario now among the redeemed, one can imagine what it must have been like in OT times. It is not surprising then that God had to wait until Mary who finally had the wisdom to rise above it.

Why Mary?  To understand better we will have to start at the very beginning: the book of Genesis, chapters 1 to 5.  For telling it as it is!

THE CREATION OF MAN

In Gen 1:27, we find a summarized briefing on the creation of man in God’s own likeness – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him: male and female He created them.”  In the above one-verse creation summary we notice ‘man’, a singular term, climaxing into its plural forms – male and female.  Before that, we read in Gen 1:26, “Then God said, ‘let us make man in our image, in our likeness and let them rule over….”

(This is the first verse in the Bible alluding to the Triune God in communion; hence the reference to their likeness, their image.  And for those who don’t know, in this likeness is primarily the trinity features of man i.e. body, soul and spirit established, which distinguishes them from all other creatures.)

However, getting back to the topic, one can ascertain without doubt that Gen 1:26, Gen 1:27 and Gen 5:2 concur to confirm inclusiveness of male and female in the term ‘Man’ or ‘Adam’.   Having made ourselves familiar with Gen 1:26, Gen 1:27, it is only right that we also read Gen 5:2, “He created them male and female and blessed them.  And when they were created, He called them “Adam” (or “Man”).”   (Perhaps, it is no coincidence then that the first act of the fallen man was to give the woman a new name, Eve!  Refer Gen 3:20).

Let us move on to Gen 2.  We find here a detailed description of the creation of ‘man’:

A. THE CREATION OF ADAM, THE MALE

The passage in Gen 2:7-18 reveals God first created the ‘male’ of man, and it was to him that God gives the commandment. Hence, the age-old story telling by misconstruing facts right from ‘Sunday school’ should stop.  Clearly, God did not right away create both male and female, put them in the garden of Eden and gave them the commandment.

The truth is God first created the male, put him in the garden of Eden and gave him the commandment.  Gen 2:18 again confirms the same, which is the prelude to creation of the female.

Prior to creating the female, now known as Eve, God brings before the male all other creatures He had created – the beasts of the field, the livestock and the birds of the air (Gen 2:19-20).  And the realization dawns (even as he enjoys the privilege of meeting all of them personally and naming each one of them himself) that none of them are suitable to him as a perfect companion, the perfect help-mate. What else could this imply but that none of them could match with him either in physical stature or mental attributes? Also, that none of them could beget him offspring to help pass on the legacy of God’s glory down generations!

In Gen 2:23 we find his search coming to an end.  His joy is complete.  For, lo! here’s the one – the female, the perfect match and what’s more, an irrevocable part of himself!

B. THE CREATION OF ADAM, THE FEMALE

Now, let’s look up Gen 2:21-22 which describes Eve’s creation.  Unlike the male who was formed entirely out of dust (Gen 2:7, Gen 3:19), the female was formed out of the rib of the male (Gen 2:21-22).

The significance of all these inputs is best left to the discerning.  However, two things are undeniable and hence noteworthy:

  •  that the union or oneness of man and woman is the God-ordained perfect union and oneness, and
  •  that this perfect union very symbolically rises above all other relationships (Gen 2:23-24, Matt 10:37-39 etc.)

[This is the reason, as it is written, God hates divorce (Mal 2:15-16, Mk 10:2-9).  For more on its spiritual implications, please read the article titled The Good News And The Prophecy to The Church made available to you in this website.]

If doubt still persists as to whom the commandment was given, Gen 3 has much more to offer by way of evidence which brings us to the fall of man.

THE FALL OF MAN

Gen 3:1-2 – the crafty serpent takes on woman, the late entrant, almost certain that she could be caught unawares (Gen 3:1).  But we find from the woman’s reply that she was already in the know of the commandment, albeit in a distorted fashion (compare Gen 3:2 with Gen 2:16-17).

*[Perhaps the man had passed it on to her as was expected of him (eg. Gen 18:19).  How accurately he did it is not certain.  Or perhaps it was the woman who’d failed to grasp it accurately.  Again, one cannot be too sure.]

Suffice it that the serpent beguiled the woman because of her inaccuracy. And the distorted version of the commandment costs her dearly:

  • In the original commandment the tree was introduced as ‘the tree of knowledge of good and evil’ (Gen 2:17) whereas in the woman’s version it is simply ‘the tree that is in the middle of the garden’ (Gen 3:3).
  • In the original commandment, death was said to be inevitable if one ate of it ‘….for when you eat of it you’ll surely die.’ (Gen 2:17).  Therefore the additional content in the woman’s version almost subverts it, “you must not eat…., and you must not touch it, or you will die’ (Gen 3:3).

[Deut 12:32, Rev 22:18-19, Eccl 12:11-12 etc warn us of adding to or deleting from God’s commandments!  Like the noble Bereans (Acts 17:11), let us be diligent to examine the Word for accuracy and if confusions persist let us inquire of the Lord Himself – He is faithful to teach and lead us into all truth.  Refer Isa 8:19-20, Jn 16:13-15 etc.]

Moving on, we see in Gen 3:6 that unlike what has been commonly preached down the ages, it was not the lure of the eye that caused Eve to yield to the serpent.  God Himself attributes the two characteristics of food for us in Gen 2:9 as:

  •   Pleasing to the eye, and
  •   Good for food

However, it was the added attraction proffered – ‘for gaining wisdom’ (Gen 3:6) which caused the woman to eat of the fruit.  Here, the woman’s ignorance comes to the fore for if she’d known the tree of knowledge of good and evil was forbidden she’d not have eaten of it to satiate her hunger for wisdom.  

Gen 3:6 also reveals that if the desire for gaining wisdom had enticed her then there was no particular enticement for man other than the mere offering of the fruit by the woman!

WHAT IS WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING?

We ought to take a pause and understand better how in spite of her lofty desire, the woman ends up with an almighty fall.

As James 1:5 instructs, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask of God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”  Also refer Prov 2:6.  

We are only too familiar with the verse “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.. (Prov 1:7). However, it is in the book of Job that we see how and where wisdom was found.  Refer Job 28:12-28.  And, in Job 28:28, it says “The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”  Also refer Prov 3:7, 8:13 etc.

And this is how folly of both man and woman come to light.  In the garden of Eden there was the obvious proximity of God for both of them (Gen 3:8).  The woman could have availed of it and asked God for wisdom of which she obviously felt a lacking.  And supposing the man did feel wiser in comparison, it definitely did not help him in shunning evil which in this case was disobedience to God. Read Isa 43:27 and Hos 6:7, “Your first father sinned.. and “Like Adam, they have broken the covenant ..” respectively.

So, let us beware! Like two sides of a coin, wisdom is both – the fear of the Lord and shunning evil.

The book of proverbs instructs to seek wisdom, at any cost (Prov 4:7)!  So really, there was nothing wrong about Eve desiring wisdom. It is a fitting aspiration worthy of any child of God.  

This brings us to the next stage : The Curses.

THE CURSES

Refer Gen 3:14-19.  God’s individual address to the three wrongdoers while pronouncing their curses give further evidence as to whom the commandment was given.

To the woman, it begins as: ‘To the woman He said…”, followed by the pronouncement of the curse. 

But in the case of man, God begins by admonishing him, “To Adam He said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘you must not eat of it’..”, and then pronounces his curse. (Gen 3:17-19).

The reason is obvious. Adam’s was a direct disobedience to God.  Thus the curse that fell on him was the lengthiest and its ill-effects extended unto everything that was given within his domain.

A. ADAM’S CURSE

  1. Through Adam came about the curse upon the earth (“Cursed is the ground because of you..” Gen 3:17) which in fact affects the whole creation for they will all disintegrate and pass away (Rom 8:19-22).  We are all witnesses to the undeniable corrosion, this disintegration at work throughout the world.
  2. For himself, he was as a result pitted against a world turned hostile which would literally and symbolically bring forth thorns and thistles (Gen 3:18).
  3. Painful toil and hard labor, as now he has to in addition work the land and cultivate his own food (Gen 3:19a).
  4. Cool days (Gen 3:8) had become a thing of the past.  Instead there would be sweating and toiling until his last days (Gen 3:19a).
  5. Finally, death of both kinds.  Just as God had said (Gen 2:17) DEATH did come to them instantly as soon as they had eaten of the fruit.  That is, the spiritual death.  Physical death would follow due to the Adamic curse (Gen 3:19b , “…until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”).  Read Rom 5:17, “For if by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man….”, and Rom 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death…”.

WHAT IS MEANT BY SPIRITUAL DEATH?

To understand better, let us look up Gen 3:7-10, which verses teach us the four distinct characteristics of spiritual death that robbed ‘Man’ of their confidence to face God:

  1. Feeling ashamed (Gen 2:25 reveals there was no such feeling before their fall).
  2. Feeling the need to cover up misdeeds, as witnessed in man’s new-found tendency to make excuses (Gen 3:12).
  3. Feeling the need to conceal one’s fallen self,  i.e. the need not only to cover up misdeeds but also one’s fallen state (Gen 3:7).  In other words, the fear of exposure.
  4. The general feeling of fear or being afraid.  Man has since lived in fear which only continues to manifest in all manner as time progresses.  And lest we misunderstand, it is not same as the ‘holy’ fear of God which is the obvious characteristic of a godly person, which prompts such a one to shun all evil.  But it is that which is best explained in Jas 3:19, “You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” 

In short, a state of unworthiness or a state of being found unworthy for the holy fellowship of God (Gen 3:18b-10).  And this is why we find Jesus telling Nicodemus in Jn 3:5-8, that one has to be first spiritually born again to be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven and enjoy eternal life.  

Read 1 Cor 15:50, “…. flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”  Because as 1 Cor 15:44 states it is the spiritual body that is raised, “It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”

That is right, our redemption can only begin with the reversal of ‘death’ that reigns over us.  Exactly in the same order as it came.  I.e.,   beginning with our spiritual revival and followed up by the physical which will take place at the First Resurrection, with the blessed stamp of Eternal Life.

B. EVE’S CURSE

As for Eve’s curse, it is noteworthy that all its ill-effects would be borne only by her and through her by all womenfolk to follow (Gen 3:16).  The curse is four-fold:

  1. Painful conception.
  2. Painful delivery or child-birth.
  3. Lowly desire – her desire will be for the mortal man who will pose as her husband.
  4. Manly rule – she is subjected to his rule or dominance. (Gen 1:28 states God had given both of them dominion over everything, to rule and subdue.  But henceforth, as a result of her curse, the woman will be ruled over by the man.)

What an almighty fall indeed it was for Eve!  From lofty desire to lowly desire and from God’s supremacy to complete subjection to man who now eyed her with suspicion and blame!

Thus, the overall cursed and oppressive existence of mankind came about out of the combined folly of both man and woman.  Rom 3:23 so aptly concludes, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

A PAUSE FOR RETROSPECTION

Often one is wont to wonder how God could punish ‘man’ so severely for such a small offense as disobedience!

What one fails to understand is that sin had made its irretractable entry.  And ‘man’ had lost their glory – the glorious image and likeness of God. Derobed of their glory, their ‘nakedness’ or their fallen state was rendered exposed to their shame! 

Consequently, they had rendered themselves unworthy of the proximity and fellowship of the Most Holy God. Their bodies became instruments of wickedness (Rom 6:13).  We see how in the very next generation sin had multiplied from disobedience to waywardness, envy, anger and murder! (Gen 4:3-8).  

Yes, the rot had set in.  Paul has so well described the agony of living a perishing life in flesh (Rom 7:24).  Under the circumstances, instead of complaining, we can only be grateful to God for cordoning off the tree of life from man’s reach (Gen 3:22, 24).  Indeed, physical death had to follow its natural course!

Let us also not mislead ourselves into believing any attempt on our part would redeem us back to our glorious estate.  Adam and Eve failed (Gen 3:7) and so have all great stalwarts of righteousness down the ages.  Only God can provide the ‘way’ – just as He symbolically did by providing the better covering for Adam and Eve in Gen 3:21.

GOD’S PLAN UNFOLDS

Praise be to the Lord God Almighty, for His love endures forever, and His compassions, they fail not!  Who has fathomed  His love? Whoever can? For in the very backdrop of death and decay, He lets flow His grace for the redemption of mankind.  How wonderful are His ways and how awesome the works of His hands!

The redemption plan of God unfolds first through the election of a young woman of God – Mary.  Exactly as it was prophesied in Gen 3:15, which while forewarning the ‘enemy’ of his impending doom also stated, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.” 

And, we find, Mary’s joy knows no bounds. And she sings, “..for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.” (Luke 1:48).  

[Yet, to our shame, we choose to remain spiritually cataracted and deny womanhood its freedom from reproach.  Because, if Eve’s ignorance invited deception, then irrefutably Mary’s wisdom invited salvation for mankind.]

THE MARIAN WAY OF WISDOM

It is important that we understand Mary better.  What set her apart?  And why? Didn’t she belong to the cursed race of mankind whose only desire should have been for her husband and future a total submission to his dominion?

Yet, we find the angel of God addressing her thus, (Luke 1:28 kjv), “Hail thou that are highly favored.  The Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.”

Obviously she is highly favored for the Lord is with her, which means she enjoys the fellowship of God.  But it is only the gradual development of events that throw light on why Mary was hailed “blessed” even while supposedly living under the curse.

Her finality and submission to her special election as she answers the angel of God in Luke 1:38 says it all, “I am the Lord’s servant,” and “May it be to me as you have said.”

Here is a woman, full of wisdom, who out of her fear of the Lord (Luke 1:50) shuns evil by opting out of the cursed path and in faith submits herself to the will of God.  Having been a betrothed person at that time she should have been dominated by her curse more than ever.  Her desire should have been for Joseph, and before even considering to commit herself to the ‘will of God’ she should have remembered she was subjected to his rule and sought his permission.  Instead, we find her staking her all – her marriage, her good name and her future to fulfill God’s purpose in her life. This is the sign of true wisdom and true blessedness – to fear God and to shun evil.

Thus Mary’s wisdom restores her to God’s supremacy in her life.  And here is at last the first or the ‘physical’  fulfillment of the prophesy concerning the woman whose enmity is with the evil one and not with God, and whose Offspring shall Himself willingly pay the price to destroy and triumph over the Enemy for the redemption of mankind.

Why first? Because it is that which makes WAY for the ultimate or the Spiritual fulfillment of the prophesy concerning the virgin woman who is called the Daughter of Zion and whose offspring are those that are likewise Spiritually born and not of the seed of the fallen man,  so as to be enabled to likewise remain Spiritually victorious in order that they may also triumph over the ‘enemy’ and become co-heirs of  the Kingdom of God with the Son of God.  (Perhaps a little difficult to understand at first.  But be assured, as you persevere in the pursuit of Truth, all things shall be made clear to you.) 

MARY AND JOSEPH

Joseph, the man and late entrant in the story, was a righteous man (Matt 1:19).  In wisdom, he was not found to be lagging far behind.  Even though he had decided to divorce Mary secretly, he obeyed God and married her instead (Matt 1:19-25).

Like Adam and Eve of OT times, Mary and Joseph represent the first family for all believers in the NT era.  Because they also represent true and exemplary christian personalities.  Two godly people –  righteous, full of faith and wisdom and wholly committed to the will of God.  They were brought into matrimony by God’s intervention.  Their family life was completely subjected to the God-head (Matt 2:13-15), Matt 2:19-21, Matt 2:22-23).  Finally, together as a family they also fulfill the divine purpose of God for all christian families,  by rearing godly offspring (Mal 2:15).

Only when a family is so led by the God-head can it brave the world that is becoming increasingly intolerant of it just as in the case of the first family.  Otherwise it becomes one of those typical families that is buffeted by persecutions both from inside and outside.

Neither the husband nor the wife can bring either the glory.  In fact no one can, but Jesus – the Son of man (‘man’ here means the female) and the Son of God.

For Jesus Christ, who was born of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, was spared the justification of His death brought upon the whole mankind through Adam’s curse.  

Thus, to the absolute joy of God the Father and to the joy of all of us who call on His Holy Name, born was the Perfect Man – the Son of God, sinless, full of His glory and the holy and the perfect sacrifice, whose death would become the ‘once and for all’ sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Indeed, His death was the vicarious death.  He took our sins and our curses with Him to the cross so that we may be free of them and be restored to God’s glory in Him.

MARY, THE PIONEER

Once again, as a woman, Mary’s righteousness is revealed in her faith in the prophesied Savior whom she eagerly awaited (Luke 1:30-31, Luke 1:46-47, Luke 1:48b-50, Luke 1:54-56).  Therefore when she meets Elizabeth, the latter prophesies of Mary (Luke 1:45), “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”  

For her faith, Mary was rewarded with the birth of the Savior – the first fruit of her own womb.  How her reverence for Him found expression in song of praise after the blessed conception (Luke 1:46-47), “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…..”.  

With great anticipation in her heart she followed Him devoutedly, even unto the cross, where she was left all alone to face the rejection of her Son – first by men and then even by God the Father.  What a test of faith it was to her!  And, once again, her faith was rewarded when out of the grave, as promised, He rose again on the third day – the first fruit of death.  How she must have rejoiced and worshiped at the open grave when she beheld the resurrected Christ.  Her faith had indeed become sight!

GOD-HEAD OF CHRIST

Like Mary, let us also be subjected to the God-head of Christ till we are rewarded by the sight of our faith, and we worship Him face to face.  Not just in christian families, but also in the Church, which is the body of Christ, the God-head of Christ should reign supreme.   Only then can families and individuals function as members of the body of Christ.  There is no transition of heads in either situation. All are subjected to Christ to bring Him glory, to Whom all glory is due.  

Read 1 Cor 15:24, “..He must destroy all dominion, authority and power.”   And Eph 1:22-23, “And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be Head over everything for the church…”. 

Therefore, neither suppress nor oppress one another.  Instead, let us support and help facilitate fulfillment of God’s purpose in one- another’s life as the Spirit leads.  Just like Joseph did.

Nobody, absolutely nobody, can replace Christ as Head in a chrisitian’s life.  And nobody should!  Or else it will be equivalent to usurping Christ’s place in  that person’s life .  Beware! only the devil has a history of trying to usurp God’s place.

All of us who proclaim Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior should remember we are ransomed to Him at a price, we cannot even imagine to repay! (Ps 49:7-9), Matt 16:26b).  Therefore, we who are ransomed belong completely to Him.  So let us live our lives worthy of His Holy Name, lest we proclaim Christ’s death and resurrection in vain.  

Let us not forget His vicarious death finally brought us the justification we craved (Rom 4:25, Rom 5:16, 18).  Those He justified, He will also glorify (Rom 8:28-30).  And what a glory!  Christ’s glory! (Rom 8:17).  That is, it is neither the lost glory of Adam, nor the fading glory of Moses but the unmatched glory of Jesus Christ that we are called to partake of (Rom 8:17, 1 Cor 2:7-9).

GENDER DISPARITIES IN CHRISTIAN HOMES

All kinds of disparity, therefore, must end.  A common phrase of disparity often heard in christian homes to exercise the cursed authority of man over woman which is, ‘when the head is around the tail needn’t wag‘ has absolutely no spiritual standing. If it must come down to head and tail, then  Isa 9:15 has the perfect guidance to offer, “The elders and prominent men are the head, the prophets who teach lies are the tail.”  Beware! The kingdom of God has no place for tails!  As for elders and prominent men, if they include women of wisdom and election or not, again is best left to the discerning.

As for women themselves, those with wisdom and election needn’t be told!

Next, in matters of inheritance:  We find Job, in spite of his close to perfect righteousness, (unmatched perhaps by any other mortal man) [refer Job 1:8, Job 29 and Job 31] had to learn the hard way to treat both his sons and daughters equally in matters of inheritance (Job 42:15; compare the same with Job 1:4 – daughters dependent on their brothers).  It appears to have been his only failure that needed rectifying at the end of his ordeal.

All God’s gifts have been given us without discrimination of age, gender, social standing or race.  The kingdom of God is open to all; Jesus Christ died for all; Holy Spirit was poured down for all (Acts 2:16-21), all gifts of the Spirit are made available for all, etc.   Therefore, it is for all to enjoy the freedom of the Spirit and oneness thereof.  Together, we are called to be a holy and royal priesthood (1 Pet 2:5, 9), by our election to serve His divine purpose in our lives.

DOCTRINAL FALLACIES

**Perhaps, owing to the prevailing circumstances of the time, we find in the letters of apostles in NT, particularly apostle Paul’s, a tendency to maintain the status quo in matters of man-woman relationship, passive role of women, slavery etc.

One always wonders if apostle Paul (or whoever it really is) had been as assertive and forthcoming in above matters as he was on circumcision and monogamy, the christian world would not be still struggling under these issues.  For instance, after centuries of oppression, it actually took a long and bloody war between brethren to put an end to slavery.

[In light of Deut 23:15-16, relevance of the main content in Paul’s letter to Philemon as part of the “Scripture” is questionable, “If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand him over to his master.  Let him live among you wherever he likes and in whatever town he chooses.  Do not oppress him.”]

Instead of establishing unsound doctrines from very personal letters of men, never mind how godly, simply because somethings appeal to somebody’s assumed sense of superiority, let us heed the apostles themselves who exhort in 1 Tim 6:3, 2 Jn 9, James 3:17, 2 Pet 3:16-17 and Gal 1:8 to seek and follow the heart of God in the wisdom that comes from heaven through the teachings and instructions of Jesus Christ.  Matt 22:29-30 should silence all advocates of fleshly dominance.  For in the above verse, Jesus states very clearly that all elect would don the same spiritual body like that of the angels post resurrection.  

Let us therefore judge for ourselves – is it right to continue in the old order of flesh after we have been renewed in the new order of the Spirit?

Jesus Christ despised lording it over attitudes and vain teachings of men.  To the apostles’ praise, they do confess that not all their teachings are of divine inspiration, both directly as in 1 Cor 7:12a and indirectly by the use of the pronoun ‘I’.  May the discerning understand.  

In Matt 15:7-9 and Mk 7:6-9, Jesus is found to be quoting from prophet Isaiah: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  They worship me in vain, their teaching are but rules taught by men…”.  And to our shame, we still continue likewise.

CHRISTIANITY – NOT A RELIGION

Christianity is the only ‘way’ to God.  We should not undermine it by adhering to it as one would to a religion.

[Religion is defined as man’s attempt to reach God to attain salvation.  Christianity, therefore, can never be a religion. Because it is not the faulty man’s vain attempt BUT God’s own path, the only WAY, to restore mankind unto Himself and to grant them salvation.]

Hence it should be bereft of all religious overtones – in dressing, food habits, lifestyle, hairstyle and all such external matters.  Those familiar with the gospels will know that Jesus Christ had a total disregard for such religious overtures.

After all, how does it help us if we only end up as whitewashed tombs for all our external care?

By awakening our Spiritual hunger and thirst, Jesus seeks to lead us by the Spirit in keeping with the very nature of God the Father. He seeks to set us free from all bondages of SIN, CURSES, LAW and FLESH.  Because, only the Spirit of freedom can equip us for a life of true and godly responsibility as well.  

Yes, He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8).  He is the same who thousands of years ago commanded Pharoah through His servant Moses, “Let my people go, so they can worship Me freely.”  And we know the great exodus of freedom was all inclusive – young, old, master, slave, men, women, the high, the low, the infants and the elderly.  

Such is the harmony that comes with God’s freedom.  Because in Him all are one.  As Paul so rightly says in Gal 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Amen!

IN CONCLUSION, ONE LAST WORD OF CAUTION!

After their election, ‘man’ is entrusted with God’s commandments and the Good News once again.  The only difference is that this time they are given through the authority bestowed unto Jesus (Matt 28:18-19).  Therefore let us not depend on our frayed merits of intelligence, strength and capabilities.  Let us not forget how God’s commandment failed to transpire accurately even in ‘man’s’ glorious estate.  The only way forward in obeying the Great Commission is by His Spirit.  Empowered by the Holy Spirit, even unschooled men and women became instant success stories. So, whether Mary or Elizabeth, Peter or Paul, yourself or myself, remember only the Holy Spirit can bring our wisdom to fruition.

May God bless you!

P.s.

*It is a testimony to the ministry entrusted to me that I have come a long way since writing down this first revelation I received from God.  For example, where once I was unsure I now have been made certain that it was not Eve who distorted the commandment, as is commonly taught, but most definitely Adam who was unfaithful with it.  For eg. refer Hos 6:7 and  Isa 43:27.  

As such, let me goad you to read the following articles, “The Good News and The Prophecy to The Church” and “The Truth about The Old & The New Covenants – the ultimate revelations” with utmost urgency, if you haven’t already.

**Likewise, it is no longer a supposition but a certainty that ‘man’ has always been unfaithful with the Word of God entrusted to him.  Just like the first father ‘Adam’ was.  Eg. Jer 8-9, Isa 29:13-14, Prov 1:29, Prov 5:23-24, Ezek 2:3, Zech 1:2-6a, Mal 3:7, Ps 78:57, 2 Thess 2:2b etc.

Understand that this is the Spiritual growth He desires to see in all His children – whether as His servants or as His growing child.  For this is how He rewards our faithfulness to the little we receive at first.  The more one is found faithful with that which is entrusted, the more one  continues to be entrusted.  Refer Lk 16:10.  

On the other hand, to the unfaithful even the little that was entrusted will be taken away.  To be faithful servants of God is to impart faithfully and verbatim the words of God, neither adding nor deleting to it, but persevering faithfully in it and safeguarding it from all corruption.  “For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.  Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” (Matt 25:29).     

   

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Marian Way Of Wisdom (about the work)0

Marian Way of Wisdom website exclusively ministers the Word.  The living and active Word of God only, which is sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates to divide, above all, truth from falsehood, good from evil and the God-given from the man-originated. Therefore, for the first time since Bible began to be preached, the Good News is brought to you in its complete unadulterated form.

The work is bereft of any selfish aspirations and seeks to bring Truth to light.  The domain also includes practical christian teachings that not only cover all teachings and commandments of Jesus Christ, but also make it absolutely applicable because of their clarity. The teachings are without doubt irrefutable.  A commitment to look up the Word of God for every reference that is quoted or mentioned will strengthen one’s conviction as one progresses in one’s endeavor for truth.  It is Christ’s promise that all truth will be laid bare (Matt 10:26, Heb 4:13…).  They cannot remain concealed.

At the outset, they may pose a challenge to many.  However, it is always the intent of the Spirit of God that we repent and be transformed by the renewal of our minds.  Yes, a true christian is a true convert. God disciplines so that we may not be condemned with the world.  So those who seek God with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their soul and with all their strength have nothing to lose. Their joy will be made complete!

It is to such as these that this service is committed to.  And like all God’s gifts, it comes absolutely free with no strings attached whatsoever.  There is no hidden message or prayer soliciting funds.  The only appeal is ‘Seek the Lord, while He may be found.’  This is God’s work.  And He is doing it.  His servant is just an instrument in His Hands.  

The list of articles currently include The Marian Way Of Wisdom (the message), The Good News And Prophecy to the Church, Christ the Savior, The Truth About the Old and the New Covenants – the ultimate revelation!, The Holy Spirit, Baptism, Faith, Satan’s Tests of Trials And Temptations, God’s Tests of Obedience, Jesus’ commands to Love, Forgive, Sacrifice, Forsake, Witness, Give and Watch, an eye-opener of an article on Grace, Women of God I, Women of God II, The Making of the Spiritual Woman, brief introduction on the true concept of The Church and A Tribute written in memory of His servant and my yoke-fellow of about eleven years, who entered his rest on July 24, 2003. A collection of original poems are also available to serve as healthy spiritual appetizers. A never-before play titled Footprints is available for those who wish to demonstrate the complete Gospel in action.  In addition, a new series under the heading “This is why” is introduced to put to rest all doubts, queries, misconceptions and misinterpretations that are widely prevalent among the masses.

Therefore, come, freely access and allow Holy Spirit to unravel all truths and liberate you from bonds of false teachings.  And, let us pursue His kingdom and His righteousness according to the perfect and pleasing will of God. Please note, unless otherwise specified all references quoted are from NIV translation of the Bible (Australian or the former publications because unfortunately it came to my notice that current publications of the NIV translation has been liberally tampered with.  For eg. compare the original work in Mal 2:15 as opposed to its current connivance!).

These articles for the first time in history of modern church break myths like:-

1.  The blasphemous and oppressive Doctrine of Male Superiority:  It is satanic because it seeks to steal the honor due only to Christ so that mere mortals are revered and served.  It is presumptuous because it is a LIE.  It is referred to as the throne of Satan.  For eg. refer Rev 2:13a.  Also refer Rev 2:9b, 13a & 24; Rev 3:9 etc.  For, it seeks to place men – who are no more than mere mortals – “Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils.  Of what account is he?” (Isa 2:22), on a pedestal so that fellow-men, particularly women, – i.e. all the redeemed of the Lord are forced to continue under their curses (Gen 3:16-19) while through them Satan may continue in his die-hard endeavour to usurp Christ’s place.

2.  Passive role of women:  It is meant to deter women from rising to their full potential in Christ (Gen 3:15, Jer 31:22).  It is the most obvious and unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit (Matt 12:32).  For, it does nothing but resist, grieve and quench the Holy Spirit.  For, the Spirit of God is poured out on all flesh – men and women, young and old, even children – the infants and the nursing (Acts 2:16-21, Matt 21:16), and there is no gift of the Spirit which is exclusive either to men or to women (1 Cor 12:11, Lk 11:13).  

3.  Marriage:  It is a concession not a command (1 Cor 7:6, Matt 19:12b).  The supreme calling is to renounce marriage for the kingdom of heaven (“And others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven.  The one who can accept this should accept it.” Matt 19:12b).  Yet, due to the stubbornness of our hearts when God conceded marriage for us, where is the marriage that abides by His Word?  Which, as His Word commands, unites man and woman as One so that both in spirit and in flesh they belong to Him and so that they may raise godly offspring for Him?  “Has not the Lord made them One?  In flesh and spirit they are His.  And why One?  Because He was seeking godly offspring.  So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.  ‘I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel, ‘and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,’ says the Lord Almighty.  So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.” (Mal 2:15-16, also read Matt 19:4-6 & 8, Isa 51:2).  Understand that your body is a temple of God,  and that you belong to Him both in flesh and spirit.  This is the Christian way.  You do not belong to each other or to yourselves.  Remember, it is Christ who has ransomed you and not the man who calls himself your husband or the woman who mostly ends up paying the dowry!  Finally, read Jer 16 and 1 Cor 7:29-31, “What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short.  From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them.  For this world in its present form is passing away.” 

4.  The evil teaching of ” ‘Rapture’ before the reign of Antichrist”:  I will not go into detail here because you will find the same in the articles, The Commandment to Watch and End-time Revelations.  But I will warn you (1 Cor 11:32) that this blasphemous lie is only meant to delude the disobedient and the rebellious (eg. 2 Thess 2:9-11) so that they are condemned and punished with the wicked.

5.  The diabolical agenda in the reformationists’ doctrine of ‘salvation by grace’ or ‘salvation by faith’:  It is the subtlest of all lies. While it pretends to replace man’s futile attempts (“All our righteous acts are like dirty rags; we all shrivel up like leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” Isa 64:6) with God’s victorious deeds which worked our salvation for us, it very subtly sidelines Christ who is the Mediator, the Author and the Perfecter of the Covenant of His Blood with us.  For eg. read 1 Jn 4:1-3.  It blurs and negates the teachings of obedience and perseverance (eg. Jn 14:23, “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching.  My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’ “) – the deeds that should accompany the grace and faith we receive from Him.  For eg. read James 3:20-26, “You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?  Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ and he was called God’s friend.  You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.  In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”  To understand better, read articles What is Grace? and Faith – Part I and II.

It is the faithfulness of God that He raises His prophets from time to time who are, like God, watchmen over His people.  Read Hos 9:8a, Ps 121:4.  Therefore, it will be well for all those who heed these warnings and others that are unveiled with other truths on this website.  For the time has come when, as prophesied, God is going to give us over to our stubborn hearts so that we will no longer heed or hear Him; when His Spirit will stop striving with the spirit of man, and we will receive from Him in full all that our sins deserve!  Even death can no longer be a refuge, for He will ransom the wicked from death and show no compassion (Hos 13:14, Rev 20:12-13).  Therefore, hasten to God with a penitent heart (Hos 14:2) while you may.

The writer and presenter of all above articles is Mercy Johnson, a servant of God.  Having heeded the life-transforming call of  Jesus Christ on September 14, 1991,  the way of the cross has been endowing her life with God’s choicest! This service bears testimony to God’s love and grace in her life that are poured out to all who put their trust in Him. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matt 5:6.

His servant wishes to thank those unknown, if any, who believe in this work, visit the site, and participate in it by passing the word around.  As this is being written, 26th of July, 2013, she also wishes to thank all who have joined this walk with God on the Facebook page of Marian way of wisdom and allowed her to serve you from the richest of His bounty.  May the Lord bless you all according to His promise.  Surely, your recompense is with Him. Come Lord Jesus, Come!  And pray, may we in You be found!    

All glory and honor to God, the only true Author of His wonderful and liberating revelations!  

 
P.S:  As I update this today, February 05, 2015, I wish to bring to your notice, latest revelations or warnings from God, titled ‘Prophetic warning to the churches’, “Greatest Crimes of Babylon – I, II and III”, “Spiritual History of Mankind” and “End-time Revelations”, all of which are to be read with great diligence and commitment so that we may be brought to full repentance and peace with God.