Archive for April, 2014

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25
Apr

Footprints – Gospel in action (an original and never before play that communicates the complete Gospel truth)28

FOOTPRINTS

Announcer gives the introduction:

Footprints – whether perceived by the eye or by the mind, seem to beckon one to follow.  Many a trail have been set ablaze by footprints of great people on sands of time for those that seek to follow on the high roads of virtue, service and courage.  And as long as there are seekers, history will bring them to recall.  The living will look up to them for inspiration and motivation.  Yet! …… let us not forget that both the leaders and their followers may lead or follow as far as their respective graves.   Such is the limitation of human leadership.  We know that though our life on earth is short, the journey of life itself is not.  The soul, after it is liberated from its grave-ward gravitating robe of flesh, moves on. Therefore, the truly wise among mankind seek the One who may lead them beyond.   Even people who find it rather convenient to deny the very existence of the soul for reasons best known to them can neither deny nor hide the yearnings of it.  

   Scene  1  

(At the start of the fifth sentence, the curtain is raised to show men and women entering the stage from either sides up in the front and walking towards the back of the stage down the center aisle where a black cloth with a slit along its middle is hung as a doorway  marked Death.   A choir is seen seated in front of the stage (preferably in the orchestra pit if one is available) playing a soft solemn tune.  An empty bench is seen at the front of the stage on its l.h.s.   From the l.h.s  a family of four comprising father, mother, son and daughter is seen to enter.  Ordinary people, with the exception that both parents are armed with what looks like swords, for they are not as long as the real ones, hanging on their side.  They move to the front and stop to watch the proceedings with rapt attention.  The curtain falls behind them.  The music stops.  And a  conversation ensues between the family….)

Son:  Could someone actually lead us beyond our graves?           

Daughter:   How is this possible?  And how can we be sure of it?      

Father:  Well, that is just what the Good News is all about.         

Daughter:  The Good News?  You mean the story of Jesus Christ?   

Mother:   Yes, does not His Word say “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  

Father:  And, “Surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

Mother:   End of the age.  That is until timelessness, or eternity as we call it. Which means He will not abandon us to our graves but lead us beyond.   Yes, as it is written, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with Me…”                     

Children (together):   But how is this possible?      

Father:  It is evident that you have not understood it fully yet.   And little wonder!

Mother:  Why don’t we sit down over there (pointing to the bench) and unravel the truth from His Word?                           

(The family move towards the bench and seat themselves.  As they do so, the parents unsheathe their swords.  The swords are shining white with ‘Word Of God’ inscribed on them in bold letters.  All of them turn their attention to the swords which can be opened like a book.)                     

Mother:  Always remember, when doubts and fear assail, turn to His Word and prayerfully let the Holy Spirit guide you into all truth.

[(A brief pause and then..) the announcer :  Ladies and gentlemen, we are happy to present before you the Gospel in a never before light.  Half-truths are more dangerous than lies.  And it is time the complete truth was revealed so that everyone can judge for themselves.  It is a shame that two thousand years since the mantle of Gospel fell on the  churches people continue to live in darkness and in bondage.  Because, men have thwarted the very purpose of the Gospel by putting their selfish interests before it.  As a result God’s name has been dishonored among the unbelievers, and salvation is nowhere a reality to far too many.  But not anymore.  We sincerely hope and pray that it is not too late to open the eyes of the blind, feed the hungry and set the captives free.  And above all to liberate the most terribly and relentlessly oppressed of them all, the women.  We wish to reiterate the liberating message of the Gospel to one and all so that the lost faith in God is restored, and men are truly reconciled to Him.  What better way to do so than by celebrating the indelible and therefore the surpassing footprints of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ which continue to beckon all who might listen, (at this a loud Voice is heard saying “Come, follow Me.”)]

( At this the choir sings twice the following line of the chorus “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”.)

(As the music fades) Announcer:  We take the liberty of retracing with you the very footprints of Jesus Christ to the beginning of time.  And as we do so, here’s presenting before you the Gospel like it was never told before…….towards the greater end-time harvest. 

(And all is silent once again.  The family picks up where they had left off but by way of the enactment which unfolds on the stage…)

Scene 2 Act 1

[The scene is a depiction of Eden.  Enter man and woman clothed in long robes of subtle skin color (let light shine on their faces) walking the cool and shady paths of Eden.]  

Male:  Well that’s it.  That’s the tour of the world at our disposal if you please!  Did you enjoy?

Female:  Oh, yes!  Very much.  Thank you.  Everything is so good, so beautiful.  I see the glory of the Lord everywhere. 

Male:  My pleasure!  You know, I was rather lonesome before you came along.  I could not find a perfect companion in any other creatures the Lord introduced me to.  None of them shared with me His likeness and His image.  Only you do.

Female:  (smiling) That’s right.  Yes I can see that only we are endowed to reflect His triune Personality in our perfect and glorious trinity of  body, soul and spirit of life.              

Male:  (taking her hands in his) And this special bond, the divine oneness I enjoy with you is the oneness of God Himself.   

Female:  It is wonderful to be different and superior.……almost like God Himself.  All these beautiful creatures.  Makes one feel so protective and responsible for them.  Donning His image makes us feel so close to Him even though we may not enter His abode in heaven.  It definitely helps us to rule over everything in our dominion.  And He does come over and let us enjoy His fellowship, doesn’t He.  What more could we ask for?  

Male:  Yes, almost…because  He has revealed that we are created just a little lower than the heavenly beings but are nevertheless crowned with glory and honor and made rulers over the works of His hands, everything having been subjected under our feet.                                                  

Female:  What is more, even though you got to name everything that God brought before you, it was He who gave us our name – Adam or the Man.  What a special name it is!  It means so much to me.  It reminds me who I am.

Male:  Oh yes!  Special name for special purpose.  But you know what?  I prefer to call you “woman” – as it reminds me of how you were brought forth from my own body, flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones.  So “woman” you shall be henceforth.  (The female appears thoughtful as she ponders over it.  And the male continues..)  Which reminds me and brings us to the matter of great importance.  (Immediately she stops musing and she turns to him with rapt attention.)  There’s one more thing you should know.  Remember  I told you we may eat of the fruit of all trees in the garden?

Female:  Yes I do.  What of it?

Male:  Well, there’s one we may not eat of.

Female:  Which one?

Male:  You see the tree over there…the one in the middle…God has warned that we ought not to eat of its fruit.  So don’t eat it, don’t even touch it, or you will die.

Female:  I see.  (Letting out a deep sigh she continues..)  Oh dear you know so much.  Haven’t I a lot of catching up to do?

(Sound of heavy footsteps is heard) 

Male:  (laughs..and then)  You will, in no time.  There’s the footsteps of God.  Come, let’s go and meet Him.  (Holding hands and laughing, they race toward the sound.  And the curtain falls.  Music of worship begins and slowly fades…)

Scene 2 Act 2

Announcer:  But alas! the happy state of affairs was not to be.  For the serpent had overheard their conversation and realized the woman was quite ignorant of the actual Commandment.  He deceives her into believing that the fruit won’t kill her but would in fact make her as knowledgeable as God.  Here’s how it transpires…....

(The scene is the garden of Eden.  The man is shown to be sleeping under a tree, whilst the woman is shown to be sitting beside him and looking about.  As usual the light continues to shine on their faces.  Suddenly the serpent’s head (which looks more like a dragon’s head) thrusts out of the bushes before her…)

Serpent:  Greetings, mighty one!

Female:  Oh hello serpent.

Serpent:  Just thought I will drop by and have a chat with you.

Female:  Why not? ( She then moves to make room for the serpent to sit beside her.)  Come on over and sit down here beside me and let us talk.  I could really do with some company as you can see (pointing to the male) he is sleeping.

Serpent:  (Sitting down beside her and whispering aloud.)  Oh do let him sleep.  And lets be careful lest we should disturb him.  (Affecting discretion it leans towards her.)  You know, I am a bit curious.  Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’

Female:  We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’

Serpent:  You will not surely die.  For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

Female:  Really?  I did not know that.  You mean I will become wise?  Oh how I long to be wise. 

Serpent:  Yes…..Come on! I will show you if I am not right.  (Both get up and walk over to the tree which was close by.)

Female:  It looks so good, so delectable…..But I am not sure.  I feel afraid.

Serpent:  Of course there’s nothing to be afraid of.  See (reaching out and touching the cluster of the fruit with its hand) I touched it and nothing happened.  Surely, you can see that I did not die!

Female:  You are right.  My husband had told me if I touched it I would die.  Let me see (reaches out cautiously and caresses the fruits)…….mmm…I guess you are right.  Oh how I long to be wise…I shall surely eat some.  (She then takes some and starts to munch on it, and as she does so, she calls out to her husband with her mouth full of the juicy fruits…)  Dear! Quick, come on over and see what I have got for you.  (Unnoticed by them, the serpent quickly takes to its heels.)

Male:  (opens his eyes, quickly gets up and goes towards her)  Hey, what is it?

Female:  (munching on and offering some to him) Here eat this.  See I touched these fruits and nothing happened.  And they taste so good.

Male:  (quickly takes the fruits from her outstretched hands and gulps them down)  Oh no, I think I am choking!  (Clutches his throat.  Suddenly the light goes out from their faces.  Their halo like garb disappears.  And they don’t like what they see.  They look at each other in horror and realize what had happened.  She tries in vain to point towards the serpent.  But the serpent was nowhere to be seen, and both of them run for cover, behind a tree, full of fear and shame.  The curtain falls.)

Announcer:  The man and woman discover to their horror that just as God had forewarned, spiritual death had come upon them instantly.  And they lose their glorious likeness to holy God.  They realize they are naked.  Quickly they make themselves coverings made of leaves.  And then they hear the all-too-familiar footsteps of God.  Horrified and ashamed at what had become of them, they hide when they hear the only footsteps they had been called to follow.  And when God confronts them with their guilt, they realize that it was too late to do anything!   They realize that the leafy garment with which they had quickly covered themselves would not hold much longer.  And as they struggle with their newfound dilemma, they could do no more than but listen helplessly as God reveals the full implication of the misfortune they had brought down upon themselves, the serpent’s included….

Scene 2, Act 3

(Sound of footsteps again.  At this the curtain rises to reveal some shrubbery behind which the man and woman are found to be cowering having reappeared in leafy apparels and blackened faces. There is also a third figure in a serpent’s costume standing on all four legs partly concealed from view.  The sound of (God’s) footsteps comes to a halt.  A brief pause, and then…) 

The Voice of God (a loud Voice but soft on the ear):  Where are you?

The male:  I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.

The Voice of God:   Who told you that you were naked?  Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? 

The male:  The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.

The Voice of God (addressing the woman):  What is this you have done?

The female:  The serpent deceived me, and I ate.

(At this the serpent walks out to the center-stage and lifts its head towards the Voice)

The Voice:   Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals!  You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.  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.

(Upon hearing which the serpent drops its legs and falls flat on its belly.)

The Voice:  Woman… (the woman walks forward and full of fear and shame lifts her face to the direction of the Voice).. I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband here (pointing towards the male), and he will rule over you.  (At this she flees to hide behind the male.)

The Voice:  And you. (at this the male walks forward, as much in fear and shame as the female who continues to cower behind him and moves toward center-stage)…..Was it not to you that I entrusted the commandment? Was it not your duty to take care that My commandment was taught and obeyed exactly as I had given them to you.  So that all that is bequeathed to yourselves may enjoy the harmony of My Holiness with you?  Do you now blame Me for your own folly.  Did I not warn you of the consequences?  Do you not realize it is not I who brought this upon you but your own folly.  You see, you were unfaithful to Me all along.  First by not keeping My words.  You did not even pass on the commandment accurately to the female who was meant to be your equal partner, to shoulder your huge dominion with you.  You brought about her fall, and then by listening to her you yourself ended up eating from the tree about which I commanded ‘you must not eat of it’.  Therefore, ‘Cursed is the ground because of you.  Through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken, for dust you are and to dust you will return.’  (At this the male sits down, head bowed, hands raised to his head and his fists tightly clenched with the female cowering behind him.)

The Voice:  Here, rise up both of you and pick up those robes of skin I have made for you (the two rise and move their eyes about and together spot the said garments lying folded on a stone).  Since you no longer bear My holy image and likeness, I give this to you so that you may live even though as beasts.  What is done cannot be undone.  And you will not live here any longer, lest you eat of the fruit of the tree of life and live in your shameful nakedness forever.  You will live on the earth below until you see My salvation unfold.  For I am God, the True and Faithful One.  I Myself will provide The Way for you and restore you to live with Me forever.  If you are careful and watch yourselves, henceforth, I Myself will restore to you all that you have lost and in addition bring you into My kingdom to live with Me for ever where you will have nothing to fear and nothing to deceive you or hurt you ever again.   Therefore, take heed, lest your own folly multiply your curses and you be perished forever.

(They pick up their robes and leave; but this time the male is seen dragging the female behind him.  Curtain falls.  A melancholic tune begins to play….)

Scene 3

Announcer:  One would think the first couple would come to their senses at last!  Unfortunately, it was not to be.   You see, the male, blinded by his fury and the sense of loss, fails to acknowledge his fault.   Instead he turns his ire on the hapless female, totally disregardful of all God’s revelations, warnings and exhortations.  And the female on her part, now abetted by her own curse, totally and willingly subjects herself to his oppressive and incompetent dominion.

(The curtain rises.  The scene has changed to a barren land.   Enter male and female, now clothed in the garb of animal skin, looking miserably about them.)                                                 

Male to the female:   (full of anger and dominance) Look, what you have brought upon us!  And did you hear that?  You will no longer rule the world with me but will be subjected to me…….

Female (bowing down humbly):  Yes, my lord!  Whatever you say.  Your word is my command.

Male (unmoved, he continues):  …therefore, I shall henceforth call you Eve.  You shall bear my offspring, so that we may look forward to our salvation in my seed!                                  

Eve:  Yes, my Lord. (they exit)

Scene 4, Act 1

(Adam and Eve are found seated inside a tent.  The look of joy is on their faces as they look at their firstborn that  Eve is seen to be holding in her arm. There’s a soft lullaby playing in the background.)

Eve: Oh! God! I thought I will die.  Giving birth was so painful.  But praise and thanks be to God!  For with His help, I have brought forth a man.  (Smiling at Adam) How happy you are today, my lord.                

Adam:  Oh yes.  Our troubles will  soon be over.                                                

Eve:  What do you mean?

Adam:  Don’t you see?  Did you not hear what the Lord said!   This is your offspring who will crush the head of the evil one and set us free from all our hardship and misery.            

Eve (looking intently at the baby):  Are you sure?  The child looks just like you.  He is your spitting image.

Adam:  What do you mean, he is my spitting image!  Of course, he will look like me.  What else did you expect?

Eve (looking very thoughtful):  …..I guess you are right.  Only I thought if he is going to be like you how will he better that which you yourself cannot.  If only he looked like what we used to…perhaps then… (Music stops.  And Adam cuts in mid-sentence.)    

Adam:  Of course, I am right.  I should know.  And never mind what you think.  You will do good by keeping your thoughts to yourselves.  What I say goes.  Remember, it was you who felt the need for wisdom and went about looking for it.  And for all your troubles, you remain a foolish thing.  Not to mention, the misery you  brought upon everything else.  So, stop your wisecracking and make sure my son is well taken care of.                     

Eve:   Oh! I am so sorry.  There I go upsetting  you again.  Please don’t be angry.  I almost forget the last time we were so happy together.  (At this Adam gives her one dirty look and leaves in a huff.)      

Eve ( looking at her baby intently and drawing a deep sigh, speaks aloud):   I wish he’d at least look like we did back in  Eden.  What can this poor mite possibly do?  I will be grateful if he can at least learn to fear God.   (curtain falls).  

Scene 4, Act 2

Announcer:  Of course they soon realize their hope in their son was in vain.  Not just their own sons but all the sons that followed down the generations….  For the son that was born to them, instead of bringing forth salvation, ends up murdering his own younger sibling.  Consequently, just as God had warned, his curses multiply and he is farther estranged from the presence of God.  Yet the fact that they were not prepared to give up this hope in the sons of man’s seeds becomes obvious as they persist in their waywardness.  For instance, let us follow them down a few  generations to this couple in particular.

(Another couple with a baby in the woman’s arms are now shown seated inside the tent.)

Lamech:   My dear, could this be the one?  Sons after sons have been born.  All of them died just like our forefather Adam.  Abel, the good son murdered.  Cain, the bad one banished and separated from his own.  Seth brought fresh hope, but he too died just like everybody else.  Of course, Enoch didn’t, for God took him up.  Good for him, though I must add he failed to do anything for the rest of us.                                                                                     

Lamech’s wife:   Oh Lamech, don’t look so sad.  I couldn’t bear to see that look on your face.  Let us not lose hope.  Look at the child…..doesn’t he look special?     

Lamech (turns his attention to the child):  By God, you are right.  What a comfort it is to see.  Let us call him Noah.  For, he surely will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed. (curtain falls)

(The family of four who were watching all these unfold now rise from the bench and walk toward center-stage.)                

Father:   But, for all their hopes, Noah died too.  Likewise every son who continued to come after him.  But men simply fail to understand….. so they’d go on putting their trust in their sons.                                                         

Mother:  They fail to turn to God and trust in His irrefutable Word.  Sadly, even Abraham who though having received God’s promise of a son in his old-age, ends up having a son by Sarah’s maid Hagar concluding that Sarah will remain barren.  For even though God tried to teach men to turn to God for His deliverance, His salvation, none would learn or fully understand.  However God’s Word is infallible.  All of It will come to pass in His time.  Just as His Word that promised Abraham a son through his wife Sarah did so that they may learn that nothing was impossible with God.

Son:  Now, I am beginning to see what you mean.      

Daughter:  Oh yes.  But, what’s the point?  Men remain blinded.  They fail to see that God would bring the desired salvation through the Offspring of the woman and not by the seed of man, just as it was promised at the very beginning.         

Father:    Yes, like you have rightly said, men remain blinded and they fail to understand even though it is written here, (reads aloud) “No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for Him – the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough that he should live on forever and not see decay.”                                                      

Mother:  And, here it is again, (reads aloud) “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save.”  And yet another (reads aloud) “Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils.  Of what account is he?”               

Father:  We must understand, while all men will inherit and pass on the Adamic curse of sin, death and damnation, the women will only be victimized by it and they will only pass on Eve’s curse of manly dominance and vain desires to their daughters.                     

Mother:  That is why God showed Abraham that the sacrifice of Isaac could not be, but that He Himself would provide the sacrificial Lamb.  But in the whole house of Israel, we see that only a few had awakened spiritually and understood it enough to put their faith in the promised Messiah and await its fulfillment.                                                              

Son:  But, how about the women?  Do they understand?  At least they cannot deny that they hadn’t heard God’s Promise reiterated and passed on through Sarah.    

Mother:  Oh they did!  That is, only the wise among them.  Look, what the Word (picking up her sword and randomly sifting through its pages) testifies about women like Tamar, Hannah, Zelophehad’s daughters, Rahab, Abigail, Esther, Jephthah’s daughter, Naomi, Ruth and many others.  They rose above their curses and lived exemplary lives, until the wisdom they imparted had evolved into its fullness and found perfected in the humble and God-fearing virgin called Mary.  Oh, here she is (spotting the page in the sword in her hand).                                                 

Father: Let us sit down and re-discover all that ensues here..

(As they return to sit on the bench, the curtain rises to reveal Mary and before her the angel of God.  Soft music…)

Scene 5

(The scene is a room showing a young woman busy with some work, like sowing or grinding flour. Suddenly a big light is shown to flood the room and what appears to be an angel appears before her.)

Angel Gabriel:  Greetings, you who are highly favored!  The Lord is with you.

Mary:  (looking troubled) Who are you?  And what does this mean?

Angel:  Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.

Mary:  How will this be, since I am a virgin?

Angel:  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.  Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.  For nothing is impossible with God.

Mary:  I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be to me as you have said.

Announcer: Dear friends, the child to be born of the virgin is Jesus, the Promised One, the Son of God and the offspring of the woman – the perfect and the holy Lamb of God who will offer Himself to die for the remission of our sins.   He is the Son of Man, having been born of the woman whom He had never stopped calling ‘Man’ because it is the name He had given her.   He is the One, conceived of the Holy Spirit, and therefore born without sin or the Adamic curse of death and damnation.  Just as it is written of Him, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”  He offers Himself  to die even though He did not deserve to, but in order that He becomes the peace offering for the ransom of mankind.  Yes, He bore our sins and Himself became the costly price by offering His own Holy and Precious Blood for our ransom.  Just as He testifies – (the Voice), “The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down My life – only to take it up again.  No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.  This command I received from My Father.”   

(Announcer continues):  Yes,  no one on earth had any authority over Him.  Not even the mother who gave Him birth.  Listen to Him reminding her.  For, of all the people surely she shouldn’t forget who He is and from where He had come.

Scene 6

(The scene is the inside of the temple courts where Jesus is shown to be conferring with the teachers of the Law.  All His listeners including the teachers had the look of awe and amazement.  Enter Mary and Joseph looking very worried.)

Mary:  Son, why have you treated us like this?  Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.

Jesus:  Why were you searching for Me?  Don’t you know I had to be in My Father’s house?

Scene 7

(This time the scene is the wedding of Cana.  Jesus and His disciples along with Mary are shown to be talking in hushed tones.  Servants of the household are shown hurrying about with various dishes.  Note that Jesus’ face is always shown turned away from the audience so that only His symbolic profile is evident.  The Voice is substituted whenever He speaks in first person except in Scene 6 where He is only a boy.)

Mary:  Son, they have no more wine.

Jesus:  Dear woman, why do you involve Me?  My time has not yet come.

Scene 8

(Jesus is shown with His disciples surrounded by a crowd of people who had come to Him to be healed and listen to Him speak.)

Voices raised together from the crowd:  Your mother and brothers are outside looking for You.

Jesus:  (pointing to the circle of people around Him)  Here are My mother and My brothers!  Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.  (Music to the tune of ‘Our Father in heaven’……)

Scene 9, Act 1

(Jesus is shown to be walking along a path.  He stops to call out.  Music plays softly  to the tune “I have decided to follow Jesus”….it grows and fades throughout the acts of scene 9 to fit in the conversations or Jesus’ words)

Voice:   Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.   (And two are seen to join Him.  He calls out again.)

Voice:  Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.       (He walks a few steps and seems to notice a few people hesitating and stops.)

Voice:  Do not worry saying what shall we eat or what shall we drink or what shall we wear.  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 

(At this, the four on the bench and few others are shown to rise up and join Him.) 

Jesus then turns to address the crowd, (Voice, now louder):  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.  (Further):  I am the Light of the world.  Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

(Here a few children are seen to enter and one of His followers tries to drive them away.)

Disciple:  Go away!  Why are you all here?  Go away!

Jesus:  Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. (And He places His hands on them and blesses them.  Children are shown to be clamoring for His attention, to be embraced by Him, touched by Him and even carried by Him.  All the while the choir joins in with the song, “Can your hero walk on water?…”  And then the curtain falls.)

Scene 9, Act 2

(Jesus re-enters with the crowd following after Him.  He has the long staff of a shepherd in His Hand.  He turns to His followers and says…)

Voice:   I am the Good Shepherd.  I know My sheep  and My sheep know Me.  My sheep follow Me because they know My voice.  They will never follow a stranger; in fact they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.  From now on I shall also gather My sheep that are not of this pen and there shall only be One Shepherd and One Flock.  (All follow Him out of the stage.)

Scene 9, Act 3

(Once again Jesus enters the stage.  There is a crowd following Him.  He stops before an imaginary fork on the path where two gates are seen.  One on either side.   The small and narrow one on the r.h.s and the other, the large and glittery one on the l.h.s.; each leading to the two different exits of the stage.)

Voice:  Enter though the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

(At this some are seen to open the large gate and enter it from where loud music, singing and laughter can be heard.  Let the sounds be heard as long as the gate remains open.  Shut the gate and the sounds, as the others who remain with Jesus, follow Him and squeeze their way through the narrow gateway and exit out to the right of the stage.)

Scene 9, Act 4

(Jesus is seen bearing the cross and a crown of thorns is upon His head.  Turning to the crowd following Him in various states of emotion, He addresses them.)

Voice:  If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.  (Moving on a little ahead, He adds…)

Voice:  All men will hate you because of Me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved..…..Do not fear.  Only remember, it is enough for the student to be like his Teacher, and the servant like his Master……(addressing a few weeping women at His side….)  Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me; weep for yourselves and for your children.  For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’

(Loud shouts of “Crucify Him” is heard as all of them exit.  Music..)

Scene 10

Announcer:  Let us now follow the blood-stained footprints of Jesus with Mary Magdalene.  For just as it was prophesied, yet unknown to everybody else including His disciples, He died and rose again on the third day.  And while the disciples were overwhelmed with fear and go into hiding, the women decide to take things into their hands.

(The scene is before the open tomb where Jesus was buried.  A woman is shown to walk towards it and finding the stone rolled away and the tomb open, she fears the worst and begins to weep bitterly.  Suddenly she stops and peers inside.  She was surprised to find two angels seated one at the head of the stone where Jesus’ body had laid and the other at the foot. ….)

Angels:  Woman, why are you crying?

Mary Magdalene:  They have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they have put Him.  (Then she turns around to see someone standing behind her.)

Voice:  Woman, why are you crying?  Who is it you are looking for?

Mary (thinking he was the gardener):  Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have put Him and I will get Him.

Voice:  Mary! (at this Mary looks up to Him and cries out..)

Mary:  Rabboni! (and she falls at His feet and clings to Him.)

Jesus:  Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet returned to the Father.  Go instead to My brothers and tell them, I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.  (Mary worships Him, and full of joy and excitement leaves to do just as He had told her to.)

  Scene 11

(Jesus is shown standing on a raised platform facing a large crowd.)

Voice:   This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His Name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.   Now, do not be afraid.  I will not leave you as orphans.  But, I will return to My Father and He will send the Holy Spirit to be with you.  He will empower you and guide you.  He will make known to you the secrets of God.  He will remind you of all that I have taught you.  So that by your obedience of them you will remain spotless, without stain or blemish, or any wrinkle.  But radiant and fully ready, clothed in My righteousness to enter the kingdom of God.  See I have showed you the way.  So be prepared and watch out! until I return to take you up with Me……….For, in My Father’s house are many rooms; and I am going there 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.  Do not be deceived, I and no other will come.  In the same manner as you will see Me go now……………. Meantime, receive My Spirit and by His help feel free to call on Me always.  For I will be seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for you continually.  Do not let anyone deceive you.  I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  There is no other Mediator for you who has overcome death and lives to intercede on your behalf.  You may ask for anything in My Name, and My Father will grant it to you so that He may be glorified in Me and I in Him.  And you will do greater things than these.  Therefore be of good cheer!  (Enact Jesus’ ascension.)

Two Angels:   Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky?  This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.  (all exit and the curtain remains open)

Announcer:  Dear friends, life on earth is short but the journey of life we know is rather long.  It will only end with the home-coming of the children of God into His eternal abode – the kingdom of God where the dwelling of men will be with God Himself.   They will be His people and He will be their God.  And the glory of God and of the Lamb will light up the new heaven and the new earth so that there will be no need of the sun or the moon.  There will no longer be the old order of things.  He will wipe every tear from your eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. 

Now that you have come to learn of the only One worthy to be followed, follow Him and follow His footprints.  His is the perfect example, and you needn’t look anywhere else.  Follow Him in the Spirit of Oneness, for that was His earnest prayer for us.  As it is written, there is only One God, therefore 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. One the Resurrection of the righteous, One the Way, the Life and the Truth; One the baptism of Spirit and One the Spiritual Gifts thereof; One the Shepherd and One the Flock, One the High Priest and One the Mediator, One the Bridegroom and One the Bride and finally, One the Dress-code for all – the fine garment of righteousness, no less.       

(Ensure this is read slowly and with great clarity.  And as it concludes, let all participants enter in identical clothing of white; heads also covered with a white scarf or cloth – both men and women; and each bearing a candle.  At the end all will raise the candles and hold it aloft so that they look like one big light.  The choir will sing a solemn hymn or song and conclude.  The song should be an exceptional choice, like “Turn your eyes upon Jesus”.)

THE END

 

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23
Apr

Christ the Savior18

CHRIST THE SAVIOR

 

INTRODUCTION:

The Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ has been preached to all nations.  Statistics claim that ‘Christians’ sum up the largest number of world population.  And that, there is a huge divide between the Christians and non-Christians  –  the former supposedly numbering those who embrace Christ and the latter supposedly numbering those who reject Christ.

Let us be honest!  Are these claims really true?

Indeed not!  Therefore, the word ‘supposedly’ is used to open minds to true light which this article wishes to shed on those who will not settle with anything less than the complete truth.

Walking the path of light will first of all reveal that the question of accepting or rejecting Christ only arises where the Gospel has been preached in its entirety, something the churches have been deliberately neglecting throughout. Why deliberately? Because they do not wish to compromise the worldly doctrine of male superiority even at the cost of deterring the Gospel. They take God’s holy Name in vain by becoming false witnesses of Christ (for eg. read Job 42:7-8).  In order to safeguard their selfish interests, they mislead and hold the misled millions in their sway.  It does not grieve them that they blaspheme the Name of God and bring His work to disrepute.  It does not trouble them that those they win over are made twice as worthy of hell as they are.  They are too blind to see that they bring the axe down upon themselves, for their counterfeit doctrines and counterfeit miracles have only paved the way for the soon-to-be-revealed man of lawlessness!

And the truth is vouchsafed in the Word of God even as it contradicts the world statistics – read 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,” says the Lord.

THE GOSPEL

The Gospel is the seed of Good News planted by God at the very beginning in the harvest-field of this world for the salvation of souls.  It is the Word of God, the eternal Promise of God come to fulfillment in His Son.  It is the Word of God that is since the beginning, even before the creation of this world (Jn 1:1), now manifested to the world in flesh in His only begotten Son Jesus Christ.  Therefore the Gospel is true understanding of Jesus Christ – the Son of God and the Son of man come from heaven and beyond compare!

JESUS CHRIST

Let us begin to understand by seeking answers to these questions:

Q.1.  WHO IS JESUS CHRIST?

JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD, GOD INCARNATE, THE ONLY BEGOTTEN ONE.   True spiritual insight teaches that the term son does not connote the gender as much as it does one’s station.  For eg. read Hos 1:10b, “…….In the place it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’ “ (also refer Matt 13:38a, Jn 8:34, Rom 8:14-17 etc.). 

Therefore, Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God means the only Incarnate God and the only Heir of God – through whom and for whom were all things created (refer Jn 1:1-3, Col 1:15-20 etc.).  Read Lk 1:35, “……So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

He is the Promised Son, the Offspring of the woman (Gen 3:15), sent to earth by God the Father to die for our sins –  the Holy and sacrificial Lamb of God, by whose Blood men may be ransomed to God. Jesus Christ is God revealed to mankind in flesh. Conceived of the Holy Spirit, He is the very image and likeness of God.  And, it is in this image and likeness both male and female of ‘man’ were created (Gen 1:26-27) – TO PROCLAIM THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH, THE PERFECT MAN.

PUT THE MALE WITH THE FEMALE, NEITHER WITH CHRIST NOR IN PLACE OF CHRIST:

Read Ps 50:21, “These things you have done and I kept silent; you thought I was altogether like you.”

Contrary to the misinterpretations of churches, Jesus Christ is not the ‘son of man’ referred to in Psalm 8:5-8 which in fact refers to the ‘man’ God created and put in the Garden of Eden.  Read Ps 144:3-4, “O Lord, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him?  Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.”  Refer Gen 2:25, for it says,  “The man and his wife were both naked..”  Yes, they were ‘naked’ which means they were not clothed fittingly to be able to enter heaven.  For eg. refer Matt 22:12 and Rev 19:8.  The term ‘naked’ confirms the lack in them that made them a little lower than heavenly beings as it says in Ps 8:5-8 to be put in Eden and not in heaven, even though they were crowned with glory and everything God had made were subjected to them (Gen 1:27-30).  They were not even like the angels who live in heaven.  Refer Matt 22:30, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”  Also read Lk 20:36.

JESUS IS GOD.  He came from heaven.  He is not of the earth or formed of the dust.  Jesus is not the created but the Creator through whom all things are created (Jn 1:1-3).  Read Jn 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus is “Majestic in holiness, awesome in glory…”, “Clothed with splendor and majesty.  He wraps Himself in Light as with a garment…”.  Yes, “He is arrayed in holy majesty.”  (Ex 15:11, Ps 104:1-2, Matt 17:2, Ps 110:3, Jn 10:36-38 etc.).

JESUS IS THE NAME OF GOD.  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.”  Jesus is the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit – the Name of God revealed to us as the Savior.  Read Matt 1:21, “She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”  

JESUS IS GOD IN FLESH AND GOD IN SPIRIT as the instance of His transfiguration before His disciples James, John and Peter will reveal (Matt 17:1-8).  He is the only One to be transfigured back and forth thus.  He does not become any less God or any less holy or any less perfect in His temporal robe of flesh.  Because even though He came to this lowly and perishing world, He did not come donning the lowly, the cursed and the sinful robe of flesh of sinful man.  He became a man, but nevertheless, the Perfect ManHe donned the perfect robe of Flesh and became the Holy and the Perfect Sacrifice for the redemption of ‘man’.  Conceived of the Holy Spirit, He was born without sin.  Moreover, by His perfect obedience, He fulfilled all righteousness and became victorious over the world, the curses, the Law, sin, death, Hades and hell, while in flesh. Refer Jn 8:46a.

To make it absolutely clear, let us understand that in His robe of flesh Jesus did not seek to identify either with the male or with the female of man.  But He in whose likeness the male and female were created, in keeping with His God-ly or Heavenly nature (Matt 22:30), came and lived as the Perfect Eunuch so that He may raise His offspring (Isa 53:10) by the Spirit, just as He Himself is (Jn 4:24), – to resemble His divine nature –  to bear His image and His likeness only, perfected and radiant in His unmatched glory.

JESUS IS PERFECTION PERSONIFIED.  He is the Perfect Man – of the Perfect Trinity of Eternal Body (which is the eternal Word become Flesh and Blood – eg. Jn 20:27, Lk 24:13-35 etc. ), Eternal Spirit and Eternal LifeHe is the Eternal Son, the One and Whole of God who is Triune.  Yes, He is the Holy Trinity.  In Him is the Perfect Oneness of God , read Jn 10:30 – (also refer Jn 14:6-7, 10-11, Jn 17:22 etc.) – the oneness of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

No man either before or after Him could ever compare with Him.  Read Revelations 5, particularly note what is written in verses 2 and 3.  The churches have all without exception subverted the Gospel, which is made markedly evident in their futile and underlying efforts to bring Jesus down to the level of man.  Incredulously and particularly, the male of man!  And the deceiver who led even some of the angels astray blinds man into spiritual subterfuge and usurpation of God’s place.

As the Perfect Man, Jesus Christ reveals in Himself God, the Perfect Bridegroom, the Perfect Husband, the Perfect Eunuch, the Perfect Teacher, the Perfect Counselor, the Perfect Father, the Perfect Son, the Perfect Provider, the Perfect Friend, the Perfect Planter, the Perfect Master, the Perfect Shepherd, the Perfect Wage-master, the Perfect Fisher of men, the Perfect Servant, the Perfect Judge, the Perfect King, the Perfect Lord and the Perfect High Priest.

Yes, JESUS CHRIST IS ALSO THE PERFECT HIGH PRIEST.   His is the surpassing priesthood:

In Him is the perfect priesthood fulfilled – by Himself becoming the perfect High Priest offering the perfect Sacrifice and by His perfect role as our perfect Mediator and finally as the perfect Shepherd of His flock, leading them with His perfect counsel.  As a result, no one else “in heaven or on earth or under the earth” (Rev 5:3) is worthy to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.

Yes, as High Priest of God Most High He offered Himself to become the Perfect Sacrifice for the remission of our sins (refer Jn 10:18).  Thereafter, by His victory over death, He returned to heaven where glorified and exalted to the right hand of the Father He lives on to become the Perfect Mediator to intercede for us continually.  And the only One in fact who lives on to do so.  His is the Perfect Spirit sent to us to always counsel us in His righteousness and His kingdom.

[Be warned by understanding the surpassing Priesthood of Christ:  It is the First and the Eternal Order of priesthood, revealed to mankind through king Melchizedek’s offering of the bread and the wine.  But it is the priesthood, the perfection of which is as described in the above paragraph, and it can not be even remotely matched by king Melchizedek’s priestly services or for that matter with any of the New Testament believers who are all called to this priesthood (Matt 26:26-29, Mk 14:22-25, Lk 22:19-20, Lk 24:30-32, 1 Cor 11:23-26).  Because, while Melchizedek made the divine revelation by his offering, we make a holy memorial and a holy sacrifice of thanks offering by our obedience to Lord’s table.  Therefore, let us be warned.  Neither Melchizedek nor ourselves can even dare to compare with the Holy and Pleasing Sacrifice that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God is.  Also, let us remember that it is Jesus the High Priest who enables both Melchizedek and ourselves to serve Him by offering perfect service before the Holy and True Altar or Tabernacle.]

Therefore, the unholy comparison of Jesus with king Melchizedek of Salem who was not high priest but a priest of God Most High (Gen 14:18) in the letter to Hebrews 7:1-10 is the result of a pathetic attempt by the writer to appeal to Jewish sentiments of superiority in order to present the Gospel to them.  No doubt the last chapters of the letter is powerfully spiritual in essence, worthy of referencing in every context of the gospel.  But having given scriptural status to the whole letter, the above comparison not only refutes God’s worthy claim to unshared glory – read Isa 42:8, “I am the Lord; that is My Name!  I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols.” but also serves as a basis for misrepresentations most rampantly and decisively expounded by churches.

Truth is, the comparison begins and ends with the superior ‘Order of Priesthood’ manifested thereof by the offering of “bread and wine” by Melchizedek.  It is the revelation of Christ’s sacrificial death made to Melchizedek but fulfilled in Jesus Christ the High Priest, for Melchizedek being a mortal could never bring it to fulfillment.  Bread and wine, we know, is symbolic of the sacrificial death of the Lamb of God, whose body is broken and the blood poured out for the forgiveness of sins (Matt 26:26-28).  It proclaims Lord’s death (1 Cor 11:26).  Therefore, by offering bread and wine, Melchizedek demonstrates that he was given the revelation of Jesus Christ’s vicarious death on the cross and as such he had the blessing of partaking in the superior order of priesthood ahead of us or even the Israelites for that matter.   Not surprising at all, because as it states in Isa 46:10, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come…”, God has made known all things from the beginning.  It is because man is slow to understanding, he remains blind to it.  For instance, God did teach the same to Abraham when He forbade him from sacrificing Isaac and instead substituted Isaac with the lamb He provided (Gen 22:12-14).  Read Jn 8:56, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad.”  Yet, Israelites remained blind to it

Jesus Christ is the Only Eternal High Priest.  Just as the Word testifies of Him, “You are a Priest forever”.   Jesus has assured us of its eternity when He promised to once again seat His faithful servants at His table in the Kingdom of God and Himself serve.  Yes, He has promised He will not taste of the drink of the fruit of vine until He is able to drink it anew with us in heaven.  May all whose eyes have been opened rejoice as we look forward to the day when His servants will serve before His throne eternally (Rev 22:3).

JESUS EXEMPLIFIES PERFECT SERVANTHOOD.  As it is described in Isa 49:1-7, Isa Isa 50:10, Isa 52:13-15, Isa 53 etc., Jesus is the Perfect Servant of God who by His perfect obedience to the Father exemplified perfect servanthood to us.  Read Lk 22:26b, “…But I am among you as one who serves.”  He not only fulfilled all righteousness (eg. Matt 3:15), but also took upon Himself the penalty for our sins and offered Himself for death on the cross.  And, on the third day when He rose again and proved His God Almighty power over death and Hades, He continued to subject Himself to the will of the Father to return to heaven.  Read Jn 20:17, “Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet returned to the Father.  Go instead to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’ “  So that as promised He may go and prepare a place for us (Jn 14:1-4).  And so that meanwhile He may pour out His Spirit upon us (Acts 2:33) and so that all who belong to Him may be gathered (Jn 3:8, Isa 34:17) unto Him when He will come again in all His glory and splendor to bring Judgement on the earth.  In fact He will not rest even then.  Read Jn 5:17, “Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working.’ “  He will exalt us and glorify us on earth so that we may partake of His eternal glory as promised and reign with Him on earth a thousand years before He finally brings forth the promised new heaven and earth and enters into eternal Sabbath rest with us.  Who can compare with Him?  Who indeed is like unto the Lord our God, Jesus Christ our Savior?

The spiritual apathy of the world, especially the Christian world is what it is today, because even though it claims to know Jesus, it seeks to replace Him with mortal men in every aspect of  life!

Q.2.  WHY JESUS CHRIST?

This is the all-important question people seldom seek the answer to.

As aforementioned, Isa 46:10 reminds, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come…” And likewise, if we start at the very beginning, we discover that indeed all things are made known right there.  Thus we find, back in the garden of Eden when man (meaning both male and female – Gen 1:27, Gen 5:2), fell from grace, God had to banish them from His Presence, but not before revealing His Plan for their redemption.  Refer 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.”  As for the Offspring of the woman, the Messiah, His appearance as Man was revealed when in His image and likeness ‘man – both male and female’ came to be created (Gen 1:27).  And as for His redemption plan, the same was revealed in the manner in which Adam was put to sleep for Eve to be created from his own rib – which symbolizes Christ’s brief sleep of death to redeem His bride or the collective body of the children of God (Gen 2:21-22).

Now, the part of the Good News that the Promised Offspring is Jesus Christ, is common knowledge.  But what makes Jesus truly different and why He is the Savior is that part of the Good News never really told.  In other words, let us now address the all important question: Why Son of man and not son of man?”

As we all know, Adam failed to keep the one commandment entrusted to him even though in the garden of Eden ‘man’ lived in their superior image, in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26-27).

Refer Gen 3:17, To Adam He said, ‘Because you…ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it’….”;  Hos 6:7, “Like Adam, they have broken the covenant – they were unfaithful to me there.” and Isa 43:27, “Your first father sinned; your spokesmen rebelled against Me.”   Rom 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  (Read the article The Marian Way of Wisdom from the same website to understand fully.)

As Isa 43:27 above states, having  failed in his glorious state to be faithful to that one commandment, it is but inevitable that he will only continue to be unfaithful, more than ever, no matter how numerous and fractionalized the commandments may become.  Because, now he donned not the likeness and image of God but the sinful imperfection, further abetted by his new-found cursed estate (refer Gen 3:7-12 and Gen 3:17-19).  Consequently, it is disobedience whether the commandments are one or many which is repeatedly manifested in all acts of the unfaithful man.   (The facts are there in the Word of God for all who care to see – Adam was found unfaithful and disobedient while Eve was found ignorant and deceived.)

Thus, beginning to seek the Promised Son in the seed of the cursed and mortal man manifests their continued unfaithfulness and disobedience. Read 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’.”  Having lost their glorious likeness to God, how could the mortal man assume his offspring could redeem mankind?   For, God’s Word reveals in Gen 5:3, “Adam…had a son in his own likeness; in his own image…’.   Could he not perceive the truth even after all his failures that having lost the image and likeness of God, he will only beget sons in his own sinful and cursed likeness and image?  Sons who are governed by sin and death!

And, as it were, in spite of their repeated failures men do not turn to God to seek their salvation.

[Note: Unfaithfulness to God is adultery in the spiritual sense of the word.   As a result, son-seeking became an obsession with the entire human race, leading them into idolatry – even unto deifying and idolizing of mortals.  It testifies to the terrible influence of evil, the deceiver, who led them into sin in the first place way back in Eden.  For, it is satanic to even think of usurping God’s place (refer Isa 14:13-14).

How could he who is sinful from conception (Ps 51:5), who is brought down as low as dust (Gen 3:19) to become fodder for the evil one (Gen 3:14-b), 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 nostril, of what account is he?”  As prophet Micah testifies in the Spirit, Mic 7:4, “The best of them is like a brier, the most upright worse than a thorn hedge…..”.  Also, read Jer 17:5-6, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord…..’ ”  and Jer 17:7-8, ” ‘But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him…….’ “

Readying the woman:

Therefore, from Sarah’s son of the covenant of circumcision to Mary’s Son of the promise of redemption, God’s Word has been emphatic all along , just as it was in the beginning (Gen 3:15)IT HAD TO BE HER SON!   Refer Gen 17:15-16, “God also said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife………I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her.  I will bless her so that she will be mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”  And, Lk 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.’ ”

While in the son of Sarah is the Good News of salvation through the Offspring or Son of the woman reiterated, in the Son of Mary is found its fulfillment.  In other words, through Sarah is the lost spiritual calling of the woman reasserted and re-established and in Mary is the same fulfilled.  Because it is evident women, suppressed by the oppressive and cursed dominion of men over them, had lost their spiritual calling and insight.  But after Sarah until Mary, the divine election and total transformation of the woman came to be perfected in such a way that the spiritual woman had finally broken free from the bondage of men to submit herself to her true Husband and Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.  So that, in Mary is also the Church representedthe Bride or the Perfect Woman, whose offspring, like the One before them Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, are born of the Spirit and of the Word which is the Eternal Covenant of the Blood, to live victorious over the enemy eternally. Like Mary, the Church shall be  having risen above her curse, she is the blessed one among women; the One with the Husband. And having subjected herself to His will in the manner of a bond-servant, she proves her enmity is with the evil one.

And lo and behold! How it comes to fulfillment!  From the question put forward to Sarah, Gen 18:14, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” to the answer provided to Mary, Luke 1:37, “For nothing is impossible with God.”!   Thus came to pass, the Word, and its fulfillment in the Son of man who Alone is the Redeemer.  And not any mortal sons of man.  Read Isa 43:11-13, “I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from Me there is no Savior……….”

Q.3 HOW IS JESUS CHRIST THE SAVIOR?

As we have just discovered and as Jesus Himself repeatedly points out – He is the Son of man.  Because, by virtue of being born Son of Mary, the ‘ female’ of man, He is as much a Son of man as any other sons of men.  Refer Gen 5:2, “He created them male and female and blessed them.  And when they were created, he called them ‘man’.”  The title ‘man’ is given by God to both male and female because when He created them, He created them in His image and His likeness – the image and likeness to represent both His triune Self and His perfect oneness.

But as we know ‘man’ lose it when by their fall they become an imperfect trinity and forgo their oneness.  They become a cursed lot.  It is the very reason why the Son of man could not be any of the sons of the ‘male’ of man in whom is vested the curse of sin, death and decay (refer Gen 3:17-19).

(Note: though all females become victims of the Adamic curse of sin and death as his offspring, they would never be its carrier since the Adamic curse is passed on in the male domain only, as Gen 3:17-19 would remind you.  And as for the curse inherited by the woman through Eve (Gen 3:16), again, it is restricted to transpire between women only.)

Therefore, just as Jesus states, for example read Matt 12:50, “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” we may, by our total surrender and obedience, become His brother, His sister and even His mother but never His father for the Father is but One – God, the Father of all.  Read Matt 23:9, “And do not call anyone on earth ‘Father’, for you have one Father, and He is in heaven.”  As such the male of ‘man’ cannot hope to relate to Jesus in any other way except as brother, if he may, by his total submission and obedience.

(And, let us not confuse these honors He liberally bestows upon us with the spiritual growth He enables in each one of us as we progress from the time of receiving our calling to the time of becoming the chosen ones (Matt 22:14) so that though we begin as His servants, we move on to becoming His friends and finally, collectively as His holy Bride and co-heirs worthy to enter His kingdom, to live with Him and to partake of His glory eternally.)

Otherwise, the Truth remains the same for all – He is the Father and we are the children; He is the Creator and we are the created; He is the Master and we are the servants; He is the High Priest and we are the priests; He is the Husband and we are the Bride; He is the Teacher and we are the students; He is the Shepherd and we are His flock and lastly let us always remember He is the Son and we are the slaves until we become His ransomed, the redeemed – Gal 4:1-7, “What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.  He is subjected to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.  So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world.  But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.  Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father’.  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.”

Mary, the chosen woman:

Mary, the chosen woman,  fulfilled all requirements for her divine election beginning with the ‘divine enmity’ prophesied about her in Gen 3:15. Unlike what the churches have been teaching, it was not her virginity that made her eligible.  Let us remember, she was not the only virgin around, just as Jesus vouches for the widow of Zarephath (Luke 4:25-26) who was not the only widow in her time when she was chosen.  (Once again, to learn more about what sets Mary apart and how she overruled her curse, read The Marian Way of Wisdom, which is truly an eye-opener.)

Thus, Mary, the woman becomes worthy both in flesh and in Spirit to give birth to Jesus Christ the Messiah, the Perfect and Holy sacrifice, the peace offering with which  to reconcile man and God forever.  Yes,  Jesus is the Perfect Man conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the woman as was promised, and therefore born perfectly Holy and Sinless.  Unlike that of the sons of men who are all conceived of flesh and are born in sin, His was the Perfect Trinity – of Perfect and sinless Body, of the Holy Spirit and of eternal Life.

To surmise,  Jesus Christ did not deserve to die either by His birth or by His deeds.  Yet, He offered Himself to die as a holy and pleasing sacrifice for all.

Jn 12:24 reads, 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.”  Thus, the Word that became Flesh became the kernel of wheat that died and rose again to produce many seeds.  Jn 10:17-18 reads, “The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down My life – only to take it up again.  No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again….”

CHRIST THE SAVIOR

This is Lord Jesus Christ for you.  There is none like Him.  None could compare with Him, and none could take His place or share His glory with Him in their mortal state.  Isa 42:8-9, “I am the Lord; that is My Name!  I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols.  See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”

All men who have come and gone, however great in the eyes of their fellow-men, have all been lost to their graves, without exception. And, though seemingly exceptional examples like Enoch and Elijah serve to testify to the promise of resurrection of the surviving saints at Jesus’ Second Coming, they have neither entered heaven yet nor function either in the manner of The Resurrected Lord or in the manner of the living. They await with the rest who die in the Lord to realize the consummation of their salvation at the First Resurrection, when the final stage of our redemption will take place – the redemption of our bodies.

The resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ, forty days after He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven from whence He had come.  In full view of His disciples and the men of Galilee.  He left with the Promise that He will return in the like manner to take His faithful ones to live with Him forever in His eternal kingdom.

And as a deposit guaranteeing His Promise, He poured out His Spirit upon us (refer Acts 2:33, Eph 1:13-14).  So that, while the only empty tomb in the world provides the physical evidence of His resurrection, the Holy Spirit is the spiritual evidence that will continue to testify to us about Him (refer Jn 15:26).

Therefore, to know Christ is first of all to realize our unworthiness.  Followed by our willingness to rise above our respective curses so that we are no longer subjected to the perishing law of our physical nature.  And thus having awakened our spiritual self, to be washed by His blood so that we may become eligible to welcome the Spirit and fellowship with Him.  For the Spirit alone may teach us and guide us and lead us by His Word to present us holy and radiant; blameless – without any wrinkle, stain or blemish.  Then the thanks-offering, the fruit of our clean lips will become holy and acceptable to Him, and He will reside on our praises.

Meanwhile, let us always remember, no man – whether male or female, even after the person is born again and becomes a child of God, in his or her mortal state can take the place or partake of the glory of Jesus Christ.  Alive or dead!  Because Jesus Christ is the only One come down from heaven and returned to reign at the right hand of the Father.  Refer Jn 3:13, “No one has ever gone into heaven except the One who came from heaven – the Son of man.”   Hence, He alone is Worthy to receive honor, praise, glory, power, wealth, wisdom and strength.

The promised transformation and partaking of the glory of God will only take place at His Second Coming, which is the perfection of our transformation, the radiant transformation that will make us eligible to finally enter His kingdom.  But not before fulfilling His promise to glorify us before men.  For, at His Second Coming all His faithful ones will be transformed to join Him, whether dead or alive, and be given the authority to rule and judge the nations with Him and to serve Him in the royal priesthood.  

As the psalmist has rightly said in Ps 75:6-7, “No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt a man.  But it is God who judges; He brings one down, he exalts another.”  God’s Word is infallible and irrefutable.  He will give His faithful ones the promised hundred-fold blessings in this world during His millennium reign.  And, He will restore the promised twice as much, as we had lost, by granting us once again the paradise of God plus His eternal kingdom. 

Therefore, after having fulfilled all His promises concerning His ransomed here on earth, the final consummation of our salvation will take place at the wedding of the Lamb when we shall enter His Kingdom, and the dwelling of God with men will come to pass.  At the end of His millennium reign on earth, He will put Satan to His doom in the eternal fire with the rest who refused to accept the truth and gave in to his deceptions.  The present heaven and earth will also pass away for the ultimate fulfillment of His promise, “Behold, I make all things new!”.

Yes, since Christ has borne our sins, curses, death and the law on the cross of Calvary, let us rise above these elements that pull us backward.  Let us unite as one body and grow unto Him who Alone is the Head, which is Christ.  Let us pray to the Father and receive His Spirit so that empowered and enriched by the Holy Spirit we may no longer struggle with our weaknesses but live our new lives in the Spirit and grow in His Holiness and in His righteousness.

Yes, let us make every effort to offer ourselves as living sacrifices as we offer before Him a life of His righteousness and His holiness and glorify Him even though in our yet-to-be-perfected trinity.   Let us bond ourselves with the Spirit of Unity and fulfill His Oneness among us so that we may truly be found in Him.  Let us read 2 Cor 1:21-22 and take heart for it reads “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.  He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”  Only then, may we become worthy of the fine linen of robe of righteousness and enter the kingdom of God.

TO HIM BE THE PRAISE AND HONOR AND GLORY AND POWER, FOR EVER AND EVER, AMEN!

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Related topics:  (i)  The Marian Way of Wisdom

(ii)  The Good News and The Prophecy to The Church

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23
Apr

Women of God II20

Women of God – II

INTRODUCTION: 

This article is a sort of sequel to the Women of God – I.  In the sense that it continues to speak of prominent women from the Bible.  But it serves more as a footnote because the women listed below have been given prominence by men for all the wrong reasons.  In spite of which churches are deluded into looking up to them – which is nothing but a mockery to all spiritual women and a mockery to the Church as a whole.  Therefore it has become imperative that the wrong reasons be made evident for those who wish not to be misled.

1.  Eve:

By becoming the first woman to invite motherhood in to this world, let us understand that Eve not only has the distinction of becoming the mother of all the living (let us remember it is the living and not living beings), but also as the mother of the dying.

This is a fact churches keep mum about in their continued attempt at glorifying and promoting motherhood even though the purpose for which the woman’s election came to be has been fulfilled in her prophesied Offspring (Gen 3:15), Jesus Christ.  For eg. 1 Tim 2:15.  Read the UTTER LIE, the UTTER BLASPHEMY they have been promoting here, “But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”   

Prophetically speaking, in spite of Adam’s ill-intentions, by receiving the title ‘Eve’, meaning the mother of all the living (Gen 3:20), her eternity is confirmed along with those of this world whose mother she is by virtue of being born of the Spirit.  They are the living who will rise from their graves or resting places to live in the Land of the Living (refer Ps 27:13 and Matt 22:32).   Therefore, it is no coincidence that though Adam’s death is written about, there is no such testifying to Eve’s death as unlike the rest of the womenfolk she is not born of the seed of the cursed and death-ridden man.   

However, at the same time, being the first parent by virtue of her having given birth to  naturally born children, meaning children born of the seed of ‘mortal man’, she also becomes the ‘mother of the dead’ – meaning the mother of the perishing of this dying world, the world that is more aptly known as ‘the valley of the shadow of death’.  As such the Truth is that man has nothing to boast about even though like Adam (Gen 3:20) they continue to do so.  (Read without fail “The Truth about the Old and New Covenants – the ultimate revelations!” and understand fully.)

Thus she symbolizes the division of mankind into the blessed Daughter of Zion and cursed Daughter of Babylon, both of which are perfectly depicted in her sons Abel and Cain respectively.  Therefore let us be warned that the motherhood advocated in her by the churches is not a matter of blessing – rather it is the woe or curse of the fleshly born until and unless united with the Spirit and set free.

There are other facts churches will dare not mention with regard to Eve.  For instance, they will totally ignore the fact that unlike Adam she had the superior inclination, the spiritual insight, to seek wisdom.  And till date they foolishly and very stubbornly misinterpret it as the love of this world even though the Word of God clearly instructs one to get wisdom at all cost (eg. Prov 4:7, Jas 1:5 etc.).  In their misogynistic earnestness, only to push their agenda for male superiority, they would rather turn a blind eye to the fact that unlike the defiant and arrogant Adam who not only blamed her but also God for his failure to obey, she spoke up in all honesty when God confronted the two after their fall.  Refer Gen 3:12-13.  That her superior spiritual insight remained unmarred even after the fall is evident by the fact that it was to God she gave all the glory upon being enabled to give birth (Gen 4:1b).

These false shepherds turn their backs on her election (Gen 3:15) and on the fact that it is the woman who is since appointed to compass man (Jer 31:22) for in her is found the first fulfillment of the prophesy “The first will become last and the last first.” (eg.Matt 19:30).  Yes, for the spiritual, she symbolizes the prophetic Daughter of Zion and for all the right reasons.

As for the churches, she will only serve as a cover up for Adam’s unfaithfulness and disobedience – for eg. read 1 Tim 2:13-14, “For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.”  even though it is absolutely in contradiction to the testimony of the Spirit!!   For example, refer Isa 43:27, Your first father SINNED; your spokesmen rebelled against Me.”, Hos 6:7, Like Adam, they have broken the covenant – they were unfaithful to Me there.” etc. 

2. Hagar:

Hagar depicts the larger section of mankind, the wicked in fact, who enjoy the mercy of God (eg. Gen 16:7-14, Gen 21:15-20), yes all the blessings and provisions of God, but themselves fail to turn to God.  They continue to be enslaved to their roots in flesh.  Refer Gal 4:21-31.

Now I wouldn’t want to quote this passage here as at the outset it does confuse the reader because of the usage of words such as “son born in the ordinary way”.  The fact is that all Adam’s descendants are born in the ordinary way – just as in this case too as both Ishmael and Isaac were born in the ordinary way – both having been born of the seeds of the mortal man.  But what sets them apart is that while Ishmael, thanks particularly to his mother Hagar (Gen 21:21), departs from God and returns to his fleshly roots just as it was prophesied concerning him (Gen 16:12), Isaac, again thanks particularly to his mother Sarah (Gen 21:10, Gen 21:12) who had the insight to see through Hagar and her son so as to send them away, holds fast to the Covenant of God to fulfill the prophesy concerning him (Gen 17:15-16).  Yes, the difference came about through the difference in their mothers – one of whom strayed away from the will of God while the other remained in and fulfilled the will of God.

All other interpretations rampant in the christian world are misconstrued.  Hence the added usage of words “sons born in the ordinary way is wrong and terribly misleading.

It is a fact that there are so called Christians out there in the world today, majority of whom believe that they are born sons of the Covenant, as such by birth itself they are holy and set apart.  These therefore advocate that they don’t need to be “born again” or to be more elaborate, “to be born of the Spirit and the Word” as Jesus Christ instructs (Jn 3:2-21)! 

As for the rest, Hagar has been made a model for God’s compassion.  It is no wonder that their womenfolk by and large remain rooted to their flesh as they go about fulfilling the prophesy concerning them in 2 Tim 3:6-7, “…. weak-willed women who are loaded down with sins and swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.” 

3. Miriam:

For representing those majority of God’s children who fail to inquire of the Lord (refer Isa 8:19) when they feel compelled to correct a wrong (Num 12:1-4) and instead do it their own way and perhaps, like Miriam, only learn by God’s disciplining. 

The passage chosen to present Miriam noteworthy by the churches is Numbers12, where she is shown to be punished for speaking against Moses for taking a Cushite wife for himself though both she and Aaron were equally involved in the matter (Num 12:1-2, 4)!

That Miriam was a a zealous child of God (Ex 2:4, 7-8, Ex 15:1-18, 20-21), particularly revealed in her spiritual identity in Ex 15:20, “Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister…….” and that she was as much a spiritual leader of Israel as Moses and Aaron does not merit any recognition in man’s world is hardly surprising.  Read Mic 6:4b, “I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam.”  

Their ill conceived intentions are as conspicuous as their cunning ploy!  The constant reminder by them from the pulpit warning women of similar consequences should they oppose the eminent ‘servants of God’ has without doubt succeeded in suppressing the women at large.

However, it should not come as a surprise to find that Moses and Aaron were in turn meted out their due in the end as it is a fact that they were denied the honor of leading His people into the Promise Land for disobeying God (Num 20:12).

Let us, however, be warned by Miriam’s example.  Because, by the reason she was disciplined for, she represents women who know in their hearts that lies are fed them in the name of God’s Word but fail to depend on God’s grace or inquire of the Lord to seek the truth so as to confront them by the guidance of God.  Isa 8:19, “…Should not a people inquire of their God?”  In other other words, they repeat Eve’s mistake who had also failed to seek God for wisdom when she felt the lack of it.  Refer James 1:5.

Therefore seek your answers from God, for He imparts wisdom generously without finding fault.  Who knows perhaps if Miriam had confronted Moses’ wrongdoing correctly perfectly in compliance with the will and direction of God, as a prophetess she would have served Moses and Aaron better like prophetess Huldah did king Josiah and helped prevent their future mishap. 

Let’s take prophet Ezra for example for he had also found himself in similar circumstances as Miriam and Aaron.  Read Ezra 9, particularly vs 2, “They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and theirs sons…….  And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.”  We find that Ezra responds in quite the opposite manner.  We read that he along with those who feared God humbled themselves before God and sought His counsel with the Spirit of grace and supplication (eg. Ezra 9:3-15, Ezra 10:1) until at last the whole group was moved by the Spirit to confess their sins and forsake them publicly.  

Anyways, praise God, Miriam becomes wiser for her experience, and God did indeed heal her completely.  As the psalmist writes, Ps 119:71, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees” May it be so to all who feel justified in their righteous indignation over all the wickedness practised in the name of God!  And may their tribe increase.  Refer Ezek 9:4.

4. Abigail:

Abigail is shown noteworthy on the basis of 1 Samuel 25:3, which describes her as a beautiful and intelligent person, both worldly standards for admiration.  Abigail’s true worth, however, is found as you progress with her story, which is well described in Women of God – I (please do not miss it).

5. Bathsheba:

Bathsheba is an all-time favorite of men!  It is immaterial to them that though David was forgiven, he loses their first child quite instantly in addition to most others as time moves on, for eg. Tamar, Amnon, Absalom, Adonijah etc., and that as a result, he was also denied the privilege to build the temple of God.  Because Bathsheba had become the turning point in David’s life for the worse.  As king and leader of Israel, chosen to represent God, his failure to do so before her physical beauty showed forth in the physical destruction of his kingdom, his family, including his supremely endowed son Solomon (1 Kings 11:9-13).

But at the same time, let us not forget, David being a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), becomes a spiritual symbol for all God’s people of His amazing grace, love and forgiveness.  The way he sought God and His forgiveness, makes him a symbol of hope for the spiritual Israel.  But God’s promise to David, unlike what is commonly preached, is not fulfilled through Solomon, son of Bathsheba.  Even though it appeared that he did temporarily reign on David’s eternal throne and built the “superficial” temple Of God.  But both his kingdom and the temple he built came to ruin by the wrath of God which his waywardness let incur (1 Kings 11:4, 6, 9-13, Ezekiel 18:24, Mk 13:2).  Instead it was the prophecy concerning the spiritual line of David.  And it was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  Refer 2 Sam 7:11-16.  For Jesus is the Offspring, the Promised One, from David’s line (Rev 22:16) Who builds the eternal House of God (Jn 2:19) and the One Who will establish the throne of David forever (Ps 45:6).  As in Jesus Christ is found the perfect fulfillment of the calling of David as both the One and Only True King and Shepherd of Israel by Himself becoming the prophesied David (Jer 30:9).  Also read Ezek 34:23-24.

If only men had understood the eternal covenant of circumcision!  Which is essentially the circumcision of one’s heart, a covenant with God. Refer Isa 4:4.  For physical circumcision amounts to nothing if one remains uncircumcised in one’s heart.  Remember how only Isaac was set apart from all his step-brothers and step-sisters even though all of them were like him children of Abraham.  The same reason there exists the contradiction of Christ’s so-called genealogy in Mathew and Luke – while one traces it through David’s son Solomon, the other does it through David’s son Nathan – both equally futile!

6. The queen of Sheba:

The queen of Sheba is considered no more than a feather on king Solomon’s crown!  However, Jesus reminds, Lk 11:31, “The queen of the South will rise at the judgement with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom’ and now One greater than Solomon is here.”  Yes, the queen of Sheba is more than a decoration.  She will rise at the resurrection with the saints of God to judge and condemn those who reject true wisdom which is greater than Solomon’s and which comes from Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

7. The Shulammite woman:

The blasphemy that Solomon’s love song, the Song of Solomon, depicts Christ’s holy love for His bride, the Church, has to be publicly atoned for and the material itself repudiated from the Scripture. 

It is an evil and pagan concept, nothing more than a cunning ploy by the churches to have women submit willingly to the viles of the flesh. The highest calling, reserved only for a few is the calling to become eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, exemplified by Christ Himself.  God is Love, and His love is fully and accurately demonstrated in Jesus Christ, the Lover of our souls.  Read Matt 22:29-30, “Jesus replied, ‘You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry not be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”  Jesus warns against the dominance of flesh, Jn 3:6, ‘…flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”; Jn 6:63, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing…”.  Also refer Matt 19:11-12, Rev 14:4, 1 Cor 15:15 etc.

Therefore, those who glory in the Shulammite woman, be warned!  For instance, read Isa 66:17, “Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the midst of those……… – they will meet their end together,’ declares the Lord.”

8. Martha:

Read Jn 12:2, “Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with Him.”

Of the three encounters of Jesus with the sisters Martha and Mary, Mary outclasses her sister in spiritual insight in all of the three occasions without exception. The above reference alludes to one of them.

Though churches have made a brain-washing sermon out of ‘Martha served’ to the perennial burden of the womenfolk, Jesus here honors not Martha but Mary with eternal renown (Jn 12:7).   Also refer Lk 7:44-47.   And read Lk 10:41-42, where in fact we find Jesus exhorting Martha for her obvious lack of spiritual insight, “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things.  But ONLY ONE THINGS IS NEEDED.  Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”

Contrarily, as was pointed out earlier, churches persist in glorifying and exemplifying Martha-like attitude for their womenfolk which is basically to seek the favor and praise of men.  Services like waiting hand and foot on them whether wives or fellow believers or if need be by taking up self-abasing professions (before them) like ‘nursing’ would meet their nods of approval especially if done without expecting any remuneration in return!!!   In fact there was a time when most churches had made it mandatory for women who wished to serve God to receive training in nursing and channelize their service along those lines.  Yes!  Because only that would construe a noble woman in the eyes of these self-serving shepherds!!  Read 1 Tim 5:9-10 for instance and understand the extent of their diabolical agenda:  “No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, WASHING THE FEET OF THE SAINTS, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.” 

This is the reason Jesus forewarns us about them, read Mk 12:38-40, “As He taught, Jesus said, ‘Watch out for the teachers of the law.   They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.  They DEVOUR WIDOWS’ HOUSES and for a show make lengthy prayers.  Such men will be punished most severely.’ ” 

And this is precisely the reason, as it states in Mic 2:9, quoted herewith, why these false shepherds will be held accountable for their oppression and crimes against women particularly: “You drive the women of My people from their pleasant homes.  You take away My blessing from their children forever.”  Jesus reiterates, read Matt 23:13, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces.  You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”  and Matt 23:2-4, “…..They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”

Therefore understand once and for ever the GOD-ORDAINED AND TRUE HOSPITALITY for the spiritually inclined.  It is on one hand servants of God faithfully ministering that which is entrusted to them just as Jesus exemplifies, and on the other hand children of God in turn receiving their services with genuine willingness and submission just as Mary exemplifies.  Which is why Jesus reminds, read Jn 13:20, “I tell you the truth whoever accepts anyone I send accepts Me and whoever accepts Me accepts the One who sent Me.”  

Finally, understand that 1 Pet 4:9-11 serves as the perfect guideline for hospitality among the spiritual – “Offer hospitality without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. ….”

Finally, let us understand, Martha represents those large sections of women who are “always learning but never able to acknowledge truth” (2 Tim 3:7).  Like Martha, they are eager to please and to all appearances quicker in responding.  But for all their eagerness, they lag behind in evolving spiritually.  Just as it was true of Martha.  See how her confession of faith in Jn 11:27 didn’t take long to change into a faithless confrontation with Christ shortly after (Jn 11:39).  Similarly, even though Jesus had taught her by Mary’s example (Lk 10:42) to choose the eternal, the expected transformation was hardly ever seen (Lk 10:42 vs Jn 12:2)!

May God lead you and bless you!

 

 

 

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23
Apr

I have a dream16

I have a dream

I have a dream, I dream
For all the daughters in this world
That they live the life of old dignity
When in His image they were created
To rule and subdue and be named ‘man’.
 
I have a dream, I dream
For all the daughters in this world
That they be attired in strength and dignity
With scant regard to their sexuality
And shut the mouths of dogs that call them ‘bitches’.
 
I have a dream, I dream
For all the daughters in this world
That in wisdom be richly adorned
With the garland of grace and crown of splendor
As of old, when His appraisal had found them ‘good’.
 
I have a dream, I dream
For all the daughters in this world
That they be treasures themselves
And not the breakable jars of clay
His treasured possession, His chosen inheritance
By His great love to be called His ‘Beloved’.

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