Archive for the ‘marriage’ Category

I am sometimes jealous of my Messianic Jewish friends. Many have been trained in the age’s old traditions of the Torah, Mishnah and Gemara which grants them eyes to see the gospel in a light I can only gain through hours of study. Jesus referenced these traditions in many illustrations and by gaining an understanding of the biblical history we can glean deeper insight to his message. One of the oft used traditions used in scripture is that of marriage.

Our Messiah describes the kingdom of heaven as a wedding feast (Mt. 22), the disciples referred to the church as the bride of Christ (Rev. 19:7), and the prophet Jeremiah compared Israel to a faithful bride (Jer. 2:2). The Israelites were a covenant people and, as such, their relationships were governed by legal contracts. One of those critical contracts was a marital contract called the Ketubah (meaning “her writing”).

The ketubah was much more than the marriage license we acquire today to authorize our legal unions. This contract was initiated by the groom obligating him to his bride. The legal document detailed the groom’s responsibilities to his wife including his promise to serve, support and sustain his bride and denying himself for her good. In a culture that predominately viewed women as property, the document accompanied a monetary obligation in the case of a divorce as well. The ketubah elevated the woman to a valued companion in life emphasizing the protection of the wife and her welfare in the Jewish community.

Today the contracts are still written in Aramaic and elaborately decorated on high quality parchment. The ketubah is signed by the groom and two witnesses and preserved by the bride. Tradition held that the bride remained in her father’s house for one year until the wedding, but they were considered man and wife at the signing of the contract. The bride had no conditions or obligations in the contract, but received and held her husband’s commitment as a gift. She only need remain pure until the designated marriage feast at which time the groom would arrive to gather his bride to himself.

There are many parallels we can draw from the ketubah to the gospel message. God’s salvation is granted to believers through no action of the receiver. It is a free gift of grace through faith for those who believe and are betrothed to the bridegroom. Our purity is evidence of our love for Christ. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Rom. 12:1) Believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit until the Day of the Lord when Christ gathers the church to himself as He promised. As one who is betrothed to Christ, the church is set apart for the bridegroom to work together to fulfill the law of Christ, the law of love.

The covenant of marriage is a beautiful model of God’s redemption for a depraved and lost world. Holy matrimony to this day sets apart a man and a woman to fulfill their purpose on earth together as one.  And now, we await eagerly for the return of the Bridegroom. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Luke 13:34-35)

The doctrine of the Mormon god was developed by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and other Mormon prophets through “revelations” that blatantly contradict the Orthodox teachings of a Triune God of the Bible. The Mormon scriptures Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price reveal a polytheistic system of gods who procreate spirit children clothed in human bodies on different planets.1 This infinite regress of gods are born spirit beings who later become human beings including Elohim the god of this planet. The Mormon belief of God the Father denies that God is spirit and purports that he is an exalted man.

While all spirit children of the “Eternal Father” have a beginning as the offspring of an “Eternal Mother,” they have no end. There exists no first cause for the infinite regress of gods that began as offspring—an obvious contradiction. Mormon Elder Milton Hunter is quoted, “Mormon prophets have continuously taught the sublime truth that God the Eternal Father was once a mortal man who passed through a school of earth life similar to that through which we are now passing. He became God—an exalted being—through obedience to the same eternal Gospel truths that we are given opportunity today to obey.”2 The Mormon doctrine that God the Father is a mere man denies His omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. If God the Father is a mere man, what does that make Jesus?

According to Mormon teaching Jesus is the Father and the Son. Mosiah 7:27 states, “And because he said unto them that Christ was the God, the Father of all things, and said that he should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth—” Not only is the Father and Son the same, but the Son was conceived through the blasphemous means of sexual intercourse of the Father with Mary, although it was a virgin birth. If that is not confusing enough, Brigham Young taught that Adam (Eternal Father) and Eve (Eternal Mother) helped to make and organize the world. Young wrote, “He (Adam) is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! About whom holy men have written and spoken—He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do.”3

The pluralistic Mormon Jesus is 1) God the Father, 2) Adam, and 3) the archangel Michael. However, Jesus is ultimately just another spirit child who is a resurrected and glorified man not the Savior of the world. In fact, salvation is not by grace through faith in Jesus Christ as Mormon propaganda would have us believe, but eternal life is achieved by works. Joseph Smith educated his followers on how to achieve eternal life in his Journal of Discourse.

You have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves; to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you—namely, by going from a small degree to another, from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you are able to sit in glory as doth those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.4 

If God the Father is man, and God the Son is man, then what do Mormons believe about God the Holy Spirit?

The Mormon doctrine of the Holy Spirit is perhaps their most egregious display of contradictory theology. On the one hand, Mormons attempt to emulate Orthodox Christianity in describing the Holy Spirit as the third personage of the Godhead as Joseph Smith instructs in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 130:22. “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.”5 While on the other hand, Elder James Talmage in The Articles of Faith of 1952 denies the immaterial.

Admitting the personality of God, we are compelled to accept the fact of His materiality; indeed, an “immaterial” being, under which meaningless name some have sought to designate the condition of God, cannot exist, for the very expression is a contradiction in terms. If God possesses a form, that form is of necessity of definite proportions and therefore of limited extension in space. It is impossible for Him to occupy at one time more than one space of such limits . . .6

Mormon theology is confronted with the task of supporting its doctrine with Scripture in order to conform with Orthodox Christian teaching, but in the process emerges as a self-contradictory polytheistic anomaly of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. The Mormon god is a plurality of an Adam god, a spirit child called Jesus, an Eternal Father Elohim, the Archangel Michael, and an immaterial material Holy Ghost, neither of which are omniscient, omnipresent, nor omnipotent. The semantic gymnastics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fail to affirm Mormonism as a Christian religion, but instead reveals obvious deviations from Orthodox Christian teaching.

1. Ron Rhodes, The Challenge of the Cults and New Religions (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2001), 51.

2. Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publisher, 2003), 237.

3. Ibid., 236.

4. Ibid., 236.

5. Ibid., 237.

6. The Official Scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2008. Doctrine and Covenants [database online], accessed on December 4, 2008 available from http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/130/21-22#21.

7. Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publisher, 2003), 242.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1315406&dest=-1]

A German Lady Remembers and Speaks
Lori Kalner

In Germany, when Hitler came to power, it was a time of terrible financial depression. Money was worth nothing.

In Germany people lost homes and jobs, just like in the American Depression in the 1930s, which we have read about in Thoene’s Shiloh books.

In those days, in my homeland, Adolph Hitler was elected to power by promising “Change.”

He blamed the “Zionists” around the world for all our problems. He told everyone it was greedy Zionist Bankers who had caused every problem we had. He promised when he was leader, the greedy Zionist bankers would be punished. The Zionists, he promised, would be wiped off the face of the earth. So Hitler was elected to power by only 1/3 the popular vote.

A coalition of other political parties in parliament made him supreme leader. Then, when he was leader, he disgraced and expelled everyone in parliament who did not go along with him.

Yes. Change came to my homeland as the new leader promised it would.
The teachers in German schools began to teach the children to sing songs in praise of Hitler.

This was the beginning of the Hitler Youth movement. It began with praise of the Fuhrer’s programs on the lips of innocent children.
Hymns in praise of Hitler and his programs were being sung in the schoolrooms and in the playyard.

Little girls and boys joined hands and sang these songs as they walked home from school.

My brother came home and told Papa what was happening at school. The political hymns of children proclaimed Change was coming to our homeland and the Fuhrer was a leader we could trust.

I will never forget my father’s face. Grief and fear. He knew that the best propaganda of the Nazis was song on the lips of little children.

That evening before he said grace at the dinner table, he placed his hands upon the heads of my brothers and me and prayed the Living Word upon us from Jeremiah 1:4-5.

‘Now the Word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I
consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to The nations.”

Soon the children’s songs praising the Fuhrer were heard everywhere on the streets and over the radio. “With our Fuhrer to lead us, we can do it! We can change the world!”

Soon after that Papa, a pastor, was turned away from visiting elderly parishioners in hospitals. The people he had come to bring comfort of God’s Word, were “no longer there.”

Where had they vanished to while under nationalized health care? It became an open secret.

The elderly and sick began to disappear from hospitals feet first as “mercy killing” became the policy.

Children with disabilities and those who had Down syndrome were euthanized.

People whispered, “Maybe it is better for them now. Put them out of misery. They are no longer suffering.And, of course, their death is better for the treasury of our nation. Our taxes no longer must be spent to care for such a burden.” And so murder was called mercy.

The government took over private business. Industry and health care were “nationalized.” (NA-ZI means National Socialist Party)

The businesses of all Jews were seized. (Perhaps you remember our story in Berlin on Krystalnacht in the book Munich Signature)

The world and God’s word were turned upside down. Hitler promised the people economic Change?
Not change. It was, rather, Lucifer’s very ancient Delusion leading to Destruction.

What began with the propaganda of children singing a catchy tune ended in the deaths of millions of children.

The reality of what came upon us is so horrible that you in this present generation cannot imagine it. Our suffering is too great to ever tell in a book or show in a black and white newsreel.

When I spoke to Bodie about some of these things, she wept and said she could not bear to write them.

Perhaps one day she will, but I asked her, “who could bear to read our suffering?” Yet with my last breaths I warn every Christian and Jew now in the name of the Lord, Unless your course of the church in America is spiritually changed now, returning to the Lord, there are new horrors yet to come.

I trembled last night when I heard the voices of American children raised in song, praising the name of Obama, the charismatic fellow who claims he is the American Messiah. Yet I have heard what this man Obama says about abortion and the “mercy killing” of tiny babies who are not wanted.

There are so few of us left to warn you.

I have heard that there are 69 million Catholics in America and 70 million Evangelical Christians.

Where are your voices? Where is your outrage? Where is passion and your vote?

Do you vote based on an abortionist’s empty promises and economics?
Or do you vote according to the Bible?

Thus says the Lord about every living child still in the womb.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.”

I have experienced the signs of the politics of Death in my youth. I see them again now.
Christians! Unless you stand up now, you will lose your freedom of religion.

In America priests and preachers have already lost their freedom to speak openly from their pulpits of moral danger in political candidates.

They cannot legally instruct you of which candidate holds fast to the precepts of scripture!
American law forbids this freedom of speech to conservative pastors or they will lose their “tax exempt” status.

And yet I have heard the words of Obama’s pastor Damning America!
I have heard the words of Obama damning and mocking all of you in small towns because you “Cling to your religion.”

But I am a woman whose name is unknown. My life is recorded as a work of fiction.
I have no fear of reprisal when I speak truth to you from the pages of a book.
(Though the Zion Covenant books are mocked and condemned by the Left in America.)

I am an old woman and will soon go to be with my Lord.
I have no fear for myself, but for all of you and for your children, I tremble.

I tremble at the hymns to a political leaders which your children will sing at school.
(Though even now a hymn or a prayer to God and our Lord Jesus is against the law in public school!)

Your vote must put a stop to what will come upon America if Barrack Obama is elected.
I pray you will personally heed this warning for the sake of your children and your grandchildren. Do not be deceived.

The Lord in Jeremiah 1:7-8 commands every believer to speak up!

“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth,’ for to all whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them for I am with you, declares the Lord!”

I am in Prayer for you, and for the Church!
Spoken to you in the authority of Jesus the Christ,
the Name Above All Names,
Lori Kalner

Many people claim that morality cannot be legislated.  However, all laws legislate morality, this is unavoidable. The question is whose morality should be legislated. The case will be made that legislating morality is Constitutional, it is enforceable and it is ethical.

Legislating morality is Constitutional. All laws determine one behavior right and its opposite wrong. All just laws uphold a moral standard. It is the responsibility of government to impose just laws to ensure a safe and civilized society. Our Constitution sets the standard for a national morality. As we author laws today we should use the same standard.

Legislating morality is enforceable. Whether a law is easily enforced does not determine morality. People who argue this point say, “you can’t legislate morality, look at prohibition.” But prohibition was more successful than most people think. Domentic problems due to alcohol plummeted during this time in American history. This case of over-legislation does not prove that we should not legislate moral views. We legislate against other things that are hard to enforce like murder and child abuse because those behaviors are wrong. To say people will do it anyway misses the point of legislating morality. We should not withdraw laws against these behaviors because they are not easy to enforce. Ease of enforcement does not determine morality.

Legislating morality is ethical. First, our American forefathers determined that we cannot establish a national religion, but requires that we establish a national morality. Secondly, all just laws uphold a moral absolute. Even people who argue against this point use it. All laws legislate morality, this is not only unavoidable, it is ethical. It is the responsibility of government to establish a just morality to ensure a safe and civilized society.

Objections:

You can’t legislate morality, just look at prohibition. 

Prohibition was more successful than most people realize. The 18th Amendment was ratified due to concern about a morally reprehensible behavior endangering our health and safety. Due to prohibition most people obeyed the law and family crisis due to alcoholism dropped, admissions to mental hospitals due to alcoholism diminished and health problems and death due to alcohol dropped. The law acts as a good teacher regulating behavior. We still regulate alcohol today with age restrictions and consumption laws. This case of over legislation does not prove that moral views should not be legislated.

You can’t make people be good.

No, but most people obey the law which is good. The law acts as a teacher restricting and regulating behavior and most people do obey the law. For instance, if all the speed limit signs were removed tomorrow, most people would continue obeying at the previously posted speed limits because they have been trained to drive at a safe speed. Obedience ensures a good and safe society.

It’s a violation of the separation of church and state.

Our Constitution disallows establishing a national religion, but sets the standard for a national morality. Our American forefathers ensured that religion would be free from regulation, not that the government would be free from religion. Twenty-seven of them went to seminary so naturally their Christian worldview influenced the construction of our federal laws. Our government even funded missionaries. If we could not legislate against laws that are consistent with religious laws we could not legislate murder, rape or incest, etc. Our religious laws and our national laws are similar because the source of our morality is the same. James Madison wanted to ensure that we would be free to worship as we chose. The current interpretation of the law did not formalize until 1947 with Everson vs. the Board of Education. Jefferson’s letter to Danbury stating his desire for a impregnable wall of separation between the church and the state was taken out of context. He wanted to protect the church from the government not the other way around.

You ought not impose your morals on me!

All laws impose someone’s morality on someone else. Even someone arguing this point is imposing their morality. All just laws uphold a self-evident moral standard – our morality, not just mine or yours. Don’t confuse “what ought” with “what is.” Laws are prescriptive telling us the  way we ought to behave, not descriptive. To legislate laws that uphold a moral standard is not only unavoidable it is ethical to ensure a safe and civilized society.

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever crawled through a wilderness, chained by the weight of the past?  Have you ever been thirsty for something more than this menial existence has provided?  Do the wounds from your journey throb with each tedious step that you take? 

 

 

Jeremiah 2:13 says,” My people have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” 

 

There is a spring of living water found in Jesus Christ.  In Him you will find all that you’ve ever longed for.  In Him the aching in your heart will be stilled, and you will know the fulfillment of your dreams.  Yet, how often do we turn to dig our own cisterns with the belief that they will quench our thirst, heal our scars, and fill our emptiness. 

Perhaps it’s the cistern of money, offering security and pleasure.  Or maybe you’ve dug a reservoir within yourself, meant to hold knowledge and independence.  Still, there is the constant lure to hewn for sufficiency in the strength of others.  These are all splintered promises and cracked dreams, holding only a façade of joy. 

Nevertheless, we toil without ceasing, trying to keep the walls from crashing in around us.  We lie awake at night, disappointed and broken; wondering what went wrong.  While we strive and struggle, the spring of hope continues its peaceful surge, waiting for us to come and drink. 

So, here before you stands a choice.  Which will you choose:  life or death, fulfillment or emptiness?  A shattered vessel will never fill the longing of your heart, but the sweet taste of the Savior’s love will quench your thirst forever.

 

Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians records the gospel as it was preached by the early church. Some estimates have placed this creed to 6 A.D., the year that Christ is thought to have been crucified. This is the same gospel that Christians today profess belief in.

 

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

 

You may still have questions. Could all this be true? Does a theistic God exist? What about the Bible, it’s so old how can it be relevant or even true? I encourage you to post your questions here. What do you have to lose? You just might find what you’re looking for—answers to the meaning of life.