Evangelising the Jew; Division in the Church

The Word of God was first given to YHVH’s chosen people Israel as the custodians of the Holy Scriptures. In view of this fact, when witnessing to a Jew concerning the prophesies of the coming Messiah contained in the Tanakh, the canon of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), how would one be able to show the birth of Yeshua haMeshiach, our Lord Jesus Christ, from the Old Testament text that He has already been born into this world and fulfilled His first advent as the Messiah?

If a Gentile is to witness to a Jew, surely the Gentile must be able to give empirical evidence from the Holy Scriptures, the Hebrew Tanakh, confirming the nativity of the Messiah in fulfilment of the prophesies contained in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Micah 5:2 as reflected in the Old Testament of the Bible. If a Gentile will point to the Old Testament Scriptures, evidence must be provided or the Jew will never believe that the Messiah has already come in the person of Yeshua haMeshiach (Jesus Christ), for at every Passover the Jews are still awaiting the arrival of Elijah to announce the arrival of Messiah.

If a Gentile refers to the Scriptures and then refers to the “fact” that born-again Messianic Jews and Gentiles celebrate the nativity of Messiah (Christ) on December 25th, the Jew will refute the date as evidence that He was born into this world as the Messiah, due to the Tanakh not confirming this date as one of the Hebrew festivals contained in Leviticus 23 and Deuteronomy 16:16. If this date cannot be found to be true whilst evangelising God’s chosen people Israel, “for salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22c), then how can it be “true” to the Gentile who holds to the freedom of “celebrating Christ’s birth on December 25th”?  To win a Jew to his Messiah, the Gentile, with the help of the Holy Spirit, must be able to prove the Messiah’s coming in fulfilment of His nativity, for how else would Messiah come in fulfilment of the prophets and the law? If a Gentile cannot prove the nativity / first coming of the Messiah and the prophesies of Messiah’s death, burial and resurrection (Isaiah 53) from the Tanakh then it would be best to remain silent than try convince a Hebrew Jew to follow a man made tradition and custom (December 25th). One cannot have it many ways as the Hebrew Scriptures is the basis of our Judeo-Christian faith.

During a morning time before our LORD, the following was brought to my attention. Whilst reading through 2 Kings 13 and 14 I went back to 1 Kings 12 to recall the sin that Jeroboam did that brought sins continually against Israel. We know that the nation of Israel was divided when Rehoboam went to Shechem for all Israel had come to make him king. It came to pass that Jeroboam the son of Nebat returned from Egypt where he fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam came with all the congregation of Israel and spoke to Rehoboam saying,

4  Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee. 
5  And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed. 
6  And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people? 
7  And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever. 
8  But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him: 
9  And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?
10  And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins.
11  And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
12  So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day.
13  And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him;
14  And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
15  Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16  So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents. ~ 1 Kings 12:4-16

We then read that all Israel rebelled against the house of David and when Jeroboam had come they sent and called him to the congregation and made him king over all of Israel. There was a division that was created that only the tribe of Judah followed the house of David – the lineage through which our Saviour Jesus Christ would be born. Rehoboam came to Jerusalem and assembled all the house of Judah with the tribe of Benjamin to fight against the house of Israel to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah.

God then intervened when God sent His messenger Shemaiah the man of God, saying,

23  Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying,
24  Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the word of the LORD. ~ 1 Kings 12:23,24

Rehoboam hearkened unto the LORD and did not go to war with Jeroboam and the house of Israel. Jeroboam was afraid that Israel would return to the house of David by going up to the house of the LORD and sacrifice at Jerusalem, so he also feared that if Israel returned to king Rehoboam they would kill him. Therefore, Jeroboam did the following wicked thing:

28  Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
29  And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. 
30  And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. ~ 1 Kings 12:28-30

Jeroboam, king of Israel, caused the kingdom of Israel to sin by committing idolatry against God. What we see here is a division of the nation Israel – the majority of the tribes, ten in all, followed their king Jeroboam, while the remnant tribes – Judah and Benjamin – followed their king Rehoboam, of the house of David. This is a reflection of the Church of today where there is a majority of “believers” following after a pervert faith and idolatry (those on the broad way), whilst the remnant believers (those on the narrow way) are Abraham’s seed through the house of David who belong to The Seed – Yeshua haMeshiach (Jesus Christ). There is a division that exists between those who hold to the Holy Scriptures and those who hold to, and even side with, man’s traditions and customs. We also see that every generation of kings that followed in the kingdom of Israel, evil would not depart from Jeroboam and Israel for they were involved in idolatry, but yet God’s “servant David kept His commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes” (see 1 Kings 14:7-13).

Throughout every generation in the kingdom of Israel, it followed:

16  And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin. ~ 1 Kings 14:16

The kings of Israel that followed did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin. Yet the kings of the remnant tribes of the house of David were blessed.  God also sent a deliverer to Israel, and yet He too sends the Saviour to the Church that holds to idolatry (Jesus calls the Churches to Repent in Revelation 2 and 3).

So which kingdom are you following after? The idolatrise kingdom that continually sins against God? Or the remnant of the house of David as God’s servant David who kept His commandments, and who followed God with all his heart, to do that only which was right in God’s eyes? Truth is objective and absolute and cannot change. Therefore, two conflicting "truths" cannot both be true, for example “Tishri 15” (September/October) and “December 25.” In John 14:6 ~

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

And as Jesus is the Truth He alters not, for Hebrews 13:8 reads ~

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Therefore, Jesus Christ being the living Word can not contradict in two apparent “truths” and as disciples of Christ are to be sanctified by God through His Truth, for His Word is Truth (see John 17:17) we are to live and obey the Word of God and not man’s traditions and customs. In Hebrews 1:2 we are told that God “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,” Who is God manifest in flesh (see 1 Timothy 3:16). Therefore, the final authority of God’s Word comes from the Son, and we are therefore to adhere to His Word and commandments.

In another parallel of the division within the Church, in 1 Kings 18 we read the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. We read that Ahab brings an accusation against Elijah asking him if he is the one that is troubling Israel. Elijah then corrects Ahab and says that he has not troubled Israel, but it is rather Ahab and his father’s house, for they have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and have followed after Baalim. We then read that Ahab is commanded to bring all Israel and the prophets of Baal (450) and the prophets of the groves (400) which eat at Jezebel’s table. And so Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel and gathered the prophets – all 850 of them – unto mount Carmel. And this was Elijah’s address to them ~

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. ~ 1 Kings 18:21

That is exactly the situation and issues of today’s “Churchianity” and “Christianity”. The people in the majority, just as in the days of the divided kingdom, those following after Jeroboam and his sins (idolatry) that he caused Israel to sin are those that will hold to their Baal worship – that which God has not commanded. There is a division within “Christendom” which is so prevalent over the month of December when the pagan feast day comes around, and we are not speaking about the lost, but by what we perceive to be “Biblically sound brethren” who hold to a “truth” that cannot be proved from Scripture. If Scripture is silent on an issue how can it be proved to be true? If Scripture speaks on an issue it can be proven as Truth. We come back to that statement made earlier:

Truth is objective and absolute and cannot change. Therefore, two conflicting "truths" cannot both be true, for example “Tishri 15” (September/October) and “December 25.”

Can the Holy Spirit regard both conflicting “truths” to be true? Obviously the answer is NO! So one must be true and the other a lie. We are also reminded in Scripture let God be true, but every man a liar (see Romans 3:4), and Jesus warned that the devil is the father of lies and that no truth is in the devil for when he speaks lies he speaks of his own for he is a liar and the father of it (see John 8:44). In Jeremiah we hear the prophet speaking the Word of God, warning ~

9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. ~ Jeremiah 17:9,10

God gave Israel what they deserved (the fruit of their doings) due to the sins of Jeroboam that caused Israel to sin, and judgment came upon the 850 Baal idol worshippers, and judgment will also come upon professing believers who have chosen idolatry in the name of “Christendom” that is an abomination in the sight of YEHOVAH (YHVH).

The Apostle Paul addressed the exact same issues with the Galatian churches where there was a perversion of the gospel being preached and also to the Corinth church where there were divisions amongst believers as we read:

9  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11  For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? ~ 1 Corinthians 1:9-13

We are encouraged, commanded by way of imperatives, to be in UNITY – to “all speak the same thing”, “and that there be no divisions among you”, and to “be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” We are to have one mind and one mouth to glorify God (see Romans 15:6) for we have the mind of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 2:16). In 1 Corinthians 1:12,13 we see that in Corinth, just as in our present day, the “believers” were following after various men and due to disunity the question is asked – Is Christ divided? Do not think that just because you said a prayer you are now saved and grace will keep you from the wrath of God that will condemn you to Hell? This is a walk with God in His holiness and His righteousness that requires that “he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13) and we are to “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Hebrews 12:14). If there is no peace and holiness then the alternative exists: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1 Samuel 15:23).

The Body of Jesus Christ – the ekklesia (called out ones) – will speak the same thing and will have no divisions where they are perfectly joined together in the same mind and same judgment. Judgment is to start at the house of God, as we read:

17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? ~ 1 Peter 4:17

So, will you be able to faithfully witness to a Jew and a Gentile in Truth presenting the True Gospel? Or will the “Church” remain divided just as the devil would want it to be?

Soli Deo Gloria!

The Christmas Truce ~ 100 Years Ago

With regards to the article here-under titled "The Christmas Truce – 100 Years Ago" (1914-2014), although it was "Christmas" we do not have concrete evidence that the truce was conducted all by Christians, just as "Christmas" is celebrated by mostly the heathen world in 2014 in a carnal fashion so too the act on the Western Front in 1914 could have been an act of humanism and universalism. If it was truly a Christian movement across the whole Western Front that had Christians on both sides, why were there hundreds of thousands of deaths prior to Christmas of 1914 where men going to war had a measure of hatred for their enemies in their hearts? The ultimate result was that the truce of Christmas 1914 was a goodwill action by a small percentage of soldiers from both sides, but ultimately the wickedness of men’s hearts were manifest as the war continued for almost a further four years with a total of 38,880,500 military casualties – i.e. killed in action, wounded in action and missing in action – excluding civilian casualties, from 1914 to 1918. It is also reported that the total deaths amounted to between 9 million and 15 million! [http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I]

Yes, I guess I understand now – men remain wicked even after an act of goodwill –

9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. ~ Jeremiah 17:9,10

THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE ~ 100 YEARS AGO

The Christmas Truce - 100 Years Ago On Christmas Eve 1914, a spontaneous cease-fire was observed across the whole of the Western Front. The Christmas Truce of the First World War, a singular event unprecedented in the history of warfare, initially received widespread media coverage in the New York Times of 31 December 1914, followed by British newspapers, such as the Mirror, The Illustrated London News and the Times, which printed front page photographs of British and German troops mingling and singing Christmas carols. – Read the entire article at: ReformationSA.org

Kirk Cameron’s “Saving Christmas” Film

It is with unhappiness and much sadness that I write this article as it relates to two men I came to respect and love in the ministry and had the privilege of meeting, labouring with and being instructed in the ways of open-air preaching and sharing the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. By the providence of our Great God and Saviour I was able to leave the shores of Africa and visit the United States of America in June 2008 and briefly attend the Ambassadors’ Academy 3, a ministry of Living Waters, under the leadership of the two brothers in the faith, namely Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron of The Way of the Master ministry.

Saving Xmas

Just recently I viewed Kirk Cameron’s Facebook page where he had been promoting his “Saving Christmas” film as depicted here-above. I had been made aware of this film through an article that appeared at Christian News Network where it is surprisingly quoted:

Was Santa Claus a Christian? A ‘defender of the faith’? Is this reason to sit on the lap of the bearded man at the mall who “knows if you’ve been naughty or nice”? That is what Kirk Cameron is claiming as proof why Christians should celebrate Christmas in a new documentary that opens this Friday [November 14, 2014] in theatres across the country—an assertion that is raising concerns over Cameron’s confusion of Roman Catholicism with Christianity.

Cameron, best known for his role as Mike Seaver on the 80’s TV sitcom “Growing Pains” and films such as “Fireproof” and “Left Behind,” has been promoting his new film “Saving Christmas,” in which the actor seeks to “keep Christ in Christmas,” stating that some holiday traditions aren’t so bad or pagan after all.

Saint Nicholas, as painted on the Kizhi monastery in Russia. After recently asserting that Christians should celebrate Halloween, in a video clip released last week entitled “Do You Love Santa Claus,” Cameron stated that “maybe someone like Santa Claus is actually on our team.” He then released a second video providing the history of the figure of Santa Claus, who was actually the Roman Catholic Bishop Nicholas of Myra, Turkey under Pope Sylvester I.

“He was a devout Christian,” Cameron states, but not noting Nicholas’ Roman Catholic faith. Read more Here (Full Report)

Another Christian News Network article that should be read appears at this link: ‘Maybe the Grinch Had a Point’: Kirk Cameron’s ‘Saving Christmas’ Won’t Be Saved From Critics.

Whilst I have personally not viewed the film, and will not be viewing the same in its entirety, I have watched the trailer and read some reviews on it, and have also seen the comments on Kirk Cameron’s Facebook page – for the film vs. against the film; pro-Christmas vs. anti-Christmas; man’s pagan traditions vs. Biblical Historical Truth. It all makes for interesting reading, but there can be only one Truth. Just as our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said:

31  . . . If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
36  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. ~ John 8:31,32 & 36

Birth of Christ This is the saddest part of this blog posting. I had placed a comment on Kirk’s Facebook wall, including the birth chart to the left (click on it to enlarge in another tab), and my comment was deleted. You read right – D E L E T E D. It appears that when one confronts error with the literal Biblical Historical Truth you are summarily deleted and not allowed to “play in the play-group.” I am saddened and really disappointed by how professing Christians can censure Christians if they do not agree with their world view! It goes much deeper than that as it is a matter of Truth vs. error and those in error do not want to listen! Well argue with the Word of God then. When one reads the Holy Scriptures, are you able to find “Christmas Day” mentioned in YHVH’s Holy Feast Days in Leviticus 23? Or maybe it was instituted in the New Testament and I have just missed the Chapter and Verse! No, you can’t find it, because it doesn’t exist.

Surprisingly an initial comment with the chart also appears to have mysteriously disappeared on Ray Comfort’s Facebook wall, and this before I reposted three more comments randomly! It is also very surprisingly that Kirk Cameron who is attempting to evangelise the masses has also changed his comment settings and you have to “possibly like” his page before you can comment thereon; or is the comment feature only not available to me? Well, getting back to the initial comment on Kirk’s page which went something along these lines, not verbatim as the original one was deleted:

Christian, please read your Holy Bible and you will find out that Yeshua, our Lord Jesus Christ, was born on 15 Tishri (September/October) at the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) and He was born in a Sukkot (Booth) and not a stable/cave. If you know what to look for start reading: Luke 1 and 2; 1 Chronicles 24:10; Leviticus 23:33-44; Deuteronomy 16:16; and many other Scriptures.

To help with the Scriptures quoted here-above please view the afore-stated Birth of Christ Chart together with the following powerpoint presentation: The Nativity of Yeshua HaMeshiach.

Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron receive literally thousands upon thousands of “hits/likes/shares/comments” on their Facebook accounts and it is mostly by idolising Christian folk. If a message is being proclaimed please make sure it is without error. In the past I too fell into the trap of “idolising” men such as Comfort and MacArthur, and I had to REPENT before God for being so caught up in men’s ministries in idolatry instead of listening to the leading Holy Spirit and walking with God. Don’t say it will never happen to you. For many of you it has already happened and you can’t see the woods for the trees!

The only conclusion I can arrive at is that the literal Biblical Historical Truth that I presented showed up the errors in Kirk Cameron’s “Saving Christmas.” My plea to ALL reading this is: Stop trying to put the Lord Jesus Christ into something He was never in to start off with! Do you think the “Christmas” practices that are undertaken every year were at His birth? Was there a Xmas tree and all the tinsel and trappings in the sukkot Yeshua, our Lord Jesus Christ was born in? Or do you think there is a Xmas tree in heaven before the throne of God Almighty every year to celebrate His Son’s birth? Obviously the first century believers never celebrated this way so why should you/we do so now? YES – certainly preach the Gospel at every opportunity including on December 25, but don’t be pagan like the rest of the heathen world. You can do so separated from the worldly system (see James 4:4). You are to be in the world, but not of the world, as it is written:

15  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
~ John 17:15-17

We are commanded to have unity in the Christian faith. Unfortunately we don’t see unity, but rather divisions. As it is written:

9  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11  For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? ~ 1 Corinthians 1:9-13

3  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. ~ Ephesians 4:3-6

14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: ~ Ephesians 4:14,15

Christ Jesus made it abundantly clear how we are to remember Him. It is recorded what we are to do in remembrance of Him until He returns for His spotless, unified Bride:

23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; read with Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19,20. [my emphasis]

Maybe Chris Williams, movie reviewer for the Advisor and Source in Michigan has it right. At the second Christian News Network report above, quote: “Williams said that in the end, “Kirk Cameron hasn’t made a movie for Christians. He’s made a movie for Kirk Cameron.””  I would have thought Kirk would contend for the faith and would have told the literal Biblical Historical Truth and stood as a light in this dark wicked world, and “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). We read further in Romans 13:12  “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). The “Saving Christmas” film is not reproving the unfruitful works of darkness, but encouraging them. If this is so, then brother Kirk Cameron in sincere love I call you to repentance.

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

_______________

P.S. This blog posting will be placed on my Facebook wall and Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron will be tagged accordingly.

15 Tishri ~ You Can Know the True Day of the Lord Jesus Christ’s Birth

We can truly know the correct day of the nativity of the God-man our Lord Jesus Christ, if Christians who hold to Sola Scriptura and who live by every Word of God will only read and trust the Scriptures as they say they always do.

Those who say they celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ on December 25 each year should go back and examine, study and search out the Scriptures that speak of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who exegete the Scriptures and know much historical accounts of the Word of God, choose to reject the historical evidence presented in God’s Word. To say God reveals every other detail of His story, but remains silent on the incarnation – the birth – of His only begotten Son is to be downright naive. The only possible reason that this might be the mindset of many Christians is that they do not wish to surrender their desire for the heathen day with all its pagan traditions. Too many people – family, friends, children and grandchildren are going to be affected by this change in their life. If there is no change, is this not going to be a compromising of the Word of God?

What we should realise is that daily Christians should be thankful for God coming to this world in the Person of His Son in order to redeem sinners to Himself. I do not think that any Christian denies the birth of our Saviour. It is just a matter of understanding when our Saviour was born into this world. In order to find out we should understand that our Lord Jesus Christ was born into this world still under the Jewish Levitical system and every detail revealed in Luke chapters 1 and 2 are of pertinent importance. Every Word is God breathed and has a real reason why God has revealed it in Scripture for our instruction and teaching and His clear revelation.

At any given time, we have at some time dealt with and made the complex calculations of the Daniel prophecy dealing with the 70th Week, without any problems it would seem, but when it comes to making the calculations surrounding the birth of our Saviour, Christians who are “Daniel experts” have found it a problem to tie up the information given to us to calculate the time of Christ’s birth, even saying we cannot be sure of His birth, but yet how can you then be sure of the complex Daniel prophecy? Is it not a choice to want to speak with authority on the Daniel prophecy, but neglect the birth of the Saviour out of a choice to be wilful ignorant holding to the “Christmas” tradition of man? Whilst some might look into dictionaries to find the meaning of “Christmas” or the “mas” portion of the word, we should in fact look to the very Word of God, examining the law and prophets, the historical events and the translations from the original Hebrew and Greek autographs, if possible. This will reveal the Truth; but we have the added benefit of Bible helps by being able to look into lexicons and concordances without being experts in the Hebrew and Greek tongues.

The Gospel of Luke is the foundation from where we can start our study leading to the calculation of when our Lord Jesus Christ was born. To start from the course of Abia (Abijah) cross referencing the Holy Scriptures to see that it was the eighth course according to 1 Chronicles 24:10 and that the Hebrew calendar was a 360-day lunar calendar that had 51 weeks (357 days) and that due to the priests appearing twice in the year according to the 24 courses of 1 Chronicles 24 plus the three festivals when all the males had to appear before the Lord in accordance with Deuteronomy 16:16, “in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles,” we end up with 51 weeks = one year. We also know that the feast of unleavened bread was on the fifteenth Nisan (Leviticus 23:5-8) and the feast of weeks (Shavuot/Pentecost – Leviticus 23:15,16) appear in the early part of the year, therefore the course of Abia (Abijah) would be in effect week ten (2+8) and the feast of tabernacles (Booths – Leviticus 23:33-43) would appear in the Hebrew seventh month starting fifteenth Tishri (i.e. September/October). We learn that after an angel appears to Zacharias in the temple confirming that his wife Elizabeth would conceive and the child to be born would be named John (the Baptist) (see Luke 1:13) we are also told that John would be a forerunner to the Messiah who “shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias” (Elijah) (see Luke 1:17). We are then told that:

Luke 1:23  And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. Luke 1:24  And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Luke 1:25  Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men. Luke 1:26  And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, Luke 1:27  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

So Elizabeth conceived, possibly after her monthly menstruation in accordance with Leviticus 15:19,25 which was after two weeks to comply with the purity laws which would then bring the conception of John to be in or about the 12th week of the year. If John was then born about thirty-nine weeks (nine months) later then John’s birth would take place at the Passover during or just after the fifty-first week (12+39=51). Also remember that Elizabeth’s cousin Mary also conceived in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. In Luke 1:31-36 we read:

Luke 1:31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. Luke 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: Luke 1:33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Luke 1:34  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? Luke 1:35  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:36  And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

Therefore, from these calculations that there is a six month gap between the conception of John and the conception of our Lord Jesus Christ we know that six months would take us from the Hebrew month of Nisan (March/April) to the Hebrew month of Tishri (September/October). Therefore, if John the Baptist was born at the Passover (Nisan), the Son of Man Jesus Christ was born six months later at the feast of tabernacles (Tishri). But how do we confirm these two dates. Well we need to look at what Scripture tells us. Let God speak to confirm His mandate and revelation.

In Jewish tradition of celebrating the Passover here is an extensive quote from a book penned by writer titled The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ which reads as follows:

The Jewish tradition during the Passover feast has a chair left open and a wine goblet set at Elijah’s place at the seder table each year awaiting his arrival.

The word seder is:

Hebrew for “set order”; the ritual Passover meal that is observed in specific order. (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, page 10 under definitions)

A quote from the book titled Christ in the Passover will also set out the setting of a traditional Jewish Passover seder table:

“Also at the seder table, beside each place setting are small wine goblets – small because four times they will be filled with sweet, red Passover wine during the seder. The custom of drinking four cups dates back to ancient Temple times. The Mishnah [Hebrew for the collection of oral law that forms the basis of the Talmud; compiled by Judah ha-Nasi (c. AD 135 to 220) – page 9 under definitions] teaches that, according to two authorities, Rabbi Yohanon and Rabbi Benayah, these four cups correspond to the four verbs in Exodus 6:6-7, describing God’s redemption: I will bring you out; I will free you; I will redeem you; I will take you to be My people.

“Two of the wine goblets at the table are usually larger and more ornate than the rest. They have silver, intricate pictures of the Bible history crafted into the metal. One of these goblets sits at the head of the table for the ruler of the feast; the other occupies a prominent place at the foot of the table, before an empty chair. It awaits the lips of Elijah, who, according to Malachi 4:5, is to announce the coming of the Messiah. The prophet is the invited guest of honor at every seder, for, should he come, it would indeed be the most festive of Passovers! The Messianic hope prevails more strongly at Passover than at any other time, for Midrashic tradition says: “Nisan is the month of redemption; in Nisan Israel was redeemed from Egypt; in Nisan Israel will again be redeemed” (Exodus Rabbah 15:12 Cf. chap. 6, 64-66) (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, pages 82-83)

More will be discussed later in this book under the Passover section dealing with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, during the Passover traditions, a child goes and opens the house door to see if Elijah has “arrived”, to accept the invitation to come inside and announce the coming of the Messiah, and as he is not outside the door, tradition has it that the Jewish Passover celebrators keep his place open awaiting the “arrival” possibly next year! This goes on year after year. Now let us read what Scripture says about John the Baptist coming in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and His disciples Peter, James and John. And this is recorded in Matthew 17:10-13 ~

10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already [see Matthew 11:14], and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. [See also Mark 9:10-13 and Luke 9:33]”

We also read about the account of our Lord Jesus Christ that also confirms why He was born at the feast of tabernacles. A very important Scripture that reveals the Word of God who was with God and who was God becomes flesh and “dwelt” on the earth as we read:

John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Let us examine the word “dwelt” that appears in the Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance as Greek word 4637 skēnoō, skay-no’-o; from 4636, to tent or encamp, i.e. (figurative) to occupy (as a mansion) or (special) to reside (as God did in the tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion): – dwell. The Greek word 4636  skēnos, skay’-nos; from 4633; a hut or temporary residence, i.e. (figurative) the human body (as the abode of the spirit): – tabernacle. The first word skēnoō is the only time it appears in the New Testament. It is also a fact that when “a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed” (see Luke 2:1) took place it was at the time of the feast of tabernacles. For Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem for he was of the house and lineage of David (see Luke 2:4) and the place would have had also all the house of Israel to present themselves before the Lord in accordance with Deuteronomy 16:16 and as determined beforehand that our Lord would be born in the month of Tishri, there would have been an overcrowding where no place would be found in the inn. However, in accordance with the requirements of the feast of tabernacles, all Israelites were to dwell in booths as we read in Leviticus 23:39-43:

Lev 23:39  Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. Lev 23:40  And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. Lev 23:41  And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Lev 23:42  Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: Lev 23:43  That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

We therefore see that they stayed in a tabernacle – a booth for the duration of the feast as commanded by God, which then would dispel the notion of a stable, for the Holy Scriptures do not speak of a stable. The angels said the sign would be, as we read:

Luke 2:12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

There is nothing that dispels this sign, as in booths mangers were found. We read in the Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance the Hebrew word 5521 sukkâh, sook-kaw’: feminine of 5520; a hut or lair – booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent. A feminine singular noun meaning a booth, a thicket. This term is used for temporary shelters used to cover animals (Ge 33:17); warriors (2Sa 11:11); and the prophet Jonah (Jnh 4:5). It is used poetically to refer to the clouds (Job 36:29; Ps 18:11[12]). A specialized usage is employed for booths constructed for the fall harvest festival (Le 23:42,43). The festival was known as the chag hassukkôwth (2282), the Feast of Booths (Dt 16:13,16). This was to remind the Israelites that they lived in booths when the Lord brought them up from Egypt (Le 23:43).

The feast of the tabernacle also fits with our Lord Jesus Christ being born on the first day, being fifteenth Tishri which was a Sabbath and He would have also been circumcised on the eighth day which was also a Sabbath. See also the significance that God rescued His people out of Egypt, a type of the world, and our Lord Jesus Christ was born at the festival to rescue sinners out of the world, too. Another quote from the text of The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ reads as follows:

If Jesus was born on the first day of Sukkot, “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD” (Leviticus 23:34), then He would have been circumcised on the “eighth great day” a festival following Sukkot. Shemini Atseret (“Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly”) is a festival observed immediately after Sukkot (Tabernacles), i.e., on 22nd Tishri (i.e. the seventh month), as laid down in the Pentateuch: “On the eighth day you shall observe a holy occasion … it is a solemn gathering (Atseret); you shall not work at your occupations” (Lev. 23:36; cf. Num. 29:35). The term Atseret (lit. “concluding festival”) is also applied to the last day of Passover (Deut. 16:8) and, by the rabbis, to Shavu’Ot (RH 1:2; Shev. 1:1). This day was the original “Simchat Torah” (Rejoicing of the Law) {n. Judaism A festival celebrating the Law of Moses and the completion of the year’s cycle and subsequent new beginning, observed on the 22nd or 23rd day of Tishri (September/October) – which is now held the following day in Rabbinic Judaism. [Hebrew śimhat tôrâ, rejoicing in the Torah, Simchat Torah: śimhâ, joy (from śāmēah, to rejoice) + tôrâ, torah.]} (www.answers.com/topics/shemini-atseret).

For a moment stop and consider this, that our Lord Jesus Christ who as a growing boy would have celebrated all the feast days as His Father God Almighty had commanded in the Torah, and most specifically whilst appearing before the Lord at the feast of tabernacles, as all the males had to appear as commanded in the law, our Lord Jesus Christ would have celebrated the holy convocation of how God had delivered His people Israel out of Egypt (bondage). He most probably also heard the account from Joseph and His mother Mary of His first nativity, that He was born at one of the feast of tabernacles and He would most probably have heard how He was laid in a manger and that the shepherds had come to see this wonderful event (see Luke 2:8-14). The people present would have also known about the birth of the Saviour in and amongst them, for the shepherds – the first evangelists – went about broadcasting the news to those present (see Luke 2:15-20). As a young child, in a house, with His mother, later He would also have experienced the wise men from the east coming to worship Him and giving Him gifts (see Matthew 2:11). Our Lord Jesus Christ would have understood that He was the Saviour who was born into this world to redeem His people just as God had redeemed His people. There would have been great celebration to God in heaven by the people, whilst right in their very midst was the Saviour, the Messiah who, too, would redeem His people, Jew and Gentile, one day in the future with His own precious blood as a sacrifice and an atonement, when our Lord Jesus Christ would fulfil another feast celebration at the feast of Passover/unleavened bread. There would have been no “Christmas trees, boughs of holly or mistletoe” in His booth or any booth for that matter. There would have been no intention to celebrate as such, for God had not commanded these particular practices, and certainly there would be no fat-man with a white beard in a red-suit named Satan Claus making his rounds from booth to booth delivering gifts to those in attendance, for the attendees were celebrating and remembering their journey in the wilderness and how God delivered and kept them and lead them into the promised land. And our Lord Jesus Christ fulfiled the feast by delivering and keeping His people and leading them into heaven. Besides, the Jews would have known what the prophet Jeremiah had spoken about “Learn not the way of the heathen” (see Jeremiah 10:2).

You see, the a foregoing Scriptures and many others, confirm the true birth day of our Lord Jesus Christ. There can be no other way, for Christ knows when He was born. Therefore, how can man, Christian or heathen, say the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ was on December 25th? Why would anyone remember and celebrate the birth of God’s Son on a day He has not commanded in Old and New Testaments. In fact, it is clear that God’s Word speaks of another day in which the anointed of God took on human form, as we read:

Galatians 4:3  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: Galatians 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, Galatians 4:5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

In “the fulness of time” was at the feast of tabernacles, no other time. We are to be witnesses for Christ in this world sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we are given a command how to remember our Lord Jesus Christ, by everyday, or as often as we partake in it, “this do in remembrance of me,” as we read:

Luke 22:19  And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Luke 22:20  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

1Cor 11:23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 1Cor 11:24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 1Cor 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 1Cor 11:26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

Nelson Mandela and the Iconic man

130610Madiba46664jpgIt is with a grieved heart that we pen this article. It is day seventeen (17) since June 8, 2013, when ex-president of the Republic of South Africa Mr. Nelson Mandela was admitted to Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria for a recurring lung infection. The medical prognosis does not look good at all, in fact it looks very bleak even with all the professional medical practitioners at hand, whilst the presidential administration has also given us news that ‘Madiba’ now finds himself in a critical condition. An article that appeared in The Witness newspaper today reads: “Zuma: Madiba’s condition is critical”. Other press reports: “Zuma: Mandela remains in a critical condition” and “Presidency: Mandela in critical condition“.

Whilst the South African President Mr Jacob Zuma has called on the local and international communities to pray for Mandela, which we would understand that in this request it is for a “healthy recovery,” the question arises: How is that going to help? We need to see what God says about this!

Firstly, the tens of thousands upon thousands of religious groups, sects, cults, organisations, et al, do not all pray to the same God – NO! Not at all! This is confirmed and reflected in each of their religious practices, belief systems, ideologies and faiths that the gods of religion, to which the world over are requested to pray to, are not the One True God of Creation. ALMIGHTY GOD, YHVH, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Israel) is not the One True God that all will be praying to!

We also read of the One True God in Exodus 3:6; 6:2,3; as follows:

Exodus 3:6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

Exodus 6:2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:

Exodus 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

This is where the problem lies. God gave commandment that His creation should have no other gods before Him and that they are not to make any graven image in the likeness of things in the heaven, of things on the earth and of things under the earth, and they are not to worship and bow down to them – that would be gods in deity and idol form and image. This is the case throughout the world today with all these religious practices – idolatry prevails. It is also an abomination that not only will wicked and evil mankind adopt praying to these false gods thinking they are praying to the ecumenical ‘God’ – the TRUE God of Creation will not hear these blasphemous prayers, and in fact He will turn His ear from the babbling of the masses. Here is a clear indictment that God brings against His people when Israel did not want Him to rule them, but they wanted a king to rule them. In 1 Samuel 8:18 we read, as it is written in the Holy Scriptures which is God’s Word:

1 Samuel 8:18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

This is sadly the case what we have today where governments rule through presidents, prime ministers, monarchs, emissaries and the like, governed by man made customs, traditions, commandments, laws, statutes, edicts, acts and decrees, instead of living and abiding in the Commandments and the Way of GOD ALMIGHTY! You see, be it an individual or a people group, hear the Word of God you stiff-necked generation:

Jeremiah 7:16 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.

Jeremiah 11:14 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.

Do not be blaspheming GOD ALMIGHTY with your ecumenical debauchery, for HE will not hear your pleas in prayer. You have been warned! You have done ill in your doings in the sight of God. You think by your much speaking you will be heard. Oh foolish generation of vipers. Let HIM speak:

Micah 3:4 Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.

Secondly, you the worldly enemies of God have made Nelson Mandela an idol, an icon that has been worshipped and raised upon a pedestal, you have bowed to him and worshipped and revered him as a god. GOD ALMIGHTY has this to say to your idolatrise behaviour that not only includes the person of Nelson Mandela, but the graven images made by men’s hands fashioned out of gold, silver, stone, wood, plastic and many other materials:

2 Kings 17:8 And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.

2 Kings 17:9 And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.

2 Kings 17:10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:

2 Kings 17:11 And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger:

2 Kings 17:12 For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.

2 Kings 17:13 Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.

2 Kings 17:14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.

Thirdly, whilst prayer can be made to the One True God in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for physical healing, this can only be done through the One mediator who makes intercession between God and men by the man Christ Jesus, as we read:

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

If one does not believe in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of God and God in human form, then you are condemned already as we read, as it is written in the Holy Scriptures:

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Our prayers are to be first and foremost for the saving of the soul of a person. If God so wishes to heal a person physically according to HIS will and purpose, so be it! All Glory belongs to GOD ALMIGHTY and physical healings is not something mere mortals can demand of God. Whilst God can heal as HE pleases, we should be praying for God to grant HIS grace and save a soul. That is the greatest miracle any person can receive is receiving eternal life. As the Apostle Paul was speaking about true believers in God, we read in Romans 14:7-9 the following:

Romans 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

Romans 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.

Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

Fourthly, if all religions, differ in their theology, customs, traditions and commandments, and have rejected GOD ALMIGHTY’s way which is bringing glory to and through HIS Son Jesus the Christ, be assured GOD ALMIGHTY does not hear your feeble attempts of trying to be heard with your much speech. In the end times, which we are clearly in, the ecumenism that prevails where all the man-made religious systems of the world that are controlled by the

MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (Revelation 17:5)

the whore of Babylon the Roman Catholic ‘mother church’ can not reach God as it is idolatrise before GOD ALMIGHTY and HE will not hear you. This is what we see continually on the SABC news that the popish men of the cloth are pushing their agenda to no avail on their part. God will be glorified even in the destruction of wicked men, women and children for every knee should bow and every tongue should confess Jesus Christ as Lord to the glory of God the Father:

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Philippians 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

We, my brother Lungisa Zondi and myself (Eastern Cape Mission and South Africa: Hilary Clinton pops in for lunch), have on a few occasions tried to have an audience with Nelson Mandela to make sure he understands the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and to call him to repentance towards God and his faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, as we are still aware that he needs to repent for the ungodly laws that he promulgated as the then President of South Africa, which includes acts that allow abortion, homosexuality (same-sex marriages – The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa guarantees equal protection before the law to all citizens regardless of sexual orientation) and idolatry (religious freedom). Mr Mandela, true repentance will show a brokenness over one’s sins and a recanting of past abominations. These are three abominations that are leading citizens of South Africa straight to hell should they die before Judgment Day and ultimately into the lake of fire. You have been forewarned. Here is a further indictment against South Africa and the world community at large:

Isaiah 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

South Africa, Repent and Believe upon our Lord Jesus Christ – it is your only hope! Penduka!!

The Face of Evil and Wicked South Africa

This is the sad face of evil and wicked South Africa. When a nation is sold out to the devil and serves no longer the Creator God exclusively, this is what you get – interfaith debauchery. On 28th November 2012 the President of South Africa met with the National Interfaith Council of South Africa (NICSA) which has been dissolved and is now known as the National Religious Leaders’ Council (NRLC). Here are two news articles for the NRLC meeting [(1) and (2)] that took place. They want to resolve “poverty and general social upliftment” together with other issues through an ecumenical system by bringing all faiths together – it will never work! God will not be mocked by having His Son Jesus Christ riduculed with such blasphemy! This is the type of debauchery that we are talking about. Look at some of the other websites here in South Africa that make a mockery of the One True Creator:

I wonder if the “reverend” Ray McCauley seazed the opportunity at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and actually preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the unbelievers who were present at that meeting – or is that possibly asking too much? This is what our Lord Jesus Christ said:

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

It is an abomination in the sight of a Holy God that man can blaspheme the One True God who revealed Himself as the Lord Jesus Christ who is LORD of all:

Act 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Act 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

Act 10:37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Act 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

Act 10:40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

Act 10:41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

Act 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

Act 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Here are the other blogposts (and a few historical posts) that have called on our President and peoples of South Africa to Repent and Believe the one and only Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ – the ONLY WAY God our Creator has given us:

Scripture warns us:

Proverb 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

And South Africa can learn from the Ugandan President who Publicly Repented! He did not just say he is sorry to the people – his prayer was directed to GOD!

The Calf Path¹

Following on from yesterday’s blog posting “Have We Really Been Doing It by The Book?” this post will conclude chapter one of Pagan Christianity? by Frank Viola and George Barna (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) which will hopefully challenge your understanding of “church” and you will prayerfully seek God on this matter. The reason I have quoted substantially from the aforementioned work is to “salt your oats to give you a real thirst for more.” After this, if need be, you’ll have to order the book to complete your further study . . .

A TERRIFYING INVITATION

We now invite you to walk with us on an untrodden path. It is a terrifying journey where you will be forced to ask questions that probably have never entered your conscious thoughts. Tough questions. Nagging questions. Even frightening questions. And you will be faced squarely with the disturbing answers. Yet those answers will lead you face-to-face with some of the richest truths a Christian can discover.

As you read through the following pages, you may be surprised to discover that a great deal of what we Christians do for Sunday morning church did not come from Jesus Christ, the apostles, or the Scriptures. Nor did it come from Judaism. After the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70, Judaic Christianity waned in numbers and power. Gentile Christianity dominated, and the new faith began to absorb Greco-Roman philosophy and ritual. Judaic Christianity survived for five centuries in the little group of Syriac Christians called Ebionim, but their influence was not very widespread. According to Shirley J. Case, “Not only was the social environment of the Christian movement largely Gentile well before the end of the first century, but it had severed almost any earlier bonds of social contact with the Jewish Christians of Palestine . . . . By the year 100, Christianity is mainly a Gentile religious movement . . . living together in a common Gentile social environment.”⁶

Strikingly, much of what we do for “church” was lifted directly out of pagan culture in the postapostolic period. (Legend tells us the last surviving apostle, John, died around AD 100.) According to Paul F. Bradshaw, fourth-century Christianity “absorbed and Christianized pagan religious ideas and practices, seeing itself as the fulfilment to which earlier religions had dimly pointed.”⁷ While today we often use the word pagan to describe those who claim no religion whatsoever, to the early Christians, pagans were those polytheists who followed the gods of the Roman Empire. Paganism dominated the Roman Empire until the fourth century, and many of its elements were absorbed by Christians in the first half of the first millennium, particularly during the Constantinian and early post-Constantinian eras (324 to 600).⁸ Two other significant periods from which many of our current church practices originate were the Reformation era (sixteenth century) and the Revivalist era (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries).

Chapters 2 through 10 each trace an accepted traditional church practice. Each chapter tells the story of where this practice came from. But more importantly, it explains how this practice stifles the practical headship of Jesus Christ and hampers the functioning of His body.

Warning: If you are unwilling to have your Christianity seriously examined, do not read beyond this page. Give this book to Goodwill immediately! Spare yourself the trouble of having your Christian life turned upside down.

However, if you choose to “take the red pill” and be shown “how deep the rabbit hole goes”⁹ … if you want to learn the true story of where your Christian practices came from … if you are willing to have the curtain pulled back on the contemporary church and its traditional presuppositions fiercely challenged . . . then you will find this work to be disturbing, enlightening, and possibly life changing.

Put another way, if you are a Christian in the institutional church who takes the New Testament seriously, what you are about to read may lead to a crisis of conscience. For you will be confronted by unmovable historical fact.

On the other hand, if you happen to be one of those who gather with other Christians outside the pale of institutional Christianity, you will discover afresh that not only is Scripture on your side – but history stands with you as well.

The Calf Path

One day, through the primeval wood,

A calf walked home, as good calves should;

But made a trail all bent askew,

A crooked trail as all calves do.

Since then three hundred years have fled,

And, I infer, the calf is dead.

But still he left behind his trail,

And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day

By a lone dog that passed that way;

And then a wise bell-wether sheep

Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep,

And drew the flock behind him, too,

As good bell-wethers always do.

And from that day, o’er hill and glade,

Through those old woods a path was made.

And many men wound in and out,

And dodged, and turned, and bent about

And uttered words of righteous wrath

Because ‘twas such a crooked path.¹

But still they followed – do not laugh –

The first migrations of that calf,

And through this winding wood-way stalked,

Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,

That bent, and turned, and turned again;

This crooked lane became a road,

Where many a poor horse with his load

Toiled on beneath the burning sun,

And travelled some three miles in one.

And thus a century and a half

They trod the footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet,

The road became a village street;

And this, before men were aware,

A city’s crowded thoroughfare;

And soon the central street was this

Of a renowned metropolis;

And men two centuries and a half

Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout

Followed the zigzag calf about;

And o’er his crooked journey went

The traffic of a continent.

A hundred thousand men were led

But one calf near three centuries dead.

They followed still his crooked way,

And lost one hundred years a day;

For thus such reverence is lent

To well-established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach,

Were I ordained and called to preach;

For men are prone to go it blind

Along the calf-paths of the mind.

And work away from sun to sun

To do what other men have done.

They follow in the beaten track,

And out and in, and forth and back,

And still their devious course pursue,

To keep the path that others do.

They keep the path a sacred groove,

Along which all their lives they move.

But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,

Who saw the first primeval calf!

Ah! Many things this tale might teach –

But I am not ordained to preach.

–SAM WALTER FOSS

_______________________

Footnotes:-

¹ In this book, we sometimes refer to “the crooked path” that led the institutional church to its current form. This poem, written more that a century ago, served as the inspiration for the metaphor.

⁶ Will Durant, Caesar and Christ (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1950, 577. See also Shirley J. Case, The Social Origins of Christianity (New York: Cooper Square Publications, 1975), 27-28. E. Glenn Hinson adds, “From the late first century on through, Gentiles came to outnumber Jews in the Christian assembly. They imported in subtle ways some of the ideas, attitudes, and customs of Greek and Roman culture” (“Worshiping Like Pagans?” Christian History 12, no. 1 [1993]: 17).

⁷ Paul F. Bradshaw, The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 65; Durant, Caesar and Christ, 575, 599-600, 610-619, 650-651, 671-672.

⁸ The term pagan was used by the early Christian apologists to group non-Christians into a convenient package. At its root, a “pagan” is a country dweller, an inhabitant of the pagus or rural district. Because Christianity primarily spread in the cities, the country bumpkins, or pagans, were regarded as those who believed in the old gods. See Joan E. Taylor, Christians and the Holy Places: The Myth of Jewish-Christian Origins (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), 301.

⁹ The idea of the red pill comes from the thought-provoking hit movie The Matrix. In the film, Morpheus gives Neo the choice between living in a deceptive dreamworld or understanding reality. His words are applicable to the subject at hand: “After this, there’s no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill … and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” We hope that all of God’s people would dare to take the red pill!

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