Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A Contrast of Kingdoms - The Tower Builders

Joseph Herrin (07-12-2012)

In recent posts I have written about the One World Trade Center building in New York City, and The Shard in London. As I wrote of these two buildings, the tallest on two continents, I began to consider what these towers represent. I am not referring to the individual symbolism of the towers, for that has already been discussed in individual blogs.

One World Trade Center

The Shard

My interest was more general at this time. I was led to consider what towers in general signify, and why Satan’s kingdom is predominantly marked by them while they are absent from descriptions of God’s kingdom and those buildings He has directed His people to construct.

The first mention of things in the Bible tend to be very significant. The meaning, spirit, or type and anti-type of a thing is often revealed in its first occurrence in the Scriptures. This is certainly true when it comes to towers. We find the very first tower mentioned in the 11th chapter of Genesis. I will include the passage here as there is much revealed in the details.

Genesis 11:1-9
Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly." And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. Yahweh said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech."
So Yahweh scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there Yahweh confused the language of the whole earth; and from there Yahweh scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.

Some things that stand out to me from this passage are as follows:

They said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks...”
They said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower...”

“Let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

Contrast this verse with the following commandment of Yahweh.

Genesis 9:1
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.”

Genesis 9:7
"As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it."

“Let us make for ourselves a name...”

Self-will is evident in the fact that mankind chose themselves to build a city and a tower. This was not commanded by Yahweh. In fact, man was rebelling against the command of God spoken to Noah and his sons to multiply and fill the earth. Rather than dispersing into family groups, and choosing a scattered and rural existence, man chose to conglomerate into cities where their power was multiplied and what man could accomplish was magnified. Pride was also a factor, as mankind wanted to make a name for themselves.

This aspect of making a “name” for oneself strikes me as central to the building of towers. Towers are given names, and the names oftentimes bespeak something relating to the occupants, or the surrounding inhabitants. For example, for many years the Sears Tower was the tallest building in America. Why do corporations build lofty towers? It is to boast about their might, wealth, and strength. A massive named tower becomes a symbol of the business. For many years the company slogan for this merchandising giant was “Solid as Sears.”

The Sears Tower is located in Chicago, “the city of the big shoulders.” The building itself appears to have big shoulders. Shoulders in the Bible represent authority, ruling, and power, as in the verse, “and the government shall be upon His shoulders” (Isaiah 9:6). The Sears Tower was built in 1973, becoming the tallest building in America, surpassing the Word Trade Centers in New York. The building was planned in 1969 when Sears was the largest retailer in the world. However, as the Scriptures declare, “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty (high-minded) spirit before a fall.” Beginning in the 1970s Sears began to lose market share to companies like K-mart and Walmart. More recently companies like Target and Amazon have further eroded their market base. Some are suggesting that Sears, which was purchased by Kmart a few years ago, may soon be forced into bankruptcy.

I like the caption over this graph. It reveals the heights from which Sears has fallen while making an allusion to their huge tower which they ended up selling in the 1990s, and which Sears has now completely vacated. The tower was re-branded as Willis Tower in March 2009. How the mighty have fallen!

The association between towers, making a name for oneself, and eventual decline, is observed time and again. The history of skyscrapers in America is one of pride, hubris, and decline. In 1930 Chrysler Corporation claimed the title of the tallest building in the world when their tower in Manhattan was completed. Their boast was short lived as the Empire State Building was completed 11 months later, surpassing the Chrysler Building in height.

Chrysler has suffered similar problems to those of Sears. Declining market share in the automotive market led them to declare bankruptcy in the 1990s. They were then sold repeatedly and Italian auto maker Fiat is now the majority owner of this once proud American car company.

It seems that whenever men set forth to build a tower and to make a name for themselves, they draw the particular interest of Yahweh. Organizations of men, attempting to ascend above other peoples and groups, manifest a spirit of self-will, pride and rebellion that invites the judgment of God.

In the Old Testament we read of a king of Judah who was helped mightily by Yahweh. Yet in his strength, prosperity, and security King Uzziah became proud.

II Chronicles 26:16
But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against Yahweh his God, and went into the temple of Yahweh to burn incense upon the altar of incense.

It is not coincidental that we read of this same king building towers throughout Jerusalem and the territory of Judah.

II Chronicles 26:9-10
Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them. Also he built towers in the desert...

When Uzziah’s pride led him to act willfully in seeking to enter the Holy Place in the temple where only the Levites were allowed, Yahweh struck him with leprosy.

King David is set up as the gold standard by which all other kings were measured. Yahweh declared David to be a man after His own heart. Although David sinned grievously, pride was not his undoing. David was a humble man. He always recognized that his life was in Yahweh’s hands. David did not put trust in towers and fortifications. His trust was ever in the God who had chosen him to be ruler of His people.

Psalms 61:3-4
For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.

Many things are revealed through the means of parables. We can learn much about the spirit of the present day church by looking at the buildings she has constructed. For centuries now, the church has adopted the patterns of Babylon by building towers. For centuries the tallest building in many towns would be the churches. The church towers, spires, and lofty steeples would rise above the cityscape, as one religious group after another sought to make a name for themselves.

In recent years it seems there has been a judgment upon church steeples and church towers. I wrote of the pagan origin of steeples in the following post:


Storms across this nation have taken a toll upon these high places that have become emblematic of church buildings. The steeple has become so ubiquitous that many people recognize a church by the tower constructed atop it. What does this reveal about the people who worship inside the buildings? Are they not under the influence of Babylon?

Oftentimes the signs of pride, self-will and rebellion are so commonplace that they are no longer noticed. Millions of Christians drive to their church buildings with high vaulted ceilings, bell towers, and lofty steeples upon them, and they never consider the origin of these things. Like the people of Babel of olden times, they cannot say that Yahweh commanded them to build a tower to reach toward the heavens. The thought to build according to these forms originated outside of the mind of God.

Equally overlooked are the multitude of churches that claim to be “first.” Look at any sizeable town in America and you will find a “First” Baptist, “First” Methodist, “First” Church of Christ, “First” Presbyterian, “First” Lutheran. Why do men boast of such things? Have they forgotten the words of Christ?

Mark 10:31
"But many who are first will be last, and the last, first."

I would as soon write “Ichabod” over the door of the church as name it “First” anything. Let me be a member of the church of the least, the last and the lonely. Of course, churches cater to the businessmen, and the well-to-do, for they are the ones who ante up the money to pay for the building with its chandeliers, carpeting, stained glass, bell towers, and steeples. They are the ones who vote the pastor a generous salary. The people of God are dwelling in Babylon and the Spirit is calling them out at this hour.

Revelation 18:4-5
I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of [Babylon, the Great Harlot], my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.”

Is it coincidence that even in these words there is mention of the church building a tower? This tower is one of sin. It has reached into the heavens. Three years ago I wrote about a profound sign Yahweh had sent to an apostate Christian religious system. The sign occurred as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was voting to approve of members in homosexual relationships to serve as clergy. Following is an excerpt:

As I Was Writing

As I was writing this article an event took place in the upper Midwest of the U.S.A. that I believe relates to the message the Father is bringing forth. What appeared to be a relatively benign storm suddenly became severe, but it is the specific damage that it caused that arrests the attention.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America convention was being held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Central Lutheran Church is located nearby and was serving as a preparation area to provide meals to convention attendees. Suddenly the sky turned dark and a fierce wind arose and scattered the tables and chairs outside the church.

I am reminded of Christ, when He entered the Temple in Jerusalem and overturned the tables of the merchants and money changers. The Lutheran Church is the same church that George Tiller, America’s largest abortion provider, was a member of until a gunman recently entered the Lutheran Church in Kansas City and shot him. Not only was George Tiller a member, but he was a deacon in the church.

This storm also damaged an independent music store in Minneapolis that bore the very unusual name the Electric Fetus. The windows were blown out and the roof collapsed while stores on either side of it remained undamaged.

I am persuaded that the Lord is declaring in this event that there are two core issues for which He is bringing swift judgment to the Lutheran Church. One is for her tolerance, and even support of, abortion. The other is for her present actions to sanction homosexuality within the church. The following item revealing the agenda of this Lutheran convention was found on the Catholic News Agency site.

Minneapolis, Minn., Aug 18, 2009 / 11:38 pm (CNA).-
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is considering a proposal that would allow members in homosexual relationships to serve as clergy. It has denied a motion to require a higher proportion of votes for the proposal to pass.

The Lutheran Church has already allowed the nation’s largest abortion provider to serve as clergy, now they are voting on whether to allow homosexuals to do the same. It is suspected that a tornado was spawned from the thunderstorm moving through Minneapolis. It struck the church at approximately 2:00 P.M., the very time the convention was scheduled to begin consideration of the proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality. This statement included comments advocating the acceptance of homosexuality as a normal lifestyle.

Not only did the storm overturn the tables outside Central Lutheran Church, it also damaged the church’s steeple, leaving the cross atop it dangling upside down. The inverted cross is a symbol used by the Satanic Church.

The convention passed the Social Statement on Human Sexuality, but before it was passed various amendments were recommended.

including one that sought to replace a section of the social statement about "lifelong monogamous same-gender relationships” with one that asserts the "practice of homosexual erotic behavior as contrary to God's intent."

In a 667-303 vote, the assembly opted against the aforementioned change, following the recommendation of an ad hoc committee that advised against the amendment’s adoption since the position articulated implies "a consensus that no longer exists."
[Source: http://www.christianpost.com/article/20090820/elca-delegates-narrowly-adopt-new-sexuality-statement/index.html]

There is not even a consensus among this apostate religious organization that the practice of homosexual erotic behavior is contrary to God’s intent.

A further symbolic note is that this same storm system struck a town called Loami. This is a name used prophetically in the Scriptures, and the understanding is very clear.

Hosea 1:9
And Yahweh said, "Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God."

People of God, these are very serious matters. Judgment must begin at the house of God. He is even now making a division among those who are His righteous servants and those who are not. We will soon see the following Scripture fulfilled.

Ezekiel 9:4-6
And Yahweh said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst." But to the others He said in my hearing, "Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity, and do not spare. Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary."
[End Excerpt]

I feel I would be remiss to conclude this post without mentioning the events that occurred in Christchurch, New Zealand when it experienced devastating earthquakes in recent times. Over and over the towers on the churches crumbled. Following is an excerpt from the post titled The Church Bells All Were Broken.

I want to mention a singular phenomena that occurred when the earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand this week. In instance after instance, the  bell towers collapsed on prominent churches, some of which were historic landmarks.

St. John's Anglican Church Bell Destroyed

Christchurch Basilica (Roman Catholic)
- Both Bell Towers Destroyed

While meditating upon this event, I was reminded of the song American Pie, which the Father has been speaking much through recently. In this song there is mention of the church bells all being broken.

American Pie
Don McLean (1971)

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news,
But she just smiled and turned away.
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before,
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play.

And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
The church bells all were broken.

And the three men I admire most:
The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died.

This song had some very poignant prophetic references from its very first release. The record label it was released on contained the words “Yahweh Tunes,” and “Mayday Music.”

Mayday is the internationally recognized distress code...

I believe the Father is testifying through these events that judgment is at hand. A great shaking is coming to the nations. The shaking will test all that the church has built. Much will crumble. Many lives will be tragically lost. The faith of multitudes will fail, for it is not sufficient to carry them through coming days.
[End Excerpt]

In the book of Revelation John records Christ’s plea to the people of God to come out of Babylon lest they participate in her sins and partake of her plagues. The signs of Babylon are clearly evident on a myriad of churches. They are patterned after the tower building, name making, self-willed enterprises of that doomed city and tower. What man begins ends in confusion.

Some of the sins of Babylon are self-will, rebellion, and pride. The church will never own up to having such faults (as in fault lines beneath Christchurch), not even when they build a tower atop their meeting house and call themselves “First.” There is no one so blind as the servants of God. Yahweh will surely abase every high and lofty thing that has elevated itself before Him. His judgment is at hand.

Last year America’s national cathedral experienced similar damage to her towers. When an earthquake shook the region around Washington D.C., three out of four of the towers on the National Cathedral were damaged.

Yahweh is about to judge all that is of Babylon. Are the marks of Babylon upon the churches in your area? Are you a member of a Babylonian church? The Spirit is calling for all of God’s people to come out, for judgment must commence.

I Peter 4:17-18
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?"

Would you agree that The Shard in London is a construct of Babylon? What then would you say of those myriad of buildings that Christians meet in that have steeples upon them?

The Shard/Church Steeple

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Monday, February 25, 2019

666 & Trump

Joseph Herrin (10-28-2017)

Note: This is a repeat of an article that reveals Donald Trump's affection for the number 666.

One would expect that if you are an antichrist that there would be signs of it. One of the greatest signs would be a 666. Besides Donald Trump’s home in New York City which is on the 66th floor and which is described by some as traversing 666 feet in height, what other measures of 666 does he have. Let us begin with his son-in-law Jared Kushner whom Trump has put in office as his Senior Adviser. Jared Kushner is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka who became a Jew to marry him.

Jared Kushner has been in the real estate business. In 2007 he purchased 666 Fifth Avenue (pictured above) for $1.8 billion dollars. $1.8 billion is $600 million + $600 million + $600 million. You cannot tell me that was not a significant amount, especially at 666 Fifth Avenue.

Another site he is working on is One Journal Square. The property is currently vacant, but he paid $26 million for the property. His first bid on the twin skyscrapers that he would build on the property came out to $666 million. Why is Jared Kushner so stuck on the 666 amount? Jared Kushner is a ardent follower of Kabbalah. In Kabbalah the number 666 is a positive, holy number, and the sum of its magic square. Those who practice Kabbalah think very poorly of Evangelistic Christianity. They especially downplay Christianity’s significance on numbers. They say Christians have it all wrong, for Kabbalah has it right.

Following is a picture of Jared and his wife Ivanka at one of the centers for Kabbalah in New York City.

The site Ivanka and Jared visited is known as “The Ohel,” the Hebrew word for “tent,” and it is the structure built over the grave of the Seventh and Last Lubavitcher, Rebbe Menachem M. Schneerson, who was buried there alongside his father-in-law in 1994. The Rebbe Scneerson was highly regarded by almost all people, but he was an antichrist. It should bother Christians greatly that Jared Kushner commemorates and celebrates this man.

Now you can understand why Jared Kushner is so fixated on the number 666. To him it is a good number, a divine number. He doesn’t believe in the Biblical meaning of 666.

President Donald J. Trump has a lot of 666s surrounding him. The latest one is the budget deficit for the United States. The number had to be fudged (faked) to arrive at $666 billion over the budgeted amount, but it was done so. The amount of debt accruing to this nation far exceeds that being calculated. The off-budget amount of debt is in excess of the on-budget debt that is stated at $666 billion dollars.

Why does the U.S. budget office want to ascribe to Donald Trump a budget deficit of $666 billion dollars? Consider that there are key men on the budget that are also followers of Kabbalah. They too think it is an excellent number. In fact Donald Trump has a number of financial advisers who are Jewish as well as numerous other Jews. Gary D. Cohn is the Presidents National Economic Counsel. Steven Mnuchin is Secretary of the Treasury. Jason Greenblatt is the President’s top real estate lawyer and was one of three men on his Israel Advisory Committee. David Friedman was another long time lawyer that Trump named to his three man Israel Advisory Counsel. Then there is Jared and Ivanka. In fact there are so many Jews on Donald’s staff that you might wonder if Donald Trump has an admiration for Kabbalah too.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Marriage Covenant - Final

Foundation Stone Seven - Glorious Union

What if it were the Father’s plan to so fill mankind with His own holy, omnipotent and omniscient presence that it became impossible to tell where He ended and where we began? Suppose that in a moment of time we became so infused with the divine life that it was like a high voltage electric current filled us with the same power that fuels a trillion stars. Try to envision for a moment that the vitality you now experience as the life of God glows within you was suddenly fanned into the brilliance of a million suns shining in their strength. Imagine suddenly, in an instant, having your mental capacity expanded to understand all mysteries and to contain all knowledge in such a way that even Solomon’s experience would be eclipsed as but the smallest foreshadowing of things to come.

Such an experience is not hyperbole, nor vain imagination. In truth, these words do not come near describing that which the Father has planned for His sons and daughters. Consider the following testimony of Scriptures.

I John 3:2
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when [Christ] appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.

Romans 8:29
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren...

I Corinthians 15:49
And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Philippians 3:20-21
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Yahshua Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory...

From the very beginning of creation Yahweh set a plan in motion to create beings after His image, and in His likeness. It was four thousand years before the first man appeared who would fulfill this prophetic declaration of the Father. The first Adam could not say, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” It was not until Christ walked this earth that a man appeared who could make this statement.
Yet the glory of Christ while He was on this earth was veiled. There were moments when it was glimpsed, as was revealed on the mount of transfiguration.

Matthew 17:1-2
And six days later Yahshua took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.

Christ walked in the power of God, but it too was hidden under the appearance of earthly flesh, waiting to break out to the astonishment of those around.

Luke 7:12-16
Now as He approached the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, "Do not weep." And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, "Young man, I say to you, arise!" And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And Yahshua gave him back to his mother. And fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, "A great prophet has arisen among us!" and, "God has visited His people!"

What astonishment must have gripped this people. The Scriptures describe their reaction as fear. How could such a thing be comprehended? One who appears as an ordinary, impotent man, suddenly manifests the power of resurrection life. How can a man speak a word and the dead be raised? The people said truly, “God has visited His people.”

Even though the power Christ manifested caused great fear among the people, it was merely a token of the power at His command. There was a far greater glory and power that belonged to Him. For a season He laid it aside, but when He departed this world at His ascension to the heavens He took it up again.

Philippians 2:5-11
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Yahshua, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Yahshua every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Yahshua Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The apostle John walked with the Son of God when Yahshua bore the image of man. John loved Christ, being the most intimate with him, yet He never imagined the greatness of the glory that once belonged to his beloved Master, and which would be His again.

While exiled on the isle of Patmos John had a revelation of the resurrected Christ. He describes Him as follows:

Revelation 1:12-17
And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His breast with a golden girdle. And His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire; and His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been caused to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. And in His right hand He held seven stars; and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man.

The revelation of the glorified Christ was so great that all strength left John’s body. He was overcome by the magnificence of Christ’s appearing. John fell down as if dead, his sinful flesh being unable to arise in the presence of such holiness, power, and glory.

Yet, the awesome truth, incredible in its comprehension, is that this same glorious appearance is to be shared with the victorious saints of God. This is what John wrote in his first epistle. “We shall be like Him!” This is what Paul testifies in the following words:

Romans 8:18-19
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

Paul writes also of the power we are to experience in the coming ages. Paul walked in moments of great power, where astounding works were performed by his hands, as testified in the book of Acts.

Acts 19:11-12
And God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.

The apostle knew that, as awesome as such experiences were, they were only a foretaste of the powers to be experienced by the saints in the coming ages.

Hebrews 6:4-5
For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come...

Peter also wrote of that glory which is to come.

I Peter 4:13
To the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.

And Paul again writes of this glory of Christ that the saints are to share.

II Corinthians 4:17
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison...

Colossians 3:4
When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

People of God, being revealed with Christ “in glory” is not a location, it is an experience. It is the fulfillment of that which Christ prayed in His high priestly prayer recorded by John.

John 17:22
"And the glory which You have given Me I have given to them...”

In a single moment of time mankind will be transformed, but each in his own order. The first to experience this glorious conformity to Christ will be the overcomers. Isaiah prophesies of the glory of God arising upon His people.

Isaiah 60:1-3
"Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of Yahweh has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; but Yahweh will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you. And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”

Who can comprehend what this experience will be like? Yet a greater marvel is revealed in how it will come about.

Some have imagined that they will simply receive an enduement of power, that their old body will be replaced with a new incorruptible body, an immortal tabernacle not made with hands. These things are true, but there is something far greater to occur. The transformation will come about through the process of entering into a fullness of union with Christ.

John 17:20-22
"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;  that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one...

Right now we have been given a measure of the Spirit of Christ, but we are to receive the Spirit beyond measure.

Ephesians 1:13-14
You were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

When a man gives a woman an engagement ring, he is setting his seal upon her. He is giving her a token of some value as a pledge of greater things to come. Though they are engaged, the hour is to arrive when the man will give himself fully to the woman. The two will become one flesh. The members of his body will become her members, and vice versa. Everything he possesses will belong to the woman.

(This reveals the error of those men and women who enter into pre-nuptial agreements. They are refusing to give themselves fully and without any reservations to the one to whom they are entering into a marriage covenant.)

Christ has given His betrothed a pledge in the form of the indwelling Holy Spirit. This present limited experience of the Spirit, as precious as it is, will one day give way to the glorious fullness of union with Christ. The Spirit will be given without measure.

If we would understand the holiness of sexual intercourse, we must perceive how God has designed the physical union of the man and the woman to serve as a parable of the spiritual union between Christ and His people. Repeatedly, the Scriptures reveal that these two forms of union are given as types and shadows of one another.

I Corinthians 6:16-17
Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, "The two will become one flesh." But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

Ephesians 5:31-32
For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

Every detail of the physical union of the man and woman is given as a parable of the spiritual union that is to be experienced by the Bride of Christ. God designed the physical union so that it is accompanied by tremendous physical sensations of pleasure and joy. This is a foreshadowing of that glorious spiritual union to be experienced in Christ.

Psalms 16:11
In Your presence is fulness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

In the act of sexual union the man and woman are brought face to face. The King James Bible often speaks of sexual union as “the man KNEW his wife.” We see the same language employed when describing the fullness of spiritual union that is yet to appear between Christ and His church.

I Corinthians 13:12-13
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.

In the act of physical intercourse the man enters the woman. This is with purpose and design, for Christ is to enter His people and fill them. The result will be a rapturous bliss of which the physical union provides only a small foretaste. Paul never writes with such rapture and prophetic joy as he does when he describes the glorious union of Christ and His church.

Ephesians 3:14-19
For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.

Undoubtedly, some will take offense at comparing the physical union of the man and woman to the spiritual union of Christ and His people. Yet, Yahweh clearly intended one to stand as a symbol and revelation of the other. Our problem is that we live in a perverse society that has transformed that which was designed to be holy into a promiscuous, adulterous, fornicating, cesspool of indecency.
I would raise the vision of the people of God to see the holiness with which Yahweh has adorned the physical union of a man and his wife. Can anything be more righteous than the spiritual union of Christ and His people? Should we not then guard with jealousy that physical union that is given as a type and shadow of that which is most holy?

The apostle Paul declares that the man and woman become “one flesh,” but the one joined to Christ becomes “one spirit with Him.” I urge you to reflect upon this for a moment.

Consider that the day will come when Christ will approach His bride. He will say, “The time has come for us to become fully one in spirit. Before I have given you a pledge of this union. Now I will give Myself fully to you. All you must do is receive.” In doing so, everything that pertains to Christ will enter into His people. His omnipotent power; His omniscient mind; His fathomless glory; His indestructible life; all that He possesses will in a moment be infused into His people. The experience will be indescribable joy.

The apostle Paul declares, “We shall know fully, even as we have been fully known.” There will be no more veil. Is this not the message of the virgin’s veil. She has seen things as through a veil, but the veil will be removed. The veil is symbolically removed by the Bridegroom during the wedding ceremony. It is removed in substance when the hymen is torn and the man enters into his virgin bride. We too will have the veil that has covered our eyes removed when we experience a complete spiritual union with Christ. We will see as He sees. We will know as He knows. We will be one.

Can you not sense the deficiency of your current union with Christ? We struggle to know His thoughts. We see through a veil darkly. We wrestle with perplexity and confusion. We desire to have power to open blind eyes and unstop deaf ears. We yearn to raise those who are spiritually dead. We experience that which Paul described in the following words:

Romans 8:22-23
For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

We presently have “the firstfruits of the Spirit.” We do not have the fulness of the harvest. We have the pledge of that which is to come, but we have yet to enter into its abundance.

This precious pledge we have received is further constrained by this sinful flesh. Oh, to be delivered from this body of death. We are like a chick struggling to emerge from the shell. We are like the newly formed butterfly seeking to break free of the cocoon. We can taste the things to come, and we yearn to enter into the fulness, but the struggle continues. We are not yet free.

An hour is coming when Christ will complete the work He has begun. At His next appearing He will finish the salvation He started. He will deliver His overcomers from all that is hindering them and holding them back.

Hebrews 9:28
Even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are [eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him.
[Amplified Bible]

This will be the moment of our ecstatic and glorious union. It is no wonder that those who stand with Christ on Mount Zion will sing a new song (Revelation 14:3). The praise will not be able to be contained. The glories of the Son of God, revealed IN HIS PEOPLE must be given voice.

Let us now make this very practical. This teaching series is presented to promote understanding of God’s mind as it pertains to sexual purity, the marital union, divorce and remarriage.

Seeing that we have been betrothed to Christ, and have received His pledge, should we not be looking forward with great anticipation to that full spiritual union that lies ahead? We should be like a virgin betrothed, waiting expectantly for the appearing of her bridegroom.

Will the one who has been sealed with the Holy Spirit and who is promised to freely receive everything that belongs to Christ, then pursue other lovers while they await the return of the Bridegroom? Can we not all put aside the pursuit of all that competes for our affection for this brief season of our lives? Can we not hold in our hearts a passion and desire for Christ, during this season in which He has gone away to prepare a habitation for us in which we might dwell together as one? It is this fervent love and longing for Christ that Yahshua speaks of to the church of Ephesus.

Revelation 2:4
“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”

Will not Christ reject all those who have been betrothed to Him as a pure virgin, when He discovers their lack of chastity? The wait for His appearing may be long; the days may seem wearisome, and the trials unending; yet, should not the delay make the anticipation of His appearing all the more precious in our sight?

We must guard against weariness. Let us stir ourselves up by reminding ourselves of that glorious union that has been promised to all who look with longing to His appearing.

People of God, if we are espoused to Christ, we must live in expectancy of His return for His Bride. What would a man think of his virgin to whom he has given his pledge, if in his departure she began acting promiscuously, giving herself to many other lovers, unwilling to wait for the moment of pleasure when her Bridegroom should appear? Would not that man be righteously indignant? Would he not give to her a writing of divorce and declare to her, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” Truly, she will not be known to Him, nor He to her, for she played the harlot.

Many in the church today are living in an unchaste manner. They say they belong to Christ. They may even make a spectacle of showing off the evidence of their betrothal by flashing around the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but their hearts are lusting after many other things. They love the world and the things in it. Such ones may expect that Christ will sweep them off their feet and carry them away to heaven, but they are deceived. Their portion will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. They will be assigned a portion with the unbelievers. The door will be shut before them, and they will be unable to enter into the marriage feast. They will not know the full and glorious union of the Son of God that could have been their portion.

This spiritual adultery is paralleled in the physical lives of God’s people. The church today is rife with fornication, with adultery, with divorce and remarriage. Multitudes are acting out physically the condition of the church spiritually. They are unchaste.

God intended the marriage union to symbolize the union of Christ and His Bride. How many have turned that symbol of holiness into something unholy?

If you have sinned in this matter, do not hesitate to repent before God. Seek Him with the deepest fear and humility lest you discover at His appearing that He has not come for you.

There is a promised holy and glorious union that will be consummated at the next appearance of Christ. Let the Bride make herself ready. Do not delay, Soon a voice will be heard from the heavenly realms.

Revelation 21:3-4
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

A glorious union is set before those who have made themselves ready. John sums up the matter well:

I John 3:3
And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Monday, February 18, 2019

The Marriage Covenant - Part 9

Foundation Stone Six - Betrothal

We now are come to look at the beautiful pattern and parable of betrothal. I hesitate to describe this as Hebrew betrothal, or a Jewish betrothal custom, for the pattern to be examined here is one that Yahweh Himself uses to describe the relation between His Son and the Bride of Christ.

In our modern society we have little to compare with betrothal. Engagements are as different from Biblical betrothal as co-habitation is from the marriage covenant. Following is an excerpt from the online Jewish Encyclopedia.

The term "betrothal" in Jewish law must not be understood in its modern sense; that is, the agreement of a man and a woman to marry, by which the parties are not, however, definitely bound, but which may be broken or dissolved without formal divorce. Betrothal or engagement such as this is not known either to the Bible or to the Talmud, and only crept in among the medieval and modern Jews through the influence of the example of the Occidental nations among whom they dwelt...

Although there are varying examples of the way in which betrothals and marriages were conducted in Scripture, there are certain foundational precepts that were established by Yahweh, and written about in the Law. Beyond this, we have the very definite pattern manifested in the relationship between Christ and His Bride.

Most Christians are familiar with the symbolism of Christ being a Bridegroom, and the Church (Ekklesia, the Called-Out ones), being His bride. The apostle Paul speaks of the saints being “betrothed” to Christ.

II Corinthians 11:2
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

The betrothal spoken of here refers to a marriage contract. It is not the same as becoming engaged today, for modern engagements are not considered legally binding. The betrothal would be more akin to a bride and groom signing the marriage certificate, and filing it with the court. A betrothal was a binding agreement. Once a man and woman were betrothed, they were considered husband and wife, though they would not live together, nor the union be consummated until the wedding night.In the Old Testament, a betrothed virgin was referred to as the wife of the man to whom she was espoused.

Deuteronomy 22:23-24
"If there is a girl who is a virgin betrothed to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor's wife.

One thing we observe repeatedly in the Scriptural references to betrothal is that the woman betrothed is described as a virgin. Paul said that he had betrothed the church to Christ that he might present her to him “as a chaste virgin.” The passage just cited from Deuteronomy 22 speaks of “a virgin betrothed.” The will and design of Yahweh is revealed in these words. He intended for a young woman to remain a virgin until her wedding night. This alone constitutes righteous behavior.

As we have seen in previous chapters of this series, the first experience of sexual intercourse for a woman fulfills the types and patterns of a blood covenant. It is an aberration, an unseemly and entirely inappropriate action for a young woman to give her virginity to one man and then to marry another. It is unthinkable that she should cut a blood covenant with a man that is not her husband for life.

Consider the example of two men cutting covenant with one another. It would be considered an act of treachery to go through all the forms of the blood covenant, signifying that two souls are joined as one, while there is no intent in the heart of those joined to honor the covenant. You cut covenant with a person to whom you are committed for life, binding yourself in blood. Yet men and women commit such absurdities and unseemly and treacherous actions without batting an eye. Such ones are testifying that they have no regard for the righteous and holy ways of God.

It was so important that a woman remain a virgin in order that she might enter into the blood covenant with her husband on her wedding night, that severe penalties were associated with any man who would dare to violate a virgin. If a man forced a virgin to lie with him before she were betrothed, he was required to marry her and could never divorce her? Why? He had entered into a blood covenant with the virgin.

If a man violated a virgin who had been betrothed, the man was to be stoned to death. He had robbed another man of the opportunity to cut covenant with his own bride. From antiquity, the knowledge of the great evil of defiling a virgin and robbing her of the opportunity to cut covenant with her husband, was well known. The oldest book in the Bible is Job, and we read his confession in the following words.

Job 31:1
"I Have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin?”

The writer of the book of Job uses the Hebrew word “bethulah,” meaning “virgin” to describe this covenant that Job made with his eyes. Job is not saying that he made a covenant to not look upon a woman with lust, although I am sure that he walked in integrity in this matter as well. What he specifically states is that he will not look upon a virgin with lust.Job is testifying that he has covenanted to not commit great wickedness in the eyes of Yahweh. It would be a great wickedness for him to take a pure virgin to himself and to lie with her. Though many men with the wealth he had may consider doing such things, he would not violate a virgin in this way, destroying her one opportunity to cut covenant with a man. Although it was wrong for a man to commit any act of fornication, it was especially reprehensible to do so with a virgin. God would see, and He would judge.

I know that many who read these words have transgressed in this area. There are women who gave their virginity to one who was not their husband. They cut covenant with a man that they did not marry. They deprived their future husband of the opportunity to establish a blood covenant with themselves. Many men have taken away the virginity of a woman that they had no intention of marrying. These are great transgressions, destroying the purity, innocence, and fidelity of what marriage was intended to be.

If reading this teaching causes a deep grieving in your spirit, then this writing is accomplishing one aim for which it is presented. It is the desire of this writer that the people of God would understand the holiness of the marriage covenant and that they would loathe all that would mar its sacredness.

But what then? Are those who sinned forever to suffer loss and regret for their transgressions? Is there no forgiveness, no recovery of that which was carelessly discarded? We should remember the words cited in the previous post.

A woman was brought before Christ who was caught in the very act of adultery. This woman was close to having been stoned to death. She heard the charges of the men who had caught her committing a great transgression. She knew what Moses had written concerning adultery. She stood condemned. She stood before the righteous judge of Israel, and He saw her filth and uncleanness.

Christ told the scribes and Pharisees, “Let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone.” There were no men present among those to whom Christ spoke who could cast a stone. They were all transgressors and stood condemned before Yahweh.  Christ, however, was without sin. He could have hurled a stone at the adulteress had He chosen to do so. She was a sinner; He was not. She had violated Yahweh’s holiness; He had fulfilled it.

Yet the only One who was able to execute the judgment of the Law said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” We all stand in need of the mercy of God. We would all do well to consider the peril that our transgressions have placed us in. We all stand within a hair’s breath of the executioner, and we are guilty. Our only hope is that the Judge of all mankind might be merciful. We deserve the sentence of death, but He took the sentence upon Himself. He stood in our place and received the just condemnation for every woman who has cast away her virginity as if it was an unholy thing. Yahshua received the lashes and the cross for every man who has violated a virgin.

God has not changed the penalty of the Law. He merely changed who would pay the penalty. Let us weep and lament over the sins we have committed. Let us repent, and firmly commit ourselves to “Go and sin no more.” Let us be grieved at those things we cast away and cannot get back. A woman cannot regain her physical virginity once it is gone, but she can become a virgin in her heart. Those who were once fornicators and adulterers can be cleansed and purified.

I Corinthians 6:9-11
Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Yahshua Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.

“You were washed.” The stain of sin has been removed. Those who were unclean have been declared righteous through the blood of Christ.

Titus 3:5
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit...

“You were sanctified.” You have now been set aside to walk as one who is holy and righteous. Having been freed from sin you have been made a bondslave to righteousness.

Romans 6:22
But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

“You were justified.” God has made a way that we might lawfully be declared righteous in His sight. He has placed our condemnation upon His Son and has placed His Son’s righteousness upon is. The great exchange has taken place.

II Corinthians 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

What should be the result of this knowledge? Are we to continue in sin? God forbid. How can those who have been freed from sin at so high a cost continue any longer in it? Will we trample on the blood of Christ and act despitefully toward the Holy Spirit that has been given?

Hebrews 10:28-31
Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge HIS PEOPLE." It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

This passage is speaking of those who have been sanctified, and who continue to transgress willfully. What can such ones expect? God will judge His people. If you have continued in the same transgressions that required Christ to go to the cross for you, have you not regarded as a common thing the precious blood of Christ? Have you not offended the Spirit of grace? Do you believe there will be no reaping of that which is sown to the flesh?

People of God, we have become accustomed to living carelessly, without any fear of God’s righteous judgment. We should fear greatly if we persist in sins that He has redeemed us from at the cost of the life of His beloved Son.

Perhaps you find yourself in this situation. Having been redeemed from a life of transgression and sin, you continued in it as one insensitive to the great cost of your salvation. Is there yet hope? Having acted with such carelessness and continued license, having trampled on all that is holy, can you yet be restored?

The apostle Paul wrote to the church of Corinth among which there were many who were continuing in sin. Some were sick as a result, and some had died. Some men were visiting temple prostitutes. One man had even taken his father’s wife to be his own. There was great transgression as many were partaking of the blood and body of Christ in an unworthy manner. (I am speaking here of the substance of what the bread and wine point to.)

Paul chastised them severely, and even declared that he had determined to turn the transgressor over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh that his soul might be saved in the day of Christ (I Corinthians 5:5). If you continue in sin, do you suppose that God will not turn you over to Satan for the destruction of your body? He surely will. Even now, many are sick, and some will die, because they have treated the blood of the covenant as an unholy thing.

Yet, a remarkable thing is observed in Paul’s next epistle. The man who had taken his father’s wife to be his own, bringing great shame to the name of Christ, had repented and put away his father’s wife. There was yet room for repentance in the eyes of God. The man was restored to God and to fellowship with the body of Christ.

II Corinthians 2:6-10
Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, lest somehow such a one be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. For to this end also I wrote that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. But whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ.

If you are experiencing conviction of your sin, then God’s Spirit is yet striving with you, seeking to turn you to righteousness. There is yet room for repentance. If Yahweh had forsaken you due to continual transgression, then you would not be able to repent. He would give you over to your sin, and you would remain hardened until the stroke of judgment fell.

This is a serious matter. Do not delay to repent of your sins. Confess them to God and to those you have transgressed against. Fear God and pursue righteousness. If you shrug off the conviction, God will not strive with you forever. He will send upon you a spirit of delusion so that you will believe a lie and will be hardened until His judgment falls.

II Thessalonians 2:10-12
Because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved... for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

I have strayed somewhat from the subject of betrothal, but the Spirit convinces me that I have not strayed from His message. Let us now return to our examination of betrothal.

According to the custom of the Jews, which is also the pattern demonstrated by Christ, a man would enter into a marriage agreement and would then depart to prepare a home in which to live with his bride. During this period following the betrothal much activity would be going on. As the Groom was preparing a Bridal chamber, his father was also making plans for a wedding feast. The Bride too was busy. She was preparing herself to be taken into the Bridegroom’s home to be his wife. We see all activities revealed in Christ’s relationship to the church.

Christ, The Bridegroom, Preparing a Dwelling

John 14:2-4
"In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

God the Father, Preparing a Wedding Feast

Matthew 22:2-3
"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king, who gave a wedding feast for his son.”

The Ekklessia, the Bride, Making Herself Ready

Revelation 19:7-9
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And he said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'”

A typical betrothal period lasted approximately one year. The Bride, having been espoused, was to wait in readiness, for she would not know the exact time that her Bridegroom would come for her.

Matthew 25:1-6
"Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom... Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'”

Not even the Bridegroom knows the precise time when His Father will send Him to get His Bride. He waits in readiness, having prepared a dwelling place for His Bride.

Mark 13:32-33
"But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time is.”

As the people of God, we have been espoused to Christ as a pure virgin. Christ has gone away to prepare a place to receive us unto Himself. The Father is preparing a great wedding feast to mark the day of our gathering to Christ to Tabernacle with Him forevermore.

What will Christ be looking for when He returns? He will be looking for those who have made themselves ready. Many in the church have failed to do so. They are not clothing themselves in white linen, which is the righteous acts of the saints. They are continuing in unrighteous acts. Many are involved in sexual immorality. Some are fornicating and committing adultery. Some are divorcing and remarrying according to their own soul’s desire. Many are harlots in their affections, loving the world and the things in it. The majority of the church today are unclean. They have not washed their garments and made themselves ready to meet the Bridegroom. What will happen to them at His appearing?

Yahshua spoke of this matter in the parable of the ten virgins. The ten virgins are not the bride. They are attendants of the Bride. The Bride is depicted as alert and watchful.

I Thessalonians 5:4-7
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.

Revelation 16:15
"Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his garments, lest he walk about naked and men see his shame."

The one who stays awake is the Bride. In the parable of the ten virgins, all ten had fallen asleep when the Bridegroom delayed. None of these were the Bride of Christ. It is common to find the people of God divided into three groups. There is always the overcomers. There are those who have some fruit, but not unto perfection. And there are the disobedient servants who bring forth no increase for the Kingdom of God. We see these three groups in the following:

Three Sections of the Tabernacle and Temple (which the people of God are)
The Holy of Holies (the inner chamber of the Bride)
The Holy Place
The Outer Court

The Three Main Feasts. Each was associated with a harvest, which is symbolic of resurrection - the ingathering of men from the earth.
Passover (those who are passed over by the second death - The overcomers - the Bride - Revelation 2:11)

The Disciples of Christ
The Beloved Disciple who leaned upon Christ’s breast (the Bride)
The Three
The Twelve

Many more examples of this three-fold division of God’s people could be given, such as those who bring forth some an hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty; the three servants given talents who are called to give an account of their stewardship; and of course:

The Bride
The five wise virgins (who awoke at the last moment and had oil)
The five foolish virgins (who awoke at the last moment and had no oil)

What does the oil represent? It is the righteous acts of the saints. The oil in the lamps was for the purpose of giving light. The wise virgins rose and trimmed their lamps, showing that they had some good works at the end, but the foolish had no oil in their lamps and could not be seen as lights in the darkness. The Bride did not let her lamp go out, neither did she sleep.

What is the character of your life at this time? Is your life a manifestation of the righteous acts of the saints? Or have you taken that which has been entrusted to you (the Holy Spirit) and buried it in the earth (of your flesh) to be given back to Christ at His appearing? Are you asleep in the light, performing works of darkness, even despising the holiness of the marriage covenant? Are you fornicating, or divorcing and remarrying to satisfy your own soul?

Remember that God equates idolatry with adultery. Christ will not return to take an adulteress into His bridal chamber. Such ones will be cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Christ is coming back for a pure virgin, one who has been cleansed of her adulteries, and is waiting with patience and chastity for His appearing.

What then is idolatry today? We must know if we are to identify those who are engaged in spiritual adultery.

Colossians 3:5-7
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.

All of the things in this list “amount to idolatry.” This is revealed in that the apostle says “in THEM you also once walked.” We once walked as idolaters, but must do so no more. You are not walking as a chaste virgin if you are engaging in these things. The Amplified Bible renders this Scripture in the following manner:

Colossians 3:5
So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God).

While the Church’s Bridegroom is off preparing a dwelling place, and while the Father is preparing the wedding place, what is the Bride doing? Are you making yourself ready? Will you be adorned with linen, clean and white, at His appearing.

Let all who have this hope of being included in the Bride of Christ, purify themselves as He is pure.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Marriage Covenant - Part 8

Foundation Stone Five - The Polluted Land

We observed previously that Yahweh uses parables to provide understanding to His people. We looked at the parable of the soul in its two halves, as it is manifested in the cutting of a blood covenant. We observed many truths as we looked at the parable of the body being a temple of God. With the laying of this fifth foundation stone we will look at the truths that are revealed through the parable of the land being a married woman.

We should not be surprised that Yahweh compares the bodies of men and women to a portion of the earth, for man’s body was formed of the dust of the earth.

Genesis 2:7
Then Yahweh God formed man of dust from the ground...

Genesis 3:19
“For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Let us begin by looking at a Scripture where Yahweh compares the land of Israel to His wife.

Isaiah 62:1-5
For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not keep quiet... It will no longer be said to you, "Forsaken,"Nor to your land will it any longer be said, "Desolate"; But you will be called, "My delight is in her," And your land, "Married"; For Yahweh delights in you, and to Him your land will be married...  And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you.

If God uses the imagery of His being married to the land of Israel, then there must also be a parallel image between man and his bride, for man was created to be the image and likeness of God. We find this parallel in Scriptures, for a man’s wife is at times spoken of through the analogy of land.

Jeremiah 3:1
God says, "If a husband divorces his wife, and she goes from him, and belongs to another man, will he still return to her? Will not that land be completely polluted?

When the Holy Spirit inspired Jeremiah to write of land being polluted, we understand that land is a metaphor for a man’s wife. To this day it is still common to refer to a nation in terms of a woman. The following picture is of Lady Columbia, the female personification of America.

Lady Columbia

I do not think that Yahweh would depict America as a beautiful woman dressed in white. The land of America has truly become polluted by the grievous sins committed in the land. The blood of more than 50 million babies has stained the land, and the stain cannot be washed away.

Numbers 35:33-34
So you shall not pollute the land where you are; for blood defiles the land, and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it. Therefore do not defile the land which you inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell; for I Yahweh dwell among the children of Israel.

Describing the land as a married woman is a well utilized device used by Yahweh in the Scriptures. There is benefit in examining these passages, for they reveal many things, including Yahweh’s abhorrence of sexual defilement, as well as the grounds for divorce, and the restoration of one who has been divorced.

In the following passage we see Yahweh describing the adulterous behavior of His wives, Israel and Judah. He speaks of divorcing Israel and sending her away from His presence, for she had stained herself with the pollution of her adultery.

Jeremiah 3:6-9
Then Yahweh said to me in the days of Josiah the king, "Have you seen what faithless Israel did? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there." And I thought, 'After she has done all these things, she will return to Me'; but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also. And it came about because of the lightness of her harlotry, that she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees.”

In the previous post in this series we looked at the scourge of venereal disease. Yahweh so designed His creation that when men and women act in an adulterous or sexually immoral manner, their bodies become infected with disease. The many diseases are often abhorrent in appearance, resulting in cankers, blisters, pustules, and various physical deformities. The blood stream of those infected can be compared to a polluted river within a nation. Death is present in that current that should be devoted to the preservation of life.

Whenever God’s chosen people embraced another god, He viewed the act as infidelity, and described it as whoredom and adultery. As the Israelites built their high places for the worship of these foreign gods, Yahweh viewed the land as polluted and greatly defiled. Israel and Judah embraced many gods. They worshiped the Baals. They worshiped Molech and Ashtoreth and Milcom and various other gods from the nations around them.

As we have observed in previous chapters of this series, man could have more than one wife, but a wife was permitted only one husband. This is a parable of God with man. Yahweh may take many peoples and nations to Himself, but the nations are only permitted to serve Him as God. For Israel or Judah to embrace another deity was viewed in the same way as the wife of a man spreading her legs and inviting strange men to be sexually promiscuous with her.

Ezekiel 16:25
"You built yourself a high place at the top of every street, and made your beauty abominable; and you spread your legs to every passer-by to multiply your harlotry.”

These are profound parables. Yahweh uses this metaphor of His people being His wife throughout both the Old and New Testaments. He speaks of the faithlessness and treachery of His people as they forsake Him and embrace foreigners. Yahweh testifies that He finds such betrayal and lewd behavior to be abhorrent.

Psalms 106:34-40
They did not destroy the peoples, as Yahweh commanded them, but they mingled with the nations, and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with the blood. Thus they became unclean in their practices, and played the harlot in their deeds. Therefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against His people, and He abhorred His inheritance.

Yahweh has created man so that he too would be jealous of his wife. Man is created in the image and likeness of God, and Yahweh is jealous for His people. He is always angered and abhorred when His wife acts in an adulterous manner. When He found no repentance in His wife for her harlotry, He gave her a writ of divorce and sent her away. This He did with both Israel and Judah. Israel was sent away to the land of Assyria, and when Judah repeated the sins of her sister, she was sent to Babylon.

It should be understood from this that Yahweh sees nothing unrighteous in the act of sending away a wife that has acted in an adulterous manner. For the reason of unchastity, He has ever permitted a man to send away a wife. Yahweh would have mankind understand through the marriage relationship between a man and his wife the jealousy with which He looks upon His people.

Exodus 34:13-16
You are to tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and cut down their Asherim - for you shall not worship any other god, for Yahweh, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God - lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and they play the harlot with their gods, and sacrifice to their gods, and someone invite you to eat of his sacrifice; and you take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters play the harlot with their gods, and cause your sons also to play the harlot with their gods.

Jealousy toward a wife is not an evil thing. It would be an evil thing for a man to not care whether his wife was having sexual relations with other men. Some who are hardened in their sin practice such “open marriages” today, but those who do so have departed far from God whose name is Jealous.

The Jews were hard-hearted, and the men were prone to send their wives away for any transgression at all. If the wife simply did not please them anymore, they would send them away. This is something Yahweh would not do. It was only for the sake of unchastity, for sexual immorality, that Yahweh would send away His wife.

The Jewish leaders came to Christ and inquired of Him concerning this matter. They asked Yahshua if it was permitted for a man to send away a wife for any reason at all. He responded:

Matthew 5:32
“I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality (porneia) causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.”

The Greek word rendered here as “sexual immorality” is porneia. It is translated in a variety of ways, including “unchastity,” “fornication,” “adultery,” and “uncleanness.” Christ was declaring that sexual immorality was the only justification for a man to send away a wife with a writing of divorce. If a man sent her away for any reason besides sexual impurity, he would be causing her to commit adultery.

It is a terrible thing for any man to influence another to commit adultery. It is an act of great treachery for a man to cause his own wife to have to commit adultery by sending her out from his presence for any reason other than that she had already acted treacherously toward the marriage covenant by opening her legs to another man.

God viewed His wives, Israel and Judah to be polluted and defiled when they embraced other gods. It is natural that a man would hold the same view toward his wife when she has embraced other men.
Yahweh has created men so that those who are righteous as He is righteous, have an aversion to being joined to a woman who is polluted. Yahweh speaks of a man taking back a wife who has been polluted by another man as an act of abomination.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4
"When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man's wife, and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before Yahweh, and you shall not bring sin on the land which Yahweh your God gives you as an inheritance.”

Some have contemplated whether it is right for a man or woman today to return to a spouse that has been divorced and married to another. The Law delivered to Moses strictly forbid such an action. Yahweh said that the wife in such a case had been defiled, and that it was an abominable thing in the sight of God for the wife to return to the first husband after she had been polluted by intercourse with another man.

The Law was given in order that man might identify sin and transgression as Yahweh does. The Law reveals those things that are clean in Yahweh’s sight, and those things that are unclean. The Law makes a distinction between the holy and the profane.

A woman who has acted adulterously is unclean. She is described as polluted and defiled. It is a very detestable thing in God’s eyes for either Himself, or a man, to be joined to one who has polluted herself and made herself abhorrent. This is the language that the Bible uses to describe these things.
Although the Law describes for us those things that are clean and unclean, it does not reveal the entire counsel of God. The Law was without mercy. “The soul that sinned must die.” Aaron was the first High Priest of the Law, and he observed firsthand the merciless character of the Law. When Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu transgressed the command of God, failing to show reverence to His holiness, and the offered strange fire before Him, fire that God did not recognize as holy, Yahweh struck them both dead.

Aaron was confronted with the death of two of his sons in a single moment of time, and the loss was tremendous. Yahweh was revealing to Aaron that those who serve Him must treat Him as holy. Yahweh was demonstrating the awfulness of His Holy character. Men who are unclean cannot stand in His presence. The Law was given to show mankind the vast gulf between the holiness of Yahweh and the sinfulness of man. Those who understood the difference should truly tremble in fear, realizing their uncleanness.

This is the purpose of the Law, to show the abominable depths to which mankind has fallen, and to show to them their need of a Savior. The law included types and shadows of the mercy of God to come, for their were sacrifices and offerings that could be made to atone for the sins of mankind. Yet, the central purpose of the Law was to present all men as unclean before God that every mouth my be stopped, and that no flesh should glory in Yahweh’s presence.

This severity of the Law was revealed in what happened to Aaron’s two sons. Not only were they slain, but God forbid Aaron to even mourn for them.

Leviticus 10:1-7
Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before Yahweh, which He had not commanded them. And fire came out from the presence of Yahweh and consumed them, and they died before Yahweh. Then Moses said to Aaron, "It is what Yahweh spoke, saying, 'By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, and before all the people I will be honored.'" So Aaron, therefore, kept silent... Then Moses said to Aaron and to his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, "Do not uncover your heads nor tear your clothes, so that you may not die, and that He may not become wrathful against all the congregation. But your kinsmen, the whole house of Israel, shall bewail the burning which Yahweh has brought about. You shall not even go out from the doorway of the tent of meeting, lest you die; for the Lord's anointing oil is upon you." So they did according to the word of Moses.

If God in His holiness were to treat us with justice we would all perish. Yet He has determined to show to mankind mercy.

James 2:13
For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

The Law revealed the justice of God, and its judgments were accordingly severe. An adulterer, or adulteress was to be stoned to death. One who violated the Sabbath was to be stoned to death. A rebellious son was to be taken outside the camp and stoned to death. Mankind has fallen into great transgression, departing from the holy character of Yahweh, and the consequences are severe. The Law showed this seriousness of man’s fall. Christ came to reveal the mercy of God. If we stop at the Law, we will all be accounted transgressors.

Galatians 2:16-17
A man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Yahshua, even we have believed in Christ Yahshua, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians 3:11
Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith.”

What does this mean, but that no man can attain to the righteousness that is revealed in the Law. We are altogether unclean. We stand condemned by the Law, for this was its ministry; it was given to reveal to man his condemnation.

II Corinthians 3:7-9
But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how shall the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory.

What was engraved in letters on stones? It was the Law of God delivered to Moses. The apostle Paul describes the role of the Law as “the ministry of death,” and “the ministry of condemnation.” The error of those who want to be ruled by the ministry of the Law is revealed in Christ’s confrontation with the Jewish leaders over the woman who was caught in the act of adultery.

John 8:3-11
Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Yahshua stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.  So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Yahshua was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Yahshua had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Yahshua said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

The ministry of the Law was condemnation, but Christ’s words were “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” The Law was given to condemn the world, but Christ did not come for the same purpose.

John 3:17
"For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.”

Luke 9:54-56
And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."]

Moses delivered the Law to God’s people. The Jews thought that this Law could save them, for they were greatly deluded in thinking that they could attain to the righteous standards of the Law. In His sermon on the mount, Yahshua revealed that they were mistaken. He revealed the perfection that Yahweh required for men to be justified in His sight. It was not enough to keep from committing adultery, for if a man looked upon another man’s wife with lust, he had committed adultery with her in his heart. It was not enough to not murder another man, for if one were to be angry with his brother without a cause he was in danger of judgment. It was not enough to love one’s friends and hate one’s enemies, for God causes the Sun to shine on the just and the unjust, and He sends the blessing of rain upon all.

Over and over, Yahshua revealed to the Jews that the Law could only condemn them. It could never present them as righteous in the eyes of Yahweh. The law was given to accuse and convict men of sin before a holy God.

John 5:45
"Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope.”

If we understand these things, then we can begin to understand why God at times violates the commands of His own Law. The Law only revealed one aspect of Yahweh’s character, His holiness, but it did not reveal His mercy. The Law demanded that the one caught in adultery should be stoned, but Christ expressed forgiveness and mercy to the adulteress, while admonishing her to sin no more.
Let us the consider the words of the Law that we have read in Deuteronomy chapter 24, verses 1-4. Yahweh said that a woman who had been sent away and joined to another could not return to the first husband, for that was an abomination. Such a woman is defiled, and according to the righteousness of God this is true. Yet there is mercy even for such an one as this.

Yahweh revealed this when He sent Israel and Judah away with a writ of divorce. They were joined to their lovers, and played the harlot with abandonment. Yet a time came when Yahweh remembered His love for them, and He decided to express His mercy. He took them back, which is something that was detestable to His righteousness. Yet mercy triumphs over judgment! Hallelujah!

Jeremiah 3:8
"And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce...”

Yahweh has declared that the adulteries of Israel are as abominable to Him as the adulteries of an unfaithful wife. He declares through Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 3:1
God says, "If a husband divorces his wife, and she goes from him, and belongs to another man, will he still return to her? Will not that land be completely polluted? But you are a harlot with many lovers; Yet you turn to Me," declares Yahweh.

What is Yahweh declaring? He is saying that Israel has acted just like one who has been divorced due to her adulteries and has been joined to another. She is completely polluted. He asks, “Will such a woman return to her first husband? Will not that land be completely polluted?” The answers are rhetorical, “Yes, she is polluted. No, she has no right to return to her first husband for she has defiled herself.”

Yet, the remarkable thing is that Yahweh allowed her to come back. Indeed, He even sought after her to bring her back to Himself. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

Jeremiah 3:12-14
“Return, faithless Israel,” declares Yahweh; “I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,” declares Yahweh; “I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against Yahweh your God and have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice,” declares Yahweh. “Return, O faithless sons,” declares Yahweh.

We see this same merciful heart of God overcoming His righteous indignation and judgment as recorded in the book of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 39:25-29
Therefore thus says Yahweh God, "Now I shall restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I shall be jealous for My holy name. And they shall forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid. When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations. Then they will know that I am Yahweh their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer. And I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares Yahweh God.

In His righteous anger and jealousy Yahweh could have cast His wife away forever, for she had played the harlot. Yet in His mercy He sought after her and drew her back to Himself.

As we proceed to address the specific questions that arise concerning marriage, divorce, and remarriage, we must ever keep in mind the mercy of God. The Law of God is a minister of condemnation. The Law slays men and women in their sins. Yet God, being rich in His mercy, has put away His anger and ever seeks to save that which is lost. Christ came to save mankind, not to condemn, yet at the same time He says, “Go and sin no more.”

We must ever keep the kindness and the severity of God in mind. His grace does not give men and woman license to sin. All who seek to abuse Yahweh’s grace will reap the consequences of their error. “Do not be deceived, for God will not be mocked.” Men and women will reap what they sow. If they continue to sow to the flesh after having been made partakers of the grace and mercy of God, will they not reap according to their error?

Where should we end this post? Should we end saying God is merciful, or should we end saying God is righteous and holy and to be feared? Let us end by declaring both.

Psalms 85:10
Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

The land that is polluted can be redeemed. That which has been defiled may yet again be sanctified. Let us take hope, and let us “go and sin no more.”

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