Tag Archives: Church

JESUS IS THE TRUE VINE – ISRAEL

John 15:1-7 KJV:

“1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

For those who heard Him speak these words, the context was found in Isaiah 5:7:

Isa 5:7 KJV – 7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts [is] the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

For more of the context read Isaiah chapter 5. Back in Isaiah’s time, Israel had become so corrupt that God was required to fulfill His covenant promises of dispersion and destruction.  For those who knew these Scriptures and the history of Israel, they knew that the prophesies of Isaiah 5 were fulfilled when the king of Assyria invaded and conquered the ten-tribe nation called ‘Israel’ in about 722-3 BC. Many were slain; many others taken captive and were settled in Assyria; while many of the Assyrians were transferred to the land previously occupied by the ten-tribe nation of ‘Israel,’ later known as ‘Samaria.’ This resulted in a mixture of the races which in New Testament times, the Jews called ‘Samaritans,’ not recognizing them as Israelites, but rather considering them gentile dogs.

Jesus was reminding His audience of what happened to the Israel of old when they turned away from God in flagrant disobedience when He said:

“If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned,” John 15:6.

 Tragically, multitudes of them refused to believe His warning and so men cast them into the fires of death, dispersion and destruction in 70 AD when Jerusalem was captured by the Roman armies. Millions were killed; almost another million were taken to Rome and sold as slaves, while millions more were dispersed throughout the world.

But for those who believed and heeded the words of Jesus; they were spared as a group and became the Church, the Body of Christ, the True Vine and went throughout the known world of that era, preaching and teaching the Kingdom of God in Christ.

Should Christians Support Israel?

If you are a Christian who supports “Israel,” you MUST read this:

The old Israel was destroyed, never to rise again:

Those calling themselves “Israel” today are NOT the Israel of the Bible. If you believe the Bible, you know that the 10-tribe nation ended in 723-22 B.C. “Never to raise again,” 2 Kings 17:18-23; Hosea 1:4, 6; 8:8; = Romans 9:25-29; Amos 5:2; 7:8; 8:2, 14. This was in fulfillment of the Covenant, Deuteronomy 31:19-30 and 32:1-43.

Regarding the end of the nation of Judah:  It was carried into Babylonian captivity for 70 years: Jeremiah chapters 25-29; only a Remnant returned.

Return of the “Remnant” from this captivity: Jeremiah chapters 30-44; 2 Kings 21= 2 Chronicles 33:11-19; 2 Kings 23:27: “And the Lord said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.”

Jeremiah 24:3-4: “Surely at the commandment of the Lord came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did; And also for the innocent blood; which the Lord would not pardon.”

Daniel foretold the final end of the fleshly nation of Judah and gave the time that it would happen: Daniel 9:24-27; and chapter 12. This was fulfilled in 70 AD, according to the time foretold by Daniel. Judah ended as a fleshly nation almost 2000 years ago.

The Old Covenant having been violated and the curse fulfilled, God promised a New Covenant, Jeremiah chapter 31. This was fulfilled in Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; Galatians 3:16-29; Hebrews 8:6-13; 9:15-28.

Jesus is the Heir, the only Heir of all the promises of the Covenant: Hebrews 1:2-4. Jesus is Israel: Matthew 2:15 in fulfillment of Hosea 11:1. Christians should support the true Israel, Jesus Christ and His Body, the Church.

Those calling themselves “Israel” today are impostors. If we continue to support them, we become partakers of their evil deeds. 

The One True Israel

Are There Two Israels?

The presence of a nation calling itself “Israel” today makes us ask the question: “Are there two “Israels”? According to the Scriptures there is only one true Israel, but there is also a false “Israel,” a pseudo-Israel.

So what happened to the Old Testament ten-nation tribe called “Israel”? We have the prophetic and historical accounts of their demise in the Bible.

The Word of the Prophets

The word was given to the prophets Amos and Hosea:

Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel. The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up,” Amos 2:1-2.

This was spoken by the prophet Amos in the years prior to 722 BC, the year that Assyria invaded and conquered the ten-tribe nation called “Israel.” For context read the entire book of Amos who further prophesied to that nation at that time, specifically Amos 5:2; 8:2, 14; 9:7-10.

This was also prophesied by Hosea who lived the allegory of God’s judgments against the unfaithful whoredoms of that nation called “Israel.” Read the book of Hosea for the context of the fall of Israel, specifically 1:4, 6, 9-10; 7:16; 8:8; 9:7, 17; 11:5; 13:9, 14, 16.

The historical record of this is found in 2Kings chapter 17. The reason for their fall was:

Because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed His Covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them,” 2Kings 18:12.

Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of His sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only,” 2Kings 17:18. Read chapters 17 and 18 of 2Kings.

We are warned in the Book of Revelation against those “who say they are Jews and are not“, (2:9; 3:9).  The laws in the pseudo “Israel” of today as well as their historical and daily practices are the religion of the Pharisees who were anti-Christ, “against-Christ.”  Romans 2:28-29 shows that only those in Christ are truly Jews.

There is now only one true Israel, the Israel of God, the Church, the Body of Christ.

The Creation of Marriage

The Creation

Genesis 1:27-28: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

This amazing passage of Scripture gives us the knowledge of God’s original creation and intent. He endowed Mankind, male and female, with the unique ability to create other living souls by multiplication of themselves! By this unspeakably powerful gift of reproduction, they could take dominion over the rest of God’s earthly creation.

God’s Purpose

Jesus referred to this, God’s original creative purpose and endowment, as having never changed from the time of creation: Matthew 19:4-6: “And he answered and said unto them: Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (See also Mark 1-:6-9).

These Scriptures define the meaning of marriage: the union of a man and a woman for the intended endowment of the blessed privilege of procreating and filling the earth with Mankind. Every person, then, is a link in the chain of creation from the first man to eternity. It is his contribution to the whole family of humanity.

Redemption of God’s Original Purpose

The original intent was that there would be no death; however, after the original sin which brought the curse of death upon the human race, conception by the woman was to be greatly multiplied, Genesis 3:16.

Christ came to reverse the curse and to give eternal life to as many as would receive it. Ephesians 5:25-33: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, That he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church: For we are member of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh.

“This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. ”

Marriage Is A Sacred Symbol

Marriage is the natural, physical, expression of the spiritual reality of Christ’s relationship to the Church. It symbolizes and is the image of that relationship. To pervert and prostitute that image is to desecrate a holy thing.

The consummate marriage is depicted in Revelation 21:9-22:5. The Lamb of God, Jesus, takes unto Himself His beautiful Bride, the Church: “And they shall reign for ever and ever.” It is in that relationship that Mankind can have dominion over the earth.  God’s intended purpose from the beginning is being fulfilled in the marriage of Christ and the Church.

Consequences and Remedies For Sexual Perversion

For those who are confused about the issue of “same-sex marriage,” let it be noted that such can never be endowed with the privilege to reproduce and therefore it cannot be a marriage in God’s sight. Although they may make whatever contracts they choose so far as legal, living arrangements, they can never be “married.” If they practice perverted sexual sins, it is not an act of love, but of lust, Romans 1:24-27. God’s judgment is already pronounced upon such sin; the choice brings about its own consequences.

We should not harbor hatred toward them, but compassion and determination to lead them to the Truth and to healing and deliverance. They are simply ensnared by the devil’s lies as are all others who reject the salvation offered by Jesus Christ.  They are fallen human beings, with talents and emotions and great potential, just as all other human beings.

The love of God constrains us to seek to deliver them, but never to consent with them that their sin is legal in the sight of God, Romans 1:32.

Ephesians 5:7, 11: “Be ye not therefore partakers with them…. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

 

Our Threefold Relationship With God: Part 2

This is a three part series on our “three-fold” relationship with God. In Part 1 I covered “God, the Father of Spirits.” In this post I will discuss “God as Lover of the Church,” and in Part 3 I will cover “God, Shepherd of our Bodies.”

Part 2: God As Lover Of The Church

The great love story of the Bible is the analogy of the love of God for His wife as found in the Song of Solomon. It describes the thrill, excitement, and desire, when with the loved one. There is the moonlight and roses, the springtime and youth, the jewels and perfumes, the spices and the fruit, the garden and the mountains. What disappointment when the lover can’t be found. What joy in a reunion. This all compares to the glory in the Church when their Lover, Christ, had risen from the dead, ascended to heaven, and yet returned in the power of the Spirit, the very Breath of God.

God’s Desire Was Always to Dwell With His People

The Bible shows us that in the beginning God provided a loving relationship for Adam by making for him a wife which was from his own very flesh and bone. Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man,” Genesis 2:23. Then the Word of God says: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh,” verse 24. Thus the pattern for loving family relationships was established.

God dwelt with His son, Adam, and his family in the Garden of Eden. However, God’s love was not requited by Adam and Eve, but they deliberately and willfully disobeyed His commandment to not eat of the tree of knowledge.

Many things were changed. They now must be clothed. Woman must now bring forth children in sorrow. Adam must till the cursed ground and by hard labor bring forth food for his family. They could no longer live in the Garden of Eden. They must die and return to dust.

But worst of all, God could no longer fellowship with them in the Spirit. Whereas they had originally lived by the Breath, Spirit, of God, they now did not have that Life. So the fellowship of the Spirit was broken. However, this did not stop God from loving them, but it changed their relationship.

The Promise

But God in His great love for them gave them a promise that the serpent that had deceived them would be slain by the Seed of the Woman. By this He revealed His great plan to restore the Spiritual relationship that had been lost.

Throughout the long history of God’s dealing with His people, He always desired the marriage relationship. In the Old Testament He was married to the nation Israel and was broken-hearted when they sinned against Him by going into idolatry, and He had to divorce them.

Throughout the Bible we see God working with His people to bring them back to Himself.

Restoration

But when Jesus came, in fulfillment of the promise to Adam and Eve in the Garden, He came to take a Bride out of the Remnant, seed, of the Old Israel. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, the Breath of God. He fulfilled all of the covenants and promises of God. At last His physical body was slain, buried, and raised from the dead in the power of the New Creation, the Spirit-filled Life.

Not only that, but He now could endow His Beloved with the gift of the Holy Spirit, Breath of God. Fifty days after His resurrection and ten days after His ascension, the Holy Spirit came and filled all of those waiting and longing for it.

One of the marks of the new indwelling of the Spirit was the great joy that was manifested. They now had the power to overcome the world, sin, self and satan. Death had been swallowed up in victory. This was not the bondage of the law forcing them into a strait jacket, but a glorious freedom and power to love, worship, serve, honor and obey. And they could offer it to all the world. They were ecstatic.

Finally, in Revelation 21 and 22, the loving marriage relationship is restored and Jesus takes His bride, the New Jerusalem, the Church. God again has a Spiritual Son and a family.

Revelation 21:3: “And I heard a great voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.”

Verse 7: “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my Son.”

The Church Responds To God’s Love

How does the Church respond to the love of Christ today? In heartfelt worship, prayer, praise, and dedication. This is practiced both on the individual level and on the corporate level. It has often been compared to entering into a garden, a tryst. “Oh the beautiful garden, the garden of prayer! Oh the beautiful garden of prayer! There the Savior awaits, And He opens the gate, To that beautiful garden of prayer.”

This is the “secret place of the Most High” of Psalm 91: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” The Psalmist describes it as a refuge, a stronghold, a fortress of safety.

Psalm 31:19-20: “Oh, how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.”

Song: In The Garden, Words by C. Austin Miles

1.“I come to the garden alone, While the dew is still on the roses,

And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, The Son of God discloses.

Chorus:
“And He walks with me, And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own.
And the joy we share, As we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

2. “He speaks and the sound of His voice, Is so sweet the birds hush their singing.
And the melody that He gave to me, Within my heart is ringing.

3. “I’d stay in the garden with Him, Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go, through the voice of woe, His voice to me is calling.

Chorus:
“And He walks with me, And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own.
And the joy we share, As we tarry there,
None other has ever known.”

Whether we are in a congregation or whether we are alone, we enter into this garden to respond to the love of God in worship, in prayer, and in communion. But in verse three the Lover says to go back out into the hurting world. This, too, is part of our love for Jesus. But we go empowered, for Jesus goes with us.

Song: Jesus Lover Of My Soul

  1. Jesus, Lover of my soul, Let me to Thy bosom fly.

While the nearer waters roll, While the tempest still is high.

Hide me, O my Savior, hide. Till the storms of life are past;

Safe into the harbor guide, O receive my soul at last.

  1. Other refuge have I none, Hangs my helpless soul on Thee.

Leave, ah, leave me not alone, Still support and comfort me.

All my trust on Thee is stayed, All my help from Thee I bring;

Cover my defenseless head, With the shadow of Thy wing.

  1. Thou, O Christ, art all I want; More than all in Thee I find,

Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, Heal the sick and lead the blind.

Just and holy is Thy name, I am all unrighteousness;

False and full of sin I am, Thou art full of truth and grace.

  1. Plenteous grace with Thee is found, Grace to cover all my sin;

Let the healing streams abound; Make and keep me pure within.

Thou of life the fountain art; Freely let me take of Thee;

Spring Thou up within my heart, Rise to all eternity.

Words by Charles Wesley