The Bridegroom

Before the time of Christ, the leaders of Jerusalem and Israel were expecting a conquering King to rise up for the nation, to make it great again. They did not get what they expected.

Those who know Old Testament prophecy may remember the prophet, Isaiah, had centuries before the time of Christ proclaimed that the people of God, after the sacrificial work of a wonderful Redeemer, would be called Bride! 

ISA 49.18 …[As] I live, says the LORD, you shall surely clothe yourself with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them [on you], as a bride.

ISA 62.5 …[as] the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, [so] shall your God rejoice over you.

Several centuries later, John the Baptist and prophet, preached the coming of Jesus just before He began His earthly ministry. John also identified Jesus as the Bridegroom, and himself as the friend who rejoices with the Bridegroom.

JOH 3.28-29 …I am not the Christ, but I am sent before Him. He that has the bride is the Bridegroom: but the friend of the Bridegroom, who stands and hears Him, rejoices greatly because of the Bridegroom’s voice: by this my joy is fulfilled.

When Jesus the Messiah came to earth as flesh and blood, He came not to govern one nation, but to love and win hearts of all on earth who would love Him in return. He came as a Bridegroom to restore the heart and family of God – Israel of God – to Himself. 

It is worth a mention, however, that the protective blessing of national greatness, by lesson of history, is a byproduct of purity and faithfulness of the people to God.

Friends, our Bridegroom has arisen and His heart is on His sleeve. He gave His life to know, love and be loved. Jesus calls all who will listen to His voice, “Trust Me, will you place your hand in mine, and become part of my beloved family, Israel?”

Trust the Bridegroom… and know the rewards of being the bride are eternal!

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Day of the Cross

Good Friday. It is the day of the cross. Those who celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ remember this day as the day He hung on the cross for our sins nearly 2000 years ago.

For Jesus, it was the worst day of His human life. A day of torment, utter agony and humiliation. He could have stopped it with a word, but He chose to give His life out of love for us.

Sacrifice to end all sacrifices, atonement purchased for humans with God. If they would only trust Him.

He identified Himself as one with God and as the only way to God. I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

His life, every word and deed, proved this to be true. He was the culmination of every Old Testament prophecy.

The prophets centuries before all foretold a myriad of details about the One who would come, His life, what His death would be like, what it would accomplish. He fulfilled them all, 100%.

For just a taste of Biblical prophecies fulfilled by Jesus, check out this article on cbn.com. There are many additional articles available with a quick search online.

Once you believe Christ was the prophesied One, God Himself come to earth to give His life for us, the next step is to admit you need Him, and to trust His sacrifice was enough. It does not matter how bad your life has been, if you believe Christ and trust His death on the cross covers you, God says you belong to Him.

There have been some teachers who have said all anyone has to do is “believe” to be God’s child. They quote John 3:16 in the most popular English translations of the Bible, “whoever believes on Him will not perish…”

But the Greek from which the English translations came reveals more than simple belief. The definition of the word English translators changed to believe is actually “have faith in, or trust”. It is more than head knowledge, it is a giving of mind and heart.

For those who have struggled their entire lives to trust another, this is a big step of faith, isn’t it? On the testimony of many humans who lived thousands of years ago, to trust a man claiming to be God. Believing that faith in Him, that His death was for you, is enough to earn you God’s forever forgiveness.

And yet, that is the true story. This day in history changed the world. It is the single most important and pivotal event. God came down to reach us, to prove His love and restore us to Himself. He had to do it all for us, that we might be forever secure in Him.

For anyone needing help, wanting evidence, to believe, I recommend you search out this book or movie: The Case For Christ. It is the personal story of Lee Strobel. He was an award-winning legal journalist for the Chicago Tribune, an atheist, when his wife came to faith in Christ. Lee set out to disprove Christianity, but ended up coming to faith, based on the mountain of overwhelming evidence.

The culmination of his journey reminds me of a favorite line in Star Wars, episode VII, when an aged Hans Solo tells the young Rey and her companion something to the effect, “Everything you’ve heard is true, the force is real.”

The story of Jesus Christ is real. The evidence is undeniable. He loves you so much, He gave His life for you. Will you trust Him?

‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so it is good the Son of Man to be lifted up, that every one who is trusting in Him may not perish, but may have life eternal, for God did so love the world, that His Son – the only born – He gave, that every one who is trusting in Him may not perish, but may have life eternal.

For God did not send His Son to the world that He may judge the world, but that the world may be saved through Him; he who is trusting in Him is not judged, but he who is not trusting has been judged already, because he hath not trusted in the name of the only born Son of God.

John 3:14-18 YLT (slightly modernized) Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible (Revised Edition, with one-touch navigation) (Kindle Locations 52684-52688). Kindle Edition.

A Study on Healing in the New Testament

Healing… before the Cross/Resurrection:

In the Gospels, before the Cross, healing was apparently used mainly as a tool of evangelism, to draw the people and convince them of the power in Christ, His divinity. Christ, Himself, healed ALL who came to Him. In addition, He gave each of the twelve disciples the gift of healing as part of their evangelical mission.

Christ healed everyone (Matt 4):

And Jesus was going about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the reign, and healing every disease, and every malady among the people,

and his fame went forth to all Syria, and they brought to him all having ailments, pressed with manifold sicknesses and pains, and demoniacs, and lunatics, and paralytics, and he healed themMatthew 4:23-24 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

Disciples were all given healing gift (Matt 10):

And having called to him his twelve disciples, he gave to them power over unclean spirits, so as to be casting them out, and to be healing every sickness, and every malady.

`And, going on, proclaim saying that, the reign of the heavens hath come nigh;

infirm ones be healing, lepers be cleansing, dead be raising, demons be casting out — freely ye did receive, freely give. Matthew 10:1,8 (YLT)

Healing… after the Cross/Resurrection:

After the Resurrection, in the new, growing church, it is apparent the gift of healing was given to select, but not all believers, as demonstrated below in 1 Corinthians 12.

for to one through the Spirit hath been given a word of wisdom, and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit;

and to another faith in the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healings in the same Spirit;

and to another in-workings of mighty deeds; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits; and to another [divers] kinds of tongues; and to another interpretation of tongues:

[are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all powers?

have all gifts of healings? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

and desire earnestly the better gifts; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; 29-31 (YLT)

In modern day, whether in person or through the testimony of documentaries such as those made by filmmaker, Darren Wilson [Finger of God, Furious Love, Father of Lights, etc], we can see evangelical teams witnessing on the streets around the world and healing the sick and lame. There are times not everyone is healed, however. It seems to be determined by the will of the Spirit for His purposes.

Yet, it also seems there are some unique individuals who are able to heal every person they lay hands on. This would indicate they have the gift of healing, specifically.

Perfectly in line with Scripture, we might conclude God can use anyone to heal when He wishes to reach the lost. However, some in the body of Christ possess the gift of healing to benefit both the body of Christ and non-believers.

How Do We Save America?

Long before this blog began over a year ago, and many times since, I have found myself mourning, weeping, crying out to God for America. For some reason, He has pressed into my soul an urgent passion on behalf of what was (and in His eyes, I believe, still is) His country.

As a nation, we reflect Him less now than we did a century and a half ago, when writers like Herman Melville and Alexis de Tocqueville were declaring America distinctly and almost universally “Christian”.

But we still house the majority of God’s people, having the densest population of the followers of Christ/Messiah, Yeshua. So, the influx of non-believers, and the secularization of our culture and laws has still not changed the fact the most Christians in the world live in the U.S.! This land is God’s land, it was founded upon Biblical principles and the hope of religious freedom.

The blessings of being God’s land are obvious. Richest nation in the world, abundant resources, country that has most reached a helping hand to those in need and taken in the majority of the world’s refugees…

But we are slipping, are we not? Many ask why, and in my experience, many believers want to continually point fingers at non-believers. ‘It must be their fault, they come with their pagan ideas and worldly values and are voting out our laws which were based upon God’s Word.’

Maybe that is a little of it. But the greater truth we do not want to face is, churches and people who also call themselves Christian have allowed their teaching and values to become severely diluted with the world’s values. Christian pastors and priests, and parishioners have allowed their churches’ teachings to stray far from the Word of God!

This past Sunday, I attended a service where the speaker did little more than give a speech worthy of a social/political rally instead of a message for God’s people in His house. To be honest, it smacked of rebellion, and I did not hear the name of Jesus except at the end of one prayer. I was more than appalled, and found myself doing spiritual warfare praying during the service, going so far as to rebuke a spirit of revolution that is spreading in our land like a wildfire from hell!

My precious friends and co-believers in Christ, remember the words of Jesus when He said in Matthew: “If your enemy compels you to go with him one mile (carrying his load), go with him two.” (Matt 5:41)

The message of Christ in the New Testament is peace and humble service, not rebellion and revolution! The people of God do not need to ‘rise up’, they need to fall upon their knees in repentance to the Lord, fasting and prayer!

When ministers stand up and teach the whole truth in the Word of God, and we as believers respond and become clean, surrendered to the Lord and filled with His Holy Spirit… then we will be ready to move forward as a mighty army, NOT to war, but to LOVE the non-believing world as Christ loved us. And then, maybe then, who knows what God might do in our land?

JOEL 2:12 “Therefore also now, says the LORD, turn to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13 And tear your heart, and not your clothing, and turn to the LORD your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and may change His mind on judgment. 14 Who knows if He will change His course, and leave a blessing instead?

15 Blow the trumpet in the land of God’s people, observe a holy fast, call a solemn assembly: 16 Gather the people, call out the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and babies; let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. 17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep and let them say, Spare Your people, O LORD, and give not Your heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: saying in the midst of the people, ‘Where is their God’?

18 Then will the LORD be jealous for His land, and pity His people.”

Scripture from: Strong, James. A Complete Bible Reference Study Library (4 in 1): [Illustrated]: KJV Bible (with blogger edits to modernize and clarify), Strongs Concordance & Dictionaries, Lexicon Definitions, and Bible word index (Kindle Locations 83503-83529). Bestbooks. Kindle Edition.