I went into a writing hiatus due to the ongoing festivity. Also it is a good time to take the backseat, relax, and recharge, Lord willing, for another year of blogging. The last blog I had written, “Scripture vs. Tradition,” got a good number of viewing and response. To think that I haven’t even shared it on my best media platform. Thanks be to God that He has provided me a platform to share God’s truth.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people got married this year. That is actually good, for the idea of marriage was introduced at the very beginning of the Bible, the Book of Genesis. See Genesis 2:18,21-24.
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” … So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man He made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
It seems odd that Genesis 2:24 should be applied to Adam’s circumstance, his taking of a wife in Eve, for Adam does not have a human parent whom he should separate from as suggested by numerous Bible commentaries. There must be another meaning to Genesis 2:24 that would still be consistent with the context of Genesis chapters one and two – the story of God’s Creation.
The apostle Paul quoted Genesis 2:24 (“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”) in two separate letters written to the church; see 1 Corinthians 6:12-17.
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.
The context of Paul’s discourse clearly was about the church, the body of Christ. Paul was rebuking the church for bringing their disputes before the courts of men; see 1 Corinthians 6:5-11.
I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
The apostle Paul teaches that Christ is the Head and the church is His body; see Colossians 1:15-23.
He [Jesus Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
In Romans 12:4-5, the Bible said:
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Next, 1 Corinthians 12:27 says, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.“
As can be seen above, Paul’s use of the word “body,” he meant the church, and Christians are individual members of the church. The church then is not the the building but the people of God. The church also is joined to the Lord and becomes one spirit with Him, hence here is a clear application of Genesis 2:24 having been quoted by Paul; see 1 Corinthians 6:15-17.
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.
Understanding Genesis 2:24 from the perspective presented by Paul through 1 Corinthians 6:12-17 should enlighten us about the union of the church with the Lord. Scripture then, through Genesis 2:24, had prophetically foretold God’s New Creation; see 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
The “church” then is the New Creation of God. The other quotation of Genesis 2:24 by Paul may be found in Ephesians 5:31-32.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
Both in Ephesians and 1 Corinthians, Paul’s quotation of Genesis 2:24 spoke of the union or betrothal of Christ with the church while waiting for the Wedding Banquet – the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Yes, until the Return of Christ Jesus consummating His kingdom, the church remains in betrothal, not yet married to Christ. See 2 Corinthians 11:1-4; Paul, speaking to the church, said:
I wish you [the church] would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you [the church], since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
It surely is important to know and believe the Jesus Christ of the Bible, not based on conjecture of men but by the Word of God. For the Bible alone is the revelation of God for anyone to know Him, His message and promises.
It is of most importance to bear in mind that the Wedding Banquet of Christ and the church as taught by Jesus to His disciples would occur at His Return; see Matthew 24:44 to Matthew 25:13.
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom His Master [Jesus Christ] has set over His household [Kingdom of heaven], to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom His master will find so doing when He comes. Truly, I say to you, He will set him over all His possessions [God’s kingdom]. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect Him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the Bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them [no readiness], but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the Bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the Bridegroom! Come out to meet Him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the Bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with Him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But He answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
In Matthew 25:5, “As the Bridegroom was delayed,” the delay was not a deviation from Jesus’ promise but according to the plan of God; see 2 Peter 3:1-9.
This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
The passing of the heavens and the earth refers to God’s old covenant with Israel becoming obsolete. Yes, the Mosaic Covenant in Mount Sinai had become obsolete; see Hebrews 8:13.
In speaking of a new covenant, He [God] makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Therefore, it’s not literal passing of heavens and earth as has been taught. See Isaiah 66:1, Scripture said:
Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool; what is the house that you would build for Me, and what is the place of My rest?
God declared heaven to be His throne, why then would He literally destroy even His place of throne? Can you see the irony of misunderstanding Scripture?
See also Deuteronomy 31:24 to 32:1.
When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end, Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, “Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD. How much more after my death! Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them. For I know that after my death you will surely act corruptly and turn aside from the way that I have commanded you. And in the days to come evil will befall you, because you will do what is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger through the work of your hands.” Then Moses spoke the words of this song until they were finished, in the ears of all the assembly of Israel “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.”
I did not write the whole of Deuteronomy 32 due to its length. It would be good though to read the entirety of Deuteronomy 28 to 33 for better comprehension. The Mosaic Covenant making Israel God’s people rest upon the condition of obedience to the Law. In Deuteronomy 32:1, Moses’ utterance of heavens and the earth was a covenant-making terminology. Therefore, the metaphorical expression “destruction of heavens and the earth” then speaks of the abolition of the covenant.
Furthermore, there’s no real delay that was not according to God’s grace. The “delay” was actually the time for the preparation of the harvest; see John 4:34-38.
Jesus said to them [His disciples], “My food is to do the will of Him [God the Father] who sent Me and to accomplish His work [the New Creation]. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
Again, the presume delay concerning Jesus’ Return for people who witnessed His Advent was simply a period for the preparation of the harvest – the preaching of the Gospel for the deliverance of Jews who would believe so be saved and the increase of wickedness of all who refused Jesus so as be judge for God’s final punishment. That explains Jesus’ command to His disciples before sending them out to preach the Gospel; see Matthew 10:5-7,23.
These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ … When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
See Matthew 10:23; again Jesus clearly proclaimed that His Return would be at the lifetime of His apostles. There is therefore no argument regarding Jesus’ return, and with His return, the Old Covenant would pass away while ushering in His New Covenant.
See also Matthew 24:34-36.
Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place [the Second Coming with the destruction of the Jewish temple]. Heaven and earth [Mosaic Covenant] will pass away, but My words will not pass away. “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.“
Oh yes, Jesus said, “No one knows that day and hour except God the Father.” Christ was referring to the Zechariah 14:5-9, specifically verse 9.
And you shall flee to the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with Him. On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost. And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter. And the LORD will be King over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and His name one.
For the sake of argument, it might not be known to Jesus while He was still on earth, but He surely knew the day and the hour after His ascension because He said so; see Revelation 1:1-3,7.
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near … Behold, He [Jesus Christ] is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
In Revelation 1:7, “Every eye will see Him,” again a quotation from Zechariah 12:10.
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on Him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.
Jesus received the revelation from God the Father and He gave it to John, His apostle, and He told him the time is near, He is coming! Once again, this agrees with the timetable of Jesus that His Return would be in the generation of His apostles (Matthew 16:27-28 and Matthew 10:23).
And as I have shared earlier, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is the time of the Wedding Banquet (Matthew 25:10), of the Bridegroom and His church (Revelation 19:7-8), and also the time of His judgment against Israel (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16), thereby destroying the Jewish temple and abolishing His First Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant (Matthew 24:1-3,34-35; Hebrews 8:13).
Jesus Christ indeed is the Bridegroom who was to come; see Mark 2:18-20.
Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to Him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the Bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the Bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the Bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.
See also John 3:25-36. Here John the Baptist witnessed that Jesus is the Bridegroom.
Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. And they came to John [the Baptist] and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, He is baptizing, and all are going to Him.” John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before Him.’ The one who has the bride is the Bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears Him, rejoices greatly at the Bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.” He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what He has seen and heard, yet no one receives His testimony. Whoever receives His testimony sets His seal to this, that God is true. For He whom God has sent utters the words of God, for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
As I had mentioned earlier, Paul, in 2 Corinthians 11:2, clearly said the church prior to the return of Jesus was still in betrothal with the Lord. Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary explained the concept of Jewish betrothal.
Betrothal is a mutual promise or contract for a future marriage. In Hebrew custom, betrothal was actually part of the marriage process. A change of intention by one of the partners after he or she was betrothed was a serious matter, subject in some instances to penalty by fine. A Jewish betrothal could be dissolved only by the man’s giving the woman a certificate of divorce. A betrothal usually lasted for one year. During that year the couple were known as husband and wife, although they did not have the right to be united sexually. Betrothal was much more closely linked with marriage than our modern engagement. But the actual marriage took place only when the bridegroom took the bride to his home and the marriage was consummated in the sexual union.
When did Jesus, the Bridegroom, took His bride to be home with Him? See John 14:3.
And if I [Jesus Christ] go and prepare a place for you [the disciples], I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.
The Advent of Jesus then is the coming of the Bridegroom betrothing the church to Him, as prophesied by the Old Testament Prophets of God and announced by John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ Jesus, announcing His coming so the kingdom of heaven indeed is at hand. See Matthew 3:1-3.
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’”
Jesus also announced the same; see Matthew 4:17.
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
See also Luke 17:20-21.
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He [Jesus] answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
The evidence of God’s kingdom rests on the reality that Jesus Christ came, for He declared, “For behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” Moreover, it cannot be observe or seen, for Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say ‘Look, here it is! or ‘There!”
It is ironic then that many who profess to be Christians remain adamant, refusing to believe Jesus’ declaration that He would return to consummate His Reign and Kingdom before the demised of His first generation disciples; see Matthew 16:27-28.
For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
And let me remind everyone, Jesus made clear that the reality and presence of His kingdom cannot be observed or seen by the natural sight for it is a spiritual kingdom, right here in the midst of our present existence. Evil may continue to exist around us, but in God’s kingdom, which we may be part by faith in Christ Jesus, we are safely in the hands of the “Mighty Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)”.
By the way, Isaiah 9:6-7 is often quoted in reference to the Christmas festivity. But bear in mind that Isaiah 9:6-7 is not simply a declaration of Jesus’ birth, more so His reign, kingship, and of course kingdom.
To further understand the reality of God’s reign and the fact that Jesus had returned just as He had promised in numerous occasion and teaching, you may want to read my blog “Scripture vs. Tradition”.
Now going back to the theme of Marriage or Wedding Banquet – at the time of Paul, before the Return of Christ Jesus, the church remained betrothed to the Bridegroom; the marriage or union of Christ and the church had yet to be completed. I mentioned earlier that Paul did quote Genesis 2:24 and applied it to the relationship of Christ and the church. But before Paul, it is of most importance that Jesus Christ also quoted Genesis 2:24 (“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”). See Matthew 19:1-9.
Now when Jesus had finished these sayings [Jesus’ teachings about the “Kingdom of Heaven” cf. Matthew 18:1-4], He went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. And Pharisees came up to Him and tested Him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
Isn’t it clear that God’s creation of man and his wife was to be one flesh, joined by God in union with Himself? See the Trinity God’s declaration and purpose in creation (Genesis 1:26-27).
Then God said, “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
The Trinity God is in perfect union with each Person of the GodHead – God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. So for man to be created in God’s image and likeness, it also spoke of the same perfect unity. Man (male and female) were in perfect unity with God before the fall. But due to the disobedience of both Adam and Eve, breaking God’s Covenant with them, mankind is no longer in unity with God. They were banished from the Garden of Eden – the picture of God’s presence with man.
Thanks be to God for His grace. See 1 Corinthians 15:22-26; Paul wrote:
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at His coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
As I have explained in my blog “Scripture vs. Tradition”, without the Return of Christ Jesus completing His kingdom, there is no resurrection yet. And death occurred in Genesis, immediately after Adam and Eve broke God’s covenant, just as God declared it would be once they disobeyed Him and ate the forbidden fruit. Again, as I have mentioned in my other blogs, it was a spiritual death that occurred – the alienation of man from God so they were banished from the Garden of Eden. Physical death came hundreds of years later, not immediately as pronounced by God, which is a natural consequence of man’s departure from God’s presence for what remains of man was his natural composition. Man was made from dust, thereby susceptible to decay. So the resurrection then is a spiritual one. Christians were made alive in Christ Jesus by faith. The resurrection or restoration of God’s union with man into the Garden of Eden was fulfilled after His Return – the Wedding Banquet.
The coming of the Bridegroom was announced by John the Baptist, some two thousand years ago. Jesus Christ came announcing His building of the church; see Matthew 16:13-19.
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Jesus Christ alone would build His church through the preaching of the Gospel. The church would fully be united with the GodHead – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – with the Return of Christ, at the Wedding Banquet of Christ and the church.
Christ Jesus, not Peter, is the Rock by which the church would be built. See Ephesians 2:11-22.
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both [Jew and Gentile] one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God [the church], built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
See also, 1 Corinthians 10:1-4.
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
Christ Jesus indeed is the Rock, the Cornerstone by which His church is built. The church was betrothed to Christ at the time of Paul and the first generation Christians until the Wedding Banquet was consummated at the Return of Jesus. And bear in mind that Jesus promised to return before the demised of His immediate disciples – Peter, James and John and the rest of His apostles (cf. Matthew 10:23; Matthew 16:27-28).
Now, if it will be insisted that Jesus hasn’t returned, then there will be two possibilities only. As Christians, we hold on to the inerrant Word of God or the Scripture. Therefore every pronouncement of Jesus is true. So first, they must assume that the apostles are still alive today waiting for the return of Jesus, which of course is an impossibility. Then second, Jesus is not true to His Word, His pronouncement had fail, which I reject and am left with no choice but to understand and accept that the traditional teaching about Jesus’ Second Coming is erroneous, for it cannot stand the scrutiny of Scripture.
Hence, believing that Jesus Christ had fulfilled all His promises, He then is the Bridegroom who came just as He had promised and He was/is not a runaway bridegroom – knowingly or unknowingly projected by the traditional and popular teachings today. Actually, not only today but at the onset of the belief or teaching that Jesus has yet to return.
So sad that many who profess to love the Lord Jesus Christ fail to read and check the validity of each teaching and claim that is based on the imagination of man, not the Word of God. Quoting a Scripture here and there but denying or ignoring the context or background for which it was spoken is a dilution of the the Word of God, of which Jesus had forewarned against; see Revelation 22:16-20.
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
At the beginning of my blog, I shared that I took a rest from writing to relax and recharge. But due to the Reason of the Season, I was compelled to write this blog. However, due to the length of the discussion that would ensue, I have to end here for the moment. An understanding of the Wedding Banquet, vis-a-vis the church, is essential to our faith and walk. We shouldn’t simply celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and hope for the coming of His kingdom; rather, we ought to celebrate the festivity with the knowledge that the reality of His Kingdom is present and existing now. Glory be to God and Him alone!
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