Jesus was NOT a Christian: Deceit of the Gods (Part 3) (Legacy of the Gods Book 4)

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  1. True Love by John MacArthur
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  4. Scripture and Tradition

Here are four specific signs the Bible gives to know that the return of Jesus Christ is near. What makes these so important is that all four of them have already been fulfilled. The disciples specifically asked Jesus Christ when He would return. How did He answer? He did not say, Do not worry about such things, or No man can know the decade or the century. He answered by giving specific signs to watch for. Christ said that wars and rumors of wars would spread, but these of themselves were not signs of His return. So, when you see wars and rumors of wars increasing—and you see famines, pestilences and earthquakes increasing—do not pretend everything is normal.

Sit up and take notice! This is not just a war or a rumor of a war. This is a catastrophic world war on a scale that human beings have never before experienced! The worst wars in history occurred during the 20th century. World War i caused more than 15 million deaths. World War ii caused more than 60 million deaths—and by its conclusion, the world entered the age of weapons of mass destruction.

The two atomic bombs that ended World War ii are weak compared to the weapons human beings have developed since. The most powerful bomb ever exploded detonated in and was thousands of times more powerful than either of those explosions. Today, there are an estimated 10, nuclear warheads ready for launch, with accurate delivery systems that can reach around the world. There are thousands more chemical and biological weapons and billions if not trillions of pounds of conventional ordnance and ammunition.

Human beings now have the technical capacity—and the twisted mindsets—required to annihilate all human life. In the first century a. That prophecy could never have been fulfilled in the age of the bow and arrow, or the musket and cannon, or the howitzer and tank, or even the airplane and aircraft carrier. Only in the last couple generations have human beings possessed weapons of mass destruction that threaten to destroy all human life!

And now, in the age of terrorism and nuclear-armed nations increasing in number, capacity and belligerence, the world faces increasing probability that these weapons will be unleashed. We are now living in a time like no other in history, when the next world war could cause the extinction of humanity. This was a sign from Jesus Christ Himself of His imminent return.

And it has already happened. Jesus gave another sign of His return, recorded in Matthew Here, He was transfigured before three of His disciples. This was an incredible experience for them. They had believed He was the Son of God, of course, but here was a dazzling vision that not only confirmed this but actually showed them what He will look like at His Second Coming.

After seeing an advance vision of the most important event in human history, what did the disciples immediately think of? An intriguing question formed in their minds. The disciples regarded this as a powerful, pivotal prophecy. And how did Jesus answer them? That prophecy was fulfilled long ago. Or: That prophecy is not for human understanding. Or: Focus on morals—focusing on prophecy will only confuse you. Not at all! He confirmed what Malachi had prophesied and what the scribes and the disciples believed—and He added a related prophecy of His own:. Yes, his prophecy applies to my future return, which you just saw in a vision.

Not only that, but this man like Elijah who will come in the end time will restore all things. How would that be possible? So Jesus Christ Himself said that He would return in power and glory to rule all nations. He said this man would restore all things—meaning all foundational biblical doctrines—to His Church. Yet very few Christians even attempt to explain this prophecy, even though it was spoken by Jesus Christ Himself!

Yet there was a man in the 20th century who taught this prophecy toward the end of his year ministry. He had started out not as a seminarian but as a businessman largely uninterested in religion. Through circumstances and forces beyond his control, he was brought to a penetrating repentance and an intensive study of the Bible. These doctrines could be proved from the Bible, they fit together with each other, and they matched what Jesus Christ and the disciples had taught.

This man was Herbert W. Armstrong — He reestablished biblical doctrines that had been lost to Christianity for centuries. He proclaimed a strong warning to the modern descendants of the ancient Israelites, much like the Prophet Elijah had done 3, years ago. Herbert W.

Armstrong was the end-time Elijah. This is a bold statement to make: I challenge you to prove it for yourself. You can find far more information proving this truth by reading our new booklet on the subject: A Pivotal Sign of the End Time. Just like the sign of weapons of mass destruction, this sign of an Elijah was given by Jesus Christ Himself.

And, just like that sign, this one has already occurred! Back in Matthew 24, Jesus Christ gave more signs of what would occur before His return. Consider the radical implications of this clear, direct statement. The New Testament has been translated into more than 1, languages, and Christian churches have gone to extraordinary lengths over those 20 centuries to preach its message in all nations. So how could the gospel being preached in all the world be a sign of the end? But its main meaning is the message of Jesus Christ.

True Love by John MacArthur

The gospel message preached by billions of Catholics, Protestants and others over the centuries has been a gospel about Christ. It has been a message proclaiming that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and died to pay for the sins of humanity. But this is not the gospel Jesus Christ preached, and it is not the gospel He said would be a sign of His return!

Jesus Christ was the Son of God and did die to pay the death penalty for human sin, but that was not His gospel message. The gospel message He Himself preached was the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God! Galatians Christians have misunderstood Christ, misunderstood His message, and therefore the gospels they have taught are flawed.

But it has not become a nation- and empire-dominating religious force of millions of people blending in the doctrines of many belief systems. It has not become a fractured coalition of thousands of independent churches with differing beliefs. It has been small and persecuted. And it had not preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God in all the world for a witness to all nations. But in the 20th century, a time of increasing dangers and weapons of mass destruction, God used an end-time Elijah to restore all things— including the gospel message of the Kingdom of God.

You ever try to pick a fight with a Spirit controlled person? Every try to pick a fight with a totally joyful person that just has rising joy in their heart? Ever try to pick a fight with somebody who is thankful for everything, even the conflict? Ever try to pick a fight with somebody who is totally submissive. Very difficult. Where that exists there is hope.

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Conflict goes where the Holy Spirit dominates. Now as we look at the text before us. They lived in a different time with different perspectives and I think you need to understand what was going on. So, I want to give you a little bit of history. I know I may indulge myself on this from time to time.

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I happen to love history. Obliviously there were Jews in the church if Ephesus and this was a circular letter and got around to all the churches and eventually, not only all the churches in Asia Minor, but all the churches everywhere and is still getting around to all the churches everywhere. But there were many Jews in the early church and they too needed to understand the biblical view of marriage.

The Jews themselves had a low view of woman. They had developed a lot of their own apostate religion and part of it was a very low view of woman. In fact, there are Jewish prayers used by Jewish men, every morning of their lives and in one of these prayers there was one line that illustrates their attitude. This is what it was. God, I thank you that you have not made me a Gentile, a slave, or a woman. Now they perceived a woman as lower on the human level than a man.

A woman was an object not a person. A woman had no legal rights. She was in the absolute power of her husband to do with her whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. In New Testament times then, among the Jews, divorce had become tragically easy and tragically common. And they supported it with a passage from the Old Testament, you know, wanting to be fastidious to their devotion to the Mosaic Law, they quoted from Deuteronomy chapter 24, and verse 1. Some uncleanness and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house.

Stop right there. And they simply said, if you find, if your wife loses favor in your eyes because you find some uncleanness in her you can write her a divorce and send her out of the house. There is a lot more in that passage than that. It was not intended to permit that, it was intended to forbid the fact that if that happens and she remarries, she can never come back and marry you.

That was really the issue. They just said, there it is. If you find some indecency, some uncleanness, ship her out. Give her a bill of divorce. Now the question became, what is the uncleanness. What is the indecency? If she commits adultery, you can divorce her. But liberal rabbis said it refers to absolutely anything and that its vagueness is intended by God to allow you to fill in the blank.

This is represented by a famous rabbi named Hillel. So throughout sort of the rabbinic history, even until today, Jews argue over the view of Shammai and Hillel. Hillel said that it meant a man could divorce his wife if she spoiled his dinner. It meant that he could divorce his wife, get this, if she spilled his dinner, because of course a spilled dinner is a spoiled dinner. He could divorce her if she put too much salt on it.

He could divorce her if she walked in public with her head uncovered. He could divorce her if she talked with men in the streets. I like this one, he could divorce her if she spoke disparagingly of her mother-in-law and this is really good. He could divorce her if she ever argued with him. Rabbi Akiva even went further. He interpreted the phrase to mean, that a husband could divorce his wife if she became unclean in his eyes because he found somebody prettier.

Now, take a guess which was the most popular view among men. Shammai had very few followers. Hillel had many so divorce became rampant in the time of Jesus. Women were discarded all over the place. And they were victims of such discarding left with nothing. All a man had to do at the time of Jesus, at the time of Paul was simply to hand her a bill of divorce, and all it took to get one of those was to have a rabbi write it in the presence of two witnesses and it was done.

That was it. The only alimony or support that was required was the return of the dowry and it was as done deal. The Jews were fastidious by the way about following the technical side making sure you get to a rabbi and making sure you get the documentation, but their hearts were full of cruelty and wickedness. It was said, whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of dismissal. Just do the paperwork. And I think just in fairness to Jewish history, in different eras of Jewish history there were different views, but at the time of Jesus this was the prevailing view, so divorce was the solution to any conflict, short term or long term.

And consequently the whole institution of marriage was threatened, and by the way, prostitution was rampant in Jesus time even among the Jews. The Greeks has very similar approach to this. They just lived in blatant disregard for any marital fidelity. Prostitution was an absolutely essential part of Greek life. Demosthenes no less than that famous orator said, we have courtesans for the sake of pleasure, we have concubines for the sake of daily cohabitation and we have wives for the purpose of having children legitimately and having a faithful caretaker for our household affairs.

You have the babies and you pay the bills. The Greek man found his pleasure and even his friendship outside his marriage. His wife was a house keeper and a baby maker. His pleasure outside his marriage sexually.

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His friends outside his marriage. Home and family life were almost extinct and fidelity was almost nonexistent. There was no legal procedure for divorce. You just put them out. This is why Paul writing to the early church emphasizes the sin of fornication so strongly as you read the Pauline letters the sin of fornication comes up again and again and he talks about porneia or the verb form porneu to engage in sexual sin. References to prostitution, harlotry, sexual perversions of all kinds. Because, the word was dominated by those things, the Gentile world.

Pornos is a man who lies with a prostitute or a male prostitute. A gigolo or a homosexual. It was just everywhere and porneia is a common word in Pauline vocabulary. According to citizenship law of B. C for example, now we are going four and a half centuries before Christ. In fact, they were a professional class called hetairai which in Greek means of a different kind. So the ancient world, for example, in Athens was just loaded with prostitutes.

Married women were uneducated. They were regarded as chattel, used for keeping the house and having children. Slavery which was rampant in that Greek world allowed men to take slave girls basically for no other purposes then for sexual fulfillment, mistresses. Wide spread prostitution, harlotry, sexual sin of all kinds was all over the place in Greek culture. They encouraged the Athenian women to fulfill their sexual needs with slaves and indulge in lesbian love. Prostitution existed as a form of worship in the fertility cults, that was Athens. Move to Rome for a moment.

The degeneracy in Rome, if anything, was worse. William Barkley, who has done a lot of background history, writes, for the first years of Rome, there had not been one single case of divorce on record. The first recorded divorce was that of Spurius Carvilius Ruga B. Athens was way ahead of the game, It was another couple hundred years before Rome indulged.

The Romans did not commonly date their year by numbers, they dated their years by two things, men dated their years by the name of the Roman consuls who ruled. And the woman by the number of husbands. Jerome tells of one women who married, the records we have found on this, who married her 23 rd husband and she was his 21 st wife. Emperor Augustus demanded that one woman should divorce his wife or one man should divorce his wife, this is Emperor Augustus, while she was pregnant so he could have her.

Jerome Carcopino has written a little book called daily life in Ancient Rome. And in the book he says, there was rampant feminism in early Rome that lead to continual demoralization. Some women he writes, avoided having children for fear of losing their good looks, sounds familiar. Some took pride in being behind their husbands in nothing and even vied with them in tests of strength. So you had women involved in building up their physical strength so that they could compete with their husbands. Some women carried on lives apart from their husbands and never blushed to charge into a male world to compete.

By the end of the second century, Carcopino writes, many roman marriages were childless. He writes, if the roman women showed reluctance to perform their maternal functions they devoted themselves on the other hand, with a zeal that smacked of defiance to all sorts of pursuits which in the days of the republic, men had jealously had reserved for themselves. Again, this is the curse working itself out. They wanted to dominate. They wanted to be defiant and they started charging into areas where only men, up until that time had been allowed to go.

They quite their embroider rights, their reading their songs, their playing of instruments. And they put their enthusiasm into an attempt to rival men, if not to outclass them in every sphere, does that sound familiar? Some plunge passionately into the study of legal suits or current politics, eager for news of the entire world, greedy for the gossip of the town and the intrigues of the court, well informed about the latest happenings in Thrace or in China. Weighing the gravity of the dangers threatening the kind of Armenia or of Parthia with noisy effrontery.

They expand their theories and their plans to generals clad in field uniform while their husbands silently look on. Especially those who engaged in fencing and some would you even believe in female wrestling. He writes, what modestly can you expect in a woman who wears a helmet? And delights in feats of strength. These women took to gluttony and they took to drunkenness. Before long, writes Carcopino women began to betray the pledge which they should have made to their husband and in which many of them in marrying had had the cynicism to refuse to make to live your own life became the formula which woman had already brought into fashion by the second century BC.

We agreed long ago, says one lady, that you are to go your way and I mine. You may confound sea and sky with your bellowing, she said to her husband, but I am a human being after all. Equal rights, equal everything. Unhappy marriages were innumerable. Divorce was epidemic. Juvenile again writes, this is an ancient roman writer. Thus does she lord it over her husband, but before long she vacates her kingdom. She flits from one home to another wearing out her bridal veil. Marriage literally became a form of prolonged prostitution. Divorces were so common from roman jurists that a series of them not infrequently lead to the lady returning after many intermediate stages to her original bridal bed, he writes.

Well, you get the picture. It is against this kind of background which is basically because of the fallenness of the human race, it is against this kind of background so similar to ours today a background of infidelity, a background of divorce, a background of incest, homosexuality, adultery, prostitution, pedophilia, all of that stuff it is against that background that Paul writes. Reminds me of when I went to Northridge, Cal State Northridge to speak in a philosophy class and the professor was a former rabbi with a PhD in philosophy.

Scripture and Tradition

He asked me to speak to the class on biblical, Christian biblical sex ethics. It was a very challenging opportunity. Living out the fall, listen carefully, without any cultural restraint, in some cultures, even in ours, years back, there were some cultural restraints, no more. So now you are seeing the reality. God has a completely different plan. And that plan unfolds here and just to give you the basic principle of that plan is all I need to say it is an authority and submission plan. Somebody is responsible to lead, the other to follow. It has nothing to do with inferiority at all, it only has to do with harmony.

The woman is not to seek to usurp the authority and dominate the husband; the husband is not too unkindly and insensitively rule over her. Whenever this is allowed, it creates massive chaos as we are living to attest in our own day. When the divine pattern is followed, the whole relationship is right. Turn to that most favorite book, that is so often read and little preached, Song of Solomon, and sometime early in their Christian experience young people always wander through this book and wonder how in the world this girl ever believed all this flowery talk.

Song of Solomon is an incredible and marvelous book. A beautiful picture of a right relationship between a man and a woman. For example, chapter two. Notice the love of this man for this woman. Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. In his shade I took great delight and sat down. He provides so is my beloved among the young men. I mean, he has so much more to offer and she looks at him for all that he brings to her.

In his shade I took great delight and I sat down and his fruit was sweet to my taste. Nothing oppressive about that. He brought me to his banquet hall and his banner over me is love. I mean, he just pours it on. He just pours it on. Sustain me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples because I am love sick. I mean, she is so in love with this guy. His left hand, let it be under my head his right hand, embrace me. I want him to put his arms around me. Here is a woman who is so fulfilled to come under his protection, his strength, his care, and his love. Because of what he provides for her and then she calls to the daughters of Jerusalem, you know, sort of the brides maids.

I adjure you oh daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the hinds of the field that you will not arouse or awaken my life until she pleases. Now the husband is reposing or the husband to be. The one who loves her. Listen my beloved, behold he is coming, climbing on the mountains, leaping on the hills. Now you know this woman is really in love because every single move the guy makes enthralls her. And my beloved responded to me and said, arise my darling, my beautiful one. And come along. Behold, the winter is past.

The rain is over and gone, the flowers have already appeared in the land. The time has arrived for pruning the vines and the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land. The fig tree has ripened his figs. The vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance, arise my darling, my beautiful one and come along. Oh my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret place of the steep pathway, let me see your form.

Let me hear your voice for your voice is sweet and your form is lovely. I got to get this guy inline. Verse 16 really sums it up. My beloved is mine and I am his. And to provide for me and to embrace me and protect me and hold me. Chapter 4, verse 16, awake or north wind and come wind of the south. Make my garden breath out fragrance.

Let its spices be wafted abroad. May my beloved come into his garden and eat its choice fruits. You know what she wishes for him? She wishes the best.

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He belongs to her and what she possess is absolutely thrilling to her. She wishes only the best, this is the model of relationships. Chapter 7 verse 10 just picking some highlights, again, I am my beloveds. And his desire is for me. In this case, this desire is a right desire, his desire is for her. He wants her. He longs for her. Go back to chapter 5 verse My beloved is dazzling. I like that translation, and ruddy. Outstanding, this is the handsomest guy among 10, His head is like gold, pure gold. His locks are like clusters of dates and black as a raven, he is just bronze, you know, with black hair.

His eyes are like doves, gentle soft.

Jesus The Christ, by James E. Talmage, Part 1 of 4

Doves beside streams of water bathed in milk. His cheeks are like a bed of balsam, banks of sweet scented herbs. His lips are lilies dripping with liquid myrrh. Try it guys, who knows what might happen. His hands are rods of gold set with barrel. His abdomen is carved ivory inlayed with sapphires. His legs are pillars of alabaster set on pedestals of pure gold.

His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as the cedars. Lebanon was high and snowcapped and tall. His mouth is full of sweetness. He is wholly desirable. This is my beloved, I like this, and this is my what? My friend. There is no conflict here. But there is no question about authority in submission. Now, I suppose they could have problems, go back to chapter 5 to verse 2. I was asleep, but my heart was awake. I have taken off my clothes, how can I put them on again? My beloved extended his hand through the opening and my feelings were aroused for him. I opened to my beloved.

You know what the implication is? For some reason she shut him out. They must have had an argument, right? I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had turned away and gone. Hmm, too late. Too late. My heart went out to him as he spoke. I searched for him. I called him. She apparently got everybody involved. The watchman who made the rounds in the city found me, struck me and wounded me. The guardsman of the walls took away my shawl from me.

I adjure you oh daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, as to what will you tell him?