FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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FANTASIES, FABLES AND TRADITIONS

The Emperor's New Clothes

Part 1

1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Rev 21:)



In the Danish fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen there once ruled a king who was convinced by two tailors that they could make him a grand suit of clothing out of the most beautiful and precious of material. So perfect in appearance was this fabric that only those of the highest intelligence could see it; only those suited for the position they held.

Unwilling to show his ignorance, the king gave his approval to the tailors and their wonderful, nonexistent commodity, and in so doing authorized them to make for him a fine suit of clothing.

The king, being a very proud personage, demanding adulation and obeisance from his subjects, loved to make display of his wealth and his finery.

One fine day, after a long, anxious wait, the king was informed by his tailors that his regal attire was now prepared.

The king then sent forth his heralds to announce to the city that on this or that, such and such a day he would sashay through the city affording the citizenry of said metropolis the opportunity to behold his majestic magnificence.

News spreads quickly; and rumor even quicker. Throughout the region it had become a well established understanding that the garments the king was to wear was not like any other, but was in fact so resplendent that it would appear invisible to all but those with the keenest of intellect.

On the appointed morrow, or the day before the next day thereafter, the streets of the city were lined with expectant and enthusiastic folk prepared to have their expectations realized.

The king did not disappoint his many admirers. A more splendid display of majesty had not been witnessed in this city or in any other city in the kingdom at any time before or since. Pomp and ceremony was the rule of the day.

Trumpeters riding upon great white steeds preceded the proceedings; and to the rear of the king, and behind him followed a cavalcade of royal servants, dutifully ministering to the needs of their ruler. And ahead of the entourage who followed strode a couplet of youths upholding the tail of what would have been the train of what should have been the suit of finery if the suit had in fact ever been.

The king strode pompously through the streets of the city, his regal nose in the air, proudly displaying his elegant new attire. With much puff, the supercilious king relished in the cheers of adulation and approval engendered toward his elegance and`ostentation. For what else could one do but that which those amidst the throng did do? To demonstrate one's awareness of the nudity of one so splendidly naked would be to display one's lack of intellect and discernment: for all knew that the clothing upon the king could only be seen by the most sagacious of the citizenry.

Amongst the much ado of the hoi polloi, a keen observer might well observe a desire to look askance at one another: had there been such a one to look askance at: for none in the congregation would have dared to display their lack of wisdom by looking askance at another.

Therefore, in order to be seen as wise, all who would be wise remained a popinjay rather than display an iota of quiddity toward the scene so overtly blatant before them.

Then, amidst the jubilant throng rang the voice of a child:

"Mommy, the king has no clothes on!"


OUT OF THE MOUTH OF BABES


Jesus said:


3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:)


3And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 18:)


25At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (Mat 11:)


16And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? (Mat 21:)


Children will say what they see. As children grow older, they are taught to lie and to hold their tongue when it is discovered that they do not see what they are told to see.

And this we do.

The end result of this "maturing process" is this:


39And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. (John 9:)


Matthew 23

1Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 3All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do;


15And thou [Moses] shalt speak unto him [Aaron], and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. 16And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. (Ex 6:)

This is a powerful position in which to be. Whatever this person, the Scribe and the Pharisee, says is true, those of his congregation are to believe and do. They represent God to the Church and speak the very Words of God. This is an awesome responsibility that should not be taken lightly. And it is one that I am glad I am not called to.


Scribes at the time of Jesus copied the Words of the Book meticulously in order that every synagogue might have a copy. Because these people knew the words so well, therefore they knew the law so well, they were called "lawyers." These lawyers supposedly knew what God was saying. Today we no longer use Scribes as they did before the printing press, but we still have "lawyers" with us, those to whom we go when we want God's Word interpreted or explained. These we call "Theologians." Theologians are the "experts" of religion.

In the days of Moses and before the kings, the Jews lived under a Theocracy ("Theo" being Greek for "god," or "god-centered"). During the Millennium and thereafter we will once again be living under a Theocracy. A Theocracy is when God Himself rules over the people of the land.

Theologians during this day and age are the lawyers, the "Judges" of God's Word to us. They tell the preachers and the teachers what God says they should teach us, the unlearned, in the ways of God.


When the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, the Sadducees, who were in essence like the Levitical Priesthood in that they were directly attached to the Temple, were obliterated. But the Pharisees, the teachers and the rulers of the synagogues (local "churches" scattered throughout the world) continue to this day.

We have this bit of information that demonstrates the power of these Pharisees, especially the most powerful of these powerful people:


6Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them........ [Speaking of the man born blind who Jesus healed] 20His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 21But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. 22These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue [see verse 6 for the identity of the "Jews"]. (John 9:)


And we have this
:


42Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. (John 12:)


Even the rulers, the very highest political authority of the land feared the Pharisees, as well as did the Pharisees fear the Pharisees. What power!

Another picture of the power church officials can wield upon even the highest of kings can be seen throughout Europe's Dark Ages. Kings feared the Christian "Pharisees" as much as did the Jews of Jesus' day fear their Pharisees. Even kings feared being put out of the church by which they become doomed to hell for eternity.


Pharisees are with us today, not only with the Jews, but with those of us in the church as well. We now call our Pharisees "Pastors," "Priests" and other such titles. They head the churches and tell us the common folk what the Theologians say that God has told us we are to hear.

We, today, have the impression that Pharisees are all nasty people, haters of God. This is not so. The Pharisees were the crème de la crème of the Godly people. Their biggest problem was that they knew they were the elite of God, and because of their self-righteousness, they believed they understood God and His Word. And like in the days of Jesus, there are many Pharisees who believe` on Jesus, and are even his disciples, secretly. And just like in those days, in spite of the fact that these believers now know better than what is commonly taught, they continue to preach and to teach the traditions that Jesus condemned.

Back to Matthew chapter 23 and what Jesus had to say to the Pharisees:


3but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 4For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.


This is no longer true in the Modern and the Fundamental Protestant churches. Instead of adding to what God has said to do, they have essentially denied what God has said for us to do, and even made it a sin to obey the commandments of Jesus. Regardless, the Word of God has been changed and covered over with theology and tradition making God's Word of non-effect.


5But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 6And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.


Here come the Words of Jesus to those who are our instructors, the ones who claim to know the will of God.

Take heed.


13But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses,


How often have you seen pleas for money to support this or that from the pulpits, taking from the poor and the widows in effort to finance some "worthy cause" while the ones who speak the words wear expensive suits and drive fine cars? Everything Jesus and the Apostles said applies just as much for us today as it did when the words were spoken.


"Shut up the Kingdom of Heaven." How did the Pharisees shut up the Kingdom of Heaven?

For one they refused to believe in the Kingdom as taught by Jesus. And they denied the "Door" to Heaven, which we know to be Jesus. They did not believe themselves, and as seen above, they threatened those who did believe with ejection from the church.

Today this still holds true. In almost any church (except perhaps the Modern ecumenical churches where anything goes) if you do not believe the "We Believe's" of the church, you are not allowed to be a part of that church and will be put out, unless you do as did the believing Pharisees and keep your beliefs to yourself.

Another way in which the churches today shut up the Kingdom of Heaven is by placing signposts in front of the church door (called doctrine) redirecting those who seek the Kingdom to a land of fantasy and wild imaginings.

It's these very imaginings that is the subject of this study.


and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation [Remember who Jesus is talking to here: the teachers of His flock, not to the sheep themselves. Teachers take heed]. 15Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. ......


We call those who go throughout the world to proselytize "Missionaries" today.

"But, missionaries are a good thing, aren't they?"

Do you really think so? Consider that by far most of the missionaries who are being persecuted, that you hear praised in your church; are from the "cults" who all "true" churches condemn, they and their doctrine, to the pit of hell. Yet the conventional churches point to these persecuted missionaries as Martyrs for the Word, as if adding to their own victories, while defaming the Martyrs for their beliefs. [Jehovah's Witnesses are the most persecuted since they are the most vocal and are strong in evangelism. Mormons also have a history of persecution and are big on evangelism. And in some parts of the world it is the Bahia who are highly persecuted.]

We preach that God's Word should be preached to all the world. This is true. But just as in Jesus' day, it is not the Word of God that is being spread to the world, but multitudes of competing doctrines that have thrown the World and the churches into utter confusion. It is not as much the purpose of churches who send out missionaries to win souls to Christ as it is to expand the denomination and add to the tally they post of souls won.

Many countries, especially this country of America, have just such a history. For the most part people came to this country at great risk of their lives to either escape persecution for the beliefs they held, or like the Catholic church, to spread their doctrine and expand their field of interest. The many missions are reminders of this time, even though these missions were established to teach the "heathen" Indians, who in the opinion of the church, were unsavable because of their race.

Please note! I am not talking about the missionaries themselves, nor their supporters. It is the church leaders, the Pharisees that I am speaking of.

The President of a nation sits in his easy chair and with a stroke of the pen sends thousands of young obedient and sincere soldiers to their death. It is this same attitude many of the leaders of the churches possess when they make up their doctrines and their dictates.


23Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.


The churches today, to their credit, now do teach mercy and faith. But for the most part these have been dumbed down, as has the rest of God's Word, and they have made these and other commandments "suggestions" (of non-effect) rather than requirements. And this the World has also done, preaching Peace and Love and "Let us all think the same" (ecumenicalism), homogenizing and making Luke-warm every belief and behavior the Bible teaches.


24Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,


Remember, I did not say these things: Jesus did. Whether you agree with my commentaries are not is of little importance. This we shall see when we shall see. But the Words Jesus spoke should be taken to heart and prayed over to see if any of it applies to you personally, or to the doctrine of the church you attend.


It is obvious that no Preacher or Theologian is going to acknowledge in any way that they are like the Pharisees or the Scribes of Jesus' day. And why should they accept such an accusation? They know, as do you and I, that they are sincere in their beliefs and in their efforts (those who are sincere, clearly all are not). But ask a Fundamental Pastor if he believes the Jehovah's Witnesses are Pharisees, and you will very likely receive an enthusiastic acknowledgment. Ask a Catholic Priest if an Evangelical Pastor is a Pharisee, and watch his reaction.

One of the biggest problems today is that everyone is so busy analyzing the other guy, the other denominations and doctrines that they do not bother looking at themselves to see if there might be error in their own ways or their own beliefs. They, like the Pharisees, continue following the many traditions handed to them from their forefathers without giving any consideration as to whether they are of God or not, or if they even make sense or not. And, as shown above, those who believed Jesus at all, did not dare to witness to such a fact or they would have been put out of their denomination, that is the synagogue, posthaste.

This is exactly the situation today. Pastors and Theologians, and every other leader of any of the churches must march exactly in the footsteps of those who preceded them or they will be forced out of the assembly.


There are some denominations and churches who refer to themselves as "Nondenominational" or "Independent." These might have a little more leeway as to what they may believe and to preach: but not much. These also must abide by certain unforgiving standards and doctrines or chance being considered a "Cult," or "Modern."

Because of this ridged structure in the churches, error in doctrine is impossible to weed out, and those false doctrines continue to grow.

And, I have found, the more false a doctrine is, the more absurd it is, the larger it becomes and the greater and more widespread its roots.


There are certain doctrines in the church that have been, and continue to be an embarrassment both to the laity and to the leadership of the churches. Yet, because these doctrines are so embedded in the belief system of the churches, and because they have so much appeal, they are not questioned. All who view these doctrines consider them as they would the Emperor's New Cloths; they pretend they see and understand what they are being presented with.


There are three doctrines in particular that stand above the others in absurdity. One such doctrine I have already given a peripheral study under the heading: Lucifer, the Making of a Doctrine. This fantasy is especially difficult to uproot because of its occult nature. Being about the devil and wicked demons this doctrine appeals to not only all the churches, but the secular world as well. The doctrine, one might say, is double-rooted.


Another such doctrine with overtones of Science Fiction is that of the Rapture. I am not just talking about the Pre-Trib Rapture that is believed by so many (though certainly not all), but the rapture as viewed by all the churches and cults alike.

In the future I will do a study of this doctrine, but for now I will leave it as stated.


There's one other doctrine that is believed even by the secular world who do not even believe the Bible is true, and that is the doctrine of an eternal fiery hell. This I will be presenting in the days to come.


Today, the doctrine I want to address is that of Heaven. More specifically, the doctrine of the Bride of Christ. Although the other doctrines I have mentioned might either lure or frighten people into the churches, they have no particular eternal effect but to entertain and cause one to cease from thinking.

The doctrine of the Bride of Christ however, being seen in a twisted and obscure light, causes many (if not all) to miss the mark completely, should a believer even bother to load his bow.


Understanding the Word of God and His intentions require certain things that are not possible by the carnal mind. Yet, it appears to me, that these requirements have been ignored completely when doctrine is established, and all that is at play is the mind of men.


The first requirement that must be met to understand what God has to say to us is that we must set aside our own wants and expectations, and view the Bible from God's perspective.


As long as we believe God has placed us here on earth in order that He might serve us, we will never see the Truth of God's purpose for us, that is, Mankind.

God has created us, and all His creation, for His purpose, and not ours. He, unlike what is taught in the churches, is not as interested in making us happy and contented, but rather He expects us to dedicate our lives to making Him happy and pleased with us. Those who do not leave their own ego and lusts behind and want to follow Jesus (thereby God) even to the cross will not reap the rewards they expect, nor will they seek the understanding of God as He wants us to see Him.


26If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? (John 14:)


21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Mat 7:)


We are taught in many of the churches that as long as we have been dunked in water (in the right church with the right words said over our heads) and spoken a few words read from a piece of paper that whatever we do from that point on is ok because we will still be acceptable to God. Then, we are told, it is God's responsibility to get us the rest of the way to Heaven. I see this following Scripture and wonder how such a doctrine could possibly ever be (remember, these Words are spoken to the Church, not to the World):


15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Rev 3:)


"To him that overcometh," have you ever wondered what those words mean? You might just look into the subject (I've done a study on Overcomers, and I'm sure there are many others around as well). But take heed that you don't accept the fantasy that you became an "instant Overcomer" when you took your bath.


However should we surrender ourselves heart and soul to the Lord, we will still be unable to understand God's Word. By clearing the path to such knowledge (ridding ourselves of ego) we will have made it possible for God to provide us with what we need, albeit a step at a time, to understand Him.

This is what the Bible tells us Jesus will do if we are His true disciples (not just in name-tag only):


12I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. (John 16:)


In order to understand God we must have the Spirit of God, that is the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew the will of His Father because He had the Holy Spirit working in Him. We also must have the Holy Spirit working in us if we expect to understand God.


23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:)


Jesus referred to the receiving of the Word of the Kingdom as seed cast upon the ground.


16But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. 18Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Mat 13:)


We are taught that everyone who takes a bath is filled with the Holy Spirit and that we can not lose the Holy Spirit. This is not the way I read the above Scripture.


When we have fully accepted the Holy Spirit, the One who will instruct us in the ways of God, like with any other aspect of life, there is a learning process that must take place.

Not everyone wants to learn. Many want it now, or they don't want it at all. When I taught art I ran into this problem frequently. A student would take a few jabs at a complicated subject, then throw up his hands in resignation, acknowledging himself a failure.


Paul, in his writings, often referred to the beginning of the learning process as feeding milk to babies. This metaphor is especially appropriate considering that Jesus called the conversion process being "born again." We must learn everything anew.


2As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (1Pet 2:)


1And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. (1Cor 3:)


There are many people who enjoy their status as a baby. As long as one remains a child they do not have to take responsibility for themselves or their actions.

Church members are especially prone to remaining a baby. They love the milk of the Word, having the Word spoon-fed to them once a week or so and fully accepting whatever they are given. An extreme of this type of thinking is the Jim Jones incident where 900 people not only intentionally drank poison but fed it to their children as well, because that is what their religious leader said they should do.

You wouldn't have taken the poison? I have no doubt but that every one who did willingly take the poison would have denied enthusiastically that they too would ever do such a thing. Yet they did.

Such is the power of the Pharisee.


It is the intention that a seed placed in the ground should grow. And the hope is that it will grow tall and beautiful, providing much fruit and seed. It is also intended that a baby will grow out of diapers and off the bottle thereby learning to think for himself and eat grownup food. This process is seen in our schools (at least it used to be) that a first grader will learn first grade material, not so he can remain a first grader, but so that he can advance into the second grade, and eventually through college.

A High School student with a first grade education would appear ridiculous, and he would be made to feel foolish indeed. This situation exists in an area of moderate importance compared to learning the ways of the Lord that will have Eternal consequences.

Yet, year after year, decade after decade a church member can attend a church and not learn one iota more than that which he or she learned the day they first walked through the doors of that church, and no one thinks a thing of it.

And why should such a one think anything of their lack of understanding of the Word? In every church what is preached is nothing more than pablum at best, and at worst it is funny anecdotes and fairy tales that tickle the ear that's presented as the Words of God.


Paul says this about moving past childhood:


1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3And this will we do, if God permit (Heb 6:)


11Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Heb 5:)


Sound familiar? Remember these words?


3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Gen 3:)


Man from the beginning has wanted to be like God. What Man (Adam, the human race) did not value at that time was the eternal life available to him if he remained obedient. Nor is Eternal life valued or even believed to exist today, this evidenced by the lack of effort toward achieving that goal. Eternal life is merely a topic of interesting conversation (rarely discussed) or a sermon from the pulpit (rarely preached). It is not a goal toward which to strive and prepare for as a runner would a marathon crown.

Because of his disobedience, man lost everything.

But all need not be lost. It was not God's intention that man should forever remain in darkness. But those who do not yield to the same selfish disobedience of our foreparents are again presented with the tree of eternal life, as well as the knowledge that Adam and Eve risked everything for.


22And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: (Gen 3:)


Now, far from the beginning of God's creation, and at the close of God's purposes for man, we read this:


14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (Rev 22:)


God has brought man full circle. Once again He will have what He set out to do in the beginning, that is to have Man, His creation, to walk with in the garden. But unlike what we are taught, those who cling to their selfish ways will not be among those who fellowship with God, but it will be those who desire nothing more than to do God's will, and are willing to sacrifice all their worldly pleasure to that end.

Live here on earth and lose a life with God. surrender your pleasures here and gain treasures in Heaven (Luke 17:33; Mat 7:2; 20:16).


As stated in Hebrews 5:14, it is those who have left the bottle and are feeding on the meat of the Word who will gain the knowledge of good and evil. It's not those who are satisfied with pablum and pleasant bedtime stories.

Notice the last verses above. Those who have not overcome their sinful nature, who are still after what Adam and Eve were after, satisfying their lusts; have no access to the Tree of Life. They may be saved, but the rewards they seek are not theirs to receive.


HEAVEN


I began this study with a fairy tale. So then why am I telling you about the ways of the churches and how to study the Bible?


In order to understand what is true, the false must first be exposed and set aside. When the entire world believes the lie, and has believed it for thousands of years, it is near impossible to just decide to not believe it. It takes a special process to uproot the old so the new may be planted.


[ I must offer a preface before I enter into this study. As I gather material to present I become overwhelmed by the magnitude of false doctrines that blend one into another. I come across entire chapters that I must somehow present as a verse or two in order to not have this study overly large. I find established beliefs that are derived from twisted and warped Scripture that to me appear beyond untangling without spending years of intense effort and volumes of books.

It is beyond me. I am going to try to untangle this mess for you, but my inclination is to throw up my hands in resignation and say: READ THE BIBLE!!!

My thinking is if a person really wanted to understand what God has to tell them, they would search the Word for themselves. But at the same time I realize, as I have stated, that God has hidden His Truth which is why fantasy is so prevalent. I also realize that if you, the reader of this study, were not interested in finding Truth, then you would not be reading what I have to say, perhaps in hope that I might have some light to shed on the subject.

So, for your sake, I will do the best I can to give you some material with which to find the Truth.

Of course we know that it is impossible for me or anyone else to show you the Truth of anything. That is a job accomplished by the Holy Spirit alone. Therefore, if you do not have the Holy Spirit guiding you, you will find nothing of value in this or any other study.

As stated, I am going to try and clarify the truth about Heaven for you. I expect to fail miserably in my attempt. But whether I fail, or should I succeed to any degree, it will be up to you to glean from these pages what will satisfy you.]


There are two other factors which help make a fantasy difficult to uproot. The first factor is the reason people believe fantasy in the first place. Fantasy is more pleasing than the Truth, on the surface. And since fantasy is more pleasing to the carnal man's itching ears, it is more easily taught and accepted.

The Truth, on the other hand requires the releasing of our carnal desires, and truly wanting to understand the Spiritual things of God. In order to understand the Spiritual, we must first possess the Spirit. We have seen this above so I won't belabor the point here.

Once the Spirit is at work, the learning process begins. Learning is a step-by-step process. The second step isn't revealed until the first step has been taken. At that time a hint of the second step is given us, and along with that hint comes a desire to learn more.


The second factor that makes learning the Truth near impossible, at least in this case, is that this one (meaning me) saying that he has the Truth you should accept, is an electronically disembodied nobody with no history of preaching the Word nor any accreditation whatsoever. Were you or anyone else to accept what I say, and try to give an account as to why you chose to retreat from an overwhelmingly popular belief, you would find it embarrassingly difficult at best to explain your position.


Thus far I have given you reasons as to why you should, and why you should not, consider my view. Now for that view.


The traditional Christian view of Heaven is a mansion in the sky that Jesus is building at this moment for His chosen people. When a Christian dies he or she is given a pair of wings, a harp, and long white robe. And then for eternity all these special people will have to do is float around Heaven all day and play their harp.

Sounds exciting.

I suspect that anyone who has considered this concept of Heaven at all has found it suspicious. But having nothing else presented to us whereby we can see Heaven any differently, the thinking person ceases from thinking about Heaven, and just accepts the common view. And what else can a person do?

Should the thinking person research the subject of Heaven for him or her self, all evidence they might find will either support the common view, or make no sense whatever. So there again, the thinking person will most likely disregard anything they have found to the contrary, and accept the common view.

I have to admit, all evidence points to the fact that the common view of Heaven is supported in the Bible. Although such a concept makes no sense whatever, and one might wonder why they should sacrifice the few years they have here on earth in order to spend eternity doing that which is useless at best, and boring as all get out at worse; yet we continue to believe, and to work toward that end. (I use the words "work" and "believe" with extreme latitude.)


There is a counter reason for one aiming at that which does not really sound all that appealing; and that is avoidance of the alternative to Heaven.

Hell.

According to the doctrines of the churches we have but two choices; an eternity in suspended animation called Heaven, or an eternity in a pit of fire shoveling coal for the devil. The latter is a choice none of us would want to think about for long, and the mere thought of such a destiny makes boredom look exciting.


We accept what we are taught. Most Christian churches allow no alternative but the two mentioned here. (Some add purgatory for those inadequately prepared for Heaven, but that is not a very appealing thought either.) And again, if a thinking person was to research for themself what the Bible says about Heaven and hell, they would be able to find only what is popularly believed. The single alternative left for the thinker is to either dismiss the concept of Heaven and hell altogether, which would mean giving up your Christianity, and your church; or to make up your own belief about Heaven and hell as have others we call cults.


Of those who desire to believe in accordance with their church, and yet wish to read what the Bible says for themselves (I will use you as an example), certain insurmountable problems will inevitably confront you.


One problem you will run into is that of Jesus, our Lord, God incarnate, spending His valuable time laying bricks somewhere in the sky so that we, the Casual Christian will have a place to live:


2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:)


And there we have it. Jesus Himself said that He is going to prepare a place for us.


In this same Scripture another problem arises. God having a house. God lives in a house? And in that house, there are enough houses for the millions of houses Jesus is building for His followers?

Kind of hard to swallow, isn't it? But swallow hard, because that is what your church teaches, and there's no other way to see those verses.

Is there?


God lives in a house. I particularly find this interesting because of this Scripture:


23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:)


God is Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a Spirit.

Does spirit live in a house do you think? Does spirit set us housekeeping like we do?

There are many people who see God in the same light as Michelangelo's painting of Him in the Cystine Chapel. In fact there are some who would say, and others who might not say so but believe the same, that when they die they will climb up on Papa God's lap and play with His long gray beard.

We know there's something wrong with the picture we have formed of God, but since there is no alternative presented to us, we turn a blind eye to the matter and pretend like it is of no consequence.


Heaven is in the air somewhere. Probably in the clouds. If that were so then those who fly in airplanes must have seen Heaven.

Of course we know that hasn't happened.

Then perhaps Heaven is even higher. Maybe if we sent a space ship high enough we can see Heaven. Do you think this is possible?


Heaven has to be in the air somewhere. We know this because of these verses:


13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1Thes 4:)


36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Mat 24:)


9And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.(Acts 1:)


Of course we all know these verses of Scripture are talking about the Rapture of the church. Right? And what else could they be referring to? After all, we all know, and we have all been taught by regardless which church we belong to that Jesus is going to come out of nowhere and take His people away to Heaven. Right?


The church is going to Heaven.

But yet we are told:


11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Rev 19:)


12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Rev 22:)

Jesus is returning to earth? To do battle? And who are those mighty warriors dressed in white with Him? And here we have Jesus bringing the rewards to be given out here on earth rather than in that mansion in the sky?


Another problem we run into with the common view of Heaven: the Bride of Christ.


Paul said:


2For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (2Cor 11:)


22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body. 24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. (Eph 5:)


And Jesus gave us this parable:


1Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. (Mat 25:)


And this:


14Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? 15And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. (Mat 9:)


And John the Baptist gave us this:


29He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. (John 3:)


Now we run into a problem. God has made it clear that we are to only have one spouse. And He has made it equally clear that He does not believe in divorce except for the case of adultery.


22And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23And 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. 24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (Gen 2:)


This is Adam speaking here of his new wife. But his statement was confirmed by Jesus:


4And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. 5And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 10And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. 11And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. (Mark 10:)


Have you seen the problem yet?

The problem comes from the fact that God was already wed: to Israel:


4Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. 5For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isa 54:)


20Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD. 21A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God. (Jer 3:)


31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; (Jer 31:)


God already has a wife. So then, how can the Church also be the Bride of God?


39The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. (1Cor 7:)


1Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (Rom 7:)


As long as the husband is alive, the wife can't remarry. And of course the converse is true as well: the husband can remarry if the wife is dead.


There is another consideration as well, that is, according to the above Scriptures, Israel, the wife had committed adultery, therefore clearing the way for the husband (God) to remarry.


But in order to have a divorce, there must be a writing of divorcement. Is any such document recorded in the Bible?


31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: (Jer 31:)


When we read the New Testament we are reading God's voiding of His contract of marriage with Israel the nation, and the contract of marriage with His new bride, the Church, the true Israel:


6Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.(Rom 9:)


We have seen that there are two Israels. And we know that all who are of Israel are not the true Israel, but those of the Spirit are the true Israel.

The true bride is not a bride of the flesh, but of the Spirit. God is Spirit. And so must the bride be Spirit as well.


6But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. (Heb 8:)


Adultery is enough for obtaining a divorce. But the Jews provided an even stronger reason for the divorce:


39The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. (1Cor 7:)


1Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (Rom 7:)


Remember this? If the husband is dead, the wife can remarry.

I suppose that in just about every country there is a law which states that if a person is executed they have paid their penalty and are then free from the law of reprisal. That is to say that if a convicted person is hung for a crime, and should that person survive the execution, that person can not be executed again for that crime and is therefore free of the law. There have even been occurrences of this very thing throughout history.

As a for-instance, let us say that a wife was to murder her husband, and that husband died and was brought back to life. Would that man be forced by law to remain married to his murderer?


Jesus stated that He is the "I AM" of the Bible. Jesus, by way of the Holy Spirit, the Shekinah Glory, was the husband of Israel. The I AM of the Bible rescued His bride; conditioned His bride through a wilderness training; established the rules for the marriage, which the bride (Israel) agreed to several times ("counted the cost"); and He gave His bride a dowery of a land flowing with milk and honey.

Then, after having done all, and after the bride had played the harlot many time, the Bridegroom left His bride and went on a far journey.

Then for over 500 years, from Nehemiah until the birth of Jesus, we have a silent period during which God said little and stayed in the background, allowing events to go as they may without Him (seemingly). When the time had come, the Bridegroom returned for His bride: and the bride rejected and killed their awaited Bridegroom.


41And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. (Luke 19:)


34O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! 35Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Luke 13:34)


The Jew's rejection of their awaited Messiah, their Rescuer, their Husband: opened the door for us Gentiles to enter into their place. Had the Jews accepted their Messiah, we the Gentiles could only have been lost as were those Gentiles until the time of Jesus. Now the way for a Gentile to be lost is to reject their Husband, refuse to be an obedient and faithful bride as did the Jews. (Those Gentiles in the Church. All other Gentiles remain as of old.)


The I AM of the Old Testament went on a far journey. This was a foreshadowing of the very situation in which we live today. Jesus expressed this venture in several ways. Here are two examples:


1Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

14For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 25:)


When Jesus returned for His bride after a 500 year journey they rejected Him and killed Him.

This time Jesus will return for His new bride after a 2,000 year journey. What do you suppose He will find when He arrives? (Luke 12:49)


And here we come to the crux of this study.


I said in the beginning of this article that out of the many fantasies taught by the churches, this one of Heaven is perhaps the most dangerous. The reason I say this doctrine is dangerous is because it directs the chosen, the elect, the bride of Christ away from the Bridegroom. It instructs the bride to look the other way when the Bridegroom comes for His bride. This is the very thing the Pharisees and the High Priests of Jesus' day were doing: telling those who were obedient and following their Lord that they were being deceived, and they, the rulers, were ejecting the believers from the Temple, and eventually hunting them down and killing them.

This doctrine also encourages the bride to play the harlot as did Israel in the Old Testament. Churches, rather than teaching the bride to prepare herself for her Husband; to purify and make herself a presentable and a pure virgin: they tell her that she should be pleasing herself and that regardless of the state she is in, the Bridegroom will whisk her away to His mansion in the sky (Mat 25:10-13).

The Bride is being told, as Eve was told in the garden, that she "will not surely die" if she indulges herself in her lusts and her own pleasures.

Read again the parables in Matthew chapter 25. See if your church teaches you in accordance with those verses of Scripture.


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