Why did Jesus fold the napkin?
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE FOLDED NAPKIN
Back in the days of Jesus, the Jews, the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans did not sit on upright chairs around the dining table with their legs underneath the table to dine as is portrayed by Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting, “The Last Supper”. Much like the Japanese people would sit on the floor around a low table to dine or they would recline on couches or cushions around a low table to dine. They would usually recline on one side while eating with one hand. There were no forks, no spoons, and no knives on the table and certainly there was the notable napkin.
As one reclined to eat his meal, he first washed his hands in a bowl of water (usually borne by a servant). He might or might not dry his hands with a towel provided. And after the meal, he obviously washed his hands again.
The word “napkin”, used in the King James Version Bible, certainly gives some readers a wrong picture of what was actually put around the head of Jesus Christ. The Greek word is “soudarion”, from a Latin word.
“sudarium”. The cloth is akin to our modern day handkerchief, though larger in size, like a bandana or a “mitpachat” (head scarves) worn by Jewish women. The word "folded" found in John 20:7 in many Bible translations also gives readers the impression that the “soudarion” was folded like one would fold his handkerchief or a towel.
After Jesus expired on the cross, His body was taken down by Joseph of Arimathea. With the help of Nicodemus, Joseph prepared the body for burial. The body of Jesus was wrapped in a clean linen cloth (Matt.27:57-60; Mark 15:42-46; Luke 23:50-53; John 19:38-41). Some translations have re-worded John’s text to read “strips of linen clothes” instead of a linen cloth. The single linen cloth – according to Jewish sources, from the Jewish Mishnah which describes burial in a simple, linen shroud – is not knotted or fastened in any restricting way. The shroud in the present Jewish custom is made up of several garments.
The large single piece of linen cloth was wrapped around the body of Jesus. Another smaller piece of linen cloth, a kerchief (“soudarion”/“sudarium”) was placed over His face and wrapped over and around His head.
The preacher of the sermon-article “Why did Jesus fold the napkin?” carelessly stated that “that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.” The grave clothes was not thrown aside nor was the napkin simply placed over the face of Jesus as this preacher and many like him have implied.
John wrote: "And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself" (John 20:7). The word "wrapped" ("wrapped together") comes from the Greek word "entulissō"; meaning to entwine, roll or coil round and round. The napkin (“soudarion”/“sudarium”) was placed over the face of Jesus and then wrapped around His head.
The New Testament Greek word "entulissō" is used also in two other places only.
"And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth," (Matt.27:59).
"And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid" (Luke 23:53).
These two verses tell us, that like the head of Jesus which was wrapped by a napkin or kerchief (“soudarion”/“sudarium”), the body of Jesus was also wrapped around (swathed) by a linen cloth.
On the day of Christ’s resurrection, we read in John 20:12 that Mary Magdalene "saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain". Their sitting positions indicate to us that the area between them contains the evidence to prove that Jesus Christ has resurrected. In that spot was where the shroud and kerchief (“soudarion”/“sudarium”) still lie –wrapped up ("entulissō").
Peter and John had seen the grave clothes before Mary Magdalene. John 20:4-8 reads:
"So they ran both together: and the other disciple
did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulcher. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that
was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed."
John was the first to reach the sepulcher. He stooped and looked in, and he saw the linen clothes. But what made him stop short of going into the sepulcher for a closer look? I believe that John was momentarily shaken in what he saw. He probably could not believe his eyes. By then Peter had arrived and entered into the sepulcher. He saw where the linen clothes (shroud) lay and also the napkin (“soudarion”/“sudarium”) for Christ's head) lying by itself and not with the shroud. And the grave clothes were both still in a wrapped state. This is what caught the eyes of the Apostle John. And when he went into the sepulcher right after Peter, once again he saw, and then he believed.
John had witnessed the evidence that Jesus had resurrected, that His body was not stolen by friends or foes. Had Jesus' body been stolen, the thieves would not have had the time to unwrap Him.
The evidence of the intact and not unwrapped grave clothes, both the shroud and the "sudarium" prove that Jesus Christ rose up, from His sleeping position, right though the wrappings, and then passed through the wall of the sepulchre in His resurrected glorified body! Amen. He was unlike Lazarus who need to be loosed from his wrappings after He raised him from the dead (John 11:44).
Jesus is not the Father
Verses that show that Jesus is Not 'God' as in, the 'Father', debunking the oneness belief.
God does not sleep, Jesus slept
Psa 121:4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
Mar 4:38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow...
God is not a man nor the son of man.
Hos 11:9 I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.
Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
God GAVE Jesus things and MADE Jesus things. God is neither given things or made things. He has all things
John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
Act 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John
Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Thus Jesus isn’t God, he’s God's visible image
Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.
No one has seen God, people saw Jesus
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
1John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
Exd 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
God is spirit, notice that Jesus said this as a man
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth
God has a son, Jesus is the Son that God has. Jesus isn't his own son
1John 4:9-10 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1Cor 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
1Th 1:9-10 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come
The FATHER is Greater than Jesus, and Jesus declares this
John 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
Jesus Points to the father, and the Father alone being God
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
John 8:54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God
1Cor 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Jesus has a God, and it shows that Jesus is not the same person as God. Also, our ‘Lord Jesus Christ’ has a God. If ‘Lord’ Jesus means ‘God Jesus’ then the God Jesus has a God?
2Cor 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
2Cor 11:31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ
Eph 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him
Col 1:3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you
1Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
2John 1:3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
Rev 3:12 (Jesus is speaking) Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
God is OUR Father. And God who is OUR Father, is someone distinct from Jesus our Lord
Gal 1:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ
Eph 1:2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Cor 1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
2Cor 1:2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Phl 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Col 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Th 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Th 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father
2Th 1:1-2 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Phm 1:3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible requires that you believe Jesus is the Son of God, and He Himself refers to Himself as this, as do His witnesses
Mat 16:15-18 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
John 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
John 8:24-28 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.
I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.
They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.
Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
John 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
Mat 27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
Mar 15:37-39And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
1John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
1John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
1John 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
(Notice that not one verse in the Bible ever says you must believe that Jesus IS God, or that Jesus IS the Father, or to believe in the Trinity concept to be saved.)
Jesus says who God is, and He doesn’t say it's Himself, He says it’s the Father
John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
Mat 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Mar 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
The Head of Christ is God, if Jesus is God this makes no sense
1Cor 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
There is One God, and Jesus is the MEDIATOR between God and men
1Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
Gal 3:20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
The TRUE God is the one that has a Son named Jesus Christ, Thus the TRUE God and eternal life is the Father alone
1John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
The Son(Jesus) will be subject to God, and put all things under GOD
1Cor 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
Only the Father Knows the day or hour, if Jesus is God why doesn’t He know? And if He doesn’t know as a ‘man’, how is He 100% God and 100% man. Is He 100% God, but without 100% of God’s memory? Did becoming a man, yet remaining 100% God somehow make Him lose His memory?
Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Jesus Came forth from GOD, but not of Himself? If He came from God, and He is God, He came from Himself
John 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
Clearly shows that God is a different being than our Lord Jesus Christ, thus Jesus isn’t God
Psa 110:1[A Psalm of David.] The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
1Cor 1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
To the glory of WHO? Oh, God the Father
Phl 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
God can not be tempted. Jesus was Tempted. And why is satan saying ‘if thou be the SON of God, rather then if thou be God?’ Surely satan would have known that Jesus is God.
James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man
Mat 4:1-3 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Devils know that Jesus is the Son of God, but they don’t know He is God? They were in heaven with God, you’d think they would know who God is
Luke 4:41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.
Act 10:38-40 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly.
Paul declares that Jesus is a MAN, ordained by God
Act 17:30-31 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.
Now as for the verses that people use to say that Jesus is the Father, I am familiar with all of them, as I used to use them myself.
John 1:1-14 All the confusion about the word 'Word/Logos (in Greek)'. Logos can mean: words, thoughts, ideas, nature, ways. So the words, thoughts, ideas, nature, and ways of God, became flesh, and dwelt among them. This was Jesus. This is expounded on by all the verses I have listed above, showing that Jesus was the perfect and complete example of God, like a miniature version of who He truly is, in human form. As the scriptures say, where you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father, but the 2 are not one and the same as proven above.
John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
The big problem with this verse is people looking at the phrase "I am" and thinking that it means "God". If you take it literally like that, then the verse says "Before Abraham was God" which is not a problem in the least bit, since God was before Abraham, however it doesn't prove Jesus is God at all.
If you think that it mean Jesus existed before Abraham, then again this is not a problem, since Jesus existed before the creation, but yet doesn't prove that He is God, as the angels existed before the creation too, according to Job 38:7.
John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
The verse itself disproves that Jesus is the Father, the verse shouldn't be used by the oneness people, because it shows 2 distinct entities... I + my Father = 2. So it must mean one in agreement, or one in essence, or one in something other than being.
John 14:9-11 still shows 2 distinct beings, though however united and intertwined are not one and the same, never once does Jesus say "I am the Father", but rather says everything around it while still showing unity, and distinction of beings. Furthermore, if you are going to use "I in the Father and the Father in me" as proof they are one and the same, then1st John 4:16 says to dwell in love is to dwell in God and God in you. So does this mean that if you dwell in love, that you too are God? Or does it mean something more practical, like that you are simply one with Him.
John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
This is very easy to answer. Have you ever looked at someone or something and said "Oh my God"? You are obviously not calling that person or object God, it is an exclamation of shock, as it was to Thomas to realize Jesus had been resurrected. What Thomas "answered" was not to a question of who Jesus was.
[I, Mercy, would like to add here what we Greeks say when we are surprised by something. We say "Xriste kai Panagia mou", meaning "My Christ and Mother Mary". It's an expression and it does not mean that we believe that Christ and his mother are the same person.]
Also remember from the verses earlier that Lord and God are not synonymous and can't always be used interchangeably.
Revelation 22:13 I am the Alpha and Omega.
This is actually said 4 times in Revelation, it is taken from Isaiah 44:6 where God says it in the OT. The last time it's said in Revelation is often used because a few verses later you find the phrase "I come quickly" and "I Jesus have sent mine angel". People often use this to prove that it is Jesus who was talking in verse 13, saying that He is the Alpha and Omega, this is not so. Verse 14 says "blessed are they that do His commandments". The same person cannot be talking in both 13 and 14 because verse 14 refers to the Alpha and the Omega in 2nd person so you have a change of identity. God is being quoted in verse 13, and Jesus speaks from 14 through 19. God is quoted like this many times in the Bible, yet nobody says Moses is God, or Isaiah is God.
Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
This can be explained with a few other verses in the Bible, mainly where Jesus surrenders and submits Himself to the Father totally, such as in the garden. Nobody will debate whether or not Jesus belonged to God, but a few other things belonged to God too. Take this to thought. Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Now how on earth can anyone rob God? Where is God's bank? Yet the verse says you have stolen from Him? This and other verses mentioning things like the cattle on every hill belonging to Him explain how God could purchase the church with His own blood, which is the blood of His Son Jesus.
Heb 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom.
This verse is addressed with verse 9, which oneness and TRINITARIANS never continue with, it says that "God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." So let's see....God has anointed Himself above His other fellows? This is just silly. Who are His 'fellows'? equals? comrades? The Bible says that He has none. Obviously there must be something to this that people miss. As with the beginning of this page where I explained that there can be an ambassador of power, or a magistrate or representative. Let us not forget Rev 1:5-6 which says "Jesus...hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father." Jesus is definitely not called God here, proving my point.
Lastly, with many comparisons between attributes of Jesus in the NT and attributes of God in the OT, some of the same verses are quoted between the 2. This doesn't cause a problem since the Bible teaches the pre-existence of Jesus in verses like Col 1:16, Proverbs 30:4, and of course Genesis 1:26 where we all know that elohim is plural there. Something very important about the word "elohim" is that the word does NOT always refer to the almighty God, but can mean "a mighty one" and that MOSES of all people was actually called "elohim" in Exodus 7:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. Also, comparing verses only proves in many cases that both Jesus and the Father have the same attributes, and ultimately prove that things changed between the OT and NT. The pre-existence of Jesus and the use of the vague "Elohim" for "God" in many verses instead of "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" which is more specific, seals any opportunity for proving that Jesus is the Father by using the OT.
PAGE SOURCE: http://www.thejesuscommandment.com/
Old Testament Violence
Instead of making up retarded and lazy answers to these dilemmas, Christians should try to find a way to explain what actually happened.
The skeptic will look at these verses and wonder how on Earth a loving and compassionate God could ever do something like that. If anything, that God should do His own dirty work, and in some places He does, while in other places He tells people to do violent things instead. In the Gospels you don't see any of these acts of 'godly' violence taking place. Let's look at a few verses that tell us exactly what God really wants. But first you need to read 1 Samuel, Chapter 8.
ISRAEL ASKS FOR A NEW KING:
This is the real reason why there's so much evil in the world.
Because when the people want and choose an earthly ruler to rule over them and serve them, like all the other nations do, and wanted to partake in their earthly wars, that do not abide by God's loving ways, instead of having complete trust in our Creator, our true God and King.
This Bible chapter explains exactly where your choices will lead you. So don't blame God for all the evil that is upon the face of the earth. God explains here, very clearly, what will happen to those who want nothing to do with God, our True King, but instead choose to follow the ways of earthly leaders.
READ (1 Samuel 8) http://biblehub.com/niv/1_samuel/8.htm
Our loving heavenly Father will never force anyone to believe in Him and follow His loving ways that give life everlasting. In the Bible, our guide book that shows us how to obtain everlasting life, our loving and caring heavenly King explains clearly what would happen to those who choose to follow His path, and what will happen to those that choose to follow their own. the choice is yours. This is why our righteous heavenly King will not interfere by the choices you make.
So choose wisely!
Those who choose to partake in the ways of this world, by obeing earthly rulers that do not abide in God's ways and spill innocent blood, this is what our heavenly King has to say.
(John 16:) They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
THIS IS WHAT GOD WANTS:
Ezekiel 33:11 I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live.
Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
That last verse is Peter speaking in context of the worldwide flood of Noah's day, so we can trust that he is talking about everyone and not just applying to Christians, as in some twisted doctrine like Calvinism.
With these verses fresh in our minds, we know that God doesn't want death or destruction and He certainly doesn't like it. So why did it happen so often? Equally as important, why doesn't it happen today? Why does God have entire chapters of the Bible written about His tender mercy that endures forever, His love, His peace, His holiness, and all things good, yet He also has so many pages of the Bible soaked and dripping with the blood of His enemies? Many theologians don't answer with anything but a collective sigh and a shrug of the shoulders. Folks, you've got to do better than that.
We know from several stories in the OT that God doesn't always necessarily do what He actually WANTS to do. Sometimes He does what the people want, whether it's good for them or not. In Numbers 11 we find the story of the children of Israel whining about eating manna all the time, so God sent them an abundance of quails to eat, and by their own lust they ate so many that they got sick and died. Psalm 78:29 So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire. I will comment on this again at the end of this section.
We also find in 1st Samuel 8:1 that God was going to be their king and their ruler, but the people wanted a human king instead, they wanted a person to rule over them....in spite of all of God's dire warnings about it and His perfect foresight, they didn't listen, so He gave in and granted them a king--Saul.
Later, in the NT we see Jesus in John 5:37-39 telling the Jews of His day that they didn't even know God, and had no clue what He was about or they would have accepted Him. Also, in Matthew 19:8, and Mark 10:5 Jesus told the Pharisees that because of the hardness of their hearts, Moses told them they could divorce their wives. Then Jesus refuted that law. In Matthew 9:13, and 12:7 Jesus told them they didn't understand the scriptures regarding mercy rather than sacrifice.
Colossians 2:9 states that Jesus was the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and in John 14:9, where you see Him, you have seen the Father. Plus numerous other verses indicating that Jesus was the total representation of the Father, totally submitting to Him and doing His will.
Finally, we can go by the examples between the OT and NT. In the OT we see plenty of war war war blood guts and gore, hack slash and kill. These supposed people of God would be practically wading knee deep in the dead after their battles. In the NT however, we see the total opposite. Jesus didn't start any revolts or uprisings, He didn't come to destroy Rome, and He wasn't telling His disciples to keep their powder dry and their guns loaded. Many of the apostles died very cruel deaths and there were many martyrs in the early church....these were certainly NOT the violent people of the Old Testament. So, how in the world did these things happen by 'godly' people?
As shown so far, God would have been their King, but they wanted a human king, so God gave it to them. Another verse to be made aware of is Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. That's a powerful verse, your heart will determine the kind of person you are, and God will direct you accordingly.
We know that David was one of the kings of Israel, and that although David was credited as being a man after God's own heart, take special notice that he was not "perfect and upright" with righteousness like none other, such as Enoch, and Job were given credit to being. David was the best guy Israel had going for them, so he was the man for the job, but he had many shortcomings, and committed terrible things, such as adultery, and murder. David had another problem, and that was violence. Proof of this is some of the Psalms, where David's own eloquent prayers are for the destruction and eradication of his enemies. Though David wasn't always an adulterer or murderer, he was a ruthless person from his youth. When he was only a little boy, he chopped off the head of Goliath, after he had already taken him down. 1st Chronicles 28:3 shows us that God was NOT pleased with David's violent nature afterall. "But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood."
In spite of all of this, he sought the Lord, and had many high points in other areas of character. Remember, Paul was also a zealot for the Lord, even when he was persecuting the Christians, he too believed he was doing what was right, God eventually showed him otherwise. Now even though David was a violent man, the people he killed were not innocent either. This is how God directed His steps. I point out to skeptics and scoffers that nobody in the Bible was ever killed because they were being good.
The best part is that Jesus was well aware of all of the bloodshed in the OT....
Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
That's right, all of this killing in the name of God was coming to an end. "The days of John the Baptist" is explained in the next verse as all of the prophets and law prophesied until John. Then in John 18:36 we find that Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world, or His servants would fight, there was not going to be any more of that.
So to sum it up now putting all these verses together we see that God didn't always do what He really wanted to do, but sometimes gave in to the whims of of the people, and the whims of the people were sometimes savage and violent, until Jesus came and told the people that they didn't really know God, or follow Him (see Judaizers and Holy Racism for proof of how things changed and what transpired once Jesus came onto the scene and demonstrated the true ways of God.) It's clear that the slaying and killing in the OT is not really the true will of God, but it's what the people wanted, so God gave it to them. Lastly we can see how Jesus proved this through His life, and the lives and deaths of His disciples and all of the martyrs.
This covers half of the reason why the Israelites were told to go into battle with any group of people that were deemed wicked. The other half of the reason is more of a matter of understanding that the Bible says what it means and means what it says. There is no way to put it lightly when scriptures say that a group of people committed abominations before the Lord, or when it says there were wicked people in the land, it doesn't mean they stole candy and cheated on their taxes. Think more along the lines of human decadence that modern man would cringe at the sight of. When the bible says that people were worshiping false idols, it doesn't mean they had a lucky charm in the corner of their house, it means more along the lines of sacrificing their own children in blood rituals for superstition.
Now that we have gone through the OT explaining the slaughters and wars that were done in the name of God, what about the places where God Himself destroys a group of people? In many places, God is said to be the one destroying, and yet for many of these events, there are cross references elsewhere in the Bible to the people bringing destruction upon themselves. I mentioned Numbers 11 above, which actually says God struck them with a plague. This will have to be discussed in another section, but in short. 'God' and 'the power of God' are written along the same lines many times in the bible, many things are done by His power, but He Himself did not do them. The same can be said of fire. Fire can do many good and essential things for you, but if you stick your hand in it, it will burn you just like anything else, don't blame the fire.
Now that we are in NT times, as stated before, many things changed upon the arrival of Christ. Killing in the name of God is no longer permitted, Jesus has unequivocably shown the true way to be and done away with many of the old ways. As far as things like the crusades, or people who blow up abortion clinics, or Hitler going under the banner of the Catholic church...this is very easy to figure out. These people were not Christians. Just because you claim to be one, doesn't mean you are one.
If you saw some man with a shaved head and a bright orange robe, armed with a rifle, shooting at school children, would you believe him if he said he was a Buddhist and believed in the teachings of Buddha? Come on people, use your heads, there are LIARS in this world. Do you really think Christianity is immune from hypocrites? Don't be so naive.
God's real people are very peaceful, joyful, and loving.
Let's say that someone is sick, terminally, they are dying. Suddenly, in come some good church people to pray for the ailing person, and amidst their prayers and talking they bring up "It just might be God's will for you to come home"....
This belief of God as the grim reaper has to go once and for all. Many times in the Bible God says all of the good things that He wants for people, not one place does it ever say that death, sickness, or defeat are His desires for Christians. Ezekiel 18:32 says God has no pleasure with people dying.
In John 10:10 Jesus says that the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, but that He is come that you may have LIFE and have it more abundantly.
So how do we know this thief is satan?
We know from Mark 4:15 that satan steals, we know from Job that he at least tries to kill or make your life a living hell, and we know from 1st Corinthians 5:5 that he destroys. It's safe to say that satan is the "thief" spoken of in John 10:10.
So if satan is the one who steals, kills, and destroys, why do you want to credit these attributes to God? Especially now that we are in the NT times, and if you believe that Jesus is God in the way the Bible teaches it, then why do you insist that Jesus Christ is the one doing these things when He says the total opposite?
I know there are objections to this, and many scriptures come to mind, which I will address here, as many as I can.
Like Job 14:5 about God establishing some age that people would live to. Be very careful about getting a doctrine from this book because it's true that they said those things, but what they said was not true. Job and his 3 'friends' argued and debated through several chapters and even had conflicting statements at times. Also be careful with getting a doctrine from the book of Ecclesiastes, which is a book of man's wisdom. In Ecclesiastes 3 you will find it saying that there is a time for peace, war, life, death, love, and hatred....man's wisdom indeed.
Other verses in the Bible like "from dust to dust" in Genesis 3:19 are sometimes used as proof, but they do not indicate that God is the executor, just that He knows all and has seen what will happen. Hebrews 9:27 says it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgement....the emphasis in this verse is not that everyone is appointed to die, but that judgement comes after death. If you believe in the rapture, then obviously some people won't be dying. Also, Enoch and Elijah never died (unless you want to say they will be the 2 witnesses of Revelation). At Christ's return when He sets up the new kingdom, death will be done away with (1st Cor 15:26, Rev 20:14), so plenty of people will never die.
In Job 2:3 we find that satan is the one who moved God to destroy Job, not that God wanted to do it. This verse causes a problem to some people, just understand that this verse proves all power comes from God and satan has none of his own.
Lastly, people misquote the Bible and say that Jesus has the keys of life and death, and then they equate this to meaning that Jesus is some kind of Christian yin-yang symbol, giving life and causing death. Here's what the verse actually says.
Rev 1:18 I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
So, Jesus Christ has the keys of hell and death. He has the keys, NOT to lock you up, but to set you FREE from your imprisonment! I would start listing all of the verses indicating how much God wants good things for you, but they would take up far too much space, and I'm trying to keep this short.
Whatever you may believe about health or nutrition or why you have an illness, I will say that you can rest assured God didn't cause it, and He's sure as anything not trying to kill you.
God is not in control of this world, and when people die, or are murdered for example, it's not because His divine hand made it so, else we could say that sin is of God. God would be the one who makes murderers murder, rapists rape, and thieves steal. With all the evil in the world, we cannot say that God is literally in control, simply because people disobey Him all the time. The only place that God steps in is in the life of the believer, and only to the degree that He is allowed. Proverbs 15:3 says His eyes are in every place beholding good AND evil, so if God were really running this place the way some churches like to pretend, He would be pretty sick and twisted to see all that goes on in every city every day, and let it all happen. Someday, He will be running things, and it will be perfect, but for now....
1st John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
It would be good for people to find out what God actually wants for people BEFORE they go on tangents attributing and even blaming things on Him that He does not do. Hopefully I have cleared that up in this section.
PAGE SOURCE: http://www.thejesuscommandment.com/
WHO IS THE TRUE ISRAEL?
(Romans 9:6) It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.
LEARN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JEWS AND ZIONISTS:
Those who say that Jews are God’s chosen, think again. The real Jews do not go to other people's land, like Palestine, and bomb innocent people and children and destroy their homes. God is not on the side of those who have blood in their hands. (Isaiah 1:15; 1 Chronicles 28:3)
Judaism believes in One G-d who revealed the Torah. It affirms Divine Providence and, accordingly, views Jewish exile as a punishment for sin. Redemption may be achieved solely through prayer and penance.
Judaism calls upon all Jews to obey the Torah in its entirety including the commandment to be patriotic citizens.
Zionism rejects the Creator, His Revelation and reward and punishment. Among its fruits are the persecution of the Palestinian people and the spiritual and physical endangering of the Jewish people. It encourages treasonous, dual loyalty among unsuspecting Jews throughout the world. At its root Zionism sees reality as barren and desacralized. It is the antithesis of Torah Judaism.
(Romans 9:6) Not as though the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel, who are of Israel:
(Matthew 7:15-20) 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
(1 Peter 1:3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
Trinity isn’t in the Bible!
The background for how the Trinity was introduced:
Since the Trinity is not found in the Bible, as so many scholars and theologians admit, how did it come to be viewed as such an important teaching?
Theology professors Roger Olson and Christopher Hall explain part of the puzzle in their book The Trinity: “It is understandable that the importance placed on this doctrine is perplexing to many lay Christians and students. Nowhere is it clearly and unequivocally stated in Scripture . . . How can it be so important if it is not explicitly stated in Scripture? . . .
“The doctrine of the Trinity developed gradually after the completion of the New Testament in the heat of controversy, but the church fathers who developed it believed they were simply exegeting [explaining] divine revelation and not at all speculating or inventing new ideas. The full-blown doctrine of the Trinity was spelled out in the fourth century at two great ecumenical (universal) councils: Nicea (325 A.D.) and Constantinople (381 A.D.)” (2002, pp. 1-2).
We see from this and other sources quoted above that the idea of a Trinity was foreign to the biblical writers. Instead, as many of these sources openly acknowledge, the doctrine of the Trinity developed considerably later and over a span of several centuries.
To understand the factors that led to the introduction of this belief, we must first go back to see far-reaching and little-understood trends that started in the first few decades of the early Church. It’s a surprising—and in many ways shocking—story!
PAGE SOURCE: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/is-god-a-trinity/is-the-trinity-biblical
If God tells us not to add nor take away words from the Bible, then why so many Bible scribes have done so since the second century AC?
(Deuteronomy 4:2) Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
(Deuteronomy 12:32) What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
KEEPING GOD'S WAYS:
(Deu 28:9) The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.
I have been searching for the true religion for many years, always asking Father to guide me through the right path. I have studied Judaism, Greek Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Jehovah Witnesses, Pentecostals, Later Day Saints, Lutherans, Messianic's, Maitreya, and many other Christian sects, as well as Islam. Father has guided me to study all of them in order to acquire higher knowledge, to see and learn their differences and how each sect views our Creator/Father and His Word. Whatever you ask of the Father it shall be given to you, as long as you trust in Him and His Word completely.
(Mat 21:22) And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Through Father's guidance, I have found out that religions do not guide us to the right path. Religions are just one path of many that we need to follow until we reach a greater understanding in the next steps we take.
What guides us to the right path is having complete trust in our heavenly Father by asking Him to pour out His Holy Spirit on us that teaches us all things according to His Word in order to be taught His ways and not mankind's ways that leads us to many wrong paths.
SEE: (Mark 7:5-16)
HOW CAN ONE KNOW FOR SURE WHO IS A TRUE CHRISTIAN OR NOT?
All we have to do is pay close attention to all of Christ's teachings so we will not be tricked into false religions and commandments of mankind that profit no one. Jesus said it best in the following verse....
(John 13:35) By this shall all mankind know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Therefore, "By their fruit ye shall know them."
If you have hate in your heart, speak ill about others, harm others or yourselves in any way, then you do not have the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Don't let yourselves be deceived!
There are many false teachers in the world who instead of teaching us God's ways (as were spoken by His prophets), they teach us traditions and commandments of mankind that profit no one but themselves.
WHAT DID JESUS TEACH US?
(Matthew 23:1-13) Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
4 For 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.
5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
13 But 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.
(protokathedria): It was one of the reproaches urged by our Lord against the scribes and Pharisees that they loved the chief seats in the synagogues (Mt 23:6; Mr 12:39; Lu 11:43; 20:46). These were special seats set in front of the ark containing the Scriptures and of the reader’s platform, and facing the congregation. They were specially reserved for those who were held in the highest honor in the congregation. There were seventy-one such seats in the great synagogue of Alexandria, which were occupied by the members of the great Council in that city (see SYNAGOGUE).
God has no religion, in order to understand Jesus words you need to have a personal relation with him. Be one in mind and spirit. Just as Jesus is with our Father in heaven. Otherwise you'll be stuck in one of the false teachings of earthly religions.
This is why Jesus kept saying "You must be born again from above".
When we first enter this life, it is by the seed of our earthly parents. But when we are born again from above, then we become a new creature in Christ, we get rid of the old and enter in to the new life, the life God had in mind for us from the beginning, and are born again by the Spirit (seed/fruit) of God.
The Old Testament was given to God's special people, from among the whole face of the earth, so they will be able to understand the carnal ways before they are able to understand the ways of the spirit that are taught to us in The New Testament, that is given freely to anyone who asks.
GOD IS SPIRIT, AND THEY THAT WORSHIP HIM MUST WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH!
The Bible makes mention of the spirit some five hundred and five times.
Among the many notable passages on the subject we find Jesus saying in (John 3:6) "...that which is born of the Spirit is spirit", and in the (8th verse) he likens anyone who is born of the Spirit to the wind which blows where it listeth ("leans", or "according to its desire") and no one knows where they come from or where they go. He was not speaking of the wind or the Spirit here, but of the one who is born of the Spirit.
In (John 4:23-24) Jesus shows that from that time on, the true worshipers would worship the Father in the spirit, for that was the ones whom the Father seeks to worship Him, because God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in the spirit. In other words, it does no good to worship God in the flesh. God will not listen to vain babbling's, or repeating what you hear on TV, it has to come from your heart.
(Galatians 5) tells of the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit, and says to not just live in the Spirit, but also walk in the Spirit. We are told to not go by the works of the flesh, but go by the fruit of the Spirit, for there are laws against the works of the flesh, but there is no law against the fruit of the Spirit.
In (Gal 3:3) the apostle Paul asks "Are you so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
(Romans 8:6) says that to be Spiritually minded is life, but to be carnally minded is death. The word ‘carnal’ is taken from the Latin word ‘carnis’, which means ‘flesh’. So to be fleshly minded is death.
(1st Corinthians 2:14) shows us that only the Spiritual minded can receive the things of the Spirit, for there is no way they can be discerned (seen with the mind), except by those who are Spiritual minded. They are Spiritually discerned.
In (John 6:63) Jesus says that it is the Spirit which makes us alive, and in (Romans 8:9) Paul said that if the Spirit of God dwells in you, then you are in the Spirit and not in the flesh. In the 16th verse Paul makes clear that the Spirit of God bears witness, not with our flesh, but with our spirit.
(1st Cor 2:13) shows we are not to compare Spiritual things with things based upon the flesh, but rather we are to compare spiritual things with spiritual.
(1st Cor. 10:4) shows that the "rock" which the children of Israel drank from in (Exodus 17:6) was not a literal physical rock, but it was a spiritual Rock, and that Rock was Christ.
And that rock, "Christ", is where we base our beliefs, through Christ's teachings, that are given to him by our Father in heaven.
(Matthew 11:25) At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to infants.
“… but GROW in the grace and KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
All praises belong to our Father in heaven and His son and our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!