Category: B

The Bridegroom Hath the Bride Part 5

For sake of time and space let’s summarize a few things which are, in and of themselves, worthy of far more extensive study. First: Scripture tells us that Christ {as a husband} is coming for His bride [2 Cor 11:2, Ephesians 5, John 14, John 3, Revelation 19]. His bride is the ‘Christian church’ [Ephesians 5:22-33] which is entered exclusively by being ‘born again’, saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus alone – it is blood bought. The bride, or church, is espoused to Christ [2 Cor 11:2]. When He comes, as we saw earlier in this study, He will call her out to meet him [1st Thessalonians 4:16-17]. The wedding happens in heaven at the Father’s house where [John 14] Jesus said we would go to be with Him.  This IS the rapture of the bride and to miss it is to miss a massive truth in scripture. So as 1st Thessalonians 4:16 says, the church, will be “caught up” {English words derived from Latin ‘Raptura, Rapio, Rapere, Raptuso’}[1st Thessalonians 4:17]. This phrase “caught up” has long been known to have come to us from Latin AND that the Latin term is “RAPTUSO” {which sounds like rapture}. The church has merely adopted a word that encompasses this event = rapture. If we all knew Latin like we once did, we’d not be nearly so unused to the interchangeable terms. Why do so many in the body of Christ embrace this doctrine? Hopefully by now you realize that it is because to deny it is to deny scripture. How long has this been being taught? Since the verses were written. The book of John was written in roughly 31 A.D. and the Apostle John, it’s author, taught this doctrine to his followers like Polycarp (pastor of Smyrna), who taught it to his followers like Irenaeus, who wrote about the rapture in his teachings in 180-200 A.D. In fact, here is a quote from Irenaeus from between 180-200 A.D. “And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, there shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be”. Some on the internet and others on YouTube are saying that the Rapture doctrine was made up from thin air in the early 1800’s. However, Irenaeus lived and taught within 100 years after the Apostle John died of old age. Cyprian refers to the rapture in his writings in 250 A.D. No, I am afraid these doctrinal train-wrecks who deny the rapture must do so at the expense of ignoring church history and completely perverting the scriptures. Luke 17:34 tells us “I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. What should you do? What any excited young bride would do if she knew her betrothed husband might show up at any moment – you should be ready to go!

The Bridegroom Hath the Bride Part 4

For the last three Wednesday evening Bible studies at Calvary, we have focused our attention on those “words” from which the Apostle Paul told us we should ‘comfort’ one another [1st Thessalonians 4:18]. The words to which he was referring, at the direction of the Holy Spirit, were those words concerning those who have passed from this life to the next. Especially our loved ones who had died trusting Christ. Many in Paul’s day still thought that the deceased are out in the cemetery snoring merrily in some sort of spiritual dreamland. They didn’t understand what happens when we die, and they really didn’t understand what is going to happen when Jesus returns for His bride. As such Paul, at the direction of the 3rd person of the Trinity, the Holy Ghost {Acts 5:1-4}, writes these words of comfort to explain it in detail. Now, notice in 1st Thessalonians 4:17 in our “English” Bible {by which I always mean the A.V. 1611 King James Bible} we see the phrase “caught up”. Many have been trained to think that because ‘The Rapture’, as a term, isn’t in the Bible, that the doctrine likewise isn’t in the Bible. I’ve even read that some preacher claimed that Jesus didn’t believe in the Rapture! But, let me call to your recollection something you may have forgotten. English originates in Latin. So much so that you would probably be very surprised just how often you use terms which are Latin. Many English words are really Latin words, but no one remembers where we got them.  Our phrase “caught up” here in 1st Thessalonians 4:17 is translated from the Greek word harpazo AND from the Latin word rapere both of which mean to “catch away, snatch up, carry off, seize quickly for oneself, grab”.  The word RAPERE comes from the old Latin “Rapio” and “Raptuse” – from which the meaning and application are quite clear: to be spiritually raptured or suddenly and lovingly carried away. Again, we see the husband and the wife (Christ and the Bride) Ephesians 5. When we are saved, we are sealed unto the day of redemption. That redemption includes the change from the old tabernacle of flesh into the new glorified tabernacle like unto Christ’s. When will those who are with him now get their new glorified bodies? When will we who are yet living when the Bridegroom comes for His bride get our old bodies redeemed for new ones? The answer is here before you in the old King James Bible.  The Harpazo \ Rapio \ Rapture = the sudden seizing of the bride! The sudden calling out of the bride will come like a thief in the night [1st Thess 5:2]. Some, perhaps many of you, may have been taught to think that this “rapture” or “rapio / harpazo” of the church / bride is a fabrication of men like C.I. Scofield or others in the mid 1800’s. You were taught incorrectly. The doctrine that the church will be “caught up” {harpazo / Rapio} is right in your Bible where it has been since AD 54 some 2000 years ago. This doctrine is not man made and it isn’t mid 1800 in origin. There is most definitely a Rapture coming!  What a hope!  If the Lord and the Herald Press permit, we will explore the timing of this blessed event in the article next week. Come study with us!

The Bridegroom Hath the Bride Part 3

As we continue looking at this matter of the “gathering of the church up unto Christ” let me ask you to consider Matthew 16:15-18 {which see} where our Lord’s words were recorded that He said to Peter “…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. Turn to Revelation 13 and let’s read about “the beast” which was revealed at the beginning of “Jacob’s time of trouble” [Jeremiah 30] and about whom the Bible says [vs 7] “it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations”. So, on one hand we have our Lord saying that not even the very gates of hell will prevail against nor overcome the church and on the other hand we have him saying that the Beast WILL overcome Christians in the tribulation. There are clearly TWO distinct groups of Christians in view: 1 is taken out before the Beast is revealed and a second group saved IN the tribulation must endure to the end of the Tribulation. So, the church WILL NOT be prevailed against and yet some of those Christians saved during the tribulation WILL be prevailed against. Is this a contradiction? Was Christ mistaken? Is Revelation wrong? No! There are NO contradictions in the Bible. How it is reconciled? If you let someone who doesn’t understand it get into your head – it can’t be. However, if you let the Bible have its way with your heart and mind it becomes obvious. See again [1st Thessalonians 4:13 “But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren, concerning them…” [14-18]. The church, the gentile bride of Christ will be gathered up in the clouds at the “gathering”, the “catching away” known to many English-speaking Christians as ‘the Rapture’. No brethren, the tribulation IS NOT for the bride. Who is it for? Turn to Jeremiah 30 where we are again told about the “time of the tribulation” {Much to the disapproval of some, your Bible refers often to specific times and ministrations as dispensations.} See 1 Cor 9:17; Eph 1:10; Eph 3:2; Col 1:25}. There in Jeremiah 30:7 we are told about “the time of Jacob’s trouble” – not the church’s trouble! See VS 4 “And these are the words that the Lord spake, concerning who? Concerning   Israel and concerning Judah”. Israel and Judah shall be, just as Noah pictured, “saved OUT of it”. Not able to see it yet? No problem, it goes on and on and on. Daniel, a Jew, wrote concerning “his people” (the Jews) and Jerusalem and throughout the book the Jews are in primary view and no place more obviously than Daniel ch 9 where we read that seventy sevens are determined for the Jews to finish their transgression.  Not so for the church whose sins were finished on Calvary.  You see God determined a future purge of sin and a finish of Israel and Judah’s transgression in their “time of Jacob’s trouble”.  So, Daniel’s words are specific – it is for ‘thy people’ and upon ‘thy holy city’. This is not Atlanta or Houston…it’s Jerusalem sir. Daniel’s people are not Chinese or Europeans Ma’am, they’re Jews. The Church is not in this prophecy for ‘thy people’…because she isn’t on earth at the time. Where is she? She’s at her wedding for the Bridegroom hath the bride. 

The Bridegroom Hath the Bride Part 2

Last week we took a quick glance at John the Baptist’s role as the “friend of the bridegroom” [John 3:29 1611 KJB] {from which we adopted the European role of “best man” in our version of weddings}. This week let’s peel back another layer of this incredible Bible truth. Good old John wasn’t much of a ‘seeker sensitive’ lovey dovy kissy huggy kind of preacher. In fact his preaching against adultery got him tossed in prison and beheaded in his day. Like it or not, I’d go so far as to say if he preached against adultery in our time, most protestant churches would soon ‘feel led to hand him his pink slip and seek a new pastor’. Perhaps even many Baptist churches (which long pre-date the protestant ‘reformation’ and the Catholic church) would send him packing. What has this got to do with the Bridegroom and the bride (Christ and the Church)? Glad you asked – Christ doesn’t commit adultery against his betrothed wife (the church) and the betrothed wife doesn’t commit adultery against her husband (which is Christ) [Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery]. This commandment of God to Israel tells us how God the Father feels about the sanctity of marriage. I am sure many of you remember when most Christians and even the majority of lost people held adultery as a defilement of contempt and shame. In our days they’re having defilement parades whilst waiving defilement flags for adultery and all manner of reprobation. But enough, let us consider Christ. Why did John name himself “the friend of the Bridegroom”?  Because a wedding is coming. The Bridegroom is even now preparing a home for his bride. [John 14 “in my father’s house are many mansions {some fake bibles read ‘rooms’}. “I go to prepare a place for you”. Why prepare a place for the bride if the bride isn’t going to be {watch these words} “CAUGHT UP TOGETHER with them in the clouds to “meet the Lord in the air”? [Did you notice that at this part of the 2nd Coming – Christ does not set one foot on the ground at the Mount of Olives? You may remember that at the 2nd Coming, God said, in Zechariah 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. Some teach this is a contradiction – which is kind of funny if you know your Bible. There is no contradiction at all – simply TWO completely different parts of the 2nd coming are in view. Part 1 is of course ‘the rapture’ or “catching up” or if you understand it, the “calling out of the bride” by the bridegroom in preparation for the wedding of the church [Ephesians 5]. When the Bridegroom “calls out His bride” and “receives her unto himself” – “that where I am there ye may be also” [John 14:3] then begins ‘Jacob’s time of Trouble’ [Jeremiah 30:7]. The calling forth of the bride is next on the prophetic clock. Paul said ‘don’t worry about Anti-Christ. Focus rather on doing what Christ said – be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not”.

The Bridegroom Hath the Bride Part 1

When confronted about who he was ‘prophetically’ and what his role was in God’s photo album of doctrine, John ‘the Baptist’ answered saying “Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him” [John 3:28] 29 “He 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”. The husband, or bridegroom, is of course the Lord Jesus Christ [Revelation 18:23] and of course the bride is the church [Ephesians 5:25] and as a man (husband) and his woman (wife) are ONE [Ephesians 5:31] this picture is of Christ and His bride [32]. Something interesting about Jewish marriage customs is the practice of a Shadchan or {Matchmaker}. This ‘Shadchan’ is often a relative of or friend of the family and would seek out compatible mates – thus eliminating the often failure of ‘roll-of-the-dice” matches. In fact so many random matches fail that the practice of having a Shadchan arrange meetings with compatible mates is regaining popularity in Jewish culture. Once the Shadchan has arranged a meeting the groom and bride meet and determine for themselves if they are interested in the match and they choose whether to proceed. Once betrothed, the couple are referred to as husband and wife although they do not physically consummate the marriage until the betrothal has ended. Now watch this! After the betrothal, the groom prepares a dwelling place [John 14:1-3] for his new wife [Ephesians 5] and the family they are about to begin. Once completed the groom’s father would inspect it and determine if it was ready. If so, the father would choose a time and date to send his son (the groom) to go get his new bride and bring her to the new home! The groom was, until his father sends him to get his bride, unaware of when this might happen [Matt 24:42]. As such, a Jewish bride was told to keep herself pure, prepared and to be watching for her husband to come and call her out of her father’s house. In this traditional Jewish marriage practice the groom does not enter her house but stands outside with his entourage and calls [Matt 25:6, 13] for his bride to come out to meet him.  With her bride’s maids she comes out to meet him [Matt 25:1] and is carried to her wedding chamber prepared by her husband! It is a beautiful and joyous occasion which is celebrated by friends and family of the bride and groom!  How interesting this picture is! Friend – don’t let yourself be misled by a well-meaning but poorly studied preacher. The Lord IS coming for His bride as soon as His Father says “go get her”. It WILL happen without notice “as a thief in the night” [1st Thessalonians 5:2] and 2 will be working and all the sudden 1 will be gone [Matt 24:41]. The beginning miracle of our Lord’s public ministry was at a wedding [John 2]. The 2nd Coming of Christ in His Kingship ministry will begin with a wedding. That wedding won’t start until the Bride is present with Him. As such we will be gathered unto Him [1st Thessalonians 5:9, 2nd Thessalonians 2:1, Revelation 4:1 et al].

The Burglar That Escapes Undetected

Back many years ago I took the entrance exam for a large Police Department in Florida (and was later hired). I had to spend the night to be there for the long day of tests & exams so I had driven in the night before and gotten a hotel room. The next morning early I discovered that my truck had been burglarized! My truck was ransacked and tools, stereo and other odds and ends were stolen. The thief had broken in through my camper’s sliding window and breaking the latch.

It was clearly the work of an amateur. The really good burglars pride themselves on getting in & out undetected. They leave no evidence, no prints, nothing out of place. They sneak in, steal one or two things that often go unmissed and sneak out with the doors locked just as they found them. Their goal is that the crime will not even be discovered. Have you been burglarized? Let’s put it to the test and see if something monumentally important has been stolen from you that you didn’t even notice was missing! Turn in your Bible to 1st John 5:7 and lets check to see if any of the words that God gave you have been stolen. Your Bible should read “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” If it doesn’t…the words of God have been stolen from your Bible. Some thieves try to tell you those words were ‘made up by men’ in 323 AD and don’t really belong in the Bible, but the fact is this verse was being quoted in writings by students of the Apostles as early as 70 A.D. 
Let’s look at another one: In Acts 8 the Lord sent the apostle Philip to go meet and teach a fella who wanted to know about Jesus. The fella was completely confused and so Philip met him and told him all about Jesus and showed him some scriptures to prove it. Afterwards the man wanted to be baptized and Philip said something vitally important to him in verse 8:37 “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God”. WOW! Talk about a major league important piece of Scripture!!

It isn’t at all a surprise to me to see Bibles that have removed this verse completely or cut out the most important part. If I were the great thief and liar called Lucifer I would use every resource at my disposal to create Bibles from which I’ve removed some words here and there…like a good burglar. There are many hundreds of stolen words, words of the Living God, which sneaky burglars & thieves have stolen from all newer versions of the Bible since 1881. However if you want a Bible that has ALL the words God gave get yourself a 1611 King James Bible.

The Burglar That Escapes Undetected

Back many years ago I took the entrance exam for a large Police Department in Florida (and was later hired). I had to spend the night to be there for the long day of tests & exams so I had driven in the night before and gotten a hotel room. The next morning early I discovered that my truck had been burglarized! My truck was ransacked and tools, stereo and other odds and ends were stolen. The thief had broken in through my camper’s sliding window and breaking the latch. It was clearly the work of an amateur. The really good burglars pride themselves on getting in & out undetected. They leave no evidence, no prints, nothing out of place. They sneak in, steal one or two things that often go unmissed and sneak out with the doors locked just as they found them. Their goal is that the crime will not even be discovered. Have you been burglarized? Let’s put it to the test and see if something monumentally important has been stolen from you that you didn’t even notice was missing! Turn in your Bible to 1st John 5:7 and lets check to see if any of the words that God gave you have been stolen. Your Bible should read “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” If it doesn’t…the words of God have been stolen from your Bible. Some thieves try to tell you those words were ‘made up by men’ in 323 AD and don’t really belong in the Bible, but the fact is this verse was being quoted in writings by students of the Apostles as early as 70 A.D. Let’s look at another one: In Acts 8 the Lord sent the apostle Philip to go meet and teach a fella who wanted to know about Jesus. The fella was completely confused and so Philip met him and told him all about Jesus and showed him some scriptures to prove it. Afterwards the man wanted to be baptized and Philip said something vitally important to him in verse 8:37 “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God”. WOW! Talk about a major league important piece of Scripture!! It isn’t at all a surprise to me to see Bibles that have removed this verse completely or cut out the most important part. If I were the great thief and liar called Lucifer I would use every resource at my disposal to create Bibles from which I’ve removed some words here and there…like a good burglar. There are many hundreds of stolen words, words of the Living God, which sneaky burglars & thieves have stolen from all newer versions of the Bible since 1881. However if you want a Bible that has ALL the words God gave get yourself a 1611 King James Bible.

 

 

 

Bitterness

    CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH

TRUST THE BIBLE

“Bitterness

      Pastor Malcolm Harrison

 Recently I preached the message “When you can’t forgive” using the shameful event of David & Bathsheba’s terrible adultery as my text [II Sam 11] which it would help you to read before continuing. By way of introduction let me say that one of the most painful things in life is betrayal! If you’ve lived very long you may already know the great pain & heartache of having been done wrong…maybe even by someone you loved and trusted! Often in the wake of betrayal & heartache come great wrath, anger and bitterness. Let me tell you a story: Back before David slew Goliath there was a man of great wisdom named Ahithophel. So very wise and great was he that the Bible says his counsel was “as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God” [II Sam 16:23]. Ahithophel later became one of David’s counselors and most trusted friends. But David fell into a terrible sin – adultery with a married woman known as Bathsheba! She was the young beautiful wife of up and coming military hero Uriah. Uriah was a great warrior and though young himself he had already risen to David’s own elite force of valiant fighting men! Together Uriah & Bathsheba had dreams and a bright future! But while Uriah was off fighting for King and country, his King was committing adultery with his beautiful young wife! David and Bathsheba ruined forever that bright future with a night of adultery. If you’ve read the text, you know that Bathsheba ended up pregnant and to hide it, David brought Uriah home from the front to spend time with his wife so that it would appear the baby was Uriah’s and not David’s. When that failed, David had Uriah murdered in battle. Bathsheba had a loving Dad and doting Grandfather. The Bible doesn’t tell us how many times Bathsheba’s granddad gave her piggy back rides and took her fishing as a child, but it does tell us who he was. Can you guess? The beautiful young Bathsheba’s grandfather was none other than the great Ahithophel {David’s friend and counselor}. When Ahithophel discovered the dark secret of what his dear friend the great King David had done with his precious granddaughter; how he’d defiled her and gotten her pregnant & ruined a family’s hopes and had murdered her husband to hide it all he was consumed with rage! It was a painful betrayal of his son, his granddaughter, his grandson-in-law, of the throne and of God! Anger & outrage spread like a wildfire in Ahithophel! It consumed him so deeply he said horrible things [II Sam 16:15 to 17:6] and even asked David’s wicked son Absalom to let him have some men with which to go hunt David down and kill him personally [II Sam 17:1-4]. But meanwhile David had been confronted with his sin, and he and Bathsheba had paid in tears with the death of their baby for that night of fun and that murder [II Sam 12]. Sin always has a price and it’s always much higher than you think it’ll be! David sought and obtained mercy & forgiveness from God. We don’t know if he ever went to Ahithophel and asked his friend’s forgiveness, but if he did it fell on deaf ears. This betrayal had hurt Ahithophel too deeply for him to forgive. The bitterness of seeing Bathsheba in David’s arms, while her husband and baby lay cold in the grave turned his heart to stone and his great wisdom to darkness. I would caution you as your friend and as a pastor, anger and bitterness will eat you alive – you must forgive! By the end of II Sam 17 Ahithophel hung himself. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Many verses come to mind in dealing with the results of anger and betrayal, of bitterness and wrath and all of them point to a simple truth: The heart that’s been born again and filled with the Spirit of God cannot long endure the heavy burden of bitterness and anger without suffering harm. See Colossians 3:13   “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” and Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”. I encourage you to search for God’s strength in mercy by asking God to help you find compassion and forgiveness! This is the will of God. Yes, it is hard but with God all things are possible! Robert E Lee, a great Christian man, was once asked “whatever shall we do…just look what they’ve done” by a war ravaged family whose large old Oak tree had been shattered to shreds by Union cannon fire. He reflected a moment in silence and then said, “cut it down”. That’s good advice! Get the sad reminders out of sight, cut the bad memories down and move on! Come visit us at Calvary Baptist Church! 903-729-5924