Monday, April 29, 2019

What is the meaning and purpose of life?

I am writing an article in Korean titled, "우리는 왜 사는가(Why Do We Live)?". 

It seems to be a little blunt question but I tried to answer from the Bible, not from my own thought or philosophical ideas. 

But I would not translate it into English due to my linguistic limit, rather I upload a fine article that is similar and corresponds to my own writing contentwise.

However, I modified some sentences by Capitalizing Letters such as nouns and verbs that were used with The Great Name of our GOD, highlighting and giving spaces without author's permission. 

What is the meaning and purpose of life?

by Matt Slick

The meaning and purpose of life isn’t all that easy to figure out.  To answer the question involves answering other questions:  What does it mean to have meaning and purpose? How do you determine what that is?  Do you determine your own meaning?  Can you combine what you think is your own purpose with the purpose that someone else might have for you?  There are lots of questions and no easy answers. Well, let me correct myself.  There is an easy answer.

What Does the Bible say is the purpose of our lives?

"Everyone who is called by MY Name, And whom I Have Created for MY Glory, Whom I Have Formed, even whom I Have Made," (Isaiah 43:7).

According to the Bible, our purpose, the reason we are here, is for GOD'S Glory.  In other words, our purpose is to praise GOD, worship HIM, to proclaim HIS Greatness, and to accomplish HIS Will.  This is what glorifies HIM.  
Therefore, in this we find that GOD Has Given us a reason for our existence, a meaning for our existence.  We were created by HIM, according to HIS Desire, and our lives are to be lived for HIM so that we might accomplish what HE Has for us to do.  When we trust The One WHO Has Made us, WHO Works all things after the counsel of HIS Will (Ephesians 1:11), then we are able to live a life of purpose.  How the particulars of that purpose are expressed is up to the individual.

Is there purpose in trials?

What if our lives are difficult and things go wrong?  Are our failures and hardships for the Glory of GOD, too?  Yes, they are.  We often thank GOD and praise HIS Name when things go well, but we often turn our backs on HIM and complain when things are difficult.  
Sometimes our appreciation and trust in GOD becomes conditioned on how well things are going for us.  Ultimately, this is self-centered immaturity.  Even though things can go wrong in our lives, the ultimate reason we are here is to glorify GOD -- even through the difficulties.  We do this by praising HIM and trusting HIM through difficult times.
Within this attempt to glorify GOD -- in all things -- we can then determine the particular meaning of our life that GOD Has for us specifically.  
In Christianity, we are free to pursue GOD in all areas of our lives.  For example, we are free to glorify GOD by being a doctor, a lawyer, a mechanic, a housewife, a father, a mother, a minister, an accountant, etc.  
If the ultimate goal in life is to bring glory to GOD, then we can do that by being the best at what we do in the various callings of life.  So, as the Bible says, 
"...whatever you do, do all to the glory of GOD," (1 Cor. 10:31).

I want to determine my own purpose

There are those will not like this.  There are those who will deny that GOD Has Made us. For them, they want to determine their own purpose.  They must decide for themselves what is meaningful to them.  They want their independence.  They want to proclaim what is good and bad in their own hearts and determine their purpose based on their desires. But the problem is that this becomes self-serving.  
When we do what we think is right in our own eyes, we often make mistakes -- especially when we deny GOD.  When a child says "I want, I want, I want," he is showing his immaturity and self-centeredness.  Adults become other-centered as is demonstrated by the sacrifices involved in parenthood and marriage.  
As we grow older, we realize the value in considering the interests of others.  
"Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others," (Phil. 2:4).  
In this, we learn that purpose is best defined not by selfish desires but by the ability to love and consider others more important.  This carries over to receiving a purpose from GOD.  If we are selfish and want to determine our own purpose, then how is that truly loving?  
After all, if love is other-centered then shouldn't we love GOD, center our lives on HIM, and humble ourselves before HIM in HIS Wisdom and Trust what HE Desires for us?  Think about it.  He knows infinitely more than we do, and by trusting HIM we can discover the ultimate purpose of our lives. It makes sense.

Avoid moralism

Moralism is simply doing what is good for goodness sake.  An atheist can do that, but for those who claim to be Christians, our purpose is not our own glory.  The meaning of our lives is to bring Glory to GOD (Isa. 43:7).  Unbelievers do not know GOD.  Therefore, they can only be moralistic in their self-determination of meaning and purpose.  
That is, they have no objective moral standard that exists outside of themselves, and so they have no way of knowing what their ultimate purpose really is.  They will then, at best, adopt a kind of moralism, a goodness that is relative to the preferences and situation and live a kind of conditional love.  In that way, they cannot know what real goodness is.  And without knowing what truly is good, how can they truly have a good purpose in their lives?

For the Christian

The right thing to do is bring Glory to GOD because there is no one greater WHO Is Worthy of Trust, Adoration, and Worship.  Therefore, for the Christian, we are to live to bring Glory to GOD.  How we do that is through prayer and study of HIS Word, the Bible, so that we might better know what HE Has for us.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Who Is The Bride of CHRIST?

What does the Bible say about the bride and the marriage of the Lamb?

The marriage of the Lamb is one of the greatest events in the Bible. But who is Jesus’ bride?

What does the Bible say about the bride of Christ and the marriage of the Lamb?
The marriage of the Lamb (Jesus) is one of the greatest events prophesied in the Bible. But who is the bride of Christ?
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7.

Who will be in the bride of Christ?

The bride is the church of Christ.
The church is made up of everyone who is on the way to becoming completely free from all sin, as Jesus is. It is those who have started down the path that will lead them to divine nature. (2 Peter 1:4) Some people may be farther along this way than others. Some people may have just begun. But everybody who walks this way is a member of the body of Christ. They are preparing themselves to be the bride of Christ. They are making themselves ready.
They are the ones who love Jesus. They are His followers. They are those who ache with longing to be with their Lord and Master. They are those who have made a decision to serve Jesus with all of their heart, all of their soul, all of their being. They are the ones whom Jesus cleanses and purifies; they will be a glorious church without spot or wrinkle. In a word, holy. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
A bride is somebody comparable to her bridegroom. This is why it is written in 1 Peter 1:15“But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” The bride of Christ are those who will shine with a brightness and a purity and a holiness just as He who called her is holy.
“And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” Revelation 19:8. The bride of Christ makes herself ready for Him. Every second she has on this earth is used to prepare herself for her bridegroom. Her fine linen is not something given to her during the marriage feast but it is something she has made herself during her time on earth by walking in righteousness.
“Many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14. The bride of Christ is the same as the church, but there are not many who are truly counted among this number. Many invitations are sent out, but not many choose to answer.

Make yourself ready

Rightly understood, the bride is not an elite cadre of special Christians that only a few get to be a part of. The bride will be few in number, but this is not because only a few invitations were sent out. It is because few people choose to answer. To be a part of the bride of Christ you need to answer that call, and start following Jesus on the way He Himself has gone.
This time on earth is a time of engagement for Jesus Christ and His bride. They have an intense love for one another, and long to be reunited. The bride wants to be near Jesus, her heavenly bridegroom. She will do everything and anything, she will pay whatever it costs, in order to be worthy of Him and be with Him.
Jesus will fetch His bride as soon as she is ready. Time is short, but there is still a time of grace for the bride to prepare herself, and it’s still possible to heed the call. (Read more about the rapture here)
Answering the call to be in the bride is the first step. It’s as simple as deciding, “I want to serve God with all my heart.” The way to go after this is described in Colossians 3:1-17. The bride of sets her mind on things above. The bride is patient, humble, longsuffering, and does everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. The only thing she wants is to hasten the day of His return. (2 Peter 3:12)
The bride of Christ is so in love that she would pay any price to put off all sin, everything that is not Christ-like. She denies all such thoughts and puts them to death. (Colossians 3:5) And in this way the life of Christ can show forth in her. In this way she becomes a helper comparable to Him. With all of her very being she aches to be with Christ and knows that the way to do that is to become like Him. To become purified and cleansed as He is pure, and be transformed into divine nature like His. (1 John 3:2-3) Nothing less than perfection is acceptable. Any thought that is not pleasing to Christ is immediately put to death! Sin is not an option for her! She wants to be with her bridegroom.
So she becomes holy as He is holy. These are the righteous acts of the saints as described in Revelation 19:8.

The marriage of the Lamb

Finally, when the bride is ready to meet the bridegroom, Jesus Christ will return to fetch His beloved. After so many years of tribulation they can finally be united! All the heavens will rejoice in celebration of this event and there will be a tremendous marriage feast! (Revelation 19:7-8)
Now the bride can be with the bridegroom. The long night is over. Now she has been perfected. She is perfectly united with Jesus in will, in purpose, in nature. Never to be parted for all of eternity. (1 Corinthians 6:17)
They are standing there in heaven; a throng of warriors and heroes dressed in pure white – an army that has paid the price and given everything to be cleansed and purified and transformed into Christ’s image. They are shining brighter than the sun, shining with a purity equal to Christ Himself. They are holy. They are His.
The heroes of the Old Testament and the martyrs of the great tribulation, amongst others, are of course servants of God and have fellowship with Christ. But the bride of Christ has a very special calling. She is seated beside Him; she is equal with Him. She has suffered the same sufferings as He has on earth and now she has her reward. It is a reward far greater than any given to anybody else in heaven or on earth. She is set above angels, above cherubim, above all of God’s creation, to be a partner and a helper to God’s very Son Himself.
The bride’s job in eternity will always be beside the bridegroom. “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17. She is there beside Christ, drying tears, and erasing sorrows.
There is no greater reward than this. And there is no greater use of our time on earth than to prepare for the day of His coming, in earnest expectation. To be so in love with Jesus Christ that the lives we live here on earth are worthy of the bride He wants to marry.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Jewish Festivals & JESUS CHRIST

Dear Readers,

The Bible reveals that GOD Appointed certain days of the year to be remembered and celebrated by the congregation of Israel. The word "feast" comes from two Hebrew words that mean (Heb. Moaid) "divinely appointed times" and the other (Heb. Khag ) means "festival" from the verb which means "to dance"

There were seven feasts that were observed annually in ancient Israel, and they were celebrated in this order: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. 

Only three were actual feasts: Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Tabernacles. The other four were appointed times. They were only required to fast on the Day of Atonement. During the special times they would remember great events with GOD. 

Three times per year: during the feast of Pentecost, Passover, and Tabernacles all male Israelites were to gather together. 

This is referred to as the "gathering" or "convocation". After the exile the Israelites began meeting together on the Sabbath day. 

It is commonly believed among Christians that the first four feasts in the spring speak of the First Coming of JESUS CHRIST (the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of JESUS CHRIST, and the beginning of the church), and the last three feasts in the fall speak of the Second Coming of JESUS CHRIST (CHRIST'S Return, Israel receiving her Messiah, and the Millennial Kingdom is set up on earth).

What are the different Jewish festivals in the Bible?


There are seven Jewish festivals or feasts outlined in the Bible. While they are mentioned throughout Scripture, we find instructions for all seven laid out in Leviticus 23Leviticus 23:2 refers to the seven Jewish festivals, literally “appointed times,” also called “holy convocations.” 

These were days Appointed and Ordained by GOD to be kept to the honor of HIS Name. These times of celebration are important not only to Israel, but also to the overall message of the Bible, because each one foreshadows or symbolizes an aspect of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of The LORD JESUS CHRIST.

The book of Leviticus contains GOD'S Instructions to HIS Chosen nation, Israel, on how they were to worship HIM. It contains detailed instructions about the duties of the priests as well as instructions on observing and obeying GOD'S Law and the sacrificial system.

GOD Designated seven specific feasts that Israel was to celebrate each year. Each one of these Jewish festivals is significant both in regards to The LORD'S Provision for HIS people and in regards to the foreshadowing of The Coming Messiah and HIS Work in Redeeming people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. While Christians are no longer under any obligation to observe any of the Old Testament feasts (Colossians 2:16), we should understand their significance and importance, nonetheless.

The feasts often began and ended with a “Sabbath rest,” and the Jews were commanded to not do any customary work on those days. Both the normal weekly Sabbath and the special Sabbaths that were to be observed as part of the Jewish feasts point us to the ultimate Sabbath rest, which is found only in JESUS CHRIST. It is a rest that Christians experience through faith in the Finished Work of CHRIST upon the cross.

Beginning in the spring, the seven Jewish feasts are Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Firstfruits, the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. The Jewish feasts are closely related to Israel’s spring and fall harvests and agricultural seasons. They were to remind the Israelites each year of GOD'S Ongoing Protection and Provision. But, even more importantly, they foreshadowed the Redemptive Work of JESUS CHRIST. Not only did they play significant roles in CHRIST'S Earthly Ministry but they also symbolize the complete Redemptive Story of CHRIST, beginning with HIS Death on the cross as the Passover LAMB and ending with HIS Second Coming after which HE Will “Tabernacle” or Dwell with HIS people forever.

Here is a brief summary of the spiritual significance of each of the seven Jewish festivals or feasts. It is interesting to note that the first three occur back to back, almost simultaneously. The Feast of Unleavened Bread starts the very day after Passover is celebrated. Then, on the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Firstfruits begins.

Passover reminds us of redemption from sin. 

It was the time when JESUS CHRIST, The LAMB of GOD, Was Offered as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. It is on that basis alone that GOD Can Justify the ungodly sinner. Just as the blood of a lamb sprinkled on the doorpost of Jewish homes caused The SPIRIT of The LORD to Pass Over those homes during the last plague on Egypt (Exodus 12), so those covered by The Blood of The LAMB will escape the spiritual death and judgment GOD Will Visit upon all who reject HIM. Of all the Jewish festivals, Passover is of the greatest importance because The LORD'S Supper was a Passover meal (Matthew 26:17–27). In passing the elements and telling the disciples to eat of HIS Body, JESUS Was Presenting HIMSELF as the Ultimate Passover Lamb.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread followed immediately after Passover and lasted one week, during which time the Israelites ate no bread with yeast in remembrance of their haste in preparing for their exodus from Egypt. In the New Testament, yeast is often associated with evil (1 Corinthians 5:6–8Galatians 5:9), and, just as Israel was to remove yeast from their bread, so are Christians to purge evil from their lives and live a new life in godliness and righteousness. CHRIST as our Passover Lamb Cleanses us from sin and evil, and by HIS Power and that of The Indwelling HOLY SPIRIT, we are freed from sin to leave our old lives behind, just as the Israelites did.

The Feast of Firstfruits took place at the beginning of the harvest and signified Israel’s gratitude to and dependence upon GOD. According to Leviticus 23:9–14, an Israelite would bring a sheaf of the first grain of the harvest to the priest, who would wave it before The LORD as an offering. Deuteronomy 26:1–11 states that, when the Israelites brought the firstfuits of their harvest before the priest, they were to acknowledge that GOD had delivered them from Egypt and Had Given them the Promised Land. This reminds us of CHRIST'S Resurrection as HE Was the “Firstfuits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). Just as CHRIST Was the First to Rise from the dead and Receive a Glorified Body, so shall all those who are born again follow HIM, being resurrected to inherit an “incorruptible body” (1 Corinthians 15:35–49).

The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) occurred 50 days after the Firstfruits festival and celebrated the end of the grain harvest (the Greek word Pentecost means “fiftieth”). The primary focus of the festival was gratitude to GOD for the harvest. This feast reminds us of the fulfillment of JESUS’ Promise to Send “Another Helper” (John 14:16) WHO Would Indwell believers and Empower them for ministry. The coming of The HOLY SPIRIT 50 days after JESUS' Resurrection was the guarantee (Ephesians 1:13–14) that the promise of salvation and future resurrection will come to pass. The Indwelling Presence of The HOLY SPIRIT in every born-again believer is what Seals us in CHRIST and Bears witness with our spirit that we are indeed “joint heirs with CHRIST” (Romans 8:16–17).

After the spring feasts conclude with the Feast of Weeks, there is a period of time before the fall feasts begin. This time is spiritually symbolic of the church age in which we live today. CHRIST'S Sacrifice and Resurrection are past, we have received The Promised HOLY SPIRIT, and now we await HIS Second Coming. Just as the spring feasts pointed toward the Messiah’s Ministry at HIS First Coming, the fall feasts point toward what will happen at HIS Second Coming.

The Feast of Trumpets was commanded to be held on the first day of the seventh month and was to be a “day of trumpet blast” (Numbers 29:1) to commemorate the end of the agricultural and festival year. The trumpet blasts were meant to signal to Israel that they were entering a sacred season. The agricultural year was coming to a close; there was to be a reckoning with the sins of the people on the Day of Atonement. 

The Feast of Trumpets signifies CHRIST'S Second Coming. We see trumpets associated with the Second Coming in verses like 1 Thessalonians 4:16, “For The LORD HIMSELF Will Descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the Trumpet of GOD. And the dead in CHRIST will rise first.” Of course, the sounding of the trumpet also indicates the Pouring Out of GOD'S Wrath on the earth in the book of Revelation. Certainly, this feast points toward the Coming Day of The LORD.

The Day of Atonement occurs just ten days after the Feast of Trumpets. The Day of Atonement was the day the high priest went into the Holy of Holies each year to make an offering for the sins of Israel. This feast is symbolic of the time when GOD Will again Turn HIS Attention back to the nation of Israel after “the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and . . . all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:25–26). The Jewish remnant who survive the Great Tribulation will recognize JESUS as their Messiah as GOD Releases them from their spiritual blindness and they come to faith in CHRIST.

The Feast of Tabernacles (Booths) is the seventh and final feast of The LORD and took place five days after the Day of Atonement. For seven days, the Israelites presented offerings to The LORD, during which time they lived in huts made from palm branches. Living in the booths recalled the sojourn of the Israelites prior to their taking the land of Canaan (Leviticus 23:43). This feast signifies the future time when CHRIST Rules and Reigns on earth. For the rest of eternity, people from every tribe, tongue, and nation will “tabernacle” or dwell with CHRIST in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:9–27).

While the four spring feasts look back at what CHRIST Accomplished at HIS First Coming, the three fall feasts point us toward the Glory of HIS Second Coming. The first is the source of our hope in CHRIST—HIS Finished Work of Atonement for sins—and the second is the promise of what is to come—eternity with CHRIST. Understanding the significance of these GOD-Appointed Jewish festivals helps us to better see and understand the complete picture and plan of redemption found in Scripture.