Star of Bethlehem and the Wise Men
- How bright is the Star of Bethlehem?
- Why were the men from the East who followed the Bright Star called wise?
- Could there be substitutes for the gifts of GOLD, FRANKINCENSE, AND MYRRH?
Apr 03, 1997
Audio-visual/question-answer/articles are available at YouTube.
|Browse in :||
> Main Articles
- With human understanding, how senseless and flimsy is this God's edict
- With God's explanation of His words however, it becomes a great dictum.
"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God."
Taking the "letter of the word," it simply means a woman is not allowed to wear any clothing that pertains to men. The concept is to avoid being, and to look like, a tomboy or lesbian. Vice versa, a man is not supposed to wear anything that pertains to women. This is to avoid being, and to look like, a homosexual. There are some sects that follow this to the "letter."
Two Witnesses to the truth
Jesus Christ is the Word of God (Rev. 19:13, John 1:1). The physical Jesus therefore corresponds to the "letter of the word." Just as Jesus is visible, so is the "letter" comprehensible to the Natural Man. Jesus speaks of Himself as one witness to the truth. Jesus' testimony of Himself:
John 5:31 "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true."
Perhaps it is quite disturbing to the Natural Man (1 Cor. 2:14), why Jesus' own testimony or the "letter" cannot as yet constitute the truth.
For the physical Jesus:
The people at Caesarea Philippi saw and heard Jesus spoke. Yet they had different perceptions of Him:
Matt. 16:1 "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets."
This is replicated in our time where people having heard and read the "letter of the word" regarding Jesus, also have different perceptions of Him.
a. Some people say "Jesus is only a man and not God." (Arian doctrine)
b. Others say, "Jesus is only a minor God, for there is a greater or Almighty God." (Jehovah doctrine)
c. Many people say, "Jesus is both God and man, and is the 2nd person of the Trinity." (Trinity doctrine)
d. Some people perceive, "Jesus is the Father, and the Holy Spirit is only a force of God. (Heraclian doctrine)
e. Still others say, "Jesus is the Father and the Holy Spirit." (Sabellian or Oneness doctrine)
Just as people cannot agree on Jesus' true identity, so also they cannot agree on the message of the "letter of the word." Thus, we find division of Christianity today into denominations.
For the spiritual Jesus:
The 2nd witness according to Jesus is the Father:
John 8:18 "I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me."
John 5:32 "There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true."
As demonstrated in Simon Peter, true and clear identification Jesus was made possible only by the revelation of the Father:
Matt. 16:15 "He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And 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."
While people relying on the "letter" profess the same thing as Simon Peter said, without the testimony of the 2nd witness, the claim of knowing Jesus is nullified by the admission that the Father is a mystery. Coming from the lips of people professing to know Jesus is, "The infinite Father is a mystery incapable of clear identification with the finite mind of man."
John 8:19 "…Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also."
Now it is to be appreciated that, indeed, God is speaking in parables (Ezek. 20:49). Jesus Christ was prophesied to speak dark sayings of old (Psa. 78:2). In "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man," who is the "man" and who is the "woman"? This is what is written:
The "spiritual MAN"
Isa. 54:5 "For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts…"
Is not GOD the Maker or Creator?
Neh. 9:6 "Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein…"
Therefore God is the "spiritual MAN."
The "spiritual WOMEN"
Are not the Chosen alluded to as the Wife of God? Therefore, both male and female, are "spiritual WOMEN."
Gal. 3:28 "…there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
The dual role of Jesus
For Simon Peter's saying, "Thou art the Christ," he recognized Jesus as Emmanuel that means "God with us." There is only one God, the Father (1 Cor. 8:6a), now "manifest in the flesh," (Phil. 2:6-8, 1 Tim. 3:16 KJV) who claimed to be the only savior (Isa. 43:11).
1 Cor. 8:6 "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things…"
Phil. 2:6 " Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
1 Tim. 3:16 KJV "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…"
Isa. 43:11 "I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour."
For Simon Peter, saying, "Thou art the Son of the living God," he recognized Jesus as the "God in the flesh," a man (1 Tim. 2:5), showing the Way (John 14:6), by example (1 Pet. 2:21), as model (Rom. 8:29).
1 Tim. 2:5 "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way…"
1 Pet. 2:21 "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps."
Rom. 8:29 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
Emmanuel that means "God with us" in the person of Jesus Christ can be seen in His dual roles:
As FATHER, Jesus accepted worship and this accolade is reserved only to God:
Matt. 4:10 "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."
Rev. 22:8 "…And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. 9Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God."
As SON, Jesus humbled Himself before the FATHER showing the Way to the Chosen, and even calling the FATHER as His God:
John 5:19 "…Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise."
John 14:28 "…I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I."
John 20:17 "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father…and your Father; and to my God, and your God."
In the other articles pertaining to the identity of JESUS CHRIST, it is clearly revealed that He performs the two roles both as the FATHER and the SON:
JESUS OF THE ORIGINAL APOSTLES
GOD OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT
"The seamless coat"
As FATHER GOD, Jesus accepted worship (many verses). As SON OF GOD, Jesus submitted Himself completely to the Father, showing the way by example to the Chosen (John 8:19, Luke 23:34, plus many more). Therefore, on these two roles of Jesus can we see Him as "spiritual man" and "spiritual woman" at the same time, as revealed from His attire in the following:
John 19:23 "Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. 24They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did."
Look if "The coat without seam" worn by Jesus in His role as FATHER does not pertain to the "robe of righteousness" in the following:
Isa. 61:10 "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments…"
And Jesus in His role as SON showed He did "not deserve" to wear this "coat without seam" because this only fits to the "righteousness" of the FATHER:
Luke 18:18 "And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God."
Very clearly, Jesus as SON shows to the Chosen what is true spiritual humility. He wants them to continuously seek mercy for that is what God wants.
Matt. 9:13 "…I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
"Spiritual righteousness" solely belongs to God. Man's professed righteousness is but filthy rags to God:
Isa. 64:6 "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…"
Four parts of the garment to the soldiers
The soldiers are the tormentors of Christ who crucified Him on the cross. They typify all people who, with their sins caused the death of Christ. Yet these soldiers cherished the garment of our Lord that they divided it into four. These soldiers therefore are the SINNERS that our Lord spoke of in:
Matt. 19:13 "… for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Jesus in His role as Son of God, a model to the real believers, wears the "garment of salvation." This is the garment that the soldiers wanted to wear also.
Isa. 61:10 "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation…"
The soldiers who divided the garment into four parts symbolize the "sinners from the Four Corners of the world" who also cherish the "garment of salvation."
Who could comprehend, that from the clothing worn by Jesus, God revealed His two roles fulfilling His plan of salvation? As FATHER, Jesus wore a "seamless coat," and as SON the "garment of salvation." From these two spiritual identities of Jesus, God reveals His spiritual GENDER:
1. As "husband" (man), Jesus in His role as the Father God:
Isa. 54:5 "For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is…"
Eph. 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church…"
2. As "wife" (woman), Jesus in His role as Son of God:
John 5:19 "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do…"
From the two roles and two identities of Jesus are the raiment distinguished:
1. The "garment" of Jesus as spiritual woman (wife) refers to the "garment of salvation," and
2. The "seamless coat" of Jesus as spiritual man (husband) refers to the "robe of righteousness"
Now God's edict on the "proper attire" is getting clearer:
Deut. 22:5 "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God."
How far is the Natural Man's understanding from God's revelation of His words! Now the testimony of the "two witnesses" can be fully appreciated. The 1st witness is the "letter" and the 2nd witness is the divine revelation of the Holy Spirit on the word. This is found in the following but only now is it fully appreciated:
1 Cor. 2:12 "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual."
Man's attire unfit for the woman
After God revealed that He is the "man" and His attire is the "robe of righteousness," from which comes power, wisdom, glory and majesty; truly this clothe is unfit for the chosen or "woman."
The other message of, "the woman is not allowed to wear what pertains to the "man," is the real believers' submission and total dependence on GOD, the spiritual "husband," in their SPIRITUAL LIFE.
Man not allowed to wear woman's garment
This time it is the reverse; God forbids the "man" to wear what is appropriate only to the "woman." Spiritually, there are two "men":
1. GOD, the "husband of the chosen," and
2. SATAN who is obsessed with planting his "seeds" unto the chosen.
The "seeds" of God is the truth in the word (Luke 8:11). As revealed, Jesus Christ, the eldest Son of God representing the chosen (Rom. 8:29), takes the role of a "spiritual woman."
Jesus in His PHYSICAL LIFE, nothing is written where He depended on the Father for His material-physical needs. Rather, as a carpenter (Mark 6:3) He used His human faculty and personal capability to live as an ordinary human being. Paul a tent maker (Acts 18:3) followed this kind life he saw in our Lord and now enjoins the believers to follow his example:
1 Cor. 11:1 "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."
Acts 20:33 "I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. 34Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
Wise as serpents, harmless as doves
Jesus exhorted His Disciples:
Matt. 10:16 "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."
From the exhortation is revealed the dual characterization of the Disciples. As "doves" they should be harmless, a product of humility. This stance must be referring to their SPIRITUAL LIFE where they are expected to humble themselves (as spiritual wife) and fully depend on our Lord (the spiritual husband):
John 15:4 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."
Plus many verses where God promises blessings (wisdom, health, riches, power, long life, etc.) to His chosen now revealed to be referring to SPIRITUAL LIFE. The blessings should not be confused with things for the PHYSICAL LIFE.
"Serpent" symbolizes Satan, the "god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4), from where the designation for the Natural Man (1 Cor. 2:14) "man of the world" is derived. Our Lord recognizes the Natural Men's deftness and ability on "things of the world" in the fields of economics, politics, social, science, health, psychology, etc.). This is emphasized in a parable of our Lord:
Luke 16:8 KJV "And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. 9And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations."
Luke 16:8 NIV "The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings."
The message could not have referred to the SPIRITUAL well-being for it will contradict the TRUTH. Rather, it pertains to the PHYSICAL welfare of real believers learned from the "children of this world," or "people of this world."
Since Satan is the "other man" and "his people" are what our Lord wants His chosen to learn from, they are therefore "the man" referred to in:
Deut. 22:5 "…neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God."
It should be noted that the chosen are referred to as "women" in their SPIRITUAL LIFE, where they are expected to submit and fully depend on God (the husband) for their spiritual needs. But for their PHYSICAL well-being (material, financial, health, etc.) they should take the stance as "men" be they physical female or male (Gal. 3:28).
For the PHYSICAL LIFE, the chosen are expected to act as "men" where God expects them to provide for their physical-material needs. It is an abomination to God for them to depend on Him for this is "man putting on a woman's garment." This truth has been demonstrated in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, as model, showing the example. Nothing is written where He asked the Father for His material-physical needs. Neither is there anything written where Paul, who followed the example of our Lord, prayed to God for these things.
Let us take note of God's exhortation on the matter:
Prov. 6:6 "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 9How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man."
2 Thes. 3:10 "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 13But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. 14And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother."
To summarize therefore, it is God's will for His chosen to depend on Him in their SPIRITUAL LIFE; but for their PHYSICAL LIFE, it is their responsibility. The chosen's "spiritual walk" (1 John 2:6) is such that these "two kinds of life" must walk together in agreement.
Amos 3:3 "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?"
Jesus showed the Way to walk on. Paul followed the Way. It is in SPIRITUAL LIFE that our Lord told His Disciples, "Ye are the light of the world," and for PHYSICAL LIFE, "Ye are the salt of the earth." This is also shown in our Lord's admonition to His Disciples, indicating distinction between PHYSICAL and SPIRITUAL LIFE:
Matt. 22:21 "…Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s."
The fowls of the air
Who do not think God is not providing the following material needs using human wisdom?
Matt. 6:25 "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?"
But God has provided man with the means to get all these things: the intellect and human strength and capability that no other creatures are provided with:
Matt. 6:8 "…your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him."
Consider the following how our Lord rebuked the people who were only after the things for the body:
John 6:26 "Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you..."
From this revelation, distinction is made between "miracles and wonders." Miracles pertain to SPIRITUAL LIFE while wonders to PHYSICAL LIFE. For details read:
MIRACLES AND WONDERS
· Two super beings are performing supernatural acts: God and Satan!
· How many people can distinguish miracles from wonders?
In the sight of God
For SPIRITUAL LIFE, in the sight of God the chosen (physical male and female) are "spiritual women." They are forbidden to speak in the churches:
1 Cor. 14:34 "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law."
God is the "spiritual man" who alone is the authority to speak in the churches. That is, only God's explanation of His words should be heard in the churches or gathering where the word of God is the subject. God's servants, "apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers," (Eph. 4:11) should act only as "speaker system" where God is the sole authority to "speak through the microphone."
A physical male professing to take this authority of God, unwittingly, is taking the role of God. That is Lucifer's downfall that seems to be hidden from the eyes of many people.
The strength of a "spiritual woman"
Perhaps many people are wondering how Samson got his extraordinary strength and why this was lost by simply cutting his hair.
Judges 16:18 "And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart…19And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. 20And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. 21But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house."
The "strength" of Samson comes from God as a "spiritual woman" as indicated by his "long hair." For SPIRITUAL LIFE, Samson is the wife of God. Once his "long hair" was cut, connoting being a "man" and thereby "ceased to be a wife" of God. His strength coming from God was lost.
However, as soon as Samson's "hair" began to grow, indicating his reversion to being a "wife of God," his strength was regained:
Judges 16:22 "Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven. 23Then the lords of the Philistines gathered… 26And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them. 27Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. 28And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. 29And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. 30And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life..."
The victory of Samson over the Philistines is not just a simple story. It has great spiritual message by divine revelation from the "testimony of the TWO WITNESSES."
The "husband and the wife"
Several references are made of this relationship:
1. For the physical marriage of a man and a woman, the union results in begetting children.
2. For the spiritual marriage of God with His chosen, the union bears "fruit of the Spirit."
Gal. 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance…"
3. For the "marriage" or close relationship of the PHYSICAL LIFE and SPIRITUAL LIFE of the chosen:
a. Where the PHYSICAL LIFE takes the stance of a "man" and "husband
b. And SPIRITUAL LIFE taking the stance of a "woman" and "wife"
A union and perfect "agreement between the two kinds of life" results in being:
a. "The light of the world" for the SPIRITUAL LIFE, and
b. "The salt of the earth" for the PHYSICAL LIFE
Now the following presents a much deeper meaning:
1 Cor. 11:11 "Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God."
For details about the PHYSICAL and SPIRITUAL LIFE, read the articles:
THE WISE AND FOOLISH BUILDERS - PART I
· Nobody wants to be a foolish builder.
· But because of spiritual blindness like the Scribes and Pharisees, unwittingly, we may be foolish builders in the eyes of God.
· Who, then, are the wise builders from the point of view of God? of Men?
THE WISE AND FOOLISH BUILDERS - PART II