Why think that (1) … Jesus existed?

Christianity is a historical faith. Christianity is founded on the figure of Jesus and so it really matters whether Jesus was a real person or not. If he did not exist then our seeking ends there. But if Jesus did exist then we can move on to the more interesting questions of what he did, who he claimed to be and in what ways he is special.

What is unusual about the question of Jesus’ existence is that it is a loaded question. The majority of historians recognize that Jesus existed and yet you will find plenty of skeptics who think that the existence of Jesus is still an open question. Of all known individuals from the first century AD very few feature in as many sources written within living memory as Jesus and yet of all known individuals from the first century AD it is Jesus whose existence is doubted. This disparity between what reliable historical methods indicate and what skeptics choose to doubt tells you something about the sort of question this is.

So let’s recap the evidence, starting with non-Christian sources. Perhaps the most well-known source is Josephus, who in one passage talks about “Jesus … a doer of wonderful works”, whom Pilate condemned to the cross (Antiquities 18.63-64). Many people think this text has been tampered with because it includes the line “he was the Christ” (and it’s unlikely that Josephus, a Jew, would have said that) so we cannot be sure what this passage originally wrote. But this is not the only time Josephus mentions Jesus. In another passage he talks about an early Christian elder, who was stoned to death; Josephus describes him as “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ” (Antiquities 20.9).

Mara bar ‘Serapion: Assyrian Stoic philosopher in the Roman province of Syria

Another Jewish writer, Mara Bar-Serapion, mentions a “wise king” whom the Jews put to death in a letter to his son. Many scholars believe this “wise king” was Jesus. The Talmud, the book of Jewish tradition, also contains stories about Jesus. Though greatly embellished and particularly anti-Christian, the Talmud refers explicitly to the death of Jesus “on the eve of the Passover” (Sanhedrin 43a).

Nuremberg chronicles f 111r 1.png

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus c. 69 AD Rome, Roman Empire

Jesus is also mentioned by two Roman historians. Tacitus records that “Christus … suffered the extreme penalty” under Pontius Pilate (Annals 15.44) and Suetonius mentions one “Chrestus”, whose followers were causing disruption in Rome (Life of Claudius 25). The Roman satirist Lucian writes about the founder of Christianity, who was crucified (The Death of Peregrine).

It is significant that early critics of Christianity, like the Platonist philosopher Celsus, did not dispute that Jesus existed – they only disputed the claims he made.

Of course, our main source of information about Jesus comes from texts written by Christians in the first century. These include texts from the late 40s or early 50s, like James and the Didache; texts from the mid-50s, like Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, Thessalonians and Romans; and, of course, the gospels, which probably date from the 60s or 70s. All easily within living memory of the events of Jesus’ life.

This is why historians do not doubt the existence of Jesus – you’d need to ignore all the evidence.

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Additional reading:

  1. Who was Jesus?
  2. Some christians do have problems with the Christian connection with Jews
  3. A Jewish Theocracy
  4. First Century of Christianity
  5. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #7 A matter of the Future
  8. Jesus begotten Son of God #8 Found Divinely Created not Incarnated
  9. Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
  10. Jesus begotten Son of God #10 Coming down spirit or flesh seed of Eve
  11. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  12. Jesus begotten Son of God #12 Son of God
  13. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  14. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  15. Jesus begotten Son of God #15 Son of God Originating in Mary
  16. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  17. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  18. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  19. Jesus begotten Son of God #20 Before and After
  20. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  21. The meek one riding on an ass
  22. Jesus spoke Hebrew and Aramaic
  23. Believing what Jesus says
  24. If Shroud of Turin was fake, how come no man on earth able to replicate it
  25. History of the acceptance of a three-in-one God
  26. Christianity is a love affair

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  • Evidence Of Jesus IS Meaningless (thebuybulljournal.wordpress.com)
    Sextus, who claimed this reference of Thalius, was a christian who’s life was dedicated to christianity full time (motive of lying and fabrication).
  • Book Review: Handbook for the Study of the Historical Jesus (Part IV) (diglotting.com)
    Pokorný’s application of the criterion of dissimilarity. He uses it in regards to the analysis of “the stylistic and rhetorical peculiarities of the early Jesus traditions”. He mentions that while the criterion of dissimilarity has been heavily criticized in recent times, it “does not mean that [it] should be abandoned” (338). But regarding the criterion of multiple attestation, Pokorný notes that its validity “is limited” and that he “would almost warn against it” (339).In an attempt to sketch an image of Jesus, Pokorný analyzes the Pauline evidence, the Synoptic traditions, and the Johannine traditions.
  • The Historicity of Jesus: Ancient Pagan Sources (3dchristianity.wordpress.com) + Josephus on Jesus: Evidence for Jesus’ Existence?Thankfully, there are non-Christian ancient documents that mentioned Jesus that we can turn to. There are, at least, seven ancient Classical or Greco-Roman authors who mentioned Jesus that scholars have attested as authentic. And there are various ancient Jewish writings as well, the most famous being the Jewish historian Flavious Josephus.
    +
    we have a historical corroboration of the New Testament that Jesus and James existed, they were brothers and that early Christians were in trouble with the religious authorities of Judaism, and persecuted.
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    look at pagan Greco-Roman authors as sources for the historical Jesus
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    We learn that about 80 years after Jesus was crucified, Christians have grown in such number that they were a threat to the Roman Empire and were being persecuted. We learn that early Christians met regularly on a determined day (perhaps Sunday) and sang hymns to Christ as if Christ is god. Also that early Christians were rather exemplary in their moral behaviour. And that early Christians would not worship or bow down to other gods/idols/images, and would not revile or curse Christ. The overall tone here suggests that Pliny assumed Christ was a real person whom the Christians worshiped.
  • “Is This Not the Carpenter?” – References to Jesus outside the Christian Sources (vridar.wordpress.com)
    Grabbe sugests that Tacitus more than likely had access to imperial archives and accordingly argues the likelihood that Tacitus did indeed pore through those official documents to acquire his material, including the fact of Christ’s crucifixion under Pilate.
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    I was particularly disappointed that Grabbe failed even to point out that in one of the key passages in Suetonius that the name appearing there, Chrestus, was a common slave name of the day. Readers are led to understand only one possibility: that Suetonius confused the name Christ for Chrestus:

    Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [the emperor Claudius] expelled them from Rome.

    Maybe this did originate as a confused account of Jewish Christians. Even if so, it tells us nothing about a Jesus in Galilee over a decade earlier. The passage appears to understand “Christ” (if this was originally meant) as a figure the troublesome Jews believed was in their midst in Rome.

  • Jesus’ Existence, Myth of Fact? (theperfectprescription2014.wordpress.com)
    Even without reference to Scripture the case for the existence of Jesus is as axiomatic as the case for any other historical figure such as Julius Caesar. Extra biblical material compiled by historians and archaeologists is replete with attestations that the Lord Jesus walked on earth in the flesh. Bible students interested in studying further about the testimonies of non-Christian historical sources can look up the following ….
  • Secular Historians Prove Jesus was a real Historical Person (nathanaelcoffman.wordpress.com)
    What we tend to overlook, as Christians, is that many seek to disprove Christianity by disproving the historical figure of Christ. One internet article writer said, “Christianity was the ultimate product of religious syncretism in the ancient world. Its emergence owed nothing to a holy carpenter. There were many Jesuses but the fable was a cultural construct” (“Welcome…”). There are many others who feel this way and even have well formulated arguments to support these claims. This paper shall seek to disprove the “Jesus the cultural concept,” by quoting ancient historians who mention Jesus. To further the argument that Jesus was a real historical man who lived and died (and resurrected) on this earth, one could use the work of secular historians. Through a chronological listing and study of these secular historians and their writings, one could prove both the legitimacy of the secular historians as well
  • Craig S. Keener: Jesus Existed (huffingtonpost.com)
    Contrary to some circles on the Internet, very few scholars doubt that Jesus existed, preached and led a movement. Scholars’ confidence has nothing to do with theology but much to do with historiographic common sense. What movement would make up a recent leader, executed by a Roman governor for treason, and then declare, “We’re his followers”? If they wanted to commit suicide, there were simpler ways to do it.One popular objection is that only Christians wrote anything about Jesus. This objection is neither entirely true nor does it reckon with the nature of ancient sources. It usually comes from people who have not worked much with ancient history. Only a small proportion of information from antiquity survives, yet it is often sufficient.
  • 6. Earl Doherty’s Response to Bart Ehrman’s Case Against Mythicism: Jewish Sources (vridar.wordpress.com)
  • Joe Atwill, Bill O’Reilly, and Josephus sitting in a tree… (unsettledchristianity.com)
    Atwill’s most intriguing discovery came to him while he was studying “Wars of the Jews” by Josephus [the only surviving first-person historical account of first-century Judea] alongside the New Testament.
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    I do believe Mark is writing against Rome (Vespasian) and even fellow Jews (Simon bar Giora) by using known stories he is doing so based on a historical figure and a pre-existing outline. This is the only way it would work and the only way Mark could appeal to /an/Christians.
  • Josephus on Jesus: Evidence for Jesus’ Existence? (3dchristianity.wordpress.com)
  • Proof of Jesus outside the Bible (thatfaith.wordpress.com)
  • The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
  • Encouragement doesn’t “just happen” | Darkness Inverte
  • The Central Challenge of Discipleship: Recognizing Jesus
  • Letter to a friend on Jesus and the end of the age of decay
  • Jesus in the Talmud
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Jerusalem and a son’s kingdom

The Name of the God and of the City written upon the pillar

In the inspired Revelation, the apostle John records information concerning the “new Jerusalem.”

12 “‘The one who conquers—I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will by no means go out from it anymore, and I will write upon him the name of my God+ and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem+ that descends out of heaven from my God, and my own new name.+ (Revelation 3:12)

I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God+ and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.+ (Revelation 21:2)

The apostle Paul speaks about a holy city and Mount Zion:

22 But you have approached a Mount Zion+ and a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem,+ and myriads* of angels(Hebrews 12:22)

God fearing people and their land

After Babylon was overthrown in 539 B.C.E King Cyrus of Persia issued a decree enabling God-fearing Jews to return to Jerusalem and restore Jehovah’s worship. (Ezra 1:2-4) In 537 B.C.E., the first returning Jews were back in their homeland. Jehovah once again showed favor to Jerusalem, as is reflected in the warmth of his prophetic declaration:

“For the sake of Zion I shall not keep still, and for the sake of Jerusalem I shall not stay quiet until her righteousness goes forth just like the brightness, and her salvation like a torch that burns.” (Isaiah 62:1.)

Pope's Road leading up to Mount Zion (Jerusalem)

Pope’s Road leading up to Mount Zion (Jerusalem) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 537 B.C.E., Jehovah fulfilled his promise to restore Zion, or Jerusalem. Her inhabitants experienced salvation by him, and their righteousness shone brightly. Later, though, they again drifted away from pure worship. Eventually, they rejected Jesus as the Messiah, and Jehovah finally abandoned them as his chosen nation.

42 Jesus said to them: “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone that the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone.*+ This has come from Jehovah,* and it is marvelous in our eyes’?+ 43 This is why I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits. 44 Also, the person falling on this stone will be shattered.+ As for anyone on whom it falls, it will crush him.”+ (Matthew 21:42-43-44)

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent to her+—how often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings! But you did not want it.+ 38 Look! Your house is abandoned to you.*+ 39 For I say to you, you will by no means see me from now until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in Jehovah’s* name!’”+ (Matthew 23:37-38-39)

The true light that gives light to every sort of man was about to come into the world.+ 10 He was in the world,+ and the world came into existence through him,+ but the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own home, but his own people did not accept him. 12 However, to all who did receive him, he gave authority to become God’s children,+ because they were exercising faith in his name.+ 13 And they were born, not from blood or from a fleshly will or from man’s will, but from God.+ (John 1:9-13)

A new nation to be born

Jehovah caused a new nation, “the Israel of God,” to be born. This new nation became his special people, and in the first century, its members zealously preached the good news throughout the then-known world.

16 As for all those who walk orderly by this rule of conduct, peace and mercy be upon them, yes, upon the Israel of God.+ (Galatians 6:16)

23 provided, of course, that you continue in the faith,+ established on the foundation+ and steadfast,+ not being shifted away from the hope of that good news that you heard and that was preached in all creation under heaven.+ Of this good news I, Paul, became a minister.+ (Colossians 1:23)

Falling away from true religion

Already soon after the death of Jeshua, Jesus Christ, several opportunists saw chance to get more interest and followers by pretending they were followers of that popular Nazarene, who was considered to be the Messiah. The apostles saw everywhere preachers bringing false teachings. They warned their followers for the dangers of such false teachers. But those false teachers attracted more people by their allowance of traditions and popular ideas from Roman and Greek culture which looked more interesting or captivating than the ‘dry’ Christian teaching which left no opportunity to worship other gods, nor dream of an afterlife.

Unhappily, following the death of the apostles, there was a falling away from true religion. As a result, an apostate form of Christianity developed, as found today in Christendom.

24 He presented another illustration to them, saying: “The Kingdom of the heavens may be likened to a man who sowed fine seed in his field. 25 While men were sleeping, his enemy came and oversowed weeds in among the wheat and left. 26 When the stalk sprouted and produced fruit, then the weeds also appeared. 27 So the slaves of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow fine seed in your field? How, then, does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy, a man, did this.’+ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go out and collect them?’ 29 He said, ‘No, for fear that while collecting the weeds, you uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest season, I will tell the reapers: First collect the weeds and bind them in bundles to burn them up; then gather the wheat into my storehouse.’”+ … 36 Then after dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples came to him and said: “Explain to us the illustration of the weeds in the field.” 37 In response he said: “The sower of the fine seed is the Son of man; 38 the field is the world.+ As for the fine seed, these are the sons of the Kingdom, but the weeds are the sons of the wicked one,+39 and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things,* and the reapers are angels. 40 Therefore, just as the weeds are collected and burned with fire, so it will be in the conclusion of the system of things.*+41 The Son of man will send his angels, and they will collect out from his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling and people who practice lawlessness, 42 and they will pitch them into the fiery furnace.+ There is where their weeping and the gnashing of their teeth will be. 43 At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun+ in the Kingdom of their Father. Let the one who has ears listen. (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

29 I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you+ and will not treat the flock with tenderness, 30 and from among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.+ (Acts 20:29, 30)

Renewed earth and heavens foretold

Long before Christ Isaiah had already described conditions that were far better than those the Jews had lived under in Babylon. He foretold joyfulness and rejoicing. In the Old testament we can find the expression “new heavens and a new earth.”

17 For look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth;+ And the former things will not be called to mind,* Nor will they come up into the heart.+18 So exult and be joyful forever in what I am creating.

For look! I am creating Jerusalem a cause for joy  And her people a cause for exultation.+19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem and exult in my people;+ No more will there be heard in her the sound of weeping or a cry of distress.”+ (Isaiah 65:17-19)

The ancient Jews who, as Isaiah accurately predicted, did return to their homeland, and gained what might be called a new system of things, also reestablishing pure worship. (Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4)

There was a new ruling body. Zerubbabel, a descendant of King David, was governor, and Joshua was high priest. (Haggai 1:1, 12; 2:21; Zechariah 6:11) These constituted “new heavens” over “a new earth,” the cleansed society of people who were back in their land in order to rebuild Jerusalem and its temple for worshiping Jehovah. Hence, in this real sense, there were new heavens and a new earth in the fulfillment involving the Jews at that time.

The apostle Peter also writes in his second letter:

“There are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.”(2 Peter 3:13)
You may already have learned that Jesus in heaven is the key Ruler in the “new heavens.”

A son to reign on the throne of David to rule over the house of Jacob and Gentiles

Taking in mind that the angel spoke to Miriam (Mary) that she will bear a son who will come to reign on the throne of David to rule over the house of Jacob, we should wonder who can make up this hose of Jacob. The one who has “the legal right” to the Davidic crown lost by Zedekiah is demonstrated in the Christian Greek Scriptures to be Christ Jesus, of whom the angel, announcing his future birth, said:
32 This one will be great+ and will be called Son of the Most High,+ and Jehovah* God will give him the throne of David his father,+33 and he will rule as King over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end to his Kingdom.”+ (Luke 1:32, 33)
With Jerusalem’s fall in 607 B.C.E. the Gentile powers exercised domination over the entire earth. The Davidic dynasty and rule suffered interruption, and so Jerusalem, or what it stood for, would continue to be “trampled on” as long as God’s kingdom, as functioning through David’s house, was kept in a low, inoperative condition under the Gentile powers. Observing this connection with rulership Unger’s Bible Dictionary (1965, p. 398) comments:
“Consequently Gentiles move on as ‘the nations’ to the end of their stewardship as earth rulers. The termination of this period will be the end of the ‘times of the Gentiles’(Luke 21:24; Dan. 2:36-44).”
— Compare Ezekiel 17:12-21; also the description of Medo-Persia’s fall at Daniel 8:7, 20.

Domination of the earth by the Gentile powers

At least twice in this prophecy concerning the time of the end, Jesus referred to the contents of the book of the prophet Daniel. (Compare Matthew 24:15, 21 with Daniel 11:31; 12:1.) In the book of Daniel we find a picture drawn of the domination of the earth by the Gentile powers during their “appointed times.” The second chapter of Daniel contains the prophetic vision (received by King Nebuchadnezzar) of the great image that Daniel by inspiration showed to represent the march of Gentile world powers, ending with their destruction by the Kingdom set up by “the God of heaven,” which Kingdom then rules earth wide. (Daniel 2:31-45) It is of note that the image begins with the Babylonian Empire, the first world power to ‘trample Jerusalem’ by overthrowing the Davidic dynasty and leaving “Jehovah’s throne” in Jerusalem vacant. This also confirms the start of “the appointed times of the nations” in the year of Jerusalem’s destruction, 607 B.C.E.
The dream vision of Nebuchadnezzar, in the book of Daniel  shows that God’s self-restraint (represented by the bands of iron and of copper around the stump of the tree) would continue until “seven times pass over it.” (Daniel 4:16, 23, 25) Then, since “the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind,” God would give world domination “to the one whom he wants to.” (Daniel 4:17) The prophetic book of Daniel itself shows that one to be the “son of man” to whom are given “rulership and dignity and kingdom, that the peoples, national groups and languages should all serve even him.” (Daniel 7:13, 14) Jesus’ own prophecy, in which the reference to “the appointed times of the nations” occurs, points definitely toward Christ Jesus’ exercise of such world domination as God’s chosen King, the heir of the Davidic dynasty. (Matthew 24:30, 31; Luke 21:27-31, 36) Thus, the symbolic stump, representing God’s retention of the sovereign right to exercise world domination in “the kingdom of mankind,” was due to sprout again in his Son’s Kingdom. (Psalm 89:27, 35-37).

The Delight Zion Owned as a Wife

Jehovah declares that Zion will be called “My Delight Is in Her,” and her land, “Owned as a Wife.”

54.1 “Shout joyfully, you barren woman who has not given birth!+Become cheerful and cry out for joy,+ you who never had birth pains,+For the sons* of the desolate one are more numerous Than the sons of the woman with a husband,”*+ says Jehovah. …

“For your Grand Maker+ is as your husband,*+ Jehovah of armies is his name, And the Holy One of Israel is your Repurchaser.+ He will be called the God of the whole earth.+For Jehovah called you as if you were an abandoned wife and grief-stricken,*+ Like a wife married in youth and then rejected,” says your God. (Isaiah 54:1, 5, 6)

 Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Will a land be brought to birth in one day? Or will a nation be born all at once? Yet, as soon as Zion went into labor, she gave birth to her sons. (Iasiah 66:8)

“Look! The days are coming,” declares Jehovah, “when I will raise up to David a righteous sprout.*+ And a king will reign+ and show insight and uphold justice and righteousness in the land.+In his days Judah will be saved,+ and Israel will reside in security.+ And this is the name by which he will be called: Jehovah Is Our Righteousness.”+

“However, the days are coming,” declares Jehovah, “when they will no longer say, ‘As surely as Jehovah is alive, who brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt!’+but rather, ‘As surely as Jehovah is alive, who brought out and brought back the descendants of the house of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands to which I had dispersed them,’ and they will dwell in their own land.”+ (Jeremiah 23:5-8)

17 “But I will restore your health and heal your wounds,”+ declares Jehovah, “Though they called you an outcast: ‘Zion, for whom no one searches.’”+ (Jermiah 30:17)

English: picture of Jerusalem from mount zion

Picture of Jerusalem from mount zion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today Jerusalem is being scorned. It is like all that pass by clap their hands at this city not to favour it but to laugh at it. They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, laughing at it because it is preferred as their holy city that they call the perfection of beauty, even the joy of the whole earth.

15 At you all those passing by on the road scornfully clap their hands.+ They whistle in amazement+ and shake their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying: “Is this the city about which they said, ‘It is perfect in beauty, the joy of all the earth’?”+ (Lamentations 2:15)

The desolate woman

Many today like to look at the city in the Middle East as the barren lay where no fruits come from, bearing no children. But the world should now that it will be breaking forth and cry aloud having no labour pains any more; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband. {Isaiah 54:1} And in the world will come brothers and sisters, like Isaac, children of promise, remembering the time when the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit.
It is in this time now that we should do what the Scriptures ask from us to get rid of the slave woman (the false church and those followers who want to keep to all traditions) Those falls institutions, with misleading doctrines, will present itself as the best marriage bond for people with Christ.

We all have our own choice and can either go with those false doctrines and enjoy the traditional churches. But we should come to see that it is impossible for us to share equality in the judgement, for “the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” {Gen. 21:10} Therefore the lovers of God should make up their choice to become brothers and sisters in Christ, not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

27 For it is written: “Be glad, you barren woman who does not give birth; break into joyful shouting, you woman who does not have birth pains; for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than those of her who has the husband.”+ 28 Now you, brothers, are children of the promise the same as Isaac was.+ 29 But just as then the one born through natural descent* began persecuting the one born through spirit,+ so also now.+ 30 Nevertheless, what does the scripture say? “Drive out the servant girl and her son, for the son of the servant girl will by no means be an heir with the son of the free woman.”+ 31 So, brothers, we are children, not of a servant girl, but of the free woman. (Galatians 4:27-31).

Returners from exile

Zion’s returning sons released from Babylonian exile (attempted extermination of the Jews; the Shoah or Holocaust) took possession of the old capital city and settled in her once again. We are told that when that happens, Zion is no longer desolate but filled with sons.

14 “Return, you renegade sons,” declares Jehovah. “For I have become your true master;* and I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.+ (Jeremiah 3:14).

Jehovah God will give the universe shepherds after His own heart, who will lead the people in the world, who are willing to listen to God’s Word, with knowledge and understanding. And there shall come a time that in those days, when their numbers have increased greatly in the land. The ark of the covenant of the Most High will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honour the name of the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.

15 And I will give you shepherds after my own heart,+ and they will feed you with knowledge and insight. 16 You will become many and will bear fruit in the land in those days,” declares Jehovah.+ “No more will they say, ‘The ark of the covenant of Jehovah!’ It will not come up into the heart, nor will they remember it or miss it, and it will not be made again. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah;+ and all the nations will be brought together to the name of Jehovah at Jerusalem,+ and they will no longer stubbornly follow their own wicked heart.” (Jeremiah 3:15-17)

Walking together and partakers

English: Jerusalem, Ziongate, Townside Deutsch...

Jerusalem, Ziongate, Townside Deutsch: Jerusalem, Ziontor, Stadtseite Français : Vieille ville de Jerusalem, Porte de Sion (vue depuis l’intérieur des murailles) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At that time the house of Judah alongside the house of Israel will walk together, and together they will come from the land of the north into the land that Jehovah, the God of gods gave to their and our forefathers as an inheritance. (Jeremiah 3:18) The house of Israel, have dealt treacherously with Jehovah and did not want to accept the Send One from God. This Messiah formed his pupils to go into the world to preach the Good News of the coming Kingdom. He promised that the apostles and some others like them would have a place in heaven.

In the book of Hebrews, the apostle Paul described such ones as “partakers of the heavenly calling.” And Jesus said that those of this group would sit on thrones in heaven with him. (Hebrews 3:1; Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:28-30; John 14:2, 3) The point is that others reign with Jesus as part of the new heavens. Then what did Peter mean by the term “new earth”?
For centuries, Christendom had been allowed to bring great reproach upon Jehovah’s name.

People willing to bring forth fruits

Those now who are prepared to obey God’s Law and are willing to be part of the Body of Christ may also enter that spiritual estate, which has the prophetic name “Owned as a Wife.” Their Christian activity in that land has made it evident that these anointed Christians are the “people for [Jehovah’s] name.”

14 Sym′e·on+ has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.+  (Acts 15:14)

Those people who are willing to bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom and making the Name of God known to the world may become part of the Body of Christ, when they do accept Jesus as the only begotten son of God sent to the world to save it. We may look forward to it that Jehovah shall take delight in these Christians. By anointing these Christians with holy spirit, liberating them from spiritual captivity, and using them to preach the Kingdom hope to all mankind, Jehovah has demonstrated that he rejoices over them with the joy of a bridegroom over a bride.

36 “Therefore this is what Jehovah the God of Israel says concerning this city that you are saying will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, 37 ‘Here I will gather them together from all the lands where I dispersed them in my anger and in my wrath and in great indignation,+ and I will bring them back to this place and let them dwell in security.+38 And they will be my people, and I will be their God.+39 And I will give them one heart+ and one way so that they may always fear me, for their own good and the good of their children after them.+40 And I will make with them an everlasting covenant,+ that I will not turn away from doing good to them;+ and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, so that they will not turn away from me.+41 I will exult over them to do good to them,+ and I will firmly plant them in this land,+ with all my heart and with all my soul.’”* (Jeremiah 32:36-41).

Faithful remnant

In Jehovah’s due time after the return of the faithful remnant from Babylon, Jerusalem does become “a praise in the earth”—a walled city providing safety to her inhabitants. Day and night, watchmen on those walls are alert to ensure the security of the city and to relay warning messages to her citizens.—Nehemiah 6:15; 7:3; Isaiah 52:8.

Today we can see those Chosen People coming to the city of God, Jerusalem, and other believers in God, willing to become part of that Body of Christ, prepared to unite with each other in the love of Christ.

In the apostle John his vision he sees the “holy city” as “coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” This is in relation to the vision he sees of “a new heaven and a new earth.” This “bride” was said to be “the Lamb’s wife.” (Revelation 21:1-3, 9-27) Other apostolic writings apply the same figure to the Christian congregation of anointed ones. (2Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:21-32) In Revelation chapter 14 “the Lamb” Christ Jesus is depicted as standing on Mount Zion, a name also associated with Jerusalem (compare 1Peter 2:6), and with him are 144,000 having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.—Revelation 14:1-5;

A bride adorned for her husband, Lamb of God

Dormition Church, situated on the modern "...

Dormition Church, situated on the modern “Mount Zion” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Near the end of that series of visions, and after seeing Babylon the Great destroyed, the apostle John sees the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2).

In the light of other scriptures, the identity of New Jerusalem is made certain. She is “as a bride.” Farther along, John writes:

“One of the seven angels . . . spoke with me and said: ‘Come here, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’ So he carried me away in the power of the spirit to a great and lofty mountain, and he showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God and having the glory of God. Its radiance was like a most precious stone, as a jasper stone shining crystal-clear.” (Revelation 21:9-11).

New Jerusalem is the bride of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who shed his blood sacrificially for mankind. (John 1:29; Revelation 5:6, 12; 7:14; 12:11; 21:14) She is composed of the members of the glorified Christian congregation. The congregation on earth was likened to “a chaste virgin” to be presented to the Christ. (2Corinthians 11:2) Again, the apostle Paul likens the Christian congregation to a wife, with Christ as her Husband and Head. (Ephesians 5:23-25, 32).

Furthermore, Christ himself addresses the congregation at Revelation 3:12, promising the faithful conqueror that he would have written upon him

“the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which descends out of heaven from my God, and that new name of mine.”

Earthly and heavenly

A wife takes her husband’s name. Therefore those seen standing with the Lamb upon Mount Zion, numbering 144,000, having the Lamb’s name and that of his Father written in their foreheads, are evidently the same group, the bride. (Revelation 14:1).

We can see a new Jerusalem in construction on this earth, but this will only be the shade and the capital of the Kingdom of God, where there shall also be the spiritual or heavenly New Jerusalem. It is that heavenly, not earthly Jerusalem which shall come down “out of heaven from God.” (Revelation 21:10) So this city is not one erected by men and consisting of literal streets and buildings constructed in the Middle East on the site of the ancient city of Jerusalem, which was destroyed in 70 C.E. The members of the bride class when on earth are told that their “citizenship exists in the heavens” and that their hope is to receive “an incorruptible and undefiled and unfading inheritance.” “It is reserved in the heavens for you,” says the apostle Peter.—Philippians 3:20; 1Peter 1:4.

Measures of Heavenly City

That the New Jerusalem is indeed a heavenly city is further supported by the vision of her that John beheld. Only a symbolic city could have the dimensions and splendour of New Jerusalem. Its base was foursquare, about 555 km (345 mi) on each side, or about 2,220 km (1,379 mi) completely around, that is, 12,000 furlongs. Being a cube, the city was also as high as it was long and wide. No man-made city could ever reach that far into “outer space.” Round about was a wall 144 cubits (64 m; 210 ft) high. The wall, itself constructed of jasper, in turn rested on 12 foundation stones, precious stones of great beauty—jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, hyacinth, and amethyst. On these 12 foundation stones were engraved the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb. The city proper within these beautiful walls was no less glorious, for it was described as “pure gold like clear glass,” having a broad way of “pure gold, as transparent glass.” {Revelation 21:12-21}.

A Pure, Beneficial Rule.

Entrance into the New Jerusalem through its magnificent walls was by means of 12 gates, three on a side, each made of a huge pearl. Although these gates were never closed, “anything not sacred and anyone that carries on a disgusting thing and a lie will in no way enter into it; only those written in the Lamb’s scroll of life will.” A holy and sacred city indeed, yet there was no visible temple of worship, for “Jehovah God the Almighty is its temple, also the Lamb is.” And there was “no need of the sun nor of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God lighted it up, and its lamp was the Lamb.” Its rulership over the nations will be beneficial to them, for “the nations will walk by means of its light.” (Revelation 21:22-27).

 

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Find in this series:

 Marriage of Jesus 1 Mary, John, Judas, Thomas and Brown

 Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

 Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

 Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

 Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment  in Egyptian Coptic

 Marriage of Jesus 6 Jesus said to them “My wife”

 Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

 Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

The Bride New Jerusalem

A royal wedding due to take place

Reply to questions concerning The Bride of Christ

Magnificent bride for royal wedding

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Additional reading:

  1. Message from the family tree in the Tanakh
  2. OT prophesies and the NT fulfilment of them
  3. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  4. Seeing the world through the lens of his own experience
  5. Our openness to being approachable
  6. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful

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  • The rebuilding of the next Jewish Temple (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
    The Bible mentions about the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. This would be the third temple then. The rebuilding of the Temple is one of the signs of the end of the world and the return of Jesus Christ. In fact the Anti Christ will enter the Temple and as an act of blasphemous portray himself as God. At the present moment the Temple of Jerusalem is in ruins. The Jews of today are very eager to rebuild it again so that the old manner of worship and sacrifice to the Living God (whom Christians know as Jesus’ Father and God) is restored to its former glorious state. It’s a known fact that the Jews hold their traditions with great respect and will go to any lengths to defend it. They believe that their Messiah will come to the Temple of Jerusalem and reveal himself as sent from God. Due to this they are desperate to complete the task of rebuilding it. With the way Israel has been advancing on the financial, technical and most importantly in the field of warfare the construction will surely happen. This is the will of God and no man, no nation nor the Devil can stop it.
  • The Preciousness of Zion and Jerusalem and the Situation of the Overcomers in Zion (matassew.wordpress.com)
    Zion and Jerusalem are the earthly signs that shows us the existence of the invisible and misterious God. Zion is not only the center but also elevated peak. That is where we have the church, the body of Christ, yes the economy of God! Praise the Lord about Zion! Hallelujah for Zion!
    Speaking about Jerusalem, she typfies the churh, and Zion typfies the overcomers!

    The people of Israel love the law of God! But the couldn’t fullfil it. Instead the law exposed who the are, showed their real codition.

  • Revelation and You (illustrationstoencourage.wordpress.com)
    The anointed remnant today have obeyed the words of the angel. They have not sealed up the words of the prophecy. Why, the very first issue of Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence (July 1879) set out comments on numerous verses of Revelation. As we noted in our opening chapter, Jehovah’s Witnesses have over the years published other enlightening books on Revelation. Now we again draw the attention of all truth-lovers to the powerful Revelation prophecies and their fulfillment.
    +
    lend your voice to the joyful proclamation of the everlasting good news concerning the established Kingdom of Jehovah and his Christ. (Revelation 11:15; 14:6, 7) Be at this work urgently. And may a realization that we are in the Lord’s day move many who are not yet serving Jehovah to join in the work of proclaiming the good news. May these also progress toward dedicating their lives to God with a view to baptism. Remember, “the appointed time is near”!—Revelation 1:3.
  • New Jerusalem is the Eternal Marriage (3) (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    Isaiah 54:5 is so clear: “For your Maker is your Husband; Jehovah of hosts is His name. And the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; Heis called the God of all the earth.” Here the Lord is saying to the Old Testament part of Hispeople that He is the Husband. And they are the wife.In this verse “Husband” is first, then “Redeemer.” As here, there are other examples in the Bible where words are not in time order but arranged to place God’s purpose first. To be our Husband, God must first (in time) be our Redeemer. But, Husband is first in Isaiah 54 because that is what God desires.
  • Daily Tidbits 5/9 – Jerusalem Above vs. Jerusalem Below (littleguyintheeye.wordpress.com)
    The word for ‘Christian’ (נצרות ‘Naztrut’) is 746.  The phrase, ‘therefore ye are my witnesses, saith YHWH, that I am El’ equals 746.  And the Greek word ‘authority’ has the same numerical value.
    +
    The numerical value of מקום ‘maqom’ without using thefinal form as 400 but as 40 (normal value) is 186.  ‘His work’ in Hebrew (פעלו ‘pa’alu’) also has the numerical value of 186.YHWH is also related to 186.  Take each of the letters from YHWH, square them (since a “place” is an area, so squared units), and you get 100+25+36+25=186.
    +True Zion are those who are grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel, who is Messiah.  The counterfeit is the Zionism we see in the world today which uplifts a false olive tree of Israel.  As Paul says, not all those of Israel are Israel (Romans 9:6).Those grafted into the Olive Tree are Zion, the new creation…born again.
  • Awaiting Revelations 21, The New Jerusalem Will Be My Dwelling Place Forever. (deadcitizensrightssociety.wordpress.com) >
    Awaiting Revelation 21, The New Jerusalem Will Be My Dwelling Place Forever.Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
  • New Jerusalem Prepared as a Bride (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    The first wife in the whole universe was Eve. In Ezekiel 23 the children of Israel are referred to as the wife of Jehovah (vv. 1-4). In John 3 all the regenerated believers are the bride of Christ to be His increase, His enlargement (vv. 29-30). In Ephesians 5 the church is the wife of Christ, and in 2 Corinthians 11:2 the believers have been engaged, or betrothed, to Christ as their Husband. In Revelation 19:7-9 there is a universal wedding day, the marriage of the Lamb. Finally, in the last two chapters of the Bible there is the wife of the Lamb. Revelation 21:2 tells us that the New Jerusalem is prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, and verse 9 refers to the New Jerusalem as the bride, the wife of the Lamb.
  • Let Us Rise For The Bride! (thejaggedword.com)
    when in doubt, cast your eyes upon the bride descending down the aisle and get a glimpse of heavenly reality!Rise now and rise then! Until He comes again!
  • Redemption and Life for the Bride (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    Christ, the Lamb of God who died, took away sin. Because of this, we can be born again and have eternal life (John 3:3, 5-7, 15-16). However, after we were born again, there were still many attitudes in us and actions by us that were not suitable for the bride of Christ. Nevertheless, through our entire Christian life, eternal life operates in us to make us the bride to match Christ in every way. The result is “New Jerusalem prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
  • New Jerusalem is a Living City (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    Throughout the New Testament, God is building His people together in Jesus Christ (an overview with verses). New Jerusalem is the consummation of this New Testament building work and maintains the same structure—God’s people built together in Christ.

Magnificent bride for royal wedding

We have “The Lamb” whose marriage will be a cause for joy in heaven. That lamb of God is none other than Jesus Christ.

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and he said: “See, the Lamb+ of God who takes away the sin+ of the world!+  (John 1:29)

Over the centuries, Christ has been preparing his future bride for the heavenly wedding. The apostle Paul explained that Christ

“loved the congregation and gave himself up for it, in order that he might sanctify it, cleansing it with the bath of water by means of the word, so that he might present the congregation to himself in its splendor, without a spot or a wrinkle or any of such things, but holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)

Paul told the anointed Christians in ancient Corinth:

“I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy, for I personally promised you in marriage to one husband that I might present you as a chaste virgin to the Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:2)

Anointed Christians are adopted as “children” of Jehovah.

15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear again, but you received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which spirit we cry out: “Abba,* Father!”+ 16 The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit+ that we are God’s children.+ 17 If, then, we are children, we are also heirs—heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs+ with Christ—provided we suffer together+ so that we may also be glorified together.+  (Romans 8:15-17)

Since they are to become a heavenly bride, the anointed are instructed:

“Forget your people and your [fleshly] father’s house.”

They are to keep their minds

“fixed on the things above, not on the things on the earth.”(Colossians 3:1-4).

42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised up in incorruption.+43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised up in glory.+ It is sown in weakness; it is raised up in power.+  (1 Corinthians 15:42, 43)

The Bridegroom-King Jesus Christ appreciates the spiritual “beauty” of his future bride. And the bride recognizes him as her “lord” and ‘bows down to him’ as her future husband. The future bride is addressed not only as “O daughter” but also as “the king’s daughter.”

13 Inside the palace* the king’s daughter is absolutely magnificent; Her clothing is adorned with* gold.(Psalm 45:13)

The bride is presented as “absolutely magnificent” for the royal wedding. At Revelation 21:2, the bride is compared to a city, New Jerusalem, and is “adorned for her husband.” This heavenly city has “the glory of God” and is radiant, “like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone shining crystal clear.”

10 So he carried me away in the power of the spirit to a great and lofty mountain, and he showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God+ 11 and having the glory of God.+ Its radiance was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone shining crystal clear.+ (Revelation 21:10, 11)

The resplendence of New Jerusalem is beautifully described in the book of Revelation.

18 Now the wall was made of jasper,+ and the city was pure gold like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the city wall were adorned with every sort of precious stone: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chal·ce′do·ny, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sar·don′yx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrys′o·lite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrys′o·prase, the eleventh hyacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21 Also, the 12 gates were 12 pearls; each one of the gates was made of one pearl. And the main street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. (Revelation 21:18-21)

No wonder the psalmist portrays the bride as “absolutely magnificent”! After all, the royal wedding is taking place in heaven.

The Messianic King has been preparing the bride, ‘cleansing her with the bath of water by means of the word.’ She is “holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:26, 27) His bride must also be fittingly attired for the occasion. And she is! Indeed, “her clothing is adorned with gold,” and “she will be brought to the king in richly woven garments.” For the marriage of the Lamb, “it has been granted to her to be clothed with bright, clean, fine linen—for the fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the holy ones.” (Revelation 19:8).

We shall have:

  • First, judgment which will be executed upon “the great prostitute,” Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion. (Revelation 17:1, 5, 16, 17; 19:1, 2)
  • Then, Christ will go forth to execute God’s judgments on the rest of Satan’s wicked system on earth by destroying it at Armageddon, “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” (Revelation 16:14-16; 19:19-21)
  • Finally, the Warrior-King will complete his conquest by abyssing Satan and his demons, reducing them to a state of deathlike inactivity. (Revelation. 20:1-3).

After their marriage, Christ and his Kingdom associates will bestow untold blessings upon the inhabitants of the earth.

17 because the Lamb,+ who is in the midst* of the throne, will shepherd them+ and will guide them to springs* of waters of life.+ And God will wipe out every tear from their eyes.”+ (Revelation 7:17)

21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth;+ for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away,+ and the sea+ is no more. I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God+ and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.+With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them.+And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes,+ and death will be no more,+ neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.+ The former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4.)

  • Bride of Christ (inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com)
    If I do marry some day, I know it will be hard work (any relationship is after all), but a blessing given by the One who loves me most of all. Remember, He only gives good gifts! Furthermore, if He decides my present is a life of singleness, I will also rejoice and be glad. Why you ask? Because I believe He has my best interests at heart. I trust Him with my future and in the fact that He has equipped me to live a life best suited for His glory. Yes, I I trust God that much. He made me and therefore, He knows how I tick.
  • Let Us Rise For The Bride! (thejaggedword.com)
    Rise my friend and adore what YOU look like in God’s eyes!  What the church looks like.  It is a truth we see by faith as we confess in the creed, “I believe in the holy Christian church!”
  • Redemption and Life for the Bride (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    In the Gospel of John, Christ is presented both as the Lamb and as the Bridegroom. John the Baptist declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (1:29). This verse clearly reveals that Christ came as the Lamb to take away the sin of the world. Later, John the Baptist also indicated that Christ is the Bridegroom. John said, “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices with joy because of the bridegroom’s voice” (3:29). Hence, in the Gospel of John, Christ is revealed both as the Lamb who came to take away sin and as the Bridegroom who came that He might have the bride.
    +
    through our entire Christian life, eternal life operates in us to make us the bride to match Christ in every way. The result is “New Jerusalem prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
  • New Jerusalem is the Eternal Marriage (6) (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    New Jerusalem as the eternal marriage is portrayed by Adam and Eve in Genesis 2. This marriage is touched by words in Exodus 20, Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Hosea. In the New Testament we begin in the gospels.
    +
    In Matthew 25 the Lord spoke a parable about the wedding feast. He tells us that when He, the Bridegroom comes, all who are ready for Him will go with Him into the wedding feast. The coming of Jesus Christ as the Bridegroom will be His coming at the close of this age to receive all His believers to Himself (as in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).This wedding feast will bring us onward to the full reality of New Jerusalem in eternity.
  • Are all people called to marriage? // How is a Church wedding celebrated? (travismikhailblog.wordpress.com)
    Many people who live alone suffer from loneliness, which they perceive only as a lack and a disadvantage. Yet a person who does not have to care for a spouse or a family also enjoys freedom and independence and has time to do meaningful and important things that a married person would never get to. Maybe it is God’s will that he should care for people for whom no one else cares. Not uncommonly God even calls such a person to be especially close to him. This is the case when one senses a desire to renounce marriage “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven”.
  • Jeremiah 3:14 I am married unto you. (lacykitkat.wordpress.com)
    Christ Jesus is joined unto His people in marriage-union. In love He espoused His Church as a chaste virgin, long before she fell under the yoke of bondage. Full of burning affection He toiled, like Jacob for Rachel, until the whole of her purchase-money had been paid, and now, having sought her by His Spirit, and brought her to know and love Him, He awaits the glorious hour when their mutual bliss shall be consummated at the marriage-supper of the Lamb. Not yet hath the glorious Bridegroom presented His betrothed, perfected and complete, before the Majesty of heaven; not yet hath she actually entered upon the enjoyment of her dignities as His wife and queen: she is as yet a wanderer in a world of woe, a dweller in the tents of Kedar; but she is even now the bride, the spouse of Jesus, dear to His heart, precious in His sight, written on His hands, and united with His person.
  • Redemption and Life for the Bride (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    Christ, the Lamb of God who died, took away sin. Because of this, we can be born again and have eternal life (John 3:3, 5-7, 15-16). However, after we were born again, there were still many attitudes in us and actions by us that were not suitable for the bride of Christ. Nevertheless, through our entire Christian life, eternal life operates in us to make us the bride to match Christ in every way. The result is “New Jerusalem prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
  • Making Light of the Call of Light (firstthekingdom.wordpress.com)
    the King’s call is to partake of the finished work of Christ; to be joined to him.  I think you could rightly say the King gives invitations, not demands.  You can choose to ignore the invitation, but you’ll be shut out of the Kingdom.
  • Wash With Care Ezekiel 16:8-14; John 3:22-30 June 8, 2014 (trccdoc.wordpress.com)
    The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice.  For this reason my joy has been fulfilled.  He must increase, but I must decrease.”  John the Baptist is the friend of the bridegroom.  The Bridegroom is Christ, who fulfills our joy and causes great rejoicing.  The bride is the Church, both as a body and individually as believers.  As a believer, whether you’re a boy or a girl, Christianity says your soul is feminine—we all have feminine souls. The Hebrew word for soul—nephesh—and the Greek word for soul—sookay—are both feminine. Keep that in front of you as we look at these passages. These verses from John will form the lens through which we’ll see Ezekiel’s passage.  Let’s take an in-depth look at the riches of Scripture, plumbing them for hidden meanings of baptism, which we have enacted today.
  • “I am married to you” Christ Jesus is joined unto his people in marriage-union. (tru3j0y.wordpress.com)
    Death must sever the conjugal tie between the most loving mortals, but it cannot divide the links of this immortal marriage. In heaven they marry not, but are as the angels of God; yet there is this one marvellous exception to the rule, for in Heaven Christ and his Church shall celebrate their joyous nuptials. This affinity as it is more lasting, so is it more near than earthly wedlock. Let the love of husband be never so pure and fervent, it is but a faint picture of the flame which burns in the heart of Jesus. Passing all human union is that mystical cleaving unto the Church, for which Christ left his Father, and became one flesh with her.
  • Heaven’s Banquet (godshotspot.wordpress.com)
    Heaven’s banquet takes place as metaphor of a wedding ceremony between Christ and Bride His Church. All washed White by Blood of Lamb Jesus. Heavenly people party happily as God wiped tears, sorrow replaced by life full of joy. So believers in heaven intercede with Christ for loved onesto be saved to make heaven in Jesus Name.TheHeavenlyBanquetHallAdornedwithVariousJewels

Why think there is a God (4): And the Rest …

The philosopher Immanuel Kant said that there were three types of argument for God’s existence: cosmological, ontological and teleological. Often today those taking a course in religious studies will be presented a cosmological argument, an ontological argument and a teleological argument as those were the arguments for God – just these three.

But it’s not true. Firstly, there are numerous subsets within these three categories. For example, there is the kalam cosmological argument and there is the Leibnizian cosmological argument. But secondly, and more importantly, there are numerous arguments that don’t fit in these categories. And this should not surprise us. If God exists then he is the basis of all reality, the most fundamental thing there is, so the evidence for God is everything – all of reality.

There are complex philosophical arguments from set theory and from concepts (do concepts that no-one has thought of exist?). There are arguments from our mental capacity, such as consciousness and intentionality (how do you explain the mind without denying it is real?) . There are arguments from the consistency of the universe (isn’t it a strange coincidence that universe obeys the laws of logic?). There are arguments against universal scepticism (how do you know that your thoughts are, in any way, related to reality?). There are arguments from the intelligibility and discoverability of the universe (isn’t it useful that the present is like the past?). There are arguments from the transcendent nature of human experience (is music, art, beauty, just about attracting a mate?). There are arguments from our transcendent desire (why do we long for something more?) and arguments from the search of meaning (are our lives just a cosmic fluke?). There are arguments from providence (seeing God at work in your life) and arguments from miracles (some things just seem to require a God). And there are probably many more.

Now the point is not to just throw arguments at you till you’re too weary to object any more. Every argument needs to be judged on its own merits. Sometimes people make bad arguments for the existence of God, or present them in a bad way. There would be no point just stacking up bad arguments. But there are also numerous good arguments and sometimes all it takes is one to change someone’s perspective.

The real point of this essay is that thinking about the existence of God is thinking about reality itself. And the question is, does reality seem ordered, meaningful, purposeful, filled with depth and richness? Or does reality seem chaotic, meaningless, pointless, just an unhappy result of blind chance? If, on balance, you think the first option is more like reality as you experience then you have good reason for thinking there is a God.

And having come to the realisation that there probably is a God then you’re ready to start exploring what that means for you.

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Preceding articles:

Why think there’s a God? (1): Something from Nothing

Why think there is a God? (2) Goldilocks Effect

Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?

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  • A Cogent Case for the Existence of God. (yandyleyva.wordpress.com)
    While the Kalam argument does not explicitly argue for the existence of God, it does argue for a first cause to the universe. The argument is made complete when one analyzes the required characteristics of this first cause, but first the premises of the argument have to be engaged.
    +
    Craig’s gloss highlights that God does not fit as a being who began to exist because he finds his existence logically-prior to time. He is basically saying the we can easily conceive of a timeless being who comes to exist in time, but it is the uncaused cause of time. There is no reason to believe that if x began to exist in time than x must begin to exist as such.
  • Proof And Evidence For God Does Not Exist (honoringreason.wordpress.com)
    Axiological Argument
    God cannot explain away god. There is no evidence.
    +
    Experiential Argument
    There is no experiment that justifies god you will have to elaborate.
  • Edward Harrison: “Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God” (lifeondoverbeach.wordpress.com)
    “Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God – the design argument of Paley – updated and refurbished. The fine tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence of deistic design. Take your choice: blind chance that requires multitudes of universes or design that requires only one…. Many scientists, when they admit their views, incline toward the teleological or design argument.”
  • Book Review: Palmer’s The Atheist’s Primer (withalliamgod.wordpress.com)
    The Atheist’s Creed (2010), is to bring out “important philosophical arguments to the force, and to provide a selective overview of the extraordinary richness of the atheistic literature, which extends from the time of the Greeks down to our own day.”(p.11)
  • Why the Kalam Cosmological Argument fails, and why it doesn’t matter anyway (freethinkingjew.com)
    essentially the argument amounts to “Everything that begins to exist, including the universe, has a cause, therefore the universe has a cause.”

    The fact is, however, that we do not know that everything that begins to exist has a cause, because we’ve never seen a universe come into existence.  Therefore we have no track record, no basis for assuming that whenever a universe comes into existence (if, in fact, the universe ever did come into existence and wasn’t always there) that it always has a cause.  And so the assumption in Premise 1 that everything (including the universe) that comes into existence has a cause may or may not be true.  Since we don’t know whether Premise 1 is true, we don’t know whether the conclusion is true either.

  • Does God Exist? Debate Summary of William Lane Craig vs. Klemens Kappel (withalliamgod.wordpress.com)
    Kappel admitted that it is not easy to come up with evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist. People don’t believe God exist because of the same reason they don’t believe Thor (Danish god) exist. The reason some believe in God is because they are born in environment that believes in God.(Comment: Genetic Fallacy)

    Kappel’s reasons for not believing in God is that we ought to treat God Hypothesis as an alternative hypothesis to much of what we take for ourselves to know from science and common sense about the would.

  • 5 Types of Apologetics (whybelievethat.wordpress.com)
    There are 5 main types of apologetics, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. No one method is more correct than another, but most people are drawn to a particular style based on the interests God has given them.
  • Aquinas’ Quinque viæ: Regarding the existence of God (thehouseofhorus.com)
    An infinite regress is a series of propositions that require an answer for the previous ones actions. In example: A1 exists because of A2. A2 exists because of A3. A3 exists because of A4 etc. This becomes an infinite loop.
  • Douglas Groothuis’ 752-page Christian apologetics book is now under $22 (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    Groothuis engages very difficult scientific and philosophical concepts and communicates them in a way that even the beginner will be able to grasp. Though there are many different versions of the cosmological argument, the chapter hones in on the kalam cosmological argument as put forth by William Lane Craig. The kalam argument is superior to other cosmological arguments in that it supposedly secures the theistic doctrine of ex nihilo if the arguments proves successful (note: a minor quibble of this chapter is that Groothuis purports that the Thomistic cosmological argument does not endorse ex nihilo. I believe this to be false). This specific chapter was sensational – however I was left disappointed that no time was given to addressing the cosmological argument posited by Aquinas. In some respects, the Thomistic cosmological argument is the simplest form for people new to apologetics. The Thomistic version does not get into the technical issues of the metaphysics of time and Big Bang cosmology that the kalam version uses, nor does it require knowledge of the principle of sufficient reason that the Leibnizian version necessitates. While the kalam and Leibnizian versions are logical and sound arguments, they may confusing to people new to apologetics.