Scrolls

This post on scrolls will highlight several important ones that are found in Scripture and one that may have been given to several people. (My imagination may have taken over.) The number of Bible verses that have the word scroll in it depends on which translation of Scripture you read. The numbers can go from in the fifty’s to well over one hundred-I offer no explanation. See the article below for information about the Torah, it is an interesting article.

Since scrolls were the books of the day it is no surprise that things people wanted to remember were written on them. Here are a few examples-

  • Malachi 3:16 (add this one to your favorite 3:16 verses) God had this one written in Heaven. He purposed to remember the people that talked right about Him.
  • Isaiah 30:7-9 This scroll is to be an everlasting witness against people who refuse to listen to God’s instructions.
  • Exodus 17:14 The scroll is for Joshua, so he remembers to blot out the Amalekites.

Kings in Israel were to write a copy of the Law. It is not recorded that any of them did.

  • Deuteronomy 17:18 is the original command before Israel ever thought of crowning a king.
  • 1 Samuel 10:25 has an unhappy prophet writing down what the king’s duties were and he puts it before the Lord.

A strange use for a scroll is in Numbers 5:23. Curses would be written on it because a husband thought his wife had been unfaithful. The writing would then be washed into a cup and the woman had to drink it. Her innocence was determined by what happened to her. 

Isaiah 8, 29, 30, and 34 uses scrolls for various reasons that are object lessons. They speak against Israel of that day.

Zachariah 5 has a flying scroll. The prophet is having a vision that condemns thieves and those who swear falsely. Besides flying and being very large this scroll is written on both sides. I am not sure if this was a common practice, but a Torah is only written on one side. What was written on both sides was the tablets of the Law (according to tradition). Zachariah was part of the team that got the Second Temple built.

Jesus in Revelation 5. This is the scroll that seems to be in several places in the Bible. In Revelation, only Jesus can undo the seals that are sealing this scroll. (This is where my imagination kicks in.) I can see this same scroll with Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. To be fair John may have a part in this one but he gets his in Revelations 10.a

John, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel have a similar experience with scrolls/God’s word. All of them eat or taste them, they start out sweet and then turn bitter. Jeremiah (15) and Ezekiel (2:9-3:3) are not to surrender to the people and their attempts to sway the prophets. The last two are not happy about what happens to them as the bitterness is rooted in physical problems. Ezekiel’s scroll is written on both sides. These two prophets took the message to their own people. Ezekiel has the people being thorns and briers and scorpions. (I just did a post on thorns.)

This scroll is not the one that Jehoiakim (Chapter 36) burned but one in Jeremiah 51, the curses that overtake Babylon. Yes, Jeremiah threw it in the river but may I purpose a spiritual counterpart to that one. (There is no proof of that in Scripture.) Ezekiel gets the same spiritual scroll and continues the writing-Chapter 3. Finally, Daniel has his part in Chapter 12 and is ordered to seal it up until the time is right. Only Jesus, because of His obedience to going to the cross, is worthy to undo the seals.

What binds these three prophets together is when they lived and their witness to the destruction of Jerusalem and the deporting of Judah and Jerusalem. I would go so far as to say that the scroll was passed on after each prophet died-Jeremiah was first followed, by Ezekiel, and finally Daniel as an old man who sealed it for Jesus to open.

John in Revelation 10 gets handed a little scroll. Like the first one, it is sweet in the mouth but turns bitter when it hits the stomach. This scroll is connected to the mystery of God (10:7) that is revealed in the end times. That mystery deals with Jews and Gentiles (Ephesians 3:6 and others) being made one and becoming the Bride of Christ. 10:11 is actually an encouragement to John, he is told that he still has work to do. A reason I think it is a different scroll, it is little.

Disclaimer- Scroll is a STUDY, not doctrine. There is still a lot to study about scrolls but this was a fun start.

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/torah-scroll/ a good reference for the making of the Torah scroll.

Thorns and Thistles and the Tree of Knowledge

I will get to the point right away with thorns, thistles, and the Tree of Knowledge. Thorns by themselves are a sticky subject, but I will include thistles and the Tree. The three big references to thorns are where we get stuck in our thinking: Genesis 3:17, the original curse, the crown the Romans put on Jesus after beating Him, and Paul’s messenger of Satan in 2 Corinthians 12. But there are fifty-four verses with thorns in the Bible. (That number stays consistent in the various versions.) When we add in briers, nettles, thistles, tares, and weeds, the picture of problem plants in the Eastern Mediterranean expands and covers our field of study quite well.

The Tree of Knowledge had a good and evil component to it. The plants that are part of the curse of man’s greed in wanting knowledge and not life also have a good and evil/painful component. Some useful flora with thorns are roses, citrus fruit, and blackberries. In the Holy Land and in the Bible, they used thorn plants for whipping people, burning to cook food, and making barriers you did not want to go through. They use up a lot of water and seem to grow quickly, so they will damage the crops.

Thistles can have magnificent flowers, medicinal properties, and are eaten by humans and animals. The spines are painful if you disrespect the plant and get careless around it. (Israel put them on postage stamps.)

Off-topic, slightly.

Genesis 3 was a real eye-opener for Eve and Adam. Death entered the Garden, and they started dying. They found out serpents could move with no legs. Eve would discover pain and child-bearing. Desire and authority rushed into her life. Thorns and thistles were to be a complication in food production. Adam received pain because of them. That death entailed decomposition. How many of these concepts did they know about before greed and lust won their thinking?

Metaphors 

Exodus 22:6 is the initial statement of an issue with thorns-they dry out and become a fire hazard. (The things that get into your skin will burn you up.) Numbers 33:55 is the first usage of thorns as a metaphor for someone causing you pain. Gideon in Judges 8:7 promises to apply them and briers for torture and inflicting pain. Okay, to employ them for that is difficult because they must be gathered, and holding them requires serious precautions.

These plant protectors certainly are a proven problem (evil) and a teaching tool (good). If you have been a Christian for very long, you have heard many sermons about them. Some people spend a lot of time trying to figure out what type of thorn you are, and why you cause them so much pain. There is also a lot of moaning about the thorn poking them, and how they have to endure it in life.

Jesus 

Metaphorically, Judas Iscariot was a thorn in Jesus. Peter may have been a thistle at times (LOL). The thorny crown is possibly the only thing Jesus wore on the cross. So, with the nails, the Roman scourge, and spear, they released the blood that covers our sin (s) before the Father. 

Paul 

Steven Furtick has used Paul’s thorn in several sermons (September/October 2012), these in part, spurred this study. He did a great job with the topic.

It seems right, yet wrong, to always assume that Paul’s thorn was a bodily ailment. (A mental or spiritual issue can easily lead to physical pains.) Many try to make it an eye problem caused by the blindness from his conversion as the source of Satan’s angel against him. (Please note that the thorn was not from God.) Many try to claim a thorn as great as his. Paul got that thorn so he would not be conceited. Do you really want one like that? You probably never got an amazing revelation while in Heaven. I will also bet that writing a good part of the New Testament and supervising many churches are also not in your resume. Get the point, we deal with things and they cause troubles for us, but why compare them with his thorn. Paul’s message from this-stop complaining and ask for a deeper understanding of grace.

My Take

Thorns and briers are painful. Thorns and briers cause issues. If you elect to mess with one of those bushes, you will most likely be in pain. Their fruit or flowers may tempt and possibly be worth the discomfort you judge. The suffering is the same if someone else sticks you with one, or you find it by accident. Shoes and lawn tractor tires that found them in the grass had to be fixed. Cutting them down and burning them are the best ways of getting rid of them.

Thistles can come with beautiful flowers, and the plant has a strange type of attractiveness if all you do is look at it. If you allow a thistle to stay in your yard, it will create many more of them once they mature. Get them out of your ground early in their life. Let them grow and digging them out later can still cause pain, don’t leave the root or a stub. 

Isaiah 55:13 does offer hope that the curse of thorns and thistles will be reversed. 

Knowledge is good and can be bad. Thorns and thistles are bad even if the plant produces something useful.   

Let God Arise

Let God Arise is an extension of the post-God’s Love. The postmodernist ideology has twisted the love of God to dilute what He did to show His love to us. He sent and allowed Jesus to be the sacrifice for your sin. The catch is you have to choose Jesus and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit into a righteousness life. Right living according to God’s standard is what the world leaves out or twist to justify their wrong behavior.

These verses are a few that show the mind of God. (They are NIV. If you use KJV, look for arise instead of rise.)

  • Psalm 74:22 Rise up, O God, and defend your cause; remember how fools mock you all day long.
  • Psalm 45:7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness
  • Isaiah 30:18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

Father God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. We need to adjust our minds back to the mind of God. One area to bring our minds back to His thoughts is miracles. Yes, they are real and they still happen today. God’s miracles are to bring glory to the Father through Jesus. His righteous plan for His kingdom is the driving force behind miracles. Please, do not dismiss the work of the Holy Spirit that is trying to bring people back to the Father.

The miracles and acts of God that are below, I believe, protected the Father’s righteous plan. While defending His own/plan, the offending party did not fare well. But, Father God is just, whether you agreed with Him or not. Check the verses, as I am giving a synopsis of the story. 

            Sarah 

  • Genesis 12:17 God defended His woman, even when her husband feared for his safety. Diseases afflicted Pharaoh and his household because of Sarah. 
  • Genesis 20:3-17 Abimelech and his household became afflicted with diseases and their wombs closed. God rose up and protected Sarah and Isaac.

            Moses 

  • Numbers 16 The earth swallowed Korah’s family alive when it opened up, and the opposing elders also burned as they opposed Moses and Arron.
  • Numbers 21:1 Miriam, Moses’ big sister, contracted leprosy because she wanted to be in charge.  
  • Deuteronomy 31 or 34 Moses did not enter the Land, when he did not show God as Holy by obeying Him. 

            Paul 

  • Acts 13:6-12 Elymas of Cyprus lost his sight for a while for perverting the ways of the Lord. He hindered Paul and Barnabas as they talked to Sergius Paulus. (1st trip.)
  • Acts 16:16-19 Owners of the fortune teller lost money and the use of their slave when Paul called out the demon spirit. (2nd trip.)

            Ark

1 Samuel 16:19 The priest or Levities who looked in the Ark when it came back from the Philistines died. It was forbidden, and they knew it. 

David

2 Samuel 6:23 Michal became barren after criticizing David for dancing before the Lord. 

Elijah

2 Kings 1:9 Lightning struck two groups of soldiers and they died for threatening the prophet. 

Elisha

  • 2 Kings 6:18 Blind soldiers were led into Samaria.
  • 2 Kings 5:26 Elisha’s servant took money for a miracle instead of giving God the glory. He contracted leporsy. 
  • 2 Kings 2:23 Bears killed the youth who taunted Elisha and called him names. 
  • 2 Kings 7:2 The officer who mocked Elisha’s predication and God’s ability about food being at the gate died at that gate.

Uzziah/Azariah

2 Chronicles 25:11 He was a good king whose pride caused a problem. He offered incense in the Temple, only Aaron’s family could do that. He was struck with leprosy and lived by himself until he died.

Nebuchadnezzar 

Daniel 4:28-33 Nebuchadnezzar became mad until he acknowledged God’s power and gave the glory to Him.

            The Early Church

Acts 5:5 Ananias and his wife dropped dead for lying and trying to bring themselves glory. 

Let God Arise and His enemies be scattered. The Father is no pushover. Just because He has mercy does not make Him weak.

In pondering these stories and other miracles in the Bible, something stuck out and is worth mentioning. Jesus went around doing miracles and setting captives free. The Plan involved Him dying, and being beaten, and mocked, and abandoned. But the defense of God’s plan does not stop in the ministry of Jesus. He pronounces woe on several things in His teaching in the Temple before Passover. Unusual miracles begin again in the ministry of Paul and Peter. 

Let God arise and His Kingdom come.

God’s Love

God’s love, God is love, or a God of love are terms that I have heard many times in the news and or on media sources lately. These facts are real for me as a Christian. The times I have heard them used have not been by Christians. It is political pundits, tv-trebles, movie-missed-the-pointers, and leftist-that-have-leaned-to-far individuals that have been giving their jaded insights into God and love. The problem is not that they are sharing their views. The problem is that Christians have a hard time separating out the partial truths they are saying. The comments have fallen into two general groups: 1. The way God should be. 2. Christians not fulfilling THEIR idea of loving your neighbor.

In my opinion, much of this comes from the postmodern influence on our society. Postmodernists change your mind by changing the vocabulary of society. One example of this is how they changed the Biblical definition of marriage. This practice is a bastardization of Romans 4:17 where God calls things into being that were not there before. 

Our Father and Love

When I have heard these interviews, the first thing that stands out is the generic term god. (It is easy to get caught up in this mindset.) So, ask them to name the god they are talking about. Another push would be to ask if it is a capital G or a lower-case g god. As a Christian I have a Father God, Jesus is my Lord, and the Holy Spirit is our Helper. Ask them to say Jesus is Lord. Pray for guidance here because you need to be knowledgeable and comfortable in how you refer to God. Who knows, their god maybe that lucky sports jersey with their good luck number on it. Please, remember the god of this world is satan, he is the maker of the problems we see here. Jesus has the keys and all things will be set right in time, read Revelation.

The second thing I have heard is they want our God to act according to their paradigms of what a good god should act like. A news commentator thought that a good god should give just sunshine and blue skies, and He should not let bad things happen. Basically, he was blaming Father God for the work of satan and this fallen world. He went on to say that a good god should accept the things he did and never judge him.

The Third issue was the definition of love. Ask them to define the love they are talking about. The burden here is on you to know God’s love, a good study is the only way to have a good answer. When was the last time YOU studied the topic of agape (love), as found in the Bible? How do charis (grace) and God’s view of you sit in your study program? Oh, just one passage or internet search does not make a study of a word or topic!

Here are a few verses:

  1. Psalm 45-God loves righteousness and hates wickedness.
  2. Psalm 136-He is good and His love endures forever.
  3. Acts 10:38-Jesus went about doing good.
  4. Exodus 34:6-7-This is God introducing Himself to Moses on Mt. Sinai. 
  5. 1 John 4:8 and 16 are the only verses I found that says “God is love”. That is enough for me, but I thought you should know. The Greek is theos eimi agape. This is from Mounce Reverse Interlinear.

Why-Is a very big part of the argument on how God acts. You need to know it is the god of this world they are complaining about, not Jehovah. Adam and Eve gave control of the Garden/world to satan, don’t blame Father God.   

Christians and love

Finger-pointing, condemnation, and you do not do enough were a few things I remember from the interviews. These are the same people that blocked Samaritan’s Purse from setting up during the pandemic to help New York hospitals. Helping and doing good deeds because we love God and our neighbor should be our heritage. Unfortunately, there are people who like to be Christians that don’t like Jesus and His ways. But, asking them how much they have personally given to relief and charity work may be a good start to changing the direction of the conversation. Just make sure you are part of the solution.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 does not fit well in a liberal thought process. Helping a person in need versus giving them everything does not get you votes on election day.  

The Father’s Love

Remember, God the Father’s love for us came at a price. There was a dead Son, a cross and beatings, blood, and letting His Son go through that for us. That part of God’s love the world cannot understand. Choosing Jesus and being led by the Spirit cost you something. Understanding grace and that the Blood of Jesus is why God accepts us with our sins is just not talked about enough.

God’s love is real, but you do not get to dictate to Him how He loves.     

Kingdom Wedding

Matthew 25:1 compares the Kingdom of Heaven to ten girls waiting for their wedding. This post continues the ideas in the Ten Virgins Who Woke Up by examining components of a Jewish wedding. Marriage and the Wedding are core to the Kingdom of God. It is the third thing that God provided to Adam in the Garden-a place to live, a way to support himself, and a wife (life is a given). Genesis 2:24 is the first explanation or commentary in the Bible. The verse explains the “why” for the first recorded words of any man: “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh”. Yes, Adam spoke names of animals, but they are never listed. This shows the importance of marriage. Because this joining reflects how God wants us to relate to Him, is there any wonder why marriage between a man and a woman is being attacked? The serpent’s assault on the Kingdom in the Garden is intended to separate mankind from God and to tear apart the union of Man and Woman. What if Adam never ate the fruit? Eve was deceived, but sin entered when Adam followed his wife in eating the forbidden fruit. How would things look now if Adam followed God’s voice and instructions? Okay, back to the symbolism in a Jewish wedding. 

In Luke 2, Mary is betrothed to Joseph. This part of the wedding is the erusin and, according to custom, they are bound to each other. Joseph’s father paid the mohar or bride’s price to Mary’s father (Exodus 22:16). This money should follow Mary into the marriage, but the money or services belonged to Mary’s father. I am sure that the money became part of Joseph’s concern when he found out Mary was with child. Father God paid the mohar; Jesus came to earth and died for us to pay the price. Our erusin began when we choose to accept that payment of Jesus’ blood and the work of the cross.

The mattan are the gifts given to the bride by the groom over and above the mohar. This thought is overwhelming! Jesus sent the Holy Spirit and with Him are the gifts. Charis is the Greek word used for the gifts of the Spirit and for grace. Are you picking what part of the mattan you want and fits in your BOX, or are you taking all the Gift? 

For the next parts of the wedding, I will list and explain as I see them and how they fit into the Kingdom.

  1. In the erusin, the groom is to prepare a place for the bride to live (John 14:2+3). Search in Bible Gateway for-prepare a place. The results are interesting. https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=prepare+a+place&resultspp=100&version=NIV
  2. The bride (and the groom) are to wash in a mikveh. This is a spiritual preparation. A mikveh is a pool of living (moving) water. I will equate the washing to baptism, but there are many types and reasons for washing in Jewish customs. 
  3. Nissuin is the wedding, and a part of this is a colorful parade. This procession is in the parable of the Ten Virgins. The Bride was never sure when the groom would come, so they had to be ready. The Father of the groom decided the exact time for the procession. Jesus said this in Matthew 24:36. I did not find this in my current research, but I believe the nissuin was two parades, one going to get the Bride and one going home. If that is the case, I would like to call the Palm Sunday ride into Jerusalem the first parade and the second parade is yet to happen.
  4. The chappah is what the Bride stands under, and that symbolizes the marriage chamber. May I offer the tongues of fire when they settled above the disciples’ heads on the Day of Pentecost as the chappah? They represent the glory of Heaven as first seen on Mount Sinai
  5. The Bride has responsibilities and duties during the erusin. Her price has been paid, and she is now married (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The free.messianicbible.com site uses the Parable of the Virgins as its focus, so I am good with that. Again, I don’t have sources, but many of the things they say I have heard/read in other places. The bride had to be ready and part of that was a lamp filled with oil. She was to be concerned about her clothing and ornaments. She needed to be listening for the shofar (the trump) that will announce the groom’s coming. In our current customs, the bride and her family are busy doing all the work for the perfect day. That is not what it looked like in the first century. The groom handled the marriage feast.

Another post will focus on verses in the Bible about this topic. They are surprising. Psalm 45, which is labeled a wedding song, will provide a new twist on Kingdom, weddings, and brides. 

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/465162/jewish/The-Jewish-Marriage-Ceremony.htm

https://www.biblegateway.com

myjewishlearning .com

jfedgmw.org

free.messianicbible.com

I apologize about the URL for the last three websites. All deal with ancient Jewish wedding practices. Facebook is creating links that I did not wish to have in my post.