Step-By-Step Guide on How To Intercede For People! | #prayer #intercession #worship #Jesus #biblestudy

Hi readers!

Here’s my step by step guide on how to intercede for people. This post starts out with some background info and then at the bottom I take you through the steps!

Introduction – The Court of Heaven

Intercession involves activity in the Courts of Heaven with God as the judge to set in place some kind of protective order that will not allow the devil a right to interfere, hurt, destroy or touch what belongs to God. (Myles 2019, pp.13-14)

The Court of Heaven is real, we see it in Daniel 7:9-10 [NLT]:

“[9] I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge. His clothing was as white as snow, his hair like purest wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire, [10] and a river of fire was pouring out, flowing from his presence. Millions of angels ministered to him; many millions stood to attend him. Then the court began its session, and the books were opened.”

We know from Revelation 4:4 that there are 24 elders who sit on 24 thrones there:

(Revelation 4:4 NLT) “[4] Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads.”

In the Heavenly Court is the throne of God where literal righteouness and justice flows out:

(Psalm 89:14 NLT) “[14] Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants.”

The Heavenly Court operates a similar way to human court in that there is an accuser – in heaven this is Satan – and a defendant – in heaven this is always the humans.

Divine Restraint

Before you can operate in your spiritual authority as an intercessor in the Courts of Heaven you need to make sure that you are adhering to whatever Divine Restraint God has set in your life.

What is Divine Restraint? The key to spiritual authority. It is impossible to have authority or retain it without a Restraining Principle. Look at the Garden of Eden.The bible says in Genesis 2:15-17

(Genesis 2:15 NLT) “[15] The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.”

Which establishes God as the source of Adam’s authority and the reason for the authority. Adam needed authority in order to manage the Garden of Eden. God however gave him a Restraining Principle:

(Genesis 2:16-17 NLT) “[16] But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden– [17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

It is the same thing as if you have a maid and you say to the maid “don’t let anybody in the house while I’m at the office”. Think about what you have done to your maid. You have given her authority over anybody who wants access to your house and at the same time restrained her activities at the same time.

Adams authority, like the maid in the story above was rooted in his ability to adhere to the Restraining Principle God put him under. The consequences of violating the Restraining Principle were made clear to Adam in Genesis:

(Genesis 2:17 NLT) “[17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

In other words, true spiritual authority dies when the Restraining Principle is broken. Before we can enter the Courts of Heaven as an intercessor and start to intercede for people you need to ensure that you are adhering to whatever Restraining Principle God has put you under (Myles 2019, pp.28-30).

We all have one even the Lord King Jesus Christ, the most powerful and revered one to ever walk this earth as a human being had a Restraining Principle on His life it’s in John 5:19 which says:

(John 5:19 NLT) “[19] So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.”

The Restraining Principle was that Jesus was only allowed to do what He saw God the Father doing. Unlike Adam, who chose his own will over the will of God and violated his Restraining Principle by eating the forbidden fruit in Genesis, Jesus Christ said in Luke 22:42:

(Luke 22:42 NLT) “[42] “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.””

Adhering to the Restraining Principle of His life and ministry

They say history has a habit of repeating itself – look at how the first Adam wrestled with a serpent in a Garden and the second Adam wrestled with the same serpent in a Garden, over the same issue, thousands of years later…(Myles 2019, pp.36-38)

The Throne of Grace

The same way there are different kinds of courts in human courts there are different courtrooms in the Heavenly Court. One of the most well known of these is the Throne of Grace. This is where we appear when we are overcome with personal sin and weakness but we are advised in Hebrews to approach this court with boldness

(Hebrews 4:16 NLT) “[16] So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

knowing that we will obtain mercy and find grace in our time of need (Myles 2019, p.43).

The 6 Lifestyle Requirements For An Intercessor

1. Put on the mind of Christ

Zechariah 3:5 shows us an example of activities in God’s courts and the requirements God has for people operating within His heavenly courts. In this story Jeshua, a high priest was in the court of heaven on trial:

(Zechariah 3:5 NLT) “[5] Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the LORD stood by.”

The putting on the turban is a prophetic picture of putting on the mind of Christ and God sanctifying your mind. God requires your mind to be in a place where it is usable and attractive to God.

2. Be clothed in righteousness

We also see in this verse that God required Jeshua to have clean clothes.

(Zechariah 3:5 NLT) “[5] Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the LORD stood by.”

This is a metaphor for clean living. Your lifestyle must match the standards of God.

3. Walk in the ways of the Holy Spirit

Zecharia 3:6-7 goes on to say:

(Zechariah 3:6-7 NLT) “[6] Then the angel of the LORD spoke very solemnly to Jeshua and said, [7] “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.”

This shows that Jeshua was also required to be led by the Holy Spirit in everything he did. (Myles 2019)

4. Observe the covenant of total obedience

We see in v.7:

(Zechariah 3:7 NLT) [7] “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.”

We can interpret this as a direct reference to the importance of obedience in order to operate in the Courts of Heaven.

There is protocol in the Courts of Heaven. We cannot present legal cases before the Courts of Heaven in disobedience, as this puts us under the dominion of Satan. When we live in disobedience we compromise our legal standing and jurisdiction in the Courts of Heaven. Satan then uses our own disobedience, which he would have encouraged us to do, as a legal threshold to resist our petition before God. Basically, you should repent of anything you think you have done and for things you don’t even realise you have done before even attempting to intercede for someone else.

5. Lay down your own life as a living sacrifice

Die to self and make sure you follow God above everything and everyone.

(Revelation 12:11 NLT) “[11] And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.”

and

(Jhn 12:25-26 NLT) [25] Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. [26] Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.

Clearly God must come first.

6. Walk in humility

Humility robs Satan of any legal footing to resist our legal authority and standing before the Courts of Heaven. Also the Bible states that God resists the proud in James 4:6. Pride is the quickest way to get the Holy Spirit to resist you. (Myles 2019, pp.54-61).

Case Study Zechariah 3

Background

(Zec 3:1 NLT) [1] Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua.

Jeshua who was a high priest (modern day equivalent would be the Archbishop of Canterbury) was on trial. Jesus (the Angel of the Lord) was his defence attorney, as Jesus is our advocade due to Him dying and raising again. Satan was the prosecution. This is what happens in the heavenly court for real. Satan has actual legal standing for his accusations against us and acuses us day and night before God with irrefutable evidence.

Legal Standing

Even the Supreme Court of the United States of America will not hear a case without standing. If Satan is before the highest court, that is God’s court, he will have already proved standing. In the case of Jeshua, as Jesus and Satan were both in the courtroom they both agreed that there was enough evidence to put Jeshua on trial.

Redeeming Principles From Jesus

The trial starts with Jesus rebuking Satan and lays out 2 redeeming principles as grounds for a verdict favouring Jeshua.

  • Jesus appeals to God the Father to consider His predetermined purposes for Isreal and Jeshua as a high priest when He says:

The Lord chose Jerusalem

  • Jesus used His status as our kinsman redeemer (an ancient tradition where a family member who was more well off was able to redeem something for another family member who was less fortunate). This was an appeal to the mercy of God the Father through Jesus.

Satans Evidence

(Zec 3:3-4 NLT) [3] Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. [4] So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.”

  1. Satan presented evidence of Jeshua’s dirty clothes, which represented unclean living or self-righteous living, however Jesus said take away the dirty clothes. This is made possible today by the death and resurrection of Jesus. At the Crucifixtion took our sin upon Himself and the punishment for that sin as well. In exchange, we get to identify to God the Father through the sacrifice of Jesus as someone whose debt is already paid and the sin and judgement, Jesus had already taken away.
  2. Things family have done was also evidence presented against Jeshua that was what “iniquity” means but Jesus not only replaces the old clothes (sin/lifestyle) with clean clothes (a good lifestyle) but removes the charge against Jeshua’s bloodline.
  3. A dirty mind and other unhelpful mindsets was another piece of evidence Satan brought against Jeshua in Zecharia 3:5:

    (Zec 3:5 NLT) [5] Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the LORD stood by.

    However, Jesus removed this, with the instruction of the placing of the clean turban. This is possible through salvation.

  4. Not walking in the ways of God was evidence Zec 3:6-7:

    (Zec 3:6-7 NLT) [6] Then the angel of the LORD spoke very solemnly to Jeshua and said, [7] “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.

  5. Jeshua was clearly making up things as he went along and Satan knows that God does not anoint our agenda. Only His perfect will. This verse also shows that not living according to the commandments of God (the Word of God or the Bible) was used as evidence against Jeshua. However, through Salvation and inviting the Holy Spirit into ones life and living in Covenant with God, according to the Word of God, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, this was addressed.

By the end of the trial not only did Jesus got Jeshua through salvation (modern day equivalent of this is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus), clean living, obedience to the Word of God and a holy mind. Jesus also made Joshua a judge in the courts of heaven Zechariah 3:7. Judges were people like Samuel see the book of Judges.

Please note that Jesus had words with Jeshua about his lifestyle. This is important because without the lifestyle you do not get the standing with God in the Heavenly Courts. Jeshua’s standing, as someone able to operate in the Courts of Heaven was dependent upon his ability to fulfil the requirements of his position (Myles 2019, pp.69-78).

Ok got all that? Now here’s my step by step guide for an intercession session in the Holy of Holies, the Heavenly Courts!

aaand now for the step-by-step guide!

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Intercede For People

  1. Make time and find somewhere quiet and private, you can have another person(s) praying with you as well!
  2. REPENT
  3. Worship
  4. Ask the Holy Spirit to take you into the Holy of Holies
  5. Be still and reverent for a moment
  6. Ask the court to be seated – Daniel 7:10
  7. Boldly but respectfully present your precedent for approaching God, I have written out this part for you: (use I or We as appropriate).

Father God please remember what Jesus did on the cross:

(John 10:10-11 NLT) “[10] The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. [11] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.”

Jesus came to earth and died and You rose Him again so that I/we could be sanctified and atoned to You Father God, so the veil between us and You was torn and I/we could come to You direct through what Jesus did:

(John 3:16-18 NLT) “[16] “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. [17] God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. [18] “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.”

I believe in Jesus and that through his death and resurrection my sins are forgiven and I am atoned to you Father God as it says in…

(Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT) “[14] So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. [15] This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. [16] So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

It also says in…

(Ephesians 2:17-18 NLT) “[17] He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. [18] Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.”

Therefore according to the Word of God in (Romans 11:17 NLT), as a Gentile (someone who is not a Jew) I have been

… grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree.”

(for the women) – This makes my identity in Christ according to (Song of Songs 7:1 NLT)

…A queenly maiden.

(for everyone) This makes my identity in Christ part of a…

(1 Peter 2:9 NLT) …a chosen people…royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession….

Therefore, in the name of Jesus Christ, Father God I come boldly before Your throne, justified by Faith in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that Jesus made to atone me to Yourself, (women only) a Queenly maiden (everyone) of Your Royal priesthood by Jesus’ sacrifice, a Gentile grafted in to Abraham’s family and therefore heir to the promises given to Abraham and Your very own possession, asking You to hear my case as You said in…

Isaiah 43:26 NLT Let us review the situation together, and you can present your case to prove your innocence”

and furthermore in…

Isaiah 1:18 NLT “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

I/We can come before you and present our case for you to hear and rule on.”

  1. Beg for mercy for the individual and present the issue concerning the other person which usually revolves around the following:
    1. Need to protect territory
    2. Restrain ungodly and damaging behaviour
    3. Stop enemies of the Gospel
    4. Stop the work of Satan in that persons life
    5. Stop premature death
    6. Stop a devastating act of nature
    7. Stop good people from sinning
    8. Preserve God’s destiny on a persons life
    9. Stop sexual preditation (Myles 2019, pp.124-136)
  2. Don’t stop till the Holy Spirit tells you, wait for the Holy Spirit to give you a feeling that you are done then stop.
  3. Thank God for listening I have written this out for you:Thank you Father God for listening and hearing my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
  4. Continue to pray about the situation when you feel you should
  5. Live a holy life so you satisfy the requirements to enter into the Courts of Heaven. These requirements includes the following:

Offer sacrifices at the alter the sacrifice must be a “…broken Spirit…”

(Psalm 51:16-17 NLT) “[16] You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. [17] The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”

A holy atmosphere must come into your house/life/workplace through you that will counteract the evil taking place around you, when you do that God will accept you and His Spirit will inhabit your life. This is only achieved through obedience to God’s Word:

(Ezekiel 43:22-27 NLT) “[22] “On the second day, sacrifice as a sin offering a young male goat that has no physical defects. Then cleanse and make atonement for the altar again, just as you did with the young bull. [23] When you have finished the cleansing ceremony, offer another young bull that has no defects and a perfect ram from the flock. [24] You are to present them to the LORD, and the priests are to sprinkle salt on them and offer them as a burnt offering to the LORD. [25] “Every day for seven days a male goat, a young bull, and a ram from the flock will be sacrificed as a sin offering. None of these animals may have physical defects of any kind. [26] Do this each day for seven days to cleanse and make atonement for the altar, thus setting it apart for holy use. [27] On the eighth day, and on each day afterward, the priests will sacrifice on the altar the burnt offerings and peace offerings of the people. Then I will accept you. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!””

This is also achieved by accepting, proclaiming and teaching the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross:

(John 17:15-20 NLT) “[15] I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. [16] They do not belong to this world any more than I do. [17] Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. [18] Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. [19] And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. [20] “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.”

Loving one another:

(1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 NLT) “[12] And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. [13] May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.”

Respecting those in leadership over you and encourage one another:

(1 Thessalonians 5:12-26 NLT) “[12] Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. [13] Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other. [14] Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. [15] See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. [16] Always be joyful. [17] Never stop praying. [18] Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. [19] Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. [20] Do not scoff at prophecies, [21] but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. [22] Stay away from every kind of evil. [23] Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. [24] God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. [25] Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us. [26] Greet all the brothers and sisters with Christian love.”

Obedience to God, doing good to others, proclaiming, teaching and accepting the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and obedience and respect of spiritual leaders (officers of the church, e.g. pastor, deacon etc):

(Hebrews 13:11-17 NLT) “[11] Under the old system, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, and the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. [12] So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. [13] So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. [14] For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. [15] Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. [16] And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. [17] Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.”

Ooook happy interceding!

xxx

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Bibliography

Myles, F. 2019. Issuing Divine Restraining Orders from the Courts of Heaven. Courts of Heaven Series. Destiny Image Publishers Inc USA

A Whistle-stop Tour Of #Ancient #Jewish #Worship #Music & Techniques

Hey!

Here’s a whistle stop tour of why Christians sing in church:

A History of Christian Worship

The early church was comprised of Jews who had accepted Jesus as the promised Messiah. Therefore, to understand what contemporary Christian worship is and why it is there, one must look at historical Jewish worship, as this is the foundation that modern Christian worship is based on.

The beginnings of Jewish music are not known, what is not shrouded in mystery is known by what the Bible tells us (Barton 2014, p.7). The book of Psalms is full of many musical directions of how to worship God, however, as there are no sound recordings or musical notation related to the musical directions in the psalms, we can only speculate as to how they would have sounded. The first mention in the Bible of music, a musical instrument and a musician is when a woman called Adah gives birth to her son whom she named Jubal, in Genesis 4:20-22:

“[20] Adah gave birth to Jabal, who was the first of those who raise livestock and live in tents. [21] His brother’s name was Jubal, the first of all who play the harp and flute. [22] Lamech’s other wife, Zillah, gave birth to a son named Tubal-cain. He became an expert in forging tools of bronze and iron. Tubal-cain had a sister named Naamah.” (Genesis 4:20-22 NLT)

Here, we are introduced to three primary professions on earth, apart from tending the Garden of Eden, like Adam. Those who work with livestock (v.20), the musician (v.21) and the craftsman in bronze and iron (v.22) (Barton 2014, p.9).

The Hebrews, (as they were known before they arrived in Israel), were given instructions to worship God in the books of the Law, which, at the time, also involved animal sacrifice. They were told what to sacrifice and when but no specifics was given regarding worship (Williams 2018, Origins of Christian Worship).

There are a few examples describing how worship was lead in the Bible but again we do not know how it sounded. We read early on in the Bible that after leaving Egypt, Miriam, the sister of Moses, took a timbrel and led the other women, who also had timbrels and to praise God in Exodus 15; 20 and 21. In Leviticus, we are introduced to the Shofar, this is a Rams horn which was blown by a priest on feast days. The Shofar is still played today and sounds like a trumpet or horn. In Numbers 10:1-10, we are introduced to another kind of horn, the silver trumpet, like the Shofar, this is not strictly a musical instrument but is also only used by the priests who blew it to signal to the Hewbrew’s that they were moving the camp.

Fast-forward many generations to the book of Samuel we discover that there were prophets who were also musicians. Saul met them following an encounter with Samuel:

“When you arrive at Gibeah of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is located, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the place of worship. They will be playing a harp, a tambourine, a flute, and a lyre, and they will be prophesying. (1 Samuel 10:5 NLT)

Music was also used for therapeutic reasons, David played the harp for King Saul, conducted under what has become known as the Psalmist anointing, which is “…the power coming from God in the music to drive evil spirits away” (Barton 2014, p.9):

And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away. (1 Samuel 16:23 NLT).

Later, once David became king and he brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem there was dancing; singing; they were playing lyres; harps; tambourines and other percussive instruments (2 Samuel 6:5) and Rams horn’s were played in 2 Samuel 6.15. David also assigned men from the Levite clans to sing and play music in worship to God in the tabernacle, (which at the time was a tent), 24 hours a day and they did so until his heir and son Solomon built a temple made of brick (1 Chronicles 6:31-32). In fact, the whole of 1 Chronicles 25 also shows us that David appointed entire families from the Levite clans to play music, this would have amounted to several thousand singers and musicians (Barton 2014, p.9). David also appointed a choir leader, who functioned, I imagine, much in the same way as a modern choir leader (1 Chronicles 15:16) (Nehemiah 12:46). When David established the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle, he personally paid for musicians out of his treasury:

“[4] David appointed the following Levites to lead the people in worship before the Ark of the LORD–to invoke his blessings, to give thanks, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel. [5] Asaph, the leader of this group, sounded the cymbals. Second to him was Zechariah, followed by Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel. They played the harps and lyres. [6] The priests, Benaiah and Jahaziel, played the trumpets regularly before the Ark of God’s Covenant.” (1 Chronicles 16:4-6 NLT)

Before David’s Tabernacle (tent) was erected worship was quite solemn, as directed by Moses and involved animal sacrifice. In David’s Tabernacle worship livened up. This could have been because David was quite a creative and passionate person. The Bible tells us that he was a poet, harpist and singer, as well as a shepherd, King and warrior. The Bible also tells us that David also appeared to enjoy dancing as well, see 2 Samuel 16:14 (Barton 2014, p.15).

Once, Solomon, David’s son and heir had built the Temple of the Lord, he celebrated this with music, 120 priests playing trumpets and God responded to this by filling the Temple with His presence:

“[12] And the Levites who were musicians–Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and all their sons and brothers–were dressed in fine linen robes and stood at the east side of the altar playing cymbals, lyres, and harps. They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets. [13] The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the LORD with these words: “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the LORD. [14] The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:12-14 NLT) (Barton 2014, p.9).

The instruments used in the Temple worship in King Solomon’s times were:

Kinnor – A Harp or Lyre – a plucked string instrument probably with 12 strings. It is the national instrument of Israel still today.
Ugav – a flute or shawm – a wood instrument
Tof – a small tambourine-type instrument often played by women
Machalat – The nature of this instrument cannot be established

 

Non-musical instruments

Shofar – Ram’s horn
Pa’amon – Bells
Chatzotzerah – The Silver trumpet which God told Moses to make and used to signal the onward movement of the Hebrews in the wilderness and at other festival times – blown only by priests.
The tabret (or trimbrel) – was probably a small hand held percussion instrument (Rothmüller 1967) (Barton 2014, p. 16).

Following the destruction of this temple and the exile and return of the Israelites to Israel, worship changed slightly but the basic elements remained the same and there were still many musicians, Ezra records that 128 singers returned from exile with him (Ezra 2:41), later there were 200 women and men singers (Ezra 2:65). Nehemiah records in Nehemiah 7:67 that the singers were so numerous that they built villages around the capital to accommodate them and they were given a quota of food each day (Nehemiah 11:23) (Barton 2014, pp.17-18). What changed was the tone of worship during the exile of the Israelites from their own country to Babylon by the Babylonians. Singing in the synagogues was briefly banned, possibly due to the sorrow of exile as well as the rise of emphasis on the law by the Pharisee’s Some things were added, like the formalized order of public prayers, still used in Synagogues today, was established by the Great Assembly of Jewish leaders. This is known as the synagogue system (Barton 2014, p.19).

 

Historical Liturgical Synagogue Worship

The following are institutionalised liturgical practices from the synagogue system:

The Cantor

The Cantor was the leader of chanting prayers, psalms and scriptures in the synagogue, which became the dominant form of music in the synagogues for many centuries, following the lifting of the ban on singing in the synagogues. The chant was a liturgical practice that involved a number of syllables being sung to each note of a short melodic line that is repeated throughout the passage being read/sung. The cantor would take contemporaneous melodic patters or compose his own melodies. Chanting of Psalms was often done antiphonally with two choirs groups to lead the congregation. Rabbis did not allow women to sing, so all music was male led by men and boys and chanting was monophonic. The scales differed depending on the spatio-temporal location of the synagogue as the local folk music culture often influenced the Cantor’s musical creations (Barton 2014, p.21).

 

Cantillation

In the Cantillation the cantor or leader singer of a synagogue sings the declamatory form of the weekly text of the Torah, and the Prophets (Nevi’im) using pre-existing musical phrases. The musical phrases are chosen according to the text and book of the Bible being cantillated. There is no rhythm as different musical motives are combined together. Although there is reason to believe that cantillation goes back as far as Ezra in the Bible times – about 2,500 years ago – most melodies used today are no older that about the 15th or 16th century (Rubin and Baron 2006, pp.67-69) (Barton 2014, pp.21-22).

 

Jewish Liturgical Modes

A set of musical modes are called ‘Nusach’ which can refer either to a set of modes, melodies and also a set text or prayer. These modes or melodies link the prayer to a time of year or day and also indicate what prayer is to be sing or recited. These melodies became standardized, as did the prayers associated with the melodies. The Three main modes are: Ahavah Rabbah, Magein Avot and Adonai Malach. Today they are improvised from time to time) (Barton 2014, p.22).

 

Synagogue Prayers

The prayers of the Synagogues were chanted usually led by a Cantor and a male choir (if available). The Cantors usually sang in a florid and melodious style that was either of their own devising (before the modes became formalized) or influence by the local culture’s melodic lines. After the formalizing of the prayers the following forms emerged and remain until this day in the modern synagogues:

Piyyut: – a Jewish liturgical poem that is sung, chanted or spoken. A lot of Piyytim are poetic in character and often follow the order of an acrostic poem using the Hebrew Alphabet in order at the beginning of each line.

Zemiros: Jewish Hymns sung in Hebrew, Aramaic, Yiddish or Ladino, sung at holidays, the Shabbat meal on Fridays or any other day.

Nigun: religious songs sung by groups that involve voice and with no formal words; syllables such as bim-bim-bam or ai-ai-ai are sung.

Pizmonim: Traditional Jewish songs associated with Middle Eastern Sephardic Jews – but are also among the North African and Mizrahi Jews. Texts may come from the Old Testament or by poets. They are composed to praise God and contain traditional teaching. They are often sung at religious rituals or festivities such as circumcisions, weddings Bar Mitzvahs or other ceremonies.

Baqashot: a collection of songs and prayers sung by Sephardic Jewish communities during Shabbat, but also may be recited during the long weeks of winter) (Barton 2014, pp.22-23).

That’s all folks!

Bibliography

Books

Barton, B. 2014. The Music of the Jews: An Overview. Fellowship Diploma dissertation. National College of Music, London.

Rothmüller, A. M. 1967. The Music of the Jews; an Historical Appreciation. South Brunswick: T. Yoseloff.

Rubin, E. and J. H. Baron. 2006. Music in Jewish History and Culture. Sterling Heights. MI: Harmonie Park.

 

Websites

Williams, B. ‘Origins of Christian Worship’ Academia Web site, at: <https://www.academia.edu/26562401/Origins_of_Christian_Worship > 15 October 2018

Adam’s Spare Rib Story: More Significant Than You Think! #Jesus #Bible #Christianity #AdamandEve

Hey everyone I dug into the archives of my laptop to find some old notes I made about things. Here’s something I wrote in August 2011, just before I graduated First Class (heh!) from my degree! The conclusions are from 2019!

 

The story of Adams rib was more important than you think.

God put Adam to sleep and took out his rib and made Eve out of it:

(Genesis 2:21-23 NLT) “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. [23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'”

This means Eve was actually a part of Adam before she and he were separated and became two.

Now Eve was Adam’s wife and Adam was Eve’s husband. In Ephesians 5:28 it says:

(Ephesians 5:28-29 NLT) “[28] In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. [29] No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.”

So a wife is a part of a husband’s own body – that s why when you, a husband, love your wife you love yourself. You look after yourself so you look after your wife – Jesus looks after us because we are a part of Him as it says in 1 Corinthians 6:15:

(1 Corinthians 6:15 NLT) “[15] Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never!”

Also, again in 1 Corinthians 12:

(1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27 NLT) “[12] The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. [13] Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. [14] Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. … [27] All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”

If your foot was broken you wouldn’t leave it alone? Paul shows, using the body metaphor how silly it is t neglect parts of the body of Christ AND THIS INCLUDES YOUR WIFE:

(1 Corinthians 12:15-27 NLT) “[15] If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. [16] And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? [17] If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? [18] But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. [19] How strange a body would be if it had only one part! [20] Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. [21] The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” [22] In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. [23] And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, [24] while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. [25] This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. [26] If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. [27] All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”

The weakest, most humble parts are sometimes the most necessary it says here. Your wife is physically weaker than you and socially disenfranchised, meaning that she is in a more humbled position than you, especially in Anglo-American societies that are Patriarchal. However, your wife is super necessary. Bear that in mind.

Anyway, back to Adam’s rib…

As I said, Adam was a metaphor of Jesus. The Bible even goes further to actually call Jesus the second Adam:

(1 Corinthians 15:45 NLT) “[45] The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam–that is, Christ–is a life-giving Spirit.”

In fact! The Bible even goes further to actually call Adam the Son of God in the genealogy that Luke provides that goes from Jesus all the way back to Adam:

(Luke 3:38 NLT) “[38] Kenan was the son of Enosh. Enosh was the son of Seth. Seth was the son of Adam. Adam was the son of God.”

It’s true. Adam (earthly man) and Jesus (heavenly man) were the only humans males that were not born through coitus. Making Adam and Jesus the only males who truly only had God as their father. In the same fashion, Eve (earthly woman) is the only woman not born through coitus. Meaning that Eve was the only woman who truly had no other father than God as well. In the same fashion, The Bride of Christ (the church) (spiritual woman), which is “born of the Spirit”, is the only female entity not born of coitus either, meaning that the church truly has no other father than God.

Just a quick explanation of this and the meaning behind this earthly man then heavenly man, earthly woman then heavenly woman symbolism:

(1 Corinthians 15:46-54 NLT) “[46] What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. [47] Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. [48] Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. [49] Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man. [50] What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. [51] But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! [52] It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. [53] For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. [54] Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

This further explains the metaphorical relationship behind Adam and Christ, Adam shows humanity before salvation and Christ shows humanity after it.

Back to the Rib again lol… Now, in order to have his bride Adam had his side opened in Genesis 2:21-22:

(Genesis 2:21-22 NLT) “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

This was the epiphany Jesus gave me all these years ago….

…In order for Jesus to have His bride, The Bride of Christ, which is the church, Jesus had to have his side opened as well. In fact, the last place Jesus bled on earth was His side:

(John 19:34 NLT) “[34] One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out.”

The only difference between the two injuries is that God closed Adam’s wound:

(Genesis 2:21-23 NLT) “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening.

…but Jesus’ wound was left open:

(John 20:19-20 NLT) “[19] That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. [20] As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!”

Fascinating! Do you see the relationship and similarities between Adam and Jesus now? And the Rib story? It’s there staring you in the face!

 

Closing Thoughts

The only thing I can say is do not expect that God is going to give you your perfect wife without dealing with you first. You want something nice. You must work for it and be prepared to sacrifice in order to have it. It may be that you have negative aspects of your personality that need to be purged? Or God just might just want to change you to make you the best version of you that you can be.

Jesus had to sacrifice for nice things and He is God, how do you expect to have nice things without sacrifice? Remember what Jesus said about what He went through and what could happen to us:

(John 15:18-20 NLT) “[18] “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. [19] The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. [20] Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.”

We are the followers of Jesus, if Jesus had to sacrifice for His bride you will have to do the same thing:

(1 Peter 4:1-3 NLT) “[1] So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. [2] You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. [3] You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy–their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.”

I’m not saying that you should expect to be knifed up to get married. I’m just saying that you should just be prepared to change and sacrifice for your wife and your marriage. If you’re not prepared to change and or make any kind of intimate personal sacrifices in your life for the sake of other people you’re not ready to get married. Simple.

 

To Summarise

Adam and Eve were the first married couple. Eve was a part of her husband, Adam.

Adam had to sacrifice to get his wife Eve. In fact, Adam was actually injured in his side in the process of getting his wife. God decided that this was meant to be.

Jesus, like Adam, sacrificed and was actually mortally wounded in the process of getting His bride, the church. God made Jesus rise again so He is now living.

If even Jesus had to sacrifice something personal for His bride and Jesus is our example, that shows us that being a husband involves sacrifice as well– the likes of which many young men fail to fully realise until they are already married.

 

Catherine x

3 Ways The Devil Tempts #Men | #mensministry #Jesus #theology

Hey everybody,

Today I am going to talk about something that Jesus showed me when I was reading Luke the other day, how the devil tempts men in particular. Let’s look at the passage I was reading, Jesus’ words are highlighted in red, the devil in bold:

(Luke 4:1-13 NLT) “[1] Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, [2] where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.

[3] Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” [4] But Jesus told him, No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.‘”

[5] Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. [6] “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. [7] I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” [8] Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.'”

[9] Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! [10] For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. [11] And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.'” [12] Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.'”

[13] When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.”

What Jesus revealed to me is that the way the devil tempts males is threefold, always along the lines of:

  1. Survival
  2. Power
  3. Recklessness

Let’s examine the scripture above once again to see:

1.) Temptation of Survival

This temptation is aimed at destabilizing the bottom two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs- Physiological and Safety needs (follow the link to find out more).

(Luke 4:1-4 NLT) “[1] Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, [2] where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.

[3] Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” [4] But Jesus told him, No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.‘”

Jesus was in the wilderness. Now wilderness in the Bible does not just represent a physical wilderness, forest desert etc, in this case yes it did represent a physical wilderness but it is also a metaphor for wilderness in ones life. Jesus is here showing us a metaphor of how we are to behave when faced with our own “wilderness”. Wilderness can be financial, as in lean times financially; it can also be social, maybe you don’t have any or many friends. It is basically a metaphor for any situation you find yourself in where you are vulnerable and in a place of spiritual dryness Amos 5:25 or solitude for a time of training in life Matthew 4:1.

Notice, Jesus was also hungry, He lacked basic things, in fact, He had nothing! AND THIS IS WHEN THE DEVIL MADE A MOVE, WHEN JESUS WAS VULNERABLE. The devil did not come before, when Jesus was with His friends and had just been baptised by John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove in the previous chapter. No! The devil came when Jesus was alone and in desperate need for basic things, when His will would have been compromised due to desperation. The devil then tried to manipulate Jesus into doing something that God (the Father) did not want Jesus (God the Son) to do, with the promise of providing a quick fix, that would meet Jesus’ need sooner than God had intended. This would have been a quick fix but the long term ramifications would have been huge. Essentially, had Jesus done that then He would have disobeyed God (the Spirit) who told Jesus to fast and go into the wilderness the first place. Disobeying God would have violated the law, which would have made Jesus unrighteous, which would have meant that He was not a perfect sacrifice to fully atone for our sins, which would have meant that we would still be having to sacrifice animals and live by the Levitical laws, the Holy Spirit would not live in people but descend temporarily on people like old times and humanity would never ever ever be fully atoned to God ever, meaning there would be no salvation for anyone ever.

This is how the devil operates with men. He waits till they are vulnerable, in their wilderness, looking for a way out and a way to survive and tempts them with seemingly quick fixes that are wrong but encouraging them to self-justify their actions by giving them a lie that, they need to do this thing to survive and if they don’t do this thing they will perish. Men, how many times in your life have you been in a desperate situation and tempted to do the thing that you know is wrong just because you think, “if I don’t do this wrong thing I am going to fail”? It’s an attack. Be guarded, short term quick fixes are not always from God. It’s sometimes the devil trying to trap you and destroy everyone else around you. Adam was tempted in Genesis with a quick solution that would enhance his survival and through that everyone is now oppressed see Genesis 3. Likewise, if Jesus had given in, the whole of humanity would have been even more oppressed.

As men you need to understand the consequences of your actions and how they affect the people around you, you have to understand your privileged social status and how much power you have, not just physically but socially and economically as well. Because of your enhanced psycho-social realities, culturally men have greater social power which means that you act as gateways to not only your life but the lives of others and you aren’t taking this seriously enough. You’re just doing things to “survive” and not thinking about the long term consequences of your actions. It is the short term relief that the devil is using to hoodwink you, to draw your attention away from the long term consequences of your actions and eternity, we should be eternity minded when we make our decisions and that applies to men and women.

This kind of temptation can also be related to sex, maybe you feel like you really would like to sleep with whoever and just get short term relief so you can “survive” *rolls eyes* for a bit longer but there are long term consequences to that, especially before marriage or if the woman in question IS NOT YOURS!! Maybe you believe in “medicinal masturbation”… lol. Just to “ease the pressure on your balls” to help you “survive” *rolls eyes*, till you can get married to your fiancée/girlfriend. Don’t do that. It’s the devil setting you up to fail by trying to get you into habits that you can’t shake before you’re even married. Before you know it you’re hooked and you won’t actually be able to be stimulated by a real woman or a real vagina, you can actually condition your brain to only respond to porn. This video from this ministry is a good resource for this issue (follow the link to find out more). . It’s because of how the brain works and the reward centres in the brain see my previous article for more information about the brain (follow the link to find out more). The devil is trying to destroy your long term outlook. However, Jesus wants you to have life and life more abundantly but that requires patience. I’m still trying myself in the area of patience so I’m speaking to myself as well.

2.) Temptation of Power

This temptation is aimed at destabilizing the next two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs- Social belonging and Esteem needs (follow the link to find out more).

(Luke 4:5-8 NLT) “[5] Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. [6] “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. [7] I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” [8] Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.'”

Again, remember at this point Jesus is still in the wilderness and Jesus’ basic need of survival is appearing to not being met immediately. So Jesus is still in a position of vulnerability. In this position of vulnerability, the devil offers power, much more extreme and such a far cry away from what Jesus was going through. The only cost for this power is to worship the devil.

This is another way that the devil gets men in particular. The seductive lure of POWER! The devil flaunts all the joys that wealth can bring and all the amazing things one can do and have with it. The cost for this wealth is to worship the devil. That can come basically in the form of doing anything wrong, anything that can compromise your integrity but will gain you some kind of financial gain. Maybe, you’re encouraged to lie about something, maybe a relationship, your faith or even anything that will compromise your integrity, in order to gain quickly, financially. These get rich quick schemes are often traps from the devil designed to compromise you. Don’t envy people who are super rich, you have absolutely no idea how they got it.

Take the Western powers for example. The reason why Britain, America and Europe are so rich is because they had an enormous unpaid workforce, enslaved African peoples. The things they did to those people are unthinkable. One punishment the Caucasian male slave owners gave African slaves was when they tried to escape they would get one slave to poo into the mouth of the slave that tried to run away and he had to swallow it. The most attractive African women were pimped out to other male Caucasian slave owners in a part of the salve trade known as the Pretty Trade. The male Caucasian slave owners would also use any African slave that they found attractive as a concubine, just for sex, the African slaves were not allowed to refuse, so they raped them. The slaves made Britain, America and Europe so much money, that’s why the West is so rich today. It was not just African people who were enslaved, pick any country in the Common Wealth and those people were enslaved too. There were even indentured Irish slaves as well! The White people were more than happy to enslave their own people too…

Has anybody asked you to do something that you know isn’t right or you know will somehow compromise your integrity but offered to compensate you financially for it? Don’t do it, it’s a trap that men fall for all the time. That’s why we have dictators, wars and the global economic crisis due to bankers greed.

This is also related to sex. Dominating women sexually, being sexually aggressive towards women because you know they are not strong enough to push you away. It’s a power trip. Thinking rapey thought’s, it’s the devil trying to seduce you and tempt you along the lines of power. Even if she is your wife, if she doesn’t want to don’t force her, it’s still rape.

Whenever we try to upgrade our power or sphere of influence through means that are wrong we are worshipping the devil.

3.) Temptation of Recklessness

This temptation is aimed at destabilising the last two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs- Self Actualization and Self Transcendence (follow the link to find out more).

(Luke 4:9-12 NLT) “[9] Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! [10] For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. [11] And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.'” [12] Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.'”

Again, Jesus was still in a wilderness and hungry, the devil tempted Him first by appealing to his basic needs, then he appealed to men’s desire for power, especially when they are in a state where they are in a state of reduced power or powerlessness or vulnerability of any kind, finally, the devil tried to tempt Jesus along the lines of men’s recklessness.

When we “test” God we are putting ourselves in the position of employer of God. We are saying, to God that God is accountable to us and that we are going to give God an observation (those of you reading this who work will understand what an observation is, it’s when your manager decides that they want to check that you are actually doing the job that they are paying you to do and that you are actually doing it well, so they stand there breathing down your neck watching you do it. Then you have a meeting afterwards with them/or whoever observed you, where they tell you where you could improve or what you’re doing well. It’s annoying and stressful, that’s partly why I work for myself now).

God doesn’t work for us, we work for God. God doesn’t have to prove anything to us, it’s we who have to prove ourselves to God.

This is another place where the devil attacks men. When they have that attitude that I’m going to test God’s power, it’s an insult to God. Moreover, it leads men to do stupid things, disregarding the brains that God gave humans to reason and do stupid things, where they do not take due care because they assume God is going to save them. Yes if you want to do something like jump out of a plane, make sure you pack your parachute. God is not going to save you if you jump out expecting angels to save you because it’s an appalling act of stupidity that God is not going to reward by saving you. It’s not in God’s interest because then everyone on earth would do silly things that hurt each other. That’s why God won’t save you. He won’t save you so as to teach other people not to do it. God does not want humanity to be backward.

I used to date this idiot right, when he went on holiday he wouldn’t take his phone with him. He said that I should just have faith that God would protect him and that me worrying about him was a sign of a lack of faith and that I didn’t really believe that Jesus was with him. With that attitude and all the drinking that he did when he was away, yeah, he’s right I do not believe that Jesus was with him lol. I believe that he survived his holidays on his own and that God didn’t actually have anything to do with it. It was reckless, inconsiderate of the felling of both me and his poor long-suffering mother. Disgusting jerk. That kind of thing is testing God. I didn’t want him to take his phone because I wanted to call him all the time because he used to call me all the time and I was happy for a break! I wanted him to take his phone because he was going to a place he didn’t live and it’s a sensible precaution.

Men do stupid crap all the time. Idiots. Stop it, you’re going to hurt yourselves and God is not necessarily going to save you. It’s always justified and covered by phrases like “oh well boys will be boys” etc. The devil is appealing to your idiocy, trying to make you, again, do something quick, that is going to damage you in the long run and you are thinking, don’t worry it’ll be ok God is with me but not necessarily. Certain adrenaline seeking sports, if you want to do them, wear a helmet? Or don’t do it at all. If something seems like it’s an unreasonable risk, don’t do it. If there is a likelihood that you might die doing an activity and it’s not necessary because you’re not a fireman or a policeman, think twice. Short term stupidity can lead to long term consequences and God will not facilitate, encourage or enable human stupidity, ever, especially when you are trying to use him as “staff” that will catch you, especially because letting you break your leg will mean that you have lots of time alone when you can read your bible and that scenario does suit God.

This can also be related to sex. You might think, yeah well you know, just a quickie, it might make a baby or whatever but I’m sure that God will get me out of this, let’s just test it to see what happens 😉 No!

Commonalities with the three scenarios

Notice that the three scenarios have something in common.

  1. Temptation happens in the midst of vulnerability – the devil waits till a man is in a vulnerable position when his ability to rationalize is compromised.
  2. Quick decisions for quick fixes – the devil tries to make a person make decisions quickly without thinking it through. Which is why the devil waits till a man is vulnerable, desperation and fear make you do silly things
  3. All three ways of tempting encourage men to make poor life choices when it comes to sex.
  4. The devil temps men in order to ruin everybody – when men give in to temptation, it doesn’t just affect men it affects everybody, women, children, animals, the environment, everything because, culturally, men have more power than women.

How did Jesus deal with temptation?

Jesus used The Word!

(Luke 4:4,8,12 NLT)

“…[4] But Jesus told him, No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.‘”…

[8] Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.‘” …

[12] Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.

Every time the devil tried to tempt Jesus it was to destabilise Jesus’ motivation away from being satisfied by and through God and towards being satisfied by the devil, by encouraging Jesus to selfishly satisfy His needs through Himself, when and how the devil made it seem attractive. Jesus rebuffed these temptations by responding to the devil with The Word, that is the words of the Bible. Jesus was able to do this because He knew the scriptures. That comes from READING THE BIBLE EVERY DAY. Jesus came to fulfil the Law. This was outlined in Exodus, detailed in Leviticus, Further expounded and acted upon in Numbers and repeated in Deuteronomy. One of the laws was the following:

(Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NLT) “[6] And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. [7] Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. [8] Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. [9] Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Which was reiterated to Joshua later on:

(Joshua 1:8 NLT) “[8] Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

We are supposed to read the Bible daily and read it to our children and remind ourselves of it, that way you get to know it off your head, so when temptation comes you can recollect what God says to do. So when the devil attack your mind you can respond with The Word and use The Word to inform your actions, especially when you are to emotionally compromised to think straight.

MEN, LIFE IS AN OPEN BOOK EXAM, YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO IT ON YOUR OWN. YOU HAVE THE ANSWERS IN THE BIBLE. When you don’t read your Bible gentlemen, it’s the equivalent of doing a calculator Maths exam without ever picking up your calculator and just leaving it on the desk…

Final Warning

(Luke 4:13 NLT) “[13] When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.”

Temptation did not stop for Jesus, the temptation that we saw early on in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) is just the only time that any kind of tempting of Jesus was written down. From what we can see from the above verse is that Jesus was tempted constantly like the rest of us. The only difference is that Jesus did not give in because Jesus knew and used The Word!

Where’s your Bible dude?…

I keep mine on me in the form of an app on my phone, it’s just a practical way to do things. Hope that made you think.

Catherine x

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I had an encounter with #Jesus in my bathroom!! || #Christianity #JesusChrist #spiritual |

I had an encounter with Jesus!

This all happened in my bathroom! I was in my bathroom and I said to Jesus,

” Jesus, please make your presence known to me”

Then I just closed my eyes, put my hands outstretched in front of me like this and waited.

Then suddenly it was like something really brilliant was in front of me and I felt a strong wind, a wind that was strong enough to blow my arms backward. I started to shake a tiny bit and I felt a very powerful presence in front of me.

I knew this was Jesus, the being in front of me was so brilliant and so magnificent it could only be Jesus.

I had an overwhelming sense that Jesus was so holy, the most holy being I had or ever will meet. I was compelled to bow, in fact Jesus made me bow. My head felt heavy and I wasn’t in control of my body, it was like Jesus pushed my head down to bow because although Jesus is my friend, Jesus is so holy and magnificent and that He commands respect. I felt like I must bow because Jesus is God and I am not.

It was almost too much, as I was just processing how holy and magnificent Jesus is I started to get upset. I almost stupidly said it’s too much no more. I had such a strong sense that Jesus is so incredibly holy and compared to Jesus who I could feel was magnificent through and through and holy I felt dirty, like a scrap, like nothing.

I was suddenly aware that there seemed to be a thin layer of dust on me, I realised that that was sin. It was clear to me that Jesus is so much better than I am. I realised, sometimes we walk around and we think we are good people, then when we get into the presence of God we realise that God’s standards are so high that, without Jesus, we will never be clean. Once I asked Jesus forgiveness for my sins I didn’t feel dirty any more.

Jesus’ presence was so strong that I actually started to blow away and it was either Jesus Himself or an angel that actually grabbed me by the my arm (the bit between my shoulder and elbow) and pulled me back to standing in front of Jesus, Jesus’ presence was that strong, I was literally blown away. I was thinking to myself, wait a second, this is who I have been praying to and watching films with?!!???!!? (I like to invite Jesus to watch films and eat with me). It just shows how good Jesus is, I know now that we are just so beneath Him and that means that everything He does for us is just mercy on His part.

The thing that I also noticed was that Jesus made me wait. I wanted to do something and I said to Jesus

“ok when You’re ready please release my hands then I’ll know You’re ready for me to get on with the things that I want to do after this”

But Jesus made me wait! Not only did Jesus make me wait but Jesus made me wait

IN SILENCE…

I found that really interesting. I was just standing there, my head bowed and in silence, ready to get on with other things, then Jesus took my hands, which had stuff in them ready and poised to get on with other things, lowered them and made me stand there with my head bowed and wait, in silence….. I don’t know how long I was standing there but Jesus was determined that I get on with things in Jesus time not mine.

That got me thinking, you know sometimes at church, not just my church but church in general, we like to fill the space with noise. Sometimes maybe someone is just pinging on the guitar or you have string pads to fill the space or the preacher is just speaking and speaking and speaking and speaking…. etc. All of these things, although not inherently evil, are distractions. There is certainly something in taking time out to have a contemplative silence, remember, Elijah looked for God in the whirlwind, the earthquake and the fire but God was actually in the whisper!

1 Kings 19:11-13 [NLT] “[11] “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. [12] And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. [13] When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?””

For a long time He did not let me get on with the things that I wanted to do, in fact, at one point, I even thought that Jesus wasn’t even going to let me do them. Even though it was Jesus who I felt was the one who told me to go do this activity, I still thought, as there was so much waiting, that He was going to send me packing, say no and direct me to do something else. However, when it seemed properly like Jesus is going to tell me to go do something else, Jesus lowered my hands and I felt released to be able to do something else.

I’ve realised from my experience that we Christians say “oh yeah Jesus is holy” we have no idea. We don’t know what holiness actually is. The holiness I felt within Jesus does not come from earth. We describe holiness from human standards of goodness but the earth is so polluted, so full of wrong, that we do not have any frame of reference or word on this earth to describe the actual holiness of God because we simply don’t actually encounter it on earth. Earthly standards of good are nothing compared to God. Not one single person is good, as defined by God’s standards.

Also, it became very clear to me that we Christians think we know Jesus, we do not. We think we have an idea of what Jesus might want, we don’t, not always. I think this because the being I encountered in my bathroom was magnificent, nothing was imperfect, Jesus was magnificent to His core. We are not. Therefore, we cannot assume anything about someone like that. I could also sense intelligence, intelligence much greater than mine and I got the sense of a plan that I was not necessarily privy to. I felt in that instance that Jesus thinks that many of the liturgical traditions we have are stupid and many of the church traditions Jesus is just above it. I’m talking about things like, the solemn way communion is done (more the high church circles), the silly outfits, the ridiculous church rules like Catholic priests can’t inform on paedophiles when they have confessed in confession to a priest. I just didn’t feel like they mattered. Jesus felt sensible and I felt like He was the source of all common sense. Someone so intelligent and magnificent would think that it’s ridiculous that Catholic priests aren’t encouraged to inform on paedo’s.

Jesus has shown Himself to me before but in this instance He came as Jesus the King of Kings, helping me to understand the different aspects of who He is. I did ask Jesus a while ago to give me a revelation of Himself as King and Jesus answered. Seeing the magnificence of Jesus and observing how holy Jesus is also made me realise that Jesus deserves much more respect than I and others have been giving Him. Jesus is holy, magnificent and brilliant, I have never met anyone like Jesus. Lets all make an effort to give Jesus respect. We think we have a choice to respect Him, I realised we don’t.

Catherine x

I Wrote A Song About #Sex for my #PhD | #phdlife #freelance #musician #soundcloud #music #feminism |

Hello Everyone!

So as we know I’m doing a PhD in Music, in the area of Theomusicology & Feminist Musicology and some other things, with a practical element to it. So one of the things I’m looking at is how women and sex is represented in music as my project is interested in sexual politics (in a metaphorical sense) but in a literal sense sexual politics is also about sex. In response to my findings I’m going to produce some songs on the topic. The practical portfolio will have songs on various topics relating to women and music and theology. It will make sense when you read my thesis. Here’s a paraphrased summary of what I’ve learned, the full academic essay will come later.

I chose the topic of marital sex as a context for my section on women, music and sex. My intended outcomes for this song are to present women/wives as strong, mutual/equal with men/husbands, sensual/emotional beings that enjoy sex and have their own opinions and sex drives and sexual desires that are just as important as the man’s within the context of marital sex. Furthermore, as I am a woman of colour, I am writing from the perspective of a woman of colour and I hope that my piece along with the values therein, will address the negative stereotypes about women of colour that perpetuate within Western contemporary songs about sex. In Western popular songs about sex, women of colour are usually represented in the most abased and course way. Furthermore, songwriters have an irritating habit if sexualizing the ways in which women of colour are often discriminated against, race, gender and class, by presenting them as the hot abused poor baby mamas *rolls eyes*, or one night stands, never anything good etc. Instead I, have written and performed a song, from the perspective of a woman of colour about being in a sexual relationship within the socio-economic status and security of being a wife, the lyrics talk about saying “I do” and rings etc. (you don’t have to be some guys baby mama, why are we always shown as the baby mama and not the wife?) and not a victim in sexual activity but a willing, consensual, active and committed participant. (N.B. I am not and have never been married this is just in the fictional narrative of the song).

As mentioned earlier, this song is about the joys of marital sex, as experienced by two fictional newly-weds. It follows the metaphor, imagery and form of ‘Song of Songs’ which is also called Song of Solomon, my favourite book of the Bible, (talking about gardens, fragrant spices, greenery, little foxes, having sex outside, it’s all in Song of Songs lol). Song of Songs is actually about the love between a dark skinned woman and King Solomon.

Song of Solomon 1:5 [NLT]
I am dark but beautiful, O women of Jerusalem- dark as the tents of Kedar, dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents.

It also represents a counter-cultural approach to romantic relationships between men and women, as it is in fact the woman who pursues the man. I tried to reflect this in arranging it for a female singer and making the tone of the lyrics, that of someone who is a pursuer and initiator of physical intimacy. I also show the woman as initiator as well as mutual consenting participant, instead of a passive participant or victim. The lead vocal (the woman/bride) vocalises decisions about her own sexual desires and needs. You can find the woman in Song of Songs doing the same thing. The theomusicology comes in the narrative of the lyrics which implies that now they’re married they can have sex when and wherever they want to lol (within reason), which is a Christian theological standpoint (I’m a Christian btw). So it implies restraint and commitment before coitus, not after.

I also decided to make it walking pace because I found that most songs about sex and women, especially sex with or about or by women of colour, have quite a strong beat and lyrically emphasise the fun of sex with chauvinistic, misogynoir lyrics that often contextualise the woman and the act within the erotic, encouraging male brains to switch to autopilot, focussing entirely on the physicality and pleasure of sex, not the love. My piece is a response to these negative things I found. It is slow(ish) to be meditative, slow down the heart rate and give the listener space to clear their minds and think. The listener should not get carried away by eroticism but instead wrapped up in the sweetness, sensuality, thoughtfulness and intentional nature of the act of marital sex. Looking forward to adding this to the the final portfolio! So this is a sonic, feminist, womanist critique of pop music about women and sex, using the lived experience of a woman of colour as an analytical tool for reflection. I am trying to promote the knowledge of women by uncovering the lost narratives of our experience, like a Foucauldian genealogy.

Well done for reading, here’s the track! It’s called “I Hope The Neighbours Don’t See”

You can also listen on SoundCloud. Follow this link to play or play the embedded player below:

I have a playlist on YouTube. Follow this link to play or play in the embedded player below:

The Middle 8/Bridge is inspired by a conversation I had with a middle aged man who told me that when he first got married as a young man, he gave his wife a Hickey on her neck and someone from his church saw it and told him, “now you’re married you can do that where it don’t show” hah! lol

Lots of love

Catherine x

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#wedding #makeup

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Where does it say in the #Bible not to have #sex before #marriage? – #Jesus #Christian

Hello everybody,

First of all, this blog post is not intended to shame anyone but rather to inform. I’m human just like you and that makes me a sexual being, I find my faith in Jesus gives me the strength to wait 🙂 . I said something to that effect in this song I wrote Follow this link to listen or use the embedded player below:

Now to the blog!

So I’m a Christian and I read the Bible everyday and I was meditating on the biggie in Christianity about no sex before marriage. It got me thinking about the time I was dating this guy who wasn’t a Christian. He’s the reason why I stopped dating guys who weren’t Christians actually lol and the last guy I dated who was a Christian is why I’m now open to dating whoever LOL, (unmitigated disaster!) Hah hah moving on.

Anyway back to the ex before the ex before the ex. So he used to pressure me for sex and the one after that did as well (who wasn’t a Christian either) I never gave in of course. I made some colleagues laugh once when I said:

“I want to date a guy who is a Christian because every time I date guys who aren’t Christians they keep on trying to have sex with me” lol

Anyway back to the ex before the ex before the ex. Now this guy grew up in a Christian household, his brother was a Christian and his parents knew the Bible and I remember having a conversation with him once when I was having dinner at his parents house he was saying

“why can’t we have sex where does it say in the Bible you can’t have sex before marriage?”

At that point I remember realising that I actually didn’t know where it said it in the Bible, his mother told me it’s somewhere in Deuteronomy, I just accepted what she said but I never looked it up. THAT WAS BAD I WAS BEING A BAD CHRISTIAN AND AN IDIOT YOU DON’T JUST DECIDE TO LIVE YOUR LIFE ONE WAY JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE TOLD YOU TO THAT’S NOT FAITH IT’S RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM YOU SHOULD LOOK UP THINGS IN THE BIBLE YOURSELF *slaps own wrist*.

I’m muuuuuch older now and I’ve read the Bible cover to cover more than once and I really think people could benefit from some clarity on this one so here are the verses in the Old Testament that teach sexual purity as in not having sex before marriage, do look these up to see them in context:
You Sleep With It You Bought It! –

Exodus 22:16-17 [NLT] “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to anyone and has sex with her, he must pay the customary bride price and marry her. [17] But if her father refuses to let him marry her, the man must still pay him an amount equal to the bride price of a virgin.”

Explanation: If a man has sex with a virgin he should marry her, if her father refuses to allow the marriage the man should still give compensate her father somehow.

Don’t Sleep Around –

Deuteronomy 22:13-21 [NLT] “Suppose a man marries a woman, but after sleeping with her, he turns against her [14] and publicly accuses her of shameful conduct, saying, ‘When I married this woman, I discovered she was not a virgin.’ [15] Then the woman’s father and mother must bring the proof of her virginity to the elders as they hold court at the town gate. [16] Her father must say to them, ‘I gave my daughter to this man to be his wife, and now he has turned against her. [17] He has accused her of shameful conduct, saying, “I discovered that your daughter was not a virgin.” But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.’ Then they must spread her bed sheet before the elders. [18] The elders must then take the man and punish him. [19] They must also fine him 100 pieces of silver, which he must pay to the woman’s father because he publicly accused a virgin of Israel of shameful conduct. The woman will then remain the man’s wife, and he may never divorce her. [20] “But suppose the man’s accusations are true, and he can show that she was not a virgin. [21] The woman must be taken to the door of her father’s home, and there the men of the town must stone her to death, for she has committed a disgraceful crime in Israel by being promiscuous while living in her parents’ home. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you.”

Explanation: This verse implies that a woman should be a virgin before getting married and if a man accuses her of not being a “maid” before marriage and this is not true he should compensate his wife, if it is true according to the laws of that time the woman should be put to death. (N.B. when it talks about spreading the bed sheet what they probably meant was the parents had to show her bed sheet that was probably stained with period blood, In those days, that was the only way to tell if you were a virgin or not. You menstruate when you’re not pregnant, you don’t when you are. There was no pill to stop you from getting pregnant if you had sex, so when a healthy young woman was in a sexual relationship she would have gotten pregnant, so you couldn’t hide it. The period thing was a good test.)

However, since Jesus died for our sins currently we just have to ask forgiveness for our sins and not stone people! See the following verse for an example of this:

John 8:1-11 [NLT] – “[1] Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, [2] but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. [3] As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. [4] “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. [5] The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” [6] They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. [7] They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” [8] Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. [9] When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. [10] Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” [11] “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.””

If you sleep with her expect a shotgun wedding –

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 [NLT] “Suppose a man has intercourse with a young woman who is a virgin but is not engaged to be married. If they are discovered, [29] he must pay her father fifty pieces of silver. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he may never divorce her as long as he lives.”

Explanation: This is the same as the verse in Exodus but much stricter, the Exodus verse says if the Father does not allow the man to marry her he should still compensate the father but this one says you have to marry her and you can never divorce her. Also, I just noticed that the verse says apparently you violate a woman when you have sex with her before marriage! Other translations say he “humbled” her, the Septuagint, which is the Greek version of the Bible that our English translations are based on says he “ἐταπείνωσεν” her which according to the LSJ (an academic Greek dictionary) means: “lower, in point of height, reduce…of a plant, decrease in size…of a planet, suffer dejection…metaph., lessen, disparage, minimize, to be lowered or lessened, humble, abase, violate a woman…in moral sense, make lowly, humble, humble oneself…” (Tufts.edu, 2017) Middle Liddel (another academic Greek dictionary) says “…to lower…metaph. to lessen, to disparage, to humble, abasein moral sense, to make lowly, to humble, to humble oneself…” (Tufts.edu, 2017)

Capture those sexy thoughts and make sure you don’t act on them!

Song of Solomon 2:15 [NLT] Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!

Song of Solomon 2:7 [NLT] Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.”

Explanation: It’s natural to want to sleep with the person that you are with but you need to understand that you are human and therefore fallible. This sentiment is also echoed in Song of Solomon 3:5 & 8:4. Make sure if you are in a relationship with someone that you keep your passions for each other strictly to sex within marriage because this verse clearly states that you can ruin a good thing by sleeping with each other before the right time, which is after marriage.

As I said in the beginning, I wrote a song about being human and a sexual being but waiting even though it’s sexually frustrating, no one ever likes to talk about that part of abstaining from sex before marriage lol… It’s worth it though and even if you are sleeping with you gf or bf you can stop, ask forgiveness and move on:

John 8:1-11 [NLT] – “[1] Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, [2] but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. [3] As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. [4] “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. [5] The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” [6] They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. [7] They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” [8] Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. [9] When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. [10] Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” [11] “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.””

Here it is again! Follow this link to listen or use the embedded player below:

Paul does say, in the New Testament that if you’re really struggling to control yourself, you should get married! lol

1 Corinthians 7:8-9 [NLT] – “[8] So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows–it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. [9] But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.”

Some young Christians tend to wear something called a Purity Ring, to represent that they are staying “Pure” till marriage, meaning that they are not going to sleep with their bf/gf before marriage, which is cool if you want to do that, I have one:

P_20171228_115037_1_1.jpg

I tend not to wear it nowadays because it actually looks like an engagement ring which was fine when I was younger but now it’s counter productive as I’m single lol. You can get lots of different kinds. I quite like the ones that say “True Love Waits” I think that’s rather special! 🙂 There’s also this thing called a purity pledge, it’s more of an American thing, it’s not something that the Bible dictates it’s just a quirky American thing. The idea behind it is that youngster’s mainly teenagers go through some mentoring thing about no sex before marriage, they then sign this pledge/contract in front of the whole church promising that they will abstain from sex before marriage. We British would find that kind of thing far too awkward to bear… lol. Instead, we tend to encourage a silent commitment between you and God and if you need mentoring it is available.

Anyway, however you manage to abstain from sex before marriage make sure you don’t self medicate with porn, we all know that it doesn’t work. There’s enough info on it now to know that it’s not just spiritually bad for you but it’s medically not good for you either. See the playlist below where Pastor Mark Gungor discusses this, he’s REALLY funny lol, I don’t agree with everything he says e.g. the Condom thing, some women can’t take the pill because of high blood pressure etc. but he’s really funny! Follow this link or play using the embedded player below for more info:

If you want a secular view on this Russell Brand on his Trews show did a rather insightful piece on it, worth a watch, he really is a thinker, NOT FOR CHILDREN (doesn’t show anything bad but he swears 2 or 3 times. Obviously I don’t agree with the end bit where he says at the end do what you gotta do, obviously…) Follow this link to watch or watch using the embedded player below:

P.S. here’s two versus about what the Bible says about Homosexuality and Bestiality there are more but I think 2 will do…

Leviticus 18:22-23 [NLT] – “[22] “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin. [23] “A man must not defile himself by having sex with an animal. And a woman must not offer herself to a male animal to have intercourse with it. This is a perverse act.”

Love Catherine x

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Bibliography

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=e%29tapei%2Fnwsen&la=greek#lexicon (28 December 2017)

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Think About When #Reading #Genesis #Chapter 2 – #Bible #Christianity #Jesus

Hello everybody this is Part 2 of the thing I’m doing on Genesis 1 & 2, If you missed Part 1 it’s worth a read 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Think About When #Reading#Genesis #Chapter 1 – #Bible #Christianity #Jesus #PhD (follow this link to read it here).

Secondly, I’ve been writing some more music not my usual stuff (follow this link to listen) or play in the embedded player below:

Now to the article!

1.) Recapitulation – The beginning of Genesis 2 summarises what happened in Genesis 1 adding how the 7th day is holy because God rested.

Genesis 2:1-3 [NLT] – “[1] So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. [2] On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. [3] And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.”

2.) Genesis 2 has a different account of creation, the order is different and some new pieces of information are added like the springs that aren’t mentioned in Genesis 1, when were they created?

Genesis 2:4-6 [NLT] – “[4] This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, [5] neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth. For the LORD God had not yet sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil. [6] Instead, springs came up from the ground and watered all the land.”

3.) Genesis 1 & 2 have differing/conflicting accounts of the creation order:
Gen 2 order: Heavens & Earth > Land & Sea (Separation of Dry Ground & Water) > Man > Garden > Vegetation > Animals that primarily live on land > Birds > Woman and no mention of Fish etc
Gen 1 order: Heavens & Earth > Light > Atmosphere > Land & Sea (Separation of Dry Ground & Water) > Vegetation > Stars > Sun & Moon (potentially) > Life in the sea then Birds > Animals that primarily live on land > Man & Woman

Genesis 2:7-9 NLT – “[7] Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person. [8] Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. [9] The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground–trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

4.) More new information: we learn there were rivers and mineral deposits around the area that the Garden of Eden was, this has led to speculation that the Garden of Eden was in fact in Africa, potentially around Ethiopia. Read my previous blog for more on this (follow this link for more info).

Genesis 2:10-14 [NLT] – “[10] A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. [11] The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. [12] The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. [13] The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush. [14] The third branch, called the Tigris, flowed east of the land of Asshur. The fourth branch is called the Euphrates.”

5.) Humans were created to work! The first humans were Gardeners/Farmers. We also learn about a new special Tree that was in the Garden that humans were never supposed to eat from.

Genesis 2:15-17 [NLT] – “[15] The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. [16] But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden– [17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

6.) HERE’S WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING!!!! Humans were created single (in terms of relationship status) but not designed to be totally alone. I’m not saying we should all get married but I am suggesting that according to Genesis 2 Humans are inherently social and it’s not good for us to be all alone. HOWEVER, let it be noted that God created friends & assistance for Adam in the form of animals first before He brought a woman into Adam’s life. How interesting. Friends first, then relationship next. That’s Gods formula.

I can only imagine that this animal interaction pre woman had to do with socialising Adam so that he was in the right state of mind and maturity in order to appreciate the woman that was to come.

There you go men, if you’re lonely, before going off and put a ring on the first thing that flutters it’s skanky little eyelids at you because you were thinking with your willy and not listening to God… get a dog. Then you will understand how to be friends with, appreciate and care for another sentient being other than your self. Also, a woman will be well impressed with how “responsible” you seem lol.

Women, if you want company or a baby so bad, don’t just sleep with the first mutant that is kind to you, shut you legs… and get a dog. You will see how much hard work it is to care for something that does not care about the fact that you want to sleep in, (I have two dogs), then after you have cleaned up it’s poo and wee for the umpteenth time, you will realise how stupid you were to try and run ahead and get pregnant with any old person, who might not be as dedicated to the idea as you are and you’ll wait a bit longer, (I literally had to stop writing this part way to deal with an, “accident”, *rolls eyes*). Eventually when you have waited for the right one who will marry you before he puts a baby in you, you will have some idea of the responsibility ahead 🙂 . N.B. A dog will also love you unconditionally, humans won’t always do that.

Genesis 2:18-20 [NLT] – “[18] Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” [19] So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. [20] He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.”

Another thing to note, Adam interacted with whatever God asked him to before the woman, seeing different things, getting a wider perspective on life. This helped him to get to know himself and to understand his personality, to the point where he fully understood not only what he wanted but what he needed see v 20. That’s how he knew that the animals were just not the right kind of company. I think that’s really important to stress. Adam was a whole person, knowing himself and the world around him before he committed to a woman who God brought to him. How many people have not gone through that process of seeing life and getting to knew themselves and what kind of person is appropriate for them and ended up rushing ahead and getting married to someone they later realised wasn’t quite right for them?

Also we learn from v 15 ADAM HAD A JOB!!! BEFORE GOD GAVE HIM THE WOMAN! I just felt it necessary to make that point. He was cultivating the Garden etc as God told him to so the woman was able to come to a “nest” not a wreck and a “responsible human being” not a boy. No woman wants to marry a boy it’s totally against our survival instinct. In fact, I would go so far as to say that from Genesis 2, we can understand that women are in fact not created to be in a romantic relationship with an immature man child. God brought Eve to Adam when he was mature. Later, Adam’s subsequent immaturity actually led to the fall of man see Genesis 3 and Romans 5:12-21.

7.) God brought the woman to the man when the man was least expecting it! Hehe. He literally fell asleep. Perhaps don’t freak out about wondering who, where and when you are going to meet the “one”?

Genesis 2:21-22 [NLT] – “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.”

8.) We don’t know how long Adam was asleep for or what Jesus said to Eve whilst Adam was asleep. This shows us that the “single time” for a man and a woman is important, it’s a time for learning, getting to know Jesus as well as yourself. I wrote about this in a previous blog post here (follow this link to find out more)

9.) The first marriage was monogamous. Adam and Eve, the relationship between the Song of Songs woman and her Lover, the relationship between Christ and the Church they all have one thing in common. THEY ARE MONOGAMOUS AND HETEROSEXUAL. Marriage as God instituted it and subsequently mirrored metaphorically later in the bible has and always was is between ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN. God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. God did not encourage or institute Bigamy, Polygamy, Concubines, prostitution, sexual slavery, homosexuality or inequality between the sexes MAN DID THAT NOT GOD. You read later on in Genesis that this person and the other person had concubines but God didn’t institute that, humans (more than likely men…) did that allllllll by themselves.

Genesis 2:23-24 [NLT] – “[23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” [24] This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

In fact, God said that the Israelite Kings were to only have one wife and Paul said that about leaders in the new testament:

Deuteronomy 17:17 NLT – “[17] The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will turn his heart away from the LORD. And he must not accumulate large amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself.”

1 Timothy 3:2 NLT – “[2] So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife [Bloggers note: other translations say the husband of one wife]. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach.”

1 Corinthians 7:2 NLT – “[2] But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.”

10.) The first humans were NAKED!

Genesis 2:25 [NLT] – “[25] Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”

Well I hoped you learned something from those 10 things and if you missed the previous 10 things about Genesis 1 (follow this link to read them here!)

Have a great evening Gals & Guys!

Catherine x

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Think About When #Reading #Genesis Chapter 1 – #Bible #Christianity #Jesus #PhD

Hello everybody!

I’ve been reading the Bible again! As I do everyday, as so should you! Lately, as I’ve been doing research for my PhD I’ve been reading the Bible in a pragmatic way, thinking about how it applies to everyday physical life, looking at how Science and Theology can go hand in hand, provided that both sides behave sensibly and listen to one another. I finished reading the whole thing for the maybe 4th time and so I’m back to Genesis again and I noticed a few very interesting things…

1.) [DAY 1]

Genesis 1:1-2 [NLT] – “[1] In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. [2] The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.”

This shows us that when God first made Earth it was covered in WATER! Also, God made space and the planets at the same time He made the earth. This probably explains what scientists call The Big Bang?

2.) [DAY 1]

Genesis 1:3-5 [NLT] – “[3] Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. [4] And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. [5] God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.”

These verses show us that it seems as though God made space and whatever it consists of e.g. Dark Matter first remember:

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters.

and the Visible spectra, which is a small part of the Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum (follow this link for more info) second v3. Light can only be seen by human eyes only within the Visible Spectrum, I wonder why that was done second? At least this would have created light for Photosynthesis, this was sensible because it takes 8 mins for light to get to earth so God needed to create the light BEFORE God created plants that need light for Photosynthesis (follow this link for more info) and Humans who need it to create Vitamin D (follow this link for more info). Why didn’t God make the light first and the Earth second? Something to do with radiation I think.

Also, we see from these verses that the earth did not initially rotate on it’s axis, which is what makes night and day in the first place till verse 3. This could have meant that the core wasn’t liquid till then either which is something that also contributes to the earth’s rotation. Newton’s First Law Of Motion (follow this link for more info) means that some force had to start the earth’s rotation and it’s not going to stop till something stops it.

3.) [DAY 2]

Genesis 1:6-8 [NLT] – “[6] Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” [7] And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens. [8] God called the space “sky.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day.”

These verses show us that the earth had no atmosphere there was just the earth and where we have sky was water. Think about the gas giants like Jupiter and replace that gas with water and that was the earth lol. Also, initially there seemed to be water in the form of vapour and liquid in the sky at the same time, whereas now we have mainly water in it’s liquid form on earth and it’s vapour form in the sky. This means there must have either been very little gravity at this point or none at all, I’m going for the second one lol.

4.) [DAY 3]

Genesis 1:9-10 [NLT] – “[9] Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” And that is what happened. [10] God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good.”

God created the plates on the earth’s crust to shift to create underwater mountain ranges in order to get the water to flow into one place, the birth of Plate Tectonics (follow this link for more info).

5.) [DAY 3]

Genesis 1:11-12 [NLT] – “[11] Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation–every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. [12] The land produced vegetation–all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.”

After God separated the land and the water, He then took that land that would have been nice and fertile after being wet and made plants come from it.

6.) [DAY 4]

Genesis 1:14-19 [NLT] – “[14] Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. [15] Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. [16] God made two great lights–the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. [17] God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, [18] to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. [19] And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.”

After making Space, Earth, Water, Visible Light, Earth’s Rotation, The Earth’s Plates, Vegetation God made the Stars, I don’t know if our Sun was made at this point or initially in v 3. Why things were done in this order I don’t know. At this point I’m guessing the moon was created as well being the “lesser light” in v 16 perhaps? Adding stars would have created a bit more order in the universe as the other planets would have begun to orbit them.

7.) [DAY 5]

Genesis 1:20-23 NLT – “[20] Then God said, “Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.” [21] So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms in the water, and every sort of bird–each producing offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. [22] Then God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply. Let the fish fill the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” [23] And evening passed and morning came, marking the fifth day.”

Once God made a stable environment not only on the earth but in the cosmos He then filled the sea with life and the air with birds but nothing that lived primarily on the land. Even though the land had vegetation? Why? The only thing I can think is that it was a very simple food chain designed to continue to cultivate the vegetation. The sea must have contained Prokaryotic cells (follow this link for more info) which photosynthesise so they didn’t need any food but they would have been a food source for the fish. I don’t know how fish help the world lol I’ll meditate on this later. The birds must have eaten the vegetation pooping out the seeds, continuing to cultivate the land. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

8.) [DAY 6]

Genesis 1:24-28 [NLT] – “[24] Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind–livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened. [25] God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. [26] Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” [27] So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. [28] Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.””

After God had made the universe and the fish and the birds then he made the animals that live primarily on land aaaaaand then He made humans. So we see God made, as I said before, a stable environment for humans to inhabit first then He made humans.

9.) [DAY 6] Note that when God made humans in His own image, both Male and Female, this must mean that God has attributes that are both Male and Female (physiologically as well as emotionally e.g Gods creative power women similar to creative capacity given to women we are able to give birth creating more humans, God strong is strong in a similar way men are physically strong) and the unity of men and women, being “one” is representative of God being “one” look at what the bible says:

Genesis 2:24 [NLT] – “[24] This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

Mark 10:6-9 [NLT] – “[6] But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. [7] ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, [8] and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, [9] let no one split apart what God has joined together.””

Ephesians 4:3-5 [NLT] – “[3] Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. [4] For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. [5] There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,”

[Bloggers Note: This prayer is by Jesus when He was talking to God (The Father)] John 17:20-23 [NLT] – “[20] “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. [21] I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one–as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. [22] “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. [23] I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”

10.) [DAY 6] In the beginning everything was vegetarian! LOL I only noticed this yesterday. The humans ate all the seed bearing plants so fruit/vegetables etc and the animals ate everything that was green like grass/leaves/grains? etc. Wow fascinating!

Genesis 1:29-31 NLT – “[29] Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. [30] And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground–everything that has life.” And that is what happened. [31] Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.”

Well I hope that’s enlightened you! I’ll talk about interesting thing’s I’ve learned about Genesis 2 next week!

Catherine x

The West’s Historical Relationship With The Black Woman’s Body #Church #BlackWoman #racism #Christianity #women #Jesus

Hello everybody,

Today I would like to discuss something close to my heart. The Black woman’s body. I’ve been thinking about this topic quite a bit as I am a woman of colour.

With the rise of the Alt Right in the States and the racist Evangelical “Christians” who voted in President Trump, them and their “white Jesus”, its got me thinking about how little Western society and the church values the body of the woman of colour.
The West’s Historical Relationship With The Black Woman’s Body

Historically, in slavery times, the Black woman was not treated like a woman at all, she was put in chains and forced to do men’s work, like lay tar on roads because the Black woman was not seen to be as delicate as the White woman. What slavery did was masculinized the Black woman and emasculated the Black man. Moreover, the Black woman instead of being a beautiful, sexual being, was seen as dirty, eroticized and often forced into sexual relationships, whether it be for the White slave owners own nasty sexual fantasies, for pimping out their African enslaved women to other White men, forcing them to have babies with other slaves or forcing them to have babies with slave owners to produce more slaves. As their babies were seen as the property of the slave owners the children were promptly sold off when they were weaned. PBS did an article which provides a starting overview to this (follow this link for more info). So what the slave trade did was to create and reinforce the idea that the Black woman’s body is there merely for the White man’s “use” and the Black man was unable to do or say anything about it. Black marriages weren’t even legal during slave times, they did get married but they weren’t recognized or respected and the husbands were sold without a second thought of their wives and children. It also wasn’t legal for the enslaved women to tell their children who their father was, partly because sometimes their father was the slave owner through coerced means, trying to make more slaves or just because he wanted the slave woman. Sometimes their father was another slave that was used as a stud to produce more slaves.

These things on top of the sexual abuse and misuse of the Black woman’s body by the White man, created the idea of the Black woman’s body as always someone’s “baby mama” and never someone’s wife, as she wasn’t allowed that status and as the Black man was so emasculated and their marriages weren’t recognized and it was illegal for the Black woman to tell her children who their father was, this meant that the Black people as a whole were kept in a perpetually barstardised state. You can then understand why the uptake of Christianity was so high among both Male and Female enslaved people’s because of the promise of God the Father being the only all loving, all caring, all knowing, omnibenevolent father figure they had, who happily sacrificed part of Himself (Jesus) for them John 3:16, instead of them always having to fight for themselves. You can also understand where the mentality of the Black woman always having some baby from some man and who knows who the father is type of thing comes from because that literally is the circumstance that was forced upon the Black woman’s body. It happened.

The “church”, which was supposed to be the bastion of White morality, the moral compass and the literal heart of WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) culture went along with it see this article here, it provides an overview (follow this link for more into). Can you imagine that?

Let me tell you what happened in my family history, my great great great great great maybe another great grandfather was actually a slave owner. He had a child with my great great great great great maybe another great grandmother. The child was fair and as a consequence allowed to live in the house and be free. In those times, the fairer you were the better. When she grew up, as she was fair, she married a Scottish man (a White man), their children were obviously free, they must have been fair and eventually a few centuries and more mixed marriages later, I was born. People often ask me which one of my parents is White lol. I often can’t be bothered to go into why and just say I have European ancestors.
Jesus would have been dark skinned

Now for all you racist “Christians” I would just like to say to all of those who are confused, Jesus was not White, He was a Jew! He WOULD NOT have been blonde, He would have had brown hair, brown eyes and brown skin, you know why? Jews from the Bible were mixed with the following groups of people:

  • North Africans partly from their time in Egypt, some Egyptians went with them Exodus 12:38;
  • Peoples we would have understood today as Arabs;
  • and Ethiopians and the Cushites who were also part Ethiopian, part Eastern African (follow this link for more info) (so the Kenyans etc.) and part Southern Egyptian, they were the descedents of Cush, son of Ham, Noah’s youngest son.
  • I’m probably fairer than they were lol.

Modern Jews today look more European due to increased social mobility and the various World Wars and persecution which forced them into Eastern Europe (Ashkenazi (follow this link for more info) Jews) and the Mediterranean (Sephardic (follow this link for more info) Jews). That’s why now you get some Jewish people who are blonde etc.
What does the Bible say about Black Women?

Moses married a Cushite woman and his sister Miriam was racist and didn’t like it. So God decided that if she liked white skin so much He would make her white by giving her Leprosy, to teach her not to be so judgemental again.

Numbers 12:1-15 [NLT]

“[1] While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman (authors own note: Cushite = a black woman). [2] They said, “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?” But the LORD heard them. [3] (Now Moses was very humble-more humble than any other person on earth.) [4] So immediately the LORD called to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam and said, “Go out to the Tabernacle, all three of you!” So the three of them went to the Tabernacle. [5] Then the LORD descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle. “Aaron and Miriam!” he called, and they stepped forward. [6] And the LORD said to them, “Now listen to what I say: “If there were prophets among you, I, the LORD, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams. [7] But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust. [8] I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the LORD as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?” [9] The LORD was very angry with them, and he departed. [10] As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy. When Aaron saw what had happened to her, [11] he cried out to Moses, “Oh, my master! Please don’t punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed. [12] Don’t let her be like a stillborn baby, already decayed at birth.” [13] So Moses cried out to the LORD, “O God, I beg you, please heal her!” [14] But the LORD said to Moses, “If her father had done nothing more than spit in her face, wouldn’t she be defiled for seven days? So keep her outside the camp for seven days, and after that she may be accepted back.” [15] So Miriam was kept outside the camp for seven days, and the people waited until she was brought back before they traveled again.”

Basically, God said there if He God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords accepts Moses with his BLACK WIFE to the extent that He God speaks to him face to face, in a way that God didn’t do with anyone else in that day, who are you to be discriminating and complaining? If there was something wrong with marrying a Black woman God wouldn’t have been so close with Moses, if it’s good enough for God it’s good enough for you!

The church is also presented as a Black woman, in Song of Songs (also known as Song of Solomon) the love interest bucks the social trend in the West of beauty being primarily White by presenting the love interest as a Black woman. I wrote a song about Song of Songs

As we know, the imagery of the young woman and her lover seen in Song of Songs represents a young woman and King Soloman, as well as Wives and Husbands, as well as The Church which is always represented as a woman and Jesus Christ.

Song of Solomon 1:5-6 [NLT]

“[5] I am dark but beautiful, O women of Jerusalem- dark as the tents of Kedar, dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents. [6] Don’t stare at me because I am dark- the sun has darkened my skin. My brothers were angry with me; they forced me to care for their vineyards, so I couldn’t care for myself-my own vineyard.”

Poor thing was forced to work out in the sun the same way White slavers used to make Black women work in the sun. Looks like she was already dark and then got a tan which made her darker – yes Black people tan – see below

Me before I went to Barbados

Me when I came back!

In Song of Songs, the lover who is the man also representative of King Solomon and Jesus is also represented by a Black man or at least someone who is dark look:

Song of Solomon 5:10-11 [NLT]

“[10] My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others! [11] His head is finest gold, his wavy hair is black as a raven.”

The Bible represents Black people as beautiful, it’s just been brushed over in some “Whitespiracy”. Yes, there are verses which talk about slaves must obey their masters. I admit that they are there and it will take another blog post to write an apologetic for that. However, those people who used the Bible to justify slavery and the way the Black woman’s body was treated never read:

Colossians 3:11-12 [NLT] “[11] In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. [12] Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Galatians 3:28 [NLT] “[28] There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 23:8-12 [NLT] “[8] “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. [9] And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. [10] And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. [11] The greatest among you must be a servant. [12] But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 6:40 [NLT] “[40] Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.”

1 Peter 3:7 [NLT] “[7] In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”

Clearly White supremacy, racism and chauvinism of any kind is not a Biblical world-view and must be exorcised from Anglo-American/European Christianity.
My personal experience: how the “church” has treated my Black female body

I personally have experienced discrimination at the hands of White “Christian” guys who were COWARDS, too scared to marry me because their mother didn’t appreciate that I wasn’t Caucasian and so our children would be half Black.

I’ve also had scenarios where White “Christian” guys were COWARDS again, they were too afraid of their White friends laughing at them, saying not nice things about me to the guy who was interested in me behind my back because he was interested in a black girl. Saying that I was ugly, just because I was black, in an attempt to try and put him off. Newsflash IDIOT they were jealous…. and racist and annoyed at themselves because they were jealous and couldn’t find any reasonable reason to try to get him to not date me.

I’ve met some really nice White guys. I’m constantly bumping into White guys who are a fan of women of colour. It’s not actually hard to find them, they tend to seek you out if they are that way inclined anyway, also I live in England, I think African/Caribbean people are only 5% of the population here. They aren’t all bad, I’m just giving examples that need shaming although I shan’t do any naming. It’s nothing as bad as America here. Many of my friends are in mixed ethnicity relationships, many of them are happily married with children, cute little children at that!

The fastest growing ethnicity in England and Wales is actually the Mixed Race ethnicity, the BBC did a whole thing on it (follow this link for more info). I myself am mixed, as I said at the beginning, also my grandfather on one side was half African-Caribbean, half Caucasian. On another side I have a great grandfather that was French. So I’m part African, Caribbean, French, Scottish and Anglo-Saxon of some description.
Who misses out when we don’t respect the Black woman’s body?

Now I’ve been thinking, who looses in this battle between the White Alpha-Male and the oppressed Black woman? To answer this question lets look at the facts, lets combine Science and Theology:

Science says:

Christian Theology/The Bible says:

  • Humans reproduce through sexual reproduction
    • Genesis 3:16,20 [NLT] “[16] Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you. “… “[20] Then the man-Adam-named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live.”;
    • Genesis 4:1 [NLT] “Now Adam had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When she gave birth to Cain, she said, “With the LORD’s help, I have produced a man!”
  • It is impossible for humans to reproduce without a female –
    • 1 Corinthians 11:12 [NLT] “For although the first woman came from man, every other man was born from a woman, and everything comes from God.”
  • Humans were created –
    • Genesis 1:26-28 [NLT] “[26] Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” [27] So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. [28] Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
  • The first humans were situated in a garden, Eden which was around what we consider in contemporary times to be around Africa-ish (don’t quote me on this at all lol), (yes I know the world used to be one land mass Pangea then plate tectonics etc now we have continents the point is that the Bible situates/associates Eden in/around an area known to have Black people).
    • We know this because Genesis 2:10-11,13 says that “[10] A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. [11]… [13] The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush.” As we know Cush is considered by Biblical scholars to be Ethiopia so this could have been an ancient Ethiopia perhaps?

The science does back up the Biblical account of humanity, apart from Evolution, however, look if the evidence is that humanity developed mainly in Africa then it’s only common sense to assume then that the ONLY place the Garden of Eden could have been was Africa if the first people, who we know were African’s, lived and developed in Africa then that’s where the Garden of Eden was. If they find a few more bones that are older, somewhere else, I’ll repent of my theories. Also, the Gold deposits and so on that are described as being there, you’ve got to look at where those could have been and Africa is one of the locations that could have been where the Garden of Eden was.

Ok, so the first people were Africans, the scientists and Theologians agree on that. Africans are black (brown). God is orderly,

1 Corinthians 14:33 [NLT] “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people.”

Evolution is something that happens where sensible changes occur due to environment/food. An organism that is suited to the environment will flourish and pass on it’s genes and one that is not suitable, the theory assumes, will not flourish and maybe die out. The theory assumes that changes that aren’t useful aren’t sustained through natural selection because they aren’t useful. Again this is all GCSE Evolution stuff http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/aqa/evolutiontheories/theoriesofevolutionrev4.shtml.

This explains why Black people have more melanin in their skin, better protection from the sun (we still burn though, everybody needs to stay out of the sun see this article for more on melanin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671032/), they tend to have either the sickle cell trait (like me) or the full blown thing, that provides protection from malaria, these are physical adaptations that suit the hot environments that Black people tend to live in this article goes in to that and other ethnicities which may have an even better immunity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3269803/. Whereas areas that tend not to be populated by Black people are not as sunny and you get lots of White people, this article explains about the amount of UV radiation an area gets and how that correlates to skin colour, basically, the sunnier the area, the darker the skin to protect from the sun, the less sunny a place is the lighter the skin to absorb as much sunlight as possible for making Vit D https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/07/3/text_pop/l_073_04.html, TBH the whole making Vitamin D thing is probably why humans were originally naked in the first place. Keeps you cool as well!

God is not disorderly, He is sensible, all knowing and just and things don’t happen in evolution that are not useful to the organism or are not suitable for the environment/longevity for the organism.

So in answer to my question, in the war between the White Alpha-Male and the oppressed Black Woman, the biggest looser is actually the White Alpha-Male. I think this because clearly thinking about God being sensible/orderly and Evolution being sensible and orderly we can assume that the Black woman would never have developed or been created if she was not the most useful, appropriate and evolutionarily/theologically sound, emotionally gratifying, intellectually satisfying and sexually compatible companion for the male Homo Sapien. It’s from the Black woman that all these other ethnicities came from, the genes that were able to adapt so well to the colder environments producing Caucasian people came from Black people! To this day the Black woman’s body STILL thrives, even after everything that the White man has thrown at her, she still continues, still unbroken. With that in mind, with the resilience of the Black woman’s body and mind, if she had been able to thrive culturally, what kind of place would the world have been today? What kind of contribution, genetically, emotionally, physically, spiritually could the Black woman have made if she was given a voice, respect, dignity?
RECAP: Let’s do a non-racist re-read of the Genesis account

Think, the first woman, Eve, had to be Black, even scientists corroborate that. It’s well known that the first people were Africans. With that in mind, lets do a non-racist look at Genesis again:

Genesis 1:26-27 [NLT]

“[26] Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” [27] So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

So in the beginning, God made the first humans, as we know from the Bible and science that the first humans lived in Africa. So when God said “let’s make humans in our image”, HE MADE TWO BLACK PEOPLE haha! You racist Evangelical “Christians” can stick that in your pipe and smoke it!!! The first humans, as the scientists said came from Africa! Which means that when God thought about making a people in His own image a Black person was the first thing that came to mind and when God looked over it He Himself said it was good! HAH!

Genesis 1:31 [NLT] “[31] Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.”

God said the people He had just made, the Black people, were good, how dare you say otherwise? Who are you? Have you actually read your Bible? If’ you’re racist or you allow other people to influence your choices based on racist ideology and you call yourself a Christian you have not read your Bible at all, it’s an un-scriptural thought process and scientifically/evolutionarily unsound thought process. Remember, if Moses’ Black wife was good enough for God, then Black people today should be good enough for you.

What else does Genesis say?

Genesis 2:18,21-25 [NLT]

“[18] Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”… “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. [23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” [24] This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. [25] Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”

Oh look at that, when God saw that it wasn’t good for the man to be alone, He made the perfect companion for the man, woman who Adam called “Woman” and then called her “Eve” after the fall, as we know the first humans were Africans so EVE WAS BLACK, God thought that the perfect companion for the man was A BLACK WOMAN this just keeps on getting better!

You know the thing that warms the cockles of my heart the most? ADAM GAZED UPON EVE’S NAKED BODY, OBSERVED THE WAY THE LIGHT FLICKERED OF HER BEAUTIFUL BROWN CURVES AND ADAM LIKED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahaha! =P

Genesis 2:22-24 [NLT]

“[22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. [23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” [24] This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

Yes, Adam would have been Black himself and yes a case could be made that he was more likely to want a woman his colour, however, what I will say to that is what this story illustrates is that when man first saw woman he liked her and she was Black. I’m just pointing out yet again another lost narrative promoting and affirming the beauty and desirability of the Black woman.
Other reasons racism makes you miss out

When you just date within your race as a rule of thumb you basically become inbred and miss out on what is called Hybrid-Rigidity (it goes by other names as well), in a nutshell, that means that illnesses common to one family are cancelled out by the new genes from another family. There was an interesting study done on this, apparently people who have a mixed ethnicity are perceived to be more attractive because of this hybrid-rigidity thing, you can read a about it here (succinct summary) (wider summary) (the actual study). I’m not saying that one ethnicity is more attractive than an other, I can’t and I outright refuse to. How can one possibly quantify attractiveness? Really? I’m just pointing out that research has been done in the area.
Racism vs Sexual preference

I really think I need to put this in here. There is a MASSIVE difference between racist ideology and sexual preference. Sexual preference always supersedes racist ideology psychologically but racist ideology will always influence the sexual preferences a person will ultimately express. Let me explain, you can’t help who you are attracted to, if you’re attracted to a Black woman, no matter how hard you try you will always be attracted to that woman but because you are racist or a coward, you won’t ever follow through on your feelings and will forever internalise your affection for that woman.

However, if a man is attracted to blonde hair and blue eyes, he’s attracted to blonde hair and blue eyes, these are normally found on White women, so he’s going to end up with a White woman because that is his sexual preference, not necessarily because he thinks Black women are ugly, he just likes the look of biological attributes that are primarily attributed to White women. There’s nothing wrong with that.

What would be considered racism is the idea that ONLY White women or women of a certain ethnicity CAN be attractive and no other ethnicity is capable of producing attractive women. With a thought process like that a man then departs from the justification of sexual preference and enters the realms of racist ideology.
The best bit

At this point you must be thinking, so where is Catherine going with this? Well I’m saving the best bit till last! As we all came from Africans it means everyone is actually Black anyway, some are just a lighter shade of brown, Black people and White people are compatible because we are both humans, we are related. There is one human race and many ethnicities just like there are lots of different shaped and coloured flowers!

The Black woman’s body needs to be respected and loved and our minds need to be respected as well. The Black woman’s body needs to be seen as beautiful and associated with beauty not eroticism. The black woman’s body needs to be seen as the source of diversity if all people came from Africa. I’m not saying that Black women are the most attractive women in the world. I am saying that everything that you look at a woman and think is attractive came from the genes of a Black woman. I’m not saying that they are better companions for men than any other race but I just think that we need to recognise that Eve was Black and do away with any kind of notions of supremacy until they find some more bones somewhere else.

The church and society needs to view the body of the Black woman the same way God does, beautiful, resourceful and an asset to the man who loves and cares for her. The church/theologians have a lot to answer for and I’m angry because it only take a simple Google search to find many of the answers to the things that I’ve been discussing yet the mainstream Theologians will not dedicate enough time to this dialogue. The church needs to re-read the Bible without the Racist-Eurocentric-White-Alpha-Male-phillic goggles and reassess the status of the Black woman’s body within the Bible and honestly someone should apologize to the Black community for the church’s involvement in slavery and keeping the Black woman down. (It might have already been done, I didn’t look it up, I assume it hasn’t because it would come up every Black History Month if it did but I could be wrong).

I am a Christian, I believe in Jesus and I also believe in proper research, thinking things through. Other people will try and gloss over things to not bring embarrassment to the church but I hope people reading this will believe me, someone who has your best interests at heart will point out things that are wrong even if they will hurt the institution that they belong to. Even though I am a Christian, I believe what has gone on in the church is wrong, yes the African’s did sell each other into slavery and the slavers as well as the African’s should apologise to the African-American and Caribbean diaspora descendents of those slaves BUT the church and theologians are responsible for what happened later to the Black woman’s body, whilst the White man was in loci parentis after they left Africa, not just to us but the church has treated the Jews badly too. If the main popular leaders and theologians dedicated more time and publicity to the topic things would be different but they are too scared. What White Male Pastor of a mega-church in America is ever going to say “When God decided to make humans in His own image He made two Black people” ? -_- Jesus didn’t create organized religion, Humans did. Christianity has been politicized heavily. We need to live a Holy God centred life not a religious one, we need to follow Jesus not tradition and we need to read the Bible and say what it says not what we think or want it to say and do so with integrity. How can we expect people to believe in Jesus if we CONSTANTLY MISREPRESENT HIM? Jesus is for every colour. There were racial tensions in Jesus’ day too an when non-Jews talked to him He talked with them – John4:4-30 ; healed them -Matthew 8:5-11; and even defended them as we see in the story of Moses’ wife Numbers 12:1-15 and also the story of the Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37 (the Samaritans and the Jews did not like each other).

The Black woman needs to be seen as beautiful because we are and the Bible corroborates that, God doesn’t mind the mixed relationships because God knows that we are all the same. Quit the dismissal of the Black woman just quit it right now, anyone who tries to get you not to date a Black woman based solely on her race is a nit-wit, don’t date her because she doesn’t share your values or she’s too young for you or she lives too far away or you can’t stand her cooking lol but not because she isn’t your colour! Remember, you are just as African as she is, you just forgot.

Written by a Black woman, who is also a woman of faith, a musician and an academic

Catherine