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Sunday, January 18 2015

Psalm 58: Theaters Of Vanity

"The whole city was filled with confusion ... they rushed with one accord into the theatre"

The English word "theatre" originated from a French word of the same spelling (some have Anglicized the word by spelling it as "theater") that itself originated from a Latin word, theatrum, that further-back originated from a Greek word, pronounced theatron, which meant to view. It was was generally used to describe a place where any public event was held (as it still is), but was also used for a "theater" of some religion (as it still is).

The apostle Paul (see also Paul's Ephesus Ministry and Where Are The Seven Churches Of Revelation Today?) knew the word in its original Greek form when he confronted a religious theatre of vanity - a trade show being held by the idol manufacturers of Ephesus (the ancient theater in Ephesus is shown in the photograph).

The Ancient Theater at Ephesus

"19:25 Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. 19:26 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: 19:27 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.

19:28 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. 19:29 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre. 19:30 And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not. 19:31 And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.

19:32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. 19:33 And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people. 19:34 But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

19:35 And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?"

The Messiah was rejected by the people of Judaism (He was rejected by Judaism, not by "the Jews") because it had become a nationalized religion in and of itself (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism and Israel Never Knew Purim, Hanukkah Or Judaism). Some became merely theaters of vanity that violently drove away Jesus of Nazareth.

"4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. 4:15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Nazareth 4:20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

4:22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?

4:23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.

4:24 And he said, Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 4:25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 4:26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 4:27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 4:29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. 4:30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

4:31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. 4:32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power." (Luke 4:13-32 KJV)

By their far-greater numbers, much of the Christian-professing world have also become theaters of vanity - as the Messiah starkly warned (see Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say? and Will Jesus Christ Obey Your Christian Religion?).

"7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Matthew 7:13-15 KJV)

"7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV)

King David was a true man of God who did not worship the LORD in vain. For David, it was a way of life (see The Way To Eternal Life), not a vain show (see What Religions Deny That God Exists?).

"58:1 To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David.

Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? 58:2 Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth. 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. 58:4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; 58:5 Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.

58:6 Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD. 58:7 Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces. 58:8 As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.

58:9 Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath. 58:10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

58:11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth." (Psalm 58:1-11 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is going to happen to all of the religious theaters of vanity?
See Where Is The Congregation of Evil Doers Headed?


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This Day In History, January 18

350: Generallus Magnentius deposed Roman Emperor Constans and proclaimed himself Emperor (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars; also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1126: Emperor Huizong abdicated the throne of China in favour of his son Qinzong.

1486: Henry VII of England married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV, uniting the houses of Lancaster and York.

York England

1535: Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded Lima, the present-day capital of Peru.

1670: Welsh privateer Henry Morgan captured Panama. Morgan's checkered career included years as a pirate and as an Admiral of the England's Royal Navy.

1701: Frederick III, the elector of Brandenburg, became the king of Prussia.

James Cook 1778: English explorer James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands. They were initially called the Sandwich Islands, after the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Sandwich.

1871: The proclamation of the Second German Reich (empire). Otto von Bismarck named King Wilhelm I of Prussia as German emperor ("Deutscher Kaiser", meaning German Caesar; see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) in The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, near Paris. North and south Germany were united. Bismarck consolidated Germany under the (Protestant) Prussian Hohenzollerns, assumed the office of Reich Chancellor and was made a prince. The Second Reich lasted for 47 years, until the end of the First World War in 1918 (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars). Adolf Hitler called his regime the Third Reich (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro! and Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1886: Hockey ("Field Hockey") was established with the formation of The Hockey Association in England. Ice hockey in its modern-day form is regarded by most historians to have been invented by British soldiers and immigrants to Canada around the same time (the "National" in the National Hockey League originally meant Canada, in which all of the first teams were located).

1919: Two months after the First World War ended, the Versailles Peace Conference opened in Paris with Prime Minister David Lloyd-George of Britain, President Woodrow Wilson of the U.S. (the U.S. entered the 1914-1918 war only during the last 18 months from April 1917, after the greatest battles had been fought) and Prime Minister George Clemencea of France. Kaiser Wilhelm had abdicated and departed for exile in Netherlands where the Dutch refused to extradite him for trial as a promoter of the war. The Weimar Republic was established.

1944: During the Second World War, Soviet forces liberated Leningrad, thereby ending a three-year Nazi "Siege of Leningrad."

1967: Albert DeSalvo, the "Boston Strangler," was convicted of numerous crimes and is sentenced to life imprisonment.

1974: Israel and Egypt signed peace agreements to officially end the Yom Kippur War which had began on the previous October 6 (see also Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century).

1977: Medical researchers identified a previously-unknown bacteria as the cause of "Legionnaires' disease" (see also Leviticus 13: Bacteria).

1995: The European Parliament endorsed the new 20-strong European Commission, marking the Strasbourg-based assembly's political birth.

2000: The Tagish Lake meteorite impacted the Earth in northern Canada. It was estimated to have been 4 meters in diameter and weighed 56 tons when it entered the atmosphere and exploded. Over 500 fragments have been found.

2005: The Airbus A380, the world's largest commercial airliner, was unveiled at a ceremony in Toulouse, France.



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