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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Winter Edition 2000

The Yoke Of Bondage

    "Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yolk of bondage" (Galatians 5:1).

    For many years I did not understand what this "yolk of bondage" meant. No more. In the preceding chapter four, verse twenty-five, Paul tells us precisely what he intended: "For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children."

    Did you get it? Earthly Jerusalem, the Jerusalem from beneath that now is, is in bondage with her children!

    You get the point, but what does this mean for we Christians today?

    Why, friends, it means that Christians today are not to be entangled with that earthly Jerusalem that is in bondage with her children! In other words, it means that they should not return to legalistic Judaism in doctrine or practice.

    Now what were the chief characteristics of legalistic Judaism in the first century A.D.?

    Was it not, among other things, a profoundly misguided "messianic" expectation? And was it not also the adding of men's tradition to the inspired Word of God?

Maybe now we should ask ourselves whether there is a radically misguided messianic expectation reminiscent of first century Judaism apparent in the evangelical church-world of America today.

Did you ever hear of anyone talking about Jesus returning to "set up his Jewish millennial kingdom?" And did you ever stop to think of whether these glib prophecy sayers had any inkling of understanding that the Messiah had already established the kingdom that God intended him to establish in the founding of the Christian church two-thousand years ago?

Probably not, for these futuristic Jewish millennial kingdom end-time Bible prophecy teachers were enamored by that false doctrine of the Jerusalem from beneath that is in bondage with her children!

How? Because the concept of their future millennial kingdom is the very same mistaken messianic ideal that motivated carnal Jews to reject Jesus as the Messiah and crucify Him that came to establish the spiritual kingdom of God on earth in the first place!

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