Saturday, July 30, 2016

Jesus angered the temple leadership by His readingof Isaiah 61 and followup comments 519-2 - 22 - 6

Jesus stood to read from Isaiah 61, Luke 4:18-19, “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, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Jesus then sat down as in a teacher’s roll and said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Here Jesus was claiming to be the long sought Messiah. However, by stopping at a comma just before, “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God” Jesus was declaring that he came first as the suffering Messiah and will return as the Lion of Judah.
The temple leaders put Jesus down by saying, “Is not this Joseph's son?” Jesus’ made the very famous reply, Luke 4:24, “And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.”
Not being very PC, Jesus further inflamed those in the temple by mentioning Gentiles who were helped by Old Testament prophets. One gentile was the widow of Sarepta, a city of Sidon to whom Elias provided a seemingly endless supply of oil both for her use and to sell. The other was Naaman the Syrian whom Elisha sent to wash in the Jordan seven times to effect a cure for leprosy.
Outraged, the temple elite tried to cast Jesus off the cliff at Nazareth, however, Luke 4:30, “But he passing through the midst of them went his way.”
As an aside, Jesus healed Gentiles even on the Sabbath, a double no, no, Gentiles and on the Sabbath!
Jesus was on his way to heal a child when a woman touched the border of his garment. The hem of the garment was considered of great importance and whether this Gentile woman knew that or just was reaching out in desperation is unknown. What is known is that she was immediately healed of an issue of blood.
Luke 8:43-44, “And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.”
Jesus had an interesting conversation with another Gentile woman seeking a healing for her daughter. Matthew 15:26-28, “26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”
Often Gentiles were more respective to Jesus’ divinity than were His brethren the Jews.

The gifts that will be brought to Christ in the Millennium.differ from those presented to Him as a young child 519-2 - 22 - 1

Matthew 2:11, “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” When the Wise Men presented Jesus with Gold and Frankincense it foretold of the role Jesus would fulfill as both King and priest. The myrrh was predictive of His death.
Thayer Definition: myrrh, a bitter gum and costly perfume which exudes from a certain tree or shrub in Arabia and Ethiopia, or is obtained by incisions made in the bark: as an antiseptic it was used for embalming.
In Matthew 26 we read of where Jesus is in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper a woman broke open an alabaster container of oil and poured it on Jesus’ head. The oil was expensive perfume and when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, “To what purpose is this waste?” Matthew 26:8
Jesus replied, Matthew 26:12, “For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.”
“Christ interpreted her act, and gave it a solemn significance. By this effusion of the precious unguent site anticipated the embalming of the Lord’s body; she showed her reverence for that body which was to be given for the life of the world not many days hence. The full meaning of the mystery of which she was the instrument Mary did not comprehend, but what she had consciously done received a wonderful commendation from the Lord, which has no parallel in the Gospel history.” [The Pulpit Commentary]
Fast forward thousands of years, Isaiah 60:6,”The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.”
Myrrh is indicative of death as it is used for embalming and was no longer relevant as Jesus had put death behind Himself; he had been crucified and returned to the land of the living.
Just as foreshadowed in Matthew 2:11, Jesus is gifted with Gold and Frankincense indicative of His role as priest and king in the Kingdom Age.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Wow! Isaiah 54:17 presents several great declarations, including the “righteousness that is of the Lord.” 519-2 - 21 - 3

Isaiah 54:15, “Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.” Those gathered against Israel shall fall.
Isaiah 54:16, “Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.” According to Brown-Driver-Briggs the waster, “to spoil, ruin, destroy. Sounds like weapons. However, in verse 17...
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”
Earlier in this chapter God speaks of Israel as an adulteress whom He has cast aside for a time. In verse 3 we Gentiles are mentioned. Then in verse 5 “thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called” would seem to include the Gentiles. Starting with Verse 9 is God’s reconciliation with Israel.
The above does seem to apply to both Jew and the Gentiles who are grafted in. John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” If we abide in Jesus we are grafted in as “the servants of the Lord” and share in the declarations in verse 17.
The impact of verse 17 is knowing that as a servant of the Lord I’m protected by Him. This seems to me to lead into Isaiah 59.
Isaiah 59:17-19, “17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. 18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence. 19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.”
This of course leads to Ephesians 6 and putting on the whole armour of God. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12.

Where are we on “God’s Timeline”? Why? 519-2 - 21 - 4

Matthew 16:3, “And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”
Israel couldn’t or wouldn’t understand the signs of the times, that the long awaited Messiah had come so Jesus clarified. Matthew 16:4, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.”
So are we in the increasingly secular world missing the signs of the time? Where are we on “God’s Timeline”? In my opinion at or at least near the end of God’s Timeline. How can I tell? I have the Word of God.
I wrote the following nearly a year ago, my truth then and my truth today. “For years there has been a pervasive anticipation that we are in the last day. In my opinion, most people fit into one of four groups. One group ignores the possibility and gets caught up in reality shows such as “Dancing with the Stars.” Members of the second group are the unbelievers and are often frightened without knowing the source of their fear, just that these are scary times. Then there is the third group waiting to be rescued by ET. As a member of the forth group, the BACs, I’m filled with expectation and seeking to be with the Lord.”
2 Thessalonians 2:7, “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.” Today there is extreme lawlessness with the keepers of order, the police, being targeted for death. Bad as it is presently imagine the depravity once the Holy Spirit embedded in the members of the Church has been removed by the Rapture.
2 Peter 3:3-4, “3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” Scoffers, absolutely and very in today. 
2Timothy 3:1 warns, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. “Verses 2 through 4 are very descriptive of today including men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.
Homosexuality is being promoted as natural and quoting Biblical truth is being suppressed.  No need have a man-made god's on whose burning arms babies are sacrificed.  No, today babies are sacrificed on the altar of a woman's choice.
2 Timothy 3 further warns of those who have a form of godliness while denying the power, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Was God looking down the corridor of time to the present day tele-evangelists?
In my opinion, a recent sign of the end times was the failed military coup in Turkey.  A military coup or a false flag as an excuse for suppression of the military?  For some time people have been speculating that Erdogan is the Anti-Christ. Just saying....

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Awesome, we are so loved that Creator entered into His creation 519-2 - 20 - 2

Frank Turel and Norman L. Geisler list the five most consequential questions in life:
1. Origin: Where did we come from?
2. Identity: Who are we?
3. Meaning: Why are we here?
4. Morality: How should we live?
5. Destiny: Where are we going?
They add “The answers to each of these questions depend on the existence of God. If God exists, then there’s ultimate meaning and purpose to your life. If there’s a real purpose to your life, then there’s a real right and wrong way to live it. Choices you make now not only affect you here but will affect you in eternity. On the other hand, if there is no God,....”
[Geisler, Norman L.; Turek, Frank. I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist]
The above authors define a theist as someone who believes in a personal God who created the universe but is not part of the universe. As Born Again Christians we believe in the Incarnation of the Creator Himself as Jesus.
Jesus who, Philippians 2:5-8, “5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Jesus created it all asked Job.
Job 38:4-6, “4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof?”
Thousands of years later we have developed some understanding of the uniqueness of God’s creation. The planet earth has the only location in the solar system where observation of the universe is possible. Our solar system is located within our galaxy not too far out on the spiral arms or too close to the center where we could fall into a black hole. We are so situated it within our galaxy that we have a clear window of sorts to the universe again it’s like a lens was formed just for us to observe all of God’s creation. And we were created to observe God’s universe.
And where were/ are we? God knew the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning. God knew that He would have to step out of His eternal glory to be born a man, the perfect Lamb of God who would be the recompense for our redemption.
As for the above five questions, we came from God and as such are His children. We are here to give glory to God and to be obedient. And where are we going, 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

Cosmic Codes and More Surprises in the Bible! 519-2 - 20 - 6

I really enjoyed revisiting The Genealogy of Genesis 5 as it has been several years since taking Genesis. In my opinion our gentile world does not place the same significance on the meaning of names as did/ do the Jews. In eight generations the story of the Gospel is summarized.
Adam                      Man (is)
Seth                        Appointed
Enosh                    Sorrow; (but)
Mahalalel              The Blessed God
Jared                    Shall come down
Enoch                   Teaching
Methuselah           His death shall bring
Lamech                The Despairing
Noah                     Comfort, Rest
The name Methuselah became well known in 1959 due to the movie version of the American folk opera Porgy and Bess. Sporting Life (Sammy Davis Jr.) has a great number, “It Ain’t Necessary So” in which he sings about Methuselah being 900 years. Simple things like this could create a common ground with an unbeliever and be a Christian Apologist tool.
A more recent use of a Biblical name was Esther, “Something Hidden.” And hidden it was in 2010!
“What most people don’t realize, is that Queen Esther had a role in defeating modern-day Persia (Iran), or at least delaying their quest for a nuclear weapon by between one and two years, the weapon Esther used this time was called Stuxnet.
Stuxnet was malicious computer worm that, when it got into Iran’s computer systems, destroyed the rogue nation’s nuclear centrifuges.”
“Stuxnet Computer Worm: When Queen Esther Defeated Modern-Iran”
Also “In a Computer Worm, a Possible Biblical Clue” By John Markoff and David E. SangerSEPT. 29, 2010
Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.” While we may not be kings, scoping out hidden meaning is fun and, again, can be used as an apologetic tool.
A very interesting series that CM created is Cosmic Codes. There are four PDFs each with two relevant slideshows. These include:
Cosmic Codes: Hidden Messages From the Edge of Eternity
Volume 1
Cosmic Codes: Hidden Messages from the Edge of Eternity
Volume 2: Microcodes
Cosmic Codes: Hidden Messages from the Edge of Eternity
Volume 3: Macrocodes
Cosmic Codes: Hidden Messages from the Edge of Eternity
Volume 4: Metacodes
CM refers to 2 Peter 1:16, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
So the why, Cosmic Codes, another instrument in the Christian Apologist’s toolbox.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Jesus made His grave with the wicked and with the rich in His death.” 519-2 - 18 - 6

Isaiah 53:9, “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.”
Luke 23:42-43, “42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
Jesus was crucified between two criminals, one of whom mocked Jesus and one who took responsibility for his crimes and repented. The man seeking forgiveness was assured that “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
John 19:38, “And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.”
Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus took the body of Jesus, wound it in linen clothes with the spices and placed it in Joseph’s sepulcher. Indeed Jesus was with the rich in death.
The above is well known so I’d like to take a different approach.
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 “6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
In life we are absent from our Lord and live in this fallen and wicked world. 2 Timothy 4:3-4, “3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
Our world becomes more sin-filled each day. Lawlessness is sweeping across the United States as those in power fan the fires of racial unrest. What should be the safest environment for the unborn, his/ her mother’s womb is perhaps the most dangerous as millions of babies are ripped in pieces and removed from the womb.
Greed has perverted the simplify of the Gospel and turned it into a money machine. Prosperity preachers live in multi-million homes far removed from the humbleness of Jesus. Luke 9:58, “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”
Christians are being persecuted in the most horrific ways by ISIS and their ilk. Some Christians holding to a mid-tribulation rapture theorize that we are already in the tribulation.
More each day I wait on the Lord to take His Church out of this grave with the wicked. Meanwhile, I’m in this world but not of this world. 

Old Testament Favorites 519-2 - 18 - 7

Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
Not only does Micah tell of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, a place of fruitfulness (Strong’s H6509). Micah speaks to Jesus’ future Kingdom. Plus that Jesus has been from everlasting.
Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Indeed Jesus’ heel was bruised and fulfilled a requirement for the shedding of blood, Genesis 3:21, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Just as the blood shed to provide the covering skins, we are covered by Jesus’ shed blood.
This intensive study of Isaiah 53 once more brought to mind the 2013 Resurrection Sunday fellowship service when Pastor Bruce talked about “The Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross.” I was inspired to look into some of the prophecies that were fulfilled while Jesus hung on the cross; just as relevant now as three years ago when I original wrote the following and just as relevant as nearly 2000 years ago!
 # 1. Forgiveness: Luke 23:34, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
Numbers 15:26, “And it shall be forgiven all the congregation of the children of Israel, and the stranger that sojourneth among them; seeing all the people were in ignorance.”
Psalm 22:18, “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.”
#2. Salvation: Luke 23:43, “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
Isaiah 40:3, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
 John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
#3. Relationship: John 19:26-27, “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
Psalm 69:8 “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.”
#4 Abandonment: Matthew 27:46, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”
#5 Distress: John 19:28, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.”
Psaml 69:20, “Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.”
#6 Reunion John 19:30, “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."
Psalm 69:21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.  
#7 Triumph: Luke 23:46, “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”
Psalm 31:5, “Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.”