More Old Testament Keys of David

Psalm 18 was written by David. By reading this psalm in its entirety, you will see it is a song written about how the Lord delivered David from his enemies. This psalm has something more to it that can be entirely missed. In this song there is  a word or series of words that shows repetition. This repetition is emphasizing the significance of the entire song. These can be called repetition synonyms. “Repetition is a literary device that repeats the same words or phrases a few times to make an idea clearer. There are several types of repetition commonly used in both prose and poetry. As a rhetorical device, it could be a word, a phrase or a full sentence, or a poetical line repeated to emphasize its significance in the entire text.” 1

In this particular psalm there are two uses of the word rock. Verse 2 states, the LORD is my rock. Verse 31 and 46 both state, the LORD is the Rock. This uses two different Hebrew words to say the word rock. The LORD is my (David’s) rock and the LORD is the Rock. David is saying that the LORD is both the rock סֶלַע H5553 and the Rock צוּר H6697. This repeating shows emphasis and clarity.

What puts even more emphasis and clarity to this is that this song is also found in 2 Samuel 22 with the different uses of rock.

“And he said, the LORD is my rock סֶלַע H5553 , and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock צוּר H6697; in him I will trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence” (King James Version 22:3).

“For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock צוּר H6697, save our God?” (2 Samuel 22:32)

“The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock צוּר H6697; and exalted be the God of the rock צוּר H6697of my salvation” (2 Samuel 22:47).

Again, David is saying my rock, the rock, and “the Rock” are all synonymous of each other.

“rock cela` סֶלַע H5553 Strong’s Concordance definition is סֶלַע çelaʻ, seh’-lah; from an unused root meaning to be lofty; a craggy rock, literally or figuratively (a fortress):—(ragged) rock, stone(ny), strong hold.” 2

“Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon’s translation for the word means: (1) Metaph. God is called any one’s rock, i.e. his refuge, where he is safe from foes. (2) Petra, the chief city of the Edomites” 2

“rock צוּר tsûwr, tsoor; or צֻר tsur; from H6696 Strong’s Concordance definition; properly, a cliff (or sharp rock, as compressed); generally, a rock or boulder; figuratively, a refuge; also an edge (as precipitous):—edge, (mighty) God (one), rock,  sharp, stone,  strength, strong. See also H1049.” 2

Why does this matter, you might ask… After reading Psalm 18 and 2 Samuel 22, I instantly thought of the rock mentioned in Matthew 16.

“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Phillippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock πέτρα G4073 I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:13-18).

Rock in Aramaic: Remains the same-Kepha (כיפא‎)

Rock in Greek: petros (masculine); upon this Rock πέτρα, petra (feminine)

This passage is referring to Peter’s revelation of Jesus being the son of the Living God! Here we find the trinity. God the Father, revealing to Peter through the Holy Spirit (who is inside of him/us) about Jesus the son. The three parts of the trinity, being in three different places revealing the same thing. The way rock is being used here is a play on words.

The problem with comparing and contrasting words from the Old Testament to the New Testament and visa versa, is that the Old Testament is written in Hebrew and the New Testament is written in Greek. This makes for a difficult translation from Greek to Hebrew to English etc. and from Hebrew to Greek. Accurate translations tend to get distorted and this is a very big deal. When using a translator from Greek to Hebrew the word rock becomes stone. When using a translator from Hebrew to Greek, the word rock becomes flint. Similar, but creates differences and discrepancies, which happens when any language is translated to another.

The interesting thing about the New Testament is that Jesus was thought to have spoken primarily Aramaic and Hebrew. He would have also spoke Greek as well. The question is, if Jesus and his disciples primarily spoke Hebrew, why was the New Testament written in Greek? Most of the authors of the New Testament were from Greek speaking areas so it would have made sense that they would have been translated into Greek, even if originally translated into Hebrew. There is one exception to this though, which is the most intriguing part of all. One disciple was thought to have come from Israel/Judea where the primary language would have been Hebrew, not Greek. That disciple is none other than Matthew! The very author of the book of Matthew, where we find our difficult to translate passage from Matthew 16. Difficult, but not necessary. We can find the answer to all our questions simply by looking to the ancient song, sung by David himself!

References:

  1. http://literarydevices.net accessed: 9/30/17

  2. Strong, James. Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009.

Great Deception in The Roman Catholic Church and other world beliefs/religions

In Acts 19 we have an account of the apostle Paul in Ephesus spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He encountered quite a riot- when a crowd of worshipers of the goddess Artemis, tried to stop him. In 1 Corinthians 15:32, he refers to them as “wild beasts.” A silversmith named Demetrius, who made idols and shrines of Artemis, spearheaded the revolt. Artemis was not only worshipped in Ephesus, she was “….worshipped throughout the province of Asia and the world” (Acts 19:27 New International Version). After shouting “Great is Artemis” for two hours, “The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: “Men of Ephesus, doesn’t all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven?” (Acts 19:35)

From the reading leading up to this event, I understand that there were evil spirits and demon-possession encountered here. The text also states that, “A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publically” (Acts 19:19).

The encyclopedia states, that “In Roman mythology Diana was the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk and to control animals. She was eventually equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, though she had an independent orgin in Italy. Diana was worshipped in ancient Roman religion and is revered in Roman Neopaganism (religious cults) and Stregeria (Italian witchcraft).” The Diana Artimis statue is currently located in the Vatican Museum. 1 2 3

Coincidently, you will find with an intense study on these ancient gods and goddesses they are all associated with many different names. One name will lead to a new name and that name will lead to several more identical gods/goddesses under different names. There are literally hundreds of them! Their identities start to sound very familiar. Fertility god/goddess, goddess of nature, great mother, mother earth, cosmic mother, father sun, goddess of the moon, queen of heaven, mother of all living things, god/goddess of the hunt. Although their names change and they evolve in function, you will find the original model of every god/goddess and pagan/cult figure originated with Semiramis (moon goddess/queen of heaven) and Nimrod (sun god) of ancient Babylon.

Nimrod and Tower of Babel: approximately 2200 BC

Other names also associated:

Semiramis: Astarte, Anat, Ashtoreth, Aherah, Astarte, Aphrodite, Ianna, Ishtar, Isis, Sin,  Sammu-ramat, Venus, Hera

Nimrod: Ninus, Nabul, Pan, Baal, Bel, Belus, Amrafel, Beelzebub, Marduk, Moloch, Osiris, Orion

In the bible, Nimrod is a descendant of Noah. The flood occurred in approximately 2348 BC. Noah, his wife, his three sons- Japheth, Ham, and Shem and their wives were on the ark. Ham had three sons- Cush, Mizraim, Phut and Canaan. Cush was the father of Nimrod.

“Cush was the father of Nimrod, who grew to be a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord. The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Erech, Akkad and Calah, in Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city.” (Genesis 10:8-12)

Now the word before פָּנִים pânîym H6440 Strong’s Concordance can mean literally “before” or “to the face of.” It could also mean “against.” He is said to have hunted other humans for sacrifice. Some interpret him as a hunter of souls as well. 4

“Nimrod is not a Hebrew name but, it is a Semitic name, therefore it is closely related to Hebrew. It comes from the Semitic root מרד (MRD) meaning “to rebel”. A person’s name was reflective of their character in the Ancient Hebrew/Semitic cultures and therefore Nimrod’s name is a good fit with his personality. It was formed by placing the letter נ (N) before the root. A common way of forming words and names from a root in Hebrew is by placing the letter מ (M) before the root; however, Semitic languages use the letter נ (N). This tells us that Nimrod is of a non-Hebrew Semitic origin.” 5

Before the flood, the Nephilim (fallen angels) were on the earth. “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days-and also afterward-when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old , men of renown” (strong, famous men) (Genesis 6:4). 6

When we look at the family tree of Noah in Genesis chapters 10-11 we also see, by close examination, Shem was the only brother who had the Hebrew bloodline. Twice the text lists the brother’s as Shem, Ham and Japheth, but in 10:21 we see that Japheth is actually the oldest brother. “Sons were also born to Shem, whose older brother was Japheth; Shem was the ancestor of all the sons of Eber.” Then in Genesis 11:10 the family tree goes from Shem to Abram. The line of David keeps its Hebrew roots from Adam, through Noah, to Shem to Abram….etc. It is possible that Ham’s and Japheth’s wives were (at least partially) something other than Hebrew origin!

In Revelation 12 satan is referred to as a dragon and insinuates he has his own angels. “And there was a war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.”(Revelation 12:7) “The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil, or satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” (Revelation 12:9).  “I saw satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10:18).

Biblical references to Semiramis and Nimrod worship and son Tammuz (sun, moon, stars)

“Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known?” (Jeremiah 7:22)

The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to provoke me to anger.” (Jeremiah 7:18)

“The women added, “When we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbands know that we were making cakes like her image and pouring out drink offerings to her?” (Jeremiah 44:19)

They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger.” (2 Kings 17:16-17)

“And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars-all of the heavenly array-do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshipping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.” (Deuteronomy 4:19)

“If I have regarded the sun in its radiance or the moon moving in splendor, so that my heart was secretly enticed and my hand offered them a kiss of homage, then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.” (Job 31:26-28)***Inferring sun and moon worship IS NOT GOD*****

*Spoken to Nineveh-  “….all because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring the mistress of sorceries  who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft.” (Nahum 3:4)

“Then he brought me to the entrance to the north gate of the house of the Lord, and I saw women sitting there mourning for Tammuz. He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see things that are even more detestable than this.” He then brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east.” …”Look at them putting the branch to their nose!” (Ezekiel 8:14-16, 17)

After Nimrod’s death Semiramis had a son, named Horus. She claimed that he was Nimrod reincarnated. Semiramis and Horus are worshipped worldwide as “Madonna and child” under many different aliases in each country.

This has been falsely labeled by many sectors as “the trinity.” One example is what Muhammad says in the Qur’an:

“People of the Book, do not go to excess in your religion, and do not say anything about God except the truth: the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was nothing more than a messenger of God, His word, directed to Mary, a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers and do not speak of a ‘Trinity’—stop, that is better for you—God is only one God, He is far above having a son, everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Him and He is the best one to trust.”
— Qur’an, sura 4 (An-Nisa), ayat 4:171 

“Those who say, “God is the Messiah, son of Mary,” have defied God. The Messiah himself said; “Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord.” If anyone associates others with God, God will forbid him from the Garden, and Hell will be his home. No one will help such evildoers. Those people who say that God is the third of three are defying [the truth]: there is only One God. If they persist in what they are saying, a painful punishment will afflict those of them who persist. Why do they not turn to God and ask his forgiveness, when God is most forgiving, most merciful? The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a messenger; other messengers had come and gone before him; his mother was a virtuous woman; both ate food. See how clear We make these signs for them; see how deluded they are.”
— Qur’an, sura 5 (Al-Ma’ida), ayat 5:72-75

And when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.
— Qur’an, sura 5 (Al-Ma’ida), ayat 5:116

The followers of Jesus Christ believe that the Trinity is Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit. Three-in-one.

The trinity has been in existence since the beginning of time. In Genesis 1:26 God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…” (plural form). Genesis 1:2 at the beginning of creation it says that the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” God sent his only son, (John 3:16) meaning Jesus was with him. Jesus was not just a messenger. He was not just a prophet. He is God’s son. He came to Earth in human form but, is also the Messiah, the Son of God. One of the parts of three- of the trinity. He lived a sinless life so that he could die in our place, to provide forgiveness for our sins and give us eternal life with him! Mary was NOT part of the trinity. She is not God or any god. Mary was a servant of the Lord. She was not sinless/immaculate. She was a virgin, yes. The bible does not say she was sinless nor does it instruct us to pray to her, or any other saints or angels, for that matter.

The bible says that Peter and the apostles refused anyone to worship them.

“When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too and a man.” (Acts 10:25-26)

“And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, “Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men, of like nature with your, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.” (Acts 14:13-15)

Even the angels refused to be worshiped!

“Then the angel said to me, “Write this Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.” (Revelation 19:9-10)

Jesus NEVER even called Mary his mother in the bible. He ALWAYS called her woman. He also said:

“…. As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:27-28)

The bible did acknowledge Mary as his mother but, nowhere in the bible will you find anything about praying to her, worshiping her, having idols or statues of her, nor having her intercede for us.

All throughout scripture God states he is the one true God and creator and there is no other God!

“For this is what the Lord says- he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited-he says: I am the Lord and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:18)

“Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed-I, and not some foreign god among you. “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?” (Isaiah 43:10-13)

“Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do that I please.” (Isaiah 46:8-10)

“We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true- even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:20-21)

“The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.” (Zechariah 14:9)

“So that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other.” (1 Kings 8:60)

Timeline of history and beliefs

4004 BC Adam and Eve- First church (Ephesians 5:31-32) & belief in God (creator)

2348 BC Noah and Flood 

2200 BC Nimrod -Tower of Babel (sun, moon, stars worship, witchcraft/sorcery)

300 BC Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma (Hinduism)

400-520 BC Buddha/Buddhism

30-33 AD Ministry and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

33 AD Apostolic Ministry begins

538 AD Catholicism set up by Justinian

571 AD Mohammed/Islam

God called Abraham out of Ur to establish a new covenant with him (Abrahamic Covenant). “The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1)

“Abraham believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” (Genesis 15:6)

Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: “Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods. But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants.” (Joshua 24:2-3)

“You are the Lord God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and you named him Abraham. You found his heart faithful to you, and you made a covenant with him to give to his descendants the land of Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites and Girgashites. You have kept your promise because you are righteous.” (Nehemiah 9:7-8)

This is very significant because God was calling Abram out of idol worship and establishing a new covenant with him. God was different than the gods that he worshiped previously because God spoke directly to him. Abram acted in faith and it was credited to him as righteousness. In the bible, God changes someone’s name with a new identity. It was at this point Abram became Abraham because of his new identity in God.

In the Old Testament, God spoke to people directly and mostly audibly. In the New Testament Jesus comes and speaks directly right alongside the people. After Jesus died and rose from the grave he sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit comes in and dwells within us.

“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus form the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ form the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11)

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever-the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:15-17)

“All of this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not  let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:26-27)

“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father-the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father-he will testify about me.” (John 15:26)

This is how I know without a shadow of a doubt, that I serve the only true and creator God: The Holy Spirit

“The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” (1 John 3:24)

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” (1 John 4:4-6)

“This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:13-14)

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. This is the one who came by water and blood-Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.” (1 John 5:5-8)

“.. because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:” (2 John 1:2)

We know that SATAN IS A LIAR and A DECEIVER and the truth is not in him!

We see this with his first deception in the Garden of Eden. When the devil came to Eve in the form of a serpent. You will not surely die, “the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil. When the woman saw that the fruit was good and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” (Genesis 3:4-6)

He hasn’t changed one bit since his fall from heaven. To be like God and to be God was what got him excommunicated! He is very jealous of God and wants to be worshiped and rule the world. This is the very same tactic he used in the Garden of Eden and it is the very same tactic he is using today! All these false beliefs and religions all have the same underlying theme. You are your own god. You are your own salvation. You will not die. You determine your eternity. You will be enlightened. The bible says that satan masquerades as an angel of light. Interesting how he has incorporated his worship with some of the things that give off the most light. The sun. The moon. The stars. He is also getting his worship by proxy. In those ways that he can get to your soul. In false gods and idols. In indulging in habits that self-satisfy and become obsessions. In seeking ourselves and the things in this world to bring us happiness and joy, peace and fulfillment. He has used witchcraft to create false beliefs and religions that are very alive and active today.

First, let me say, that quite frankly, doing research on witchcraft gives me the heebie geebies! I am also very hesitant to link any of these sites because the last thing I want to do is lead someone down a very bad path! I will just give you an overview from all of the things that I learned. Apparently, there are two types of witchcraft. They are called white magic and dark magic. They both use spells, prayers, chants, séances and mantras. They use many different ingredients, herbs, crystals, gems, beads and symbols. It involves worship of any of these things: the moon, sun, stars, sky, planets, cosmos/astrology, former gods and goddesses, the universe, nature, mother nature, pagan rituals, celebrations that follow moon solstice (aka wheel of the year). Visiting sacred sites or ritualistic pilgrimages that are also aligned to the wheel. Channeling other spirits, asking other spirits to intercede for you. Psychic abilities, power, energy and control come with these rituals. Love, peace and joy is also reported in seeking this “oneness” “within yourself.” There is a warning with practicing magic too, which I find interesting. It goes along with a karamic belief. If you “sew evil seeds” you reap evil back on you and if you “sew good seeds” you will reap good back on you.

Here is the problem with this, other than the fact that it is all rooted in satan, the “good” that is being talked about here is just a lure. Just like the apple was. It looked good and it was pleasing to the eye and she thought about being enlightened and then….death enters the world. These promises of reincarnation and self salvation and becoming a god are lies! Jesus came to earth in human form to be our sacrifice for sin because sin=death and hell without Jesus Christ as your Savior! Many people do not realize that the power, love, enlightment, energy, psychic ability and all those things come with a price. Submitting of your soul! You might have access to everything you want in this life, but its definitely not worth it!

Here is where satan has embedded in all his beliefs/religions. Rosaries or worry beads or prayer beads used to pray are also used by witches and all made with materials used in witchcraft!!!  Crystals, gems, rosewood and sandlewood beads! Mantras are used in Hinduism and Buddhism are prayers that are repeated over and over or a certain word or sound said over and over for example, do you know the word “Om” usually associated with meditation is the name of a hindu god? Many of the phrases given in meditation are, but they don’t have to be. Trying to “channel” things are not a good idea. Praying to dead saints and angels is not biblical! The names of the false gods do not matter they are all indirectly worship of satan. Many of the recited prayers are mantras. The hail, Mary prayer is asked to be recited an number of times over and over again for penance for sin?! That is unbiblical! When Jesus died on the cross the veil of the Temple was torn in two and we no longer live under the old covenant. We have a relationship with Jesus and pray directly to him whenever we want! He is our intercessor! We don’t need or have to pray to anyone else! If someone tells you that you have to do something to have your sins forgiven, they are a liar and the truth is not in them!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

You do not need to go to a “confessional booth” and please do not say any hail, Mary’s, just pray to God and ask for forgiveness and it is forgotten. You don’t have to be a “member of a church” to be saved!

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Symbols and Symbolism

The origins of the cross have been along a long time! You can find it in Hinduism, Buddhism, witchcraft and even ancient hieroglyphics (which might also be from witchcraft). The cross is not something that Jesus followers worship. It is a torture device used to kill people and was used to hang our Savior to die. Some people use it as a symbol to “show honor” for the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

The pentagram is a symbol used in witchcraft, paganism (pagan virtues), satamism, nature worship, cosmic morphology, freemason, (candle set-up used for balancing, protection and healing-heart chakra), goddess venus, planet venus, celtic religion, knowledge enlightment (brotherhood of light). Every 8 years, the planet Venus traces a pentagram across the sky that is almost perfect! (Some gods associated with venus: ishtar, isis, lucifer, aphrodite, astarte, iannana, kukra….and more). It has 6 sides, 6 points and 6 equilateral triangles. It is also known in the Jewish religion as the “star of David.” I find this interesting because there is no mention of this in the bible. I did find a pentagram symbol in the jewish mysticism sect also with the kabbalistic tree (2 pentagrams).

The Encyclopaedia Britaniaca states, “The planet Venus has probably experienced its most significant personification in the figure of the Mesopotamian goddess Inanna-Ishtar. She was viewed sometimes as female and at other times as having aspects of both genders. Through her identification with the Greek Aphrodite and the Roman Venus, Inanna-Ishtar, the queen of heaven, still survives in Roman Catholic iconography—e.g., as the Virgin Mary with the moon under her feet.” 7

As a follower and believer of Jesus Christ, I am growing greatly concerned with some of the traditions and rituals being practiced in The Roman Catholic Church. Many of them do not line up to the teachings in the bible and some of the recent announcements being made by Pope Francis further confirm the necessity of the concern. The recent firing of the conservative top theologian. Using relics to “bring religions together.” The universalism agenda and statements such as, “we’re all children of the same God.” This is a false statement and not biblical. I see the places where satan has infiltrated the Christian Church at large. You can see evidence of this also in the holidays that have hidden pagan agendas that have “double meanings.” You can see this in the false beliefs and religions that he has branched out into and embedded his agenda in different packages.

Jesus’ ministry demonstrated compassion, love and kindness to everyone! He especially made a point to reach the poor, the widows and orphans and the outcast. Most importantly he also spoke the truth! How can I truly love my neighbors around the world from other beliefs if I do not tell them the truth of the Good News Gospel? How can I watch them live in oppression by the devil when I know there is freedom for those who believe and can receive the hope that is in Jesus Christ?

It really isn’t a particular person or group of persons that we are fighting against. It is the devil himself! In light of the rioters in Ephesus that day, we know exactly what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he wrote Ephesians 6:10-18. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

 

***For further reading on recent DNA evidence found in mummies proving the bible account true regarding Noah’s descendants see here.
 

References:

  1. http://www.encyclopedia.com/philosophy-and-religion/ancient-religions/ancient-religion/diana-roman-goddess (accessed 7/3/17).
  2. https://pediaview.com/openpedia/Roman_Polytheistic_Reconstructionism             (accessed 7/3/17).
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stregheria (accessed 7/3/17).
  4. Faith. (1995). In Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: New American Standard Bible. (Updated ed.)
  5. http://ancienthebrew.org/emagazine/022.html (accessed 7/3/17).
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephilim
  7. https://www.britannica.com/topic/nature-worship (accessed 7/4/17).

Updated 7/8/17 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cup of Wrath

Right before Jesus was arrested, we find him in the Garden of Gethsemane. There he prays two different prayers:

The book of Mark says that “He took Peter, James, and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,‘ he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father, he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (14:33-36 NIV). In Luke’s account “an angel appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of  blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:43-44 New International Version).

He returns to his disciples who were sleeping, urging them to pray that they not be tempted and then he comes back to pray a different prayer. “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done” (Matthew 26:42). Do you see the difference? The first prayer (when he is in great distress) asks, if it is possible and is trying not to have “this cup”. The second states, if it is not possible, accepting the outcome if there is no other way unless he partakes in “the cup”. Both prayers end in wanting his Father’s will before his own.

Jesus’ death on the cross is one of the most gruesome, humiliating, agonizing, painful and unthinkable ways to die. However, I do not think that Jesus’ prayer here was about getting out of dying on the cross. I believe that he was so distraught about drinking “the cup of wrath!”  His sheer awareness of the wrath of his Father against sin is what caused such intense anguish! I don’t think he was afraid to die on the cross. Firstly, because of his love..

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

                             John 15:13                                                                   

Secondly, I believe that there is no person or thing that could ever cause Jesus to fear, but the wrath of God.

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” -Matthew 10:28

There are a few ways “the cup” can be interpreted. In Strong’s Concordance the word “cup” in Greek is translated as:

ποτήριον potḗrion, pot-ay’-ree-on; neuter of a derivative of the alternate of G4095; a drinking-vessel; by extension, the contents thereof, i.e. a cupful (draught); figuratively, a lot or fate:—cup. (1)

It can be interpreted as Jesus’ death on the cross was “the cup” figuratively, his lot or fate. It can also be interpreted as the contents of a vessel’s liquid. The interesting thing to me, is beyond closer examination, the two drinks of wine that Jesus was offered, mirror Jesus’ prayers at the Garden of Gethsemane. The first drink offered was right after he finished carrying the cross at Golgotha/Place of the Skull. It was wine mixed with gall/myrrh. “They offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it (Mark 15:23). Matthew’s version says, “They offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasking it, he refused to drink it” (Matthew 27:34). This correlates with Jesus’ first prayer. He didn’t want to drink the cup.

The second drink, like the second prayer. He has accepted that “the cup” cannot be taken away unless he drinks it. He actually asks for it. Right after he drinks he cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

“Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:28-30).

Now lets talk about the significance of all of this. Around the time of Passover this took place. We know this because in John 18:39 it states, that it is “custom for me (Pilate) to release to you one prisoner at the time of Passover.”

Back in Exodus 12 during the original Passover, we learn that God was sending a plague on Pharaoh and Egypt to kill all the firstborn and the firstborn of all the livestock.  He told the people of Israel that they are to choose a lamb and slaughter it at twilight. “Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast” (12:7-8). “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn-both men and animals-and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt” (12:12-13).

Eat nothing made of yeast. Wherever you live you must eat unleavened bread. Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe (Exodus 12:20-22). Another one of the restrictions were that none of the bones of the sacrifice were to be broken (Ex 12:46).

The “lamb” that is being referred to here is Jesus. We know this from John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Also none of his bones were broken on the cross. “When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. Now it was the day of Preparation and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water (John 19:30-34). Jesus was the greatest prophet of all time. All he had to do was speak the words and his prophetic decree would cause it to be, like when he said, “It was finished.” He died and gave up his spirit.

Did you catch the hyssop similarity in both what God instructed them to use at the Passover to put the blood on the doorpost and what the sponge was placed on to deliver the wine vinegar to his mouth. Another symbolism in the hyssop is its cleansing properties. Symbolic for cleansing the “new temple.”

“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” -Psalm 51:7 NIV

There is also a connection in the blood and water that was poured out when the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side. At the Last Supper, he was introducing them to the new covenant. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:28-29). Another point, is that “fruit of the vine” can mean both figuratively and literally. “I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5) The literal interpretation is that the actual cup that he served that day was “new wine” fresh from the grapes before fermentation occurs. The “fruit right off the vine” (comparative to grape juice) in its newest stage.

This brings me back to the two drinks Jesus was offered. Both would have been fermented wine. The first was a mixture and the second was not a mixture. Even though it is called wine vinegar. According to biblestudytools.com, the Hebrew word “vinegar” was applied to a beverage consisting of wine or strong drink that had turned sour but, sometimes artificially made by using barley and wine, and thus liable to fermentation. (2)

It is argued by some of the Jewish people and certain Rabbi’s whether wine is allowed to consume during Passover. Some say yes and make it a part of their Passover meal. Some say no, because of the fermentation. Barley and vinegar are not permitted during the Passover. This is because of the yeast and leaven. The leaven is avoided during Passover, because it is represents sin. Jesus drank of “the cup” because all the sins of the world would be laid on him and he took the wrath of all sin and poured out his own blood so we would be forgiven and not have to drink of the cup of wrath ourselves! Hallelujah!!!

The blood of Jesus was necessary for the sacrifice. In the Old Testament times in Leviticus, it talks about the sacrifices that were necessary to pay for forgiveness of sins. Over and over the instructions of Aaron’s sons, the priests, were to sprinkle the blood against the altar on all sides. The rest of the blood is to be  poured out at the base of the altar. The animals were pure animals like bulls, rams, lambs, goats or doves/pigeons. By being pure that meant they did not eat other animals. They ate grass/grains, nuts, berries, foliage etc. (Much like the dove that was used in the story of Noah. The raven did not come back because it was a bird of prey, therefore preying on the dead animal carcasses floating around in the water). They were to be without defect, in lieu of the sacrificial lamb .The grain offerings must be made without yeast. God made it possible for anyone to be able to afford a sacrifice. This very thing is what made Jesus so angry that he cleaned out the temple. “In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned the tables. To those who sold doves he said, Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market! His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do al this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days” (John 2:14-19). Shortly after this incident takes place the old covenant shifts to the new covenant on the cross. From the man-made temple to the temple of Jesus and salvation through his death and resurrection. The curtain is torn in two and now anyone can have access to God “the Holy of Holies” through Jesus. Faith is now the new currency.

Jesus also tells them another time they asked for a miraculous sign about what was about to happen using the story of Jonah. “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here” (Jesus) (Matthew 12:39-41). The coolest part of all is the word Jonah/Jonas means dove Ἰωνᾶς Iōnâs, ee-o-nas’; of Hebrew origin. (1)

The Old Testament really does point to Jesus! The Old Testament is centered around God the Father, preparing for Jesus the son. The New Testament is centered around Jesus doing his Father’s business/will of his Father. They work together in a common thread. The Old Testament Prophets basic message is repentance, the New Testament Prophets/Apostles/Disciples basic message is repent and believe, otherwise known as, “The Good News!” I am blown away by the prophetic insights, hidden meanings, amazing use of the spirit throughout the word and depth of foreknowledge! It is truly incredible to see how the puzzle fits so perfectly together. What an amazing God!!!!

 

References:

  1. Faith. (1995). In Strong’s exhaustive concordance: New American standard Bible.      (Updated ed.). Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/concordances/strongs-exhaustive-concordance/
  2. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/

Photo credit: free photo from by June Silny on Unsplash

 

The Lion of Judah and the Plumb line

The book of Amos is about a simple man that God used to deliver a powerful message. Amos was a shepherd and took care of fig trees. God chose to send Amos to warn the Northern region of Israel and the Southern region of Judah to restore the nation of Israel.

He starts out this warning by addressing the judgement God was bringing on their enemies, the surrounding regions of Israel.

Damascus-which is in Syria; Gaza-which is Palestine; Tyre-found in western Lebanon; Edom, Ammon and Moab-which are all in present day Jordan

They had done some pretty terrible things: took captives and sold them, killing by the sword with rage and anger, ripping open the pregnant women of Gilead among other things…

Then he addresses Judah of the South and Israel of the North. The lion had ROARED!!!!! “Hear this word the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel-against the whole family I brought out of Egypt: (Amos 3:1)……”Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria; see the great unrest within her and the oppression among her people. They do not know how to do right, declares the LORD, who hoard plunder and loot in their fortressess. Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: An enemy will overrun the land; he will pull down your strongholds and plunder your fortress” (Amos 3:9-11)

They had started worshipping idols and false gods. Their king, Jeroboam II, had led them astray. He followed in the footsteps of his father, and placed golden calves in designated places to bring sacrifices that became their temple, instead of letting them worship at Solomon’s temple. He wanted to keep them divided through religious differences so that they would not unite and become one under one ruler. King Jeroboam II had delivered them from the King of Aram and the Arameans, where they had been under great tyranny. They became very prosperous economically after this, but became very “complacent and secure” (Amos 6:1) “You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph” (Amos 6:4-6).

They were, “trampling the needy and doing away with the poor of the land” (Amos 8:4). With wheat in the marketplace they were “skimping the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales” (Amos 8:5). “You oppress the righteous and take bribes and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts” (Amos 5:12). “You have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness-” (Amos 6:12).

God sent a famine, withheld rain, struck the gardens with blight and mildew, sent locust and plagues and death.  After every attempt to turn their hearts he repeats the same line…”yet you have not returned to me” (See Amos 4:6-11).

“You have lifted up the shrine of your king, the pedestal of your idols, the star of your god-which you made for yourselves. Therefore, I will send you into exile beyond Damascus, says the LORD, whose name is God Almighty” (Amos 5:26-27).

“But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never failing stream!” -Amos 6:24

Amos had visions of locust, and fire. Amos had interceded on Israel’s behalf and the LORD listened to Amos and relented. Then he had a vision of a plumb line. “The high places of Isaac will be destroyed and the sanctuaries of Israel will be ruined; with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam” (Amos 7:9).

Amaziah, the priest of Bethel then sends a message to King Jeroboam, “Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel” (Amos 7:10). He then twist Amos’ words and tells him to leave. Amos also had a vison of ripe fruit. “The time is right for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer” (Amos 8:2).

“The days are coming, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I will send a famine through the land-not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11).

“Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir? Surely, the eyes of the Sovereign LORD are on the sinful kingdom. I will destroy it from the face of the earth-yet I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob, declares the LORD” (Amos 9:8).

“For I will give the command, and I will SHAKE the house of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, and not a pebble will reach the ground” (Amos 9:9).

HERE IS THE HOPE-THE PROMISE OF RESTORATION!!!!!

“In that day, I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair it broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name, declares the LORD who will do these things. The days are coming, declares the LORD, when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow all the hills. I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them, says the LORD your God” -Amos 9:11-15

In the book of Mark we read in chapter 12 where Jesus has spent all day answering questions by the Pharisees. They then asked Jesus, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important? The most important one, answered Jesus, is this: Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all of your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:28-31).

“Well said, teacher’, the man replied. ‘You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices’. When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions” (Mark 12:29-34).

Then Jesus continues his teaching in the temple courts. He asks, “How is it that the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared:

“The Lord said to my Lord; ‘Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.” David himself halls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”

Right here, Jesus is revealing that he is the Christ, but the Pharisees could not pick up on this because they did not have spiritual eyes. They only had worldly eyes. They were looking for a worldly king like David to come and save them. Unlike Peter, who recognized Jesus as God’s son, because God had revealed it to him, “You are the Christ, son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:17).

“The large crowd listened to him with delight. As he taught, Jesus said, ‘Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at the banquets. They devour widow’s houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely” (Mark 12:37-40).

THE WIDOW’S OFFERING

“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything-all she had to live on” (Mark 12:41-44).

Can I just say, that I do believe I have been reading this passage wrong my entire life! Our biblical text breaks up these teaching points, but they really read together like an entire flow of teaching. First with the greatest commandment to love God first and then our neighbor being more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices. Next, making the point of the Pharisees having a world view and not having spiritual eyes. Then, teaching to watch out for them with mentioning how they devour widows houses before moving on to the widow’s mite story and then talking about how every stone of the temple would be thrown down!

I’ve always interpreted the widow’s mite as the emphasis on her sacrifice and how God loves a cheerful giver. Also, that God is pleased with her gift even though it is small. I don’t think those thoughts are wrong, but…….with the flow of the text and just mentioning devouring the homes of the widows….it does NOT say how she felt about the offering. We do not know that she was cheerful. After reading this over multiple times I came to the conclusion that the focus is really on the offering of the teachers of the law equaling less than 2 mites! In case you were curious 2 mites, or leptons/denari are two small copper coins that are equivalent in value to our U.S. penny. In fact, after some research I came across a book (1) that said that two lepta “appears to be the minimum lawful amount of temple contribution!” That it was actually a “temple made rule!” Its very well possible that it is all she had to live on, but that is what she was required to give!

The next question that I have failed to asked myself all these years is WHY is this all this woman had to live on? We learn throughout the Old Testament that when a woman becomes a widow, her deceased husbands brother makes her his wife and takes her in. If there is not a brother, or not one living then it goes down the line to the next of kin. We learn this with the story of Ruth. There a man that was next of kin before Boaz, but he did not want to buy Naomi’s home/land because he did not want to take in both Naomi and Ruth! Boaz was a man of honor and went by the rules. Not only did he take in two widow’s but he left plenty of extra grain around the fields to help feed the poor, which was customary in that day. This widow, in the story of the widow’s mite was likely one of those very widows that Jesus was mentioning that got tricked out of her home.

Then Jesus leaves the temple where the large marble stones and columns were. Matthew’s account of this just says, “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2). Mark’s account shows emphasis on what one of the disciples says about the temple as to make a point that he (whichever disciple it was) really didn’t get the point that Jesus is making. That the worldly things, burnt offerings and sacrifices are not as important as loving God and loving your neighbor. “As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings! ‘Do you see all these great buildings?’ replied Jesus. ‘Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” (Mark 13:1-2)…then he continues to talk about the other signs of the End of the Age are about to come in both Mark and Matthews account.

If you want to dig deeper, check out Matthews account in Matthew 22:34-24:2. He talks about the greatest commandment and whose Son is the Christ but leaves out the widow’s mite story and goes on a whole chapter about the seven woes to the teachers of the law and Pharisees. It mimics the same theme in a different way with way more condemnation. It also calls them out for giving a tenth of their spices, “But have neglected the more important matters of the law-justice, mercy, and faithfulness.” (Matthew 23:23).

I find it fascinating how the main themes of the Old Testament from God and the old covenant run throughout the New Testament and Jesus ministry in the new covenant. The people change and the stories differ, but the principles stay the same. Its the plumb line. A plumb line is a type of measuring device that is used when constructing the walls of a building. The plumb line helps you to build the walls so that they are straight and true. If the walls are not straight, the whole building will fall to the ground!

Jesus is our cornerstone and the Word of God is our plumb line! The Word is what keeps our temple straight. It, is what guides us when we are putting together Kingdom walls and the enemy is trying his best to make them crooked. It, is what straightens the foundation. Jesus, the cornerstone, bringing together the wall on the left and the wall on the right into a beautiful straight, foundation of living stones that will never fall to the ground! Amen?
 

Edershiem, Life and Times of Jesus          the Messiah, vol 2, p 388.

The Bright Morning Star

We know that the Apostle John had seen the future and how the end times play out by reading the book of Revelation. The Apostle John also wrote the book of John and the books of 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John found in the New Testament. The first four books of the New Testament are called “The Four Gospels.” The first three books (Matthew, Mark and Luke) tell their different perspectives of the same miracles, parables and quotes of Jesus. They give witness to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and tell of the Good News of the Gospel message. The book of John, however is different. I believe this is because of his perspective. His future perspective.

In the book of John there are zero parables. His message is clear. John emphasizes he personally witnessed Jesus’ humanness and includes some of the human emotions Jesus displayed (loving, angry, sad, tired, hungry). This book is packed with accounts of other witnesses who also testify of recognizing Jesus as the Christ and includes more miracles than any other book in the bible. Jesus also testifies, “I am the one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me” (John 8:18).

Apostle John also wrote three letters. 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John. These letters mimic some of the same points, however 1 John and 2 John are written as a warnings and there are no clear indications as to who these letters are addressing. In 3 John the letter is clear who he is addressing and the issue he is addressing but the church is not named. Why would John do this? Perspective. I believe 1 John is a letter of warning to the future church (believers who walk in the truth). I also believe 2 John is written to one of the end times witnesses found in Revelation 11, a woman. I believe this is the same “woman” in Revelation 12. The third letter 3 John is focusing on the message he is trying to relay. He was complementing one messenger (the recipient of the letter) for walking in truth and love. Another he was speaking well of, Demetrius, who displayed good character. He was also chastising another man, who was refusing to welcome one of God’s messengers. “Do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God” (3 John 11). The most eye opening part of all is the similarities and differences in the writing structure of 2 John and 3 John.

First of all, the Apostle John addresses himself in both letters as, “The elder” which is out of his character and seems a bit odd. I think he did this to assert his authority and defend the stance that he is taking.

In 3 John, the Apostle John states the name of the person he is writing and in his greeting he prays for good health and that all goes well with him. He also calls him one of his “children,” which John often does and tells his dear friend Gaius that he has, “No greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4). The greeting in 2 John to the chosen lady and her children is very different: “To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth- and not I only, but also all who know the truth- because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love” (2 John 1-3). It is very formal, mentions nothing about health and life and focuses on their common bond of God the Father and Jesus Christ and their love for the truth and one another because of the truth.

The next part in 2 John talks about “her children” which is also quite different from John’s norm of addressing “his children.” “I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father” (2 John 4). Her children walking in the truth is also paralleled in Revelation 12 that John witnessed himself in a vision.

In 3 John, the Apostle John, compliments Gaius for showing hospitality to some strangers who were going out for the sake of the Name and not receiving help from the pagans. John says that, “We ought therefore to show hospitality to such fellow helpers so that we may work together for the truth” (3 John 8). John then scolds Diotrephes “who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us, refuses to welcome the bretheren. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church. Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God” (vs. 9-11). He tells them if he comes, he will call attention to what he is doing. This letter could be directly addressing a church back when this was written and John chose to write this letter because it indirectly addresses a message needed for the future church.

This next part of the letter John is addressing the chosen lady. “And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person it the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone welcomes him shares in his wicked work” (2 John 5-11). 

John’s advise and warning is that we walk in obedience to his commands and we walk in love. Now think about the book of John. His focus is Jesus came in the flesh (he clearly emphasizes his humanness) that he was the son of God and that he performed MANY miracles and MANY bear witness to the testimony of these things! I believe that John is telling us that those are coming that are going to try to convince us that Jesus did not come in the flesh and was not human. They are going to question his miracles and the testimony of his life and the bible. They will make their own rules and have no regard for the ministry of Jesus. He is also warning us to not endorse them in anyway nor those who do not continue in the teaching of God. Remember, John had a future perspective!

Now pay attention to the conclusion of these letters! “Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with  paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen” (2 John 12). This sounds like he is trusting to come to her in the future and speak with her. It also infers that they are all her children and they are her fellow sister in Christ.

At the conclusion of his letter to Garius he adds, “I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name” (vs. 13-14).

Look at this parallel, “And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say ‘Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down” (Revelation 10:4).

Now look at this from the same angel, “But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants and prophets” (Revelation 10:7).

Right before the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, the witnesses are killed and resurrected up into heaven. The next chapter there is a woman in heaven, “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with and iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne” (Revelation 12:1-5)

There are countless theories about this passage. Some equate the woman to a city or people group because in Revelation 17 the “woman” represents the great city that rules over the kings of the earth. I have found during my study of the bible that sometimes a word can be a play on words with a double meaning and other times a word has one meaning in one context that means a completely different thing in another context.

The woman in Revelation 12, though, has a prophesy message in it, that we find in Genesis that relates with Eve. “The dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring- those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 12:12). 

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).  This bruising is not meaning take them out completely. It is thought that bruising his heel is referring to the crucifixion of Jesus. Then who is the seed in this assault? Judas was the one who betrayed him and got him arrested that led to his crucifixion. Jesus hints to this when he said, “I have not lost one of those you gave me” (John 18:9). 

The seed of the woman bruising the head of his seed is more hidden as well. In Revelation 13 the first beast comes onto the scene with a fatal wound that had been healed. This beast had ten horns and seven heads. The red dragon (satan) also had ten horns and seven heads (made in his likeness). It says that the, “dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed” (Revelation 13:1-3). Who on Earth would have had the power to inflict such assault on this beast? One of the witnesses! In chapter 11 we read that, “after the witnesses finished their testimony the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them” (Revelation 11:7). Overpowering insinuates that there was quite a battle going on back and forth! Note the similarities in the offspring’s bruises. Jesus dies and resurrects three days later. This beast from the Abyss receives a “fatal wound but the fatal wound had been healed!” *Note some versions of the bible say that the two witnesses are men. The actual plural form in greek is masculine no matter the gender. The KJV says, “These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophesy; and have the power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will” (Revelation 11:6).

This woman is a representation of the final Eve and representative of the collection of Christ’s bride, The Church. Her job is to help the bride become blameless and spotless and overcomers by obeying God’s commands and holding to the testimony of Jesus. She is also from the linage of David, “clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head” (Revelation 12:1). These are all direct references to Israel and promises God made to them. It is also a parallel to Joseph’s dream in Genesis. “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me” (Genesis 37:9). The twelve stars represent the 12 tribes of Israel (11 other brothers), Joseph’s mom is the moon, and Joseph’s dad is the sun.

Adam and Eve and the biblical reference to their becoming one flesh was the very first covenant we read about in the bible. Then there were many throughout the old testament under the old covenant and these were made with people in the same blood line that would eventually lead to the line of David. In 2 Samuel 7, the prophet Nathan prophesied that the Lord would establish a house for David that would last forever. “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (2 Sam 7:16). In Luke the angel of the Lord tells Mary, the mother of Jesus that she was to give birth to a son and name him Jesus. “The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:32). When Jesus was on the cross, the Apostle John and Mary were standing nearby. Jesus made some statements that I believe, connected the covenant with Adam and Eve, the new covenant with the Gospel message/Jesus, and the future eternal covenant found in Revelation 12. He said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son. And to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home” (John 19:26). Jesus always called Mary woman, not mother. Remember, Adam called Eve woman, because she was taken out of man. He told Mary, John was her son and John, Mary was his Mother. This all seems symbolic and hinting to another covenant. The Revelation 12 woman is a “mother” with an offspring of those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

I believe the son that the woman gives birth to is the offspring of Jesus, The bright Morning Star (yes, God and Jesus too)!

Adam & Eve-  Earthly birth-   flesh and blood–  Physical temple (in old covenant)

Mary & (Jesus) Joseph-  Spirit birth-  water and Spirit–  Raise temple in 3 days

Jesus & chosen lady (woman) – heavenly birth –glory and light – eternal home/temple

“I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”      –Revelation 22:16

“So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention to as to a lamp shining in the dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” -2 Peter 1:19

“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth.” -Numbers 24:17

 

 

References: Strong, James. Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009.

 

 

The Rescue Mission

Revelations. A book containing revelations that Jesus gave to John. It was also written with hidden revelations, he knew we would have today. They give testimony to Him. Today we learn about the church in Ephesus.

“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lamp stands. I know your deeds your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love; Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:1-7

I read an interesting fact about the letters relayed to the seven churches in Revelation. It is thought, that John would have written all these letters on one scroll and that the scroll would have traveled via a mail route in western Asia Minor. In essence, all seven churches could glean important insight and information from all churches. Just as we can today. Which could be why each letter contains the words, “He who has an ear to hear, what the Spirit says to the churches (plural). This could also be referring to the original seven churches, the churches throughout history and the church today. Collectively, “the church” of all time.

The apostle Paul’s letter to the church of Ephesus (book of Ephesians) gives some insight as to what things were going on and needing to be addressed in this church. Jesus compliments the church on its deeds, hard work and perseverance. They cannot tolerate the wicked men and tested those who have claimed to be apostles but are false. They persevered and have not grown weary. They hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which he also hates! The Nicolaitans named themselves after a man named Nicolaus of Antioch. They were leading believers to practice immorality, take part in pagan rituals, have more than one wife, sleep with prostitutes and eat food sacrificed to idols. The Nicolaitans taught spiritual liberties allowed them to practice such. The church of Ephesus endured hardships because they did not deny the name of Jesus.

The complaint in this letter, is that they have forsaken their first love.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” -Matthew 23:37-40

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” -John 14:15

“Whoever has my commands and obeys then, he is the one who loves me.”                 -John 14:21

Jesus then tells them to repent and do the things they did at first. He warns them that if they do not repent he will remove their lampstand from their place.

From Paul’s letter, we know that he was encouraging unity and love in the body. That God’s purpose prevails and that the church universal needed to work in unity to see that it is accomplished, under one head Jesus Christ.  The key theme to the book of Ephesians is found in chapter 5:22-32.

“Wives, submit to your husbands as the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it just as Christ does the church- for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery- but I am talking about Christ and the church.”

He is our husband and he loves his church (wife). He loved us (the church) so much he gave himself us for us! The church submits to Christ in everything. He is our first love! He is the head and we are the body. We are united and have become one flesh! Who does that remind you of? Adam and Eve!

The story of Adam and Eve is actual prophesy of the coming church. God made Adam and Eve in his own image. Adam was made of the dust and was representative of the coming Jesus. Eve was not made of dust too, but was taken out of the rib of Adam and presented to him. Eve represents “the future church, his bride!” They are united in one flesh just as we are all members of his body.

You see, God is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. “Does that mean God is responsible for sin and evil, you ask?” Absolutely not! He knew the end of the story before the beginning and everything in between. He created us with a rescue mission in mind all throughout the entire essence of time! “So are we puppets?” (these are my devil’s advocate questions) Not puppets either. From the very beginning he created this wonderful beautiful garden just for us. He created us and this paradise for us because he loved us, ever before we were in existence! From the very beginning, he wanted a relationship with us, just like with Adam and Eve. He wanted us to live forever with him in a garden of paradise!

Because he loved us, he also gave us free will. Love is freely given and not something that is forced upon. That is why there were two trees. We could choose the tree of life to eat and be healthy and live in the garden all of our days or we could choose ourselves and take a bite out of the forbidden tree.

Still, God had a plan. I find it symbolic that after sin entered the picture, Eve gave birth to twin boys. Cain and Able seem to represent the two paths we can take. The way of Able, or the way of Cain.

Even when Able was killed, God had a plan C. Seth was born. “When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.” -Genesis 5:3 See the family tree here. Adam-Seth-Noah-David-Jesus. Jesus truly IS the root and offspring of David!

All the while satan was trying to corrupt the church (Eve) bringing sin and death. He was trying to taint the blood of the line of David swaying Cain and taking out Able. Then sending the Nephilium to breed with the human race in attempts to “taint the blood” so God saved Noah’s family and sent the flood to remedy this. Even after all that, satan was trying to use King Herod to kill all the baby boys and take Jesus out.

Jesus came to undo all that Adam had done. Jesus was in the plan all along. “So it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being;’ the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.” -1 Corinthians 15:45-49

Even more astounding, at the end of Revelation in chapter 22 it speaks of us having access again to the tree of life. It says that, “No longer will there be any curse….It will bear twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month……the leaves of the tree are for healing the nations!” Revelation 22:2-3 To the church of Ephesus it says, To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (vs 7). It comes full circle from beginning to the end.

The introduction to this letter to the church of Ephesus, bears witness of both God and Jesus that these are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. In Revelation 1:19-20 we find out what the seven stars and lampstands are. “The mystery that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” Jesus is bearing witness to the fact that he walks among the lampstands. My interpretation is that cares for and loves them to be in close proximity with them.

He also holds the seven stars in his right hand. There is significance in the right hand. It implies guiding and protecting. In Strong’s Greek concordance the word angel is #32 ἄγγελος anggelos: an angel, messenger. “After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it just as Christ does the church- for we are all members of this body.” Ephesians 6:29-30 He is using these “stars/angels” to feed the church and care for it. Relaying information pertinent to encourage and correct out of his love for his bride “to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:27 He is bearing witness that he is the head of “the church universal” and he is fully involved in the process of making her beautiful again! It is like he is telling Ephesus/us: Don’t give up, stay strong, I see what you are doing! I am the head of the church. I’ve got it under control! Return to me (submit) your first love and join me in unity and purpose as one body! What a glorious God we serve!

Father God,

I am continuously AMAZED by you! You are truly, the Alpha and Omega and Lord of all! Help me to submit to your purpose of unity and love. Help me to be your hands and feet and to use my life to uplift the church and bring you glory! I want to be a part of building your kingdom and point others to the wonder that you are! You are SO GOOD!!! Amen!

 

Eyes to See and Ears to Hear

The secret treasures that have been hidden within the Word have started to come to life! What an exciting time, indeed!