Are you Elijah? I am not. Then who are you? John 1:25.

John the Baptist told those who came to question him that he was NOT Elijah, nor was he the Messiah.

They asked him, “If you’re not the Messiah, Elijah, or the Prophet, why then are you immersing?” (John 1:25 TLV)

 It is interesting, primarily because, despite John’s comment that he was NOT Elijah, people will tell you that Elijah came back as John the Baptizer.

I want you to pay attention to what Jesus said to the disciples.

“Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and the brothers James and John and led them up a high mountain where they were alone. (2) As they looked on, a change came over Jesus: his face was shining like the sun, and his clothes were dazzling white. (3) Then, the three disciples saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. (4) So Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “Lord, how good it is that we are here! If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (5) While he was talking, a shining cloud came over them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased—listen to him!” (6) When the disciples heard the voice, they were so terrified that they threw themselves face downward on the ground. (7) Jesus came to them and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid!” (8) So they looked up and saw no one there but Jesus. (9) As they came down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Don’t tell anyone about this vision you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from death.” (10) Then the disciples asked Jesus, “Why do the teachers of the Law say that Elijah has to come first?” (11) “Elijah is indeed coming first,” answered Jesus, “and he will get everything ready. (12) But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and people did not recognize him but treated him just as they pleased. In the same way, they will also mistreat the Son of Man.”
Matthew 17:1-12 GNB)

  1. No photographs of Moses and Elijah existed, so how did the disciples know who was standing there talking to Jesus?

    The answer lies in the fact that the three were given an instant download of information. That download is the Holy Spirit. If you are that person who loves to argue and is willing to say, “that’s impossible.” I ask you, had the Holy Spirit been restricted from operating on the earth? The answer is NO and if you are prone to argue against that, then prove your thesis. You cannot.

  2. The three disciples started raving about building tabernacles for each “prophet,” talking with Jesus. If they had done this, those structures would have quickly become idolatrous structures, snares, and patterns for other idol worship, which Israel was very adept at.

    So what happens next?

    While they were talking, “a shining cloud came over them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased—listen to him!” God is trying to snap them out of this human response mode. This voice was much like when God spoke over Jesus at His baptism by John, where those that heard it said it sounded like thunder.

  3. Note the next question.

    Why do the teachers of the Law say that Elijah has to come first?

    That would be confusing, especially if you had just seen Elijah talking with Jesus. As I tried to put my thoughts together about Elijah, I was reminded that he left this earth without dying. The writer of Hebrews tells us that we must die. (Hebrews 9:27.)

    Other witnesses to this assertion that we must die.

    Psalms 103:13-14 NASB Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. (14) For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.

    Made in the image of God, a spirit (Genesis 1:26,27.) It was not until Genesis 2:7 that the man was given a body, and this was after the seventh day. We are all built from the earth.

    The author of Ecclesiastes can be attributed to one who identifies as a “son of David,” but this does not necessarily mean it was Solomon. The author, talking about pottery, a created thing that must return to dust, says this.

    Then the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7 TLV )

    Since the psalmist had already told us that we are dust, we will return to dust. But there is a small problem – we have a hope of eternal life filled with peace. So these bodies that will be changed must die, an event that happens in that twinkling of an eye. Why? Because it is the body that became corrupted and is the reason that God could NOT use humans to procreate the Son of God. Having a young girl that had never intimately known a man to be a surrogate mother bypassed the genetic brokenness called sin.

When, then, does Elijah return again?

Ah, when God sends the two witnesses to preach in the streets of Jerusalem. By the way, the world is about to see this happen.

Okay, that may cover one of the witnesses; who is the other? 

First, the question is unimportant, as the church will have gone up in the rapture, and we will NOT see any of that. Many think it will be Moses. But, unfortunately, it will not be Moses, and our evidence for that comes from the writings of Jude.

But when Michael the archangel, disputing with the devil, was arguing about the body of Moses, he did not dare to render a judgment against him for slander, but said, “May the Lord rebuke you!” “
(Jude 1:9 TLV)

The devil would not be wasting his time arguing about the body of Moses unless there was a dead body. This would tell us that Moses died and was, therefore, excluded from returning to earth and being subjected to death once again. Even our “so-called” legal system prevents double jeopardy, for crying out loud. 

Having eliminated a “major” player, who is left?

There is only one more player left, and that is Enoch.

Yes, I am aware that most have no clue about Enoch and would never call him a prophet, as though being a prophet is a requirement for God to send you back to earth as a witness to the greatness of God.

A significant piece of evidence about Enoch is these words.

And Enoch continually walked with God…” Genesis 5:24 TLV

Walked is the Hebrew word hālaḵ. The Word Study Dictionary tells us that: “this common word carries with it the basic idea of movementthe flowing of a riverSince the word is also used to describe natural movement, it applies to the descending of floods (Gen_8:3); the crawling of beasts (Lev_11:27); the slithering of snakes (Lev_11:42); the blowing of the wind (Ecc_1:6); the tossing of the sea (Jon_1:13). Since it is usually a person who is moving, it is frequently translated “walk.”” “This word is also used metaphorically to speak of the pathways (i.e., behavior) of one’s life.” And I add one more word from the NASEC dictionary – accompany.

Every description above speaks to me of intimacy, whether it was in an uptime or a down time. The relationship was mutual as Enoch, who was NO MORE spiritual than you or I, accompanied God/elohim in his everyday affairs. Think about the fact that Enoch, a husband, had to eat, till a field, hunt game, feed a family (he was, by the way, the father of Methuselah,) and he had to pass along the verbal understanding of who elohim is. Things I know about the man.

  • Enoch lived 65 years, then fathered Methuselah.

  • Enoch walked with God continually for 300 years after he fathered Methuselah.

  • Enoch fathered other sons and daughters, which we know nothing about.

  • All of Enoch’s days were 365 years.

  • Enoch continually walked with God.

  • Enoch walked with God, and then he was no more because God had taken him away.
    (Gen 5:24 BSB)

I can remember when I read about Enoch, asking myself, where and how did Enoch understand what it was like to have such an intimate relationship?

It would seem that “sin” had stripped that intimacy away, but that was only on our side. I say that because God still came to the couple, respecting their newly found discomfort, and spoke to them in the garden, as He killed some animals for sacrifice and coverings, which He gave them instructions on how to do all that.

I started to do the math and discovered that Adam, a great-grandfather (many times over), was over 600 years old when Enoch was born. All the people on earth were related in some way to the man that walked with God, and none chose to pursue what this God – elohim, was like. The only man that ever walked with Him in the cool of the day was still alive, and Adam described those days with such longing and passion that even now, as I write, I can hardly see through the tears.

I am painfully aware of many people who had the opportunity to God. Consider that Enoch had a son, Methuselah, and other children, but only one stands out, primarily because of his age when he died.

Did you know that Methuselah’s name had meaning and was, therefore, a prophecy? 

His name meant when he dies, it will come.

What was coming?

A flood that would purge the earth of NOT just sin; the flood could not eliminate sin because that “sin” was embedded within the bodies of Noah and his extended family that God saved on that ark. The primary purpose of the flood was to eliminate the effects of fallen angels, sons of god, that were taking any woman they chose and having sexual relations with them. The only purpose behind this was to eliminate the heritage of God on earth. Those children Enoch had that did not get on the ark, descendants of Adam, and Methuselah’s children, aside from Noah, were all killed in the flood because all of them had been genetically altered by the fallen angels. Only Enoch, Methuselah, and Noah’s family, a descendant of Methuselah, escaped this perversion.

One last shot.  Enoch was a prophet.

It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,
(Jude 1:14 NASB)

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John didn’t refuse to answer. He told them clearly. John 1:19-23.

I am writing to people who have been taught poorly or were taught falsehoods, and some errors are intentional. I will include myself in this next weakness within the Christian community, and that is that WE do not nor will not pick up the Bible and read it. I can speak bluntly about this because I had to make a hard decision to fix this weakness in myself. In 2007 I started a job with early work hours, so I would give myself an extra hour before work to go to McDonald’s, eat breakfast and read my Bible. So many people whimper about where they should start reading; I have suggestions, but there is a better time or place. I needed to know who God was and what His character was like, so I started with Matthew’s gospel, where I saw His Son, Jesus, and slowly worked my way through the New Testament. Every day brought questions and challenges, and I wrote them down as I asked God my hard questions, all of which got answered.

I never spent a tremendous amount of time focused on John the Baptist.

The NASB entitles this next section, The Testimony of John the Baptist.

We covered a couple of details about John the Baptist in my previous post. In terms of teIn my previous post, we covered some details about John the Baptist. In terms of temperament, and I am imagining here, I perceive a touch of sanguine because he is outgoing and, to a degree, social. The other trait that I see is choleric. I say this because John comes across as short-tempered and irritable, much like the Apostle Paul (who may well be one of those being sent to verbally accost him.) He had, by the way, called them a den of vipers. 

Now apply the personality traits that we can only assume to the following few verses where we see John in action.

This was John’s answer when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?””
John 1:19 GW)

  • The Jews sent priests.”

We are not told who did the sending as even within the priests and council members, there was a hierarchy. I can see leaders sending lower-ranking members to go and challenge the man they obviously perceive as acting as though he is replacing them. However, John may not have felt that way.

If what I said seemed odd to you, think about this incident.

Very early, while it was still night, Yeshua got up, left, and went away to a place in the wilderness; and there He was praying. Then Simon and those with him hunted for Yeshua. And when they found Him, they said to Him, “Everybody’s looking for You.” He said to them, “Let’s go somewhere else, to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also—this is what I came for.” And He went throughout all the Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and driving out demons. A man suffering from a dreaded skin disease came to Jesus, knelt down, and begged him for help. “If you want to,” he said, “you can make me clean.”(GNB) .” Moved with compassion, Yeshua stretched out His hand and touched him. He said, “I am willing. Be cleansed.”
Mark 1:35-41 TLV & GNB)

There was no doubt that Jesus could heal, but to be cleansed was what the priests did, and apparently, religion was corrupt enough to demand payment for the procedure where you were reintroduced back into the community. So this man asked Jesus to heal him and pronounce him cleansed. But, if you follow the narrative, Jesus sternly warned the man to keep his mouth shut about Jesus pronouncing him clean. He knew this was a boundary that would feed into a deadly fight with the Pharisees. Considering that John’s daddy was a priest, they knew who John was.

When Herod was king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the division of priests named after Abijah. Zechariah’s wife Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron.”
Luke 1:5 GW)

Their question had no politeness connected to it. It is more of a challenge, similar to who do you think you are. The other side of this coin is that Jesus’ own disciples, and several of them left John to join Jesus, did not understand that He was the Messiah, as they were looking for a warring messiah that would free them from Roman oppression, etc. This misconception stayed with them until they were filled with the Holy Spirit in the upper room after Jesus left the earth.

John didn’t refuse to answer. He told them clearly, “I’m not the Messiah.”
John 1:20 GW)

Adam Clarke wrote: “John renounces himself, that Jesus may be all in all.” Really, at this point, John is enjoying some freedom, but the day is coming after denouncing the actions of Herod.”

For Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,”
(Matthew 14:3 TLV)

John is close to death, so he sends some of his disciples to Jesus to do what?

Now when John heard in prison about the works of the Messiah, he sent word through his disciples and said to Yeshua, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
(Matthew 11:2-3 TLV)

““What then? Are you Elijah?” they asked him. “I am not,” said John. “Are you the Prophet?” “No,” he answered.”
(John 1:21 TLV)

  • Are you Elijah?

    The answer is NO.

  • Are you the prophet?

    Just a touch on the repetitious side. Wasn’t Elijah a prophet? Yes, he was, and NO he never died because God took him, and this piece of evidence sort of mandates that Elijah must physically die. 

John told them straight out, I am not Elijah. Then who is this other prophet? Adam Clarke says this is the prophet spoken of by Moses, Deuteronomy 18:15,18.

Instead, he will send you a prophet like me (Moses) from among your own people, and you are to obey him.”
(Deuteronomy 18:15 GNB)

I had no idea that Moses was a prophet.

I will send them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will tell him what to say, and he will tell the people everything I command.”
(Deuteronomy 18:18 GNB)

This line, I will tell him what to say, and he will tell the people everything I command,” says much about the character of Jesus.

He will speak in my name, and I will punish anyone who refuses to obey him.” (Deuteronomy 18:19 GNB)

Every word that Jesus spoke was focused on the instructions of the Father, no matter how random those words may have seemed.

So they said to him, “Who are you? Give us an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
(John 1:22 TLV)

I am not sure it mattered what the answer was; no matter how ridiculous, it just needed to quell the angst of the Jewish leadership. 

He said, “I am ‘the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of Adonai,”’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
(John 1:23 TLV)

The words that stand out in my mind are the same that I chose for my blog.” Why did I choose that? Because I felt, and still feel, like I am sharing God’s voice and no one is listening. Someday soon, they will hear. 

It is never too late to make straight the way of Adonai, as long as you have breath in your lungs.

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Grace and truth were realized through Jesus. John 1:15-18.

 “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:4-5 NASB)

Some need to know information.

As I pointed out in a previous post, when you begin reading the gospel of John, you need to keep it straight in your mind who the passage is referring to. In verse four above, John is speaking about Jesus, but we only know that because of the definitions John gives us. In verse 15 below, John, the baptizer, tells people about Him. The Him, in this instance, is Jesus.

If you were to watch the series “The Chosen,” you would notice that it takes liberties with what we understand about Jesus; they have to as they merge several months of Jesus’ three-year ministry into a show that lasts a little over an hour each week.

When Mary came to Elizabeth, John the Baptizer was a four-month-old fetus, and he leaped in her womb. We were told that John received the Holy Spirit at this point, but there is nothing to substantiate that assertion.

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! “And how has it happened to me that the mother of my Lord would come to me? “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.”
(Luke 1:41-44 NASB)

So John is only a few months older than his step-cousin Jesus, and yet John eventually makes this extraordinary declaration about Jesus.

“John told people about him. He said loudly, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘The one who is coming after me is greater than I am because he was living before I was even born.’”
John 1:15 ERV)

The NASB used the word “testified” to indicate how John spoke to those who came to hear him. Testify is the Greek word marturéō, meaning to bear witness to the truth of what one has seen, heard, or knows. The series “The Chosen” portrayed John as being rather direct and outspoken. For someone of this character to be loud would not surprise me.

“But when he (John the Baptist) saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”
Matthew 3:7 NASB)

If these religious rulers were coming to John, submitting to the baptism that he was performing, then they apparently did not see him as a joke or some animated but entertaining radical.

Doesn’t it make you wonder what this baptism represented to them?

It should be because Jesus submitted to John’s baptism, and the oddity of Jesus indicating that he was fulfilling the law. In all my years of warming a seat in church, I never heard of or saw baptisms in the Old Testament.

Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *permitted Him.”
Matthew 3:13-15 NASB)

So, what was Jesus talking about?

It might be best to back up to an explanation of why John was baptizing.

John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being baptized–for John had not yet been thrown into prison. Therefore there arose a discussion on the part of John’s disciples with a Jew about purification.” (John 3:23-25 NASB)

The passage tells us that John was baptizing. This is the Greek word baptizo and means to immerse, submerge, or saturate. The first two options tend to indicate that there was a complete submersion. The general idea was that submersion was a rite of purification, a cleansing of the heart from sin. A huge clue comes from John 3:25, where John’s disciples were having a “discussion with a Jew about purification. Why would Luke bring this up, adding this conversation into the context, unless it carries some weight in the discussion?

Purification is the Greek word katharismós, and “it actually refers to the process of purificationthe sacrifice of purification.” (WSD)

Interesting how our life in Christ is based upon faith in Jesus Christ alone. Everything beyond that could potentially fall into the category of works. If I were to try to understand the statement “the process of purification,” I might do well to perceive this as part of the sanctification process. I am always reminded of the thief on the cross. He was afforded no water immersion, nor did he go through some over-embellished sanctification class, and yet what did Jesus reply to the man? This day you will be with me in paradise. Jesus, in those moments, sanctified the man because of the depth of his conversation, which most of us miss.

With the knowledge that Jesus was sinless (He was NOT born of tainted human blood, this is why God had to make a fertilized egg and have a virgin girl carry that egg as a surrogate.) There should have been no reason for Jesus to cleanse himself; He had no sin. (Scripture tells us this;) But, we can see that few understood or believed that He was God, God’s son, so He had to in order to quell the voices of tradition.

Baptism would have to have been pulled from the Torah and, therefore, might be a reference to Ezekiel 36:25. I include verses 24 and 26 as they create a time frame and a context, which I think applies to the Spirit of God.

For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
(Ezekiel 36:24-26 NASB)

Leviticus gives us several references, but they all pertain to blood, and it is a broad-spectrum cleansing. One in particular, Leviticus 14:5-7, conveys that they were to sprinkle the blood on the “one who is to be cleansed from the leprosy and shall pronounce him clean.” I would not say that this represents why Jesus came to John.

The book of Numbers might provide the reasons Jesus got baptized.

Take the Levites from among the sons of Israel and cleanse them. “Thus you shall do to them, for their cleansing: sprinkle purifying water on them, and let them use a razor over their whole body and wash their clothes, and they will be clean.”
(Numbers 8:6-7 NASB)

In church, we rarely hear that Jesus was of the lineage of Levi, but Luke’s gospel traces Jesus backward and, therefore, shows Him to be a descendant of Levi, one of Aaron’s relatives.

When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,”
(Luke 3:23-24 NASB)

The writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is our high priest. A few examples of this priesthood.

Hebrews 2:17 “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

Hebrews 3:1 “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession;.”

Hebrews 4:14,15 “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15)For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”

Hebrews 5:10 “…being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.”

Numbers 19:13 tells us that anyone who touches a corpse.

“… and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from Israel. Because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him.

So far, I do not see a direct relationship between water baptism and a release from sin, but let’s try one more.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
(Psalms 51:2-7 NASB)

Psalms 51:2-7, written by David, helps to make that connection, so it may have been an Old Testament understanding that immersion with water is part of the cleansing of sins. Again, Jesus had NO sin, but the humans He had to deal with did not know that.

A few more verses that pertain to cleansing by water. Leviticus 11:32; Leviticus 12:7-8; Leviticus 13:6.

Moving on with our study of John’s gospel.

John 1:16 GNB)  “Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.”

The NASB reads: “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” This makes no sense to me.

Pastor John MacArthur says that John 1:16 “…emphasizes the superabundance of grace that has been displayed by God toward mankind…”

“For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17 NASB 

  • Consider the phrase, “grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

History tells us that John wrote this gospel between 80 and 90 A.D. That would mean that John’s memories were only 50 to 60 years old. Compare this with “the writings of Plato” (born 428, died 347 BCE) that were written over a thousand years after his death. 

  • “The ‘Clarke Plato’, the oldest manuscript (discounting papyrus fragments) for about half the dialogues of Plato, was written by John the Calligrapher in 895 CE for Arethas the deacon, originally a native of Patras, who later became archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia.”

Realized is the Greek word ginomai. The King James concordance indicates 456 occurrences of ginomai; 88 were translated as came, and 63 were translated as done.

Would applying the word came to John 1:17, where it says realized, make sense?

Let’s see. “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” It works, especially if you consider all that Jesus did for you. The cross stands out as monumental when you think about Jesus. The word done is not as effective.

If I look up the word ginomai in the Word Study Dictionary, there is an extensive listing. 

  • To come into existence;

  • to be created, to be born,

  • producedgrow, to arise, come on,

  • occur, as the phenomena of nature,

  • to be appointedconstitutedestablished,

  • to come to oneself, to recover from a trance or surprise.

The first entry in this list stands out to me, not because there was no grace in the Old Testament, but because it certainly wasn’t as notable. Paul’s writings on grace were the game changer, but you have to remember that Paul only had the Old Testament – and that was by what he retained in the synagogue and a direct revelation from Jesus that came to him on the road to Damascus or the years that he spent at the base of Mount Sinai.

grace and truth came into existence through Jesus Christ.”

I could take this literally and say there was NO grace until the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Let’s finish this dive into John’s gospel with verse 18.

No one has ever seen God; but the one and only God, in the Father’s embrace, has made Him known.” (John 1:18 TLV)

The God’s Word translation says it this way.

No one has ever seen God. God’s only Son, the one who is closest to the Father’s heart, has made him known.”

Known or explained, as the NASB conveys, is the Greek word exēgéomaiMounce Concise Greek-English Dictionary tells us that it means to be a leader; to detail, to set forth in language; to tell, narrate, recountLuk_24:35Act_10:8to make known, revealJoh_1:18Act_15:12Act_15:14Act_21:19.

The substitutionary word or phrase that best fits in John 1:18 as it tells us that Jesus has revealed the Father to us is to make known.

but the one and only God, in the Father’s embrace, has made Him known.”

Jesus said, when you have seen me, you have seen the Father. Having been raised to believe that God was an angry God, just waiting to punish me severely for my sins. Thank you, Jesus, for taking all our sins to the cross with Him, and I want to thank the producers of the Chosen as they have shown us a Jesus that can laugh, dance, and cry; because of this, I have been able to see the Father as one that can, at least, laugh and cry.

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Passages that speak to the rapture of the Church.

In a recent conversation, I was told by a person who also spent a tremendous amount of time attending church, as I did, that they can see very little in scripture that tells us of a rapture of the church. They said that if there is a rapture, they don’t expect it to happen for another fifty years. What makes this even worse is that I had a brother in Christ and a pastor tell me to relax as they could not see Jesus returning for His bride anytime soon.

I responded to the rather one-sided conversation by saying every prophetic event, up to this point, has been fulfilled, and all the events needed to make these things happen have exploded on the scene so quickly that there will be no stopping or slowing this process down. And we have a group called the World Economic Forum, run by Klaus Schwab and many rich, powerful, demonically motivated egomaniacs who desire to eliminate commoners. You are blinded by the enemy if you cannot see this in the scriptures.

Even as this person was talking to me, my head and heart were telling me that I needed to gather the information that validates that the church will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air and forever be with Him; and that the Bible is filled with passages that affirm that He is coming back for us, which has a secondary benefit as we are removed from the wrath that will quickly hit the earth. On that note, I did NOT include Noah and his family, who were told to get into the ark, and then scripture tells us that God closed the door. The other example or type is Lot and the fiery destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, and several other cities. At one point in that narrative, the angels had to grab Lot and his family because they could do NOTHING until Lot was moved to safety – just as we, the church, will be.

With that, let’s dive in, starting with Daniel, as he wrote extensively about the time we have been experiencing.

“But you, Daniel, keep this message a secret. You must close the book and keep this secret until the time of the end. Many people will go here and there looking for true knowledge, and the true knowledge will increase.” (Daniel 12:4 ERV)

The question you should be asking is, is this speaking of when the church gets snatched away, or is it meant for the moment, seven years later, when Jesus comes back as the warring Messiah?

If it is intended to convey the moment Jesus returns on the white horse in Revelation 19, you have to ask, what has been going on up to this point? The time of wrath has been a non-stop onslaught of death at the hands of humans, weather changes that kill the plant life, death by starvation, death by plagues – both natural and lab-made, sky-born objects poisoning the rivers and oceans– making the waters undrinkable and fish life die.

Here in Revelation 3, the moment when the wrath is unleashed is called “the hour of testing” and does not exclude the other descriptives, such as day or week = 7 years.

Revelation 3:10 NASB) “‘Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testingthat hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

Matthew 24 alerts those looking for Jesus to return for His bride that a multitude of signs will take place. Well, all those things have taken place; seeing Israel as the fig tree is one of those.

(Matthew 24:32-35 MKJV) “Now learn a parable of the fig tree. When its branch is still tender and puts out leaves, you know that summer is near. So you, likewise, when you see all these things, shall know that it is near, at the doors. Truly I say to you, This generation shall not pass until all these things are fulfilled.”

Another of those alerts tells us that “This generation shall not pass until all these thing are fulfilled.” The NASB conveys it this way “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”

1 Thessalonians 5 points out that we (believers) are not in the dark and therefore have an awareness of what is coming and approximately when.

(1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 MKJV) But of the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need that I write to you. For you, yourselves, know accurately that the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety! Then sudden destruction comes on them, as travail upon a woman with child. And they shall not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness, that the Day should overtake you like a thief. You are all the sons of light and the sons of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness.

The day will come like a thief in the night. How does the thief in the night function?

By sneaking around in the darkness, undetected. But Christ’s return for His church is NOT like a thief, nor will those who are looking for Him be caught off guard. Why? Because we ARE NOT in the darkness, because the light became a part of who we are.

When I try to convey that we should be able to tell when Jesus is coming back, I am met with the “out-of-context” garbage that says, “no man knows the day or the hour.” This was said to Jews in a language that was completely knowable to them and had everything to do with seeing the moon, which indicated the new month. Even though there had to be witnesses, cloud cover could obscure the sighting to the point that an arbitrary announcement would have to be declared. Can’t you see that even this has variables involved in it, just picking the winners of the World Series of baseball or how many games they will play?

Matthew 13:10- 13 MKJV) And the disciples said to Him, Why do You speak to them in parables? He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them. For whoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance. But whoever does not have, from him shall be taken away even that which he has. Therefore I speak to them in parables because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not; nor do they understand.

There is no doubt that Jesus was here and returned to the Father. His promise to us is John 14:1-3.

John 14:1-3 (KJV) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2)  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3)  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also

1 Corinthians 1:7 tells us that we are waiting for Christ to come again. For us, He will meet us in the air.

This proves that what we told you about Christ is true. Now you have every gift from God while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again. He will keep you strong until the end so that on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes, you will be free from all blame.”
(1 Corinthians 1:6-8 ERV)

Raised incorruptible, we shall be changed.

I’m telling you a mystery. Not all of us will die, but we will all be changed. It will happen in an instant, in a split second at the sound of the last trumpet. Indeed, that trumpet will sound, and then the dead will come back to life. They will be changed so that they can live forever.”
(1 Corinthians 15:51-52 GW)

In his letter to the church at Philippi, Paul writes.

There are many who live like enemies of the cross of Christ. I have often told you about them. And it makes me cry to tell you about them now. The way they live is leading them to destruction. They have replaced God with their own desires. They do shameful things, and they are proud of what they do. They think only about earthly things. But the government that rules us is in heaven. We are waiting for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come from there. He will change our humble bodies and make them like his own glorious body. Christ can do this by his power, with which he is able to rule everything.” (Philippians 3:18-21 ERV)

To the church at Colossae, he wrote.

Yes, Christ is now your life, and when he comes again, you will share in his glory.” (Colossians 3:4 ERV)

1 Thessalonians tells us about Jesus coming to save us from God’s wrath.

People everywhere are already telling the story about the good way you accepted us when we were there with you. They tell about how you stopped worshiping idols and changed to serve the living and true God. And you began waiting for God’s Son to come from heaven—the Son God raised from death. He is Jesus, who saves us from God’s angry judgment that is coming.” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 ERV)

We are the prize set forth by those who have gone before that will fill the heavens with joy when we see Christ at His return.

Who is our hope, joy, or prize that we can brag about in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Isn’t it you? You are our glory and joy!” (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 GW)

1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 ends with, “And so we shall ever be with the Lord, Therefore comfort one another with these words.” This is our hope. I, based upon God’s promises, place my hope in the fact that the rapture is coming quickly. Because of the proximity of further deadly actions against humanity and the church, I personally think we are down to mere months of survivability. There are several reasons I feel so strongly about our coming demise, and all of them are based on common sense and the fulfillment of prophecy.

There is NO hope in fear, and the Apostle Paul wrote his second letter to the church in Thessaloniki to bolster the information he had already given them and to encourage them to hold on to faith and the hope that he had informed them of. The reality of that church body is that they all died and are already in heaven with the Father. The point is that WE never give up hope.

Brothers and sisters, we don’t want you to be ignorant about those who have died. We don’t want you to grieve like other people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and came back to life. We also believe that, through Jesus, God will bring back those who have died. They will come back with Jesus. We are telling you what the Lord taught. We who are still alive when the Lord comes will not go ⌞into his kingdom⌟ ahead of those who have already died. The Lord will come from heaven with a command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet ⌞call⌟ of God. First, the dead who believed in Christ will come back to life. Then, together with them, we who are still alive will be taken in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. In this way, we will always be with the Lord. So then, comfort each other with these words! (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 GW)

It is wrath that is coming.

For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 NASB)

2 Thessalonians chapter 2 has several paragraphs committed to our departure and the onslaught of the antichrist once we are gone. Unfortunately, very few translations use the word departure, as the Geneva Bible does. The state church of England got involved over 100 years after the publication of the Geneva Bible, as people were leaving the Catholic church. For this reason, the Catholic church ordered the King James Version to be changed to reflect their anger and dismay over people turning their backs on God and the church. Therefore, the terminology was changed from departure to apostasy to manipulate people into repentance.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and that that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition,” (2 Thessalonians 2:3 Geneva)

That departure is our being called back to Jesus, and the thing that is coming is the antichrist. The church has to be removed before he will be disclosed. We will never see him.

I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1 Timothy 6:13-14 NASB)

2 Timothy 4 speaks of that day.

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:” (2 Timothy 4:1 NASB)

This crown of righteousness only happens at the Bema seat, and that seems to be integrated into that day.

in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
(2 Timothy 4:8 NASB)

Titus speaks of the day.

instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,” (Titus 2:12-13 NASB)

He is coming for those who eagerly await Him.

so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” (Hebrews 9:28 NASB)

Be patient as you await.

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.” (James 5:7 NASB)

Your faith will be found tested on that day.

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;.”
(1 Peter 1:6-7 NASB)

When He appears, you are to have confidence.

As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.” (1 John 2:27-28 NASB)

And I will end with this.

Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.” (Revelation 2:25 NASB)

The word caught is the Greek word harpazo and means to be snatched up or seized upon with force. The other word, and origin of the terminology rapture, is rapio. Revelation 12:5 uses the terminology harpazo (caught up). This clause gives the basis for belief in the Rapture (from the Latin rapio) of the living saints. The Rapture is clearly Pretribulational, for Paul’s purpose is to comfort the Thessalonians by calling attention to this glorious prospect and blessed hope.  (1 Thessalonians 4:18) (The Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury)

Time is short; you need to come to Jesus and give Him your life.

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There came a man from God. John 1:6-14.

 Consider something, if all humanity carries the brokenness called sin, is it possible that it is a genetic issue that has been passed down through Adam and Eve would have been passed through Mary, the virgin? 

Well, of course, it was, so God was excluded from using the egg or sperm of anyone human. 

Now, what is God supposed to do? 

If we are talking about the God who spoke the worlds into existence, creating all things, including Adam, then it is not beyond Him to make His own fertilized egg and to ask a young virgin girl to be a surrogate mother for that child. I might add, having attended a Catholic memorial service recently, where the priest stated that Mary was without sin; in my mind, I could hear the squeal of brakes as my head screamed out excuse me! From the days of Adam and Eve in the Garden, humanity has been born under the influence of sin. Mary was NOT excluded from this curse. Therefore, any child created through human intercourse would have been born into sin. However, Jesus was NOT made through human intercourse and was, therefore, sin-free. 

Did Jesus have free will to sin? 

Yes, but fortunately for us, He did not. He never sinned. Now apply that understanding to the time Jesus purposefully made a scourge of ropes and drove the money changers and sellers from the temple’s outer courts. I cannot read that detail without seeing the fury in His eyes, but that does not mean it was there. I can’t explain how this moment happened without rage; I just know I would have been motivated by rage/sin. 

In scripture, we are NOT given all the reasons that Mary and Joseph could not find a place to stay in Joseph’s hometown of Bethlehem, where his relatives lived. They could not even find a place at the Inn. Although here in America, we have a hotel chain called Motel 6, they used to be an inexpensive place for a “not so rich” family to shower and get a little bit of sleep. Multi-level, with relatively clean floors and beds, is NOT what we are talking about, as the typical house had livestock living within what would be the first level of the house. Yes, you slept with the smells. 

Whether the news about their marriage, how she is pregnant, and Joseph is not the child’s father traveled ahead of them is unknown. But you must agree that it is hard to hide nine months of pregnancy, and the couple have no reasonable explanations aside from repeating that He is the Son of God. All the problems accompanying their legitimate statements of understanding and faith were suddenly solved once the wise men came with their expensive gifts, which the couple apparently sold. We know this because the child is approximately two years old, and the family is living in their own home in Bethlehem when the wise men located them. It is mere days later when an angel tells them to escape to Egypt until the threat upon Jesus’ life through Herod passes. 

We have little to tell us how long they stayed in Egypt, but at some point, the family is given the green light to come back home because Herod is dead; home is no longer in Bethlehem but in Nazareth. Since Jerusalem is closer than Nazareth and it was a festival week, it may have been practical to make the stop there, where Jesus found his way into the temple and began having deep discussions about the Law and the Prophets.

Scripture tells us that Joseph was a good man, but this matter of who the Father of Jesus is may have been a struggle. The internet series “The Chosen,” in introducing the context of a third season episode, has Joseph alluding to potential problems if they linger much longer in the vicinity after finding Jesus in the temple. 

Why is Jesus being in the temple a problem?  

Because Joseph apparently had a visit from the same angel that visited Mary. From that point forward, Joseph protected Mary from prodding neighbors who were more than willing to call her a whore, potentially killing Mary and giving Jesus nothing less than the abuse the son of a whore deserved. The terminology for illegitimate children is mumzer, and the Torah told them that no illegitimate child would be allowed in the temple or receive official religious training. So, keeping a low profile and moving to towns where you are NOT known is beneficial to your survival.

Apparently, the simple phrase “a good man” included the idea that Joseph was adept with the scriptures and may well have taught young Jesus himself. We can assume that Joseph made it back to Nazareth, but what transpires during this time is a mystery, for the next thing we see in scripture is a reference to John the Baptist, baptizing in the Jordan river, and Jesus is about 30, and there is no more mention of Joseph.

With that, we pick up our study with John 1:6-14.

There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. (7) He came as a witness to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. (8) He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. (9) There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. (10) He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. (11) He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. (12) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, (13) who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (14) And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
(John 1:6-14 NASB)

Verse six opens with “There came a man sent from God.” The verse expresses to us that John the Baptizer is the subject, but what if you lacked that information. 

What would be your guess as to who the Holy Spirit is referring to?

The prophet Malachi, using similar wording, also spells out that this man is John. 

“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me…”
(Malachi 3:1 NASB)

In a cloaked manner, Isaiah declared that this voice was John, speaking about the Lord – Jesus.

“A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. “Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
(Isaiah 40:3-5 NASB)

John 1:9-13 shifts subjects and defines Jesus.

“There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. (10) He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. (11) He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. (12) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, (13) who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

John 1:8 explains –

“John was not the light. But he came to tell people about the light.” (John 1:8 ERV)

John 1:10,11 tells us –

“He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own (Who are His own? The Jewish nation, of course. But for me, it also speaks of the disciples and of us.) did not receive Him.” (NASB)

As a side note, despite the harsh criticism the series has received, I watch The Chosen series and enjoy it immensely. One of the apparent things is how little the disciples understood Jesus’ mission. Dallas Jenkins, the producer, director, and one of the writers, has done an excellent job of portraying many of the Biblical aspects of Jesus’ ministry. Try to watch it without crying.

“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
(John 1:14 NASB)

Jump back to verses one through three.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
(John 1:1-3 NASB)

Keep in mind that we can read this opening as “In beginning” to indicate a process that had an initiation point.

Previously, I asked when and where Jesus decided to fulfill the Father’s will and become flesh?

The answer goes back to a time, possibly before the creation. I say this because we see an angelic person under the guise of the angel of the Lord, interacting with humanity in many of the details of the Old Testament; these interactions give us every reason to believe that Jesus has been around for a long time. 

I have no reason to think that Jesus was not the one who walked in the cool of the garden calling out to Adam and Eve. I would NOT for a second suggest that once Adam brought all humanity under Satan’s subjection, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, had to go into emergency repair mode. No, this plan of redemption (the mystery) was well thought out long before Satan’s revolt and man’s treason.

Why is a comment such as “the only begotten from the Father,” important?

First, was anyone born again at the time of John the Baptist? The answer is NO that came after the cross, but many demonstrated faith in Jesus Christ, and that, according to the Apostle Paul, is the only way through Christ, to the Father.

“nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.” (Galatians 2:16 NASB)

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

Another version of this verse reads like this “The Word became a man and lived among us.”

Isaiah chapter seven tells us.

“So the Lord himself will give you this sign: A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel [God Is With Us].”
(Isaiah 7:14 GW)

The path that God used to bring His Son into the world is through this young virgin.

Isaiah chapter nine gives us His names.

“A child will be born for us. A son will be given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. He will be named: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
(Isaiah 9:6 GW)

The probability that Jesus, the Word of God that created the heavens and the earth, was a man when all this took place is good.

It is NOT impossible for God to place that Son into an egg and have a young virgin carry that Son.

It is NOT improbable that the Father had His Son fostered by a young girl named Mary, and the older man – a good man, hold the place of a Father that would see to it that Jesus was taught appropriately in the Law and nature of God, a representation that is exhibited in the action and words of the Son.

Posted in Adam, beginning, bible study, children, creation, Creation, Gospel of John, grace, Jesus, mystery, The Word was God | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Him, there was life. A study in the gospel of John 1:4,5.

In my previous post, I “only” covered John 1:1. I had the blinders on and only chose to focus on that one verse. However, verses two and three also speak to the beginning of all things and Jesus’ role in creation.

Before the world began, the Word was there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was there with God in the beginning. Everything was made through him, and nothing was made without him.”
(John 1:1-3 ERV)

Before the world began, the Word was there. John used the Greek word logos – a word spoken, to express what he was trying to say. So the spoken word conveys the will and nature of God while also detailing His Son. Some strong clues that back this peculiar statement up are: “The Word was with God;” the Word was God;” and, Everything was made through him (the Word), and NOTHING was made without him.”

Who is the Word?

  • Jesus

  • God

  • and yes, the Holy Spirit.

They are three, but they are one and the same. And yes, the written Word is an integrated aspect of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Those Words you find in your Bible are filled with life, power, and promise.

I don’t do high theology; I write to be understood. If you can’t understand that Jesus spoke the worlds into existence because He and the Father are one, then perhaps that is because you have a veil over your eyes and cannot see. Paul tells us that the veil is lifted when a person asks Jesus to come into their lives and take control. (2 Corinthians 3:14)

Ooh, that taking control part sounds scary, almost as if I am giving up the right to make decisions about my own life. First, I would like to ask you, how have your efforts to control your life been working out for you?

So what we are doing is voluntarily submitting ourselves to Jesus, who voluntarily laid down His life so that you could have life once again. Ah, but this does NOT mean that every negative circumstance around you will simply fall away. No, you will probably, in time, have to separate yourself from people and places that will harm you (either mentally or physically.)

Since it is on my mind. We ALL sin – in other words, we all miss the mark. Yes, the word sin is an old English archery term that indicates you did anything but hit the bullseye (the bullseye is that small, usually colored circle, about an inch wide, that gets remarkably small the further away it gets.) The human/religious and, therefore, traditional implications are that you MUST hit the bullseye on every attempt. Seriously, we occasionally hit it as we make amends, an aspect of confessing our sins.

What am I trying to say?

We are forgiven because Jesus went to the cross and rose again, but that forgiveness did not integrate itself into our being until we accepted Jesus Christ into our lives. At the moment you received Jesus, the Holy Spirit of God, the one who had been prodding you to give your life to Him, came into you and permanently, made His home, and began to change you from the inside to the outside.

Now that we have that understanding, we shall move on.

In him there was life, and that life was a light for the people of the world. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not defeated it.”
(John 1:4-5 ERV)

  • In him there was life.”

    Ah, but what does it mean to have life?

    Life, according to the Word Study Dictionary, is the Greek word zōḗ and conveys the general idea of physical life and existence as opposed to death and nonexistence. In other Manuscripts, it is presented as psuchḗ zōḗs, the soul of life means every living soul (Septuagint.: Gen_2:7Gen_25:7). Of life or existence after rising from the dead, only of Christ (Rom_5:102Co_4:10-12). Metaphorically of the Jewish people (Rom_11:15).

    Then the LORD God took dust from the ground and made a man. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nose, and the man became a living thing.” (Genesis 2:7 ERV)

    The usage of life in Gen 2:7. chayyim (313a); from H2421a; life: — alive, life, life-giving, lifetime, live, sustenance.

    SUSTENANCE, n. Support; maintenance; That which supports life.

    Romans 5:10 expresses a similar meaning.

    For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
    (Romans 5:10 NASB)

    Here is what I hear screaming in my head.

    I am already alive, so what does giving myself to Jesus offer me that I do not already have?

    I suppose that the fact that you are breathing and living in a manner that you prefer is what you are talking about. The Apostle Paul said something strange that speaks to your definition of life.

    If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity than anyone else in all the world.” (1 Corinthians 15:19 GNB)

    Obviously, life does NOT apply to how you can live in your journeys on this earth; there is something more, and in expressing that we have hope in Christ, he has explained to whom we turn to gain this life.

    Webster’s dictionary gives 26 points in which they attempt to define life. A few of those will make our case.

      1. In a general sense, that state of animals and plants, or of an organized being, in which its natural functions and motions are performed, or in which its organs are capable of performing their functions.

        (So you are breathing and feeling; we, for the most part, all do that. And clearly, there is something more.)

      2. The present state of existence; the time from birth to death.

        (For the person, through no fault of their own, who is now a quadriplegic, their existence is rather limited. Again, this is hardly what we are talking about, and these people can have  hope in Christ, and you might never know that.)

      3. Manner of living; conduct; deportment, in regard to morals.

        (For some, they believe this is acquired with their excessive amounts of money and controlled by their tainted morals, which could be guided by that money.)

      4. “Blood the supposed vehicle of animation.”

        (This is one of the basest definitions, and we are all subject to death.)

And I will cut this off with one last definition.

      1. Eternal happiness in heaven. Rom 5.

        Webster did not expound on what motivated him to write Romans 5, but verse 10 speaks of being saved by His life.

        For if, while we were yet enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:10 TLV)

        Sin made us enemies, but Christ’s death and resurrection brought us back into the family through our acceptance of the cross.

        Outside of the breath you breathe, there is no life without Jesus in your life.

Maybe I should explain that because we are made in the image of God, we all have eternal spirits; this also means that you, being in the image of God, are a hated target of Satan’s wrath. Some will respond to this statement by saying, I am doing my best to live for Satan. The problem with that logic is that he doesn’t need you, nor does he care for you. At the moment, because of your putrid allegiance, you are, for the time being, taken out of the way and NOT a threat to him. Whoopee. None of this means a thing to the unbeliever, although many of them may be trying to live forever through AI.

Since you will live forever through the aid of an operating system being installed in you, the question then becomes where you will live, preserved in a bottle of formaldehyde?

At this point, the next question thrown at you is, how could a good God send people to hell?

Hell, was made for Satan and the fallen angels. We have freedom of choice and can choose to follow Jesus Christ, or you can follow Satan. Those are the ONLY two choices. Following Christ gives you a life with the Father in eternity, while following Satan only gives you a fiery hell with him for perpetuity. So, it is not that God is sending you to hell; you are merely following your leader. You will NOT have the freedom to say, I did not know, because you are choosing, even now, to NOT believe and, therefore, not receive Jesus into your life.

If Christ gives you a life with the Father, is that happening now, or do you have to wait for something to come?

The life in Him begins immediately. Unfortunately, we live in a broken creation. But the day is coming in which it will be changed. This comes in two phases: the 1000 years, where there will be peace. Oh sure, the earth will still have people living on it with their freedom of choice. The second phase comes after the 1000 years when all sin is purged, the dead will be judged, and Satan and sinners will be gone. At this point in time, we will be with the Father, with all the other saints – free from the damage of sin, and we will have clear minds. The migration to the 1000-year reign is about to take place, and I look for it every day.

    • and that life was a light for the people of the world.”

      Not just the Jews, but you and I.

    • The light shines in the darkness,

      I don’t care how dark it seems; the light is still shining.

    • and the darkness has not defeated it.

      And the most important part of all. Know and understand that the darkness (in whatever form it takes) has not and will not defeat the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Father.

Posted in bible study, creation, Creation, darkness, enemies, forgiven, Forgiveness, Gospel of John, Hope, Jesus, saved, The Word was God, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A study in the Gospel of John (John 1:1)

 “In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”         (John 1:1 NASB)

The Strong’s numbers for John 1:1

“In the beginningG746 was R2the WordG3056, and the WordG3056 was R3with GodG2316, and R4the WordG3056 was GodG2316.”

In the beginning,” The single Gk word is archē; It denotes an order, time, place, or rank, and an act, in this case, the beginning. It can also indicate a cause, as in Col_1:18; 

A comparative verse is Genesis 1:1 from the OT. 

Genesis 1:1 NASB “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Much like the Apostle John’s gospel, this one Hebrew word, rê’shı̂yth, conveys the phrase “In the beginning.” It, too, carries the meaning of the first, in place, time, order, or rank.

Likewise, Colossians 1:17 tells us that “He is before all things.”  Interesting how the definitions include the idea that things were happening in order. We see a comparable assertion when we consider Genesis 1:1.

Since John’s gospel defines the context as Jesus, we could walk away, shake the dust off our feet, and call it done. But the terminology “He” also applies to GodPaul’s letter to the church in Colossae also conveys the idea that Jesus’ Words hold all things together, and if you were honest, you would admit that you, too, think of God as He.

What evidence do we have that confirms this relationship between God and Jesus?  

“In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 GNB)

This Good News Bible is quite simplistic, but it opens with a telling statement, when this all began, the Word already existed, and it seems He was standing next to Abba when He spoke the universe into existence. 

This opens the door to another mystery.

Had Jesus, knowing how things would turn out, already submitted Himself to take on the form of a man? 

One piece of evidence that fuels such a thought comes from the many pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus Christ throughout the Old Testament. If the Messiah created with a human inclination, then you would think he would have done so with a concern for the beauty of nature, which we humans are so enamored with, as it would have become a part of His thinking. Although I am getting ahead of myself, John 1:14 clearly tells us that the Word became flesh.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
(John 1:14 NASB)

The word became is the Greek word ginomai. The Word Study Dictionary gives us the meaning: to begin to be, to come into existence or into any state, or simply to be.

1 John 1:1 NASB “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life–”

John and many other disciples unashamedly testified to some essential things that many feel comfortable denying or ignoring.

  • We heard. Many events have sounds and memorable sayings associated with them. 
  • We have seen with our eyes. We saw people’s lives change because of the miracles.
  • And, we touched with our hands. While touching has some wide latitude, it could be taken to mean they touched the Son of God.

In a translation such as the LITV, the word “the” is italicized, indicating that it was added for clarity.

 “In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 LITV)

I could read this, “In beginning.” A read like this applies no parameters to how this should be understood. The Septuagint, where it reads “en arche,” conveys the idea of a point of commencement, simply to begin, or it is indicative of a process.

Since John seems to lean heavily upon Genesis 1:1 as a prophetic witness, you would think that we would see the same treatment of the word “the” in the Genesis record. However, a proper study of the Genesis account proves that it could be read in the same manner but through the usage of a singular Hebrew word, rê’shı̂yth.

Now let’s ponder the phrase “the Word” for a moment.

The phrase is simple enough. It is (as Strong’s dictionary points out) “The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article.” In other words, it is pointed to one thing, the person of Jesus in all His forms

I already pointed out how John 1:14 tells us that the Word became flesh, and yet, suddenly, I find my thoughts a little cloudy, and here is why. Here we are in January 2023, and lately, one of the current trends is to ask some artificial intelligence application to provide an image of God. Some results are effeminate, homogeneous, ethereal beings with a single eye where the forehead should be.

When people try to play the race card and say that “we” have created a white God, I point out that there is the possibility that God is nuclear energy. I say that because Moses was NOT allowed to look at the face of God, as it would kill the man. Instead, Moses was allowed a fleeting glimpse of the backside of God as He moved away. As a result of that moment, Moses glowed for quite a while, so much so that the people asked him to cover his head.

It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses’ hand as he was coming down from the mountain) that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him.” (Exodus 34:29 NASB)

We know that Moses was on that mountain for 40 days and nights, longer than a human can live without water and food, but we have no chronological timeline of when specific things occurred. So the point here is we do not know how long Moses glowed.

And yet, when the Pharisees demanded that Jesus show them the Father, He merely responded by saying, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father. Today, we see Jesus primarily through the Word of God – the Bible. 

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Does anything exist outside of God’s will?

Pastor John MacArthur once stated, “God wills evil to exist.”

I can assure you that he thought long and hard about this answer before giving it to his audience.

So the first question you must ask is, does anything exist outside God’s will? 

The answer is no. That answer makes this idea of evil seem odd and uncomfortable. The discomfort we feel in accepting a response like this likely comes because we don’t understand God’s will and the underlying selfishness we hide. After all, we frequently are only willing to have His will align with our understanding and goals, and that doesn’t happen.

Evil, by definition, is, in this case, adjectives like profoundly immoral and wicked. Hence, it has the following synonyms: “wicked, bad, wrong, morally wrong, wrongful, immoral, sinful, ungodly, unholy, foul, vile, base, ignoble, dishonorable, corrupt, iniquitous, depraved, degenerate, villainous, nefarious, sinister, vicious, malicious, malevolent, demonic, devilish, diabolic, diabolical, fiendish, dark, black-hearted.”

Sadly, these grievous words could have been used to describe any of us at some point.

Evidently, evil existed before the beginning of time, lurking in the dark. But, in the case of Adam and Eve, it was just waiting to be picked and eaten.

Our introduction to God/Jesus through John’s gospel tells us in the third verse of that book that,

“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
(John 1:3 NASB.)

If all things came into being through Him, then evil was also part of that plan, but why? 

An aspect of the answer is seen almost immediately as God describes the warfare between the woman’s seed and Satan’s seed.

“And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
(Genesis 3:15 NLT)

So, before God decided that humanity would be “created” and Lucifer rebelled, God had a plan (an aspect of His will) to rid His world of Satan and the evil associated with his rebellion. Genesis 3:15 explicitly tells us that He/God would cause hostility between Satan and the woman. Most would perceive hostility to be evil.

Let’s assume that evil/sin was introduced into the earth through Satan.

In that case, evil must exist until he and it – the corruption built into us, are entirely removed from existence

(If you are following the logic, then you may have gasped as you realized that means that somehow this body must die. Since we have no clear definition of what transpires at the Bema – a time of rewards associated with the catching away of the church, it may be that the body dies, purging us permanently from the corruption of sin.)

The only other place we see this happening is after the end of the millennial reign and after the great white throne. Until that happens, God has to be willing to tolerate evil and, therefore, wills evil to exist in this world.

Don’t think for a moment that evil has mastery over God or runs rampant in the hearts of all humanity, having its way; it will not, and that is why we were given the Holy Spirit of God.

Jesus said,

“But as for you, Christ has poured out his Spirit on you. As long as his Spirit remains in you, you do not need anyone to teach you. For his Spirit teaches you about everything, and what he teaches is true, not false. Obey the Spirit’s teaching, then, and remain in union with Christ.”
(1 John 2:27 GNB)

Well, surprise! When you accepted Jesus Christ into your life, you received the Holy Spirit.

I am making this next comment about me because I can’t speak for you.

The verse above does not explain why my own life was so bland and powerless until I was about 23 years old. I wanted to add that the changes that happened in me were NOT directly related to some teaching about the Holy Spirit. I had been invited to a men’s retreat where a young man named Jerry Savelle was going to be speaking. At this point in his life, Jerry was running around with Kenneth Copeland as they taught on faith, another theme that was not spoken of in church with such emphasis. Well, God got my attention, and I came away from the retreat with a burning desire for the Word of God. Reading the Bible as though I had never read it before, along with the teaching of an enthusiastic local Bible teacher, I began to experience some powerful changes as I began to trust God and apply faith to everyday life. It saddens me to tell you that my first marriage turned into a nightmare, and I, once again, turned my back on God. Fortunately, He never turned His back on me, and I was aware of that. This dark period lasted about ten years.

Yes, I am aware that I received Christ when I was very young; however, I cannot remember ANYONE telling me that I received the Holy Spirit and the empowerment He brings until I met Brother Jerry. In a sense, I lived in fear of a God I understood to be angry and for whom I could never work hard enough to please. And all this was under the guise of religion.

Scripturally, we see evil taking a tremendous advantage over followers of Christ in the last few days. Fortunately, all this evil and the damage caused comes out in the wash at Jesus’ return for His church, at the beginning of the millennial reign, and again at the great white throne.

No matter what things look like, justice will win out.

Since God clearly seems to have known of evil, did He introduce evil into the mindset of His creation when He created ‘âdâm/humankind?

[Strong’s concordance in defining the word ‘âdâm, indicates a human being (an individual or the species humankind.]

The answer is NO, for humanity (two reproductive people) were created in the image of God, a perfect being, and one that cannot be tested with evil or lies.

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
(Genesis 1:27 NASB)

His will included the actions of Adam and Eve in the garden. Even though their actions caused all of us grief, the end scenario is one where God’s own Son (Jesus) removed the judgment and penalty for sin and made the way (acceptance of the one Jesus, who paid it all) for all to spend eternity with the Father in Heaven (this all happened on the cross.) three crosses on a hill

The idea that something untidy or painful is typically selfish and evil is fraudulent; because the Father’s will is often untidy and occasionally painful, but it is still His will.

Jesus’ death on the cross was both untidy and painful, and yet it was the will of the Father because it showed His love toward us. Since God gave us the freedom to choose something other than His love, it is still His will; therefore, we should be able to understand that God wills evil to exist for the moment, but that door will soon close, and the age of grace will be over.

Oh, His love will never end nor go away, and therefore, you will continue to see people coming to Jesus, knowing full well that it will cost them their lives here on earth. Such a small price to pay for a life with the Father.

Posted in 1 John, bible study, creation, Holy spirit, hostility, image, In Christ, the will of God, Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does scripture tell us that the earth’s axis will shift 40 degrees?

A brother in Christ who goes by the YouTube name, Watchman River Tom, mentioned that he always listens to Jonathan Brentner. So I felt I needed to check out his website, “Our Journey Home.”

The article is called “12 Signs The World is Running Out of Normal.

I am not confused about what I read in scripture or hear in my spirit, and I will not let fools cause me to be led astray. Therefore, I can say with a passion that normal is NOT coming backJesus is.

An aspect of what Jonathan said was that the world wobbling would be part of the signs that are to come. He bases his statement on two verses, Isaiah 24:19-20 and Revelation 6:12-17. 

I am NOT doing this to rebuke a brother in Christ but to see if his thesis holds true, if scripture, in any way, tells us that the world will wobble and if we can use this to describe things that are to come.

From Jonathan Brentner’s website, Our Journey Home.


Since 2001, the earth’s magnetic north pole has been moving. An article on the Forbes Magazine website, Earth’s Magnetic North Pole Is Shifting Dramatically From A Powerful Tug Of War, discussed how this shift has speeded up in recent years.

Why do I include this in the list of 12 signs? It’s because of warnings of what happens when the pole shift may reach forty degrees. That’s the point at which the north and south poles will swap places.[iii]

What’s so significant about this?

The Bible tells us that during the Tribulation period, the world will wobble (see Isaiah 24:19-20 and Revelation 6:12-17). I find it more than a little curious that what many predict will happen at the time of the pole shift matches what these prophetic passages say will happen during the Day of the Lord. It’s much more than a coincidence.”

Because Jonathan referenced an article from Forbes Magazine that speaks of how the earth’s magnetic pole is shifting, I can easily realize that we are talking about a polar shift.

Now the question is, what would cause this?

The earth is broken asunder, The earth is split through, The earth is shaken violently. The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard And it totters like a shack, For its transgression is heavy upon it, And it will fall, never to rise again.” (Isaiah 24:19-20 NASB)

I cannot honestly say that I see the earth rotating 40+ degrees askew, let alone understand what is being said. A literal translation reads,

The earth is breaking, breaking! The earth is crashing, crashing! The earth is tottering, tottering. (Isaiah 24:19 LITV)

From what I have come to understand, the repetition of words in the Hebrew tradition means that God is trying to solidify and emphasize, especially in a prophetic sense. The terminology “utterly breaking down” is the Hebrew word rā‛a‛ and means to be evil or bad. It goes on to call it damaged or distressed.

The earth was NOT bad or evil in the day that it was made, but it certainly could have been damaged. When I look at the Literal Translation of the Bible, instead of “moved” exceedingly, it uses the terminology tottering twice.

It is the Hebrew word mot and means to totter, shake, or slip, among other words like totter. Isaiah 24:20 tells us in the KJV that “The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard.” This is the Hebrew word nua and means to quiver, wave, waver, tremble, totter.

So, based upon Isaiah 24:19-20, I am still at a loss to understand where Jonathan gets a 40-degree tilt.

For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:18 KJV)

It is clear to me that Isaiah 24:19,20 has a context, and it starts in verse 1. The NASB entitles this section of scripture “Judgment on the whole earth. Alright, this I can understand, but I still have a problem.

Behold, the LORD lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface and scatters its inhabitantsAnd the people will be like the priest, the servant like his master, the maid like her mistress, the buyer like the seller, the lender like the borrower, the creditor like the debtor. (Isaiah 24:1-2 NASB)

Notice the role reversals. So the emphasis has everything to do with the destruction of the earth and its inhabitants. This passage tells us that the LORD distorts its surface.

Distort is the Hebrew word avah and means to bend or twist.

What would it take for the earth to bend and twist in this manner?

We would have to project every possible scenario in order to obtain such an effect. I will add that the associated passage Jonathan mentions is in Revelation 6. When I attempted to teach through Revelation, we were not very far in chapter six before my friend said, how does anybody make it through the seven years? Good question.

If I put together what I have just learned, I have bad earth, and because it’s bad, He bends and twists the earth in order to punish (the earth) and those on it. Since the earth could NOT make itself bad, then it is reasonable to consider other outside forces being applied.

Can we make an assertion as to what those outside forces were or are?

Here in Isaiah 42, we see that one of those outside forces will definitely be the Lord. Now project this forward to the Revelation, which declares that the book is a Revealing of Jesus. Would it surprise you to see that Jesus goes forth like a warrior and lays waste to the mountains and hills?

The LORD will go forth like a warrior, He will arouse His zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry. He will prevail against His enemies. “I have kept silent for a long time; I have kept still and restrained Myself. Now, like a woman in labor, I will groan; I will both gasp and pant. “I will lay waste the mountains and hills And wither all their vegetation; I will make the rivers into coastlands And dry up the ponds.” (Isaiah 42:13-15 NASB)

In Jeremiah 51, the Lord says that He is against someone or something that has qualities like a mountain but destroys the whole earth; He calls it Babylon. Think about the logic of a statement like that. A city cannot destroy the entire world, so “Babylon” is either a spiritual entity associated with that name or applies to those who ruled over Babylon.  

The context is directed at Babylon, but there is a spiritual theme.

“Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, Who destroys the whole earth,” declares the LORD, “And I will stretch out My hand against you, And roll you down from the crags, And I will make you a burnt out mountain.” (Jeremiah 51:25 NASB)

Anyone with a Biblical sense understands that Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler over Babylon, took Israel captive for 70 years as punishment for not obeying God. By the time Daniel realized that the time of their punishment was over, Babylon was under the control of the Persians, and King Cyrus was in control. It is well-defined in scripture that men like Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, and Hitler served as the hands and feet of God when it came to dishing out punishment. Fortunately, none of these men lived forever, but something else does – spiritual entities. 

One of the places where we see a powerful allusion to our spiritual enemy is found in Revelation 12.

“For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” (Revelation 12:12 NASB)

A question, when did Satan come down to earth?

An aspect of our answer is associated with a statement that Jesus made.

And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.
(Luke 10:18 NASB)

Consider that Jesus was standing before a crowd when He said this. That means He was in close proximity to the Father when Satan was tossed to earth, and it would appear that the planet was free of humanity when this happened. Another thing that plays a role in your understanding of when this fall from heaven took place is the actuality that Satan, who had possessed a serpent that walked on four legs and talked, met with Adam and Eve as they were now cultivating within earshot of the tree that was off limits to eat from. An interesting thought that suddenly occurs to me is, Why go near that tree? 

Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15 NASB)

The tree that was off-limits in terms of eating was an aspect of the garden that God gave Adam to cultivate. So it was a non-issue until Satan got involved, but if you go back to the conversation where this instruction was initiated, there was NO Eve; this fact legitimizes Satan’s arguments when he said, “did He really say that?

The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17 NASB)

Considering that we started by trying to figure out if scripture tells us that the earth will wobble by “40 degrees of tilt (+ or -)”, where does the garden of Eden fit into this? Seeing as we learned that Satan was thrown to the ground before the creation of man and that Genesis 1:2 indicates that the earth had been thrown into an explosive turmoil, which made the place void.

I would be a fool to think that the impact of Satan on the earth could not have tilted the globe on its axis. Many will deny the possibility that the earth endures such hellish devastation because they seem to think that it impairs God. Oh well, I do not see it that way, and it is clear that there is the potential that God will do the same thing.

From a scientific point of view, causing the earth to rotate to another axis should cause a total annihilation of humanity on earth, an event which I never see in scripture until after the great white throne judgment – an event which finally leaves a world in which there are NO unbelievers or humans subject to deathand it will be a time in which we will be forever, with the Father, in heaven. All this creates an environment in which the heavens and the earth could then be burned up and perhaps replaced, an event that we do encounter in scripture. These are physical phenomena that could not be done at any point outside of the time beyond the great white throne because there will continue to be mortals up to the final judgment, a judgment, by the way, that only includes dead people.

Keep in mind that the “English” and the grammar that we see in almost every Biblical translation came out of the mind of humans. True, there are passages such as:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16 KJV)

Consider that when Paul wrote these words, the ONLY “scripture” that these Messianic believers had would have possibly been one copy of the Law and Prophets. There were NO Bibles, as the Bible was being lived out before their eyes and written to the congregations in the form of letters to those church bodies. That being said, here is another witness.

They assembled together against Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone far enough, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?” (Numbers 16:3 NASB)

While the terminology does not match 2 Timothy’s example, it does demonstrate how God feels about those who are His, up to and including the fact that God is always in the midst of His followers.

There is NOTHING in Isaiah 24 that specifically says the earth will tilt by 40 degrees, so let’s try the other reference we were given, Revelation 6:12-17.

I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;” (Revelation 6:12 NASB)

An obvious factor pops up as I read this. Five seals have been opened already.

  1. The first seal. “A rider on a white horse” carrying a bow but NO arrows.

    Most see this as the antichrist. The timing is perfect as this is one of the first things that happens after the catching away of the church. The bow with no arrows is indicative of a false peace, and we see that with the seven-year covenant he makes.

    Other clues about this man: a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

  2. The second seal, “a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.

    Is this associated with the rider on the white horse or an added attraction?

  3. The third seal. “A black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”

    Horrendous escalation in food prices, shortages, and starvation.

  4. The fourth seal. “An ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.”


  5. The fifth seal.

    When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. (Revelation 6:9-11 NASB)

    Everything seems to be focused on the intentional killing of those who follow after Christ during the seven years.

  6. And the passage in question where the earth tilts.

    I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:12-17 NASB)

Look at what it says, “there was a great earthquake.”

What geologic violence would the earth have to endure to shift the poles by 40 degrees?

Considering that The answer is something devastating, destructive, and monumental. And God is just getting started in terms of judgment against Israel and the nations, as there are two more sets of judgment – the bowls and the trumpets, to come.

The passage goes on to say that “every mountain and island were moved from their place.” That is a massive shaking that goes beyond our imaginations, and yet as you follow the narrative in Revelation, this happens several more times.

An example of what a 9.0 earthquake can do was seen in the Fukushima event of 2011.

The Japan earthquake and tsunami of 2011, also called Great Sendai Earthquake or Great Tōhoku Earthquake, severe natural disaster that occurred in northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011. The event began with a powerful earthquake off the northeastern coast of Honshu, Japan’s main island, which caused widespread damage on land and initiated a series of large tsunami waves that devastated many coastal areas of the country, most notably in the Tōhoku region (northeastern Honshu). The tsunami also instigated a major nuclear accident at a power station along the coast.

The magnitude-9.0 earthquake was caused by the rupture of a stretch of the subduction zone associated with the Japan Trench, which separates the Eurasian Plate from the subducting Pacific Plate. A part of the subduction zone measuring approximately 190 miles (300 km) long by 95 miles (150 km) wide lurched as much as 164 feet (50 meters) to the east-southeast and thrust upward about 33 feet (10 meters).”

The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up.”

Whatever this event is, it impacts the skies. The (Lexham English Bible) tells us that “…the sky was split apart like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved from their place.”

The experience of having the sky appear to split and roll back like a scroll would be frightening by itself. The question then becomes, what, then, are you looking at should you look at the sky?

I don’t have an answer for you. I do know that these events will happen within the seven years of God’s wrath, which comes after Jesus comes back for His church – His followers. Many people focus on the events that are currently happening and say we are experiencing God’s wrath now. We are NOT as the removal of the church is necessary; however, Jesus said when you see these things, you can know that He is at the door.

Now learn the parable from the fig tree: Whenever its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also you, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the door. Truly I say to you that this generation will never pass away until all these things take place!”
(Mark 13:28-30 LEB)

  • Israel is referenced as the fig tree on several occasions in scripture, holding to the necessity of two witnesses.

  • Israel became a nation in a day (May 14, 1948). This is monumental, and squirm as you may, you can’t get past this sign.

These two events/prophetic signs are game-changers that cannot be ignored.

  • This generation will never pass away until all these things take place. Do a quick study to figure out the length of a generation, and you will come to the conclusion that we are right there.

  • And, though it is NOT mentioned in the passages above, Jesus also said that we will hear of wars and rumors of wars. The truth be known, times of peace have been a rarity, so I am unsure how to process this statement. But, with this Russian war with Ukraine, Turkey now attacking portions of Syria; (12/23/2022). Within the last twenty-four hours, a military base in Moscow has been set on fire; and North Korea continues to ramp up the fear by launching another ballistic missile.

So, “when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the door.”

It is time to invite Jesus into your life and become a part of the family.

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But you, brethren, are not in darkness. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5. An integration with an article by Amir Tsarfati about the fig tree.

This is based on an article in Harbingers Daily, written by Amir Tsarfati on 12/06/22.

Me) One of the loathsome things I perpetually hear is, No one knows the day or the hour. These naysayers espouse this even though the Apostle Paul told us, 

…you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief.”

Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you, yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 NASB)

There seems to be a concerted effort among church members and leadership to promote deception.
Note how Paul says that “we,” the “believer,” is NOT in darkness, that the day would overtake us like a thief; this is because those outside the family only acknowledge the rapture. After all, it is a scenario portrayed in scary movies, and they seem to have serious doubts about being left behind.

What is “the day”?

There are two schools of thought.

  1. That it is a day of judgment.

    There are two of those “days” that apply to judgment. 

    One would be when He comes back at the end of the seven years and silences all who have come to fight against Him. He does this with the breath of His mouth, and there will be a river of blood. 

    The second day of judgment will come at the end of the thousand-year reign and climax with the white throne judgment

    Two things happen in relation to the white throne, and they are packaged under the heading of the second day or final judgment.

    Satan will be released once again, and he will deceive the nations. Yes, during the millennial reign, people with a free will shall repopulate the earth and continue to live, and some will choose to ignore the ongoing message of God’s goodness, which they can witness firsthand.

    Deceived by Satan, they will attempt to kill God and His people as they surround the Holy City, God, and His people. He kills them with the breath of His mouth and burns them up.

    The next aspect of this judgment is that all the dead, quite possibly from the beginning of time, will be brought before this throne. Here is where Matthew 25 kicks in because Jesus, the judge, and shepherd, separates this crowd into two representative groups – “sheep and goats.” To the sheep, He will say, enter into the eternal kingdom. The goats will go to eternal damnation with Satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet who are already there.

So much for judgment.

  1. The second way people perceive “the day” is through the catching away of the church.

    This event has little to do with judgment, although many many perceive it as judgment because it is associated with the Bema seat pg of Christ.

    The passage that gives much great concern is,

    But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.
    Romans 14:10 NASB)

    The Bema seat is more of a time for passing out rewards for a job well done.

Fully aware that we do not have to be deceived because we are NOT in darkness, then what can we know?

To the Pharisees, Jesus said you can read the signs of the weather.

“The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ “And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away.” (Matthew 16:1-4 NASB)

Jesus’ first response when the disciples implored Him to “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

“…Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.”
Matthew 24:4 NASB)

See to it G3005 légo – Is to say, affirm over, maintain, teach, point out with words, to speak of, or mention.

This affirmation is what you do to yourselves.

Mislead G4105 planáo – To cause to wander, lead astray.

How many different ways can we be caused to wander?

Let’s see: The news, as they would never deceive me.

Are you kidding?

Haven’t you noticed how every news station repeats the exact same words, no matter how small or large the station is? Someone is pulling their chains, telling them to feed you what they want you to know.

Another recent event was Elon Musk purchasing Twitter and then revealing that men like

James Addison Baker III is an American attorney, diplomat, and statesman. A member of the Republican Party, he served as the 10th White House Chief of Staff and the 67th United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan, and the 61st U.S. Secretary of State. He was also a former American government official at the Department of Justice who served as general counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He later served as deputy general counsel at Twitter, Inc. from June 2020 to December 2022 before being fired by Elon Musk. (Wikipedia –

have been assisting in process of eliminating our civil rights by blocking our freedom of speech.

Paul, in his second letter to the church in Thessaloniki, told them

“Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,” (2 Thessalonians 2:3 NASB)

Notice the nondescript word “it.” It is fascinating how a simple word can imply or point to so many things. “It” can apply to the beast, antichrist, the New World Order, the methods used to make their evil plans work, or the people who think they can control us. I chuckled as I wrote this, as they are making it happen.  

Are you in denial? How is that working for you?  

Deceive G1818 exapatáo – to seduce, deceive, lead out of the right way into error.

I was not born during the days of the Nazi concentration camps, but I can read and am a piteous history student. But this leading out of the right way into error is precisely what Hitler and the Nazi party did to Germany. If you don’t believe that, try reading about Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as he details how the Nazis led the majority of Pastors, and for a moment, even Bonhoeffer, to the point that they merely played their worship music louder to drown out the screams of the Jews on the trains as they were carted off to their deaths.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, we know that the Greek word apostasia had been  manipulated  in the King James Version of the Bible to read apostasy – or falling away instead of departure (indicating a departure  of the church to be with Jesus.)  This was done to convey the anger of the state church, the Catholic church in the 1500s, over people leaving the church for Protestantism. The previous version of the Bible was the Geneva Bible and existed for almost 100 years, with the word apostasia accurately being translated as departure. 

A three-page introduction. What is the point? 

Since we are not in the dark, we should be able to see what is coming and how close we are to our catching away. 

Jesus addressed just such a condition when He spoke to the Pharisees and Sadducees. 

He said, 

“Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky but cannot discern the signs of the times?”

One of those signs was the fig tree, and that is where Amir Tsarfati comes into play. I will add that many are now trying to tell us that the fig tree does not refer to Israel. This is part of the deception!

‘We Are The Generation’: God Has Not Left Us In The Dark About the Generation We Live In.”

By Amir Tsarfati, December 6, 2022

Jeremiah 8:13Hosea 9:10, and Joel 1:7 all refer to Israel as a fig tree, and the content of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24-25 is concerning events before and during the 70th week of Daniel – also referred to as the Great Tribulation. That means the fig tree Jesus is referring to is the nation of Israel, and when it puts forth leaves and the branch is tender (which indicates new growth), we can know that summer is near. From that example, Jesus said that the generation that sees this will not pass away before all things in the Olivet Discourse take place.

What that means to you and me as Christians living at the end of the time of the Gentiles and the church age is that we have been given an entire generation’s notice about the coming of the Lord. He will come first for His church before the Tribulation and then with His church to end the Tribulation. We were given this information by our gracious and loving Lord not so we would be ready for the Rapture – we should always be ready for that event – but so we would tell others not only that they also need to be ready, but more importantly, why and how they can be.

No one knows the day or the hour of the Lord appearing in the air to meet the dead in Christ and the living saints. However, He did tell us to be ready in Matthew 24:

Matthew 24:44 KJV – “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

The phrase “hour you do not expect” could also be translated as “a season never supposed”. That carries with it a couple of potential meanings. Either that Jesus is coming for us at a time when things are unimaginable, like now, or that Jesus is coming at a time when few think He will, also like now. Whichever meaning is the one that God intended, both make clear that the hour is late. The Jews are back in the land, the fig tree has put forth leaves, and the unknown day or hour is likely very near.

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