What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pr. J.D. Farag - Prophecy Update

Notes from Pr. Farag 

Mid-East Prophecy Update – April 27th, 2014
- For today’s prophecy update I would like to talk about the prophetic significance of some recent and major developments concerning Israel.

- It seems in the last several weeks, especially this last week with it being Resurrection Sunday, much has happened as it relates to Israel.

- I’ll start with last Thursday, April 24th, and sort of work backwards to provide an update on what’s happened, then I’ll explain what it means.

I’ll draw your attention to this BBC headline, “Hamas and Fatah unveil Palestinian reconciliation deal.” “Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have announced a reconciliation … Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier said Mr Abbas would have to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27128902

Wednesday, April 23rd, The Balfour Post ran an article titled, “Jerusalem is not up for grabs.” “US Secretary of State John Kerry has blamed the sudden deadlock in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Israel’s plans to build additional apartments in a southern Jerusalem neighborhood... http://balfourpost.com/jerusalem-is-not-up-for-grabs/

Wednesday, April 16th, The Jerusalem Post reported on a Temple Mount riot in Jerusalem in which hundreds of Palestinians clashed with police. “Amid heightened tensions between Palestinians and Israelis as peace talks falter, … violence erupted Wednesday morning as soon as police opened the gate to the Temple Mount to visitors gathered from around the globe. … Following Wednesday’s riot – the third of its kind in less than two weeks – thousands of Jews from across the country and from abroad congregated at the nearby Western Wall to observe Passover.” http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Temple-Mount-riot-in-Jerusalem-Two-police-officers-lightly-injured-348620

Then there was this USA Today article titled, “Leaflet tells Jews to register in East Ukraine.” Here’s what they had to say, “Jews were handed leaflets that ordered the city's Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee "or else have their citizenship
revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated…" Another news agency reported on it this way, “Concerns have been raised after a leaflet reminiscent of Nazi Germany was distributed in Donetsk demanding that Jews over 16 should register with the authorities.” http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/17/jews-ordered-to-register-in-east-ukraine/7816951/

- Be that as it may, let’s now turn a corner and take a look at what all of this means in terms of it’s prophetic significance related to scripture.
- While I realize this is fast becoming a firm grasp of the obvious, the entire world is against this little country of Israel reborn in May of 1948.
- In a sense, this is the quintessential battle between the giant Goliath of the entire world and the little David of Israel and that’s a good thing.
- The reason I say that is because the eerily similar parallels, which we’ve actually been studying in-depth Thursday nights, in 1 Samuel 17.
- Just as David, against all odds, was miraculously victorious over Goliath, Jesus, our greater than David, will be victorious over the enemy.
- And, this is evidenced in how David is a type of Christ, which is what I would like to briefly share with you in closing, if you wouldn’t mind.

David was called God’s firstborn Jesus was the only begotten firstborn Psa 89:27, Col 1:15
David was born in Bethlehem Jesus was born in Bethlehem 1 Sam 16, 17:12 Ru 4:22, Mic 5:2, Mat 2:1
David was a shepherd of sheep Jesus is the good shepherd of people 1 Sam 16, John 10
David had a heart after God Jesus has the heart of God 1 Sam 16,1 Kin 11:4, John 5,10, Col 1, Phi 2
David was taken from a lowly place Jesus came from a lowly place 1 Sam 16, Mat 2, John 1:46, Isa 7:15, 53:2
David was anointed king Jesus is the anointed King of kings 1 Sam 16:13, 2 Sam 2.4, Ac 4:27, 1 Tim 6:15
David was not expected to be king Jesus was not expected to be the Messiah 1 Sam 16, John 7:27
David was sent to the battle by his father Jesus was sent to this world by the Father 1 Sam 17:17, John 3:16, 1 John 4:14
David was the 8th son of Jesse Jesus is the (new beginning) Son of God 1 Sam 16:10-11, 2 Cor 5:17, John 1:1-14
David brought bread to his brothers Jesus is the bread of life for His brethren 1 Sam 17:17, John 6:35
David was sent with 10 loaves and cheeses Jesus was sent to fulfill the law (“10”) 1 Sam 17:17-18, Mat 5:17
David had 3 brothers in the battlefield Jesus spent 3 days in the tomb 1 Sam 17:14, Mat 12:40
David is rejected and scorned by his brothers Jesus is rejected by His Jewish brethren 1 Sam 17:28-30, John 1:11, 7:5
David came to land Israel had lost Jesus came to seek and save what was lost 1 Sam 17:1-3, Luke 19:10
David heard Goliath challenge Israel Jesus heard the devil challenge and test Him 1 Sam 17:23, Mat 4:1-11
David is sent after 40 days to the battlefield Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness 1 Sam 17:16, Mat 4:1-11
David was Israel’s only representative in battle Jesus is our only representative against Satan 1 Sam 17:8-11, Rom 5:18-19
David answered to Goliath saying give me a man Jesus didn’t answer Pilate saying behold the man 1 Sam 17:10, John 19:5
David defeated the beasts of a lion and bear prior Jesus will defeat the beast both lion and bear 1 Sam 17: 34, Dan 7
David defeated the Philistine with only one rock Jesus will defeat Satan as the one and only Rock 1 Sam 17:50, Psa 78:35, 42:9, 89:26
David brought salvation with one rock out of five Jesus is our Rock of salvation by grace (“5”) 1 Sam 17:40-50, Eph 2:8-9
David kills 6 cubits high-6 armor-600 shekels weight Jesus kills the beast whose number is 666 1 Sam 17:4-7, Rev 13:15-18, 19:20-21
David uses Goliath’s sword to cut off his head Jesus kills with the sword from His mouth 1 Sam 17:51, Rev 19:21
David receives an inheritance and a bride Jesus is our inheritance and we are His bride 1 Sam 17:25, 1 Peter 1:3-5, 2 Cor 11:2
David frees Israel from slavery to the Philistines Jesus frees us from slavery to sin 1 Sam 17:9, John 8:36, Rom 8:2
David took the Philistine’s head to Jerusalem Jesus crushed the serpents head in Jerusalem 1 Sam 17:54, Gen 3:15, John 19:30
David won the victory was good news that’s spread Jesus won our victory the good news is spread 1 Sam 17:52-53, Mark 16:15, Phi 1:3-5
David had it asked about him whose son is this Jesus has it asked about Him whose son is He 1 Sam 17:55, Mat 22:42
Matthew 22:42 "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" "The son of David," they replied.
1 Samuel 17:55 When Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, "Abner, whose son is
this youth?" And Abner said, "As your soul lives, O king, I do not know."

Friday, April 25, 2014

About Mr. Rob Bell. Kriya (Kundalini Yoga) and another Jesus

Written and posted by Jean-Louis.
Note from this blog writer: I know that a lot has been written about Mr. Bell and Eastern spirituality. I just want to contribute with this post my first hand knowledge of the subject. 
I am trying to make it as simple as possible in order for the reader to understand and make up his/her own mind about spiritual teachings and subsequent practices incompatible and irreconcilable with biblical teachings. They have been promulgated, adopted and have been firmly established with their roots growing in all segments of western society in general and the church in particular. The result is: choking the true life of the Holy Spirit and producing progressive disease and death of the soul for those who adhere to them.   
Further Reading Here The Light Seed related posts written by this blogger.
What Rob Bell teaches about yoga, meditation and the breath:
"Now from way back when our ancestors understood that there’s something divine about our breath. There’s something sacred and holy about the very act of breathing."
What the Hindu Masters teach about Jesus:
Jesus Christ and Kriya Yoga

One of the essential goals of Paramahansa Yogananda’s mission was “to reveal the complete harmony and basic oneness of original Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ and original Yoga as taught by Bhagavan Krishna; and to show that these principles of truth are the common scientific foundation of all true religions.”

To the public at large, Jesus propounded a simple philosophy of faith, love, and forgiveness. He spoke often in parables, pregnant with timeless morals. But to his close disciples he taught deeper truths, truths that have their correspondence in the deepest metaphysical concepts of the more ancient yoga philosophy.
The Second Coming of Christ The full understanding of Jesus’ original teachings — including the fact that he bestowed on his disciples the esoteric techniques of yoga meditation — is revealed in Paramahansa Yogananda’s in-depth  commentary on the Gospels:  
2. Hong-Sau Technique of Concentration helps to develop one’s latent powers of concentration. Through practice of this technique one learns to withdraw thought and energy from outward distractions so that they may be focused on any goal to be achieved or problem to be solved. Or one may direct that concentrated attention toward realizing the Divine Consciousness within.
Excerpts from a talk at 2004 Convocation by Brother Ishtananda
Hong-Sau — 'I am He'
Hong-Sau is one of those great techniques of yoga for pinpointing the mind. Sri Daya Mata has praised Hong-Sau so much over the years and she says that whenever she has a few moments she practices.
Hong-Sau means "I am He"— "I am Spirit".
“Hong” and “Sau” are sacred Sanskrit words that have a vibratory connection with the incoming and outgoing breath and they have a calming effect on the breath. Breath and mind are very much interrelated. Calm breath automatically brings about a calm mind. Restless breath creates a restless mind. Just observing the breath will quiet it down. Hong-Sau is a mantra. It is very simple – basics are simple! 
(24:42) In Yoga, one of the central tenets of Yoga is your breath needs to remain the same regardless of the pose. So whether you’re making the letter Q with your… whatever…or you’re just… in Yoga one of the things you learn right away is no matter how difficult the pose is, especially if you happen to have somebody from the Grand Rapids Ballet on the mat next to you, who can see their own back…um… this way… umm…

(25:10) it’s not how flexible you are, it’s not whether you can do the poses, it’s not how much you can bend yourself, it’s can you keep your breath (breathes in and out) consistent (breathes out) through whatever you are doing. And the Yoga Masters say this is how it is when you follow Jesus and surrender to God. Is it’s your breath being consistent. It’s your connection with God regardless of the pose you find yourself in. That’s integrating the divine into the daily. (breath)

And so that whatever you’re going through, you never lose (breathes in and out) consistent … deep… breathing.
What the Bible and Jesus-Christ Teach:
Now let´s examine and consider carefully what God says about Himself in His creative, eternal, pure, indestructible, inerrant Word and His son Jesus-Christ who gave birth to Adam made of clay by blowing His breath into His nostrils.  
We have to be very careful to not attribute the miracles of Almighty God creator of the souls of all mankind to another source of occult wisdom and knowledge that is described in Genesis 3.
Evidently, Mr. Bell is not intimately familiar with Hindu teachings and practices. Maybe his knowledge is limited to reading books and practicing contemplative prayers handed down from the Catholic Mystics and the Desert Fathers. But one cannot plead ignorance when being confronted with the reality of spiritual bankruptcy based on the teachings of the Father of lies who leads his victims through the desert with no chance of finding their way out unless the Lord Jesus intervenes and rescues them by the power of His omnipresent Spirit. 
For further reading on a Desert Journey Click Here
(Written by this blogger) 

Judge for yourself which is true looking at the evidence provided in this post. But be aware, once the truth has been revealed to you, you are responsible to accept or reject it, and to perpetuate the lies or changing your mind about who Jesus-Christ is and what He did for mankind in general and for you in particular.  

Deuteronomy 32:39
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
'See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.

Isaiah 43:10
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Isaiah 43:25
American King James Version
I, even I, am he that blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and will not remember your sins.
Isaiah 51:12
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies And of the son of man who is made like grass,
John 8:24
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Revelation 1:18
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Almond Tree: the promise and the beauty, a symbol of resurrection

Reblogged from the-end-time.blogspot.com     

You might also be interested in this, one of my related original posts: The Eternal Spring in God´s Heart.
Note from this blog´s author: The quote from Gabriel Garcia Marques  is in no way an endorsement of his book. 
Most of us aren't farmers. Many of us don't garden. Having lost our connection to the land, sometimes the biblical symbolism of certain agricultural meanings are lost to us. Let's look at the almond tree.

Flowering almond trees, Wiki CC, by Daniel Sancho
The almond tree is mentioned in scripture several times and always in interesting contexts. Almond tree twigs are mentioned as early as Genesis 30:37 and Genesis 43:11. In Exodus 25:33, God is describing how the Golden Lampstand in the Tabernacle should look.


Sweet almond tree branch with blossoms. Wiki CC

three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on one branch, and three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on the other branch—so for the six branches going out of the lampstand.

Calyx is the collective name for sepals of a flower. Easton's Bible Dictionary explains,
"A native of Syria and Palestine. In form, blossoms, and fruit it resembles the peach tree. Its blossoms are of a very pale pink colour, and appear before its leaves. Its Hebrew name, shaked, signifying "wakeful, hastening," is given to it on account of its putting forth its blossoms so early, generally in February, and sometimes even in January"
The International Standard Bible encyclopedia says,
"The masses of almond trees in full bloom in some parts of Palestine make a very beautiful and striking sight. The bloom of some varieties is almost pure white, from a little distance, in other parts the delicate pink, always present at the inner part of the petals, is diffused enough to give a pink blush to the whole blossom."
Did you know that there are sweet almonds and bitter almonds. Bitter almonds are toxic. It becomes cyanide when crushed and mixed with other enzymes inside the almond.
"Gabriel Garcia Marquez once wrote poetically about the scent of bitter almonds and the fate of unrequited love as a lead-in to murder by cyanide poisoning. And in bitter almond oil as in a tragic romance, the sweet and the toxic are inextricably entangled.
Benzaldehyde is made by the decomposition of amygdalin (named for Prunus amygdalus, and in turn responsible for the bitterness that gives bitter almonds their common name). The other decomposition products are glucose (sweet) and hydrogen cyanide (toxic). ... The utility of amygdalin to the plant is for defense, specifically as a deterrent to grazers from eating the valuable seed as well as the dispensable fruit. Inside the cells of the almond kernel, amygdalin is sequestered from the enzyme that breaks it down: amygdalin hydrolase. Crushing, as happens when the plant is grazed upon, brings the enzyme and amygdalin together, and cyanide is produced as a result–as much as 4-9mg per almond."
Aaron's rod famously budded almond leaves, blossoms, and fully ripe fruit. The LORD did this to prove that Aaron was His designated spokesman, with Moses.

On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds. (Numbers 17:8)

As with Aaron's rod, Jeremiah 1:11 use of the almond as a symbol. Jeremiah 1:11-12:

"And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.

Pulpit Commentary says of Verse 12. - I will hasten my word; literally, I am wakeful over my word; alluding to the meaning of the Hebrew word for almond. The LORD will hasten to perform His judgments of Jerusalem which He proclaimed in His word to Jeremiah.

It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 'Love in the Time of Cholera”.

In Genesis 43:11 one of the 'best gifts' of the land that Joseph's father Jacob urged his sons to bring to Egypt (unknowingly, to Joseph) were almonds.

In Plants of the Bible, it says, "The almond, Amygdalus communis, is a medium sized tree with narrow, light green leaves. Unlike the fig and olive, the almond does not live to a great age. The almond is a well-known symbol of resurrection because it is the first tree to flower. The white, five-parted flowers are up to two inches across and come in the late winter before the leaves of the tree develop. Because they may flower as early as late January or early February, it is sometimes possible to find almond flowers with snow."

Charles Spurgeon preached on the lessons of the Almond Tree. He says here,
"While I have felt compelled to speak of these solemn Truths, I am glad to turn to the other part of the subject which is this—that God is quick in performing His promises. They are like the almond tree—they blossom and bear fruit very quickly. “What sort of promises,” you ask, “are thus speedily fulfilled?” Well, first, the promise to give salvation to all these who believe in the Lo rd Jesus Christ. Listen— “The moment a sinner believes, And trusts in his crucified God, His pardon at once he receives, Redemption in full thro’ His blood.” I see “a branch of an almond tree” here. The Psalmist says, “His word runs very swiftly,” and I am a witness that it does. Many years ago, I, a poor sinner, went into a place of worship to hear the Gospel preached. The preacher repeated the Lord’s command, “Look unto Me, and be you saved.” I looked to Christ and I was saved that very instant. It takes no longer to tell the story than it did to work the miracle of mercy. Swift as a lightning flash I looked to Christ, and the great deed was done! I was a pardoned and justified soul—in a word, I was saved! Why should not the same thing happen to you who are here? It will happen to everyone who shall now be led to believe in Jesus Christ."
On this most joyous of days, you who wonder at our joy, it is because we looked to Christ as our all in all, forgiver of sins, Lamb of God. You, also, look to Christ - and be saved. The almond tree blooms, quick with promises. The most wondrous promise of all is the resurrection of the Son of God.
Aaron's rod budded, sprouted, and offered fully formed fruit, all at the same time. "According to the law of nature, all living things have a beginning and an end. However, this was not the case with Aaron’s rod, for God gave it a new lease of life. This miracle hinted at the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even though death came to the world because of the actions of the first man, Adam, resurrection would come about on account of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:17–22). Hence, when Jesus was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, He told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (Jn 11:25). ... the flowering rod served to quell Korah’s rebellion and re-affirmed Aaron’s position as high priest. Furthermore, this wondrous sign hinted at the future Messiah and His status as the firstfruits of resurrection (1 Cor 15:20)." (source)
He is risen! -------------------------
Further Reading

The Sign of the Almond Tree

The Lesson of the Almond Tree

Daily Bible Study: Almonds

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Gun and Jesus-Christ

Reblogged from www.omegashock.com

As I read the stories of broken lives and stolen futures, my blood just boils. I want the kleptocrats in Washington, D.C. and the banksters in New York to pay. I want the pornographers and the pedophiles to pay. I want the corrupt judges and the corrupt lawyers to pay. I want the psychopaths running our intelligence services and corporations to pay. I want them all to pay.
I am white-hot at the evil that is happening, and the desire for vengeance boils in my blood. And, I would be seeking a way to be out there exacting that vengeance, …except for one thing.
Continue reading

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Prophecies Of The Lord’s Death And Resurrection

Prophecies of the Death & Resurrection of Jesus

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).

He came into Jerusalem just like the prophecies said He would and the whole town lit up. Jerusalem was filling up with Passover pilgrims and they joined the locals in lining the steep street that led down from the top of the Mt. of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane and then across the Kidron valley to the East gate of the Temple. They laid their outer garments and branches from nearby palm trees across the street and sang,
“Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD (Psalm 118:25-26). Hosanna in the highest!”

This is the only day He ever let them do that. Always before He had told them to be quiet or had disappeared from among them. But on this day things were different. They were singing the Psalm reserved for the arrival of the Messiah and when the Pharisees told Him to stop them, He refused, telling them that nothing could stop this from happening (Luke 19:39-40). On this day He was fulfilling a prophecy from Daniel 9 as well as the one above from Zechariah 9.

“Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.” (Daniel 9:25)
A “seven” was a period of seven years. 7 sevens plus 62 sevens equals 69 sevens or 483 years. On the day He rode into the city it had been exactly 483 years since the Persian King Artaxerxes had authorized Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem and rebuild it (Nehemiah 2:1-9). As Jesus approached the city He told the people that Jerusalem would be destroyed because their leaders didn’t recognize the time of God’s visitation (Luke 19:41-44).
His arrival made the religious leaders very nervous. Ever since He had raised Lazarus from the dead they’d been looking for a way to kill Him (John 11:45-53) and now He was here in their midst. They had to do something fast because everybody was talking about Him.   In desperation they agreed to let  one of His followers betray Him for money.
Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. (Psalm 41:9)

Jesus had reserved a room in which He and His disciples could observe the Passover, where He identified Judas as His betrayer (John 13:26). Immediately afterward Judas left to complete his act of betrayal. He would bring the soldiers to the Garden of Gethsemane where he knew Jesus would be, and point Him out to them. The other disciples remained with the Lord and received His teaching on the New Covenant. It was shortly after sunset so the day had just begun. Before it was over, He would be arrested, tried, convicted, sentenced to death, executed and buried. All on Passover.
After the meal they sang a song. By tradition it was also part of Psalm 118.
The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:22-24).
It’s impossible to imagine how the Lord must have felt, knowing what was coming as He sang. Hebrews 12:2 says it was the joy set before Him that helped Him endure the cross. The source of that joy was the knowledge that He was redeeming us by paying the penalty for our sins. It took the life of a sinless man to rescue us from death and He considered the outcome to be well worth the price He had to pay. After the song they went out to the Garden of Gethsemane.

A little while later Judas arrived with the soldiers to arrest Him. Jesus convinced them to just take Him and let the others go. Only Peter and John followed behind Him while the others scattered. Earlier He had said this would happen, quoting Zechariah 13:7.
“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!” declares the LORD Almighty. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.”
When the chief priests made their deal with Judas they didn’t realize they would be fulfilling a prophecy from Zechariah 11 in conspicuous detail.
I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.
And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter (Zechariah 11:12-13)

The price was the same, the location of the transaction was the same, even the ultimate recipient was the same. After Judas had betrayed the Lord, he was filled with remorse. He returned the money by throwing it at the chief priests in the Temple (Matt. 27:5). This caused them a problem. They couldn’t take it back into the treasury because it was tainted. Since they were responsible for burying any travelers who died in the city, they used the money to buy a field they could turn into a burial ground. The man they bought the field from was a potter by trade (Matt. 27:6-7).
After trials before the High Priest and King Herod, Jesus was condemned to death. But the Jews had lost the authority to carry out an execution so they held Him over until they could see Pilate in the morning to make it official. Jesus spent the rest of the night alone in the darkness, shackled in a dungeon beneath the High Priest’s residence.
You have taken from me my closest friends and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape; my eyes are dim with grief. (Psalm 88:8-9)
As Pilate listened to their accusations, he realized the charges were politically motivated and not legitimate. He decided to see if having Jesus scourged would satisfy them and sent Him to be beaten and flogged with whips.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4).

Pilate’s attempts to save Jesus failed, and after his offer to set Jesus free was rejected, he washed his hands of the matter and sent Him off to be crucified. During all this time, Jesus didn’t protest His innocence or offer any kind of defense. He knew He wasn’t dying for His crimes, but for ours.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:5-7)
By nine o’clock in the morning Jesus had been nailed to the cross and consigned to die the most agonizing form of death ever devised. They had offered Him some wine vinegar laced with gall to lessen the pain, but He refused it. He had told His disciples He wouldn’t drink wine again until the Kingdom had come.
They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst. (Psalm 69:21)

He hung there for several hours slowly suffocating without complaining about the excruciating pain but then something happened that changed everything. Having taken upon Himself all the sins of mankind, He actually became the physical embodiment of sin (2 Cor. 5:21). The Father could no longer bear to look at Him and turned away. As He did He took the light from the world and at noon it became like night.
“And on that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight” (Amos 8:9)
Separation from His Father is something Jesus had never experienced and could not have anticipated, and it was so much worse than the physical pain that He finally cried out in anguish.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1)
Psalm 22, written 1000 years earlier, is a first person account of what it feels like to be crucified and contains several details specific to the Lord’s ordeal.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;  you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. (Psalm 22:14-18)

Finally, after spending 6 hours in a consuming fog of pain that none of us will ever experience, He died. In the last act of His life, He asked for and received a drink of wine. He did this knowing that the work He had come to do had been completed. The Scriptures had been fulfilled. Having paid the price for our sins He knew the Kingdom of God had come to Earth. The drink of wine He took is our proof of this because He had sworn not to drink of the fruit of the vine again until it did (Luke 22:18). Then He said, “It is finished” and died (John 19:28-30). The price for all the sins of mankind had been paid in full. Light returned to the Earth.

A few hours later, the Chief Priests asked Pilate to allow the soldiers to hasten the deaths of the men being crucified. At sunset the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread would begin and it was a special Sabbath on which no work could be done (Exodus 12:16). They wanted the men dead and off their crosses before the Sabbath began. Since crucifixion is ultimately a death by suffocation, breaking the men’s legs would prevent even their limited breathing and they would quickly die. When the soldiers came to Jesus He was already dead so they didn’t break His legs, but stabbed Him in the heart instead.
“(The Passover Lamb)must be eaten inside one house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones. (Exodus 12:46)
A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. (Psalm 34:19-20)
Typically, crucified men were denied burial. Their dead bodies were simply thrown on the city’s garbage dump where wild dogs consumed them. But one of the richest men in the area petitioned Pilate for the body of Jesus and laid it in his own tomb near the site of the crucifixion.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. (Isaiah 53:9)
But that was not the end of it. Three days and three nights later, before His body even began to decompose, He rose from the grave, fully and eternally alive.
You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. (Psalm 16:10)

It was proof positive that His death had paid the full penalty due for the sins of mankind. He was the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. It was also the unmistakable sign of Jonah. He was Israel’s Messiah.
Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:10-11)
On the night of His arrest, Jesus had prayed that if there was any other way to redeem mankind, He wanted to be released from His commitment to die for us. Then He prayed that not His will but the Father’s will be done. (The Hebrew word translated knowledge above also means perception or discernment. The Lord perceived that His Father’s will was correct and chose to follow it rather than His own.)

This passage from Isaiah shows us that there was no other way. It was the Father’s will for the Son to die so we could live. But it was also His will that the Son be resurrected, because without the resurrection there would be no proof that they had been successful in redeeming us. This is why Paul said we have to believe in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead in order to be saved (Romans 10:9). The Resurrection is proof that all our sins have been taken away. The fact that He conquered death is proof that we will too. Therefore, belief in a bodily resurrection from the dead is absolutely essential to our salvation.

Writing to the Ephesians Paul said, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:18-21).
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6-7)

The resurrection is the synergistic combination of power and love. Greater than the Creation or the Exodus, which required only power; greater even than the birth of the Messiah, which required only love; it’s God’s crowning achievement. Resurrection Sunday was nothing less than the greatest day in the history of human existence. He is risen! 04-23-11

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Apocalyptic prophecies drive both sides to Syrian battle for end of time - Yahoo News

Rightly Dividing The Word Of Truth

Reblogged from gracethrufaith.com  
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15 KJV)
The purpose of this study is to show that the above verse from the King James translation of  2 Tim. 2:15 has been given a meaning Paul didn’t originally intend.  If you’ve heard the phrase “rightly dividing” being tossed around lately, you probably know what I mean.  If not, reading this will help you to be better prepared when you do.

Shew Thyself Approved

First, an overview of 2 Tim 2:15.  The Greek word translated approved in this verse is dokimos.  It came from the world of finance and is the key to understanding the verse.  All money was coinage in those days and was originally valued by weight.  Dishonest money changers would shave some of the metal from the coins they handled, making them worth a little less than their face value. The little bit shaved from each coin was a hidden profit that over time could be used to make additional coins that cost them nothing.

But some money changers were men of integrity, who would neither accept nor distribute lightweight coins; they were men of honor who put only genuine, full-weight money into circulation. These men were called dokimos. They were approved because they correctly handled the money entrusted to them. (Donald Grey Barnhouse, Romans: God’s Glory, p. 18.)

Timothy was a young man and one of the Church’s very first pastors.  Paul advised him to warn his people not to get caught up in debates over different interpretations of words (2 Tim. 2:14). He told Timothy to study so he could deliver the full weight of God’s Word in its proper context. That way he could present himself to God as a teacher of integrity, as one approved, a dokimos who correctly handled the word of truth, and therefore he would not be ashamed of what he had taught.  That is what the verse is supposed to mean.

Rightly Dividing the Word Of Truth

The Greek word translated “rightly dividing” in the King James translation of 2 Tim. 2:15 is “orthotomeo” which literally means to make a straight and accurate cut. Carpenters used this word to describe the correct way to saw lumber, while civil engineers used it to be sure the roads they were building went from one place to another by the shortest possible route. When used metaphorically the word means “to proceed on straight paths, hold a straight course, equivalent to doing right”.  By using this word Paul was instructing Timothy to preach God’s word accurately, correctly, and with precision. Had he been instructing Timothy to divide God’s word into various parts he would have used the Greek word diaireo which means to divide into parts.

Probably the most famous use of 2 Tim. 2:15 was by C.I. Scoffield in titling his monumental book on dispensationalism, written in 1896. He called it “Rightly Dividing The Word Of Truth”. Many of you know that I follow this system of theology and believe that it correctly handles the Scriptures.

I’m convinced that back then people understood what “rightly dividing” meant but over time the way words are understood changes, especially in metaphorical usage, and other translations have interpreted orthotomeo to reflect this. Look at the same verse from the NASB and you’ll see what I mean.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth 2 Tim. 2:15 NASB).

Notice “accurately handling” has replaced “rightly dividing” in the NASB. The NIV uses the phrase “who correctly handles”. Both of these are more in line with the metaphorical use of the Greek word “orthotomeo” as we understand things today.  When you put dokimos (approved) and orthotomeo (accurately handling) together you get someone who preaches the word the way God intended, or as some would say “he tells it like it is”.

But lately some people have begun applying this phrase to actually divide the New Testament up into the parts they say are meant for the Church and the parts that are not, using 2 Tim. 2:15 to justify doing so . They take the phrase “rightly dividing” to mean we should cut the Bible up into the parts meant for Israel and the parts meant for the Church, and only focus on the parts meant for us.

First, they claim that because the gospels were written about the time just before the cross, they don’t really apply to the Church.  They say the cross “rightly divides” the Old Testament from the New and therefore the Gospels belong with the Old Testament and are meant for Israel. They also exclude the first part of the Book of Acts, claiming that the use of spiritual gifts like speaking in tongues and healing described there were meant as signs to Israel and are no longer available to the Church. Some also claim the letters from Peter, James, and John and the letter to the Hebrews were written for Jewish believers and not to the Gentile Church. And because the Book of Revelation deals with the time after the Church is gone they say we really don’t need to pay much attention to it either.

Is That What That Means?

In short, they are taking the literal meaning of the English phrase “rightly dividing” instead of considering that Paul was using the Greek word orthotomeo metaphorically.  I think this is a doubly incorrect interpretation that basically leaves the Church with only the last half of the Book of Acts and Paul’s epistles.

I’ve received numerous letters and comments from these folks criticizing me for using the words of Jesus in some of my answers to questions about living the Christian Life. They accuse me of not “rightly dividing “ the Scriptures.

Even though I can see differences between what Jesus taught in the Gospels and what Paul taught in his letters, I believe this division of God’s word improperly exceeds Paul’s intent in his instructions to Timothy. To me this is another step in undermining the authority of the Bible, similar to what some Christians have done by ignoring the Old Testament.
I think if the Lord had wanted His word to be divided up like this He would have offered a method for doing so.  But He didn’t. He didn’t tell the Church to ignore the Old Testament back then, and He’s not telling us to throw out parts of the New Testament now. You won’t find any directions on how to “rightly divide” His word because we don’t need special instructions to read something the way it’s written.

Obviously, the Bible says some things specifically to Israel, some things specifically to the Church, and some things about the unbelieving world.  An important part of correct interpretation is to determine the context of a passage to see who the Lord was addressing.
Paul said he didn’t hesitate to proclaim the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).  He said that everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (Romans 15:4), and that Israel’s history contains examples that were written down as warnings to us upon whom the end of the age has come (1 Cor. 10:11).  To me that means the entire Bible has value for all of us and with careful attention to the context we can glean important truths from every one of its 66 books.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).
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