Equipping The Saints? Equipping Our Children!

” Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you..” (Matthew 28:19-20)

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus. (Matthew 1:22-25)

It appears that most believers in Christ understand the need to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We understand that there is a need to “appoint elders in every church” (Acts 14:23) and “equip the saints” (Ephesians 4:12). We study God’s Word so that we will be “approved unto God” (2 Timothy 2:15). But, “what about the responsibility that we have to put our children “first and foremost,” above all other children, including the children of other people, by “teaching our children” (Deuteronomy 6:7)? With a heavy heart I must say that I have observed most Christian parents are delinquent in the responsibility that God has given them to teach their children. On a performance scale, I will give most Christian parents a grade of “F.” Parents don’t ensure that they, themselves, are being equipped so that they can equip their children. As it relates to our children,” God has given parents the following pattern as a teaching schedule:

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 New International Version (NIV)

4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

Per God’s Word, parents are supposed to teach their children, “all of the time.” Half an hour of Sunday School, and about the same time for a preached sermon, and maybe half an hour during mid-week study will not “cut the cake.” As it relates to parents, “and children,” no one can be “equipped” to understand God’s Holy Word during 90 minutes a week of “classes/sermons.” As it relates to pastors, no ministry team can “equip their saints,” during 90 minutes of “classes/sermons” each week. The quality of teaching/preaching must also be considered. Parents should understand that if neither they, nor their children, are “being equipped” to understand God’s Word, a decision might need to be made so that “parent and child” can both be a part of a congregation where they will be equipped to build up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). Parents need to not only be part of an equipping congregation, they must also make up their minds that they will “be there” when the equipping is taking place.

The tool that God has given His Church, the body of Christ, to “equip the saints” is His Holy Word. Consider the following:

2 Timothy 3:16 New International Version (NIV)

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”

The words “God-breathed” literally means “God-breathed-out.” Because God “breathes His Word out,” we should “breathe God’s Word in.” We should breathe God’s Word in, and “breathe out” what we have learned to our children. Of course, we know that “a child is a child,” regardless of the age of the child.

Consider again the words of the Great Commission, that Jesus left with His disciples, which are words for all believers in Christ. May we be found to be faithful in preparing ourselves for such a ministry.

Matthew 28:18-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Let’s consider what it will be like for all of those whom have had the love of Jesus explained to them, and have come to know Him as their Lord and Savior. I am very thankful that God’s Word was spoken to me, and that I know Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

Revelation 21:1-5 New King James Version (NKJV)

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

This last song has some very tender words and thoughts. The singer,Tonya Goodman Sikes, is the daughter of Rusty Goodman, who is now singing in heaven. Howard Goodman is the white-haired man who is seated to Tonya’s left, and is moved with emotion as he hears his niece singing a song that is very dear to his heart. Vestal, who was Howard’s wife, is seated to Howard’s left. All of the singers of the original “Happy Goodmans” are now with Jesus. The Goodmans that I remember are Howard and Vestal; and Sam and Rusty, who were brothers of Howard. I can’t wait to sing with the Goodman’s in heaven! Please be there too. You won’t have to look hard to find me.

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The Road To, And Through, Revelation (Pillar2-3)

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

Rapture vs Second Coming. (1 2) (2 2) Dr. Grant Jeffrey (deceased) A biography of Dr. Jeffrey can be seen by clicking onto the following link: http://www.grantjeffrey.com/bio.htm

“Step By Step Through The Book Of Revelation.” Key pillars of “The Revelation Of Jesus Christ” will be discussed.

References: JW (Dr. John F. Walvoord, Revelation Commentary). Mine (my comments).

References: My Comments (Mine). The John Walvoord Prophecy Commentaries, Revelation, John F. Walvoord (JW).

The road continues through two chapters of the Book of Revelation, 2 and 3. The stop will be a view of the continued growth of the early church. Churches that are mentioned in these two chapters show five congregations that were planted in cities that were not identified in the previous books of the New Testament. Ephesus and Laodicea were previously mentioned churches, with the Church at Laodicea being mentioned in the book of Colossians, and Ephesus being the recipient of one of Paul’s prison letters. The videos emphasize the difference between the rapture of the church and the second coming of Christ. The rapture of the church is also addressed in this Pillar.

Of key emphasis in the messages to the churches is a verse that is addressed to the church at Philadelphia in Chapter 3, Verse 10, as follows:

“Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

We, who are believers in Christ, have been found faithful in our present life; we have passed the test! There is no need for us to be tested again. Those who are earth dwellers will be tested. Consider that the church is the bride of Christ. Consider God’s Word, as it relates to the proper treatment and respect that husbands should have for their wives (Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her,”).There is no logical reason for Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Bridegroom, to leave the church in a time and place of future history where His bride will face certain persecution and murder at the hands of the forces of the Anti-Christ.Consider the Words of Jesus as He describes the situation that will be present during the tribulation. “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.” (Matthew 24:21). The purpose of the tribulation is for God to deal with sin and to call Israel to saving faith in Jesus, the Messiah (Dan 9:24). For those who say that the church at Philadelphia was guaranteed freedom from a time of persecution that took place in the first century, A.D., it should be common knowledge that there was no world-wide persecution, or tribulation, that covered the entire world at that time, that would match what Jesus described in Matthew 24:21 (Mine)

JW comment follows.

“Promise of deliverance from the hour of trial.” Because of their faithfulness, the Christians in Philadelphia are promised that they will be kept from the hour of trial that will come upon the earth as a divine judgment. It should be noted that this deliverance is not only from trial but from a period of time in which the trial exists, “the hour of trial.” If the expression had been simply “deliverance from trial,” conceivably it could have meant only partial deliverance.

The expression seems as strong as possible that the Philadelphia church would be delivered from this period, which is the great tribulation, Daniel’s seventieth week (Daniel 9:25-27). As Bailey notes, “One purpose [of the tribulation] is to bring retribution on the world to punish sin.” This pouring out of God’s wrath is not the future the Bible promises to the church, for Paul says believers are not “destined” for wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

Many have observed also the preposition “from” (Gr., ek) is best understood as “out of” rather than “from.” As the horrors of this tribulation period are unfolded in the following chapters of Revelation, it is evident that the promise here to the church at Philadelphia is one of deliverance from this time of trouble.

This event in view here that will deliver the true church from the tribulation is the rapture, which must occur prior to the tribulation for this promise to have its full force. What is said emphasizes deliverance “from” rather than deliverance “through.” Thus the pretribulational view of the rapture of the church seems to fit best with the biblical contest in Revelation 3:10.

As far as the Philadelphian church was concerned, the rapture if the church was presented to them as an imminent hope. If the rapture had occurred in the first century preceding the tribulation that the book of Revelation describes, they were assured of deliverance. By contrast, those sealed out of the twelve tribes of Israel in 7:4 clearly go through the time of trouble. This implies the rapture of the church before the time of trouble referred to as the great tribulation. Such a promise of deliverance would seemingly have been impossible if the rapture were delayed until the end of the tribulation prior to the second coming of Christ and the establishment of His millennial kingdom.

This passage therefore provides support for the hope that Christ will come for His church before the time of trial and trouble described in Rev 6-19. This time of tribulation will overtake the entire world, as God inflicts His wrath upon unbelieving Gentiles as well as upon Christ-rejecting Jews.

The Lord’s coming is compared to an imminent event, one that will come suddenly without announcement. In view of this expectation the church at Philadelphia is urged to hold fast to their testimony for Christ in order to receive their reward at His coming. The expression “soon” is to be understood as something that is sudden and unexpected, not necessarily immediate.

The coming of Christ to establish a kingdom on earth is a later event following the predicted time of tribulation that is unfolded in Revelation. By contrast, the coming of Christ for His church in the rapture (1 Thes 4:13-17) is portrayed here, as elsewhere in the book, as an event that is not separated from us by any series of events, but is one of constant expectation in the daily walk of the believer. If the church at Philadelphia foreshadows a future period of church history just as other churches seem to do, the promises given to this church can be taken as given to all churches bearing a true witness for Christ even down to the present day. (JW)

Of key significance in Revelation 3:10 is the phrase “those who dwell on the earth.” Let’s move ahead to 11:10 and 13:13-14 and consider the commentary that is made of those same words, “those who dwell on the earth.” (Mine)

Revelation 11:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

The people who turn the witnesses’ death into a giant party are called “those who dwell on the earth,” almost a technical term in Rev for unbelievers who are left on the earth after the church is raptured. (JW)

Revelation 13:13-14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life.

The beast’s deceptive power is mentioned specifically in verse 14. The people on earth who see these great signs (the Greek present tense indicates the second beast does this repeatedly) are told to make an image of the first beast, described for the third time in this chapter as one who was wounded. (JW)

Revelation 2

Message To Ephesus

1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:
2 ‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent. 6 Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.

Message to Smyrna

8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:
9 ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’

Message to Pergamum

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:
13 ‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 15 So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.16 Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’

Message to Thyatira

18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:
The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:
19 ‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. 24 But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them—I place no other burden on you. 25 Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. 26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; 27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father;28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Chapter 3

Message to Sardis

1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3 So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. 4 But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Message to Philadelphia

7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this:
8 ‘I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Message to Laodicea

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

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The Fruit Of The Spirit: “Christ In You; Is He In You, Or Is He Not?”

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17). Consider being “in Christ.” With those words, we view the result of all of us whom, after we have been “born again/born from above.” Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

I have been saved. I am being saved. I will be saved. The salvation of the spirit, soul and body.

Each born again spirit finds its place indwelling the Spirit of the triune Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and the triune Spirit of Father, Son and Holy Spirit finds Himself dwelling each born-again spirit. Such a “born again” spirit begins experiencing eternal life with Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which is “eternal life without end.” At the time of our “new birth,” we have been saved. That is, our Spirit has been eternally saved from the penalty of sin…Our soul, which has not been born again, which will be affected by age and the temptations of Satan and sin, has not been born again, but will suffer the effects of age until death, and will face sin’s temptations until our mind, which is our soul, ceases to have life in our present body. At the time of the rapture of the church, which is the “catching up” of the born again believers in Christ (2 Thes 4:16-18), our souls will be joined with our spirits which have been “in Christ” ever since we were born again. Not until our body’s mortal death, or being caught up to meet Christ in the air, will our soul be free from the effects of sin, whether that may be immoral thoughts or decay of our minds. During our walk with Christ in this life we are “being saved.” Each day of our born-again life should be a life that more closely matches that of Christ, as we try to achieve “Christ-likeness.” Upon our death, we will have an awareness of our surroundings, just as we see in Luke 16:19-31, where Lazarus experienced comfort in the Presence of God. The unsaved rich man experienced torment in “Hades,” which is “the abode of the wicked dead,” and was separated from God’s peace and comfort. Believers in Christ who experience death have as their surroundings, “the Presence of God,” (2 Corinthians 5:8). But, in our every-day life, we are also in “the Presence of God.”… Our mortal bodies will feel the effects of sin and decay until we die. At the time of our death, our bodies will decay in the ground, or wherever that final internment may find itself. At the time of the rapture of the church, our body will be caught up into the air, will be changed into a glorified body which is imperishable, and will be joined with our soul and spirit (1 Corinthians 15:50-57/1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). At the time of the rapture, our body “will be saved” and will spend eternity with God (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Of course, the only way that we can have the promises of this discussion is for us to be born again and be spiritually, “in Christ.” Consider the following verses of scripture that discuss such an indwelling.

John 1:4-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB) 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (This verse speaks of the Light of Jesus covering the darkness of a world of mankind.)

1 John 1:5 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (God is Light) “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” (Unless we are born again, and become light, we can not indwell God. We are either, light or darkness. We can’t be a light bulb that is flickering on and off.”)

Colossians 1:27 New American Standard Bible (NASB) : to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (“Christ in you,” is a literal presence of His Spirit in our spirit).

Romans 8:1 New American Standard Bible (NASB) “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (If we have the presence of the Spirit of Christ indwelling our spirit, we are free from any condemnation that awaits those who do not have that literal indwelling of the Spirit of Christ in their spirit.)

John 3:3-8 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (Someone may want to know how the new birth happens.!” The following verses show that the new birth is caused by God’s Holy Spirit.)

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 3:16-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (If a person has been born again, that person believes in Christ as their Lord and Savior. If a person believes in Christ as their Lord and Savior, that person has been born again.)

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)(The Wisdom Of God) “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (Those who “are perishing” are people who have not been born again. Nothing of God’s saving power means anything to them.)

1 Corinthians 2:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB) “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” (A natural man is someone who has not been born again and filled with the Spirit of God. Such a person does not understand spiritual things because he doesn’t have the Godly influence of the indwelling Spirit of God within his spirit.)

Let’s consider how we are taught by God’s Holy Spirit.

John 14:16-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (The role of the Holy Spirit; the Helper is the Holy Spirit.)

16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world can not receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. 16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

John 14:25-26 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (The Holy Spirit teaches believers in Christ)

25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

John 15:26-27 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (The Holy Spirit teaches His believers about the teachings of Jesus.)

26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, 27 and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

John 16:5-15 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (The Holy Spirit judges and teaches the world through believers in Christ.)

5 “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

Galatians 5:22-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (When God’s Holy Spirit indwells our spirit we have every character trait of Jesus, which become our character trait.)

Scofield Study Bible Notes (From Scofield Study Bible, New King James Version; New International Version; English Standard Version)

Verse 22

“But The Fruit.”

Verse 22: Christian character is not mere moral or legal correctness, but the possession and manifestation of the graces of vs 22-23. Taken together they represent a moral portrait of Christ, and may be understood as the apostle’s explanation of 2:20, “no longer I … but Christ,” and a definition of “fruit in John 15:1-8. This character is possible because of the believer’s vital union with Christ (John 15:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13) and is wholly the fruit of the Spirit. “Fruit” (singular), in contrast with “works” (plural verse 19) suggests that the Christian’s life in the Spirit is unified in purpose and direction as opposed to life in the flesh, with its inner conflicts and frustrations.

My comments.

When we are born again, born from above, through our born again spirit we are “in Christ,” with our spirit indwelling the triune Spirit of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Either we are fully “in Christ,” or not in Christ at all. Very simply stated, either we have “all of Jesus” or we have “none of Jesus,” indwelling our spirits. No “fence straddling” is seen anywhere in God’s Holy Word. Either, we have all of Christ or we have none of Christ. So, either we are “in Christ,” or we are “not” in Christ.

Consider the following verses of scripture that relate to “the fruit of the Spirit.” The fruit of the Spirit “is.” It is clear that, “it’s a package deal.”

Galatians 5:22

New International Version
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

New Living Translation
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

English Standard Version
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

New American Standard Bible
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

King James Bible
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,

International Standard Version
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

NET Bible
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But the fruits of The Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, sweetness, goodness, faith,

GOD’S WORD® Translation
But the spiritual nature produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Jubilee Bible 2000
But the fruit of the Spirit is this: Charity, joy, peace, tolerance, gentleness, goodness, faith,

King James 2000 Bible
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

American King James Version
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

American Standard Version
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Douay-Rheims Bible
But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity,

Darby Bible Translation
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, fidelity,

English Revised Version
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Webster’s Bible Translation
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Weymouth New Testament
The Spirit, on the other hand, brings a harvest of love, joy, peace; patience towards others, kindness, benevolence;

World English Bible
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,

Young’s Literal Translation
And the fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith,

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Creation And Sabbath…”In the beginning God created heaven and earth.” Apollo 8 Message

As a young airman, I was on duty the Christmas Eve night that the crew of Apollo 8 read the Genesis account of creation while it was orbiting the moon and looking downward to the Earth. At our duty station, we were looking at the eastern seaboard of the USA through our radar scopes and watching for inbound aircraft that may, or may not, be friendly to our nation. Russia, and the Soviet Union, were serious threats to the free world, of which America was the unannounced, but recognized leader. Americans were very proud to be Americans. President John Kennedy made it a priority to put a man on the moon, as he made it part of his speech to a joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961. While the three astronauts took turns reading from the Bible no one was making charges of “separation of church and state.” And, regardless of what liberal politicians and activists may try to do, God will never be separated from His creation or His Sabbath.

In about eight hours in my time zone, the Lord’s Sabbath will begin at sundown and will last until Saturday evening at sundown. Jews, and others, will greet each other with the words, “Shabbat Shalom” which means “Sabbath peace” or “peaceful Sabbath.” Just as I was awestruck by watching Apollo 8 on the television sets in our radar room, I am even more awestruck each time that I am able to wake up while the sky is still dark and watch a repeat performance of “and evening and morning”.. were the first day, second day, third day, fourth day, fifth day, sixth day…. and then God rested; he blessed it and sanctified it.” God set the seventh day apart; He made it holy.

I am “blown away” each day that I am able to wake up during the early morning darkness and watch “darkness becoming dawn; and dawn becoming daylight; and daylight becoming dusk; and dusk becoming darkness;” and the whole thing starting all over again; then, I realize, “How Great Thou Art!”

The intelligent design of God’s creation is easily seen in the smallest elements of His creation. Consider the following information. Some terms are repeated for emphasis. Various internet studies are provided.

Genesis 1-2: Action words of God’s creative and intelligent design.

Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons

Key Concepts

Atoms are made of extremely tiny particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons.
Protons and neutrons are in the center of the atom, making up the nucleus.
Electrons surround the nucleus.
Protons have a positive charge.
Electrons have a negative charge.
The charge on the proton and electron are exactly the same size but opposite.
Neutrons have no charge.
Since opposite charges attract, protons and electrons attract each other.

What is an atom? What are atoms made of?

Atoms are the basic building blocks of ordinary matter. Atoms can join together to form molecules, which in turn form most of the objects around you.

Atoms and Molecules

The basic building blocks of the “normal” matter that we see in the Universe are atoms, and combinations of atoms that we call molecules. We first consider atoms and then molecules. However, we shall see that although “normal matter” is composed of atoms and molecules, most of the matter in the Universe is not in the form of atoms or molecules, but rather in the form of a plasma. We discuss plasmas in the next section.

Cells Are Made From a Few Types of Atoms

The cell (from Latin cella, meaning “small room”) is the basic structural, functional, and biological unit of all known living organisms. Cells are the smallest unit of life that can replicate independently, and are often called the “building blocks of life”. The study of cells is called cell biology.

Singling out cells: The stuff of life

Your cells perform many important functions without which you wouldn’t be able to go about your business. While you breathe, your cells exchange the bad air for the good air. While you eat, cells produce the enzymes (proteins that speed up a chemical reaction) that digest the food and convert the nutrients into a useable form of energy. In short, your cells are like tiny motors that keep you running.

What is Plasma?

Plasma is often called the “Fourth State of Matter,” the other three being solid, liquid and gas. A plasma is a distinct state of matter containing a significant number of electrically charged particles, a number sufficient to affect its electrical properties and behavior. In addition to being important in many aspects of our daily lives, plasmas are estimated to constitute more than 99 percent of the visible universe.

Lightning In an ordinary gas each atom contains an equal number of positive and negative charges; the positive charges in the nucleus are surrounded by an equal number of negatively charged electrons, and each atom is electrically “neutral.” A gas becomes a plasma when the addition of heat or other energy causes a significant number of atoms to release some or all of their electrons. The remaining parts of those atoms are left with a positive charge, and the detached negative electrons are free to move about. Those atoms and the resulting electrically charged gas are said to be “ionized.” When enough atoms are ionized to significantly affect the electrical characteristics of the gas, it is a plasma.

What is plasma?

Plasma is the fourth state of matter. Many places teach that there are three states of matter; solid, liquid and gas, but there are actually four. The fourth is plasma. To put it very simply, a plasma is an ionized gas, a gas into which sufficient energy is provided to free electrons from atoms or molecules and to allow both species, ions and electrons, to coexist. The funny thing about that is, that as far as we know, plasmas are the most common state of matter in the universe. They are even common here on earth. A plasma is a gas that has been energized to the point that some of the electrons break free from, but travel with, their nucleus.

What is DNA?

DNA is basically a long molecule that contains coded instructions for the cells. Everything the cells do is coded somehow in DNA – which cells should grow and when, which cells should die and when, which cells should make hair and what color it should be. Our DNA is inherited from our parents. We resemble our parents simply because our bodies were formed using DNA to guide the process – the DNA we inherited from them.

We may resemble our parents, but we are never exactly like them. This is because each child gets only some of the DNA each parent carries. About half our DNA comes from our mother, and half comes from our father. Which pieces we get is basically random, and each child gets a different subset of the parents’ DNA. Thus, siblings may have the same parents, but they usually do not have exactly the same DNA (except for identical twins).

No accident could have made possible the interactive working of the above identified items that were created by God, who is truly the Great Physicist. (Explosions don’t create “order;” they create “disorder.”)

In today’s world, we can’t make all of the airplanes land, busses stop, hospitals close, for a 24 hour period, (you get the idea) for a worldwide Sabbath rest… We can’t say that we will make Tuesday our Sabbath; it’s the Lord’s Sabbath. We can’t measure off the boundaries of the seventh day and hire an excavator to dig it up and move it to “the third day,” or “fourth day.” The seventh day is, has always been, and always will be, the Lord’s Sabbath. God made the Sabbath a sign between Him and the Jews (Gen 31:17), who were the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and not the descendants of Ishmael. Gentiles of the world can benefit from the Lord’s Sabbath by recognizing its holiness, and giving honor and praise to God who created all things in the world.

The following information is provided for additional support of this post.

Apollo 8 Data

Crew: Frank Borman, Commander; William A. Anders, Lunar Module Pilot; James A. Lovell Jr., Command Module Pilot.

Mission Highlights: Apollo 8 launched from Cape Kennedy on Dec. 21, 1968. During a telecast on Christmas Eve, the crew read verses from the first chapter of Genesis and wished viewers, “Good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas and God bless all of you – all of you on the good Earth.”

Orbit: Altitude: 118.82 miles; Orbits: 10 revolutions; Duration: six days, three hours, 42 seconds; Distance: 579,606.9 miles.

Landing: Dec. 27, 1968; 10:52 a.m. EST; Pacific Ocean; Recovery Ship: USS Yorktown

The Creation

Genesis 1 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 5 And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
8 And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.
19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Genesis 2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Creation of Man and Woman

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Let’s consider the six days of creation, and the seventh day which we know as “The Sabbath,” or better, “The Lord’s Sabbath.” Consider the discussion that is provided by “got.Questions.org.”

Question: “What does it mean that Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath?”

Answer:The phrase “the Lord of the Sabbath” is found in Matthew 12:8,Mark 2:28, and Luke 6:5. In all three instances Jesus is referring to Himself as the Lord of the Sabbath or, as Mark records it, “The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28). In these verses, Jesus is proclaiming that He is the One who exercises authority even over the rules and regulations that govern the Sabbath day.

Read more:http://www.gotquestions.org/Lord-of-the-Sabbath.html#ixzz3fnx3s5CX

Exodus 16:22-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Sabbath Observed

22 Now on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23 then he said to them, “This is what the Lord meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.”

It is important to know that the Sabbath was given as a special sign between God and the people of Israel, who are the descendants of Shem. Shem was one of the sons of Noah, through whom the Jews became “God’s Chosen People.” (Study the ancestry that is shown from Genesis 10:1 through Genesis 12:3.)

Exodus 31:16-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

16 So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ 17 It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever;

Deuteronomy 7:6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”

Exodus 20:11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

“For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.”

Exodus 24:16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

“The glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud.”

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The Road To, And Through, Revelation (Pillar 1)

“For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.” (Matthew 24:21). There is great misunderstanding and distrust of two key books of the Bible, with those books being Genesis and Revelation. A study of these books is not difficult. This stop along the way through the Book of Revelation will focus on key pillar support verses that God’s Holy Spirit has provided by Divine Inspiration that was given to the Apostle John. The video that is provided Dr. Jimmy De Young, will closely follow this study of the “end times,” which is known as Eschatology. Dr. De Young is a recognized scholar on the events of the end times. The following link provides information on him and the ministry that he leads. At 1:43:30 in the video time, there will be a pause of information. The discussion will continue at 1:44:15. This video is well worth saving for future references. Other videos may be provided for following discussions on the subject that we are studying.

http://prophecytoday.com/aboutus/
Jimmy De Young And Prophecy Today

“Step By Step Through The Book Of Revelation.” Key pillars of “The Revelation Of Jesus Christ” will be discussed.

References: JW (Dr. John F. Walvoord, Revelation Commentary). Mine (my comments).

Revelation 1 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Re vs 3: The next great event on God’s prophetic calendar, the imminent return of Jesus Christ to rapture His church, is near from the standpoint of prophetic revelation and could occur at any moment. Our task is to be obedient and expectant! (JW).

Message to the Seven Churches

4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.

Re vs 7: This verse relates to the second coming of Christ. He was received by a cloud at His ascension (Acts 1:9), and He will come again in the clouds of heaven (Mt 24:30; 26:64; Mk 13:26; 14:62; Lk 21:27). There is no indication that the world as a whole will see Christ at the time of His rapture (1 Thes 4:16-18, where believers will be caught up “in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” vs 17). But when Jesus comes back to establish His kingdom, all will see Him, including both those who “pierced him” and all the peoples of earth. Of course, Jesus’ crucifiers who were responsible for His death on Calvary are dead, but this term doesn’t have to be limited to them. According to Zech 12:10, the nation of Israel will look on Jesus when He returns and mourn its rejection of Him as Messiah, although many Jews will be saved during the tribulation. The wailing of the Gentile nations will, in large part, be not a cry of repentance, but one of sorrow and judgment. To this, John adds, “Even so, Amen.” This is a powerful statement of Christ’s coming and the events surrounding it. The NET Bible seeks to capture the force with the rendering, “This will certainly come to pass! Amen!” Jesus is called “the Amen” in Rev 3:14. (JW)

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Re vs 8: God now speaks, declaring Himself to be the Alpha and the Omega, the first and last letters of the alphabet. The description of the Father given in vs 4 is then repeated here, concluding with the title, “the Almighty,” a word that occurs nine times in Revelation. It is probable that vs 8 applies to Christ, even as vs 4 does to God the Father, since Christ is the eternal Second Person of the Godhead (Rev 22:12-13). (JW)

The Patmos Vision

9 I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, 11 saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

Re vs 10: John was carried beyond normal sense into a state where God could reveal supernaturally the contents of the book. Peter (Acts 10:20-11; 11:15) and Paul (Acts 22:17-18) had similar experiences. John was projected forward to the future day of the Lord as he received the revelation of the unfolding of the end times, as opposed to “Sunday,” which is also known as the Lord’s day. (JW)

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; 13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

Rev vs 13: Christ is portrayed as in the middle of the lampstands, that is, in the midst of the churches. His title, “son of man,” frequently appears in the Gospels, but only twice in Revelation (here and in 14:14) The title emphasizes Jesus’s humanity and Messianic character, and He used it more than any other term to refer to Himself. (JW)

17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. 19 Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Rev vs 19: Here, we have a three-part outline of Revelation. The things referred to as having already been seen are those in Chap 1. The second division, “those [things] that are,” include Chap 2 and 3, with the seven messages of Christ to the churches. The third division, “those [things] that are to take place after this” would include the bulk of the book, comprising Chap 4-22. The advantage of this outline is that it deals in a natural way with the material. In fact, we can say that this outline is the only one that allows Rev to speak for itself without artificial manipulation, and that leads to a “futurist” interpretation. It is worth noting that practically all other approaches to Rev produce widely differing interpretations with little uniformity. The futurist school at least agrees on some of its main lines of interpretation. The “futuristic” approach, held by conservative expositors, who are premillennial, regards Rev as futuristic, beginning with Chap 4, and therefore subject to future fulfillment. The “preterist” approach adherents maintain that Rev is a record of conflicts of the early church with Judaism and paganism. The events of Rev 4-20 are viewed primarily as a description of the Jewish war, its culmination in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and the persecution of the early church. Preterists follow a mixture of literal and symbolical/allegorical methods of interpretation, rejecting a consistent, literal method of interpretation. Since preterists view Rev as a prophecy about the events of A.D. 67-70 for their view to be viable, Rev must have been written in A.D. 65-66. This date is highly problematic, in that full preterism holds that Jesus returned in A.D. 70 in the clouds of judgment against unbelieving Israel, and that all Biblical prophecy, including Rev, was fulfilled in A.D.70. (JW) Dr. De Walvoord’s view of preterism agrees with the comment that is provided by Dr. De Young in his video discussion. (Mine)

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Click onto the above link to see the post, as it is shown on the blog. You will see a clear view of the post, as well as the opening video, and others that may be included in the post. You will also see prior posts. If you have a forwarded copy of the post, you can also click onto any blue line, letter, number or symbol to see the video and other posts and videos that are posted on the blog. If you don’t see the post that you desire, look at the bottom of the right side of the page. There, you will find a “search window.” In that window, type the name of the post, click onto it, and the typed post will appear.

The Road To, And Through, Calvary ( A Stop At The Supper Table)

As a boy, while growing up in the South, I was blessed with the times that my family and I had as we met each day around the supper table. Whether I was at home with my mother, brother and sister and step-father, or with my grandparents (Big Mama and Papa), those times were always good. A prayer of thanks to God for the meal was always said. Conversation was good, Fried chicken, pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and cream style corn, okra and tomatoes, flat corn bread and “sweet tea,” were a sight to behold, and a blessing for a hungry stomach. Oh, how sweet those times were! The memories stay with me and strengthen me…George Younce, who led this song, would soon be at home waiting for “supper time.” Glen Payne, who was the other older gentleman in the video, was not far behind George in his own “home-coming.” .. Remaining from the picture that I painted of my family are my sister, step-father and me…”Age is a crown of glory, when it is found in the way of righteousness. “(Proverbs 16:31, 1599 Geneva Bible). Now, let’s consider the best supper of all times, and the road that will take us there. We will begin with a conversation that Jesus had with His disciples.

Matthew 24 New American Standard Bible (NASB) – Tribulation – Second Coming Of Jesus

It is important for us to understand the context of the following conversation. Jesus is talking to Jews, about things that will relate to unsaved Jews and Gentiles in the future, during a time that He calls “tribulation,” and “great tribulation.” He was not speaking to, or of, the New Testament church. In John 1:11 we read that Jesus came “to His own,” who were the Jews. In John 4:7-26, Jesus spoke with a woman of Samaria. Samaritans had intermarried with non-Jews, and were considered by full-blooded Jews as being half-breeds. During this conversation, Jesus discussed places of worship and true/spiritual worship. The woman came to know that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah. In John 12:20-21, we read about some Gentile converts to Judaism who wanted to talk to Jesus, as follows;

20 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.

Jesus did not speak with the Gentile converts.. Remember John 1:11. Jesus was not sent to the Gentiles, Samaritans or Gentile converts to Judaism. He didn’t speak to Jews about things of the church, or about the rapture of the church. He spoke to Jews about things that were of particular importance to the Jews, which related primarily to His being the promised Messiah. (Re: John 1:11).

Signs of Christ’s Return

3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. 9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Notice verse 14. This passage addresses the tribulation, and not the rapture/catching up of the church, as we will discuss later. Jesus is speaking from the Mount of Olives. Upon His return to earth, He will stand on the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4)

21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.

Notice verse 21: We hear that there has always been tribulation in the world. But, consider the wording of this verse.” such as has not occurred until now, not ever.” Times may be hard now, but for those who find themselves on the earth, during the time of the anti-Christ, during the tribulation, those days will be times “that have never been experienced.”

22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

Notice verse 22. The elect of this context relates to Jews. So many Jews will be killed by the anti-Christ during the tribulation that “those days will be cut short” so that not all Jews will die.

24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.

The Glorious Return

29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Notice verses 29-31. These events occur a the end of the Great Tribulation. The raptured church will not be present on earth during these times, but will return with Christ at the end of the tribulation (see Zechariah 14:1-9)

Notice verse 30. Zechariah 14:1-9 discusses the return of Jesus to earth at the end of the tribulation, when Jesus will stand on the Mount of Olives, and bring peace to the earth during his thousand-year millennial reign.

Notice verse 31. The gathering of the Elect occurs at the time of the return of Christ, and is not the same event that takes place during the rapture of the church when believers in Christ are caught up in the air to meet our Lord and go on to take place in the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage of the Lamb. (discussed later in this post)

34 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

Notice verse 34. The term, “this generation,” relates to the generation of Jews who will be present during the tribulation.

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

Notice verse 36. This passage does not address the rapture of the church, but the truth of this teaching relates to the rapture.

Now, let’s focus our attention to the time of tribulation, and proceed to the Supper Table from there.

The Great Tribulation

Jesus speaks with Jews about a future time of tribulation that will affect those who have not been caught up in the rapture of the church prior to the tribulation. In this context, the Jews are the elect, but who are left behind when the rapture of the church takes place. A missionary core of 144,000 Jewish missionaries will be used by God to call unsaved Jews and Gentiles to accept Jesus as the Messiah (see Rev 7:1-4, and 14:1-5). Notice that 144,000 are present in both passages, which indicates that their being sealed protects them from the anti-Christ, and they are being protected “during the tribulation.” Revelation 3:10 shows that the church is being protected by being kept “from the tribulation.” (more about these two protections will be discussed in later posts) Three scripture texts will follow the passage of the tribulation and will discuss the catching up/rapture of the church, which includes those who have the Spirit of God indwelling their spirits.

Matthew 24:21-22 New King James Version (NKJV) – Consider the particular topic of the Tribulation

21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

John 14:1-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus Tells His Disciples, “I will come and take you away.” They become the believers of in the church of Christ.

14 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

1 Corinthians 15:50-55 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Paul tells believers in Christ, “you will be changed”

50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Those Who Die in Christ

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not proceed those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

2 Corinthians 5:10 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Our Future after Death At The Judgment Seat Of Christ/Bema Judgment

This event is for believers in Christ, who are “The Bride Of Christ,” after they are caught up in the rapture of the church. Remember the importance of “the bride,” as it has been taught in scripture. This event is not to determine salvation, which took place at the time of belief and new birth into Christ. Unbelievers will come before “The Great White Throne Judgment” (Rev 20:11-15) to face God, in the form of Jesus, who will judge them according to their sins. Believers come to the Bema judgment/judgment seat of Christ (tribunal of Christ) to receive eternal rewards because Jesus paid their sin debt on Calvary’s cross. Unbelievers have their eternal punishment and separation from God finalized at the time of their death, when they die in a state of “unbelief.” (John 3:18/Rom 8:1)

10 For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless

Revelation 19:7-8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The marriage of the lamb also occurs in heaven between the raptured church, who is the bride of Christ, and Jesus, who is the bridegroom/Lamb of God. The saints, the church, the bride of Christ, were made righteous by Jesus. (2 Cor 5:21, see below). This event precedes the second coming of Christ with His saints at the Battle Of Armageddon, and also precedes the Marriage Supper Of The Lamb, which takes place following that Battle. The 1,000 year reign of Christ, the millennial reign of Christ, and the marriage supper of the Lamb are the same event. A bride is one of the two participants in a wedding. Invited guests are present during marriage suppers. Such guests will be the Old Testament saints and Tribulation saints. Consider the joy and happiness that are present during marriage suppers. (Isa 11:6, Isa 65:20, Rev 19: 9. see below)

Marriage of the Lamb

7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

2 Corinthians 5:21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

By being made righteous through belief in Christ (right standing before God), our sin debt has been paid and we are kept from appearing before The Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-15).

21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Isaiah 11:6 Living Bible (TLB)

6 In that day the wolf and the lamb will lie down together, and the leopard and goats will be at peace. Calves and fat cattle will be safe among lions, and a little child shall lead them all.

Isaiah 65:20 Good News Translation (GNT)

20 Babies will no longer die in infancy, and all people will live out their life span. Those who live to be a hundred will be considered young. To die before that would be a sign that I had punished them.

Revelation 19:9 English Standard Version (ESV)

9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

Revelation 19:11-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Those believers who were “caught up/raptured” will return with Christ from where they experienced the Judgment Seat Of Christ and the Marriage Of The Lamb. (See 2 Cor 5:10/Zechariah 14:1-9). Jesus leads the assault on the anti-Christ, False Prophet, and those who oppose God and His people at the Battle of Armageddon (see Rev 16:12 forward;Armageddon vs 16). This is a spiritual battle (angels accompany Jesus and the Bride), with Rev 19:15 showing the battle being won without the actions of anyone but Jesus. This event shows Jesus actually returning to earth, as opposed to His coming in the air in the rapture.

The Second Coming of Christ At Armageddon

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine-press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” 17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in mid-heaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” 19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

Doom of the Beast and False Prophet

20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

Zechariah 14:1-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus returns at the Battle Of Armageddon and stands on the Mount Of Olives (vs 4). His Holy ones come with Him (vs 5, Raptured saints and angels). The battle will be the Lord’s victory, which comes from a spiritual battle (vs 3). Notice that all of the nations of the world will be the target of this attack by the returning Jesus (vs 2). “The world,” will include the USA. The “soldiers, and those opposing God and His people” will include those who were left behind when the rapture of the church took away those soldiers who had been born again, were the bride of Christ, and who knew Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

The Second Coming Of Christ At Battle Of Armageddon

1 Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.5 You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! 6 In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle.7 For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light.8 And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea;it will be in summer as well as in winter. God Will Be King over All 9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.

Revelation 20:1-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Battle of Armageddon ends. Satan is bound for a thousand years (vs 2). During that time, sin and its temptations will also be bound. At the end of the thousand years (millennium, marriage supper) Satan will be loosed, at which time he will begin to tempt those who were born during that time, and those who may have survived the Battle of Armageddon (see Zech 14:16). Consider the situation that will exist when Satan is no longer a factor in the lives of people. It was because of sin that death came to mankind. (See Romans 5:12). There was no death before Adam sinned, so no one died before God created Adam.That fact is very important to remember about the Genesis account of creation.

Satan Bound

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

Revelation 20:4-15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Saints Rule And Reign With Christ

4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Those who were resurrected at the rapture, and those who were alive at the time of the rapture, accompany Jesus as He returns to Earth at the Battle of Armageddon. Those who accepted Jesus during the tribulation and survived death from the anti-Christ are present. Those who were martyred during the tribulation, and the Old Testament saints, are now resurrected. All of those who had saving relationships with God are now ruling and reigning with Christ for the thousand-year millennium. All of those who had never had a saving relationship with God, upon their death, will not be resurrected until the end of the millennium.

So, what time is it? It’s “supper time.” It’s waiting for all of us who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

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The Road To, And Through, Revelation (A Stop At Calvary)

Del Way’s song has a very sobering affect on those of us who understand the seriousness of life, and the mess that many of us have made of it. The message of Calvary and the crucified “Lamb of God,” as being key to our journey to an eternity with God, will be presented in the remainder of this post. Few of my words are provided. Scripture tells the story of Jesus, the Lamb of God; Calvary and the Crucifixion of Jesus; grace made manifest through Calvary. Consider more of the road to, and through, Revelation.

John 1:29 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Lamb of God

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

1 Corinthians 2:2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Paul’s Proclamation

“For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

Acts 2 New International Version (NIV)

Peter explains the fulfilment of God’s promise

22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead,freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear 36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

Acts 8:34-39 New International Version (NIV)

An Ethiopian Receives Christ

34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”[37] 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

Matthew 16:13-17 New International Version (NIV)

Peter’s Confession Of Jesus As The Messiah

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples,“Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.

John 20:27-29 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus and Thomas

27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Matthew 26 New International Version (NIV)

The Death, Resurrection, And Commissioning Of The Lamb

The Plot Against Jesus

1 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples,2 “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” 3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. 5 “But not during the festival,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. 8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you,but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

The Last Supper

17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. 20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” 22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?” 23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” 25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?” Jesus answered, “You have said so.” 26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” 30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” 34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” 35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

Gethsemane

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Jesus Arrested

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” 55 In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Jesus Before the Sanhedrin

57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome. 59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward 61 and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” 62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?”63 But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66 What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered. 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”

Peter Disowns Jesus

69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. 70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. 71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” 73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” 74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Matthew 27 New International Version (NIV)

Judas Hangs Himself

1 Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. 2 So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor. 3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” 5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. 6 The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. 8 That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”

Jesus Before Pilate

11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. 12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer.13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor. 15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him. 19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. 21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. 22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” 23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” 25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

The Soldiers Mock Jesus

27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews. 38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days,save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

The Death of Jesus

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lemasabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar,put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” 55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

The Burial of Jesus

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

Matthew 28 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Has Risen

1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” 8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them,“Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

The Guards’ Report

11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

As we consider this stop at Calvary, let’s consider two key passages of scripture that deal with “the grace of God.” All of this account of God’s dealing with sin has grace as the saving tool of all of His creation. It is only by the grace of God, the Father, as demonstrated through God, the Son, on the cross at Calvary, that any of us are saved from the wrath of God, and an eternity of separation from Him. Use the closing two passages of scripture to consider the blessings of God’s grace.

John 1:14, 16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Grace Through Jesus

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. 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

Salvation By Grace

Ephesians 2:8-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

The Cross at Calvary; Jesus, the Lamb of God on that cross; grace being made manifest through His crucifixion; a key stopping point on the road to, and through, Revelation. The sobering realization of that day stays in my mind.

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