Blog Bible Study N.T.

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The Bible study is dedicated in the name of Jesus, Christ, God, Son, and Savior

May the Lord Jesus Christ be honored by our devotions, our study and in our fellowship. May all the people be blessed and grow in the grace and knowledge of the love and presence of God our creator and our savior. - Amen!

The 'blog Bible Study' was completed in 10 segments

01. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua

02. Matthew, James, Romans, Galatians, Hebrews

03. Judges, Ruth, 1st Samuel, 2nd Samuel, 1st Kings, 2nd Kings

04. Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum {Early period Prophets - Assyrian activity, attack on Jerusalem thwarted}

05. Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Obadiah, Daniel, Ezekiel {Middle period Prophets - destruction of Jerusalem, Solomon's Temple destroyed and the Babylonian captivity}

06. Luke, Acts, 1st Corinthians, 2nd Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1st Thessalonians, 2nd Thessalonians

07. Mark, 1st Timothy, 2nd Timothy, Titus, Philemon, 1st Peter, 2nd Peter

08. Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations

09. 1st Chronicles, 2nd Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Haggai, Zechariah, Joel, Malachi {Later period Prophets - The return from Babylon, awaiting the coming Messiah}

10. John, 1st John, 2nd John, 3rd John, Jude, Revelation

blog History Study

11. The 8 Global Kingdoms of the World

12. Christian Church History

SAINT MATTHEW

Matthew 1 - Matthew the first of the eyewitness Gospel accounts of the physical life of Jesus Christ [the Gospels are placed in the Bible in the order that they were written, (the epistle 'Book of James' was probably the first New Testament document written) the epistles (letters) are placed according to their size - largest to smallest - then The Book of Revelation completes and closes the Bible Scriptures] - Matthew is going to prove beyond a reason of doubt that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah (Christ) by documenting Jesus' birth and descendancy from King David via the Jewish Temple genealogy scrolls and also by referencing the prophecies and scripture descriptions from the Hebrew Bible foretelling His coming - Matthew having established that Jesus is the Christ then narrates the Divine Ministry of Jesus Christ - The Ministry of Jesus in transitioning the Jewish Nation from faith and trust in exclusively following the law to faith and trust in a relationship with the living God the Messiah (Christ) - 'Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of [King] David ...' - 'Matthew 1:18-22 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise ... now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord [God] by the prophet ...'

Eligible to be King: The genealogy in the Gospel of Matthew is given because any future King in Israel would have to show their relationship and eligibility to the previous throne of King David. In modern times an eligible relationship to King David could not be established as the Jewish Temple genealogy scrolls were destroyed in the 70 AD destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. The possibility does not exist of having a modern, post 70 AD, Messiah because it would not be possible for a person to confirm the required King David genealogy [for a King and also the promised Messiah] and it would be impossible in modern times for a person to fulfill the Old Testament laws, prophecies and Biblical accounts that substantiated Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, the Christ. -- 'Matthew 1:1-16 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; ... And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; 16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.' -- 'Matthew 1:18-25 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.'

Ray Stedman - Adventuring Through the Bible - The Message of Matthew: BEHOLD YOUR KING! - People often wonder why we have four Gospels - There is a very good reason for this - It is interesting to note that each of these Gospels is a development of an exclamatory statement that is found in the Old Testament - Four different times -- and only four times -- in the Old Testament there was an exclamatory statement made concerning the Messiah, introduced always by the word ***behold - In one of the prophets (Zechariah 9:9) we read, "Behold thy King, O Israel!" In another place (Zechariah 6:12) we read, "Behold the man!" In a third place (Isaiah 42:1) we read, "Behold my servant!" In still a fourth place (Isaiah 35:3, Amos 4:12) we read, "Behold thy God!" These four statements are amplified and developed in the four Gospels -- Matthew, the Gospel of the King; Mark, the Gospel of the Servant; Luke, the Gospel of the Son of man; and John, the Gospel of God, the presentation of the Son of God (Mp3s)

Beginning in the New Testament we move from the realm of shadow, type, and prophecy, into the full sunshine of the presentation of the Son of God. The Old Testament speaks of him on every page, but speaks in shadows, in types, in symbols, and in prophecies -- all looking forward to the coming of Someone. You cannot read the Old Testament without being aware of that constant promise running through every page -- Someone is coming! Someone is coming! Now, when we open the Gospels, that Someone steps forth in the fullness of his glory. As John says, "We have beheld his glory...as of the only Son from the Father," (John 1:14 (RSV). I love the Gospels. They are to me one of the most perennially fascinating sections of the Bible. There you see Christ as He is. Remember that what He was is what He is; and what He is is what you have, if you are a Christian. All the fullness of His character and being and life is available to us, and we only learn what those resources are as we see Him as He was and is. That is why the Gospel records are so important to us. People often wonder why we have four Gospels. There is a very good reason for this. It is interesting to note that each of these Gospels is a development of an exclamatory statement that is found in the Old Testament. Four different times -- and only four times -- in the Old Testament there was an exclamatory statement made concerning the Messiah, introduced always by the word behold. In one of the prophets we read, "Behold thy king, O Israel!" In another place we read, "Behold the man!" In a third place we read, "Behold my servant!" In still a fourth place we read, "Behold thy God!" These four statements are amplified and developed in the four Gospels -- Matthew, the Gospel of the King; Mark, the Gospel of the Servant; Luke, the Gospel of the Son of man; and John, the Gospel of God, the presentation of the Son of God. These four Gospels give us four aspects of our Lord's character and person. They are not, strictly speaking, biographies. They are really sketches about the Person of Christ -- eyewitness accounts by those who knew him personally, or those immediately associated with them. Therefore, they have the ring of authenticity, and they carry to our hearts that first and marvelous impression that our Lord made upon his own disciples, and then upon the multitudes that followed him. No more amazing character has ever walked among men. As you read the Gospel accounts, I hope something of this fascination breaks upon your own heart as you see him stepping forth from these pages, revealed to you by the Spirit, when you see Him as He is. The first book of the New Testament is Matthew, and this is the place where most people start reading the Bible. I think more people begin reading in the New Testament than the Old, therefore, that would make Matthew the most widely read book in all the world. In fact, Renan, the French skeptic, said of this book, "This is the most important book of all Christendom." He also said, "The most important book that has ever been written is the Gospel of Matthew." But it has its critics, too. There are those who claim that this book contains nothing but the early legends of the church which grew up around Jesus, that these accounts are not historical, and that this book was not actually written until the fourth century A.D. Therefore, they say, we are uncertain as to how much is really true. Other critics make the claim that this is only one of many gospels that were circulated. Now, it is true that there are other gospels besides the four in the New Testament. There is the Gospel of Barnabas, for instance, and the Gospel of Peter, and yet other gospels. They can be found in a book called "The New Testament Apocrypha" if you would like to read them. The critics say that it is mere chance that these four Gospels survived. There is a legend that began with a German theologian named Pappas in about the 16th century who said that the Gospels were selected at the Council of Nice in 325 A.D. by gathering together all the many gospels that were circulating at that time, throwing them all under a table, and then reaching in and pulling out four which happened to be Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The foolishness of such a claim is evident to anyone who reads the Gospels with thoughtfulness. They are stamped with the fingerprints of God. The very pattern of these books reflects the divine imprint, and you cannot read them or compare them with the Old Testament without seeing that they come from an inspired source. Furthermore, you have merely to compare them with the Apocryphal gospels to see how foolish such a claim is. [link]

Which Language Did Jesus Speak - Aramaic or Hebrew? - There is no ground for assuming that Jesus did not speak Hebrew; and when we are told (Acts 21:40) that [Apostle] Paul spoke Hebrew [to the crowd in Jerusalem], we should take this piece of information at face value" - we also have that of the Church Fathers - Eight early writers assert that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew - The most important of these testimonies is that of Papias (birth about 60 AD - 135 AD, source wiki.com), a second century Church father "Matthew recorded in the Hebrew language the words [of Jesus], and everyone [Egyptian, Greek, Roman, etc.] interpreted them as he is able"

A Final Witness: In addition to the witnesses of the New Testament itself, archaeology, and linguistic scholarship, we also have that of the Church Fathers. Of them, Jean Carmignac says, "Eight early writers assert that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew: altogether there are over thirty formal assertions that this was so in the works of Papias, Hegesippus, Irenaeus, Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea, Cyril of Jerusalem, Epiphanius and Jerome". The most important of these testimonies is that of Papias, a second century Church father: "Matthew recorded in the Hebrew language the words [of Jesus], and everyone interpreted them as he is able". Dr. Brad Young sums up the importance of considering the Jewish background of Jesus' life and teachings: "...without consideration of the Jewish parallels, the Gospels will forever be filtered through Western culture, and Jesus will be completely missed or greatly misunderstood...The world...including church leaders and outstanding scholars, often has missed Jesus. The original Jewish environment of his life promises to reveal a new vision of Jesus and his message" (Jesus the Jewish Theologian, p. xxxvi). [link]

RayStedman.org: ADVENTURING THROUGH THE BIBLE by Ray C. Stedman - #40 The 400 Years between the Old and New Testaments (Mp3)

Sunday evening services at Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto, California, were the setting for a series of 67 messages on the entire Bible preached by Ray C. Stedman. One book of the Bible was covered per message, with an additional message inserted to cover the history of the "400 Silent Years" between the close of the Old Testament canon (Malachi) and the First Gospel (Matthew). This series commenced June 28, 1964 and was completed on August 4, 1968. These sermons constitute Discovery Papers #201-267 inclusive. The book version, "Adventuring Through the Bible," was released in late 1997 and is currently in print. [link]

Apocrypha - Deuterocanonical Books of the Bible Apocrypha (Text)

The Project Gutenberg Etext of Deuterocanonical Books of the Bible also known as the Apocrypha [Book titles added as there were none in the files we received. One typo of Ezra to Esdr was changed as were some of the marginations. The books were each received as an Etext file, and have been put here into one single file for utilty and they are placed in an order suggested by one of our advisors--we would be happy to post indices of other suggested orderings and other commentaries.] [link]

Generations of Jesus Christ - In the first chapter of the New Testament in Matthew 1:17 - These are fourteen of the generations from Abraham to King David - Matthew omits three generations (Kings) after Joram -- namely Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah (1 Chron. 3:11-12) and fourteen from King David's time to the exile - and fourteen from the exile to Christ {Matthew omitted the descendants of Jezebel [removed by God] from the genealogy. King David is counted twice and there are other known jumps in the Matthew genealogy of Joseph [the Stepfather of Jesus] as well.}

The genealogy (Heb. yachas, Gr. genealogia) is listed as such : Genealogy of Jesus Christ is divided into three sets of fourteen generations each, probably to aid memorization. - Judah was only the fourth son of Jacob. Matthew omits three generations (Kings) after Joram -- namely Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah (1 Chron. 3:11-12). Even in Ezra 7:1-5, six generations of priesthood are omitted, compared to 1 Chron. 6:3-15, thus such an omission in Hebrew genealogies is not peculiar to Matthew's religious considerations. He names Zerah (Za'ra) as well as Perez (Pha'res) and mentions the brothers of Judah and of Jeconiah, which is unusual. [Tamar], Ra'chab and Ruth are gentiles. Abiud through Matthan are not found in the Old Testament, but taken from a public registry. Matthew gave the names of those who were heirs to the Davidic throne, compared to Luke's [Mary] genealogy from Jesus to Adam that records that of the physical descent with his humanity. Both make plain his virgin birth, and therefore his deity. [link]

Josh McDowell - The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict - Part One (YouTube)

Josh McDowell is regarded by most Christians and theologians as one of the most effective apologetics speakers around. When McDowell published his first powerful defense of the Bible in his book, "The Evidence That Demands A Verdict," it became a national bestseller within a matter of months. McDowell's writings contained a body of undeniable evidence on the validity of Holy Scripture. More recently McDowell has added even more solid information to his thesis, and, to the dismay of agnostics and atheists, made the validity of the Bible even MORE undeniable. This is the special television version of that powerful information presented by McDowell himself. [link]

Josh McDowell - Evidence For Your Faith (Mp3's)

Former skeptic Josh McDowell examines the evidence about Jesus. Is this first century Hebrew carpenter truly the God he claimed to be? Or was he just a good man and maybe a little crazy? More than a Carpenter offers arguments for faith from a skeptic turned believer and now includes new content that addresses questions raised by today's popular atheist writers. [link]

Matthew 2 - The birth of Jesus - The arrival of the Messiah (Christ) - Balaam's prophesied Christmas Star appears - Wise Men from the East journey to Jerusalem - King Herod the area's Roman appointed gentile King then also inquires about the newborn King - Herod a builder of stone and a destroyer of men sought the death of the newborn King - Joseph, Mary and Jesus flee Israel to live in Egypt until the death of Herod when they can safely return to Israel -- 'Matthew 2:1-2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea [Judah] in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him [the Messiah]'

Three Wise Gifts: Wise Men of the East journeyed a long distance to find the newborn King of the Jews and to 'Worship Him' upon being led to the young Jesus [about one year old by the time the Wise Men arrived] the Wise Men presented Jesus with three Worship gifts to honor His unique standing among mankind. 1. Gold - the gift and possession for a King and the covering on the Ark of the Covenant [Exodus 25:11] for the Tabernacle and the Temple. 2. Frankincense - the gift of the Priesthood used by priests in an aroma sacrifice offering to God and as an incense [Exodus 31:34] in offering a sweet smoke aroma to God within the Holy place of both the Tabernacle and later the Temple. 3. Myrrh - the gift of an anointing oil for anointing a Prophet [particularly the 'man of sorrows,' 'acquainted with grief' Prophet [Isaiah 53:3] - 'the oil of joy for mourning' Isaiah 61:3] and as oil to anoint the Holy objects of the Tabernacle and later also for the Temple 'oil of holy ointment ' [Exodus 30:25]. - 'Matthew 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.'

King Herod the Great - The Roman appointed king of Israel in the days of the birth of Jesus

Herod (73-4 BCE) was the pro-Roman king of the small Jewish state in the last decades before the common era. He started his career as a general, but the Roman statesman Mark Antony recognized him as the Jewish national leader. ... On moments like that, it was clear to anyone that Herod was not a Jewish but a Roman king. He had become the ruler of the Jews with Roman help and he boasted to be philokaisar ('the emperor's friend'), entertaining Agrippa, Augustus' right-hand man. On top of the gate of the new Temple, a golden eagle was erected, a symbol of Roman power in the heart of the holy city resented by all pious believers. Worse, Augustus ordered and paid the priests of the Temple to sacrifice twice a day on behalf of himself, the Roman senate and people. The Jewish populace started to believe rumors that their pagan ruler had violated Jewish tombs, stealing golden objects from the tomb of David and Solomon. ... Herod's reign ended in terror. The monastery at Qumran, the home of the Essenes, suffered a violent and deliberate destruction by fire in 8 BCE, for which Herod may have been responsible. When the king fell ill, two popular teachers, Judas and Matthias, incited their pupils to remove the golden eagle from the entrance of the Temple: after all, according to the Ten Commandments, it was a sin to make idols. The teachers and the pupils were burned alive. Some Jewish scholars had discovered that seventy-six generations had passed since the Creation, and there was a well-known prophecy that the Messiah was to deliver Israel from its foreign rulers in the seventy-seventh generation. The story about the slaughter of infants of Bethlehem in the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew is not known from other sources, but it would have been totally in character for the later Herod to commit such a terrible act. [link]

Matthew 3-4 - Jesus begins His earthly ministry by being baptized [washed - public testimony] by John the Baptist - Jesus was Baptized not unto repentance but as a Testimony [Exodus 29:4] to the people that His ministry had begun - Jesus is then led by the Holy Spirit into the desert for forty days of fasting and to be tempted by Satan - 'Matthew 3:16-17 And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him (John the Baptist), and he saw [Testimony] the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I Am well pleased'

Matthew 4:1-3 Then was Jesus led up of the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter (Devil) came to Him, he said, If [Since, lit. Greek] thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.' - Satan unsuccessfully tempted Jesus three times and all three times Jesus replied to Satan with a quote from the Bible. 1. Turning stones to bread: Satan encourages Jesus to immediately satisfy His hunger by turning rocks to bread. Jesus had been led by the Holy Spirit to go into the desert to fast [and pray] - this was simply who is Jesus going to follow God for eternity or Satan for a moment. [Deut 8:3] Jesus did not even hesitate and would not even consider the suggestion of the Devil. 2. Satan wanted Jesus to test God's loyalty to Jesus by having Jesus jump from the top of the Temple building forcing God to react to the situation in saving Jesus from bodily harm. Jesus said "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord they God" [Deut 6:16]. Again Jesus did not even consider Satan's proposal. Finally Satan told Jesus that if Jesus would "fall down" and worship Satan that Satan would give Jesus all the Kingdoms of the world. Note: 'Revelation 17:10 And there are seven kings [kingdoms of the world]: five are fallen [Nimrod, Egypt, Babylon (Iraq), Persia (Iran), Greece], and one is [Rome], and the other [Antichrist] is not yet come; and when he [Antichrist] cometh, he must continue a short space [3 ½ years].' Jesus again [Deut 6:13] declined to submit to Satan and Satan immediately departed from the presence of Jesus. - 'Matthew 4:11 Then the Devil (Satan) leaveth Him (Jesus), and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.'

Matthew 5 - Jesus begins His 'Sermon on the Mount' teachings [it's been about one year since the baptism of Jesus the Gospel of John covers the first year's events with Jesus more fully than the other three Gospels] - The 'Sermon on the Mount' teachings are to orientate mankind away from human induced customs, rituals and fables into a meaningful relationship with God in Jesus Christ -- 'Matthew 5:2-12 And He (Jesus) opened His mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you'

'Matthew 5:17-19 Think not that I (Jesus) am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle [strokes of the pen] shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.' - The law has been compared to a blueprint that you have to follow in order to build a life pleasing to God. However the law is more of a painting and an illustration (drawing) than a blueprint. The Laws of God and the Prophecies of God are the Image [painting] of the true God that has always existed [John 1:14 And the Word [Law and the Prophets] was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth] not a blueprint or a ritual that Jesus needed to conform Himself into. The Law [Leviticus 19:34] says to 'Love your neighbor' "and thou shalt love him (neighbor/stranger) as thyself" because God is Love. Jesus didn't come to learn how to love one another Jesus came to teach us how to love one another. Also Note: Jesus then instructs that the law is external that it is words and ideas written down on paper and that what mankind needs is both the living example in Jesus Himself and mankind also needs a step further than the example of Jesus Christ mankind needs to be enabled internally, in the human spirit, to be like Jesus has always been and for mankind to become the Law unto themselves [obeying and following the law on their own] to actually become in the image, the ability, of God in Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit newly residing inside of the regenerated individual human enabling a human to now become pleasing to God and capable of having an intimate individual relationship with the Holy God.

Matthew 6 - Jesus continues His 'Sermon on the Mount' teaching - The Lord's Prayer [more accurately called The Disciple's Prayer as it is a prayer format the Lord Jesus taught the disciples to follow - The actual Lord's Prayer is in John 17:1-26]

'Matthew 6:9-15 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed [Holy] be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread [needs]. And forgive us our debts [sins], as we forgive our debtors [those who sin against us]. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.' - The Disciples Prayer is a model prayer it is not a rote, repetitive prayer though you can pray it word for word at times [often in congregations] it is not intend for individuals to constantly repetitively pray this prayer. 1. Acknowledge that God is in Heaven that He is our Father and that He is Very Holy. 2. That God's will is to be accomplished on earth as well just as much as in Heaven. 3. That God will meet our needs and also that we are to present our needs to God and ask God to meet our needs. 4. That we are sinners in need of forgiveness and that we also need to forgive others of their wrongs against us. Our request to God, for God to keep us from our own internal temptations and also for God to deliver us from external evil that does exist in this world. 5. Affirming that God has the power, authority and glory thought the entire universe.

Matthew 7 - Jesus concludes His 'Sermon on the Mount' teaching -- 'Matthew 7:24-29 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a Rock: ... And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine: For He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.'

Enter into Heaven via the Straight and Narrow Way of Jesus Christ: The way to Heaven is straight and it is narrow but it is also open and unrestricted as everyone can enter and everyone has access all the way to Heaven. The way to Heaven is open in the cross of Jesus Christ and accessible via the living resurrection of Jesus Christ. No other way apart from Jesus Christ exists for our entrance into Heaven because no other way is needed for our entrance into Heaven. - 'Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye [you] in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life [eternal Spiritual life], and few there be that find it.'

Matthew 8 - Jesus comes down the mountain from His 'Sermon on the Mount' teaching [in going up to the mountain top to teach Jesus is signifying that the people are now hearing the same voice that Moses heard - Jesus is the voice that Moses heard when he climbed the mountain top at Mt. Sinai to hear the voice of God] - Jesus performs a miracle [healing a man with leprosy] the first of Jesus' miracles recorded in the Gospel of Matthew

'Matthew 8:1-4 When He (Jesus) was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And, behold, there came a leper and *worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, *thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the Priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.' - Jesus told the man that he had just healed to "tell no man" the ultimate ministry of Jesus Christ was His cross and His resurrection. Jesus didn't want people talking about Him publically apart from the context of His cross and His resurrection. In telling the man to go to the Temple and to make the offering required [Leviticus 14:1-32] for being healed of leprosy Jesus was directing the man to be a witness to the Temple Priests that the Messiah had arrived. Ultimately Jesus was directing all of the people; the man healed, the Temple Priests and the crowds that were following Him to keep His ministry, His actions and most importantly His miracles in the proper Biblical context.

Matthew 9 - Jesus has taken the disciples to the other side of the Sea of Galilee - Establishing the city of Capernaum in the Galilee region as a base for most of His 3½ years of earthly ministry - Religious opposition to Jesus begins as Jesus forgives the sins of a man obviously crippled from a sinful [venereal disease] condition - 'Matthew 9:2-7 And, behold, they [followers] brought to Him (Jesus) a man sick of the palsy [an advanced crippling sexual disease], lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; *thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth [Mark 2:8 who can forgive sins but God only?]. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of Man (Jesus) hath power on earth to forgive sins, then saith He to the sick of the palsy, Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house.'

For I (Jesus) am not come to call the [Jewish] righteous, but [Jewish] sinners to repentance: 'Matthew 9:12-13 But when Jesus heard that [people complained because He ate with sinners], He said unto them [Pharisees], They that be whole (able, strong) need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn [Hosea 6:6] what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not [Levitical] sacrifice: for I am not come to call the [Jewish] righteous, but [Jewish] sinners to repentance.' - Jesus is establishing His ministry while on the earth to mankind, first to the Jewish people then [after His cross and resurrection] to the rest of the world, all the Gentile nations. The righteous Jews [and righteous Gentiles i.e. the Roman Centurion (Matthew 8:5)] are those who desire God, who have a heart for God and for the things of God. Without reading too much into the scriptures it is interesting that Jesus did not go into the faithful family homes but He went to the lost of Israel; to the compromised people, the unscrupulous tax collectors, the unlawful pig farmers, the demon possessed and to the professional religious and political leaders of the day to call them to repentance.

Sea of Galilee - Also known as Bahr Tubariya, Ginnosar, Lake of Galilee, Lake of Gennesaret, Lake of Gennesar, Sea of Chinnereth, Sea of Chinneroth, Sea of Kinnereth, Sea of Tiberias, Lake of Tiberias, Waters of Gennesaret, Yam Kinneret (Photos)

The Sea of Galilee is fed by the Jordan River, rainfall and springs on the northern side. More properly designated a lake, the Kinneret (the OT and modern name) is 13 miles long and 7 miles wide. At its deepest point the lake is only 150 feet deep. The rabbis said of it, "Although God has created seven seas, yet He has chosen this one as His special delight." [link]

City of Capernaum - Jesus made Capernaum His home during most [especially the first part] of the [3½] years of His ministry - Jesus walked throughout much of the land of Israel visiting many cities at first the Jewish cities then later the mixed and Gentile cities in Israel [He entered Jerusalem the last week, Holy Week]: "Leaving Nazareth He went and lived in Capernaum" Matt 4:13 (Photos)

Jesus made Capernaum his home during the years of his ministry: "Leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum" (Matt 4:13). Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen living in the village. Matthew the tax collector also dwelt here. Capernaum is one of the three cities cursed by Jesus for its lack of faith. [link]

Matthew 10 - Jesus sends out 12 of His Disciples as chosen Apostles -- 'Matthew 10:5-8 These twelve [Apostles] Jesus sent forth ... and as ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.'

'Matthew 10:5-8 These twelve [Apostles] Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not [until later]: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.' - Where the perceivable presence of God is available it is called Heaven even on earth [hell is where the perceivable presence of God is not available]. Jesus is God who has come to mankind and therefore 'The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand' in Jesus Christ the Kingdom of Heaven is now available to mankind. - While Jesus was personally discipling His Disciples and sending them out as His Apostles they were given authority to heal the sick, cast out demons and raise the dead as a way of authenticating their message that the Messiah had arrived. Now the witness to the Messiah (Jesus) is primarily the written Bible and not signs and wonders. However many of the verses of the New Testament Bible were written by the Apostles who were sent out by Jesus including Matthew and his Gospel of Matthew so we still have the Testimony 'Preaching' of the Apostles but the miracles of the Apostles are deemphasized in the modern Church while the Bible and particularly Bible prophecy is now emphasized [2 Peter 1:19] in authenticating to mankind the message that Jesus the Messiah has arrived to save mankind.

Matthew 11 - John the Baptist is placed in prison for denouncing the immortally of Herod who had taken his brother's wife (Herodias) [Herod's brother Philip was an administrator in Rome and after a visit to Rome Herod returned to Jerusalem with Herodias) - While in prison John the Baptist wonders why Jesus does not immediately begin His Kingdom [earthly] reign - John the Baptist and Jesus are contrasted - John the Baptist had an earthly, here and now prophetic ministry that was very political - Jesus had a Spiritual, eternal teaching ministry that was apolitical -- 'Matthew 11:2-3 Now when John had heard in the prison the [Spiritual] works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto Him, Art thou He (Messiah) that should come, or do we look for another?'

'Matthew 11:11-14 Verily I (Jesus) say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater [in prophetic knowledge of the Messiah] than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the [born again] Kingdom of Heaven is greater [in experiential knowledge of the Messiah] than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the [physically] violent take it by force [not knowing the Kingdom is Spiritual]. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John [John the Baptist is the last of the Old Testament Prophets]. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias (Elijah, 'my God is Jehovah'), which was for to come.' - John the Baptist although appearing with Jesus in the time and days of Jesus, John is an Old Testament person because John the Baptist lived and died before the cross and resurrection of Jesus, before the formation of the Christian Church by Jesus giving of His Spirit to each Disciple [John 20:22] on the day of the resurrection. John the Baptist died before receiving the 'born again' Holy Spirit that makes a person a New Testament Christian therefore John the Baptist remained an Old Testament figure. - John the Baptist was the greatest among all the prophets in that John had all of the knowledge from the Scriptures of the previous prophets plus John had his own prophesy revelations about the coming of Jesus and John saw the witness of the Father and the Holy Spirit at the baptism of Jesus. John the Baptist had the accumulated knowledge of the Old Testament and John like all the other Old Testament prophets had the Holy Spirit upon him but John the Baptist did not have the experience of the Holy Spirit inside of him in the 'born again' Christian way therefore the least person in the [born again] Kingdom of God is greater in experiential knowledge of God than the greatest of the Old Testament prophets. - John the Baptist was the forerunner and announcer of the coming Messiah Jesus and in that role John fulfilled the spirit of Elijah 'my God is Jehovah /Yahweh'. The [Malachi 4:5] prophecy where Elijah himself will return 'before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD' is probably physically fulfilled by the return of Elijah [and Moses] in the Revelation time period [Revelation 11:3].

Matthew 12 - Jesus continues instructing and teaching the Disciples - Jesus is beginning to be considered by the people to be the Messiah - 'Son of David' is a term for the Messiah as according to prophecy [2 Samuel 7:12-13, Isaiah 7:13] the Messiah has to be a descendant of King David -- 'Matthew 12:23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the Son of David?'

Jesus came to be the light of salvation to both the Jews and to the Gentiles. Jesus is the light to the entire world. The whole world is included in the plans of God carried out through His Son Jesus Christ. - 'Matthew 12:17-21 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet, saying, Behold My Servant (Jesus), whom I have chosen; My Beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased: I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall He not break [Jesus came to heal not to damage], and smoking flax shall He not quench [Jesus came to give light not extinguish light], till He send forth judgment unto [Revelation] victory. And in His Name (Jesus) shall the Gentiles trust [for eternal salvation].' - He (Jesus) 'shall show judgment to the Gentiles' and in His Name 'Shall the Gentiles trust' Jesus came into the Jewish culture in His visit to mankind yet He is also the light to the Gentile world as well. 'Revelation 2:23 and all the churches shall know that I Am He (Jesus) which searcheth the reins [our determination] and hearts [our soul]: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.'

Matthew 13 - Jesus now begins teaching in Parables - A series of seven Kingdom parable teachings are given - Parables are a way to describe the unknown usually Heaven and the eternal spiritual realm by using known examples like fishing and farming ... "The kingdom of heaven is like ..." -- 'Matthew 13:2-11 And great multitudes were gathered together unto Him, so that He went into a ship [boat], and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And He spake many things unto them in parables, saying, ... and the disciples came, and said unto Him, Why speakest thou unto them [us] in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you [right now] to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not [yet] given. {Note: even the Disciples did not fully understand the parables until after the resurrection and the giving of the Holy Spirit [Luke 24:45 ] the Spirit of wisdom and understanding.}

The Seven Parables of Jesus from Matthew Chapter 13 are from the teaching ministry of Jesus during His physical time on earth. The Seven Parables of Jesus also parallel the comments made by the Resurrected Jesus in His opening statements to each of the Seven Churches in His 'Book of Revelation.' The Epistles of the Apostle Paul also parallel both the Seven Parables of Jesus and the Seven Letters of the Resurrected Jesus. The Seven Parables of Jesus are from the teaching ministry of Jesus during His physical time on earth, the letters of the Apostle Paul are from a representative of Jesus on earth after the ascension of Jesus back up into Heaven and finally the Seven Letters of Revelation are teachings and instruction from the resurrected Jesus Christ. Three groups of teachings spanning three timeframes with the one unique message of Jesus Christ and His eternal Kingdom. - The Apostle Paul wrote a group of [New Testament] letters addressed to various Churches in existence throughout Asia. The letters are comprised of six Church letters and two letters written to individuals as a group (Romans, Hebrews) for a total of 7 Church group messages by the Apostle Paul. --- *Revelation Letter (Revelation 2:1-3:22) --> *Instruction & Correction Epistle [New Testament] --> *Parable Teaching (Matthew 13:1-50) --- 1. The Church at Ephesus --> 1st & 2nd Corinthians --> The Parable of the Sower. 2. The Church at Smyrna --> Galatians --> The Parable of Wheat and (Weeds) Tares. 3. The Church at Pergamos --> Ephesians --> The Parable of A Mustard Seed. 4. The Church at Thyatira --> Philippians --> The Parable of Leaven. 5. The Church at Sardis --> Colossians --> The Parable of A Buried Treasure. 6. The Church at Philadelphia --> Romans & Hebrews --> The Parable of The Pearl of Great Price. 7. The Church at Laodicea --> 1st & 2nd Thessalonians --> The Parable of A Large Net.

Matthew 14 - The transition from Old Testament to New Testament continues - John the Baptist is beheaded at the request of Herodias the new wife of Herod who had instructed her daughter to make the request of Herod after having her daughter dance for Herod in a seductive way during his birthday party - The fame of Jesus reaches the Palace of Herod Antipas [son of King Herod the Great, Matthew chapters 1-2]

'Matthew 14:10-12 And he (Herod) sent, and beheaded John [the Baptist] in the prison. ... and his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.' - The transition from the Old Testament age to the New Testament age continues. Had the Prophet John the Baptist remained it would have been confusing to the people as people continued to follow John the Baptist while the ministry of Jesus Christ was just now coming into its true focus that Jesus was to die for the sins of every person. Soon even the Temple itself and the Levitical Priesthood would like John the Baptist have successfully completed their purpose and having fulfilled their need will be removed from the scene in order to clear up any confusion that a functioning Levitical Temple and sacrificing Priesthood would create. - John the Baptist prepared the hearts of the Nation of Israel to receive their Messiah and they did as the Disciples and Apostles of Jesus Christ began and laid the foundation of the Christian Church that continues on to this day. The Levitical Priesthood as well brought forth all that it was intended to do as it provided the atoning blood sacrifices to enable God to dwell in their midst in a time before the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The vestiges of the Levitical Priesthood continues to provide an astounding array of examples, types, illustrations and shadows of the Atonement process for our understanding and for our edification. Both John the Baptist and the Levitical Priesthood are gone but their legacy will continue on for eternity.

The death of John the Baptist - By the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37 AD - 100 AD) describes in his Jewish antiquities [97 AD] the authenticity of Josephus' words on John has never been doubted

The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-c.100) describes in his Jewish antiquities the destruction of the army of the Jewish leader Herod Antipas. Many people thought that this was a divine punishment, because Antipas had ordered the execution of a just man, John the Baptist. The incident is hard to date; the story assumes that Antipas' brother Philip had already died (which he did in 34 AD), but this seems too late, because John was already arrested before Jesus of Nazareth was executed (which probably happened in 30 AD [to 34 AD]). Unlike the Testimonium Flavianum, the authenticity of Josephus' words on John has never been doubted. The strongest argument for their authenticity is that they are not connected to Christian interpretations. If a Christian author would have inserted a story on John, he would have retold the stories found in the gospels of Mark and Luke. ... 'Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God as a just punishment of what Herod had done against John, who was called the Baptist. For Herod had killed this good man, who had commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, righteousness towards one another and piety towards God. ...' [link]

Matthew 15 - Jesus continues to teach, instruct and direct the Disciples - Conflict with the established religious leaders continues to grow - Jesus miraculously feeds the multitudes [5,000 Jewish followers, and later 4,000 primarily Gentile followers]

Jesus' Miraculous Feeding of the Multitudes: The first miracle [Matthew 14:13-21] fed over five thousand Jews and was in an open place near Bethsaida (house of mercy). The second miracle [Matthew 15:29-39] fed over four thousand mostly Gentiles and was located on a mountain near the Sea of Galilee in the area of the 10 Greek remnant cities [Greek Decapolis Cities in Israel] left over from the Greek Dynasty that ruled over Israel prior to the Roman Dynasty ruling over Israel in the time Jesus. In the previous feeding of the five thousand Jews [five represents grace] the Disciples gathered in 12 baskets [the complete Nation of Israel, one basket for each of the 12 Tribes of Israel] while in the later Gentile feeding of four thousand [four represents the whole world, the four corners - quadrants of the globe; E,W,N,S] the Disciples gathered in seven baskets [seven represents complete] and of note the type of Gentile baskets that were used were two to three times the size of the previous Jewish baskets used so although only seven baskets were gathered in more material was gathered in the Gentile feeding than the Jewish feeding though in both feedings all the people were completely filled and all of the remnants were completely gathered in. - 'Matthew 15:29-39 And Jesus departed from [northern most Mediterranean Sea coast of Israel, Tyre and Sidon] thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. And great [Gentile] multitudes came unto Him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and He healed them: Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they [Gentiles] glorified the God of Israel. Then Jesus called His disciples unto Him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with Me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. And His disciples say unto Him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude? And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes. And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven [Gentile] baskets full. And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children. And He sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala [home of Mary Magdalene 'Mary of Magdala' located on the Sea of Galilee, by Mount Arbel].'

Cities of Ancient Israel - Decapolis - Decapolis was a Greek name for a league of approximately ten (deka) Hellenistic or Hellenized cities with their territories - in Roman times with some Jews living there (Map)

Region. Decapolis was Greek name for a league of approximately ten (deka) Hellenistic or Hellenized cities with their territories, in Roman times (with some Jews living there). All of them, except Scythopolis, were on the Transjordan side of the River. The New Testament (Matt 4:25; Mark 5:20) is the earliest mention of Decapolis revealing it as largely a gentile territory bordering Galilee and Perea: [Matt. 4:25; Mark 5:20; 7:31]. It is very difficult to say which cities were part of the league at one time or another. Pliny (Nat. Hist. 5, 74) mentions Damascus, Philadelphia (Rabbath-Ammon), Raphana, Scythopolis (Beth Shan), Gadara, Hippos (Susita), Dium, Pella (Pehel), Gerasa and Canatha (Kanath), yet he admits that his list is different from that of other writers. Ptolemy (Geography v, 14, 18) lists different cities, omitting Raphana and adding Abila, Lycianae, and Capitolias. Stephan of Byzantium (Gerasa) mentions 14 cities rather than the original 10. [link]

MAGDALA, HOME OF MARY MAGDALENE (Photo)

On the Sea of Galilee, near the base of towering Mount Arbel, lie the ruins of the ancient city of Magdala. Today the remains of the city can be found by traveling north about six kilometers on the coastal road from Tiberias. Magdala was placed on the map forever because of its most famous first-century resident. We know her from the dozen references in the New Testament as Mary Magdalene. We also know from the Gospels that Jesus (Yeshua) delivered this woman from a demonized life (Mark 16:9). Thereafter, she became a disciple par excellence. Mary accomplished something that the twelve selected disciples did not accomplish. She followed Jesus all the way to the cross (John 19:25), and three days later she was the first witness to the resurrection of the Lord (John 20:14-18). Mary's city, Magdala, is mentioned only once in scripture, in Matthew 15:39. Here it is stated that Jesus came to the region of Magdala. However, even in this instance, the NIV translates Magdala as Magadan. The area of Magdala is also associated in the New Testament with the name Dalmanutha, as seen in Mark 8:10. All other references to the city are indirect ones. Like so many other ancient cities, Magdala was rediscovered in the past century. In 1971-74, the city was excavated by Corbo and Loffreda. In their excavations they discovered a mini-synagogue, a water reservoir and some mosaics. One of the mosaics, now on display at Capernaum, depicts an ancient boat with both sails and oars, not unlike the famous boat actually discovered in the general area in 1986. [link]

Matthew 16 - Jesus warns His Disciples about being influenced by the worldly teachings [leaven] of the Pharisees and the Sadducees - In Caesarea Philippi [lost city of Pan, possibly the most wicked place on earth] Jesus continues seeking the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel and Jesus asks the Disciples who they thought He is - Peter replies 'You are the Christ (Messiah) {not the false Satan god Pan}, the Son of the living God' - Having begun to establish His Divine nature Jesus then tells the Disciples of His need to go to Jerusalem and be sacrificed - 'Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day'

Who do people say that Jesus is? Matthew 16:13-19 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the 'Son of man' am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias (Elijah); and others, Jeremias (Jeremiah), or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon (Peter) Barjona [Peter 'son of Dove' (i.e. the same Holy Spirit Dove that John the Baptist saw), Holy Spirit grace]: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this [confession that Jesus is the Messiah] Rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys [knowledge that Jesus is the Christ] of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven [spiritual warfare prayer]: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven [intercessory prayer]. - People were saying that Jesus might be John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of several prophets even the Christ. Included in this wide display of options of who Jesus might be is that Jesus encompassed the emotions and attributes of a wide variety of people. Jesus being God has all of the emotions and attributes that each human has only a part of. For instance John the Baptist and Jeremiah had completely different personality traits. John the Baptist was very public, outgoing and confidant while Jeremiah was introverted. For the people observing and spending time with Jesus to reach such broad based conclusions about Jesus really means that the people also saw themselves and their own personalities in the person of Jesus. Jesus is completely able and capable of fellowshipping with each individual regardless of personality types or individual traits.

2008.12.07 The Antichrist [Part 9 of 12] - The Tribe of Dan, Mount Hermon 'Mountain of forbidden place' a three peaked mountain also called Baal-Hermon Judges 3:3, Mt. Sion Deuteronomy 4:48 but not to be confused with Mt. Zion located in Jerusalem - 'Hermes' in Greek - ['Caesarea Philippi' renamed many times 200 B.C. Caesarea Pan (Pan, Satan worship), Caesarea Banias {Arabic} - lost city of Pan (Satan worship) human sacrifice on the high place of Mt. Hermon - where the fallen angels of Genesis 6 came down to], Fallen Angels - The Giants Nephilim - Scott A Johnson (Mp3s)

Brief Sermon Overview: Several obscure prophecies in the Bible point to the possibility that the Antichrist may (in part) descend from the Tribe of Dan. The Merovingians claim to come from the tribe of Judah through Jesus Christ. However, the weight of evidence indicates that they descended from the tribe of Dan. Although Scripture states that Samson was "of the family of the Danites" [Judges 13:2], Yair Davidy of Brit-Am Israel claims that Sampson's lineage includes the Messianic tribe of Judah: "Samson...came from the Tribe of Dan but his mother was from Judah. Samson, in some respects, was considered a forerunner of the Messiah who will come from Judah but his mother will be of the Tribe of Dan." [Brit-Am Israel newsletter, 2/9/99] The Tribe of Dan also is missing from Rev. 7 regarding the 12 tribes (144,000) sealed during the Tribulation and the half tribe of Manasses takes their place: "And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribes of Juda... Reuben... Gad... Aser... Nepthalim... Manasses... Simeon... Levi... Issachar... Zabulon... Joseph... Benjamin were sealed..." Revelation 7:4-8 According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Hermon means "Forbidden Place." Mount Hermon may of been the port of entry for the wicked angels, who corrupted the human race in the days of Noah. Moses wrote: "The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose .... There were giants in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them... Gen. 6:1-3. [link]

Matthew 17 - Jesus travels outside of Israel 'into an high mountain apart' [it is the only known time of Jesus going outside of the land of Israel] - Jesus is Transfigured into His Heavenly (Spiritual) body in the sight of three of the 12 Apostles [Peter, James, John (Gospel of John)] - After the Transfiguration a demon attacks a child and the Disciples are unable to cast it out of the Child - Jesus 'rebuked the devil' and it departed - Jesus told the Disciples that their unbelief [taking their focus away from Jesus] allowed the devil to remain in the child -- 'Matthew 17:19-21 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him (devil) out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief [distraction from Jesus]: ... and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting'

'Matthew 17:1-8 And after six days [six, incomplete not yet a permanent transfiguration] Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart [outside of Israel], And was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses [Law] and Elias (Elijah) [Prophets] talking with Him. ... While he (Peter) yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I Am well pleased; hear ye Him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise [Resurrection], and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.' Jesus was without sin and therefore could be bodily Transfigured something sinful humans cannot do we need to first die and separate from our physical body of sin (Romans 8:3) and then we Christians receive our new transfigured (1 Corinthians 15:35-55) bodies. - Mt. Nebo [where Moses died] located outside of Israel separated from the Holy Land was also very likely the location of the Mt. of Transfiguration (Matt 17:1, Mark 9:1; Luke 9:28) because the Transfiguration of Jesus took place before the cross of Jesus and therefore the sins that kept Moses out of the Promise Land the first time would also keep Moses out of Israel this second time. If Moses is one of the Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:1-12) in Jerusalem during the Revelation Period it will be because it is after the cross of Jesus and the sins of Moses are now gone having been nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14) with all the other sins of humanity and now Moses can enter the Promise Land of Israel. Note: Peter, James and John are often set apart from the other disciples as they are representational of the three 'Last Days' - 'End Time' groups. Peter represents the Jews [Galatians 2:7 the gospel of the circumcision (Jews) was unto Peter], James was beheaded and represents the Martyred Saints of Revelation [Acts 12:2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword], and John represents the Born Again Raptured Christian Church [Revelation 4:1 I (John) looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven].

Mt. Nebo where Moses Died is Located in Jordan [Jordan is an excellent part of the Biblical lands though it is not a part of the Holy Land - The Holy Land is exclusively Israel and specifically Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24)] - The Time and Place of the Transfiguration of Jesus

ABSTRACT: This speculative article proposes that the Transfiguration of Jesus occurred on Mt. Nebo, [Easter] Sunday April 20, six days after Passover April 14, AD 32 [the next year AD 33 was the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus] about three weeks following the feeding of the 5000. The 5000 were fed when Passover was "near". Standard chronologies place the Transfiguration around the feast of Tabernacles six-months later, on or near Mt. Hermon. Peter's confession was on Passover and prefigures the identification of the Messiah for Crucifixion and the Transfiguration prefigures the Resurrection. ... Overview: The approximate time of the Transfiguration can be discerned from the following information-In John 6:4 we are told, 'the Jewish Passover feast was near'. This Passover was one year before Jesus' final Passover. The author understands "Passover was near" to mean that the month of Nisan/Abib was starting. Jesus that day fed 5000 men. That night Jesus spent in prayer then before dawn he walked across the Sea of Galilee in a storm. The next day in Capernaum Jesus declared that we must eat his body and drink his blood. Most who heard this message rejected it. After this rejection, Jesus appears to turn his ministry to the gentiles for a time. He then rather that preparing to go down to Jerusalem for the Passover, journeyed northwest (20-50 miles) to the region of Tyre and Sidon and healed the daughter of a Canaanite woman of great faith. Jesus then journeyed back to the Sea of Galilee and onto the Decapolis region. There he spent three days with, and fed 4000 men (probably gentiles) and then sent them away. Jesus then crossed the Sea of Galilee to Magadan or Dalmanutha where he encounters Pharisees and Sadducees looking for a sign. They again journeyed to the other side where Jesus healed a blind man in Bethsaida (near the northern end of the Sea of Galilee).

These events and travel took nearly two weeks. Then Jesus and the apostles journeyed 25 miles north to the region of Caesarea Philippi, where Peter declared that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. Then Jesus started to directly predict his crucifixion. Jesus had been doing this bit of traveling so that he came under that clause that permitted one to miss the Passover in Nisan and instead go in the second month if he was on a journey. Jesus by this time was well recognized and there was a constant threat to his life by the religious leaders. To have gone to Jerusalem for this feast would have precipitated his crucifixion a year early. They went in the second month when they could go secretly. The transfiguration occurs six days after Peter's confession. Now it is likely that Elijah was taken up from the same mountain that Moses died on, Mt. Nebo also known as Pizgah. Mt. Nebo is about a hundred miles south of Caesarea Philippi and 20 miles east of Jericho near the Dead Sea. Mt. Nebo: Why Mt. Nebo for the Transfiguration? Moses died on Mt Nebo (Deut. 34:1,7). Elijah was headed in the direction of Mt. Nebo when he was taken and Jeremiah hid the tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant on Mt. Nebo. In 2 Kings 2:1 Elijah starts from Gilgal in the hill country of Ephraim. He went about 8 miles south to Bethel. From there, he journeyed 13 miles east-southeast (ESE) to Jericho. From there, he continued on to the Jordan, if he continued ESE he came to the Jordan at 7 miles. He crossed the Jordan on dry land and continued. If he continued ESE in 14 miles, he would reach the summit of Mt. Nebo also known as Pizgah. This is speculative scenario, but is possible and even likely. Jeremiah hid the tabernacle, the altar of incense, and the Ark of the Covenant on Mt. Nebo. If Moses and Elijah both departed from Mt. Nebo how appropriate, that Jesus' departure discussed there. Peter called the mount of transfiguration a holy mountain-and Maccabees states Mt. Nebo was sanctified to God or made holy. It is also stated that the majesty of the LORD shall appear, and there shall be a cloud as it was also shown to Moses. These events fit the transfiguration-the disciples saw Jesus' majesty and the cloud. Jesus and the apostles then journeyed four days, about 90 miles south, then they rested near the Jericho on the Sabbath. The next day the transfiguration occurred-Sunday Omer/Easter Nisan. Went to a high mountain to pray-could they have prayed all night. Transfiguration occurred "as he was praying". Peter and his companions were very sleepy-an indication that the transfiguration occurred during the night-when they came fully awake they saw. The request to build shelters could imply a place to sleep as opposed to a tabernacle for the feast of Booths [more likely Peter was attempting to build shrine like structures to commemorate the people and the event an idea that Jesus did not seem to approve of]. This mention by Peter of booths has caused commentators to place this event near the feast of Booths or Tabernacles in the fall. The feast of Tabernacles must be celebrated in Jerusalem not on some high mountain, six days or less journey from Caesarea Philippi. This mountain is normally taken to be on or near Mt. Hermon, which dominated the area around that town. Peter's mention of booths has no connection with the feast of booths. In the gospel of John, the feast of Tabernacles follows the feeding of the 5000. But we know from Matthew's gospel that Jesus returned to Capernaum immediately following the Transfiguration incident because there was an attempt to collect the two-drachma tax. This tax was normally paid before Passover. Therefore, this cannot be occurring just before the feast the feast of Tabernacles because they leave from here and go to Capernaum rather than Jerusalem. It cannot be occurring after the feast because they are all the way up in Caesarea Philippi and have spent at least two weeks traveling about. [link]

Matthew 18 - Jesus places a special interest in the safety, well-being and care of all children -- 'Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones [children] which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea'

Matthew 18:7-10 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! ... Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones [children]; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.' - It isn't the will of God to let evil happen in the world. Those who commit evil are not doing it for God and they are certainly not doing it on behalf of God. Evil is allowed to happen even to children but only momentarily because along with the evil a corresponding judgment is also occurring as well. - Guardian Angels: Angels are watching over us. Note: Holy Angels are always in the presence of God in Heaven but Heaven is not a faraway place [Heaven is a near place it is just a different realm that we cannot see] so actually Angels are both in the presence of God in Heaven and they are simultaneously watching over each of us. It is considered that Angels in the spirit realm travel faster than the speed of sound and at least as fast as the speed of light and possibly travel as fast as the speed of thought. A final note in the Bible the (Septuagint) Scriptures use some of the words Angels, stars in heaven, Saints and grains of sand 'upon the sea shore' interchangeably alluding that there are as many holy Angels as there are stars in heaven and as many people as there are grains of sand 'upon the sea shore' and that they all equal each other [probably to the exact number] we now know that there are billions of stars and billions of grains of sand and billions of people exist and billions more have existed on the planet [more people lived from the time of Adam to Noah than at any other time and also the time from Adam to Noah was a long time lasting some two thousand years]. With the number of holy Angels equaling the number of people it does seem to be designed that each child [biblically every human is a child until we become sons (adults) only once we enter into Heaven and the perceivable presence of God] meaning that each person does have their own Guardian Angel or at least an angel and even several angels to assist God in watching out for us, helping to protect us, encouraging us to take holy action while departing from evil and also actually fighting for us in keeping evil spirits and demonic entities away from us physically for most of our time helping to enabling us so that we can interact with God and with one another in a holy, often unrestricted manner.

Matthew 19 - Jesus continues to teach, instruct and lead the Disciples regarding both His cross to come and His eternal Kingdom - Emphasized and brought into view for the Disciples to learn about, to understand, to appreciate and most importantly for the Disciples to live eternally within -- ' Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them (Disciples), and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible'

'Matthew 19:28-30 And Jesus said unto them (Disciples), Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration [resurrection] when the Son of Man (Jesus) shall sit in the throne of His Glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My Name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But [follow Jesus as a servant because] many that are first [among men] shall be last; and the last [among society] shall be first.' - In saying to 'sit upon twelve thrones' Jesus is telling the Disciples that one system, the New Testament system is replacing the old system the Old Testament (Levitical) system and that the new system is superior to the old system. Also Note: 'in the regeneration' meaning that both system so have eternal ramifications and an eternal being as adherents to both systems combing in the resurrection to come because both systems are actually covered by the one oath, blood and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 20 - Jesus now moves His ministry from primarily teaching, healing, miracles and leadership into His ultimate stated purpose and destiny that of His crucifixion and resurrection in Jerusalem -- 'Matthew 20:17-19 And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, And shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him: and the third day He shall rise again'

'Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister [to others], and to give His *life (lit. Soul) a ransom for many.' - 'Isaiah 53:10-11 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him (Jesus); He (Father) hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His *Soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed [Kingdom inheritors], He shall prolong His days [eternity], and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his Hand. He (Father) shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied [the cross is a complete sacrifice, humans can add nothing to the cross or take anything away from the cross of Jesus]: by His knowledge shall My Righteous Servant (Jesus) justify [make right with God] many; for He shall bear their iniquities.' - Jesus the 'son of Man' came to give His Soul as a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus physically died on the cross but His Soul was also a sacrifice on the cross for us as well. The cross of Jesus Christ was a physical, emotional and Spiritual sacrifice for each of us. We are each healed spiritually, emotionally and eternally physically [new body] by the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross was so immense that it will take a finite mankind an eternity to even begin to grasp and understand the enormity of the love and of the sacrifice of the cross of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 21 - Jesus and His Disciples are now near Jerusalem - Jesus sends two of His Disciples to a Donkey with its young offspring - The Disciples bring the Lord [ultimate owner] His Donkey [the guy probably didn't redeem His donkey according to the law (Exodus 13:13) and as a first born colt it did belong to God] - Jesus then enters into Jerusalem riding upon an untamed colt [untamed to man but tame to God] -- 'Psalm 118:23-29 This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day [Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem] which the LORD hath made; we (Kingdom Disciples) will rejoice and be glad in it. Save [Salvation] now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity [healing]. Blessed be He (Jesus) that cometh in the Name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the House [Temple worship] of the LORD. *God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice [Jesus] with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Thou art My God, and I will praise thee [while Jesus is enduring His suffering He will praise His Father in Heaven]: thou art My God {My Father}, I will exalt [honor] thee. O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever.' {Note: The 70 Weeks of Daniel are counting the days of Gentile Kingdoms starting at "the commandment [by king Artaxerxes to Nehemiah to rebuild the Jerusalem wall about 445 B.C. (source: http://www.bereanwatchmen.com/j.r.lawendowski/daniels-70-weeks.html) - following the earlier King Cyrus 538 B.C. command for the Jews to return back to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity - both commands were given during the Gentile Persian empire of the 4th Global Gentile Kingdom] to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah" -- The 69th Week concluded on Saturday [not Sunday but (Palm Saturday)] the day of the [Jewish] Triumphal Entry [fulfillment of the Feast of Sabbath] of Jesus into Jerusalem [ending Global Gentile Kingdom reign (the beginning of the end of 1 Nation Gentile Global Reign until the 7th Kingdom, the Global Kingdom of Antichrist)]. Also Note: The 70th and final week of Daniels' 70 Weeks is in the Book of Revelation during the Gentile Antichrist Global Reign while the time period between the Triumphal Entry of Jesus (completed in Resurrection Sunday) is the Christian Church Age (Acts 15:14-18) until the empowerment of the 1 Antichrist Global Kingdom.}

A Day foretold by the Prophets and the Scriptures: The Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem was foretold throughout the Hebrew Old Testament. The Psalms particularly Psalm 118, the Prophets Daniel and Ezekiel and in fact all of Heaven and all of creation desired to see the Day that the LORD had made the day that God came and established His Holy, just and righteous Kingdom among all mankind. - 'Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass [donkey], and upon a colt the foal [baby donkey] of an ass.' - 'Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass [donkey], and upon a colt the foal [baby donkey] of an ass.' - **'Daniel 9:24-27 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people [Jews] and upon thy Holy City [Jerusalem], to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision [Law] and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy (Jesus). Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah (Jesus) the Prince shall be seven weeks [seven Jewish decades 49 years - these weeks were the Jewish decade of seven years the Levitical decade seventh year of release], and threescore and two weeks [62 Jewish decades 434 years]: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks [the 434 years] shall Messiah be cut off [crucifixion], but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And He [Antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [the 70th and final week regarding Jerusalem]: and in the midst of the week at [3½ years] he [Antichrist] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation [in the rebuilt 3rd Temple] to cease, and for the overspreading [saturation] of abominations [evil] he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation [end of the Book of Revelation], and that determined shall be poured [bowl judgments of Revelation 16:1] upon the desolate.' [article link]

Matthew 22 - Jesus is now in Jerusalem - His very presence creates a dilemma for both the religious leaders and the political leaders - A dilemma that will ultimately result in the rejection, betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus Christ the Son of Man and also the Son of God - 'Matthew 22:46 And no man was able to answer [discredit] Him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask Him any more [discrediting] questions.'

Matthew 22:41-45 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of (Messiah) Christ? whose son is He [is the Messiah the Son of God]? They say unto Him, The Son of David [a human]. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit [anointed prophesying] call Him Lord [superior], saying, The LORD (God) said unto my Lord (the promised offspring Messiah of King David), Sit thou on My right hand [in Heaven], till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call Him (Jesus) Lord, how is he his son [Jesus has always existed]? - In the patriarchal (father) system of the Bible and of humanity the father would never call a child 'Lord' or owner. The father is the lord (authority) and owner of the estate then the father passes on his estate to his sons in their inheritance. For King David to call a future descendant, not even yet born, his 'Lord' his authority, King David was acknowledging that he had inherited his throne, authority and kingdom from a future descendant the Messiah. King David made no claim of having established his throne to pass long to God but that God had established his throne for him to pass along to the Messiah Jesus Christ.

Matthew 23 - Jesus had entered Jerusalem as the King of the Universe in His Triumphal entry when Jesus briefly looked around in the Temple and departed - The next day Jesus returned to the Temple and removed the merchandisers [people who were wrongly using the Temple] from the Temple, His Father's House - The Temple is strictly for ministry and worship between God and His people and not for any other purposes - Jesus then returned this following day to teach in the Temple to the people without distractions from the merchants

This current Generation and the destruction of both Jerusalem and the Temple: 'Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I (Jesus) unto you [Pharisees], The Kingdom of God [evidence of God in their midst] shall be taken from you, and given to a Nation [Gentiles] bringing forth the fruits thereof.' Note: In the Gospel of Matthew the Kingdom of Heaven is the eternal Kingdom while the Kingdom of God is evidence of God being in their midst here on earth i.e. Matthew 12:28. - 'Matthew 22:14 For many [all] are called, but few [answer the call and] are chosen.' Note: All are called by God to enter into a relationship with God [John 12:32] those who respond to the call like Abraham did become the 'chosen' of God. Being chosen [as Isaac was chosen over Ishmael] is a package deal and includes being elect [Jacob was elect, assigned a specific task to accomplish in becoming the father of 12 Tribes], justified [Jacob became Israel when he was justified by God and his name was changed from Jacob to Israel], predestined [Joseph was predestined to be changed into the image of Jesus as Joseph wore the multicolored coat Genesis 37:3] and glorified (changed into the [spiritual body] image of Jesus) [Joseph a Biblical type of Jesus was glorified (accomplished in his task he was elected to do) and ruled over both the Jewish nation and the Gentile world; all the Tribes of Israel bowed down to Joseph and Joseph was appointed authority in Egypt]. - 'Matthew 23:36 Verily I (Jesus) say unto you, All these things [destruction of Jerusalem and destruction the Temple] shall come upon this generation. Matthew 23:38-39 Behold, your house [Temple] is left unto you desolate [because the Spirit of the Living God (Jesus) is permanently departing the Temple - The Spirit of the Living God also departed the first Temple in Jerusalem [Ezekiel 10:18] before the destruction of the first Temple]. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me (Jesus) henceforth, till [second coming when] ye shall say, Blessed is He (Jesus) that cometh in the Name of the Lord.'

Matthew 24 - Jesus having just permanently departed from the Temple and after telling of the coming destruction of the Temple to His Disciples - Jesus then went and sat by Himself at His favorite location a hillside of olive orchards called the Mount of Olives (Mt. Olivet) - The Disciples having just seen Jesus depart from the Temple [His Father's House] for the last time and having just heard Jesus tell them of the coming destruction of the Temple came to Jesus and asked Him when and where He intended to rule His Kingdom from since the Temple was going to be destroyed - Jesus told His Disciples to be careful that no one deceived them about His Kingdom - That initially His Kingdom is not of this world but that after a long time and a long series of events many of them supernatural that His Kingdom would then be ushered into this world

The coming Generation and the fulfillment of all the events of the Book of Revelation: 'Matthew 24:34 Verily I (Jesus) say unto you, This [End Time] generation shall not pass, till all these things [mainly the book of Revelation] be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.' - Jesus has already said that the Temple was to be destroyed "There shall not be left here one (Temple) stone upon another" and that later the Antichrist (abomination of desolation) was to sit in the Temple "holy place" [rebuilt Temple] 'Matthew 24:15 When ye {presumably the End Time readers} therefore shall *see the abomination of desolation (Antichrist), spoken of by Daniel the prophet [Daniel 9:27], stand in the holy place [inside the 3rd veil in the rebuilt Temple], whoso *readeth, let him understand' Note: The event of the Antichrist is possibly going to be a televised type of event 'When ye therefore shall *see the abomination.' Events inside the Temple were not to be seen by the outside world and are enclosed y walls and curtains however Jesus seems to be alluding that this Temple event will be seen by everyone either in some televised format or possibly even in some demonic projection capabilities or possibly some massive demonic telepathic hallucinogenic type of event. Jesus began His discussion with His Disciples in warning them to not be deceived and Jesus reiterated several times that deception and demonic activity would increase around the time of the Antichrist. - The majority of the last generation End Time events of the book of Revelation are to be centered around the Jews and in the city of Jerusalem including a rebuilt Temple. 'Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people [Jews] and upon thy holy city (Jerusalem) ...' It seems that Jesus is summarizing all of the Jerusalem End Time Antichrist events into a Parable about a Fig Tree [Matthew 24:32-35]. The original Fig Tree was in Genesis 3:7 and was used by Adam and Eve in an attempt to cover their own sin. The Fig Tree in the Parable of Jesus is most probably the rebuilding of the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem because the type of Temple worship that is trying to be recreate has become obsolete by the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ so in a sense the 3rd Temple is a recreation of the Fig Tree because like the Fig Tree of Genesis the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem is going to be stitched together by human hands and it will absolutely not cover or remove any sin. However the Antichrist will invade the 3rd Temple and enter into the holy place and attempt to proclaim himself to be God from within the Temple as everyone alive and on the earth at that time will probably witness and *see somehow either by televised technology or a type of demonically spiritual activity.

Matthew 24 - Jesus continues His Mount Olivet discussion "Mount Olivet discourse" End Time teachings with His Disciples -- 'Matthew 24:3-6 And as He (Jesus) sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming [Kingdom reign], and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My Name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet'

The Elect of God: All the people throughout time who like Abraham have answered the call of God become the elect of God. 'Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those [End Time - war and famine - seven seal judgments - the book of Revelation] days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven [seven trumpet judgments - the book of Revelation], and the [Satanic] powers of the heavens shall be shaken [seven bowl judgments - the book of Revelation]: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming [Second Coming] in the clouds of heaven with Power and Great Glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His *elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.' --- There are actually two groups of *elect people and this stems from the 'Firstborn' inheritance that Jesus Christ is to receive. - 'Deuteronomy 21:17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated {divorced wife} for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; *the right of the firstborn is his.' - 'Colossians 1:18 And He (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the *firstborn [Resurrection] from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.' The Biblical inheritance of the firstborn is a double portion and as an inheritance Jesus is to receive both the Jews and the Nations (Gentiles) two inheritances and therefore two groups of called and two groups of those who answer the call of God and become the chosen, elect, justified, predestined and glorified by God. Note: Jesus is to inherit the Jews and the Gentiles this does include all of those who have ever existed it includes the Righteous Gentiles of Lot's day before Abraham, all the time up until the Christian [mostly Gentile] Church and the future Gentile Martyred Saints of Revelation. Also Note: The inheritance of Jesus does include the earth, all creation and all possessions, the earth will pass away and there will be a new earth so primarily The Kingdom of Jesus is uniquely about people and about God's love for people. Jesus came to save the people and His plan for eternity is centered and oriented only around the people of His creation. --- Israel is one portion of inheritance for the firstborn Jesus Christ: 'Isaiah 19:25.. and Israel my Inheritance.' - 'Zechariah 2:12 And the LORD shall inherit Judah (Jewish nation) His portion in the holy land and shall choose [to reign from] Jerusalem again.' - 'Psalms 78:70-71 He chose David (king David) also His servant and took him from the sheepfolds [David was a shepherd]: From following the ewes (female sheep) great with young he brought him to feed Jacob His people [Jews] and Israel His (God's) inheritance. {Jacob and Israel are both mentioned both referring to the Jewish nation, this is a poetic way of emphasizing the Jewish nation.} --- Israel is the Elect of God: 'Isaiah 45:4 For Jacob My servant's sake, and Israel Mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known Me.' --- The Gentiles are the second [double portion] of inheritance for the firstborn Jesus Christ: 'Psalms 82:8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.' - 'Psalms 2:7,8 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto Me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee [both physical birth of Jesus in the manger and Resurrection day of Jesus] Ask of Me (Father) and I shall give thee the heathen (Gentiles) for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.' - 'Isaiah 54:3 For thou shall break forth on the right hand and on the left [the Jewish nation is not going to get wiped out but is going have a great population]; And thy seed (Jesus) shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate to be inhabited.' --- The [Gentile in nature] Christian Church is also the elect of God: 'Titus 1:1-2 [Apostle] Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began ...'

Matthew 24 (Part 2) - Jesus concludes His "Mount Olivet discourse" by telling His Disciples some more parables about the End Times and about His eternal Kingdom - Jesus began His Mount Olivet discourse talking about deception and the End Times and Jesus ends His final Mount Olivet words by talking about eternal judgment and eternal life -- 'Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal'

The Second Coming of the Lord: Matthew 24:44-51 Therefore be ye [Disciples] also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh [Second Coming]. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom His Lord hath made ruler over His household [Church], to give them meat [Bible study] in due season [every day]? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That He shall make him ruler over all His [Heavenly] goods. But and if that evil servant [backslider] shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth His [2nd] coming; And shall begin to smite [abuse] his fellowservants [Disciples], and to eat and drink with the drunken; The Lord of that servant shall come [Second Coming] in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion [eternal damnation] with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. - The teaching of Jesus Christ is about Heaven and the open opportunity for people to spend eternity in heaven and His teaching is also about hell and the very real possibility of people spending eternity in hell. God created mankind for a purpose and God came to a separated mankind with His purpose to reunite mankind back together with Himself in Heaven where it has always been intended for mankind to be in fellowship and in communion with the Holy God.

Matthew 25-26 - Jesus has concluded His Mount Olivet teachings and discourse with His Disciples - Jesus now completely sets His mind on the events of the coming Feasts of the Passover Week - Events that will include initiating and instituting the New Testament with His Communion Bread and Wine offering to the Disciples - His self-sacrifice on the cross and three days later His Glorious Eternal Life Resurrection

'Matthew 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread [The Passover is an unleavened bread feast and the unleavened part starts on the 14the day of Nisan (the selection of the lamb is on the 10th) then the feast continues with the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened bread starting on the 15th of Nisan for a total of eight straight days of unleaded bread] the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover? And He said, Go into the city (Jerusalem) to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at thy house with My disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover. Now when the even was come, He (Jesus) sat down with the twelve (Apostles). And as they did eat [the Passover], He said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you [Judas] shall betray Me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto Him, Lord, is it I? And He answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with Me in the dish, the same shall betray Me. The Son of Man goeth [to the cross] as it is written of Him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed Him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto Him, Thou hast said. And as they were eating, Jesus took Bread, and Blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the Disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My Body. And He took the Cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many [all] for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit [grape] of the vine, until that day when I drink it New with you in [Heaven] My Father's Kingdom. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives.' - The Communion of Jesus Christ: The sacrifice offering of Jesus Christ was His physical body, His mind (soul) and His Spirit [Jesus was separated from the Father while on the cross]. The Communion Bread and the Communion Cup that Jesus is offering His disciples to partake in references both the physical sacrifice offering of Jesus on and the cross and it also represents the Resurrected Eternal Spiritual Body and Spiritual Life Blood of the Resurrected Jesus. When we take and break the Unleavened Bread of Communion we are referencing the physical body of Jesus Christ and when we take the Wine of the Communion of Jesus Christ and mingle it with the water we are referencing the physical blood of Jesus Christ. When we eat the bread of the body of Jesus Christ we are internalizing the Resurrection and the eternal Spiritual body of Jesus and likewise when we drink of the Wine of Jesus we are drinking and internalizing the Resurrection and the eternal Spiritual life blood of Jesus. In a sense we are breaking the physical and taking on the Spiritual. -- '1 Corinthians 11:23-28 For I [Apostle Paul] have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night [Passover] in which He was betrayed [by Judas] took [physical] bread: And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the Cup, when He had supped, saying, This Cup is the [Resurrection] New Testament in My Blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as ye eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, ye do shew the Lord's [physical] death till He come [2nd coming]. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the [physical and Spiritual resurrection] Body and Blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself [Melchizedek Priesthood], and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.' -- 'Deuteronomy 32:9-14 For the LORD'S portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance ... and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.'

Matthew 27 - After the Communion (Passover) Celebration Jesus and now eleven of His Apostles go to the Mount of Olives while Judas had departed earlier to betray Jesus - Jesus suffers betrayal, arrests, rejection, mockery and finally crucifixion and physical death

The Atonement Sacrifice of Jesus Christ: 'Matthew 27:33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, They [Romans] gave Him (Jesus) vinegar to drink mingled with gall [extreme bitterness]: and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink [Jesus had said during Communion that the next wine He would drink would be sweet wine in Heaven with His disciples, Jesus had no intention of drinking the bitter cup from Rome and mankind (the myrrh also in the wine revealed it to be Roman wine as adding myrrh to wine was a common Roman practice)] and they crucified Him ...' - 'Romans 5:11 And not only so [we have eternal life], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the atonement.' - The death of Jesus Christ on the cross was the start a part of the fulfillment of the Atonement sacrifice for the Day of Atonement Feast [Leviticus 16:1-34] a Feast that is actually a Fall Feast and will have its complete fulfillment in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. - In corresponding with the Atonement Sacrifice Barabbas is the Scapegoat who was set free while Jesus was the permanent sacrifice offering. In Hebrew Barabbas (Bar = son and Abba = Father) literally means son of the father and is actually a duplicate claim to the true status of Jesus Christ as Jesus is the Son of the Father. Barabbas in name is actually also claiming to be the son of the father therefore claiming to be the replacement of Jesus and Barabbas is actually a type of the Antichrist [anti in Greek is 'instead of' and means replacing] and it is possible even plausible that Barabbas may actually be the Antichrist. - When the scapegoat was released as Barabbas was released the scapegoat was to take with it all the sins of the Nation of Israel and if at any time the scapegoat returned all of the sins of the Nation of Israel returned with it. Jesus Christ is Atonement offering for all the sins of the world and therefore Barabbas as the scapegoat was departing with all the sins of the world. When the scapegoat Barabbas as the Antichrist returns to mankind claiming to be the son of the father instead of Jesus the Antichrist will bring with him all of the sins of the world all of the sins ever committed. Note: The custom of the Roman Governor to release one condemned Jewish prisoner during the Passover was a custom of the Roman Governor playing God saying to the Jews that they think their God will provide Passover life but instead the Governor was showing the people that he believed Rome to be God as Rome could grant life and pass over death so it was actually a mocking gesture from Rome towards the Jews and their customs as the people of God.

CLONED ANTICHRIST BEAST REVEALED 8/12 - Cloned from blood removed [1978] from the Shroud of Turin [possibly cloned/gene-spliced with Prince Charles sperm and] used to impregnate Princess Diana (married 1981 to Prince Charles 13 years her senior) for the 1982 timed birth [30 in 2012] of Prince William {Princess Diana's son William turning 30 in 2012. The age of 30 is the biblical legal priestly age (before 30 a Levite could only be an assistant priest), both John the Baptist (Levitical and Jesus [Melchizedek Priest]) began their ministries at the legal age of 30 [John's mother and Mary were of the House of David/Judah but John's father was a Levitical Priest (Luke 1:8) a descendant of Aaron from the house of Levi]. Also the London 2012 Olympics the XXX Olympiad (unholy trinity Olympiad) is deliberately timed and placed to be in London in 2012 the birth of the New Age, for a desired Satanic awakening in 2013 [Fox News uses the number 13 in everything now]. It will also probably come out that Prince Charles is unable to naturally have children as Henry, the younger brother of Prince William is already considered by most not to be the son of Prince Charles but the son of James Hewitt.}[Note: Its possible and probable that Satan quickly realized who his scapegoat was in Barabbas and that Barabbas soon after his Passover release was recaptured by Roman soldiers and quickly crucified as Jesus had just recently been crucified and that Satan would devise a way to keep some of the blood [life] of Barabbas for future End Time use and that the image created on the Shroud of Turin and the blood on the Shroud of Turin are that of Barabbas. The unique image and bloodstained shroud cloth could be of Barabbas and having been kept and passed on by the followers of Barabbas until ultimately it came into the possession of the Crusaders and Knights Templar in about 1300 A.D. The shroud of Turin possibly being a cloth and image of Barnabas it's certainly not the image and blood of Jesus.] (YouTube)

Dr. Joye shocks George Noory on Coast-to-Coast - February 9, 2009. [link]

foxnews.com: Italian Scientists Reproduces Shroud of Turin - A professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia - Garlaschelli made available to Reuters the paper he will deliver and the accompanying comparative photographs - But scientists have thus far been at a loss to explain how the [original Shroud of Turin] image was left on the cloth

ROME - An Italian scientist says he has reproduced the Shroud of Turin, a feat that he says proves definitively that the linen some Christians revere as Jesus Christ's burial cloth is a medieval fake. The shroud, measuring 14 feet, 4 inches by 3 feet, 7 inches bears the image, eerily reversed like a photographic negative, of a crucified man some believers say is Christ. "We have shown that is possible to reproduce something which has the same characteristics as the Shroud," Luigi Garlaschelli, who is due to illustrate the results at a conference on the para-normal this weekend in northern Italy, said on Monday. A professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia, Garlaschelli made available to Reuters the paper he will deliver and the accompanying comparative photographs. The Shroud of Turin shows the back and front of a bearded man with long hair, his arms crossed on his chest, while the entire cloth is marked by what appears to be rivulets of blood from wounds in the wrists, feet and side. Carbon dating tests by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Tucson, Arizona in 1988 caused a sensation by dating it from between 1260 and 1390. Skeptics said it was a hoax, possibly made to attract the profitable medieval pilgrimage business. - But scientists have thus far been at a loss to explain how the image was left on the cloth. Garlaschelli reproduced the full-sized shroud using materials and techniques that were available in the middle ages. They placed a linen sheet flat over a volunteer and then rubbed it with a pigment containing traces of acid. A mask was used for the face. PIGMENT, BLOODSTAINS AND SCORCHES: The pigment was then artificially aged by heating the cloth in an oven and washing it, a process which removed it from the surface but left a fuzzy, half-tone image similar to that on the Shroud. He believes the pigment on the original Shroud faded naturally over the centuries. They then added blood stains, burn holes, scorches and water stains to achieve the final effect. The Catholic Church does not claim the Shroud is authentic nor that it is a matter of faith, but says it should be a powerful reminder of Christ's passion. One of Christianity's most disputed relics, it is locked away at Turin Cathedral in Italy and rarely exhibited. It was last on display in 2000 and is due to be shown again next year. Garlaschelli expects people to contest his findings. [link]

The Shroud Of Turin - The image on the Shroud is uniquely three-dimensional - The life-size image on the cloth is NOT the result of pigment, stain, *acid, dye, or any applied material - The image itself is confined to the top-most fibrils of the cloth's fibers - Whatever made the image did not penetrate the fibers of the cloth as all known artistic materials would - The exact way the man was crucified closely matches biblical accounts of Jesus's crucifixion. Among other things, there are 120 lesions, the shape of dumbbells, distributed over the back and running around the front of the body--probably caused by a Roman whip called a flagrum whose thongs were tipped with bits of lead or bone. There is a deep wound on the right side of the body between the ribs which bled profusely (which is what Biblical records indicate happened when a spear was thrust into Christ's side). There are thorn-like marks on the victim's head (possibly from a crown of thorns). And the victim's legs were not broken (which is significant both because Roman-style crucifixions ended with their victim's legs being broken and because the New Testament account of Christ's death indicates that this was a Roman custom which Jesus was spared from) - The beard and hair style of the crucified man were not common anywhere in the Roman Empire except Palestine. The image has Semitic features, including sidelocks and a unplaited ponytail

The Shroud Of Turin by David Sunfellow: The Shroud of Turin is one of the most venerated, most remarkable, most mysterious, most thoroughly studied artifacts in the world today. Believed by many to be the actual burial cloth of Christ, the Shroud made its first recorded appearance in 14th century France. Housed in the Italian city of Turin since 1578, renewed interest was generated in 1898 when the first photographs were made of the relic and it was discovered that the image on the Shroud was a photographic negative! How was such an image made? And how does one explain the incredibly life-like details which are remarkably consistent with Biblical accounts of Christ's crucifixion? Historians, pathologists, linguists, biblical scholars, textile experts, chemists, physicists, photographic specialists, artists, botanists, microbiologists and other scientists from around the world have been trying to answer these important questions for decades. Over the centuries, dozens of shrouds--some with images and some without--have surfaced claiming to be the burial cloth of Jesus. In the case of the Shroud of Turin, it has been publicly declared a forgery by both Roman Catholic Church officials and prominent scientists. In 1389 the local bishop of Troyes denounced the Shroud claiming an artist had confessed to forging it. More recently, in 1988, after three different laboratories Carbon-14 dated the Shroud and found it to be some 1200 years younger than it should have been, the Roman Catholic Church announced to the world the results of the test. As word spread that the Shroud of Turin was, after all, a medieval forgery, a firestorm was created in the Shroud community. While scores of Shroud scientists hotly challenged the entire Carbon-14 testing procedure, as well as the test results, lay people around the world had to wrestle with what appeared to be solid scientific proof that the Shroud was a fake. -- So where are things at now? Is the Shroud of Turin authentic, or not? Could a medieval artist, or for that matter, any artist, have forged it? And if the Shroud is an authentic burial cloth from the first century, is the man whose crucified image appears on the Shroud actually that of Jesus Christ? Combining ongoing discoveries about ancient Palestine with cutting-edge scientific analysis, a growing number of scientists (Christian, Jewish, agnostic and otherwise) are coming to the conclusion that the Shroud is indeed the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ. If this is true, then not only does the Shroud bear witness to the fact that a man named Jesus actually lived and died in ancient Palestine, but it may also present physical proof that some kind of miraculous event took place after his death which caused his image to be imprinted on the Shroud! What's more, we may also be able to learn something about Jesus himself: What his physical characteristics were like, what kind of Jewish traditions he adhered to and rejected, how he, and his body, faced a horribly violent death. -- So what, exactly, do we know about the Shroud of Turin? Here are some of the astonishing findings that modern day science has uncovered so far: The body that appears on the Shroud is naked. Under Roman law, criminals were whipped and executed in the nude. (These are facts that most medieval artists would not have known, or if they had known, would not have dared to publicly reproduce.) The man that appears on the Shroud was crucified with nails driven through his wrists. Although artists throughout the centuries (and even stigmatists) have traditionally thought that Christ was nailed to the cross through his palms, it is now known that crucifixion victims were nailed to crosses through their wrists. This is supported both by archeological digs that discovered crucifixion victims with spike marks on their wrists (not palms) and also by studies that were conducted on corpses which proved that nails in palms will not support the weight of a body. The life-size image on the cloth is NOT the result of pigment, stain, acid, dye, or any applied material. The image itself is confined to the top-most fibrils of the cloth's fibers. Whatever made the image did not penetrate the fibers of the cloth as all known artistic materials would. The image on the Shroud is uniquely three-dimensional. Although most scientists believe that the image was made by the body emitting a burst of energy of some kind (which caused the body's image to be lightly burned onto the Shroud), they have no idea how this could have been done. Efforts to lightly burn images into shroud-like fabrics have all failed to reproduce the extraordinarily delicate, detailed, three-dimensional effect found on the Shroud. The way the image was burned onto the Shroud is also flawlessly accurate in terms of how a body emitting energy would imprint itself on a cloth that was covering it. The image of the Shroud is absolutely accurate in both anatomical and physiological details. The anatomical and physiological details of the Shroud accurately record what would happen to a man who experienced a Roman-style crucifixion (see Robert Bucklin's pathological report at the end of this summary). -- The Shroud is stained by human blood that has run out of the image's wounds. The way the blood flowed, puddled and stained the Shroud are perfectly correct. Unlike the Shroud's image which only appears on the topmost fibrils of fabric, the blood on the Shroud soaked deeply into the fabric. The exact way the man was crucified closely matches biblical accounts of Jesus's crucifixion. Among other things, there are 120 lesions, the shape of dumbbells, distributed over the back and running around the front of the body--probably caused by a Roman whip called a flagrum whose thongs were tipped with bits of lead or bone. There is a deep wound on the right side of the body between the ribs which bled profusely (which is what Biblical records indicate happened when a spear was thrust into Christ's side). There are thorn-like marks on the victim's head (possibly from a crown of thorns). And the victim's legs were not broken (which is significant both because Roman-style crucifixions ended with their victim's legs being broken and because the New Testament account of Christ's death indicates that this was a Roman custom which Jesus was spared from). -- The beard and hair style of the crucified man were not common anywhere in the Roman Empire except Palestine. The image has Semitic features, including sidelocks and a unplaited ponytail. The Shroud itself was woven with techniques common to the first century. The Shroud's distinctive weave is so rare that researchers seeking to find a control sample could not find one anywhere in the world. A dirt sample taken from near the Shroud image's feet was identified as a relatively rare form of calcium carbonate. Samples of dirt taken from Jerusalem revealed an unusually close match. This strongly suggests the man pictured on the Shroud was crucified in Palestine. 58 varieties of pollen were discovered on the Shroud. 11 of the pollen samples were from plants that do not exist in Europe, but which do exist in the Near East. The pollen samples also indicated that the fabric of the Shroud had to have been made in Palestine before circulating in Europe. Pollen samples also helped trace the Shroud's route from Palestine through Anatolia and Constantinople into Europe. Furthermore, two of the pollen samples that were discovered on the Shroud coincided with highly distinctive plants found in the region surrounding Jerusalem. The pollen study concluded that the Shroud itself was probably made near Jerusalem and that it had been in the vicinity of the Holy City for some time before being transported out of the area. Images of 28 different types of flowers, small bushes, and thorns have been detected in bunches around the Shroud image. All 28 grow in Israel, either in Jerusalem or in the nearby desert or Dead Sea area. Most of them are not found in Europe. 25 of the 28 flowers matched the pollen samples found on the Shroud. 27 of the 28 plants bloom during March and April, which corresponds to the time of the crucifixion. An image of a coin appears over the right eye of the Shroud image. This coin, a very rare Pontius Pilate lepton struck in 29 to 32 A.D., was not found until 1977. Tests which were conducted in 1993 on a piece of first century fabric similar to the Shroud's now indicate that a fire the Shroud passed through in 1532 corrupted the October 1988 Carbon-14 dates that concluded the Shroud was not authentic. According to these recent tests, which were conducted by scientists at the University of Arizona and Russian scientists in Moscow, the 1988 Carbon-14 dates were some 1200 years in error. This dates the Shroud back to the first or second century. Some historians believe the Shroud of Turin may be The Mandylion, or Edessa Portrait, a holy relic mentioned in some accounts as early as the first century. If this is so, then the Shroud can be traced, through various legends and stories, all the way back to first century Jerusalem. [link]

ANTICHRIST - PRINCE WILLIAM 2012 - Is Prince Williams the Face on the Shroud of Turin? Is the Image on the Shroud the Antichrist - The Image of the Beast? (YouTube)

This video is intended to be just a "teaser" to the very real possibility that Prince William is the Beast of Revelation. Comments: Of course, his name is Will-I-Am; a play on the words of what God Himself said, "I Am." [link]

How do you know that there is real blood (and not paint or a stain) on the Shroud of Turin? - 1980 They (Gilbert and Gilbert) concluded that the blood flecks are real blood - Several claims have been made that the blood has been found to be type AB - The blood appears to be so old that the DNA is badly fragmented

Alan Adler was an expert on porphyrins, the types of colored compounds seen in blood, chlorophyll, and many other natural products. He and Dr. John Heller, MD, studied the blood flecks on the STURP sampling tapes [Heller and Adler, Applied Optics 19, (16) 1980]. They converted the heme into its parent porphyrin, and they interpreted the spectra taken of blood spots by Gilbert and Gilbert. They concluded that the blood flecks are real blood. In addition to that, the x-ray-fluorescence spectra taken by STURP showed excess iron in blood areas, as expected for blood. Microchemical tests for proteins were positive in blood areas but not in any other parts of the Shroud. -- Several claims have been made that the blood has been found to be type AB, and claims have been made about DNA testing. We sent blood flecks to the laboratory devoted to the study of ancient blood at the State University of New York. None of these claims could be confirmed. The blood appears to be so old that the DNA is badly fragmented. Dr. Andrew Merriwether at SUNY has said that "... anyone can walk in off the street and amplify DNA from anything. The hard part is not to amplify what you don't want and only amplify what you want (endogenous DNA vs. contamination)." It is doubtful that good DNA analyses can be obtained from the Shroud. It is almost certain that the blood spots are blood, but no definitive statements can be made about its nature or provenience, i.e., whether it is male and from the Near East. [link]

July 08, 2009: British Scientists Claim to Create Human Sperm - British scientists claim they have created human sperm from stem cells. But other experts have questioned their data

LONDON - British scientists claim they have created human sperm from stem cells. But other experts have questioned their data. Researchers at Newcastle University and the NorthEast England Stem Cell Institute say they used a new technique to derive what they described as sperm cells from embryonic stem cells. ... But many other British experts say they are unconvinced by the research. They also say the sperm cells created in the laboratory were clearly abnormal. [link]

IUC World Exclusive: Prince Charles Not Harry's Real Father - the fact that Diana's ex lover James Hewitt is the Harry's real father - Diana stopped having sex with Charles years before Harry was born - Just the way they killed Diana they'll kill James

A longtime employee of Harry's mother Princess Diana told IUC that the Royal Family was involved in a massive cover-up to hide the fact that Diana's ex-lover James Hewitt is the Harry's real father. According to the source Prince Philip threatened Hewitt's life if he didn't go along with the cover-up. "They made him lie about the timeline," the source told IUC. "Prince Philip told Hewitt he would destroy him if it ever leaked out. It's impossible that Charles is Harry's real father. Hewitt was on the scene as Diana's lover two years before Harry was born. Diana stopped having sex with Charles years before Harry was born. Harry looks exactly like Hewitt." -- The massive cover-up involved Hewitt lying to the world about when his dalliance actually began with Diana. Originally he told the world he met Diana in 1986. Harry was born in 1984. Under hypnosis for a TV interview Hewitt admitted he met Diana in 1981 or 1982, had sexual relations with her then - some two years before Harry was born. A relative of Hewitt told IUC that privately Hewitt has always believed he's Harry's dad but has denied it in public because he fears for his life. He also wants to protect his son from being dethroned. ... The relative added that this is another example of why the Royal Family should be abolished. "They're the biggest crooks and liars in the world," he said. "All the evidence clearly demonstrates that James is Harry's real father. Just the way they killed Diana they'll kill James. You'll see, one day his body will be found mysteriously in a hotel room and the Royals will try to convince the world that James committed suicide." [link]

cuttingedge.org: 2012 - Is This The Year When (British) Antichrist Might Arise? - "All right, I have seen enough calculations and discerning facts to convince me: Antichrist will arise from the House of Windsor (British Royalty) - If the timing is soon, Prince Charles will be that man; if the timing is delayed, Prince William will be Antichrist. However, Prince William must turns 30, which is the Jewish minimum age for a man to be a Rabbi. Williams turns 30 on 2012. Since the Illuminati always has a "Plan A" and a "Plan B", this scenario could be very probable

Suddenly, both Christian and New Age leaders are teaching that the year 2012 might be the year in which Antichrist arises. Cutting Edge weighs in on this discussion, with our knowledge of the occult, to conclude that 2012 might, indeed, be the year when the Masonic Messiah comes to the world scene! ... What Is So Special About 2012? This is the year in which the ancient, pagan Mayan Calendar changes to a New Age, an age in which a Messiah is supposed to arise. Listen to the official write-up from a New Age website. ""It is my great honor and privilege as Master Quetzalcoatl to return to Earth in this overt fashion to spearhead so to speak and bring to your attention the I AM University End of the Mayan Calendar and Countdown Project! As you might know, I Am Quetzalcoatl, Grand Master of the Mayan days ... You all know that the Mayan calendar as has been channeled and introduced to the Earth in the Ancient Days from Higher Cosmic Sources, ends in the year 2012 - on December 21st at 21:21:59 pm to be precise. This exact date and time marks the Official Ending of the Kali Yuga or Dark Age and the Official Birth of the Age of the Christ / Buddha / Krishna / Mohammed / Moses, and God! It is December 21st 2012 at 22:00 pm which marks the Official Return or Second Coming of the Christ, Imam Mahdi, Buddha Maitreya, Kalki Avatar, Great Tao, and Messiah!" ... The House of Windsor: The time in which a knowledgeable Christian will make a discerning decision regarding the identity of the man who will be Antichrist will be before he is arisen; and, this knowledge beforehand will require Biblical discernment, knowledge of Scripture, and a series of calculations! With this point made to me by a pastor, I bought Antichrist And A Cup of Tea and began to read, albeit still with a high degree of skepticism. About three-fourths of the way through this book, I set it down and said to myself, "All right, I have seen enough calculations and discerning facts to convince me: Antichrist will arise from the House of Windsor. If the timing is soon, Prince Charles will be that man; if the timing is delayed, Prince William will be Antichrist. However, Prince William must turns 30, which is the Jewish minimum age for a man to be a Rabbi. Williams turns 30 on 2012. Since the Illuminati always has a "Plan A" and a "Plan B", this scenario could be very probable. [link]

Renaissance Radio #6: the New World Order's fake alien invasion set for the 2012 London Olympics (Mp3-Secular)

Renaissance Radio #6: Renaissance Radio is back to talk about Project Blue Beam, Rik Clay's murder, and the New World Order's fake alien invasion set for the 2012 London Olympics. [link]

Rik Clay - London-Zion-2012 - London the New Jerusalem - The New World Order's fake alien invasion likely being prepared for the 2012 London Olympics [iPaper Book - Right Click and Print] (Book-iPaper-Secular)

Thanks to infowarrior Andrew for compiling the entirety of Rik Clay's research on the New World Order's fake alien invasion likely being prepared for the 2012 London Olympics. Why is it both the Beijing and London Olympic logos can be arranged to form the word "Zion"? What is the plan for Project Bluebeam's top secret holographic technology? Why was Rik Clay killed (quite probably) shortly after releasing all this information on his blog? [link]

Matthew 28 - The betrayal, rejection, crucifixion and death have all happened to Jesus as man has had his say about the Son of God - Jesus in turn has forgiven mankind for all of our transgressions - Jesus then conquered death as He resurrected from the grave the third day and began His Christian Church - The Old Testament has come to a conclusion and the New Testament has now begun being instituted in the person, life, power and resurrection authority of Jesus Christ -- 'Matthew 28:2-5 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here [dead]: for He is [alive] risen, as He said'

Jesus reveals His eternal life Resurrection to His Disciples instructing them to go throughout the entire world teaching others and baptizing others all in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jesus confirms that all power and authority in both heaven and earth are His and that therefore the Disciples are to go out into all Nations proclaiming the good news of the eternal life giving Gospel of Jesus Christ! - 'Matthew 28:16-20 Then the eleven disciples went away [from the upper room in Jerusalem] into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they (Disciples) saw Him, they Worshipped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all Nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.'

SAINT MARK

Gospel of Mark [the 2nd Gospel of Jesus Christ] - Mark's Gospel opens by proclaiming, "The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the son of God" This opening statement immediately reveals who Jesus is, and tells readers the point of the entire book {Note: The Gospel of Mark is considered by Papias (AD 60-130) and Clement of Alexandrea (AD 150-215) to be the eyewitness events and relocations of the Apostle Peter as told to Mark [John Mark] who faithfully recorded Peter's version of events in his Gospel of Mark.}

Mark's Gospel opens by proclaiming, "The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the son of God." This opening statement immediately reveals who Jesus is, and tells readers the point of the entire book. The first part of the Gospel deals with John the Baptist and his preparation for Jesus. John starts baptizing people and attracting disciples. Jesus goes to John to be baptized as well. When he baptizes Jesus, a voice from heaven is heard: "You are my Son, the Beloved; with whom I am well pleased." In hearing this, God the Father, first person of the Trinity reveals who Jesus is in this first episode. The episode then ends with the arrest of John the Baptist. John's arrest serves as a warning that there will be a struggle between good and evil. ... From this point forward, the Gospel of Mark contains what is commonly called "the messianic mystery." This is the idea that the messiah will have to suffer, die, and then be raised. This was confusing to many of Jesus' followers, because their concept of the messiah was someone who, like King David, would come as a military hero to conquer their enemies. Jesus came to conquer, but He conquers sin and death. During this episode, Jesus asks the apostles "Who do people say that I am?" They respond, "John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets" [MK 8:27-30]. Jesus then asks, "But who do you say that I am?" At first, none of them respond, but then Peter answers: "You are the Messiah." [MK 8:31-33] Peter answers correctly, but does not fully understand what he is saying. Later in the Bible, Jesus tells him that it was God the Father who told him to say this, and he received this knowledge through a divine revelation. Thus Peter is the second person in Mark's Gospel to reveal who Jesus is. [Information link]

Overview of the Gospel of Mark

An overview of the gospel of Mark includes biographical information about the author. We know, for example, that Mark came from a wealthy family who very likely hosted meetings of early Jerusalem believers, including the Master's Passover Supper (Mark 14:12-16, Acts 1:13, 12:12). It's possible that the young Mark followed Jesus and the disciples from his house to the Garden of Gethsemane, where he escaped capture only by fleeing naked when temple soldiers snatched at the linen sheet he wrapped around himself (Mark 14:51). We also know that Barnabas, who first led, then accompanied Paul on the first missionary journey, was a nephew of Mark's mother and therefore Mark's cousin (Colossians 4:10). Both Paul and Barnabas esteemed Mark worthy enough to accompany them when they left Jerusalem for Antioch after the famine-visit (Acts 11:27-30, 12:25); and when they began their first missionary journey (Acts 13:5). [link]

The Gospel of Mark - Background Notes - Mark [by modern critics of Christianity] is generally considered the first gospel account of Jesus that was written - Matthew & Luke likely drew on the writing of Mark as those subsequent gospels were composed - The vast majority of commentators believe the gospel of Mark was written by John Mark, the student of Peter and traveling companion of Paul and Barnabas {Note: The Gospels are placed in the Bible in the order that they were written first Matthew (the Gospel was to go to the Jewish people first), then Mark writing for the Apostle Peter used Matthew's Gospel as an example, then Luke used both Matthew and Mark (completing the three similar, synoptic Gospels), lastly John narrated his unique Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Church. Also Note: had the Gospels not been placed in the order that they were written (Matthew, mark, Luke and John) the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts would not be split up but the early Church decided that it was much more important to have the Gospels in the order that God gave them to the Church than to have The Gospel of Luke and Acts together in chronological order.}

John Mark: Converted to Christianity by Peter who calls him "his son" (1 Pet 5:14). Peter gave John Mark much attention in helping him grow in his faith - likely as a result of the prominence of his family in the faith community and his earnest desire to grow. Mark was at his mother's home when Peter arrived after his miraculous release from prison (Acts 12:12) - the only man identified by name from the "many people gathered there to pray". Papias (AD 60-130) and Clement of Alexandrea (AD 150-215) report that Mark was the close attendant and "interpreter" of Peter and wrote his gospel from the recollections and teachings of Peter. (Nelson, ISBE) Other tradition says Mark had been a priest (Barnabas, and the family, was a Levite) and after becoming a Christian he amputated a finger to disqualify himself for that service and gained the nickname kolobo-daktulos, "stumpy fingered". -- The Gospel according to Mark: The second book of the New Testament and the earliest of the four gospels, according to most New Testament scholars. The Gospel of Mark portrays the person of Jesus more by what He does than by what He says. It is characterized by a vivid, direct style that leaves the impression of familiarity with the original events. Although Mark is the shortest of the four gospels, it pays close attention to matters of human interest. Mark is fond of linking the episodes of Jesus' ministry together with catchwords (for example, "immediately," "then"), rather than editorial comment; and frequently he interrupts a longer story by inserting a smaller one within it (Mark 5:21-43; 6:6-30; 11:12-25; 14:1-11). [link]

Mark 1 - The Gospel of Mark starts with Peter's Great Revelation "Jesus the Son of God" the Revelation of Peter is recorded in each of the four Gospels [Matthew 16:16, Mark 8:29, Luke 9:20, John 6:69] - 'Mark 1:1 The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God'

Mark 1:14-18 Now after that John [the Baptist] was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, And saying, *The [Old Testament] time is fulfilled, and *the Kingdom of God is at hand: *repent ye, and believe the Gospel [Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God]. Now as He [Jesus] walked by the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon [Peter] and *Andrew [originally a disciple of John the Baptist - John 1:40] his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed Him [Jesus]. And when He had gone a little farther thence, He saw James [martyred by Herod, Acts 12:2] the son of Zebedee, and John [the beloved Disciple, originally a disciple of John the Baptist - John 1:37] his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And straightway He [Jesus] called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after Him. - Note: The Gospel of Mark is the eyewitness account and personal experiences of the Apostle Peter and therefore the Gospel of Mark begins with Jesus as an adult just as Jesus begins His ministry when Peter first encountered Jesus.

Mark 2 - In these few events Peter continues to give close intimate first person details of his time spent with Jesus - Peter talks' about Jesus being in his house, his being with Jesus when He called Matthew into Discipleship and of Jesus being in Matthew's house along with Peter and many other disciples -- 'Mark 2:1 And again He [Jesus] entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was noised that He was in *the house [Peter's house].'

Mark 2:14 And as He [Jesus] passed by, He saw Levi [Matthew] the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom [tax station], and said unto him, Follow Me. And he arose and followed Him. And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house [Matthew's house], many publicans [tax collectors] and sinners sat also together with Jesus *and His disciples [including Peter]: for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the Scribes and Pharisees saw Him [Jesus] eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that He eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, He saith unto them, They that are whole [lit. healthy] have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous [redeemed Jews], but sinners to repentance. - Note: Jesus focused His ministry prior to His cross and His resurrection on the gathering of the lost sheep of the House of Israel. After His cross and resurrection Jesus is calling everyone into a personal relationship with Himself.

Mark 3 - Peter and the Disciples on several occasions accompany Jesus into some of the Synagogues in Israel -- 'Mark 3:1-2 And He [Jesus] entered again into the Synagogue [in Capernaum]; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they [Pharisees] watched Him, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath day; that they might accuse Him.'

Mark 3:6-8 6 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians [Jewish supporters of King Herod] against Him, how they might destroy Him. But Jesus withdrew Himself with His disciples to the sea [Galilee]: and a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judaea, And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things He [Jesus] did, came unto Him. - Peter is recalling both the concerted opposition that Jesus faced and the broad based and very vast following that Jesus acquired during His brief public ministry.

Capernaum - The house of St. Peter - The basalt Synagogue [at Capernaum] which is referred to in the four Gospels (Photos)

Overview: Aside from various references to Capernaum in the Gospels, the earliest literary attestation of Capernaum is from Josephus, who refers to the village in connection with a fertile spring. The Jewish historian reports he spent a night there with a fever during the second year of the Jewish War. For centuries, Capernaum has traditionally been identified as a site located on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, about three miles west of the upper Jordan River. In 1838, Edward Robinson correctly identified there the remains of a synagogue that was partly excavated by Charles Wilson between 1865 and 1866. More extensive excavations took place in the early twentieth century, first by Heinrich Kohl and Carl Watzinger (1905) and then by Wendelin von Menden (1906-1915). In 1921, the synagogue was partially restored by Gaudenzio Orfali. In more recent times, Virgilio Corbo and Stanislao Loffreda conducted nineteen seasons at Capernaum between 1968 and 1986, excavating not only the synagogue, but also a nearby church that had long been associated with the house of St. Peter. Most recent excavations have revealed two synagogues, a white limestone synagogue dating from the fourth to fifth centuries CE [A.D.], and a black basalt synagogue dating from the first half of the first century CE [A.D.]. Only foundation walls, gray marble column fragments and a cobblestone floor remain from the earlier structure, which measured 24.5 by 18.7 meters on the exterior and possessed walls over a meter thick. ... This structure was built on top of an earlier synagogue [the Gospels synagogue] that was founded in the first century CE [A.D.] and constructed out of basalt. Only the foundation walls and cobblestone floor remain [exhibit B and C in the B&W photo] from this earlier [synagogue] building [the synagogue at Capernaum mentioned in the four Gospels]. Column drums made out of gray marble have also been discovered in a lower stratum of fill material. It is thus the basalt synagogue which is referred to in the four Gospels. [link]

Mark 4 - Peter was present at most of the teachings of Jesus Crist and experienced firsthand the many crowds that gathered to hear Jesus teach -- 'Mark 4:1-2 And He [Jesus] began again to teach by the [Galilee] sea side: and there was gathered unto Him a great multitude, so that He entered into a ship [fishing boat], and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the [shore] land. And He [Jesus] taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in His doctrine ...'

Mark 4:9-12 And He [Jesus] said unto them [crowd of people], He that hath [Spiritual] ears to hear, let him hear. And when He [Jesus] was alone, they that were about Him with the Twelve [Apostles] asked of Him [about] the parable [regarding hearing]. And He said unto them, Unto you [through the Holy Spirit] it is given to know **the Mystery of the Kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, *and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; *lest at any time they should be {prematurely} converted, and their sins should be forgiven them {and then they fall away making it more difficult or even unable to be restored}. - Apparently what Jesus is talking about here is that Parables are given in order to help alleviate shallow, misguided and false conversions to Christianity. - Note: An easy, cheap (modern) Gospel is often a throwaway Gospel that people hear and then having easily accepted a simplistic message [lacking in conviction of sin and of the need for the cross and resurrection of Jesus] and usually having accepting it for wrong and selfish reasons can then later easily reject the Christian message not having had a definite eternal, divine [heavenly] basis for their relationship with God. - Also Note: The Gospel is also not manufactured of hardship, rules and regulations either but the Gospel is a living, accurate, truthful, Spiritual relationship with the living, loving, Holy creator of the universe, Father God [Jesus and the Holy Spirit] the eternal God of all existence.

LivingWaters.com: True and False Conversion - Hell's Best Kept Secret (Online Audio)

True and False Conversion: While the other teachings in this series have special emphasis in particular areas, this teaching is foundational, and goes hand in hand with Tape A. It is very important that you understand it, as it will have great bearing on how you spend your time, and how you share the principles of God's Word. If you have ever wondered why so much of the Church looks and acts just like the world, you will love this teaching. ... Hell's Best Kept Secret: Why do 80-90% of those making a [modern] decision for Christ fall away from the faith? What is the principle that Spurgeon, Wesley, Whitefield, etc., used to reach the lost? Why has the Church neglected it? Don't let anything stop you from listening to this incredible teaching. [link]

Mark 5 - The Disciple and Apostle Peter is going to witness (Mark 5:2), experience (Luke 22:31) and discern (Acts 8:20) the spiritual realm on a level that few others have ever participated in - Jesus heals a man severely possessed by a multitude of demons -- 'Mark 5:18-20 And when He [Jesus] was come into the ship [fishing boat], he that had been possessed with the devil prayed [asked] Him [Jesus] that he might [travel] be with Him. Howbeit [however] Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, **Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis [the 10 Greek cities in Israel] how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel. - Note: Jesus healed the man and did not take him away like some cult but instead restored the healed man to his family and his community and there within his own community did he begin to share with others the glorious compassion of the Lord Jesus Christ.'

Mark 5:1-17 And they [Jesus and His Disciples] came over unto the other side of the Sea [of Galilee], into the country of the Gadarenes [Southern Galilee area]. And when He was come out of the ship [fishing boat], immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs [in the graveyard]; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces [by his demonic rage and strength]: neither could any man tame [comfort] him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting [harming] himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus [and safety] afar off, **he ran and worshipped Him [Jesus], And cried with a loud [demonic possessed] voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I [the demonic spirit speaking through the homeless man] adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For He [Jesus] said unto him [unclean spirit], Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And He [Jesus] asked him [unclean spirit], What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion [a large well-armed group]: for we are many. And he [unclean spirit] besought Him much that He would not send them [legion] away out of the country [the country (area) of the Gadarenes - apparently a demonic stronghold]. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. **And forthwith Jesus gave them leave [permission]. And the unclean spirits went out [of the man], and entered into the swine [pigs]: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, they were about two thousand [pigs]; and were choked [drowned] in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see [the pig carcasses] what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that *was possessed with the devil, *and had the legion, {now healed and} sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid [it was too much for them]. And they [those feeding the pigs] that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray [ask] Him [Jesus] to depart out of their [region] coasts. - The main work of Jesus is in the spiritual realm and He is presiding over both the clean (holy) spirit realm and also ultimately presiding over the disobedient unclean (unholy) demonic realm. The discovery of the spirit realm and the realization of the authority and work of Jesus in and over the spirit realm (1 Corinthians 15:24) is usually initially very overwhelming to most [if not all] people but the spirit realm [both the holy and unholy] is actually so pervasive that generally it cannot be ignored but must be dealt with by humans and hopefully dealt with in the correct context that Jesus Christ is the sole authority of the entire spiritual and physical spectrum encompassing both the physical and the spiritual realms.

3 Striking Prayers In The Bible - There are three striking prayers found in the Bible which deserve our individual and undivided attention

There are three striking prayers found in the Bible which deserve our individual and undivided attention. Believe it or not - the first one was prayed by [legion] a group of three thousand demons. The second was prayed by a multitude of people [locals of Gadarenes]. And the third was prayed by a [homeless] man who was just set free from demonic power. ... In summary, the demons in the first example were wanting to get away from Jesus. The multitudes in the second example wanted Jesus to get away from them. And now, in this third example, we find the delivered man earnestly desiring to follow Jesus wherever He went. [link]

Mark 6 - The people in the area 'country' of the Gadarenes had overcome their initial shock and had come to grips with their shocking spiritual realm encounter regarding Jesus and had begun to spread the word of the Good News of having a [spiritual, mind (soul) and possibly body] healing encounter with Jesus Christ -- 'Mark 6:53 And [later] when they had passed over [the Sea of Galilee], they came into the land of Gennesaret [Northern Galilee], and drew to the shore.'

Mark 6:53 And when they had passed over [the Sea of Galilee], they came into the land of Gennesaret [Northern shore of Galilee], and drew to the shore. And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they [people already] knew Him [from the previous healing of the demon possessed man in Gadarene - Southern Galilee], And [the people] ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard He [Jesus] was. And whithersoever He entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought Him that they might touch if it were but the border of His garment: and as many as touched [made contact with] Him were made whole [lit. safe from illness - Sozo, G4982]. - The healing that is being discussed in this part of the Bible is "sozo" and means to be made safe by being removed from danger. For instance in a physical sense Jesus would be the barrier between a person and a disease such as malaria and with Jesus the person is 'sozo' safe from malaria. Later 'soszo' is carried out into 'Salvation' with Jesus being the barrier between us and sin and in the same way one would be healed physically from a disease like leprosy or malaria the blood of Jesus has healed and saved us from the eternal dangers of the disease of sin. - Also: Note healings can be physical, spiritual and emotional and will encompass a duration of time especially physical healings in that all the people that Jesus raised from the dead did eventually physically die again, the point being that 'sozo' is a continuing and ongoing work of salvation, healing and safety in the life of each individual in a 'contact' relationship with Jesus Christ. Salvation 'sozo' healing by God is not just a onetime, anonymous drive bye event but it is a continual [and spiritually eternal] part of the moment by moment relationship with God in Jesus Christ.

Mark 7 - Jesus and His Disciples are now back in Capernaum at Peter's house -- 'Mark 7:9-13 And He [Jesus] said unto them [Jewish religious leaders], Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. ... Making the word of God of none [safety - Sozo] effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered [prescribed]: and many such like [ritualistic] things do ye.'

Mark 7:14-23 And when He [Jesus] had called all the people unto Him, He said unto them, Hearken [listen] unto me every one of you, and understand: There is nothing [in food] from without a man, that entering into him can defile him [separate him from God]: but the things [thoughts, imaginations and actions] which come out of him [soul and spirit], those are they that defile the man [separate him from God]. If any man have [spiritual] ears to hear, let him hear. And when He was entered into the house [back in Capernaum at Peter's house] from the people, His Disciples asked Him concerning the parable. And He saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever [food] thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; **Because it entereth not into his heart [soul and spirit], but into the belly [stomach], and goeth out into the draught [dung], purging all meats? And He [Jesus] said, ***That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man [separate him from God]. For from within, ***out of the heart [mind, soul, spirit] of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye (looking to cause evil), blasphemy, *pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man [separating him from God]. - Spiritual, emotional and at times even physical healing and wellbeing are interconnected and related to one another. In order to be healed spiritually [Sozo] we have to cooperate emotionally and physically with God. - Note: Salvation, healing, Christian conduct and Christian maturity (Living Temple - Royal Priesthood) drawing close to God is going to be a major theme in the two Epistles of Peter.

Mark 8 - Peter makes the eternal declaration that Jesus is the Christ the redeemer-savior of all mankind -- 'Mark 8:29 And He [Jesus] saith unto them [His Disciples], But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto Him, Thou art the Christ [Messiah].'

Mark 8:27-38 And Jesus went out, and His disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way He asked His disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. And He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto Him, Thou art the Christ. And He [Jesus] charged them that they should tell no man of him [until after the fulness of His cross and resurrection]. **And He began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, *and after three days rise again. And He spake that saying openly. And Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned about and looked on His disciples, He [Jesus] rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men. And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after Me, let Him deny himself, and take up his cross [enter in], and follow Me. **For whosoever will save his [own] life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the Gospel's, the same shall save it. **For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? **Or what shall a man give in exchange for his [eternal] soul? ***Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He cometh [2nd Coming] in the Glory of His Father with the Holy Angels. - Note: We are like Peter and the other Disciples are given the opportunity to confess the eternal Truth that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God and once we have entered into that eternal Truth and made that confession we are then to remain in it unwavering.

Mark 9 - The Disciples Peter, John and his brother James are going to witness firsthand the resurrection, eternal life from death [Moses and Elijah] and the transfiguration powers [transforming the temporary physical realm into the eternal spiritual realm] of God in Jesus Christ -- 'Mark 9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the [eternal] Kingdom of God come with [transfiguration] power.'

Mark 9:2 And after six [a temporary - incomplete Transfiguration] days Jesus taketh with Him Peter, and James [John's brother], and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart [outside of Israel] by themselves: and He [Jesus] was Transfigured [changed into His Spirit body] before them. And His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller [detergent] on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias (Elijah) with Moses [because of his sin Moses was not allowed to enter the Promise Land (before the cross of Jesus) so Jesus and the three Disciples went outside Israel (the promise land) for Jesus to meet with Moses and Elijah]: and they were talking with Jesus. And **Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, ***it is good for us to be here [according to Peter's epistles this was the crowning achievement moment of his life to be at the Mount of Transfiguration and to witness the events]: and let us make three tabernacles [grottos]; one for thee [Jesus], and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist [knew] not what to say; for they were sore afraid. And there was a cloud [of witness] that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son: hear [listen to] Him. And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more [Moses and Elijah had returned back down to Paradise - Abraham bosom], save Jesus only with themselves. And as they came down from the Mountain, He [Jesus] charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of Man were risen [resurrection] from the dead. - Jesus instructed the Disciples not to tell the Gospel until they had the fullness of the Gospel in His cross and Resurrection. A Gospel that does not address both redemption from sin (the cross) and a reunited eternal life with God in Haven (the resurrection)is an incomplete Gospel message.

Mark 10 - Jesus and His Disciples begin to make their way to Jerusalem for the events that would become known as Holy Week -- 'Mark 10:32 And they [Jesus and His Disciples] were in the way going up to Jerusalem [the events of Holy Week were about to begin]; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they [Disciples] were afraid. And He took again the Twelve [Apostles], and began to tell them what things should happen unto Him ...'

Mark 10:33-34 Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man [Jesus] shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles: And they [also will reject Jesus and] shall mock Him, and shall scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill him: and the third day He [Jesus] shall rise [resurrection] again. - Note: For a time all of the disciples and Apostles of Jesus will flee from Jesus and all will reject Jesus including all the Jews and all the Gentiles alike. Forsaken, rejected and alone; all by Himself Jesus will go on trial, to the cross and to the grave but then to conquer in His Glorious eternal life Resurrection a life that Jesus since before the creation of time He has offered freely to all mankind.

Mark 11 - The Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem where Jesus presents Himself as the King the promised Messiah (Christ) to all mankind both to the Jews and then to the Gentiles -- 'Mark 11:11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem [on Saturday the Sabbath Feast day], and into the Temple: and when He had looked round about upon all things, and now the *eventide [lit. close of a feast day - Opsios, G3798 (a feminine noun instead of the regular masculine noun)] was come, He [Jesus] went out [back] unto Bethany with the Twelve [Apostles].' - Note: This unique day also corresponds with the Triumphal Entry of the Ark of the Covent's arrival into Jerusalem "2 Samuel 6:15 So [King] David and all the House of Israel brought up the Ark of the LORD [into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day] with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet." - The prayer of King David upon bringing the Ark and the presence of God into Jerusalem - 1 Chronicles 16:7-36 [v.24 24 Declare His Glory among the heathen [Gentiles]; His marvellous works among all Nations. - v.30 Fear before Him, all the earth: the world [realm of God] also shall be stable, that it be not moved. - V.31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the Nations, The LORD reigneth (as King).]

Mark 11:1-10 And when they [Jesus and His Disciples] came nigh [near] to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He [Jesus] sendeth forth two of His disciples, And saith unto them, Go your way into the village [Bethany] over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt [a young donkey] tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that *the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither. And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him. And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go [apparently the colt was a firstborn animal and the owner did not redeem (Numbers 18:15) it from God therefore the young donkey did belong to God and not the person and everyone realizing the colt was unredeemed gave the colt to the two disciples to give to Jesus the true Lord (owner) of the colt]. And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on Him; and He sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down [palm] branches off the trees, and strawed [covered the street with branches] them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, ***saying, Hosanna; Blessed is He [Jesus] that cometh in the Name of the Lord [owner of the universe]: Blessed be ***the Kingdom of our father [King] David, that cometh in the Name of the Lord: Hosanna [rejoice, praise] in [God] the Highest. - "Psalms 74:12 For God is my King of old, working Salvation in the midst of the earth."

"Jesus Walk" the 10 Day Annual Easter Timeline Devotion - An Ancient Holy Week Timeline, Bible Study, Devotional & Personal Journal for Easter Week

As disciples of Jesus, let's go back with Jesus and the original disciples to revisit and re-live the last week that Jesus spent on earth. This week is also referred to as "Holy Week." The 10 days will be Friday through the next Sunday. To examine the last week we will have to piece together many items and statements from throughout the Bible. As we go back to the original Holy Week, we will travel like students and detectives, searching the scriptures for events and clues that took place nearly 2,000 years ago. We will in actuality be students and detectives of Jesus, searching out Who He is and what His ministry came to accomplish here on earth. [link]

Mark 12 - Summary: The events of Holy Week as the Apostle Peter participated in them - The day after the [Saturday] Triumphal entry on the {Saturday Sabbath Feast Day} -- [Sunday: "Mark 11:12 And on the morrow (the day after Saturday)" Jesus cursed the fig tree (on Sunday) on His way into Jerusalem to cleanse the Temple by removing the money changers and reinstituting the Temple as a place of prayer and worship to God and then teaches the people "His doctrine" (Mark 11:18).] -- [Monday: "Mark 11:20 And in the morning (next day), as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots." "Mark 11:27 And they come again (still on Monday) to Jerusalem" Jesus again enters the now cleansed Temple and continues to teach to the people. Jesus' authority is questioned on this second day of teaching by the religious leaders and Jesus then begins to teach in Parables in the Temple and later that day Jesus [God] departs the Temple for the last time. Jesus then gives His mount Olivet Discourse (End Time) teaching.] -- [Tuesday: Judas meets with the religious and political leaders in order to betray Jesus.] -- [Wednesday: Passover {The Lord's Passover Feast Day}, Communion, the New Testament begins to be instituted in the body-blood, cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ.'] -- [Thursday: {The start of the Feast of Unleavened Bread} (the new Jewish day began at sundown) Arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, trials (six trials; three Jewish and three Gentile) and rejection of Jesus by both the Jews and the Gentiles. The cross, death and burial of Jesus.] -- [Friday: A normal day (non-Feast Day). The tomb is sealed by the Romans at the request of the Jewish leadership, the female disciples of Jesus purchase and prepare more oil and spices to further anoint the body of Jesus but are unable to further anoint the body because the tomb is now closed and sealed.] -- [Saturday: Again the weekly Sabbath Feast Day. The third day and third night of death is fulfilled.] -- [Sunday: At the Sunrise of the new day on the {Feast of Firstfruits} Jesus resurrects from the dead displaying to His followers His eternal resurrection life, His authority of life over death as He begins to reveal His eternal Kingdom Glory to mankind.]

[Monday] Mark 12:1 And He [Jesus] began [the second and final day of Holy Week Temple Teachings] to speak unto them [in the Temple] by parables. ... Mark 12:18-27 Then come unto Him the Sadducees [Jewish religious and political leaders], which say there is no resurrection; and they asked Him, saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were seven {complete} brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed. And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise. And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also. In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. **And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err (error), ***because ye know not the scriptures, ***neither the power of God? For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels [no sexual activity] which are in heaven. **And as touching the dead, that they rise [eternal life resurrection]: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the [burning] bush God spake unto him, ***saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? ***He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living [Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are still completely alive and living in the eternal realm]: ye therefore do greatly err. - Note: Before His own death and resurrection Jesus clears up any doubts about human sexual conduct in heaven [there isn't any] and about the fact that the human spirit and soul is eternal and does participate in God's eternal life resurrection plan for mankind.

Mark 13 - [Monday] The 2nd and final day of Temple Teaching ends abruptly and later that day the [End Time] Mount Olivet Discourse is given by Jesus with only the Apostles Peter, James, John and Andrew in attendance -- "Mark 13:1-4 And [Monday] as He [Jesus] went out of the Temple, ... And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives over against [overlooking] the Temple, *Peter and James [John's brother] and John [John omitted (as unnecessary) the Mount Olivet (end time) teaching from his Gospel to the Christian Church] and Andrew [Peter's brother] asked Him [Jesus] privately, Tell us, when shall these [Kingdom of Christ] things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?' - Note: Peter, James and John were the only three Apostles present at the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus.

Mark 13:28-37 Now learn a Parable of the Fig Tree [3rd Temple in Jerusalem]; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things [preparation to rebuild the 3rd Jewish Temple in Jerusalem] come to pass, know that it [the Kingdom of God] is nigh, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, that *this generation [the End Time 1967 Jewish return to Jerusalem generation] shall not pass, till all these [End Time - Book of Revelation] things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour [the establishing of the Kingdom of God - Jesus' Throne on earth] knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in Heaven, neither the Son [Jesus - the Kingdom is being given to Jesus as a gift from the Father, therefore Jesus did not yet know the fullness and timing of His gift], but the Father [knows]. *Take ye heed, *watch [for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ] and *pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of Man [Jesus] is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. **Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even [evening], or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing [dawn], or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping [unconscious]. And what I say unto you **I say unto all, Watch [observe and look for the Kingdom of God]. - Note: The fig tree is a parable about man's own religious coverings [i.e. the 3rd Temple - the eventual temple of the Antichrist] as the original fig tree (Genesis 3:7) was a manmade attempt to cover mankind's sins with a false religion.

Mark 14 - [Tuesday] The Holy Week events begin to focus on the Passover Feast and Jesus' institution of the New Testament -- 'Mark 14:1-2 [on Tuesday] After two days [counting Tuesday and starting Wednesday (i.e. John 20:26 And after eight days (7 Roman days) counting the current day Resurrection Sunday until the next Sunday)] was the feast of the [Lord's] Passover, and [the next day the start] of Unleavened Bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him [Jesus] by craft [deceit], and put Him to death. But they said [conspired], *Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. - Note: The plans of Satan as enacted by the religious leaders of the day was not to fulfill the Feast Days given by God to Moses however that is exactly what did happen.'

Mark 14:12-17 And [Wednesday] the first day of [the eight days of] Unleavened Bread [1 day of Lord's Passover + 7 days of Unleavened Bread], when they killed the Passover [Lamb][the Lord's Passover], His disciples said unto Him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the [Lord's] Passover? And He sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him {by Church tradition this person is thought to be Mark the writer of the Gospel}. And wheresoever he [Mark] shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master [Jesus] saith, Where is the guestchamber [guestroom], where I shall eat the Passover with My Disciples? And he will shew you a large **upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. And His disciples went forth, and came into the city [Jerusalem], and found as He had said unto them: and they made ready the Passover. And in the evening He [Jesus] cometh with the Twelve [Apostles]. - Note: Generally it is thought that Jesus and the Apostles ate the Passover at Mark's parents' house and then that Mark followed Jesus and the Apostles to the Garden of Gethsemane where he recorded (Mark 14:51) his being discovered by others and having to flee from the area.

Mark 15 - [Thursday] The arrest, trials, crucifixion and burial of Jesus -- 'Mark 15:1-2 And straightway in the morning [Thursday] the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole [Sanhedrin] council, and bound Jesus, and carried Him away, and delivered Him to [Pontius] Pilate. And Pilate asked Him [Jesus], Art thou the King of the Jews? And He [Jesus] answering said unto him, Thou sayest it [correct, Yes].'

Mark 15:37-47 And Jesus [on the cross] cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost [died]. And the veil of the Temple was rent [torn] in twain [half] from the top to the bottom. And when the [Roman] Centurion, which stood over against Him, saw that He so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, **Truly this man was the Son of God. There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; Who also, when He was in Galilee, followed Him, and ministered unto Him; and many other women which came up with Him unto Jerusalem. And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day [of Unleavened Bread just] before the Sabbath {the Feast Sabbath (rest) not the saturday Sabbath}, Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the Kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if He were already dead: and calling unto him the Centurion, he asked him whether He had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the Centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And he bought fine linen, and took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen, and laid Him in a sepulcher [tomb] which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld [observed] where He was laid.

THE CRUCIFIXION SITE AND TOMB OF CHRIST - Close-up photo at left is of an iron shaft driven into [the outside of] the rock Tomb (Photos)

This is the burial place of Christ and you will notice the foot area at right that was enlarged [chiseled out] to accommodate Christ's feet, as he must have been taller than Joseph of Arimathea who had the tomb constructed for himself and was apparently 5' 8" tall. The cutting of the stone was hastily completed in order to accomplish the task of burial before the Sabbath hours, Friday at sunset. Mark 16:5 says Mary saw a young man or angel sitting on right side of tomb the first day of the week. He may have been in the right hand portion of this photo. ... "Make it as secure as you know how. So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard." Matt. 27:65,66 Close-up photo at left is of an iron shaft driven into the rock. Photo at right above would have the iron rod at far left in the photo. This would have prevented the stone from being rolled backward. The distance from the iron shaft to the stopping point at right is 13 ft. 2inches, per our measurements. "And they made His grave with the wicked-- but with the rich at His death" Isaiah 53:9. This text describes the other tombs to the left of this one where wealthy and wicked men were buried. [link]

The Real Calvary and the Real Holy Sepulcher [Tomb] - How did the Roman soldiers prevent the Stone from rolling back? Apparently by a spike at the edge of the Stone to the wall - We can see a broken iron spike embedded in the wall 71 inches above the ground, several feet to the left of the door (Photo)

The Great Seal Stone was rolled in and placed in the trough outside the entrance wall. It was big enough to cover the fairly large door. How did the Roman soldiers prevent the Stone from rolling back? Apparently by a spike at the edge of the Stone to the wall. We can see a broken iron spike embedded in the wall 71 inches above the ground, several feet to the left of the door; there is a stop carved into the face of the rock on the right side of the door. Obviously the spike was broken when the angel rolled the Stone on Resurrection morning. The separation of the spike from the stop is over 13 feet, which may be considered the diameter of the Stone. Recently elemental analysis has been carried out on fragments of the spike, and the metals found were iron and lead. The Roman practice was pouring molten lead into the hole before inserting the iron nail. Dating the metals is not possible with radiometric dating techniques. For more information visit www.wyattmuseum.com and www.anchorstone.com These details give much support to our belief that the Garden Tomb is the real Tomb of Jesus. [link]

Mark 16 - The Sunday Sunrise, Eternal Life Resurrection of Jesus Christ!! -- 'Mark 16:1-2 And when the [Saturday] Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought [on Friday] sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week [Sunday], they came unto the sepulchre [tomb] at [sunrise] the rising of the sun.'

Mark 16:15-20 And He [the resurrected Jesus] said unto them [Apostles and Disciples], Go ye into all the world, and Preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized [identifies with Jesus] shall be Saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, [40 days later - The Ascension] He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and Preached everywhere, ***the Lord [continually] working with them, and confirming the [Gospel] Word with signs following. Amen. - The Gospel of Peter recorded by Mark is concluded.

SAINT LUKE

Background Book of Luke - The book of Luke gives us the most complete look at the life of Jesus - Luke uses eyewitnesses as sources for his writings - He stresses Jesus' humanity and compassion as well as the power of the Holy Spirit and of prayer - Theme: Jesus Christ as the perfect man - Key verses: "When the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, 'Certainly this was a righteous man'" Luke 23:47 - "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost" Luke 19:10

Book of Luke - Author: Luke - Time: 4 B.C. to 30 A.D. - The book of Luke gives us the most complete look at the life of Jesus. Luke uses eyewitnesses as sources for his writings. He stresses Jesus' humanity and compassion as well as the power of the Holy Spirit and of prayer. - Theme: Jesus Christ as the perfect man -- Key verses: "When the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, 'Certainly this was a righteous man.'" Luke 23:47 -- "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." Luke 19:10 -- Unique features: Luke wrote particularly for Greeks who delighted in wisdom, beauty and system. He therefore tells the story of Jesus, unfolding his development in a systematic manner, setting the facts in careful order. Luke was an artist with the pen, drawing the portrait of Jesus as the perfect man. He was also a careful historian; both his gospel and its sequel, the Acts of the Apostles are highly regarded among historians for their accuracy and attention to detail. [link]

Profiles of Faith: Luke the Apostle Paul's Beloved Friend and Companion - Who was the man who would not only encourage Paul during this trying time but write two books of the New Testament? The Scriptures tell us little, but we can infer quite a bit by examining Luke's work and the times in which he lived - Luke appears to have been one of the early Gentile converts to Christianity - Luke apparently wrote his Gospel around A.D. 60-61, some 30 years after Jesus' death. We can arrive at this time by examining the evidence for when he wrote the book of Acts

It wasn't easy being Paul's friend and traveling companion. The apostle lived a hard and sometimes dangerous life. His enemies said he was a rabble-rouser, a troublemaker who slandered the Jews and dishonored the temple and, by extension, disdained the authority of the almighty Roman Empire. In reality Paul's enemies were the slanderers: "... We have found this man a plague," they said, "a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes" (Acts 24:5, emphasis added throughout). Such charges could get one thrown in prison, and in Paul's case they did. Few dared to accompany or visit Paul under this sort of dangerous and humiliating circumstance. But Luke dared. Few were as fearless as Paul's friend and trusted companion Luke. Luke stayed beside Paul, day in and out, for at least two years. Every day he walked past the Roman guards, who must have grown in their respect for him. His constancy commanded respect; he was as faithful as clockwork. Luke was faithful because he had a job to do: writing a history of the early years of the Church founded by the man he had become convinced was the very Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth. Only one thing was more important to Luke than being Paul's friend: his dedication as a servant of his Master, Jesus Christ. Paul found himself under house arrest in Rome, although he had committed no crime against either Jew or gentile. But Paul knew-through God's earlier revelation to him-that he would serve as God's witness before Caesar in Rome (Acts 27:24). So here he was. The times were trying for Paul. He needed encouragement, which God provided through a friendly, sensitive physician, a man named Luke. Under house arrest and confined to a rented house for at least two years, Paul was free to teach and preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God to the curious and to those whom God was calling (Acts 28:16, 30-31). His efforts bore fruit; Paul's teaching converted even members of Caesar's household (Philippians 4:22). -- Luke's background: Who was the man who would not only encourage Paul during this trying time but write two books of the New Testament? The Scriptures tell us little, but we can infer quite a bit by examining Luke's work and the times in which he lived. The early Church was predominantly Jewish. Jesus, the original apostles and later apostles such as Paul were all Jews. But the book of Acts records that, over time, gentiles (non-Jews) came to accept the message of the apostles and became members of the Church Jesus founded. Luke appears to have been one of the early gentile converts to Christianity. What are the scriptural indications he was a gentile? In Colossians 4:10-14 Paul names three of his companions and coworkers who were "my only fellow workers ... who are of the circumcision"-that is, Jewish-and then three other companions, including Luke. The obvious implication is that the latter three were gentiles. Luke was a learned man, a linguist. He spoke and wrote classical Greek, but he could also converse and write in Hebrew, Aramaic and Hellenistic Greek. His mastery of Greek indicates he probably was a Greek. His dedication shows us he had a heart of gold. Luke was educated, creative and talented. Among the Mediterranean people of the day, the Greeks were well educated and trained, especially in philosophy, oratory, writing and mathematics. Even the powerful Roman leaders were predisposed to the culture and education of the Greeks, who under Alexander the Great had built a mighty empire that preceded the Romans as the dominant power in the Mediterranean region and Middle East. ... Luke, the beloved physician: The Scriptures note that Luke was a physician (Colossians 4:14). A physician of Luke's day was not the same as modern physicians, since the science of medicine was not far advanced. Even so, the Greeks were head and shoulders above other gentiles when it came to science and medicine and the understanding of the workings of the human body. A physician of Luke's day could work with body and mind, though not in the sense of a modern surgeon. But Luke was interested in people's well-being; this is evident in his writings. An old saying fits with Luke's outlook: "A minister sees men at their best, a lawyer sees men at their worst, and a physician sees men as they are." Paul's deep respect and Christian love for Luke surface when he refers to him as "the beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14). Luke showed interest in the welfare of women and children, as shown in his Gospel. In Judea, as in other places throughout the known world, women in Luke's day held a place low in society. For example, some historical accounts of the time report that Jewish men gave thanks to God each morning that they had not been born a gentile, slave or woman. Luke's perspective differs from the common portrayal of women of the time. Luke tells his birth narrative of Christ from Mary's point of view. Luke writes of Elizabeth, of Anna, of the widow at Nain, of the woman who anointed Jesus' feet in the house of Simon the Pharisee. Luke portrays Martha and Mary and Mary Magdalene. -- An invitation for gentiles: Luke appears to have written mainly , though not entirely, for gentiles. Again, Theophilus was probably a gentile. In comparison with the other three Gospels, Luke's is written to be more easily understood by a gentile. For example, notice that Luke used Roman dates in his works when he identified the Roman emperor and governor. In his writings Luke used the Greek equivalents of Hebrew words, which would make him more easily understood by Greeks. For example, he didn't use the Jewish term rabbi; instead he used a Greek word that means "master." Also, when he traces Jesus' descent, he goes back to Adam, the progenitor of the human race, rather than going back only as far as Abraham as Matthew had done. These small differences hint that Luke probably wrote his Gospel account so gentiles could more easily identify with Jesus and His teachings. Many scholars say Luke's Gospel is the easiest to read of the four and the easiest to understand of all the New Testament narratives and letters. -- Luke the careful historian: Luke apparently wrote his Gospel around A.D. 60-61, some 30 years after Jesus' death. We can arrive at this time by examining the evidence for when he wrote the book of Acts. Luke begins Acts by referring to "the former account" he had written (Acts 1:1), the Gospel of Luke. The final chapter of Acts concludes with events that preceded Nero's persecution of Christians (in 65) and Paul's death. Otherwise Luke surely would have mentioned both. The book ends with Paul under house arrest in Rome awaiting trial for the charges brought against him. No account of a trial or verdict is mentioned anywhere. Most Bible scholars thus agree that Acts was written around 63 and reflects events in the Church up until that time. Thus, if Luke wrote Acts then, he must have written his Gospel a few years earlier, ca. 60-61. (As a postscript to the book of Acts, the Romans apparently released Paul from his house arrest shortly thereafter, but Nero later imprisoned him again and had him executed around 66.) Apparently Luke was not an eyewitness of Jesus' mighty works and teachings but was one who copiously incorporated others' eyewitness accounts (Luke 1:1-2). When we examine Luke's Gospel we see how careful he was. In the first few verses He claims his work is the product of careful research. He notes that he bases his account on information "handed down to us by those who from the first were eye-witnesses" (verse 2). As a seasoned traveler, Luke had opportunities to interview the best sources (that is, Jesus' 12 apostles and Paul), and he listened carefully to their stories and testimonials, taking voluminous notes. Half of Luke's Gospel consists of material not found in the other three accounts of the life and work of Christ. This demonstrates that Luke searched out and interviewed other witnesses to the events he recorded. Luke was a meticulous historian. Notice his careful work as he dates the emergence of John the Baptist by cross-checking six contemporary datings: "In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar [1], Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea [2], Herod being tetrarch of Galilee [3], his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Trachonitis [4], and Lysanias, tetrarch of Abilene [5], while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests [6], the word of God came to John ..." (Luke 3:1-2). This shows Luke's penchant for accuracy that so characterized his writings. Five of the six chronological checkpoints deal with gentile data. The sixth deals with a point of interest to Jews. When it came to writing the book of Acts, Luke similarly had opportunity to interview many eyewitnesses. Luke wrote of the acts of the 12 apostles from Acts 1-12, then of Paul and others from Acts 13-28. He demonstrated the transition from the life and teachings of Jesus to the life and teachings of the Church. The book of Acts confirmed that what Jesus taught and practiced was indeed taught and practiced by the apostles and the early Church. [link]

Background of the Gospel of Luke

The Gospel of Luke has two distinctives from the other gospels. The first being the longest of the four gospels. The second is Luke is the only gospel with a sequel-the book of Acts. The two books and their message are virtually inseparable, despite their canonical division. Luke's gospel lays the foundation for many of the issues answered in Acts. The primary one being the equality of Jews and Gentiles in God's plan for salvation. Authorship and Date: Although neither the Gospel of Luke nor the Acts of the Apostles names an author, it is widely accepted that Luke is the author. Church tradition firmly affixes Luke as the author by A.D. 200 and remained so with no hint of contrary opinion. - The date of the Gospel's writing is slightly disputed, but not by a wide margin of time. The earliest possible date would be within the years of the last recorded events in Acts, around A.D. 62. The latest possible date is around 170. The most accepted dates fall sometime after the fall of Jerusalem, between 75-85. It is widely believed that Luke's gospel was penned after Mark's, which is dated in the 60s. Luke's gospel writing parallels Mark's, making it likely that Luke had access to a copy of the Gospel of Mark. [link]

Luke 1 - Luke a Gentile Physician-Doctor [probably of Greek heritage and background], historian, companion to the Apostle Paul, eyewitness and early Christian Church recorder/reporter begins his Ministry to the Christian Church with his Gospel of Luke -- 'Luke 1:1-4 Forasmuch as *many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration [gospel] of those things [Ministry of Jesus Christ] which are most surely believed among us, Even as they [Disciples - Apostles] delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the Word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect [complete] understanding of all things from the very first [virgin birth to the cross, resurrection and ascension], to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus [brotherly love for God], That thou mightest know *the certainty of those [Christian] things, wherein thou hast been instructed.'

Zacharias receives news of the pregnancy of his wife with John the Baptist: Luke 1:18-20 18 And Zacharias [father of John the Baptist] said unto the Angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the Angel answering said unto him, *I am Gabriel [Daniel 8:16], that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. ... Mary receives news of her pregnancy with Jesus: Luke 1:26-28 And in the sixth month [of Elisabeth's pregnancy] the Angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the House of David [descendants of King David]; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the Angel came in unto her, and said, Hail [Greetings], thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. ... Luke 1:39-45 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe [john the Baptist] leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: *for there shall be a performance of those [Redemption-Salvation] things which were told her from the Lord. ... The Reply of Mary - Mary's Magnificat: Luke 1:46-55 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and Holy is His Name. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath holpen [helped] His servant [the Nation of] Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; As He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever. ... John the Baptist is born [six months before the birth of Jesus] Zacharias' prophecy: Luke 1:67-80 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for *He [Jesus] hath visited and redeemed his people [with the pregnancy of Mary redemption, the presence of God is already accomplished], And hath raised up an horn [strength] of Salvation for us in the House of his servant [King] David; As He spake by the mouth of His Holy Prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and *to remember His Holy Covenant [New Covenant]; The oath which He sware to our father Abraham, That He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life. And thou, child [John the Baptist], shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest [Jesus]: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways; To give knowledge of Salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring [sunrise resurrection] from on High hath visited us, To give [resurrection] light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing [Levite washing at 30 years old] unto Israel. - Note: Luke was a companion with the Apostle Paul visiting with Paul in Jerusalem and throughout many of the newly established Christian Churches including the important early Church at Ephesus a Church founded by the Disciple John who was accompanied by Mary the mother of Jesus. It is considered that Luke received all of his early Church background and information from firsthand and eyewitness accounts including the information about Mary being provided to Luke by Mary herself.

Luke 2 - Luke records the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, the entrance of the Savior [Messiah] of mankind into the world - Note: Luke is getting his information firsthand from Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary reveals [and wanted it known] that Joseph and Mary were Not yet married when the tax decree was announced that she was still the 'espoused wife' and Joseph had to make a final decision regarding the census about whether or not to take Mary [with Jesus] in marriage as his wife - Matthew [Matthew 1:20] records that an Angel of the Lord visited Joseph 'while he thought on such things' and then Joseph and Mary were married just prior to their trip to Bethlehem to pay their taxes and to be counted in the census and for Mary to give birth to Jesus in Bethlehem [lit. house of bread] to fulfill the prophecy (Micah 5:2) -- 'Luke 2:1-7 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that *all the world should be taxed [Rome is the 6th Kingdom of the world - Revelation 17:10]. And this taxing was first made {started - possibly a few years before} when Cyrenius [Quirinius] was governor [6 B.C. - 4 B.C.] of Syria. And all {eventually} went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because he was of the House and lineage of David: To be taxed with Mary his espoused [engaged] wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him [Jesus] in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.' Note: Quirinius (Cyrenius) was a Roman official in charge of the military in Syria from 6 B.C. to 4 B.C. It's uncertain if the census originated in Syria and then took a couple of years to take effect in Rome and then to Jerusalem of if the original order initiated in Rome. The Dates of about 4 B.C. until 1 A.D. for the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and then about the year 33 A.D. for the cross and resurrection of Jesus in Jerusalem are very close in time to when the actual events happened.

The entire Holy Angelic realm reacts to the human birth of the Messiah Jesus Christ: Luke 2:13-17 And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly host [Angels] praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the Angels were gone away from them into Heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste [urgency], and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe [Jesus] lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known [told all] abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. ... The just and devout worshiper Simeon reacts to the presence of Jesus: Luke 2:25-32 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and *the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ [Messiah]. And he came by the Spirit into the Temple [2nd Temple in Jerusalem]: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him [circumcision and dedication] after the custom of the law, Then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen *thy Salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of *all people; *A light to lighten the Gentiles, and *the glory of thy people Israel. ... And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child [Jesus] is set for the fall [cross] and rising again [resurrection] of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, **that the thoughts of many Hearts (souls of mankind) may be revealed. ... Anna the Prophetess responds to the presence of Jesus: Luke 2:36-38 36 And there was one Anna, a Prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the Tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the Temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of Him [Jesus] to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. ... At twelve years old Temple teachers respond to Jesus: Luke 2:46-47 And it came to pass, that after three days they [Joseph and Mary] found Him [Jesus] in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors [Rabbis], both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His [Biblical] understanding and [Spiritual] answers.

The Berean Chronicles with Kelly McGinley - The Lord Jesus Christ's Birthday 2009 (Mp3)

The Grand Conspiracy Behind Changing the Lord Jesus Christ's Birthday - There is a conspiracy by the "religious" elite who act like the birth of the Lord Jesus was a secret. Basically, to support their false doctrine that He will return secretly. However, numerous scriptures show this teaching is false. Kelly goes through the recorded events in the scriptures surrounding the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. [link]

Were Joseph and Mary actually married (not just engaged) at the time of Jesus' birth?

We do not know exactly when it was that Mary broke the news to Joseph that she was expecting. It would have been very difficult to explain, after she rushed right off for three months; and then when she came back after all that time, she was expecting. Humanly-speaking, it would have been very easy to assume that she was unfaithful to Joseph while she was up in the hill country. We must also remember that their clothing was much more modest back in those days, and it would have been much more difficult to tell when a woman with child began to actually show the growth of the baby in the womb. We must also understand that husbands and wives who experience unfaithful mates go through mood swings. One moment, they are in tears and confirm their love toward their erring, but repentant mates. But the next hour or day, they may fight back great feelings of anger or resentment. It is a great battle to get an immoral mate to repent, and sometimes an even greater battle to get a hurt mate to forgive. What we end up with in this situation with Joseph and Mary, is that when she arrived back home, there was about six months before the birth. As was previously stated, we do not know when Mary actually told him that she was expecting. Being this was her first baby, and the modesty of the dress, it could have been a number of months before she actually began to show. Once she did tell Joseph, he obviously went through periods of affirmation of his love for her, and periods of doubt about her faithfulness. From the Scriptures, we know that it was an extreme struggle for him, right up until days before the birth. The struggle would have become much more intense as the birth drew nigh. [link]

Wikipedia.org: Year zero - Dionysius Exiguus (470 A.D. - 544 A.D.) introduced the Anno Domini [lit. from Roman Latin, The Year Of Our Lord] [A.D.] era, which he used to identify the several Easters in his Easter table, but did not use it to date any historical event - When he devised his table, Julian calendar years were identified by naming the consuls who held office that year - he stated that the "present year" was "the consulship of Probus Junior [Flavius Probus]", which he also stated was 525 years "since the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ" - How he arrived at that number is unknown - He invented a new system of numbering years to replace the Diocletian years that had been used in an old Easter table because he did not wish to continue the memory of a tyrant who persecuted Christians

Bede (672 A.D. - 735 A.D.) was the first historian to use a BC year, and hence the first one to choose 1 as the origin of the BC era, thus 1 BC, in his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical history of the English people, 731). Bede did not sequentially number days of the month, weeks of the year, or months of the year, but he did number many of the days of the week using a counting origin of one in Ecclesiastical Latin. Previous Christian histories used anno mundi ("in the year of the world") beginning on the first day of Creation, or anno Adami ("in the year of Adam") beginning at the creation of Adam five days later (the sixth day of Creation week), used by Africanus, or anno Abrahami ("in the year of Abraham") beginning 3,412 years after Creation according to the Septuagint, used by Eusebius, all of which assigned "one" to the year beginning at Creation, or the creation of Adam, or the birth of Abraham, respectively. Bede continued this earlier tradition relative to the AD era. -- In chapter II of book I of Ecclesiastical history, Bede stated that Julius Caesar invaded Britain "in the year 693 after the building of Rome, but the sixtieth year before the incarnation of our Lord", while stating in chapter III, "in the year of Rome 798, Claudius" also invaded Britain and "within a very few days ... concluded the war in ... the forty sixth [year] from the incarnation of our Lord". Although both dates are wrong, they are sufficient to conclude that Bede did not include a year zero between BC and AD: 798 - 693 + 1 (because the years are inclusive) = 106, but 60 + 46 = 106, which leaves no room for a year zero. The modern English term "before Christ" (BC) is only a rough equivalent, not a direct translation, of Bede's Latin phrase ante incarnationis dominicae tempus ("before the time of the lord's incarnation"), which was itself never abbreviated. Bede's singular use of 'BC' continued to be used sporadically throughout the Middle Ages (albeit with a correct year). It is often stated that Bede did not use a year zero because he did not know about the number zero. Although the Arabic numeral for zero (0) did not enter Europe until the eleventh century, and Roman numerals had no symbol for zero, Bede and Dionysius Exiguus did use a Latin word, nulla meaning "nothing", alongside Roman numerals or Latin number words wherever a modern zero would have been used. -- The first extensive use (hundreds of times) of 'BC' occurred in Fasciculus Temporum by Werner Rolevinck in 1474, alongside years of the world (anno mundi). The anno Domini nomenclature was not widely used in Western Europe until the 9th century, and the 1 January to 31 December historical year was not uniform throughout Western Europe until 1752. The terms anno Domini, Dionysian era, Christian era, vulgar era, and common era were used interchangeably between the Renaissance and the 19th century, at least in Latin. But vulgar era was suppressed in English at the beginning of the 20th century after vulgar acquired the meaning of "offensively coarse", replacing its original meaning of "common" or "ordinary". Consequently, historians regard all these eras as equal. -- Since Bede, historians have not counted with a year zero. This means that between, for example, January 1, 500 BC and January 1, AD 500, there are 999 years: 500 for BC years, and 499 for AD years preceding 500. In common usage anno Domini 1 is preceded by the year 1 BC, without an intervening year zero. Thus the year 2006 actually signifies "the 2006th year". Neither the choice of calendar system (whether Julian or Gregorian) nor the era (Anno Domini or Common Era) determines whether a year zero will be used. If writers do not use the convention of their group (historians or astronomers), they must explicitly state whether they include a year 0 in their count of years, otherwise their historical dates will be misunderstood. No historian includes a year 0 when numbering years in the current standard era. Historians even refuse to use a year 0 when using negative years before our positive era, hence their -1 immediately precedes 1. [link]

Luke 3 - Jesus is baptized both as an example for us and as a witness to His Divine, Holy stature -- 'Luke 3:21-22 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and [then] praying, the Heaven was opened, And *the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him [Jesus], and a voice came from Heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.' - Note: This is another of the many Triune (Trinity) statements throughout the Bible where the Father, Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all in one location, all in one agreement and all testifying of their Triune nature as revealed in Jesus Christ to mankind.

John the Baptist proclaims his service to the coming [yet unconfirmed] Messiah: Luke 3:16-18 John [the Baptist] answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He [Jesus] shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost [John 20:22 - Resurrection Sunday] and with fire [Acts 2:3 - Pentecost]: Whose fan [threshing tool] is in His hand, and he will thoroughly purge [empty] His floor, and will gather the wheat [good seed] into His garner [storage]; but the chaff [waste] He will burn with [eternal] fire unquenchable. And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. - Note: Before the testimony of the Father in Heaven and the witness of the Holy Spirit setting upon Jesus, John the Baptist was unable to confirm to the crowds exactly who the Messiah was and even after the testimony from the baptism of Jesus, John the Baptist and many of John's followers were at times still uncertain about Jesus being the Messiah because Jesus did not fit the preconceived notions that the people had of the Messiah. The people generally thought the Messiah was going to physically set the people free from Roman rule and that He would usher in a new era of physical blessings, however the ministry of Jesus was almost completely Spiritual ushering in a reconciliation between God and mankind in the redemption and salvation work of Jesus Christ.

Luke 4 - After His baptism, His anointing by the Holy Spirit and resisting the trials of the Devil then Jesus begins His earthly Ministry of reconciling lost mankind back into the perceivable presence of God -- 'Luke 4:14-22 And Jesus returned in the power of the [Holy] Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of Him through all the region round about. And He taught in their Synagogues, being glorified [accomplished] of all. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He [Jesus] went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath Day [Saturday], and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the [Bible] book of the Prophet Esaias (Isaiah). And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, *The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me [Messiah] to preach the Gospel [Good News] to the poor; He [Father] hath sent Me [from Heaven] to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised [afflicted], To preach the acceptable [reconciliation time] year of the Lord. And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the Minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the Synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say unto them [devout worshipers of God], This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. ...'

Satan reacts to the presence of Jesus Christ: Luke 4:1-8 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan [river] {in modern day Jordan}, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted [harassed] of the Devil. And in those days He did eat nothing: and when they were ended, He afterward hungered. And the Devil said unto Him, If [lit. since] thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. And the Devil, taking Him up into an high mountain, shewed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him, *All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind Me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve. ... Note: Satan is claiming that he has the power and the glory of all the [Gentile] kingdoms of the world. Satan is not claiming to have possession of the actual physical earth itself because Satan the Devil does not have possession of the physical earth God still retains possession of the earth. If Satan truly had power and glory over the earth then Satan could manifest from out of the dark and administer his kingdom however Satan has to conceal his identity and administer his kingdom via the proxy of deceived people and Nations. Only dominion (management) of the earth was given to Adam and Eve not possession. Adam and Eve did not possess the earth and therefore did not lose possession at the fall into sin. Eventually, after the Millennial Kingdom reign of Jesus on earth the New Earth will become the inheritance of the Saints of God but until that time God remains in complete possession of the earth. Satan temporarily has some influence in the political, social and even in the physical realm of mankind but not in an ownership type of way. Satan is still a trespasser and a usurper upon the earth. It is one of Satan's greatest lies to mankind that Satan has some form of authority in Heaven, on earth, or even in hell but Satan has none at least no eternal power apart from the powers of persuasion and deception.

Threshing Floor Radio Show: Mission 2010 "The acceptable year of the Lord" by Randy Maugans (Mp3)

"New Year's Day"...in the system of Babylon. Do we honor it? Is it part of the "acceptable" time of YAHWEH? This "year" begins with a fresh mission, a renewal of energy, time, and commitment to the ONE thing that matters: PREACHING THE GOSPEL. Even so, more revelation, more power, more unfolding of the mysteries of Christ are in store-and with it more divisions, strife, and warfare. Gird up your loins, put on the armor...this show describes how to do so. -- "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord." Luke 4:19 [link]

Luke 5 - Luke records the call on Peter's and Mathew's lives to follow Jesus -- 'Luke 5:27 And after these things He [Jesus] went forth, and saw a publican [tax collector], named Levi (Matthew), sitting at the receipt of custom: and He [Jesus] said unto him, Follow Me. And he (Matthew) left all, rose up, and followed [Jesus] Him.'

Religious leaders, crowds of ordinary people and the very neediest of people all react to the presence of Jesus: Luke 5:17-26 And it came to pass on a certain day, as He [Jesus] was teaching, that there were Pharisees and Doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal [lit. physical and spiritual healing] them. And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy [advanced sexual disease]: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before Him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the [roof] tiling with his couch [stretcher] into the midst before Jesus. And when He saw their faith, *He said unto him, Man, thy [sexual] sins [and all sins] are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? ***Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? **But that ye may know that the Son of Man [Jesus Christ] **hath power **upon earth to forgive sins, He said unto the sick of the palsy, I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch [stretcher], and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things [lit. beyond expectation] to day.

Luke 6 - After a night of being set apart and in prayer Jesus then selects 12 Apostles from among His many Disciples -- 'Luke 6:12-16 And it came to pass in those days, that He [Jesus] went out into a Mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called unto Him His Disciples: and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named Apostles [lit. sent out ones]; Simon, whom he also named Peter {the lead Disciple}, and Andrew his [Peter's] brother, James {martyred by Herod - Acts 12:2} and John {Gospel of John; 1st, 2nd, 3rd John; Book of Revelation}, Philip and Bartholomew {last known mention - Acts 1:13}, Matthew {Gospel of Matthew} and Thomas {John 20:25}, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.' [Note: two of the four listed brothers of Jesus in the Bible James and Jude would join the Church after the resurrection of Jesus and both James [early Church leader in Jerusalem] and Jude, both brothers of Jesus would each write a book of the Bible that has their name attached.]

Jesus instructs His followers [Disciples] of the conduct that is required of them: Luke 6:27-38 But I [Jesus] say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Note: "Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise" is where mankind gets what is commonly called "The Golden Rule."

Luke 7 - The Ministry of John the Baptist is further separated from the Ministry of Jesus the Messiah -- 'Luke 7:28 For I [Jesus] say unto you [Disciples], Among those that are born of women there is not a greater Prophet [in knowledge of the Messiah] than John the Baptist: but he that is least {born again} in the Kingdom of God is greater [in personal, experiential knowledge of the Messiah] than he [John the Baptist].' Note: John the Baptist is a key person in transitioning the Old Testament Covenant of God into the New Testament Covenant of God. Had John the Baptist lived until after the Last Supper, the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus and into the institution of the New Testament Christian Church era it's certain that John would have had a major role in the Christian Church however John the Baptist was martyred as the last Old Testament Prophet and in a major sense John the Baptist was also martyred as the first New Testament Disciple as well, having rejoiced at the presence of Jesus while still in his mother's womb [Luke1:41].

A Roman Centurion reacts to the presence of Jesus Christ: Luke 7:1-10 Now when He [Jesus] had ended all His sayings in the audience of the people, He entered into Capernaum. And a certain [Roman] Centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto Him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that He would come and heal his servant. And when they [Jewish elders] came to Jesus, they besought Him instantly, saying, That he [Roman Centurion] was worthy for whom He should do this: For he loveth our Nation [of Israel], and he hath built us a synagogue. *Then Jesus went with them. And when He was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying unto Him, *Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: *but say in a word [speak with His authority of God], and my servant shall be healed [alive]. For I also am a man set under *authority, having under me soldiers, and I say [command] unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, [command] Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard these things, He marvelled at him, and turned him about [and continued on to his house], and said unto the people that followed Him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith [in the authority of Jesus as God], no, not in Israel. - The Roman Centurion being a military man and a man of stature understood executive abilities, power, commands and authority and he understood that Jesus possessed ALL the Divine power and authority of God from Heaven including commanding and granting life to his sick and suffering servant.

Luke 8 - Luke continues to document the open invitation of the Kingdom of God freely available to all mankind through the acceptance of Jesus Christ -- 'Luke 8:1-3 And it came to pass afterward, that He [Jesus] went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings [open invitation] of the Kingdom of God: and the Twelve [Apostles] were with Him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils [demons], And Joanna the wife of Chuza [King] Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which Ministered unto Him of their substance [abilities and finances].'

Luke 8:16-18 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel [cup], or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither anything hid [hidden], that shall not be known and come abroad [into the open before God and the Angels of Heaven]. *Take heed therefore how ye hear [the spirits]: for whosoever hath [the light of the Holy Spirit], to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not [the light of the Holy Spirit], from him shall be taken even that *which he seemeth [by man's standards] to have. - Note: Jesus continues to speak and to warn His Disciples that there are counterfeit voices and deceiving spirits that are desperately seeking to lure people away from the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ. Also Note: How timely is this passage, even for our own day when it seems that daily what were once godly men with godly ministries are now ravenous wolves seeking to deceive, merchandise and devour the flock of God. Always be careful, read the Bible and be in constant prayer. Use godly discernment in going anyplace [even to Church] and in all interacting with people, even fellow Christians, friends, family members, whoever, etc., use caution and pray for God's presence and guidance in and around all of our daily activities and routines. Always try to hear the friendly comforting, strengthening voice of the Holy Spirit and always try to reject any countering, contentious, ungodly, despairing voices that disagree with and hinder the word and work of God.

Luke 9 - Jesus instructs His Disciples in how they are to have access to Himself in His power and His authority in order to further His Kingdom of God - The Disciples do not directly heal people or directly cast out demons but do so by asking in prayer and intersession and through the laying on of hands for Jesus to do it for them if it is according to the will and purposes of Jesus at that time for His everlasting Kingdom -- 'Luke 9:1-6 Then He [Jesus] called His Twelve Disciples together, *and gave them power and authority over all devils [Satanic, demonic, influences], and to cure diseases. And He sent them *to preach the Kingdom of God, and to heal [make well] the sick. And He said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust [rejection] from your feet [soul] for a Testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the Gospel [Good News], and healing everywhere.' - Note: Luke 9:2 is known as the 'Rescinded Order' it will be replaced by Jesus in Luke 22:35-36 with a new command that the Disciples are to take with them money and provide for their Ministries as they are best able to do.

Jesus being without sin is Transfigured and Glorified while still in His physical body: Luke 9:28-36 And it came to pass about an eight days [new beginning] after these sayings, He [Jesus] took Peter [Apostle to the Jews, Galatians 2:7] and John [Apostle to the Church, Revelation 4:1] and James [Apostle to the Martyred Saints, Acts 12:2], and went up into a Mountain [outside of Israel] {probably Mt. Nebo} to pray. And as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered [new beginning], and His raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with Him two men, which were *Moses and *Elias (Elijah): Who appeared in glory, and spake of His decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem [on the cross]. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw His glory, and the two men that stood with Him. And it came to pass, as they [Peter, John, James] departed from Him [Jesus], Peter said unto Jesus, Master, *it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles [grottos]; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias (Elijah): not knowing what He said [about His coming death in Jerusalem]. While he [Peter] thus spake, there came a cloud {witness of Heaven}, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud {witness}. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son: hear Him. And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone [without Moses and Elijah]. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen. - Note: The Apostle Peter dictated the events to Mark's book the Gospel of Mark and the Apostle Peter also wrote two Church epistles (letters) 1st and 2nd Peter. In the writings of Peter he seldom mentions any personal events that he was a part of with Jesus but mainly speaks and writes on the Ministry of Jesus as a whole however Peter's experience at the Mt. of Transfiguration {Mt. Nebo} seems to be a crowning moment for Peter in his experiences as a Disciple with Jesus. Peter during the actual events of the Transfiguration was so impressed that he determined to build monuments to each of the three participants and much later in life Peter continued to reflect on the events of that day and it is one of the few personal events that Peter openly shared with the Church in his Church letters [2 Peter 1:16-19].

Mt. Nebo where Moses Died is Located in Jordan [Jordan is an excellent part of the Biblical lands though it is not a part of the Holy Land - The Holy Land is exclusively Israel and specifically Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24)] - The Time and Place of the Transfiguration of Jesus

ABSTRACT: This speculative article proposes that the Transfiguration of Jesus occurred on Mt. Nebo, [Easter] Sunday April 20, six days after Passover April 14, AD 32 [the next year AD 33 was the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus] about three weeks following the feeding of the 5000. The 5000 were fed when Passover was "near". Standard chronologies place the Transfiguration around the feast of Tabernacles six-months later, on or near Mt. Hermon. Peter's confession was on Passover and prefigures the identification of the Messiah for Crucifixion and the Transfiguration prefigures the Resurrection. ... Overview: The approximate time of the Transfiguration can be discerned from the following information-In John 6:4 we are told, 'the Jewish Passover feast was near'. This Passover was one year before Jesus' final Passover. The author understands "Passover was near" to mean that the month of Nisan/Abib was starting. Jesus that day fed 5000 men. That night Jesus spent in prayer then before dawn he walked across the Sea of Galilee in a storm. The next day in Capernaum Jesus declared that we must eat his body and drink his blood. Most who heard this message rejected it. After this rejection, Jesus appears to turn his ministry to the gentiles for a time. He then rather that preparing to go down to Jerusalem for the Passover, journeyed northwest (20-50 miles) to the region of Tyre and Sidon and healed the daughter of a Canaanite woman of great faith. Jesus then journeyed back to the Sea of Galilee and onto the Decapolis region. There he spent three days with, and fed 4000 men (probably gentiles) and then sent them away. Jesus then crossed the Sea of Galilee to Magadan or Dalmanutha where he encounters Pharisees and Sadducees looking for a sign. They again journeyed to the other side where Jesus healed a blind man in Bethsaida (near the northern end of the Sea of Galilee).

These events and travel took nearly two weeks. Then Jesus and the apostles journeyed 25 miles north to the region of Caesarea Philippi, where Peter declared that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. Then Jesus started to directly predict his crucifixion. Jesus had been doing this bit of traveling so that he came under that clause that permitted one to miss the Passover in Nisan and instead go in the second month if he was on a journey. Jesus by this time was well recognized and there was a constant threat to his life by the religious leaders. To have gone to Jerusalem for this feast would have precipitated his crucifixion a year early. They went in the second month when they could go secretly. The transfiguration occurs six days after Peter's confession. Now it is likely that Elijah was taken up from the same mountain that Moses died on, Mt. Nebo also known as Pizgah. Mt. Nebo is about a hundred miles south of Caesarea Philippi and 20 miles east of Jericho near the Dead Sea. Mt. Nebo: Why Mt. Nebo for the Transfiguration? Moses died on Mt Nebo (Deut. 34:1,7). Elijah was headed in the direction of Mt. Nebo when he was taken and Jeremiah hid the tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant on Mt. Nebo. In 2 Kings 2:1 Elijah starts from Gilgal in the hill country of Ephraim. He went about 8 miles south to Bethel. From there, he journeyed 13 miles east-southeast (ESE) to Jericho. From there, he continued on to the Jordan, if he continued ESE he came to the Jordan at 7 miles. He crossed the Jordan on dry land and continued. If he continued ESE in 14 miles, he would reach the summit of Mt. Nebo also known as Pizgah. This is speculative scenario, but is possible and even likely. Jeremiah hid the tabernacle, the altar of incense, and the Ark of the Covenant on Mt. Nebo. If Moses and Elijah both departed from Mt. Nebo how appropriate, that Jesus' departure discussed there. Peter called the mount of transfiguration a holy mountain-and Maccabees states Mt. Nebo was sanctified to God or made holy. It is also stated that the majesty of the LORD shall appear, and there shall be a cloud as it was also shown to Moses. These events fit the transfiguration-the disciples saw Jesus' majesty and the cloud. Jesus and the apostles then journeyed four days, about 90 miles south, then they rested near the Jericho on the Sabbath. The next day the transfiguration occurred-Sunday Omer/Easter Nisan. Went to a high mountain to pray-could they have prayed all night. Transfiguration occurred "as he was praying". Peter and his companions were very sleepy-an indication that the transfiguration occurred during the night-when they came fully awake they saw. The request to build shelters could imply a place to sleep as opposed to a tabernacle for the feast of Booths [more likely Peter was attempting to build shrine like structures to commemorate the people and the event an idea that Jesus did not seem to approve of]. This mention by Peter of booths has caused commentators to place this event near the feast of Booths or Tabernacles in the fall. The feast of Tabernacles must be celebrated in Jerusalem not on some high mountain, six days or less journey from Caesarea Philippi. This mountain is normally taken to be on or near Mt. Hermon, which dominated the area around that town. Peter's mention of booths has no connection with the feast of booths. In the gospel of John, the feast of Tabernacles follows the feeding of the 5000. But we know from Matthew's gospel that Jesus returned to Capernaum immediately following the Transfiguration incident because there was an attempt to collect the two-drachma tax. This tax was normally paid before Passover. Therefore, this cannot be occurring just before the feast the feast of Tabernacles because they leave from here and go to Capernaum rather than Jerusalem. It cannot be occurring after the feast because they are all the way up in Caesarea Philippi and have spent at least two weeks traveling about. [link]

Luke 10 - Luke continues to record the need for laborers to participate in the Harvest of the Kingdom of God -- 'Luke 10:1-2 After these things the Lord [Jesus] appointed other [people] seventy also, and sent them two and two before His face [appearance] into every city and place, whither He Himself would come. Therefore said He unto them, *The Harvest truly is great [magnificent], but the labourers are few: **pray ye therefore [unto God] the Lord of the Harvest [Jesus], that He would send forth labourers into His harvest.'

Luke 10:17-24 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord [Jesus], even the devils [fallen angels, demons] are subject unto us **through Thy Name [the power and authority of Jesus]. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall [with pride] from Heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means [eternally] hurt you. Notwithstanding in this *rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather *rejoice, because your names are written [eternally] in heaven. In that hour Jesus rejoiced in Spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven *and earth, that thou hast hid these [Kingdom of God] things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes [simple people]: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered to Me of My Father [God]: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and He to whom the Son will reveal Him. And He turned Him unto His disciples, and said privately, *Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: For I tell you, that many [O.T.] Prophets and [O.T.] Kings have desired to see those [Kingdom of God] things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things [teachings of Jesus] which ye hear, and have not heard them. Note Jesus reminds his Seventy Disciples that Satan [Lucifer] fell from Heaven because of His pride and that the Disciples should avoid a similar pride and a similar fall that could occur to each Disciple no matter how great the work or the accomplishments seem. The Kingdom of God comes from and is directed at the power and authority of Jesus Christ. When a Christian Ministers or does anything for the Kingdom of God, and we are all told to do all that we can in our own lives for the eternal Kingdom of God, it is accomplished through the leading, empowerment and most importantly the presence of God. When Christians work (labor) in the Kingdom of God it is with God at all times, in and with His presence, that we do all things. When a cult member labors for their cult it is without God in the hopes that one day God will take notice of their labors however God has already taken notice and rejected their labors because it is for the wrong kingdom it is not a part of the relationship [child of God], power and authority Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Luke 11 - The Disciples of Jesus begin to see the need for personal, powerful, authoritative , relationship prayer like the prayers of Jesus with the Holy Spirit and the Father in Heaven -- 'Luke 11:1-4 And it came to pass, that, as He [Jesus] was praying in a certain place, when He ceased [finished], one of His Disciples said unto Him, Lord, *teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And He said unto them, When ye pray, say, **Our **Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed [Holy] be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come [manifest]. Thy will be done, as in Heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread [needs]. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted [trespassed] to us. *And lead us not into temptation [away from what might make us stumble or fall]; but **deliver us from evil [only the power and authority of Jesus can deliver us from evil].' Note: Only the power and authority of Jesus can deliver us from evil and ultimately only the power and authority of Jesus can provide for us in our lives so pray this framework of a prayer often [not in repetition but in relationship] knowing that we need to be continually in fellowship with God our "Heavenly Father", our "Holy Father" and our all loving, all knowing and all powerful Father.

Luke 11:14-23 And He [Jesus] was casting out a devil [demon], and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered {because it was thought people would need recite a spell in order to be freed from an evil spirit but this guy couldn't speak to recite a spell}. But some of them said, He [Jesus] casteth out devils through Beelzebub [Satan] the chief of the devils [demons]. And others, tempting Him, sought of Him a [another] sign from Heaven. But He, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, *Every kingdom divided against itself [civil war] is brought to desolation; and a house [family] divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand [Note: Satan often pretends to be divided against himself i.e. national politics (Republicans, Democrats) and Church politics (wolves and wolves)? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out [with spells and incantations]? therefore shall they be your judges. *But if I with the finger of God (without effort) [Exodus 8:19] cast out devils, no doubt *the Kingdom of God is come upon you. *When a strong man [physically] armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he [an evil spirit] shall come upon him, and overcome him, he [evil spirit] taketh from him [physical man] all his [physical] armour [strength] wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils [with other evil spirits]. He [the person] that is not with Me is against Me: *and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth.- Jesus is saying that the spiritual realm needs a clear distinction. There needs to be a clear declaration by the person in order to be separated from the physical realm and all the vulnerabilities of it concerning the evil spiritual realm. The most prominent and visible way to separate yourself from the vulnerable evil spirit realm is to confess Jesus with your mouth audibly (Romans 10:9) then the evil spirit realm is to back off because we are not scattered we are with Jesus Also Note: The water Baptism is also a confession and washing before God, mankind and even as a witness to the evil spirit realm. It is of extreme, paramount importance that a new Christian [and even continuing Christians sometimes renew (rededicate) their Baptism vows] gets water baptized as a public profession of faith in Jesus. It's important to be water baptized but it's also important to do it as a part of a personal relationship with Jesus and not as a ritual or because someone else wants it done. When the new Christian or a continuing Christian feels they should be Baptized in the Name of the Father the Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit then and only then should they do it. - A Final Note: The water Baptism is also a washing of setting apart from the spiritual realms and also washing for the Priestly duties of a Christian. Being water baptized means that the person is also taking on the authority and presence of a holy Priest (Melchizedek) before God a Christian is able to administer bread and wine, anoint with oil, baptize others, intercedes for others, lay hands on others and do all of the (Melchizedek) priestly functions before God. I don't think an un-baptized person has a ministry of offering bread and wine and of doing many of the Priestly functions as a Christian simply because they are not washed from the evil spiritual realm and not being separated from the evil spirit realm it could bring in more problems than blessing into Church functions.

Luke 12 - Jesus continues to instruct His Disciples in having the proper priorities - that the eternal perspective with fear, reverence and awe for God and not for man especially humans in compromised leadership positions, but respect and honor for God is the only proper and safe eternal perspective for humans to have -- 'Luke 12:1-5 In the meantime, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, He [Jesus] began to say unto His Disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven [worldliness] of the Pharisees [religious leaders], which is hypocrisy [two faced]. For there is nothing covered [hidden], that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever [conversations] ye have spoken in darkness [secret] shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets [closed rooms] shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. And I say unto you My friends, *Be not afraid of them [authorities] that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear Him [God], which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell; *yea, I say unto you, Fear Him [God].'

Luke 12:35-40 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him *immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching [looking for his return]: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch [late night], or come in the third watch [early morning], and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched [be alert], and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of Man [Jesus] cometh at an hour when ye think not [least expect it]. - The "Watch Ministry" watching and anticipating for the immediate return of Jesus Christ is probably the most crucial of any Christian Ministry. The early Christian Church was continually involved in Watching [Praying with eyes open] in anticipation for the return of Jesus. All of the great Christian Pastors and Leaders throughout Church History tell of the Morning and Evening Watch and of prayfully reading the Bible and looking to the horizon or to the sky in anticipation of that first glimpse of their coming King and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. - '2 Corinthians 6:27 In weariness and painfulness, *in watchings [looking for the return of Jesus] often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness [destitute]. ...' Note: The days of praying with our eyes closed and our heads bowed especially in public or even in a Church are long over. Christians need to be sitting up, alert and watching everything especially everything a pastor, elder, leader, evangelist, or guest is doing. Even if you are publically told or asked to bow your head for a moment of prayer or silence during an alter call or invitation, don't do it! Keep yourself in a respectful alert watching posture, looking and watching for Jesus and looking and watching with eyes wide open at the circumstances and events going on in and around the Church gathering.

Luke 13 - Jesus reiterates that we humans live in a perilous and uncertain world both physically and spiritually and that the only safety both physically [eternally] and spiritually for us is to be repentant and within the presence of Jesus Christ -- 'Luke 13:1-5 There were present at that season some that told Him [Jesus] of the [martyred] Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that [because they die a horrible public death] these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such [public] things? I tell you, Nay [No]: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise [physically - spiritually] perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the [natural disaster] tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay [No]: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise [spiritually] perish.'

Luke 13:22-30 And He [Jesus] went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem [towards Holy Week]. Then said one unto Him, Lord, are there few that be saved [Salvation]? And He said unto them, *Strive [be diligent] to enter in at the strait [non-crooked] gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. *When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door [closed the opportunity - ended the open invitation] (Revelation 4:1), and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you not [you have the wrong spirit, not born again of the Holy Spirit] whence [lit. what origin] ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But He shall say, *I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity [incompleteness] (Revelation 3:2). There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the [Jewish] Prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they [everyone who comes to Jesus] shall come from the East, and from the West, and from the North, and from the South, and shall sit down in the Kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last. - Jesus reiterates that we are to diligently work and strive to enter into His presence, to receive the Baptism of His Spirit (John 20:22) so we can be of the same Spirit of God and be assured to enter into the Kingdom of God.

Luke 14 - Jesus instructs His followers to count the cost of following Him because to be able to count the cost is be able to successfully complete the project. The cost of following Jesus is death, our death to this world, but the completed project is eternal life in Jesus Christ. Our eternity in Heaven with Jesus! -- 'Luke 14:25-35 25 And there went great multitudes with Him [Jesus]: and He turned, and said unto them, If any man come to Me, and hate [lit. love less] not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, *and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross [death to this world], and come after Me [in God's Kingdom], cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and *counteth [count] the cost [of the project], whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply [half hazardly], after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth [with his generals] whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage [ambassador], and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost *his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but [even] men cast it out. He that hath [Spiritual] ears to hear, let him hear.' - Note: Salt as a chemical does not lose saltiness, however what can happen is that other substances that look like salt can be confused for salt or added to salt then the salt is no longer salty because it is compromised with other objects and materials that cannot perform the functions [spice, thirst and preserving ] of salt. The parable is teaching that people who become compromised by worldly objects and desires [comfort, security, money, reputation, respect, etc.] are substituting the false appearance of worldly salt for the real salt of the Kingdom of God.

Luke 14:15-24 And when one of them that sat at meat with Him [Jesus] heard these things, he said unto Him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God. Then said He unto him, A certain man made a Great Supper, and bade [invited] many: And sent His servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, **Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray Thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray Thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to His servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, *and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and *compel them to come in, that My House may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden [and refused the invitation] shall taste of My supper. - The invitation to the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ is an open invitation. All are invited to the "Great Supper" the Eternal Feast in Heaven with God. We each individually need simply to accept from Jesus and His servant the Holy Spirit the gracious invitation that is being offered to us and to then with thanks and gratitude acknowledge His invitation for us to be able to enter into His eternal Kingdom that awaits us all.

Calvary Chapel Senior Pastor Chuck Smith now supports Rick Warren [Rick Warren's good friend (and Saddleback Church attendee) Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News also owns and distributes the Satanic bible, is a leading promoter of abortion and is also one of the leading distributors of pornographic material throughout the world] - {Note: Chuck Smith seems to think that 'anything' he does is a move of the Holy Spirit or is endorsed 'blessed' by the Holy Spirit simply because he does it and that is complete blasphemy! Pastor Chuck Smith needs to continually submit himself to the Holy Spirit in the same way and manner as everyone else. There are no special circumstances or special people, even in these End Times [or especially in these End Times], everyone is to be submitted to God at all times and there are no exceptions. Honestly, Pastor Chuck Smith and Pastor Rick Warren seem to think that they have some special anointed 'secret agent' End Time calling on their life and are to define and complete the Church and to personally above everyone else 'deliver the Church personally to God' as some super servant at the 2nd Coming appearance and return of Jesus and it is certainly not the case. - The Apostle Paul had the calling of Apostle on his life and the Apostle Paul openly and publically declared to everyone his calling [1 Corinthians 1:1] and his intentions within the Church. We now live in days where Church leaders and pseudo Church leaders like Smith and Warren seem to be enacting out a secret fantasy of an End Time calling [that does not exist] with their secret intentions and hidden agendas and it's not Biblically correct. Secrecy is a deception that is being imposed upon the Christian Church by the leaders of the Church and the Church doesn't need it or want it. - Also Note: Chuck Smith is always overselling his Calvary Chapel agenda and Rick Warren is always overly aggressive in demanding his agenda and both approaches towards people and audiences are unbiblical.} (YouTube)

This video shows the many compromises that Chuck Smith has made, on this one I fear he has gone beyond the pale. [link]

Luke 15 - The religious leaders with their own agendas and hidden ways continue to get in the way and to interfere with the actual work and Ministry of Jesus Christ -- 'Luke 15:1-2 Then drew near unto Him [Jesus] all the publicans [city officials] and sinners [outsiders] for to hear Him. And the Pharisees [religious leaders] and scribes murmured [complained], saying, *This man [does not do what we prescribe] receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.' - Note: The Religious leaders of that day refused to acknowledge that Jesus was a Prophet calling Him only a 'man' just as the religious Christian leaders of our day refuse to acknowledge that Jesus is the authority and leader over His Church and are acting as though Jesus is just a man who is absent and separated from His own Church.

Luke 15:11-32 And He [Jesus] said, A certain man had two sons [Lit. Sons, inheritors - G5207, Huios]: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living [a living inheritance, while the Father was yet alive]. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son [lit. Child (yet to inherit) - G5043, Teknon], thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. - This Parable of Jesus illustrates a couple of points. 1. To be out of the presence of the Father [God] is to be dead, there is no life apart from God. 2. That we are Children [Teknon] of God while we are in our physical bodies on earth, we only become Sons [Huios] after receiving the inheritance from the Father in person in Heaven (Revelation 21:7). Note: After death and upon entering into the actual visible, perceivable presence of God in Heaven if we are clean [without sin] by the eternal life blood of Jesus and have received by faith God the Holy Spirit and we are a Child of God then once in Heaven and being of the same Spirit of God, He will then Adopt us as a Son and as a son we each receive of a Living Inheritance; a new name, a new [spiritual] body, a place to live and an occupation. An occupation, house - dwelling, a new name, family authority and an eternal spiritual body are all from the Father given to a Son as a part of the Adoption and Inheritance process from first being a 'born again' Child of God and then being Adopted as a Son of God into an eternal family relationship with God.

Luke 16 - In His confrontation with the religious leaders Jesus instructs them that they need to change - selfish ways are an abomination to God and neither God nor the Law are going to change to accommodate a greedy selfish mankind it is up to mankind to change and conform into the image of God as glimpsed in the image of the Law and represented in the person of Jesus Christ -- 'Luke 16:14-17 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous [greed], heard all these things: and they derided Him [Jesus]. And He said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; *but God knoweth your hearts: *for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and every [greedy] man presseth [lit. inserts himself - i.e. party crasher] into it. And it is easier for Heaven and earth to pass [the law is a permanent foundation embodied in Jesus Christ], than one tittle of the law to fail.'

Jesus tells an actual story [not a Parable] about the pre-heaven Paradise: Luke 16:19-31 There was a certain rich man [an actual man], which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar [an actual man] named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate [edge of his property], full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, *and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom [Paradise before the cross of Jesus]: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and *seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. **And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf [separation] fixed [permanent]: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: *For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. **Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses [law] and the Prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay [No], father Abraham: *but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead [and several rose from the dead in including a Lazarus (John 11:44) and of course Jesus Himself (Luke 24:6)]. - Note: Before the cross and resurrection of Jesus there was no access for mankind into heaven. The Angels of Heaven had access to Heaven and even Satan and his fellow fallen Angels still have some access to heaven since the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden there has been no access for sinful mankind into God's Holy Heaven. Prior to the Ministry of Jesus [virgin birth, shed blood, death on the cross and His eternal resurrection life] mankind that died remained separated from God and did not go to Heaven but actually departed Souls went to the middle of the earth in a compartment called Paradise and apparently the compartment of hell was visibly and audibly nearby. After the resurrection of Jesus Christ He brought the departed Souls residing in Paradise with Him into Heaven (Ephesians 4:8) while the departed human Souls residing in the compartment of hell remain there until the judgment day having rejected Jesus Christ as their personal savior and proven by their own actions and deeds to be unworthy of being in the presence of God are cast into the eternal lake of fire.

Luke 17 - As Jesus prepares to conclude His physical Ministry and physically depart from among His Disciples - Jesus continues to stress the importance of faith in God alone and of the necessity of rejecting the many false doctrines and deceivers that are going to follow after the work and Ministry of Jesus attempting only to enrich themselves and to deceive the Disciples of Jesus -- 'Luke 17:20-23 And when He [Jesus] was demanded of the Pharisees, when the Kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation [in one confined location]: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, *the Kingdom of God is [the born again Spirit] within you (John 3:3). And He said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to [physically] see [Jesus] one of the days of the Son of Man, and ye shall not [physically] see it [Jesus physically among them]. And they [deceivers] shall say to you [Disciples], See here [the kingdom of god]; or, see there [their kingdom of god]: go not after them, nor follow them.'

Luke 17:1-10 Then said He [Jesus] unto the Disciples, It is impossible but that offences [persecution] will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. *Take heed to yourselves [that we do not offend others or worse to become bitter from being offended by others]: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. *And the Apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith [in Jesus, the Kingdom of God][the smallest amount] as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore tree [offending person], Be thou plucked up by the root [you don't rule me or affect me eternally], and be thou planted in the sea [the evil intentions towards me are buried in the bottom of the sea]; and it should obey you. But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat [dinner]? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready [dinner] wherewith I may sup [dine], and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? *Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow [suggest] not. *So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you [by God], say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do [maintain a position of gratitude, indebtedness and faithfulness towards God]. - Note: our relationships with other people are almost as important as our relationship with God however unlike our relationship with God our relationships with other people [God is not complicating our relationship with Him] and even within ourselves can become very complex, confused and incorrect. It's important to maintain first a right relationship with God to be thankful and grateful to God and to try to see ourselves as precious in the sight of God as we are to Him and then from our precious relationship with God we can better interact with our self and then with others.

Luke 18 - Jesus continues to make it clear that the Kingdom of God does not originate from humans and is not fabricated [built or advanced] by humans from the outside but is completely a work and accomplishment of God and that humans are to enter into the completed work and accomplishments of God in Jesus Christ and then once inside of the Kingdom of God [here on earth having received the 'born again Spirit'] we become a partaker [receive] and a participant [build, grow and mature] the Kingdom of God from within the Kingdom of God -- 'Luke 18:18-27 18 And a certain ruler asked Him [Jesus], saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou Me good [Jesus wanted it clear and to make certain that the man knew he was talking to God]? none is good, save one, that is, God [Jesus!]. Thou knowest the Commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept [from his wrong perspective] from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, *Yet lackest thou one [obvious] thing [greed]: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven: and come, follow Me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly [difficult] shall they that have riches [self-sufficiency] enter into the Kingdom of God! For it is easier for a [actual] camel to go through a [actual] needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God. **And they that heard it said, Who then can be Saved [perceiving that wealth is a blessing from God to the Saved]? And He said, The things [Redemption-Salvation, the Kingdom of God] which are impossible with men ***are possible with God.'

Luke 18:9-14 And He [Jesus] spake this *parable [where the story of Lazarus was an actual specific event, this event is so common among men that Jesus just calls it a parable] unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the Temple to pray; the one a Pharisee [religious leader], and the other a publican [city official working for Rome]. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto Heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, *God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house *justified rather than the other: forevery one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. -Religious leaders assume that they are Saved and have favor with God simple because of their service to God and standing among men and therefore they continually attempt to make others conform into their human image of salvation. When a religious leader believes himself to be Saved in part by his service to God or by his stature among his peers then naturally they think others should become, think, act and look like themselves in order to be Saved as they themselves believe they are [and probably are]. Of course it is a complete perversion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to try to get anyone to conform into the image of another human and not to provide them with the freedom to conform into their rightful image created by God.

Luke 19 - Jesus prepares for and makes His Holy Week entrance into Jerusalem where Jesus offers His Kingdom and authority to mankind but is rejected by mankind [both the Jews and the Gentiles] -- 'Luke 18:31 Then He [Jesus] took unto Him the Twelve [Apostles], and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written *by the [O.T.] Prophets concerning the Son of Man [Jesus] shall be accomplished. For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they [Jews (Matthew 26:67-68) and Gentiles (Matthew 27:30-31)] shall scourge Him, *and [Jews and Gentiles] put Him to death: ***and the third day He [Jesus] shall rise again [Resurrection Life].'

Luke 19:26-42 ... For I [Jesus] say unto you [continuing His illustration], That unto every one which hath [a relationship with God] shall be given [more]; and from him that hath not [a relationship with God], even that he hath shall be taken away from him. But those mine enemies, *which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. And when He had thus spoken [an illustration], He went before [in front of the Apostles], ascending up {on the Sabbath Day} to Jerusalem [with God (Jesus) there, Heaven on earth]. And it came to pass, when He was come nigh to [the villages of] Bethphage and Bethany [from Jerusalem a Sabbath Day's journey Acts 1:12], at the Mount called the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord [Jesus the true owner, owner of the universe] hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as He went [on the Saturday Sabbath Day, Triumphal Entry Saturday - modern Palm Sunday], they spread their clothes in the way. And when He was come nigh, even now at the descent of the Mount of Olives, *the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; *Saying, Blessed be the ***King that cometh [on the Sabbath Day] in the Name of the Lord: *Peace in Heaven, and Glory in the Highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones [creation] would immediately cry out. And when He [Jesus] was come near, He beheld the city [Jerusalem], and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, *the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid (hidden) from thine eyes [but not removed just hidden]. - Note: In modern times the entrance of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem is celebrated on a Sunday as Palm Sunday however the actual Biblical event occurred on the Saturday Sabbath Feast Day [Mark 11:11, "eventide" - lit. close of the Feast Day]. The arrival of Jesus Christ and with His Kingdom of God the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth offered freely to mankind the fulfillment of the Sabbath rest [7th Day of Creation - 7th Dimension (Genesis 2:2), 4th of the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:8), 1st of the 8 Levitical 'Holy Convocations' Feasts (Leviticus 23:1-3)] is now made available in Jesus for mankind. With King Jesus reigning in and over our life we now have rest 'Sabbath' through the finished and accomplished works of Jesus [creation (original creation life), redemption (atoning cross of Jesus) and salvation (resurrection life of Jesus)] for all eternity!

Luke 20 - With the Kingdom of God now in effect after the Triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem - Immediately the authority of Jesus is questioned by the religious leaders of the day -- 'Luke 20:1-2 And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as He [Jesus] taught the people in the Temple, *and Preached the Gospel [good news of God towards mankind], the Chief Priests and the Scribes came upon Him with the Elders, And spake unto Him, saying, *Tell us, by what **authority doest thou these [Kingdom of God] things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?'

Luke 20:27-40 Then came to Him [Jesus] certain of the Sadducees, *which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked Him, Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed [a generation] unto his brother. There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died. Last of all the woman died also. *Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife. **And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry [in Heaven], nor are given [have sex] in marriage [no marriages or sex in Heaven]: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels [with spiritual bodies for worshiping God, not physical bodies for sex]; and are the Children [family] of God, being the Children [family] of the resurrection [the confined earthly marriages and families are dissolved in heaven and expanded into the one true family as every human is already physically related and family in Adam and Eve and the Children of God are Spiritually related to God and each other in Jesus Christ]. ***Now that the dead are raised, *even Moses shewed at the bush [Exodus 3:6], when he calleth the Lord the God of *Abraham, and the God of *Isaac, and the God of *Jacob. ***For He [God] is not a God of the dead, ***but of the living: ***for all live unto Him. Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said. And after that they durst not ask him any question at all. - Note: God is life! God is life even above death and therefore God is also Resurrection life! Everything outside of the presence of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is death while everything within the presence of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is life. To enter into the presence of God is to enter into life and to become a Child of God is to receive eternal life the free gift from God in Jesus Christ.

Luke 21 - Jesus foretells the destruction of the Temple - The destruction of Jerusalem - and His 2nd Coming -- 'Luke 21:5-6 And as some spake of the Temple [2nd Temple], how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, He said [Prophecy], As for these things [building] which ye behold, the days will come [70 A.D.], in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.'

Luke 21:25-37 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars [Revelation 6:12-17, Sixth Seal]; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: **for the powers [fallen Angels] of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see [visibly] the Son of Man [Jesus Christ] coming in a cloud with Power and Great Glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption [in the visible presence of God] draweth nigh [for those still on earth]. -- And [now Jesus switched from immediate prophecy to a Parable, distant future events] He [Jesus] spake to them a *Parable [parable - heavenly event or distant future event]; **Behold the fig tree [rebuilt 3rd Temple in Jerusalem], and all the trees [men - systems of men, man's worldly religion]; When they now shoot forth [sprout from underground, become visible no longer hidden (occult)], ye see and know of your own selves that summer [the growth and ripening just before the harvest] is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye [Disciples, Christians], when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh [near, close in time] at hand [tangible]. Verily I say unto you, This generation [destruction of Temple, destruction of Jerusalem - generation, but not the parable events for that current generation] shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away. ***And take heed ***to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting (excess ease), and drunkenness, and cares [worries] of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell [unsaved] on the face of the whole earth. ***Watch ye [for the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ] therefore, and Pray Always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these [Great Tribulation] things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. And in the day time He was teaching in the Temple; and at night He went out, and abode in the Mount that is called the Mount of Olives. - Revelation 6:12-17 And I [Disciple John] beheld when He [Jesus Christ] had opened the Sixth Seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a **fig tree casteth her untimely [out of season] figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven [deep sky] departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens [manmade underground bunkers] and in the rocks of the mountains [caves, hollowed out mountains, i.e. NORAD]; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the Throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath [Great Tribulation] is come; and who shall be able to stand? - Jesus explains the coming End Time events so that His disciples will not be shaken by the enormity [manmade, natural and supernatural] of the cataclysmic events to come: Note: the coming Seven year period that is considered the Last Week or 70th Week of Daniel is the timeframe for this last series of events that happen prior to the visible 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His 1,000 year Kingdom reign on earth. - Also Note: The 7 year period is divided into half comprising two 3½ year periods [because of the demonic violence and the violence of mankind the second half is cut short and according to Daniel [Daniel 12:12] and to Jesus [Matthew 24:21-22] the second half might last only 45 days instead of the given 3½ year - Note: the ministry of Jesus from Baptism by John the Baptist until the cross, resurrection and ascension was 3½ years, so basically Jesus, mankind (Tribulation) and Satan (Great Tribulation) all get a 3½ year 'Ministry' period upon the earth] the first half is the Tribulation [the unrestricted wrath (passion) and hatred of mankind and the demonic realm] and the second half is the Great Tribulation [Satan's vengeance, the vengeance of demons and of mankind and the necessary judgments of God upon an unjust and uncooperative mankind and upon the fallen Angels]. The three controlled systems of Revelation are Seals [overseen by Jesus], Trumpets [overseen by the Holy Spirit] and measured Vials (Bowls) [overseen by the Father]. The three systems intertwine and intermingle in the events of Revelation. Some Seals are broken some Trumpets are blown and some Vials are poured out then more of each etc. until the events of Revelation are completed and mankind is physically [visibly] reunited with God and no longer [since the Garden of Eden] separated from God.

Luke 22 - The arrival of the events of Holy Week - The Feast Days - The Betrayer [Judas] - The Usurper [Barabbas] - The Cross, Death and Sealed Tomb of Jesus Christ - The Glorious and Triumphant Eternal Life Resurrection of Jesus Christ - The Beginning of the Christian Church - The Ascension of Jesus Christ -- 'Luke 22:1-8 Now the *feast of *unleavened bread [8 days total, two Feasts combined - The Lord's Passover Feast [2nd of the 8 Levitical Feasts - 14th of Nisan] (1 day) and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (7 days) [3rd of the 8 Levitical Feasts - starting the 15th of the Jewish month of Nisan] = Passover (8 days) and the fest of Firstfruits [3rd of the 8 Levitical Feasts] comes the First Sunday after the Lord's Passover] drew nigh, which is *called [all 8 days] The Passover. And the Chief Priests and Scribes sought how they might kill Him [Jesus]; *for they feared [losing their reputation and standing among] the people. *Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the Twelve. And he [Judas] went his way, and communed with the Chief Priests and Captains [Jewish guard], how he might betray Him [Jesus] unto them. *And they were glad, and covenanted to give him [Judas] *money. And he [Judas] promised, and sought opportunity to *betray [the three betrayers of the Bible are - Ahithophel (King David), Judas [Jewish] (Jesus' 1st Coming), False Prophet [Christian] (Jesus' 2nd Coming)] Him [Jesus] unto them in the absence [away from any crowds of people] of the multitude. Then came the day of Unleavened Bread [first day of the 8 days], when the Passover must be killed [Feast of the Lord's Passover]. And He [Jesus] sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover [Lord's Passover], that we may eat.'

Luke 22:14-21 [Wednesday - 14th of Nisan - Lord's Passover Feast - Last Supper Communion] And when the Hour was come, He [Jesus] sat down, and the Twelve Apostles with Him. And He said unto them, *With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. And He took the cup [1st cup of the 4 cups of Passover wine], and Gave Thanks, and said, *Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the Kingdom of God shall come. And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me. Likewise also the cup after supper [3rd cup, cup of redemption], saying, This cup is the New Testament [New Covenant] in My blood [shed physical blood and internalized Spiritual (eternal life blood)], which is shed for you. But, behold, the hand of him [Judas] that betrayeth Me is with Me on the table. And truly the Son of Man [Jesus] goeth, as it was determined [permitted by God]: but woe unto that man by whom He is betrayed! - Jesus institutes the New Covenant [New Testament] between God and mankind in His body. The Christian Communion of Jesus Christ represents both the physical body and the Spiritual body of Jesus Christ. When the physical unleavened bread is taken and broken it represents the physical body of Jesus. When the cup of wine is taken and mingled with the water it represents the cleansing physical blood and water that flowed from the side of Jesus on the cross. When the broken, unleavened bread is eaten it represents the eternal Spiritual body of Jesus Christ giving us an eternal Spiritual body and when the wine mixed with water is consumed it represents the eternal Spiritual life blood of Jesus giving us of His eternal Spiritual life. The physical blood and body of Jesus Christ was sacrificed for our sins that by His blood we are clean and then 3 days later the Spiritual body of Jesus rose from the grave to give us our eternal resurrection life in the eternal life of Jesus Christ.

Luke 23 - The arrest, multiple trials [3 Jewish, 3 Roman - total 6 trials] - the cross - the death and the burial tomb of Jesus Christ -- 'Luke 23:13-15 And [Pontius] Pilate [the Roman Governor of Jerusalem where Jesus was accused], when he had called together the Chief Priests and the rulers [Roman and Jewish] and the people, Said unto them, Ye have brought this Man [Jesus] unto me, as one that perverteth [corrupts] the people: and, behold, I, having examined Him before you, have found no fault in this Man [Jesus] touching those things whereof ye accuse Him: No, nor yet Herod [the Roman Tetrarch (provincial ruler) of Judea including Nazareth where Jesus was a citizen]: for I sent you to Him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto Him.'

[Thursday - 15th of Nisan - Feast of Unleavened Bread (removal of sin) - the cross and crucifixion of Jesus Christ] - Luke 23:33-56 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary [Latin - lit. cranium - skull], there they crucified Him [crushing forever the skull-head, power and authority of sin and Satan], and the [two] malefactors [repetitive, unable to rehabilitate, common petty criminals], one on the right hand, and the other on the left. *Then said Jesus [1st of 7 sayings on the cross], Father, forgive them; **for they know not what they do [grant human sinners entrance in to Heaven the true Sanctuary City]. And they parted his raiment [clothing], and cast lots. And the people stood beholding [participating]. And the rulers also with them derided Him, saying, He saved others; let Him save Himself, *if He be Christ, the chosen of God. And the [Roman] soldiers also mocked Him, coming to Him, and offering Him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the King of the Jews, save Thyself. And a superscription also was written over Him in letters of *Greek, and *Latin, and *Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him, saying, If thou be Christ, save Thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same [condemned] condemnation? And *we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our [continual] deeds: but this Man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, *Lord, remember me when thou comest into *Thy Kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise [Paradise inside the center of the earth - Paradise no longer exists it is now relocated in Heaven the '3rd Heaven' the presence of God]. And it was about the sixth hour [12:00 noon], and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth [3:00 p.m.] hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil [separation between man and God] of the Temple was rent [torn] in the midst [top to bottom - God tore the veil]. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend My spirit [7th and final saying from the cross]: and having said thus, He gave up the ghost [Jesus commanded His soul and Spirit to leave His body, something humans do not have the authority to do with their own body]. **Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a Righteous Man. And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts {regretted their involvement and actions}, and returned. And all His acquaintance, and the women that followed Him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things. And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor [Jewish ruler]; and he was a good man, and a just: The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them; he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the Kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. *And he took it down [from the cross], and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in [solid] stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day [Thursday] was the preparation, and the Sabbath [evening Sabbath for the Feast of Unleavened Bread] drew on. And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld [observed] the sepulchre [tomb], and how His body was laid. And they returned, and [Friday - regular day] prepared [purchased, worked and labored] spices and ointments; and rested the [Saturday] Sabbath day according to the Commandment [4th Commandment]. - The body of Jesus is placed in a tomb but the Spirit and Soul of Jesus departed and spend 3 days in the center of the earth [like the Prophet Jonah in the whale (fish)] in the old Paradise and while Jesus was there Jesus preached to the 'captives' [Ephesians 4:7] the people in paradise and Jesus proclaimed His victory [1 Peter 3:19] to the people in Hell. After His resurrection Jesus led the people from Paradise into Heaven and the presence of God while the people in Hell remain in their compartment until the Day of Judgment.

Luke 23:34a "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing", one of the famous "seven last words" of Jesus, is enclosed by double brackets in NA and UBS, indicating that the logion is known not to be a part of the original text - In reality, however, a vigorous debate rages on, with the proponents of the shorter reading [omission] tending to emphasize external evidence, and defenders of the longer reading [inclusion] focusing on intrinsic probability. Both sides have claimed victory in the transcriptional arena but have paid little, if any, attention to early Christian interpretations of the prayer, giving this aspect of the debate a regrettably speculative flavor - In this essay I shall review the external evidence, arguing that proponents of the shorter reading have exaggerated their case - Then, after examining ***the formidable intrinsic evidence in favor of the longer reading [inclusion], I shall turn to neglected transcriptional evidence that shows that Luke 23:34a was a problem passage [regarding Judaism] in early Christianity

Yet patristic citations offer a powerful and neglected counterweight to the papyrus. The prayer [Luke 23:34a] is cited by Irenaeus [130 AD - 202 AD] (Haer. 3.18.5 - k, Adversus Haereses or Against Heresies published in 180 AD) and apparently by Marcion (in Epiphanius, Pan. 42.11.6) in the second century, Hippolytus [Hippolytus of Rome (170 AD – 235 AD)] (Ben. Is. Jac. 27.28) in the late second or early third century, as well as Origen [Origen of Alexandria (184/185 AD – 253/254 AD)] (Pasch. 2.43.7-14; Horn. Lev. 2.1.5) in the third and Eusebius [Eusebius of Caesarea (263 AD - 339 AD)] (Hist. eccl. 2.23) in the fourth. Ephrem [Ephrem the Syrian (306 AD – 373 AD)] cites the prayer three times in his commentary on the Diatessaron, which suggests that the prayer was in Tatian's [Tatian the Assyrian (120 AD – 180 AD)] text in the middle of the second century (10.14; 21.3; 21.18). In addition, the prayer is found in the Pseudo-Clementine literature (Rec. 6.5; Hom. 11.20); Archelaus, Disputation with Manes 44; Apos. Con. 2.3.16; 5.3.14; Didascalia 25; Gos. Nic. 10; and Acts of Philip [about 350 AD or 400 AD] (ANF 8:500). Moreover, while the significance of Eusebius's citation of Hegesippus is disputed--a problem to which I shall return--Hegesippus also cited the prayer in the second century, if Eusebius transmitted his source more or less faithfully. As Kim Haines-Eitzen has noted, "These witnesses demonstrate that the prayer was known in the second century in Gaul, Alexandria, Palestine, Syria, and Rome." --- The evidence for the spuriousness of Luke 23:34a is both early and diverse. The prayer is missing from arguably the two strongest Alexandrian witnesses, p75 and Codex Vaticanus, as well as from 579 and the Sahidic version. It is missing also from important Western witnesses--most notably, the first hand of Codex Bezae and the Old Latin manuscripts a and d--and from the Caesarean manuscript Codex Koridethi. Finally, it is missing from Byzantine manuscripts stretching from Codex W in the late fourth century to 597 in the thirteenth century. --- IV. CONCLUSION The external evidence for Luke 23:34a is far from conclusive. Both the short and the long reading are found in every text type, including important Alexandrian witnesses. The short reading is supported by an important late-second- or early- third-century papyrus, but a good number of second- and third-century church fathers testify to the long reading. Moreover, intrinsic probability suggests that the prayer belongs in the text of Luke: the prayer matches Luke's preferred way of addressing God; its structure resembles that of the Lukan Lord's Prayer; it resembles Stephen's prayer for his killers without having a single word in common; and the link between ignorance and mitigated culpability matches a motif running throughout Luke-Acts. -- Regarding transcriptional probability, it is now clear that Luke 23:34a was a problem passage in early Christianity. We may, therefore, conclude that Harnack and others who suggested that the prayer was omitted for anti-Jewish reasons were on the right track. Note, however, that early Christian consternation with Luke 23:34a stemmed not from anti-Judaism alone but also from the fact that Jesus' prayer seemed to have gone unanswered, and from a sense that the Jews had been punished unjustly. The discomfort with the prayer explains why the external evidence for both readings is early and widespread; in all likelihood, Luke 23:34a was omitted fairly early [at Alexandria, Egypt - the catechetical school in Alexandria, Egypt - founded in about 176 AD], possibly by multiple scribes, while other scribes corrupted the text by changing [the text]. [link]

Luke 24 - Resurrection Sunday - The Feast of Firstfruits - Jesus fulfills the Feast of Firstfruits by breathing the Firstfruits of His Resurrection Spirit life [Romans 8:23] into each of His Disciples - The Christian Church era begins - The Ascension of Jesus Christ back into Heaven takes place -- 'Luke 24:1-7 Now upon the first day [Sunday] of the week, very early in the morning [the Feast of Firstfruits the 4th of the 8 Levitical Feasts], they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared [on Friday], and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre [tomb]. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men [Angels] stood by them in shining garments: And as they [Disciples] were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they [Angels] said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here [in the tomb], but is Risen [eternally Alive!]: **remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee [from the beginning], Saying, The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.' -- 'Romans 8:23-24 And not only they [all of creation], but *ourselves also, *which have the Firstfruits of the Spirit [each Christian personally breathed upon by Jesus, no exceptions - every person has to acknowledge the Kingdom of God [Jesus] (cross and resurrection) to then be baptized by Jesus and receive (by faith not by experience) His Spirit from Him [Matthew 3:11] in order to become a Christian, no exceptions - yesterday, today, tomorrow, the first day of the Christian Church [Resurrection Day] the last day of the Christian Church [Rapture Day] and every day in between - every Christian needs to recognize the Kingdom of Jesus and be baptized by Jesus with His Spirit life to then enter into the Church and be a part of the eternal Kingdom of God], even we *ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption [becoming Sons of God], to wit, the redemption of our body [receiving an eternal Spiritual body like Jesus now has]. For we are saved by hope [faith in the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ] ...'

Luke an early Christian convert, travel companion to the Apostle Paul and first Church historian concludes his incredible Gospel of Jesus Christ with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the beginning and formation of the Christian Church and of the ascension of Jesus Christ back up into Heaven. - Luke 24:45 Then opened He their [new Christians] understanding [John 20:22], that they [Christians] might understand the Scriptures [Holy Bible], And said unto them [Christian Disciples], Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And **that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His [Jesus'] Name **among All Nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses [lit. martyr - G3144] of these things. And, behold, I send the Promise of My Father *upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be *endued with power from on high [at Pentecost]. And [forty days after the resurrection] He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and Blessed them. And it came to pass, **while He Blessed them [Christians - Christian Church], He was parted from them, and carried up into Heaven. ***And they [Christians] Worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the Temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

SAINT JOHN

Gospel of John: The Son of God - A Gospel foreveryone - John has been called "the single most influential book of the New Testament" - "For many Christian people the Gospel according to St. John is the most precious book in the New Testament it is the book on which above all they feed their minds and nourish their hearts, and in which they rest their souls" - This Gospel has the most "penetrating gaze" of all the New Testament writers. A. T. Robertson says it is "the Holy of Holies of the New Testament"

AUTHOR: The human author was a Jew of Palestine, and an eyewitness of what he describes. The author claims to be "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (21:20, 24). The book consists largely of personal experiences of the author with Christ. "One may note all through the book evidences of an eye-witness in the vivid details." The internal evidence of the Gospel points directly to the Apostle John, the son of Zebedee and Salome, as the author (Matt. 19:20; Luke. 19:54; Mk. 3:17; Jn. 13:25; 18:16; 19:26; 20:2; Acts 3:4; 4:7; Rev. 1:9). He was the younger brother of James, and came from a fairly well-to-do family (Mark 15:40-41). He was a leader in the early church (Acts 3:1; 8:14; Gal. 2:9). All of the external evidence from the first centuries support John, the son of Zebedee, as the author. No other New Testament book has stronger external evidence since there were no real questions of authorship of John in the early church. He also wrote the three Epistles of John and Revelation. DATE: The majority of scholars date the Gospel of John in the last decade of the first century. Church tradition says John lived to an old age and to have died a natural death at Ephesus about A. D. 100. He was the last survivor of the apostolic group. The Gospel was probably written later than the three Synoptic Gospels, about A. D. 85-90. Three possible locations are suggested-Ephesus, Antioch, and Alexandria. PURPOSE: The author clearly states his purpose of writing in John 20:30-31. He writes to win others to like faith in Christ. John's thesis is given in 1:1-18. This Gospel was written for everyone. THEME: The deity of Jesus Christ is the theme of the book. The Divine Sonship of Jesus is set forth in John more than in anywhere else in the New Testament. Jesus is non-other than "the only begotten of the Father" (1:14, 18). All of John's evidence points to this conclusion. KEY VERSES: John 20:30-31. KEY WORD: The key word is "believe" which is found 98 times in this Gospel. STYLE: John writes for the thinking man. It is full of double meanings given in key words. He employs the language of the intellectuals of his time. The plan of this gospel is argumentative and not primarily biographical. A. T. Robertson wrote: "The language of the Fourth Gospel has the clarity of a spring, but we are not able to sound the bottom of the depths. Lucidity and profundity challenge and charm us as we linger over it." John uses quotes and allusions from the Old Testament. This Gospel contains more of Jesus' actual words than any of the other three gospels. John uses long discourses. He is a Jew who wrote in the Greek of his time. OMISSIONS IN JOHN: (1) No genealogy is recorded in this Gospel. (2) No account of His birth is given because He was "in the beginning." (3) Nothing about His boyhood is recorded by John. (4) Nothing about His temptations are recorded by John because God cannot be tempted. (5). No transfiguration is specified. (6) There are no parables in John. (7) No account of the ascension is given, or (8) the great commission. THEOLOGY OF JOHN: The Apostle John gives a clearer teaching about the Holy Spirit than any other gospel writer (14:26; 15:26; 16:7- 14). The book is filled with Deity. The Deity of Christ is found in every chapter. "The Word (logos) becomes flesh." John uses titles to portray the deity of Christ: "the Word was God" (1:1), "the lamb of God" (1:29), "the Messiah" (1:41), "the Son of God" (1:49), "the King of Israel" (1:49), the "Savior of the world" (4:42), "Lord and. . . God" (20:28), "I Am" (4:24, 26; 6:35; 8:12, 24, 28, 58; 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 11:25; 13:19; 14:6; 15:1, 5). The amazing thing is Satan and demons have almost no place in this Gospel (8:44; 12:31; 17:15). John does not record any demons being cast out. He treats themes such as the logos, love, life, light, truth, abiding in Christ, Spirit, world, lamb, wine, temple, the deity as well as the humanity of Jesus, etc. He traces a parallel development of faith and unbelief. One of the unifying themes in the Gospel is the growth of faith and development of unbelief. [link]

Agape Catholic Bible Study: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN: BACKGROUND - It is John who gives us the theology of Christ as revealed in this deep mystery in which the promised Messiah comes to fulfilled the Old Covenant in His sacrifice and death on the cross, and through His resurrection to establish the New Covenant which transforms man's relationship with God through the gift of the redemption and salvation of mankind - In John's Gospel there is a deeply connected thread of the liturgy of the Old Covenant Church [Congregation] which will be transformed in Christ's resurrection into the New Covenant creation - Grasping the multiple Old Covenant connections is very important to understanding and correctly interpreting John's Gospel and its connection to Old Covenant feasts and sacraments - John's Gospel reveals to us the Ministry of the Divinity of Christ and the mystery of Christ united in the Most Holy Trinity, the unity and diversity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit

The Gospel According to John, Apostle of Jesus Christ, Bishop of Ephesus, stands as a unique testimony among the other 3 Gospels and indeed unique among the other books of the New Testament. Only in John's account of the ministry and life of Jesus of Nazareth is Jesus revealed as the "Word", the Living, creative Second Person of the Divine Trinity. It is John who gives us the theology of Christ as revealed in this deep mystery in which the promised Messiah comes to fulfilled the Old Covenant in His sacrifice and death on the cross, and through His resurrection to establish the New Covenant which transforms man's relationship with God through the gift of the redemption and salvation of mankind. When I had completed my year of research on John's Gospel I identified 5 statements of truth around which I would build this study: The fourth Gospel is the last Gospel to be written, therefore, John assumes we have read and studied the other 3 Gospel texts. Rather than just recording the events of Jesus' life, John is more concerned with the significance of Christ's coming and the His significance of His ministry. That the events and "signs" about which John writes had a deeper meaning not perceived at the time but through the ministry of the Holy Spirit these events and signs were revealed after Christ's resurrection and His appearance to the disciples and Apostles. It was after His resurrection that Jesus instructed the Apostles in the whole truth (John 2:20, 22; 12:16; 13:17-19; 14:26; 20:9; Luke 24:25-27, 44-48) and John's Gospel looks back on Christ's earthly life in the light of this complete understanding. In John's Gospel there is a deeply connected thread of the liturgy of the Old Covenant Church which will be transformed in Christ's resurrection into the New Covenant creation. Grasping the multiple Old Covenant connections is very important to understanding and correctly interpreting John's Gospel and its connection to Old Covenant feasts and sacraments. -- John's Gospel reveals to us the ministry of the divinity of Christ and the mystery of Christ united in the Most Holy Trinity, the unity and diversity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Authorship of the Fourth Gospel: The first questions we must address are the questions of authorship and the date this Gospel account was written. Today most modern Biblical scholars do not accept that John (Yehohanan) the Apostle, son of Zebedee, brother of James the Greater, and Bishop of Ephesus is the author of the fourth Gospel despite the fact that the Fathers of the Church unanimously identified the Apostle John as the inspired writer. Why then is John the Apostle's authorship almost universally rejected in modern critical scholarship? The answer involves several objections as to why the son of the fisherman Zebedee could have authored such a deeply theological text. The following list is a summary of the most often expressed arguments against Johannine [St. John] authorship: ... Internal Evidence Which Points to John the Apostle as the Inspired Writer: Point #1: The other Gospel writers all identify the son of the priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth (kinswoman of Mary) as John "the Baptist" [or Baptizer]. It is obvious that the use of this title is necessary to avoid confusion with John son of Zebedee, the Apostle. But in the fourth Gospel, John son of Zechariah is identified simply as "John" 22 times (see John 1:6, 15, 19, 23, 26, 28, 29, 32, 35, 40; 3:23, 24, 25, 26, 27; 4:1; 5:33, 35, 36; 10:40, 41, 41). If there was an author other than John the Apostle wouldn't it be expected that there would be confusion between which "John" was being mentioned in the text? John never identifies himself by name in the Gospel, but if it was understood by the various churches of Asia Minor that their Bishop, John the Apostle, was the inspired writer it was not necessary to make the differentiation between himself and John the Baptist. Point #2: As I mentioned earlier, it is generally agreed today that the inspired writer of the fourth Gospel was an Israelite (or Jew) from the region we now call Palestine. The author accurately portrays Old Covenant customs, religious traditions, and the fine points of halakhic (legal) regulations that were unique to Israel as God's holy covenant people. The inspired writer of this Gospel is knowledgeable about the different sects of 1st century Judaism and is especially knowledgeable about the geography and topography of what was the Roman dominated province of Judea and the city of Jerusalem, identifying and correctly describing sites that were not rediscovered in Jerusalem until the late 1800s. All these qualifications fit John the Apostle. Point #3: The author identifies himself as an eyewitness to the events of the fourth Gospel and as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." He uses this designation five times: John 13:23, John 19:26, John 20:2, John 21:7, John 21:20. The author of the book of Revelation (whom the Fathers of the Church testify is John son of Zebedee, Bishop of Ephesus) identifies himself as "John" five times: Revelation 1:1, Revelation 1:4, Revelation 1:9, Revelation 21:2, Revelation 22:8. This may be a coincidence but considering the symbolic use of numbers in both the Gospel and in Revelation it could be another indicator of John's authorship; 5 is the symbolic number of grace in Scripture (see the document "The Significance of Numbers in Scripture" in the Documents section of Agape Bible Study). But how do we know which of the Apostles is "the one Jesus loved"? The Synoptic Gospels identify 3 Apostles that Jesus singled out on important occasions. These were Peter, to whom Jesus gave the "keys of the kingdom", James, the son of Zebedee, and James' younger brother, the Apostle John. It was to this trinity of Apostles that Jesus chose to reveal Himself in His glory on the Mt. of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-2; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36). We can narrow down the identity of the inspired writer of the fourth Gospel to one of these 3 men and, by eliminating the other 2, we can come to one final name. The "beloved disciple" who authors the fourth Gospel cannot be Peter because the fourth Gospel records that on several occasions Peter was accompanied by the "beloved disciple" (John 20:2; 21:20). James Zebedee is eliminated as a candidate for the "beloved disciple" by the fact that he was the first Apostle to be martyred (circa 42AD). We have an accurate date for his martyrdom not only from Christian sources (Acts 12:2, etc.) but also from Jewish accounts. This fact eliminates James because the fourth Gospel was written at least 25 years after his death. That only leaves John, son of Zebedee as the "beloved disciple". [link]

Ray Stedman - Adventuring Through the Bible - The Gospel of John - The fourth Gospel holds peculiar significance to me for many reasons, but especially because it is written by [John] the disciple closest to our Lord - He was of that inner circle which included Peter and James, who went with our Lord through the most intimate circumstances of His ministry and heard more than any of the others - Therefore, we open this book with a sense of anticipation - Here is the Testimony of our Lord's closest friend - But John goes deeper than that - He says that He [Jesus] is not only the Christ [Messiah], but **He is the Son of God - When you see Him in His delivering power, you are indeed seeing the Promised Deliverer, the Messiah - Does that amaze you? Have you thought that it was His miracles that proved He was God? No, no - They proved He was the Messiah, the Promised One. **It is His Words that prove He is God - Listen to them: "I am the bread of life" - That is, I am [Communion] the sustainer of life, the One who satisfies life (Mp3s)

The fourth Gospel holds peculiar significance to me for many reasons, but especially because it is written by the disciple closest to our Lord. When you read the Gospel of [John], you are reading the record of our Lord as seen through the eyes of a devoted disciple. Mark and Luke, of course, were dedicated Christians who knew and loved Jesus Christ, though they learned about him largely through the testimony of others, but John is one who leaned upon his breast. He was of that inner circle which included Peter and James, who went with our Lord through the most intimate circumstances of His ministry and heard more than any of the others. Therefore, we open this book with a sense of anticipation. Here is the testimony of our Lord's closest friend. In light of this, it is very startling to see how John's Gospel begins (chapter 1, verse 1): In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 RSV) Sometimes I think it is difficult to believe that Jesus is God. I know there is not a Christian who has not at one time or another felt the full force of all the arguments that would make him out to be nothing more than a man. There are times when we find it difficult to lay hold of the full intent of those words and think of the man Jesus as God. But if we find it difficult, how much more did his own disciples find it so? They, of all men, would be least likely to believe that he was God, for they lived with him and saw his humanity as none of us ever has or ever will. They must have been confronted again and again with a question that puzzled and troubled them, "Who is this man?" As they themselves said, "What manner of man is this who heals the sick, raises the dead, quiets the wind and changes the water to wine?" (Matthew 8:27) I have often pictured them lying out under the stars with our Lord on a summer night by the Sea of Galilee. I can imagine Peter or John or one of the others waking in the night, rising up on an elbow, and as he looked at the Lord Jesus sleeping beside him, saying to himself, "Is it true? Can this man be the eternal God? What is the secret of his being, the mystery of his coming?" No wonder they puzzled about him and constantly conversed among themselves about the mystery of his being. Yet, so overwhelming and convincing was the evidence they saw and heard that when they reached the end of the story, when John began to write down the recollections of those amazing days, he began with declaring the deity of Jesus, "This is the One who was in the beginning. He was the Word who was with God, who was in the beginning with God, and was God" (John 1:1). That is the theme of this Gospel of John. In Matthew we see the Lord as the King; in Mark we see him as the servant, always busy in ceaseless activity, serving men; in Luke we see his perfection of humanity, man as God intended man to be. Now, in the Gospel of John, we see his entrance into the Holy of Holies. We learn the secret of his life. The key to the Gospel of John is found in the next to the last chapter. There are two endings to this little Gospel. John adds a postscript, which we call Chapter 21, that has to do with certain things that occurred after the resurrection. But John had ended his Gospel with these words (chapter 20, verses 30, 31): Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these [that is, these signs] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing [that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God] you might have life in his name. (John 20:30-31 RSV) That is the twofold purpose of this book. First, John is setting out to give evidence why any man in any age or in any place can fully and wholeheartedly believe that Jesus is the Christ -- or to use the Hebrew form, Messiah, the Anointed One, the promised one. The second purpose is to show that he is the Son of God. ... The last miracle is the raising of Lazarus from the dead (see John 11:1-44), symbolizing the delivering of those who all their lives had been held under the bondage of Satan through fear of death. Thus these seven signs prove beyond question that Jesus is the Messiah. He is the expected One. But John goes deeper than that. He says that he is not only the Christ, but he is the Son of God. When you see him in his delivering power, you are indeed seeing the promised Deliverer, the Messiah. Ah, yes, John says, but that is not the greatest secret about him. When you see that he is the one able to do all these mighty things, meeting the deepest need of men's lives, look further and you will see there is glory yet. You discover that when you stand in the presence of his humanity, see his lovely eyes. feel the beating of his human heart, sense the compassion of his life poured out in service. you are also standing in the presence of God, you are seeing what God is like. "This One," he says, "is the Son of God." ... Does that amaze you? Have you thought that it was his miracles that proved he was God? No, no. They proved he was the Messiah, the Promised One. It is his words that prove he is God. Listen to them: "I am the bread of life," (John 6:35b RSV). That is, I am the sustainer of life, the One who satisfies life. [link]

Studying the Four Gospels of the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - Each Gospel is written to a Specific defined audience group of people (PDF)

Studying the Four Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. How they relate to and correspond with each other. Of first Importance when reading and studying the four Gospels is to recognize that each Gospel is written to a Specific defined audience and group of people. Matthew is written to the Jewish audience. Mark is written to the Roman, action - result oriented person. Luke is written to the Greek, thinking, discerning and understanding person. John is written to the "Born-Again" Christian Church member and why other additional writings are not in the Bible. [link]

Cradle to Grave - The Life of Jesus Christ (Mp3s)

The Tabernacle's purpose is to change lives! We do this by loving God, loving people and by teaching people how to follow Jesus and how to labor for His Kingdom. [link]

TheoCentric.com: The Gospel of John - The Word Became Flesh - John 1:14 "And the Word [O.T.] was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth." - The Word became flesh, not simply to die, but in order that we might live! - God united deity with humanity in Christ in order that humanity might forever be united with deity through Christ and in the Spirit! - In short, that we might share in the [Fellowship] Dance of Eternity... forever! - That we might know the love of Father, Son, and Spirit by sharing in the Sonship of Christ through the Spirit {Note: This extraordinary website TheoCentric.com has a slightly Christian Mystic approach. The Gospel of John is the union of the Word of God with the flesh of mankind and therefore there is a certain amount of Christian Mysticism involved in the Ministry of Jesus Christ although just enough that we as Christians should be aware of True Mysticism but exceedingly weary of the common everyday worldly mysticism and this website does an excellent job of separating and distinguishing between the two. - Also Note: The Word of God describes God and when God became human flesh as His Word had already described Him it was done so not as a philosophy or as pure mysticism but it was done as reality, the reality of God and as reality it is eternity.}

Today we celebrate the most important event of human history-the advent of our Lord, the birth of Jesus Christ. It is this event that is both the centerpiece and turning point of God's redemptive drama. But people are born all the time. What makes this birth so special? The uniqueness of the birth of Christ stems from who is born and why. Who is Jesus? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God" (John 1:1-2). Before time began and before a single thing was created, John reveals a relationship of love and delight at the heart of reality-indeed, a *relationship that is reality itself! In eternity past, the Word (Jesus) and God (the Father) participated in a shared life of love, joy, and communion. Jesus was in a "face-to-face" relationship with the Father, while at the same time (mystery of mysteries!) Jesus fully shared in the deity of the Father. This relationship of mutual life and love-this eternal giving, receiving, and sharing of self-is the [Fellowship] Dance of Eternity. This Dance is the eternal movement of Father to Son, Son to Father, and Son and Father to Spirit. This fullness of life, love, joy, and communion was complete, needing nothing or no one to fill any deficiency. It is from the fullness of this Dance that God created: "All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being" (John 1:3). John fills in the gaps of Genesis by revealing that the Dance is the source of creation. It is not sovereign, impersonal, individual, and isolated power that is the source of all things. Rather, it is personal, relational, giving, and sharing love that is the source of all things. And this love which is the source of all things is also the goal and end of all things, for God made us to share in God's life, love, and communion. Let's make certain we understand this: God did not create us in order to love, but out of the abounding fullness of love between Father, Son, and Spirit, God created us to share in this love. In short, God created us to share in the Eternal Dance of Father, Son, and Spirit. ... Conclusion: God has said "yes" to humanity in the person of Christ. This is good news of great joy to all people! God has exalted humanity to the highest position through his union with humanity in Christ. A human being now shares in the Dance, making it possible for us to do so as well! Again, to use some clichés, God has "sunk to the lowest level" and "gone to the extreme" to embrace us. We are invited to the Dance of Eternity-a Dance of Love which is at the heart of reality. Will you accept the invitation by opening yourself up to the love of God in Christ? "But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name" (John 1:12). The invitation is open to all. Come join the Dance! [link]

Ex New-Ager Author's Testimony (Mp3)

A few days before his revealing book was ready for distribution, Randall Baer died under "very suspicious circumstances" in an automobile "accident" in Colorado. His car went over a 350ft. precipice near Del Norte, in South Central Colorado. There were no skidmarks in the vicinity. Was Baer murdered for having blown the cover off the New Age movement through his book and this audio? By the grace of Jesus he released this audio to warn Christians of the many faces of the new Age Movement and how it is influencing everything, Churches, Bibles, Business, schools, government, exercise, medicine and so much more. Having been in the New Age movement for 15 years and a bestselling author of New Age Books, he came to the Lord Jesus, then made this audio and wrote a book exposing the New Age Movement. 5 days before the book was to be released, he was killed. But they could not stop us from getting this audio. so we share it with you. He died to get us this message, let us not let his death be in vain. [link]

CIA Disinfo Officers EXPOSED {Warning: first few seconds are graphic} (YouTube)

While some former clandestine military officers, clandestine intelligence agents, and NWO researchers like William Cooper, John Todd, Randall N. Baer, Phil Schneider and Fritz Springmeier have been murdered or imprisoned, a few suspicious individuals are allowed to lecture all around the globe, sell books, DVDs, t-shirts, and get airtime on television and radio shows. Why? Because their talking does not interfere with the plans of those who don't want you to know the truth. That's the story of David Icke, Alex Jones, the makers of Zeitgeist, and other shills, disinformation artists, pseudo-truthseekers and faux whistleblowers (like Ron Paul, Glenn Beck, Keith Olbermann, Jesse Ventura, Bill Maher, Penn & Teller, etc.). It's impossible to bury the truth forever - one way or another, it will always come out. The elite know this, and their rationale is: "If the truth is to come out anyway let it be OUR people that tell it" - so that they have control over it. Alex Jones was allowed to film the Cremation of Care ritual (that involves real human sacrifice) in Bohemian Grove because the elite want us - the small percentage of the population who cannot be controlled by the media - to be paralyzed with fear and to have no real leader to organize a rebellion. David Icke is allowed to educate those who he can reach as long as he can dirty the truth with his unfounded reptilian lies and confuse the shit out of conscious, open-minded people in hopes that, frustrated, we will give up truthseeking and delude ourselves into believing that there are no conspiracy facts or open secrets. The CIA's agenda is to flood the truth genre with disreputable content and thereby exhaust public interest. That's also why Illuminati Hollywood makes all these movies like "V for Vendetta", "The Matrix", "Angels and Demons", etc., so that when someone discovers the similarities to reality others will say: "You've watched too many movies, dude". [link]

John 1 - The Disciple and Apostle John in his Gospel immediately sets out the eternal Divine nature of Jesus Christ "the Word" and also the eternal Divine nature of God - The disciple John tells how he and his friend Andrew went from being disciples of John the Baptist to disciples of Jesus -- 'John 1:36-38 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he [John the Baptist] saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two [of John's] disciples [Andrew, Peters brother and John, the writer of this Gospel of John] heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto Him, Rabbi, which is to say, being interpreted, Master, where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see.'

'John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. Note: In the opening of his Gospel John writes "In the beginning was the Word" some have said that because the word "the" is used with "the Word" it means that Jesus is not God when in fact it actually means that Jesus is God. Had John used "a" instead of "the" it might mean that Jesus was one of many god's like a word god, or a thought god, or a god of reason or intellect or something but the Apostle John purposely used the definite article "the" in order to limit the words of the Bible to be exclusively about Jesus Christ and in doing so proclaiming Jesus to be the human manifestation of the eternal God spoken by Word into the ears of the Prophets and written by Word onto the pages and scrolls of the Bible.' - 'John 1:15-18 John [the Baptist] bare witness of Him (Jesus), and cried, saying, This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is Preferred before me: for He (Jesus) was [eternally] before me. And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ. No [human] man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He (Jesus) hath declared [represented] Him.' - John continues to decisively portray the unique Divinity of God among mankind in Jesus Christ.

John 2 - Jesus begins to call and assemble His Disciples - Twelve of His Disciples would become His Apostles - The first miracle in the Gospel of John is recorded - The turning of water into wine for a wedding festival -- 'John 2:11 This beginning [1st] of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His Glory; and His disciples believed on Him.'

'John 2:13 And the Jews' Passover [first of three Passover Feasts during the Ministry of Jesus] was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple [the first time], and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's House an House of merchandise. And His disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine House hath eaten Me up. Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, What sign [miracle] shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these [authoritative] things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this Temple, and in Three Days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But He spake of the Temple of His Body. When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this unto them; and they believed the Scripture, and the Word which Jesus had said. Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in [inside] man.' - Jesus demonstrates the proper way to cleanse a situation in the illustration of making "a scourge of small cords" apparently Jesus wove together three cords to make one cleansing cord this illustrate that two people plus the witness of the Holy Spirit should be involved in any cleansing removal situation. - 'Ecclesiastes 4:12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord [including and involving the Holy Spirit] is not quickly broken.'

BasicChristian.org: The Christian Walk Illustrated in the 7 Miracles of Jesus Recorded in the Gospel of John (PDF Available)

These are Seven Miracles performed by Jesus and recorded in the Gospel of John by John a disciple of Jesus. John was an eyewitness present at each of these seven miracles. These miracles are illustrations representing miracles that Jesus is currently doing in the life of each and every Christian. Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. -- Topics: [Miracle #1] {John 2:1-12} Turning wedding water into wine. The New Christian is now clean and becomes filled with the Holy Spirit. -- [Miracle #2] {John 4: 46-54} Healing the Nobleman's Son. Our cured Life and Nobility in Jesus Christ. -- [Miracle #3] {John 5:1-17} Healing of the lame man to walk. The Christian can now walk a Christian lifestyle. -- [Miracle #4] {John 6:1-13} Feeding the Thousands with Bread and Fish. Fellowship of strengthening, building up, and nourishment in the faith among the believers. -- [Miracle #5] {John 6:16-21} Jesus calms the disciples during a storm. Jesus calms our fears during the storms of life. -- [Miracle #6] {John 9:1-41} Blind eyes opened. Apostles with their eyes opened to the hopeless plight of humanity are sent out to non-believers. -- [Miracle #7] {John 11:1-45} Resurrection of Lazarus from death to life. Resurrection of the believer from physical death to eternal life. ... Introduction: After accepting Jesus as our very own personal Lord and Savior by knowing that without the sacrifice of Jesus, what He did for us on the cross, that we would be permanently dead in our sin and rebellion, separated forever from God. Now that the sin has been paid for and taken away at the cross of Jesus we Christians are now free from sin and reunited with God in the Resurrection of Jesus. But what do we do now? After our conversion [Heavenly focus] for the Christian the conversion is just the start of Christianity the best is yet to come. In the fascinating Gospel of John, John one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus and an eyewitness that was present at all seven miracles, lays out seven miracles that Jesus Himself performed while in person on the earth and in a specific order. These seven miracles in the Gospel of John are a model of the very miracles that Jesus is doing right now this very moment and day in the life of every single living and breathing Christian. Let's take a look at the 7 miracles that Jesus performed and that His disciple John recorded for us. [link]

John 3 - Jesus instructs about how to become 'born again' in order to enter the Kingdom of God -- 'John 3:5-6 Jesus answered [Nicodemus], Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water [human] and of the Spirit [re-birth], he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh [physical - earthly]; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit [Spiritual - Heavenly].'

'John 3:15-21 That whosoever believeth in Him (Jesus) should not perish, *but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him (Jesus) is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the Light, neither cometh to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved [corrected]. But he that doeth truth cometh to the Light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought [fashioned] in God.' - The Kingdom of God is about life and it is about eternity it's not about being good and then becoming better in Jesus Christ it's about being dead and lost in sin and becoming new and Spiritually alive in Jesus Christ.

John 4 - Jesus instructs his disciples in Priestly functions that would be included in His Christian Church - Jesus meets a woman at the well in Samaria -- 'John 4:1-4 When therefore the Lord (Jesus) knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John [the Baptist], Though Jesus Himself baptized not [not with water but after His Resurrection with His Spirit], but his disciples [baptized with water], He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. And He must needs go through Samaria [Jesus had an eternal appointment with a woman at a well].'

'John 4:6-39 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give Me to drink. For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat. Then saith the woman of Samaria unto Him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the [eternal] gift of God, and who it is [Messiah] that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee [Spiritual] living water. The woman saith unto Him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our [1/2] father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this [earthly] water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the [nourishing, Spiritual] water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into [eternal] everlasting life. The woman saith unto Him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is [a live-in boyfriend] not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto Him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a Prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain [Mt. Gerizim]; and ye say, that in Jerusalem [Mt. Zion] is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for Salvation is of the Jews. *But the hour cometh, and now is, when the True Worshippers shall Worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. *God is a Spirit: and they that Worship Him must Worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. The woman saith unto Him, I know that Messias (Messiah) cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all [such religious] things. *Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am He [Messiah/Christ]. And upon this came His disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? *The woman then left her [earthly] waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, *Come, see a man, which told me all [living with men] things that ever I did [without condemnation]: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto Him. In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. ... And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him (Jesus) for the saying of the woman, which testified, He (Jesus) told me all that ever I did [without condemnation].' - It is often the goodness of God that draws people to Jesus. Jesus showed compassion when people needed compassion and Jesus showed contempt for man's preferences when the situation needed a radical redirection. But whether showing compassion or contempt Jesus did it in limited amounts and He did it at a time and in a manner that would draw everyone involved into a closer relationship and understanding with God.

John 5 - Jesus keeps His works and His ministry focused and confined to the main task at hand - Representing His Father here on earth to mankind and accomplishing the task of the Cross and the Resurrection -- 'John 5:36-43 But I (Jesus) have greater witness than that of John [the Baptist]: for the works [cross and resurrection] which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me. And the Father Himself, which hath sent Me, hath borne witness of Me [at the baptism]. Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape. And ye have not His Word abiding in you: for (Jesus) whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not. *Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which Testify of Me. And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father's Name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name [Antichrist], him ye will receive.'

John 5:22-29 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (Jesus): That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, *He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead [living spiritually dead] shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall [Spiritually] live. For as the Father hath Life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have Life in Himself; And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves [physically dead] shall hear His voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. - Creation life for both humans and angels is everlasting and therefore the judgment to go with it is also everlasting.

John 6 - Jesus' 5th Miracle 'walking on water' that is recorded in the Gospel of John - Jesus demonstrated that He had complete authority over all realms - The spiritual realm the human realm and the physical realm of nature -- 'John 6:19-21 So when they (Disciples) had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship [boat]: and they were afraid. But He (Jesus) saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. *Then they willingly received Him into the ship [boat]: and immediately the ship was at the land [destination] whither they went.'

'John 6:33-40 For the bread [Manna] of God is He (Jesus) which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto Him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And *Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen Me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out [reject]. For I came down from Heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that *every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.' - The eternal life and the eternal Kingdom of God that Jesus is offering is to be received inside of us at this point it is an internal Spiritual Kingdom. To miss out on the concept that the Kingdom of God is available now in Jesus Christ and to be unaware of its internal existence is to miss out on the Kingdom itself.

John 7 - Jesus continues to teach and to make that point that what mankind has it temporary and is passing away but what He has to offer is eternal -- 'John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast [Feast of Tabernacles, shelters - temporary homes], Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly [inner-life] shall flow rivers of living water [eternal Tabernacle]. But this spake He of the [Holy] Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet Glorified [Resurrection].' - 'John 7:52-53 They [Pharisees] answered and said unto Him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no Prophet. And every man went unto his own [tabernacle] house.'

'John 7:2-10 Now the Jews' Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brethren (brothers; James, Jude, etc.) therefore said unto Him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth anything in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. *For neither did his brethren believe in him [James and Jude are known to have become believers after His resurrection]. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: *I go not up yet unto this feast; *for My time is not yet full come. When He had said these words unto them, He abode still in Galilee. But when His brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret [in Resurrection Spirit].' - The time of Jesus to fulfill the Feast of Tabernacles has not yet com in full that is why Jesus went in part in secret. The Feast of Tabernacles is a 'Fall feast' a 'Second Coming' Feast that has begun now with the giving of the Holy Spirit but we do not yet have our permanent bodies we still 'tabernacle' in our physical bodies while on earth. Jesus went to the Feast of Tabernacles 'secretly' to give the Living Water to those who would believe in Him and receive it but the rest of the Feast the tabernacle becoming a temple will be completed at the Second Coming of Jesus.

Did Jesus Lie? - "Look What's Missing" from modern [NIV] bibles {Note: I just emailed Chick Tracts for verification on David Daniels' claim that an unidentified Christian host of an unidentified Christian call in show made the comment "wiggle room" that Jesus might have lied. As soon as I can locate the specific name of the show and of the host and possibly a date and time of the show to go along with the accusations I'll post them. It's completely inappropriate to make an accusation like that without any substantiating material. ***Updated: Now that I'm forced to speculate as to who the Christian radio call in show host was I'm going to go with the first name that popped into my head and speculate that Don Stewart who has hosted and co-hosts many Calvary Chapel radio shows is the referred to host and my second guess at this moment is Christian Research Institute Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff. So until we have more details or until the next speculation, Cheers!!! - Also Note: The NKJV in John 7:8 has the word 'yet' but it is footnoted that other manuscripts do not have that word implying that it should not be there. As deceptive as the NIV is known to be the NKJV [New King James Version] is possibly the most deceptive of all modern bible versions. The deceptive NKJV should be completely avoided by everyone seeking to fellowship with God through His holy word the Bible. ~ God bless you, David Anson Brown} (YouTube)

Author David Daniels shares information from chapter 1 of his book, "Look What's Missing," and shows why it's so important that your Bible is not missing anything! The book is available at www.chick.com or www.amazon.com. [link]

Bible Versions Controversy Explained - Highly Recommended (Mp3)

Can you trust the new versions? before you say yes, you need to hear this message. learn where they came from [Antichrist agenda], who is behind them [practically everyone, NWO], and HEAR ACTUAL AUDIO FROM CHUCK SWENDOL, DR. D.A. WAITE AND OTHERS.. Learn what you need to know before you use that new [NKJV, NIV, Message, etc.] bible version. [link]

John 8 - Jesus teaches that freedom and eternity comes only from Truth and that His Words are Truth and therefore are freedom and eternity -- 'John 8:31-32 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.'

'John 8:1-12 [After the Feast of Tabernacles] Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives. And early in the morning He came again into the Temple, and all the people came unto Him; and He sat down, and taught them. And the Scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto Him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him [trying to get Jesus to contradict the Laws of Moses, but Jesus is the voice that spoke the Law to Moses]. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground [dust, sin], as though He heard them not. So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up [resurrection] Himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, *being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up [resurrection] Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life.'

John 9 - Jesus performs His 6th Miracle in the Gospel of John by healing a man blind since birth -- 'John 9:17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of Him (Jesus), that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He (Jesus) is a prophet.'

'John 9:5-15 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6 When He (Jesus) had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay [mankind, clay - the condition of frail humanity] of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam [Lit. Greek - Apostle], which is by interpretation, Sent. He went His way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, A Man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes [with clay], and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam [Apostle], and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. Then said they unto him, Where is He? He said, I know not. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I [went and] washed, and do see.' - The clay that Jesus made and anointed the eyes of the blind man with is the clay of humanity. The man was physically blind but he was also unaware that others who were not blind were still suffering just as much as he was but in different was. The man was "Sent out" Apostatized to go into the world and to see how others live others who do not have the luxury of begging in the Temple itself where the generosity of mankind is at its best but going out into the world and seeing the condition of the world apart from the Temple.

John 10 - Jesus now teaches that He has more sheep to bring into His flock and into His pasture than just the natural sheep of Israel -- 'John 10:16 And other sheep [Gentiles] I have, which are not of this [Jewish] fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.'

John 10:7-18 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers [i.e. King Saul - a type of Satan]: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd [i.e. King David - a type of Jesus]: the good shepherd giveth His Life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling [i.e King Solomon - a type of the Antichrist], and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down My life [Cross], that I might take it again [Resurrection]. *No man taketh it [life] from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father. - The cross of Jesus Christ was not an accident nor the work of man or even of devils it was the predetermined plan of God because only the cross of Jesus could free mankind from our self-imposed predicament of sin and death and liberate us into the Heavenly eternal life that we were created to be a part of with God in Heaven.

John 11 - Jesus performs His 7th Ministry Miracle in the Gospel of John when He calls the dead Lazarus by name and raises him back to life - 'John 11:43-45 43 And when He (Jesus) thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he (Lazarus) that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him.'

'John 11:11-27 These things said He: and after that He saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, *that I may awake him out of sleep [it's not that people sleep when they die but that sleep is a reference to death in that it is harmless to the Christian]. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with Him. Then when Jesus came, he found that he [Lazarus] had lain in the grave four days already. ... Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, *Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. *Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die [separate from God]. Believest thou this? She saith unto Him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.' - Jesus is unequivocally demonstrating that as God He has authority over human life and death and over human separation from God or human reconciliation to God.

John 12 - The Gospel of John now takes us into Holy Week that last week of Jesus' Ministry physically among mankind on earth - "Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany" with the day of Passover plus the three days and three nights in the Tomb this places Jesus' and the Disciples arrival at Bethany on the Friday 10 days before the Sunday Resurrection with the actual Triumphal Entry "On the next day" occurring on the next day the Saturday Sabbath Day -- 'John 12:1-2 Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him.' - 'John 12:12-15 On the next day [10th of Nisan - selection of the Passover lamb] much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion (Zion): behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.'

John 12:20-32 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the [Passover] feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of Man should be glorified. ... And I, if I be lifted up [crucifixion and resurrection] from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.' - The Gentiles were not allowed to seek Jesus until after His death and resurrection as only then will He "draw all men" unto Himself. - Note: It's hard for a Gentile to understand but actually both the O.T. and the N.T. Covenants of God are with the Jews [Jeremiah 31:31] and belong to the Jews [Hebrews 8:8]. There was no Gentile representation at the Passover when the N.T. was initiated apart from the Promise of God given to Abraham [Genesis 12:3] that in Jesus all Nations would be blessed. Everyone involved with and seated at the Passover Table was Jewish including Jesus and none of them became a Christian by eating the Passover. The Jewish Disciples of Jesus became Christian followers of Jesus the same way everyone else does by acknowledging His sinless death on the cross and by acknowledging His resurrection of eternal life. The New Testament that was instituted the evening of the Passover and went into effect with the death and resurrection of Jesus and is for the 'House of Israel'. The New Testament was not finalized at the Passover it was finalized and institutionalized with the giving of the Holy Spirit an event that happened after the Resurrection of Jesus [and after the betrayal and rejection of Jesus] then when He ascended into Heaven briefly the Day of His Resurrection and He was received by His Father in Heaven as the acceptable Atonement offering for mankind to God the Father then that same Resurrection day sent the Comforter the Holy Spirit to mankind in the Baptism of Jesus Christ. As Gentile Christians we have entered into the Jewish New Testament Covenant by the Promises of God not by the Covent of God. The New Testament Covenant belongs to the Jews and through the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ we are invited and welcomed into their Covenant to be partakers of their promises and of the blessings that have been given to the Jews from God. Having received an invitation to join in on their eternal Heavenly blessings we need to be certain that we do not, even accidently, take away from the Jews what already belongs to the Jews and we also need to make certain that we are grateful to God and to the Jews for the free gift we have been given and to receive it with gratitude and thankfulness so we don't accidently give a false impression of taking from the Jews something that is not ours and of being guilty of appearing to take and enter the Kingdom of God by force when in fact it has been freely given to us in the promises of God.

John 13 - The day off the Passover after a lunch Jesus washes the feet of His disciples in preparation of the Passover later that evening -- 'John 13:31-35 Therefore, when he (Judas) was gone out [of the upper room], Jesus said, Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek Me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come [by the Laws of Moses]; so now I say to you. A New [Perspective] Commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you [New Perspective - He gave His life for us], that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.'

'John 13:1-12 Now *before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end. And supper [lunch] being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper [lunch], and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a bason [basin], and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded. ... So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again ...' - 'John 13:21-3121 When Jesus had thus said, He was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples [John], whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him (John), that he should ask who it should be of whom He (Jesus) spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto Him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop [sauce], when I have dipped [bread in] it. And when He had dipped [bread in] the sop, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him (Judas). Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the [Passover] table knew for what intent He spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast [Feast of Unleavened Bread]; or, that he should give something to the poor. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night [the Passover Feast is the only Feast that is not also a sundown curfew feast]. Therefore, when he (Judas) was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him.'

John 14 - Judas having left before the conclusion of the Passover Feast - Jesus and remaining eleven Disciples conclude the Feast of Passover by singing a Psalm - Then the Passover Feast not being a curfew feast Jesus and His eleven Disciples depart the upper room and go to the Garden of Gethsemane, on Mount Olivet - Along the way to the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus explains that unless He departs the earth and goes back into Heaven that the Holy Spirit cannot be given or sent to mankind [mankind would still be in sin and cannot receive the Holy Spirit] -- 'John 14:1-4 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: *if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go [to Heaven] and prepare a place for you, I will come again [Second Coming], and receive you unto Myself; that where I Am, there ye may be also. And whither I go [Heaven] ye know, and the way [through Jesus Christ] ye know.'

John 14:15-21 If ye love Me (Jesus), keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter [Holy Spirit], that He may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; *for He dwelleth with you, and *shall be in you [born again]. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye (Disciples) see Me: because I live [Resurrection], ye shall [resurrection] live also. At that day ye shall know that I Am in My Father, and ye in Me, and *I in you [Resurrection Day]. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and *I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him (believer-follower).

52 different weekly Bible passages to read before taking the Lord's Supper - Jeff Himmel, the preacher at the Spring Warrior Church of Christ in Taylor County, Florida, wrote an interesting article in the church's weekly LifeLines bulletin entitled, Thoughts Around the Lord's Table {Note: These are some excellent verses but the pastor who wrote and published this article seemed to have the ever present agenda of putting all modern [paraphrase] bible versions on the same level as the KJV [translation] Bible. - Also Note: The various modern bible versions (NKJV, NIV, TNIV, NLT) are not "translations" but are what are called "paraphrases" where the modern 'translators' simply paraphrased the text of the modern bible versions with what they think the Bible should have originally said [and they use knowingly fraudulent and forged documents to attempt to justify their often egregious and erroneous paraphrases]. A paraphrase (opinionated) bible version is very, very different from the Trustworthy, accurately translated [mostly word for word at about 99.9%] KJV Bible.}

52 Passages to read before taking the Lord's Supper: Before we pass around the Lord's Supper each week at Spring Warrior (Acts 20:7), the man responsible for leading the observance will usually read a passage from the Bible reminding us either of the significance of taking the Lord's Supper or the significance of Christ's death. In his article, Mr. Himmel points out that Christians oftentimes needlessly limit their choice of passages to simply a trite few (e.g., Matthew 26:26-29 1 Corinthians 11, etc.). There are many more passages available. So my challenge to the readers is this: If you lead the Lord's Supper, what passages do you read aloud? If you don't "head the table" in your congregation, but do read from your Bible while the Lord's Supper is being passed around, what passages do you read? I will begin our list with the tried and true mentioned in Jeff's article. Let's see if we can't come up with 52 different passages, one for each week throughout the year. Add your passages via a comment. Matthew 26:26-29. Matthew's account of the evening in which Christ instituted the Lord's Supper. Mark 14:22-26. Mark's parallel account to Matthew 26. Luke 22:14-22. Luke's account of the institution of the Lord's Supper differs from that described in Matthew and Mark in that it tells of Jesus instructing the disciples to "divide" the cup among themselves before partaking of the bread and fruit of the vine. This passage is useful when studying with someone who insists that everyone in the congregation should drink from the same cup ("one-cuppers"). Acts 20:7. Yes, this is a great passage for the authority for the observance occurring on the first day of the week, but can't we come up with a better passage for the meaning of the occasion? 1 Corinthians 11:23-29. "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes." (1 Cor. 11:26, NKJV) Psalm 22, often referred to as the Psalm of the Cross. "They have pierced my hands and my feet ... They divide my garments among them" (NIV vss. 16, 19). and cast lots for my clothing Isaiah 53. A Messianic prophecy which actually begins In Isa. 52:13. Romans 5:6-11. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV) 1 Corinthians 5:7 with Exodus 12:5, 14 (or Numbers 28:19). Christ is our Passover sacrifice who saves us from death. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 with Exodus 12:14-20. Taking the memorial feast in sincerity and truth. not in a sinful condition, and not with sinners. 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. "And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. " (2 Cor. 5:15, TNIV) 4/26/2009 Philippians 2:5-11. "He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death-even death on a cross!" (Phil 2:8, TNIV) Philippians 3:10 with 1 Corinthians 11:24 and 1 Corinthians 10:16-18. "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death" (Phil. 3:10, NKJV). Christ says that the bread represents his body which was broken for us. Paul says that we partake or share the communion. So, in a sense, by partaking of the Lord's Supper we share in the sufferings of Christ. (5/17/09) Hebrews 2:14-18. "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb. 2:14-15, NKJV) Hebrews 9:12-15. "For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb. 9:13-14, NKJV) You could start reading in verse 1, but I have paired these down into smaller readings simply to prepare our minds for taking the Lord's Supper. Hebrews 9:16-28. "He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. ... Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation." (Heb. 9:26, 28, NKJV) Hebrews 10:1-10. "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. ... He takes away the first that He may establish the second." (Heb. 10:4, 9, NKJV) Hebrews 10:11-18. "But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. ... For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. ... Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin." (Heb. 10:12, 14, 18, NKJV) 1 John 4:9-10. "God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love-not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." (NLT) Jeremiah 31:-34 with Matthew 26:26-28. "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant .... I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."(Jer. 31:31, 34) "Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matt. 26:27-28) Luke 22:20 with Genesis 31:44-54. Pointing out that part of the purpose behind the memorial feast is to remind people of their covenant relationship with God in much the same way that Jacob and Laban shared a feast to memorialize their covenant of peace. Exodus 12:5, 14 (or Numbers 28:19) with John 1:29. "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" John 3:16. By partaking in the communion, we are proclaiming Christ's life, death and resurrection. John 3:16 affirms that Christ was obedient to the will of God to the point of death for all who believe in Christ. Some may want to read this passage with 1 John 4:9-10. Deuteronomy 8:3 with John 6:30-33, 48-51. God gave the Jews manna so they would learn that they could not live by bread alone. Then He gave the world Jesus, the bread of life. John 6:54-56 with Deuteronomy 12:16 & Leviticus 17:10-11. Under the Old Law of Moses, God was given the blood of the sacrifice. Men were prohibited from drinking blood because life is in the blood. Under the New Covenant, Christ says that whoever drinks his blood has eternal life, and figuratively, we drink his blood when we drink the fruit of the vine. Although the context of John 6 is not directly related to the Lord's Supper, Christ is saying that whoever believes in Him eats His flesh and drinks His blood. Who believes Christ, but those who obey all His teachings, including the command (1 Cor. 11:24-25) to eat the Lord's Supper? (3/22/09) Acts 2:21-36, Peter's sermon on Pentecost. "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it" (Acts 2:23-24, NKJV). 1 Corinthians 10:24 with Deuteronomy 16:3. Comparing Christ's body of suffering to the Passover bread of suffering. 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1. When we come together and share the same bread and fruit of the vine, we stress not only our unity and equality before God, but also His call for us to be holy, sanctified, set apart and consecrated. "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God." (2 Cor. 6:14-16, NKJV) Ephesians 2:11-18. Christ's death reconciled Jew and Gentile to each other and to God. The fruit of the vine represents Christ's blood which was shed for the remission of sins. (Matt. 26:27-28) Colossians 2:11-15, "... buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, ... having nailed it to the cross...." (NKJV) What additional passages can you come up with? [link]

John 15 - Jesus and the Disciples are still continuing ther walk to the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus continues to instruct the Disciples about the coming of the Holy Spirit about His Resurrection and about their eternity with Him in Heaven -- 'John 15:1-5 I Am the True Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman [Caretaker].'

'John 15:1-5 I Am the True Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman [Caretaker]. Every branch (Disciple) in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth [cleanses] it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the Vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I Am the Vine, ye (Disciples) are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.' - In Jesus there is life and fruitfulness [relationship with God] apart from Jesus there is no fruitfulness [relationship with God] and no life.

John 16 - Jesus explains that the life of a Disciple without the physical presence of Jesus is going to be difficult -- 'John 16:1-3 These things have I (Jesus) spoken unto you, that ye (Disciples) should not be offended. They [religious and political leaders] shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor Me.'

'John 16:7-16 Nevertheless I (Jesus) tell you the Truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: *for if I go not away, the Comforter [Holy Spirit] will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, *He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me; Of righteousness, because I [Righteousness] go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; Of judgment, because the prince [Satan] of this world [system] is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth: *for He [Holy Spirit] shall not speak [referencing] of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear [be in agreement with], that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me: *for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you. *A little while, and ye shall not see Me [Crucifixion death]: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me [Resurrection Life], because I go to the Father.'

John 17 - The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus - Jesus Prays for His disciples and all of this future followers His 'High Priestly Prayer' -- 'John 17:1-3 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given Him power over all flesh, *that He should give Eternal Life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And *this is Life Eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.' - 'John 17:20-21 Neither pray I for these (Disciples) alone [only], but for them [future Disciples] also which shall believe on Me through their word [Ministry]; that they all may be one [Church]; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in thee, that they also may be one [body] in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent Me.

John 17:1-26 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to Heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify Thee: As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, *that He (Jesus) should give Eternal Life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And *this is Life Eternal, that they (humans) might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou Me with thine own self with *the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. I have manifested Thy Name unto the men which thou gavest Me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them Me; and *they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given Me are of Thee. *For I have given unto them (Disciples) the Words which thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. I pray for them (Disciples): *I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given Me; for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I Am Glorified in them (Disciples). And now I Am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, *keep through Thine own Name those whom thou hast given Me, that they [Disciples] may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy Name: those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition [Judas by his own freewill]; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and *these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Thy Word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I Am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. *They are not of the world, even as I Am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth. As thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I Sanctify [go to Heaven] Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the Truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but *for them [future Disciples] also which shall Believe on Me through their word [Ministry]; That they all may be one [Church]; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in thee, that they also may be one [body] in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent Me. And the Glory which thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, *and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me. Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am [in Heaven and while on earth]; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy Name, and will declare it: that the Love wherewith Thou hast Loved Me may be in them, and I in them.' The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus to His Father in Heaven revealing to His Disciples His heart towards His father and His heart towards all His Disciples.

John 18 - After His High Priestly Prayer to His Father in Heaven - Jesus steps over the small stream "brook of Cedron" and Jesus with His eleven disciples arrive at the Garden of Gethsemane - Jesus separates Himself from His followers and goes a short distance to pray - Judas bringing Temple guards to arrest Jesus catches up with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus is arrested and brought to Jerusalem to multiple trials involving the Sanhedrin, Herod and finally Pontius Pilate who will sentence Jesus to death on the cross - As the dawn arises Peter will deny knowing Jesus three times -- 'John 18:1-2 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and His disciples. And Judas also, which betrayed Him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with His disciples.'

'John 18:28 Then [Jewish leaders] led they Jesus from Caiaphas [the High Priest installed by Rome while Annas was the High Priest, there were two High Priests] unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover [the Unleavened Bread portion of the Passover Week, the Crucifixion day was a Feast curfew day, Unleavened Bread has a curfew the Passover does not].' - 'John 18:36-38 Jesus answered [Pontius Pilate], *My Kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants [physically] fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is My Kingdom not from hence [the Kingdom of Jesus is no from Heaven]. Pilate therefore said unto Him, Art thou a King then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I Am a King. [Yes] To this end was I born, and for this cause [King of the World] came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the Truth. Every one that is of the Truth heareth My Voice. Pilate saith unto Him, What is truth?' - Note: The 'Thou sayst' was apparently a custom, and it was required when someone was in court facing Roman charges against them, to confirm dialect especially between a Roman and another culture. When a Roman official spoke the non-Roman would reply 'thou sayest' to confirm that they understood what the Roman was saying.'

John 19 - The rejection, death and burial of Jesus Christ is completed - The Crucifixion day is the [15th of Nisan] on the Feast of Unleavened Bread day the day after the [14th of Nisan] and the Passover Day - It is the same day [Exodus 12:17] that the Children of God left Egypt after the original death of the firstborn Passover in Egypt - {The Apostle Paul explains that the Passover was the night Jesus was betrayed [1 Corinthians 11:23 - "That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread"] the day before His Crucifixion.} -- John 19:4-5 [Pontius] Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring Him (Jesus) forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in Him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! - 'Zechariah 6:11-12 Then take silver and gold, and make Crowns [silver - High Priest crown, gold - Kings crown], and set them upon the head of Joshua (Jesus) the son of Josedech, the High Priest; and speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, 'Behold the man' whose name is the Branch (Nazarene), and He shall grow up out of His place and He shall build the [Heavenly] Temple of the LORD:'

John 19:25-27 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the Disciple [John] standing by, whom He loved, He saith unto His mother, Woman, behold thy son [Christian fellowship]! Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother [Christian fellowship]! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. - The name Mary in Hebrew means bitter so it was a 'bitter,' 'bitter,' 'bitter,' day, event and place to be at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ for the followers of Jesus. Note: Jesus on the cross united His Mother Mary and His Disciple John in Christian fellowship not in some form of worldly adoption. Biblically had Mary adopted the Disciple John then he would have gone to her house because that is what the adoption is it is rights and privileges of the house or estate. Apparently Joseph was clearly deceased not being available for any of the events of the adult life of Jesus and also apparently none of the brothers and sisters were followers of Him either, until after the resurrection so Jesus sent His mother to be with John and the soon to be forming Christian Church.

John 20 - Resurrection Day - The first Jewish converts to Christianity through belief in the eternal life Resurrection of Jesus Christ - The Spirit Baptism of Jesus Christ begins - With the receiving of the Spirit of Jesus Christ a person [Jew or Gentile] becomes a Christian - The Christian Church begins! -- 'John 20:14 And when she [Mary Magdalene] had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and *knew not that it was Jesus.' [Note: Only Christians can recognize Jesus while Mary and the other Jewish Disciples and followers all had to become Christians like the Gentiles have to as well to then recognize Jesus] - 'Colossians 1:27 ... [the Resurrected Jesus] Christ in you, the hope of glory'

John 20:19-23 Then the same day [Resurrection Day] at evening, being [Sunday] the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He shewed unto them his hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father [in Heaven] hath sent Me [Jesus has been back to Heaven], even so send I you. And when He had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost [Having been to Heaven and received by the Father as the acceptable Atonement the Holy Spirit is now given and available to all mankind]: Whose soever sins ye remit [discernment via the Holy Spirit], they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain [discernment via the Holy Spirit], they are retained.

John 21 - After His crucifixion and Glorious resurrection Jesus spends 40 more days with His Disciples instructing them in His eternal Kingdom - The Kingdom that that they are to present to all mankind -- 'John 21:1 After these [crucifixion and resurrection] things Jesus shewed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias (aka the Sea of Galilee and Lake Gennesaret); and on this wise shewed He Himself.'

'John 21:24-25 This is the disciple [John] which Testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we [Apostles] know that His Testimony [Jesus Christ] is True. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.' - The beloved Disciple and Apostle of Jesus Christ closes his Gospel to the Christian Church with his personal Testimony that what he has written and recorded for mankind is based in fact and actually did happen and occurred as he has written.

ACTS

Background to the Book of Acts - The book of Acts has traditionally been called the Acts of the Apostles and this can be a bit confusing because the contents is not about all the apostles, but primarily on the life of Peter (Chapters 1-12) and Paul (Chapters 13-28) - Rather than a history book it is more in line with a biography - Luke gives a record of the life [of Jesus] and events of the early Church for a period of about sixty to sixty five years {About 35 years of Early Church History: The Ascension of Jesus Christ from Mount Olivet, Jerusalem in about 33 A.D. - The Jerusalem Council [1st Church Council] in about 50 A.D. (Acts 15) - until just before the Martyrdom of the Apostle Paul in Rome in about 67 A.D.}

The gospels end with the great commission. (Matthew 28:19-20). "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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age." The book of Acts opens with instructions to the Disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit. These instructions become the theme of the book of Acts and give us a clue to how the spread of Christianity would take place. The purpose of Acts is to show the spread of the Gospel throughout the then known world. 'But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem , and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.' (Acts 1:1-8). The disciples were to be witnesses. In the first twelve chapters the focus is on the Gospel going forth under Peters direction in Jerusalem. There the ministry was directed mainly among the Jews in Jerusalem. Then the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul is stressed in his missionary activities outside of the boarders of Israel. He is known as the Apostle to the Gentiles. -- Jerusalem: Chapter 1-7: Jewish Christian Church which covers about the first fifteen years. Peter is the central character during this period which centers around Jerusalem. -- Judea and Samaria: Chapter 8-12: Gentile Christian Church takes in the next twenty-five years. Paul is the central character during this period which centers around Antioch. Paul takes the gospel to the Gentiles. Ends of the Earth: Chapter 13-28: Consolidation of the Church covers the last thirty years to the close of this period. John is the central character during this period which centers around Ephesus {though not really mentioned in the Book of Acts}. [link]

Footsteps of Paul (Photos)

According to the Acts of the Apostles, Paul made three separate missionary journeys and a journey to Rome. The biblical narrative ends there, but tradition has it that he was martyred in Rome around 67 AD. On the other hand, it is also possible that he was released in Rome following his appeal, and continued his missionary work in various places. Fortunately for modern travelers interested in biblical sites, Paul traveled in some of the most beautiful places around the Mediterranean! Below is an illustrated index of the 11 Footsteps of Paul profiled on Sacred Destinations so far. For photo credits, please see corresponding articles. ... Paul in Rome: According to early tradition, Paul was imprisoned in Rome in 53-62 AD and again in 64 AD. While in Rome he wrote the New Testament books of Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. According to the 4th-century historian Eusebius, he (Paul) was beheaded in Rome in 67 AD. [link]

A Chronological Study of Paul's Ministry

Why is Chronology Important? Chronology is the study of the sequence of events in an historical text, and the comparison of those events with other known events from other sources. The Bible is an historical document, and part of assessing the value of any historical narrative is the study of Chronology. When events in the Bible line up with known dates confirmed outside the Bible, is suggests a high level of reliability in the biblical text. Also, some areas of doctrine are based on chronological assertions, as we shall see in the case of Gal. 2. This outline explains in shortened form how scholars date the events in the ministry of Paul. A more complete study of this process is available in Jack Finnegan, A Handbook of Biblical Chronology. -- Sequential Outline of the Movements of Paul by Major Periods: The first step in studying chronology is to assemble a sequence of events along with all chronological notes. In other words, a narrator will say, "for over two years" or "in time for the Passover." These notes, when assembled, form a time chain, often with some missing spots. Here are the important events for Paul's ministry: [link]

The Apostle [Paul] by John Pollock (Book - Paperback)

Product Description: Pollock brings Paul and his amazing story freshly alive, making it possible for you to know Paul much as Luke or Timothy did as they traveled with him. As you turn the pages, you'll sense Paul's motives, his aims and priorities what mattered to him and what he was willing to die for. [link]

Paul: The Emissary (DVD)

Product Description: How did the fiercest opponent of Christianity become one of its greatest advocates? This dramatic video shows you Paul's powerful conversion on the Damascus road, and his transformation from an angry zealot bent on exterminating the church into a messenger willing to pay any price---even death---to bring the message of salvation to the world. Paul's life changed the ancient world and still confronts our world today! Approx. 54 minutes. [link]

Peter and Paul (DVD)

Product Description: Follow these two very different yet highly influential men over three world-changing decades. Beginning with the crucifixion, you'll see Paul on the road to Damascus, witness the day Peter met Paul in Jerusalem, and watch them clash later over Jewish law. Anthony Hopkins and Robert Foxworth star in this epic network television mini-series about early Christianity. Approx. 194 minutes. [link]

A.D. - The stunning sequel to Jesus of Nazareth - (DVD)

Product Description: The stunning sequel to Jesus of Nazareth, this captivating epic vividly re-creates the turbulent years following the crucifixion of Christ. Witness the growth of the fledgling church, from Peter's first bold sermon at Pentecost to the martyrdom of Paul. Filmed on location in the Middle East and Europe with an all-star cast. Includes a 12-session on-disk study guide. Two DVDs, 6 hours total. Abridged Edition. [link]

Acts - Matthew, John & Acts, 6-DVD Set The Visual Bible Series (DVD)

Product Description: Journey back to first-century Palestine [Israel] and witness the extraordinary events that changed the world! Meet Matthew and John as they reflect on the events they witnessed as Jesus' disciples. Travel with Luke as he shares the struggles and triumphs of the early church. Shot on location, these vivid portrayals are adapted word-for-word from Scripture. Closed-captioned. Six DVDs, approx. 13 hours total. [link]

Acts 1 - Luke a Gentile Physician-Doctor [a Greek background], historian, companion to the Apostle Paul, eyewitness and early Christian Church recorder/reporter continues his Ministry to the Christian Church with his follow up to the Gospel of Luke in his second and final Book of the Bible the Book of Acts -- 'Acts 1:1-3 The former treatise [Gospel of Luke] {A treatise is a formal and systematic written discourse on some subject, generally longer and treating it in greater depth than an essay, and more concerned with investigating or exposing the principles of the subject. - Wiki.com} have I [Luke] made [written], O Theophilus, *of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which He [Jesus] was taken up [Ascension at Mount Olivet, Jerusalem], after that **He [Jesus] through the Holy Ghost had given Commandments [Directions] unto the Apostles whom He had chosen: To whom also He [Jesus] shewed Himself alive [Resurrection] after His Passion [Passion to reunite God and mankind - Cross and Resurrection] **by many infallible [irrefutable] proofs, being seen [eyewitness] of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God ...'

Acts 1:4-14 And, [Jesus] being assembled together with them [on the Mount of Olives - at the Ascension of Jesus], Commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for **the promise of the Father [to send the Comforter - the Holy Spirit as a companion], which, saith He, ye have heard of Me [John 14:6]. For John [the Baptist] truly baptized with water; but ye [already baptized by Jesus, with the Firstfruits of the Spirit (John 20:22) - Christians] shall be baptized [by the Father] with the Holy Ghost [for comfort, wisdom, truth, empowerment, etc. to be a witness of Jesus Christ to the world] not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, *wilt thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel [from Rome]? And He said unto them, It is not for you (Christians) [before Pentecost] to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. ***But ye [Christians] shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. **And when He [Jesus] had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their [visible] sight. **And while they looked stedfastly [for His return] toward Heaven as He went up, behold, two men [Angels] stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, **why stand ye gazing up into Heaven [at this spot on Mount Olivet]? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven {but when Jesus visibly returns to Mount Olivet it will be to the Jews not the Church - the Church will already be in Heaven}. Then [departed Mount Olivet] returned they unto Jerusalem from the Mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a Sabbath day's journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room [in the upper room - where the Passover, Last Supper was eaten], where abode [lived] both [Apostles and Disciples (brethren)] {Apostles} Peter, and James [brother of John], and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James [son of Alphaeus]. These all continued with one accord [combined purpose] *in prayer and supplication, with the women, *and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His {Disciples} brethren [Christians]. The Promise of the Father is to send the Comforter and the empower [the Holy Spirit] to those who acknowledge Jesus [John 14:16]. The Promise of Jesus is to give eternal life [John 14:6] to all that come to Him. - John 14:6-21 Jesus saith unto him [Apostle - Thomas], ***I [Jesus] Am *the Way, *the Truth, and *the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. ... If ye love Me, keep My Commandments [instructions]. And I will pray the Father, and He [Father] shall give you another (along with Jesus) Comforter [Holy Spirit], that He [Holy Spirit] may abide with you [eternally] forever; Even the [Holy] Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him [Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit] not, neither knoweth Him [God]: but ye know Him; for He [God] dwelleth with you, ***and shall be in you [Firstfruits - Resurrection Day - birth of the Christian Church]. I [Jesus] will not leave you comfortless: I [Jesus] will come to you [Resurrection]. Yet a little while [death on the cross], and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me [Resurrection]: **because I live, ye shall live also. At that [Resurrection] day ye shall know that I Am in My Father, and ye in Me, **and I [Firstfruits] in you. He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father [who will baptize with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit], and I will love him, and **will manifest [show] Myself [Jesus] to him [Christian].

Acts 2 - The Christian Church already individually (Luke 24:31) [by faith in the cross and resurrection of Jesus] having the 'born again' Firstfruits of the Spirit of Jesus - The Church corporately (all in one group) receives the 'experience' the promised Baptism of the Father the Comfort and empowerment of the Holy Spirit - Note: At Pentecost The Holy Spirit is poured out upon the entire world [John 16:8] - With Pentecost [empowerment for the Church, conviction for the world] comes the Baptism of Persecution (Fire) for the Church -- 'Acts 2:1-5 And when the Day of Pentecost [lit. 50 days - after the Feast of Firstfruits] [5th Levitical Feast - Leviticus 23:16] was fully come, they [Christians] were all with one accord in one place [in the upper room]. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire [refinement, trials, persecution], and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled [empowered] with the Holy Ghost, and [experientially] began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, ***out of [representing] every Nation under Heaven.' - 'John 16:7 Nevertheless I [Jesus] tell you the Truth; It is expedient for you that I go away [back to Heaven]: for if I go not away, the Comforter [Holy Spirit] will not come unto you [at Pentecost]; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He [Holy Spirit] is come, ***He will reprove the *world [Pentecost is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the entire world] of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me [Jesus]; Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more [after the Ascension]; Of judgment, because the prince of this world [Satan - Devil] is judged.'

Acts 2:14-21 But Peter, standing up with the Eleven [Apostles - Judas has committed suicide], lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, *be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour [9:00 A.M.] of the day. **But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel [Joel 2:28-32]; And it shall come to pass in the Last Days [days since - The Triumphal Entry of Jesus in to Jerusalem], saith God, I will pour out of My [Holy] Spirit *upon all flesh [the entire world]: and your [Jewish, Christian and Gentile - *the entire world] sons and your daughters shall prophesy [at times everyone (inside and outside of the Church) speaks for a prophetic truth about God, however (outside of the Church) it is often a corrupted message i.e. New Age message (Acts 16:17-18)], and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on My servants [Christians] and on My handmaidens [men and women] I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy: [including all days - even the days of Tribulation and Great Tribulation] And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke [Tribulation]: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood [Great Tribulation], *before that Great and Notable Day of the Lord come [2nd Coming of Jesus]: ***And it shall come to pass [at any day, at any time, at any moment, Last Days, Church Age, Tribulation, Great Tribulation], that *whosoever [any person] shall call [at any time] on the Name [Jesus] of the Lord [that person] shall be Saved. - Pentecost, empowerment, witness and persecution: In the few days before Pentecost the Christian Church gathered in the Jewish Temple and worshiped Jesus [Luke 24:53] without any incidents because the Church was without the [external upon] witness of the Holy Spirit. With Pentecost and the giving of the Holy Spirit upon the entire world, upon every individual and with the empowerment of the Christian Church by the Holy Spirit and now all of mankind with the increased presence of God among mankind the conflict between man and God has dramatically increased and the Christian Church is at the forefront of man's conflict with God. With Pentecost the desire for mankind to either accept or reject the Ministry of Jesus Christ has been heightened and those who reject God do so in a more violent manner. - Note: The Baptism of Fire (persecution) upon the Christian is a baptism directly enacted by Jesus [Matthew 3:11] therefore Jesus controls all aspects and intensities of the persecution (Baptism of Fire) in the life of each Christian. To receive the Baptism of Fire from Jesus is to be given the opportunity to grow in faith and trust in Jesus and it is to be trusted enough by Jesus to be able to endure in the Christian faith while continuing to be a witness of Jesus. - Also Note: With Pentecost and the global outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all mankind [since the blood, cross and death of Jesus - the blood of Jesus has cleansed the entire world (Acts 10:15) - the world [system] is now a clean - however [unclean from within] unsaved mankind is working overtime to corrupt what Jesus has cleansed upon] with the Holy Spirit upon all mankind Christianity and the resurrection life of Jesus Christ that Christianity represents is not a philosophy nor just an idea of a select few but Christianity is the living Spirit, Blood and Word - Testimony of God and therefore because Christianity is a living Spirit that unsaved mankind then physically reacts out of proportion [sometimes in strong denial, rejection, even dangerously, etc.] to the Spiritual calling on their life by God in Jesus Christ.

Acts 3 - The early Christian Church continually Worshiped and Served Jesus Christ even after His bodily Ascension back into Heaven - As a part of their Christian Devotion to Jesus their lives and the lives of those around them were dramatically altered being transformed by the Holy Spirit to conform within the Kingdom of God -- 'Acts 3:1-9 Now Peter and John went up together into the Temple at the hour of prayer [Christians went to the Temple only to pray and perform certain services but no longer to sacrifice (a lamb) as Jesus is our eternal sacrifice], being the ninth hour [3:00 P.M.]. And a certain man lame [unable to walk] from his mother's womb [physical birth] was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the Temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms (gifts) of them that entered into the Temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the Temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us [make eye contact]. And he gave heed unto them [looked them in the eye], expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said [worldly wealth], Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have [Heavenly wealth] give I thee: *In the Name [at Jesus' bidding] of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he [Peter] took him by the right hand [Christian fellowship], and lifted him up [cross and resurrection of Jesus]: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood [new life - resurrection], and walked [Christian walk], and entered with them [into fellowship] into the Temple [to pray to God], walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God ...'

Acts 3:10-26 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the Temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering. And when Peter saw it, he *answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? ***The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified His Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of [Pontius] Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer [Barabbas] to be granted unto you; And killed [Jesus] **the Prince of life, whom God hath raised [resurrection] from the dead; **whereof we are witnesses. And His Name [Jesus] *through faith [cross and resurrection] in His Name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by Him [Jesus] hath given him [lame man] this perfect [complete] soundness [health] in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it [crucified Jesus], as did also your rulers. *But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth *of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled. ***Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And He [Father] shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: [Jesus] *Whom the heaven must receive [remain] {this is where the concept of the Church Rapture emerges as Jesus is to remain in Heaven and not to come physically to the earth until the end of the Book of Revelation and His 2nd Coming to the Jews, Jesus will have gathered His Christian Church together unto Himself in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17) avoiding coming to earth until later} until the times of restitution [end of the Book of Revelation] of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His Holy Prophets since the world began. **For Moses truly said (Deuteronomy 18:15) unto the fathers, A Prophet [who is God] shall the Lord your God raise up [resurrection] unto you of your brethren, [a leader of the people of Israel] like unto me [Moses]; Him [Jesus] shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that Prophet [Jesus], shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the Prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. *Ye [redeemed of God] are the Children of the Prophets, and of the Covenant which God made with our fathers, **saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed [Jesus] shall all the Kindreds [Ethnicity] of the earth be Blessed. Unto you [Jews] first(,) God, having raised up [resurrection] His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you [Jews, first], in turning away every one of you from his iniquities [inability to have a real meaningful relationship with God]. - The Apostles Peter and John demonstrate to the people both in their life and in their preaching that the Spiritual nature of the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ though it has only partially arrived [Firstfruits] for mankind the partial Kingdom of Jesus Christ fully Triumphs over and supersedes the current fallen physical realm and predicament of mankind.

Acts 4 - The Gospel of God in Jesus Christ has begun to be Preached (Proclaimed) to mankind first to the Jews in Jerusalem then to the mixed multitude [Jews and gentiles] in Samaria [the ancient (O.T.) Kingdom of Northern Israel] and ultimately to all the Gentiles of the world -- 'Acts 4:1-4 And as they [Apostles] spake unto the people, the Priests, and the Captain [of the guard] of the Temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, *Being grieved [since Pentecost Christianity is a perceivable Spirit that men either rejoice in or are grieved by] that they taught the people, *and preached through Jesus *the resurrection [of just humans] from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide [lit. close of a regular day - G2703]. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men [converts to Christianity] was about five thousand.'

Acts 4:5-31 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the High Priest [the Jewish appointed High Priest], and Caiaphas [the Roman appointed High Priest], and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred [Levitical Tribe] of the High Priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? *Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost [the continuing empowerment and witness of Pentecost], said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole [lit. Salvation]; **Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised [resurrection] from the dead, even *by Him [Jesus] doth this man stand here before you whole. *This [Jesus] is the stone which was set at nought [aside - not used] of you [Temple] builders (Isaiah 28:16, Psalm 118:22), which is become the head of the corner. *Neither is there Salvation in any other: ***for there is none other Name under Heaven ***given among men, ***whereby we must be Saved [eternal resurrection life in Jesus]. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned [unschooled in ministry] and ignorant men [tradesmen], they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this Name [Jesus]. And they called them, *and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the Name of Jesus. **But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. *For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man [who was healed] was above forty years old [an adult], on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they [Christians] heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, **and said, *Lord, thou art God, *which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For of a truth against thy Holy Child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the Name of thy Holy Child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, *and they [Christians] spake the word of God with boldness. - Now the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ has been removed from the religious institutions and the Gospel News is to be brought directly to the people of the world directly from the Children of God.

Acts 5 - With the presence and assistance of the Holy Spirit people are able to Trust and discern the Truth of Christianity and as a result the Christian Church realizes an enormous, explosive, unprecedented exponential growth in numbers of participants -- 'Acts 5:14 And [Christian] believers were the more added to the Lord [Jesus Christ], multitudes both of men and women.'

Acts 5:17-42 Then the High Priest [Annas] rose up, and all they that were with him, which is the sect of the Sadducees [liberal sect of Judaism (Democrats) - Pharisees are the conservative sect (Republicans)], and were filled with indignation, And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. *But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, **and said, Go, stand and speak *in the Temple [speak to the inner spirit of man] to the people all the words of this [eternal resurrection] life. And when they heard that, they entered into the Temple early in the morning, and taught. But the High Priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council [Sanhedrin - Jewish Supreme Court] together, and all the senate of the children of Israel and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the [Jewish] officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within. Now when the High Priest and the Captain [of the guard] of the Temple and the Chief Priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow. Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the Temple, and Teaching the people. Then went the Captain with the Officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the Council: and the High Priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this [Jesus] Name? and, ***behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your *doctrine, and intend to bring this man's [Jesus'] blood upon us. **Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, **We ought to obey God [Jesus] rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince [Son] and a Saviour, *for to give repentance to Israel, **and forgiveness of sins. ***And we are His witnesses of these things; ***and so is also ***the Holy Ghost, *whom God hath given [in comfort, wisdom and empowerment] to them that obey Him. *When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, *and took counsel to slay [kill] them. Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named *Gamaliel [the Apostle Paul's teacher - Paul was a Pharisee], a doctor [teacher] of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the Apostles forth a little space [in another room]; And said unto them [Jewish Council], Ye men of Israel, *take heed [from God - pray first] to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. For before these days rose up Theudas [a false christ], boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, *and [God] brought [it] to nought. After this man rose up Judas [false christ] of Galilee in the days of the taxing [about the time of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem], and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed [by God]. *And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: *for if this counsel or this work [of the Apostles] be of men [acting in the Name of God], it will come to nought: **But if it [ministry of the Apostles] be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. And to him *they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and *beaten them, *they commanded that they should not speak in the Name of Jesus, and let them go {they somewhat agreed}. And they [Apostles] departed from the presence of the Council, *rejoicing that they were counted worthy [by Jesus] to suffer shame for His Name. And daily in the Temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. - Note: The famous teacher Gamaliel [his writings are still with us today - quoted in the Talmud] is who the Apostle Paul as a boy and as a young man received his instruction in the Torah (Bible) from before Paul (Saul) became a Christian. - [Gamaliel, also called Gamaliel I or Gamaliel the Elder was a first century authority on Jewish law who appears in the Acts of the Apostles. In Christian tradition, he was later considered to be a Christian saint (Saint Gamaliel). In Judaism he is a respected authority quoted in the Talmud referred to as Rabban Gamliel. - Wiki.com] (The title "Rabban," was borne only by presidents of the highest religious council, first prefixed to the name of Gamaliel - www.jewishencyclopedia.com).

Wikipedia.org - Gamaliel: However, there is no other record [than the writings of the Apostle Paul] of Gamaliel ever having taught in public, although the Talmud does describe Gamaliel as teaching a student who displayed impudence (The quality of being offensively bold - answers.com) in learning, which a few scholars identify as a possible reference to [the Apostle] Paul

As Rabban: In the Talmud, seven leaders of Hillel's school of thought, of which Gamaliel was the first, are given the title Rabban (master), a rabbinic title given to the Head of the Sanhedrin; although it is not doubted that Gamaliel genuinely held a senior position, whether he actually held this highest position has been disputed. Gamaliel holds a reputation in the Mishnah for being one of the greatest teachers in all the annals of Judaism: Since Rabban Gamaliel the Elder died, there has been no more reverence for the law, and purity and piety died out at the same time Gamaliel's authority on questions of religious law is suggested by two Mishnaic anecdotes, in which the king and queen ask for his advice about rituals; the identity of the king and queen in question is not given, but is generally thought to either be King Herod Agrippa I and his wife Cypris, or King Herod Agrippa II and his sister Berenice. However, as classical rabbinical literature always contrasts the school of Hillel to that of Shammai, and only presents the collective opinions of each of these opposing schools of thought - without mentioning the individual nuances and opinions of the rabbis within them - these texts do not portray Gamaliel as being knowledgeable about the Jewish scriptures, nor do they portray him as a teacher. For this reason, Gamaliel is not listed as part of the chain of individuals who perpetuated the Mishnaic tradition; instead, the chain is listed as passing directly from Hillel to Johanan ben Zakkai. Nevertheless, the Mishnah still mentions Gamaliel's authorship of a few legal ordinances on the subjects of community welfare and conjugal rights. He argued that the law should protect women during divorce, and that, for the purpose of re-marriage, a single witness was sufficient evidence for the death of a husband. The Mishnah also contains a saying it attributes to 'Gamaliel', though it is vague in this case about which particular 'Gamaliel' it means; the saying itself concerns religious scruples: Obtain a teacher for yourself, keep yourself [on religious questions] far from doubt, and only infrequently give a tithe using general valuation. Various pieces of classical rabbinic literature additionally mention that Gamaliel sent out three epistles, designed as notifications of new religious rulings, and which portray Gamaliel as the head of the Jewish body for religious-law. Two of these three were sent, respectively, to the inhabitants of Galilee and the Darom (southern Judea), and were on the subject of the Levite Tithe. The third epistle was sent to the Jews of the Diaspora, and argued for the introduction of an intercalary month. Since the Hillel school of thought is presented collectively, there are very few other teachings which are clearly identifiable as Gamaliel's; there is only a somewhat cryptic dictum, comparing his students to classes of fish: A ritually impure fish: one who has memorized everything by study, but has no understanding, and is the son of poor parents A ritually pure fish: one who has learnt and understood everything, and is the son of rich parents A fish from the Jordan River: one who has learnt everything, but doesn't know how to respond A fish from the Mediterranean: one who has learnt everything, and knows how to respond. -- Influence on the Christian Apostles: The author of Acts of the Apostles introduces Gamaliel as a Pharisee and celebrated scholar of the Mosaic Law. In this passage, Saint Peter and the other apostles are described as being prosecuted by the Sanhedrin for continuing to preach the Gospel, despite the Jewish authorities having previously prohibited it; the passage describes Gamaliel as presenting an argument against killing the apostles, reminding the Sanhedrin about previous revolts, which had been based on beliefs that individuals such as Theudas and Judas of Galilee were the prophesied messiah, and which had collapsed quickly after the deaths of those individuals. According to Acts, his authority with his contemporaries was so great that they accepted his advice, regardless of how unwelcome it was; Gamaliel's concluding argument to them had been that: if [the Gospel] be of men, it will come to naught, but if it be of God, ye will not be able to overthrow it; lest perhaps ye be found even to fight against God. The Book of Acts later goes on to describe Paul of Tarsus recounting that he was educated at the feet of Gamaliel about Jewish religious law, although no details are given about which teachings Paul adopted from Gamaliel - and hence how much Gamaliel influenced aspects of Christianity. However, there is no other record of Gamaliel ever having taught in public, although the Talmud does describe Gamaliel as teaching a student who displayed impudence in learning, which a few scholars identify as a possible reference to Paul. Helmut Koester, Professor of Divinity and of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard University, is doubtful that Paul studied under this famous rabbi, arguing that there is a marked contrast in the tolerance that Gamaliel is said to have expressed about Christianity, in contrast to the "murderous rage" against Christians that Paul is described as having prior to his conversion. [link]

The Apostle Paul - When Paul became a Christian, his very thorough [Jewish] education was enormously helpful - He was able to assimilate Christian doctrines rapidly and relate them accurately to the Scripture teaching he had received - From his education, both from Gamaliel and in the desert [Saudi Arabia] from the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul developed a divine viewpoint attitude toward human history - *Paul knew that the existence of God [by the Holy Spirit since Pentecost] can easily be perceived by anyone, *that man can become aware of God, *but that many men's deliberate sin halted this good beginning [after becoming aware of God] by [continued] immoral activities which accompanied their [past] idolatry

The Apostle Paul - The apostle Paul was one of the most famous citizens of the Roman Empire and without question one of the most influential individuals in history. He was used by the Lord in his missionary and evangelistic activities to set in motion a great deal of the organization known as the Christian Church, the Body of Christ on earth, to the extent that billions of human beings have been directly or indirectly affected by his ministry. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote the foundation documents for the Christian way of life, the Word of God which has changed the lives of millions. -- Paul's Education: Paul was educated by his mother until the age of five. From age five to ten he studied with his father in the Hebrew scriptures and traditional writings. At the same time, being a Roman citizen and living in a Greek and Roman environment, he received a thorough education in the Greek language, history, and culture. He was sent to Jerusalem at about the age of ten to attend the rabbinical school of Gamaliel, who was the son of Simeon the son of Hillel. Gamaliel was a most eminent rabbi who was mentioned both in the Talmud and in the New Testament (Acts 5:24-40; 22:3). Gamaliel was called Rabban - one of only seven teachers so called. He was a Pharisee, but he rose above party prejudice. He composed a prayer against the Christian "heretics". He lived and died a Jew. At this time, Herod was dead, and the Romans had complete control of Judea, hence, there was Roman money, language, and culture. The Jews, therefore, were inclined to cling more closely to their religion as the center of unity. [Refer to the topic: Judean History] There were two great rabbinical schools, those of Hillel and Schammai. Hillel, the grandfather of Gamaliel, held that tradition was superior to the Law. The school of Schammai despised traditionalists, especially when there teachings clashed with the writings of Moses. The religious school of Gamaliel (Hillel) was chiefly oral and usually had a prejudice against any book but Scripture. They used a system of Scriptural exegesis, and Josephus in his writings expressed the wish to have such a power of exegesis. When school was in session, learned men met and discussed scriptures, gave various interpretations, suggested illustrations, and quoted precedents. The students were encouraged to question, doubt, even contradict. -- When Paul became a Christian, his very thorough education was enormously helpful. He was able to assimilate Christian doctrines rapidly and relate them accurately to the Scripture teaching he had received. From his education, both from Gamaliel and in the desert from the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul developed a divine viewpoint attitude toward human history. Paul knew that the existence of God can easily be perceived by anyone, that man can become aware of God, but that many men's deliberate sin halted this good beginning by immoral activities which accompanied their idolatry. Therefore, Paul had an intense hatred of idolatry of any kind. Paul's teaching shows that the only reality is God. Idolatry distorts man's conception of the world and external nature. Idolatry is the enemy of mankind. Paul knew the law of growth of human nature. As a Roman, Tarsian, Hebrew, and culturally Greek, he knew of the many distortions of the life of his society. As a nation becomes unhealthy, development is halted. Societies errors as to the nature of God and the true relation of God to man prevented nations from getting rid of their besetting evil. The books of Acts is the chief authoritative record for the ministries of Paul and the other apostles. For a brief outline of Paul's ministry, see the Chronological Table of Paul's Ministry. The most thorough, accurate, and interesting secular work on Paul is The Life and Epistles of St. Paul, by Conybeare and Howson. [link]

JewishEncyclopedia.com - GAMALIEL I: Son of Simon and grandson of Hillel: according to a tannaitic tradition (Shab.15a), he [Gamaliel] was their successor as nasi and first president of the Great Sanhedrin of Jerusalem - The apostle Paul prides himself on having sat at the feet of Gamaliel

His Correspondence: Son of Simon and grandson of Hillel: according to a tannaitic tradition (Shab.15a), he was their successor as nasi and first president of the Great Sanhedrin of Jerusalem. Although the reliability of this tradition, especially as regards the title of "nasi," has been justly disputed, it is nevertheless a fact beyond all doubt that in the second third of the first century Gamaliel (of whose father, Simon, nothing beyond his name is known) occupied a leading position in the highest court, the great council of Jerusalem, and that, as a member of that court, he received the cognomen "Ha-Zaen." Like his grandfather, Hillel, he was the originator of many legal ordinances with a view to the "tiun ha-'olam" (= "improvement of the world": Gi. iv. 1-3; comp. also Yeb. xvi. 7; R. H. ii. 5). Gamaliel appears as the head of the legal-religious body in the three epistles which he at one time dictated to the secretary Johanan (account of Judah b. 'Illai: Tosef., Sanh. ii. 6; Sanh. 11b; Yer. Sanh. 18d; Yer. Ma'as. Sh. 56c). Two of these letters went to the inhabitants of Galilee and of the Darom (southern Palestine), and had reference to the tithes; the third letter was written for the Jews of the Diaspora, and gave notice of an intercalary month which Gamaliel and his colleagues had decided upon. That part of the Temple territory-a "stairway of the Temple mount"-where Gamaliel dictated these letters is also the place where he once ordered the removal of a Targum to Job-the oldest written Targum of which anything is known (report of an eye-witness to Gamaliel II., grandson of Gamaliel I.: Tosef., Shab. xiii. 2; Shab. 115a; Yer. Shab. 15a). -- His Relative Position: Gamaliel appears also as a prominent member of the Sanhedrin in the account given in Acts (v. 34 et seq.), where he is called a "Pharisee" and a "doctor of the law "much honored by the people. He is there made to speak in favor of the disciples of Jesus, who were threatened with death (v. 38-39): "For if this counselor this work be of men, it will come to naught: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it." He is also shown to be a legal-religious authority by the two anecdotes (Pes. 88b) in which "the king and the queen" (Agrippa I. and his wife Kypris; according to Büchler, "Das Synhedrion in Jerusalem," p. 129, Agrippa II. and his sister Berenice) go to him with questions about the ritual. Tradition does not represent Gamaliel as learned in the Scriptures, nor as a teacher, because the school of Hillel, whose head he undoubtedly was, always appears collectively in its controversies with the school of Shammai, and the individual scholars and their opinions are not mentioned. Hence Gamaliel is omitted in the chain of tradition as given in the Mishnah (Abot i., ii.), while Johanan b. Zakkai is mentioned as the next one who continued the tradition after Hillel and Shammai. Gamaliel's name is seldom mentioned in halakic tradition. The tradition that illustrates the importance of Johanan b. Zakkai with the words, "When lie died the glory of wisdom [scholarship] ceased," characterizes also the importance of Gamaliel I. by saying: "When he died the honor [outward respect] of the Torah ceased, and purity and piety became extinct" (Soah xv: 18). -- His Classification of His Pupils: Gamaliel, as it appears, did most toward establish-. ing the honor in which the house of Hillel was held, and which secured to it a preeminent position within Palestinian Judaism soon after the destruction of the- Temple. The title "Rabban," which, in the learned hierarchy until post-Hadrianic times, was borne only by presidents of the highest religious council, was. first prefixed to the name of Gamaliel. That Gamaliel ever taught in public is known, curiously enough, only from the Acts of the Apostles, where (xxii. 3) the apostle Paul prides himself on having sat at the feet of Gamaliel. [link]

Acts 6 - The early Christian Church and Church leaders in Jerusalem learn to handle the continual controversies and conflicts that arise both from within the Christian Church and from outside the Church -- 'Acts 6:1-7 And in those [early Church in Jerusalem] days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians [Greek Jews] against the Hebrews [Israel Jews], because their widows were neglected [not on the list] in the daily [food giving] ministration. Then the Twelve [the Eleven plus Matthias the (temporary) replacement for Judas - Paul in all likeliness became the Twelfth Apostle permanently replacing Judas] called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the [study and preaching] word of God, and serve tables [distribute food]. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this [charity] business. But we [leaders] will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word [Bible]. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a [Greek - Jewish convert] proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the Apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the [Levitical Temple] Priests were obedient [converts] to the [Christian] faith. - Note: The Grecian Christians issued the complaint and the early Church (primarily Hebrew) responded not in a compromise but by selecting all seven of the appointed charity workers from the Grecian group. The Greek [Greece the 5th Kingdom of the world - Revelation 17:10] nation ruled over Israel for about 200 years [336 B.C. - 149 B.C.] before Rome began to rule over Israel and the Greek culture was deeply implanted into Jewish society in Israel.'

Acts 6:8-15 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain [Greek - Helenistic Jews] of the Synagogue, which is called the Synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the [Holy] Spirit by which he spake. Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him [Stephen], and brought him to the council, And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this Holy place [Temple], and the law: For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place [Temple], and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. And all that sat in the council, *looking stedfastly on him, saw [observed] his face [with the presence of the Holy Spirit upon him] as it had been the face of an angel [in the very presence of God]. - Stephen living enough in the presence of God to become loving enough to witness to the people around him becomes bold enough to die for the Christian faith and becomes the first Christian martyr.

Acts 7 - Stephen under arrest for blasphemy and on trial for his life in Jerusalem - Stephen uses as his defense the known fact that nearly every single prophet of importance to Israel throughout the history of Israel the people of Israel have first rejected the true Prophet before they ultimately accepted them and their ministry as being of God - Stephen is saying that Jesus was obviously God in the flesh though many people refused to believe it but then rejecting the true Prophets of God is the track record of mankind when it comes to interactions between man and God - Mankind has a propensity to reject the true interaction with God while at the same time embrace the false prophets of the world -- 'Acts 7:52-53 Which of the [true] Prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them [true Prophets] which shewed before [prophesied] of the coming of the Just One [Jesus Christ]; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers [their Jewish forefathers put to death the true prophets but they managed to go a step further and put to death the Messiah, Jesus the one prophesied about]: Who have received the law [the image of Jesus] by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it [because the law revealed the nature of Jesus].'

Acts 7:52-60 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One [Messiah]; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law [Divinely] by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart [enraged in their soul], and they gnashed on him with their teeth. *But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, *looked up stedfastly *into heaven, *and saw the glory of God, *and Jesus *standing [Jesus is standing as the Melchizedek High Priest ready to receive into Heaven the acceptable offering of the sacrifice and life of Stephen] on the right hand of God, And said, **Behold, I see the Heavens opened, and the Son of Man [Jesus] standing on the right hand of God [Father]. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city [outside the city limits, probably at the dump], and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul [later the Apostle Paul] {Note: Saul (the Apostle Paul) although perfectly within his rights did not throw a stone himself - Paul was not the violent aggressor that the secular world wants to portray}. And they [not Saul] stoned Stephen, ***calling upon God, and **saying [as Jesus said from His cross (Luke 23:46)], Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. *And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge [as Jesus had said from His cross (Luke 23:34)]. And when he had said this, he fell asleep [to the Christian death is as harmless as sleep and often in the Bible death is referred to simply as a [harmless] sleep for those who are saved and will awake in Heaven]. - Note: Normally in the Bible Jesus is represented as seated [enthroned]at the right hand of the Father Matthew 26:64)however Stephen describes Jesus as standing - standing is a part of the office of the High Priest - sitting is a part of the office of the King. Jesus preforms all three offices of God as King of the Universe, High Priest [Melchizedek] and True Prophet. The Christian Stephen lived his life with Jesus as his example, he preached his life with Jesus as his example and in his death (sleep) he departed with Jesus as his example and as such Stephen saw Jesus standing in Heaven and was received directly into Heaven receiving what the Apostle Paul would call the martyrs death the "better resurrection" (Hebrews 11:35).

wikipedia.org - St. Stephen's Day [December 26th]: Commemorates Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr

St. Stephen's Day, or the Feast of St. Stephen, is a Christian Saint's day celebrated on 26 December in the Western Church and 27 December in the Eastern Church. Many Eastern Orthodox churches adhere to the Julian calendar and mark St. Stephen's Day on 27 December according to that calendar, which places it on January 9 according to the Gregorian calendar used in secular (and Western) contexts. It commemorates St Stephen, the first Christian martyr or protomartyr. -- Protomartyr (Greek "first" + "martyr") is a term for the first Christian martyr in a country. Alternatively, the phrase the Protomartyr (with no other qualification of country or region) can mean Saint Stephen, the first martyr of the Christian church. -- See also: Boxing Day [day after Christiams] - The name derives from the English tradition giving seasonal gifts (in the form of a "Christmas box") to less wealthy people. In the United Kingdom this was later extended to various workpeople such as laborers, servants, tradespeople and postal workers. ... Boxing Day is traditionally celebrated on 26 December, St. Stephen's Day, the day after Christmas Day. Unlike St. Stephen's Day, Boxing Day is a secular holiday and is not always on 26 December: the public holiday is generally moved to the following Monday if 26 December is a Saturday. If 25 December is a Saturday then both the Monday and Tuesday may be public holidays. However the date of observance of Boxing Day varies between countries. In Ireland - when it was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland - the UK's Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the feast day of St Stephen as a non-moveable public holiday on 26 December. Since Partition, the name "Boxing Day" is used only by the authorities in Northern Ireland (which remained part of the United Kingdom). Their Boxing Day is a moveable public holiday in line with the rest of the United Kingdom. The Banking and Financial Dealings Act of 1971 established "Boxing Day" as a public holiday in Scotland. In the Australian state of South Australia, 26 December is a public holiday known as Proclamation Day. -- Calendar: In the countries that observe this holiday, 26 December is commonly referred to both as Boxing Day and as St. Stephen's Day, no matter what day of the week it occurs. However, in some countries, holidays falling on Saturday or Sunday are observed on the next weekday. Boxing Day cannot be on a Sunday, that day being the officially recognized day of worship, so traditionally it was the next working day of the week following Christmas Day, (i.e. any day from Monday to Saturday). In recent times this tradition has been either forgotten or ignored. Most people consider 26 December to be Boxing Day even when it falls on a Sunday. The last year 26 December was called Christmas Sunday in the United Kingdom and Canada was 1993. The next time the date fell on a Sunday (1999), it was known as Boxing Day. If Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, then Monday 28 December is declared a bank or public holiday. In the United Kingdom and some other countries, this is accomplished by Royal Proclamation. In some Canadian provinces, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday that is always celebrated on 26 December. As with most statutory holidays in Canada, if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, compensation days are given in the following week. If Boxing Day falls on a Sunday then Christmas Day would be on a Saturday, so in countries where these are both bank or public holiday, the Statutory Holiday for Christmas is moved to Monday December 27 and the Statutory Holiday for Boxing Day is moved to Tuesday December 28. If Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, then Boxing Day is on Monday 26 December, and no Royal Proclamation is required. In such a circumstance, a 'substitute bank holiday in the place of Christmas Day' is declared for Tuesday 27 December, so the Boxing Day holiday occurs before the substitute Christmas holiday. [link]

Acts 8 - The early Christian Church begins to experience wide scale opposition and persecution -- 'Acts 8:1-3 And Saul [later the Apostle Paul] was consenting unto his [Stephen's] death. *And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they [Christians - Disciples] were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, *except the Apostles [Apostle means 'sent out' at this point in the Church the Disciples basically fled while the Apostles remained calm]. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to *prison [early Christians in Jerusalem were primarily sent to prison for a short time].'

Acts 8:4-25 Therefore they [Christian - Disciples] that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the [Gospel] Word. Then Philip [one of the seven servants as was Stephen] went down to the city of Samaria [ancient capital of Northern Israel], and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man, called Simon [the Sourcer - Warlock], which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. *But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the Name of Jesus Christ, *they were baptized, both men and women. *Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the Apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God [but not yet the actual Kingdom of God], they sent unto them *Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost [Jesus instructed that the Christian Church would expand orderly and with the participation of Peter (Matthew 16:17-19) the leading Apostle]: For as yet He [Holy Spirit] was fallen upon none of them [Pentecost empowerment]: only they were baptized [Firstfruits] in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they [Peter, John] their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost [i.e. the 2nd Pentecost of the Church "Samaritans" - with the 3rd Pentecost household of Cornelius (Acts 10) Romans-Gentiles yet to come]. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the Apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given {actually a new mission field was opened up}, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. **But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee [Peter did not consider Simon the Sourcer to be saved], because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. *Thou [unsaved] hast neither part nor lot in this matter: *for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. *Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. *For I perceive [discern] that thou art in the gall of bitterness [against Jews and Christians], and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon [unwilling to go to God himself], and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me. And they, when they had testified and preached the Word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the Gospel in many villages [in the now open mission field] of the Samaritans. - The spread of Christianity being a work of God ordained in the Holy Spirit was spread only through the opening of opportunities by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 9 - The Pharisee Saul of Tarsus while traveling the road to Damascus experiences a divine encounter with the resurrected Jesus Christ of Nazareth and instantly converts to Christianity eventually becoming the Apostle Paul the permanent 12th Apostle (replacing Judas), the leader and human standard for putting forth Christian doctrine and the writer of the majority of the Holy Bible's New Testament -- 'Acts 9:1-4 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the [Christian] disciples of the Lord, went unto the High Priest, And desired of him letters [of authority] to Damascus to the Synagogues, that if he found any of this way [Christianity], whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. *And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: *and suddenly there shined round about him *a light from Heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?'

Acts 9:5-22 And he [Saul] said, ***Who [Father, Son Jesus or Holy Spirit] art thou, Lord? *And the Lord said, *I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks [the prodding of God to become a Christian]. And *he trembling and astonished *said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice [but unable to hear the words (Acts 22:9)], but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. *And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And *there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord [Jesus] in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord [Jesus]. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive [through confirmation] his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy Saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy Name. *But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: *for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear My Name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for My Name's sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house [of Judas]; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. *And immediately there fell from his eyes [Jewish blindness (Romans 11:7)] as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, *and arose, *and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. *And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, *that He [Jesus] is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this Name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the Chief Priests? But Saul increased the more in strength [Holy Spirit empowerment], and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving [Biblically] that this [Jesus] is very Christ. - Saul of Tarsus had a Divine encounter with the resurrected Jesus Christ and instantly Saul rejected his past and embraced his future realizing the high calling on his life in Jesus Christ. Note: Saul of Tarsus heard the voice of God from Heaven and in one of the great moments of mankind proclaimed "Who art thou, Lord?" Saul knew instantly that God was speaking to Him and he knew just as instantly that God consisted of the Father, the Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit just as all of the Christian Disciples had been claiming and teaching all along. Saul of Tarsus [later the Apostle Paul] grasped and seized his moment of destiny with God in the same way that other great men of God had been able to grasp the enormity of their encounter with the living God of Heaven and earth. Saul understood his moment with God just as much as Abraham understood his moment with God when Abraham on the Mount of Sacrifice (Genesis 22:8-14) declared "Abraham said, my son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together ... And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the Mount of the LORD it shall be seen." King David understanding the greatness of his Divine moment with God at the Holy entrance of God into His Holy city Jerusalem King David worshiped God not as a King of men but simply as a man of God stripped naked and worshiping in the presence of the Holy God of Israel (2 Samuel 6:14). The Prophet Isaiah grasping the moment (Isaiah 37:14-35) that both the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of God were about to be conquered by the invading Assyrian army, Isaiah rushed into the Temple of God and among the Holy Scrolls spread the letter of defeat before God in the Temple and in a prayer of intercession saved the city of Jerusalem, the Temple and the people of God from the impending attack. The Apostle Peter seized his moment of Divine destiny and Preached to the gathered crowd at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41). Saul of Tarsus after hearing the voice of God would rise from the ground and without any disputing or questioning of God's providence and unlike Moses (Exodus 4:10), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:6) and Elijah (1 Kings 19:9) the new convert Saul would immediately set his life to fulfill God's calling on his life and with his life as a living sacrifice to God [God the Father, the Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit] Saul became Paul the Apostle and fulfilled one of the greatest destinies presented by God to a worshiping mankind.

Acts 10 - Acts Chapter 10 - The birth of the Gentile Christian Church -- 'Acts 10:1-7 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a Centurion [soldier - company commander] of the band [unit] called the Italian band, A devout [Gentile] man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the [Jewish and Gentile] people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour [3:00 pm] of the day an Angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he [Angel] said unto him, *Thy prayers and thine alms [giving] are come up for a memorial [eternal remembrance] before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is [Apostle] Peter He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he [Peter] shall [open the doors for the Christian Church to now receive Gentile members] tell thee what thou oughtest to do. ...'

Acts 10:7-48 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa. On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour ... And the voice [of God] spake unto him [Peter] again the second time, *What God hath cleansed [with His blood on the cross], that call not thou common [unclean]. ... Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate, And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them. ... Now therefore are we all here present [back at the house of Cornelious in Caesarea] before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee [Peter] of God. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons [Jew or Gentile]: But **in every Nation he that feareth Him [God], and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him. The word which God sent unto the Children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: He is Lord of all: That Word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea [Israel], and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; *How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. **And we are witnesses of all things which He [Jesus] did both in the land of the Jews, and in [Holy Week] Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed Him openly [visibly]; ***Not to all the people [only Christians (Firstfruits) those haven received the born again' Spirit of Jesus witnessed the Resurrection of Jesus], but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us [Apostles], who did eat and drink [feasting] with Him after He rose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick [living] and dead. To Him give all the prophets witness, that *through His Name *whosoever believeth in Him *shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, ***the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word [the 3rd and final ethnic Pentecost globally opening the Christian Church to Gentiles]. And they of the circumcision [Jewish Christians] which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid [Baptism] water, that these should not be Baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? *And he commanded them to be Baptized in the Name of the Lord [Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit]. Then *prayed [communicated] they him to tarry certain days. - Note: By this time in history with the move of the Holy Spirit to allow Gentiles into the Christian this is about 48 A.D. with the cross, resurrection and Pentecost occurring in about 33 A.D. the Christian Church has been firmly established and is about 15 years old when Gentiles are brought into Christian Fellowship with God. The as a result of Gentiles coming directly into the Christian Church in about 51 A.D. the Christian Church will have its first council the Council of Jerusalem to decide the validity and positioning of Gentiles in the already well-established Christian Church. The decision will be that Gentiles who have also been bought by the blood of Jesus Christ are to be welcomed into the Christian Church as full and equal members in the one universal Church body of the resurrected Jesus Christ.

Acts 11 - The Christian Church in Jerusalem is told by Peter that he was instructed by God to go to Caesarea to preach to the Gentiles and that the Holy Spirit had descended upon the Gentiles and that now through the acceptance of God the Gentiles are converting from Paganism and are now entering into their true Church of God -- 'Acts 11:1-4 And the Apostles and brethren [disciples] that were in Judaea [Israel - Jerusalem] heard that the Gentiles had also received the Word of God. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision [Jewish Christians] contended [argued] with him, Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat [fellowship] with them. But Peter rehearsed the matter [how it was intended by God] from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying, ...'

Acts 11:19-30 Now they [Jewish Christians] which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the Word to none but unto the Jews only. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians [Gentiles], preaching the Lord Jesus. *And the hand of the Lord was [also] with them: and a great number [of Gentiles] believed, and turned unto the Lord [Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit]. Then tidings [news] of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas [Mark's Uncle - Gospel of Mark], that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, *and had seen the Grace of God [among the Gentiles], *was glad, and **exhorted [encouraged] them all [Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians], that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord [Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit]. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. *Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul [Apostle Paul]: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that *a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and *taught much people. *And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. *And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth [famine] throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of [Roman Emperor] Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea [Israel]: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. - The early Christian Church exercised great diversity in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Every person within the congregation participated and contributed in some acceptable form or fashion. Barnabas encouraged the people, Saul (Paul) taught the people, others as watchmen prophesied coming events while everyone contributed to the welfare of the grater Christian Church mainly at that time in Jerusalem. - Note: The book of Acts mentions several local prophets and prophecies that at local in scope, composed mainly of events of concern to that day, location or situation. The Book of Acts in regards to Church prophecy seems to be recording a transition the transition from the Old Testament Office of Prophet [given to only a select few] for example Isaiah to the New Testament Gift of Prophecy [given and available at times to every Christian] for example Agabus and the four daughters of Philip (Acts 21:9).

Acts 11 (Part 2) - The early Christian Church in Jerusalem

The early Christian Church in Jerusalem was an important witness and an important part of all the things that Jesus did and taught in His earthly Ministry especially regarding the events of Holy Week including the cross, resurrection and 40 days later the Ascension of Jesus back into Heaven from Mount Olivet (near Jerusalem). However the early Church leaders in Jerusalem actually seemed early on to begin to hinder the broader plans and purposes of God that He has for His entire bride of Jesus Christ the Christian Church. The Christian Church in Jerusalem suffered a disproportionate amount of hardships compared to other early Christian Churches including several rather sever famines and eventually in 70 A.D. with the rest of Jerusalem the Christian Church in Jerusalem [what was left of it] ceased to exist and now for almost 2,000 years of Christian Church history there has been no Jerusalem centered leadership for the Christian Church a function that for all practical purposes has emanated from Rome and Catholicism. The Book of Revelation (Revelation 2:5) reveals how Jesus is determined to remove His presence from individual Churches and denominations that cease to be a work of God and instead become a humanistic work of man [glorifying pastors] much as the functioning of the Church in Jerusalem appeared to be. Today in modern Christianity we have a very similar set of circumstances in the Evangelical Church where the leaders, pastors, teachers and organizations of Evangelical Christianity have ceased [or have severely curtailed] to represent God and are now more inclined to represent the agendas and councils of men and as a result the modern broad-based current Evangelical system seems to have come under the judgment of God. This immediately brings up two important points. 1. We as individual Christians do not want to be trapped into a judgment that is upon an unfaithful segment of the Christian Church and therefore we should scatter [like the disciples from Jerusalem] from among the Evangelical establishment so as not to hinder the corrective work of God and by doing so becoming a partaker of their justly deserved plagues. 2. It is notable that God will first judge His Church (1 Peter 4:17) before the great and terrible Revelation judgment of the entire earth and so it seems that Evangelical Christianity is being judged and removed and with a severe judgment upon the Church the global judgment of Revelation may not be far behind. [If many particularly major Evangelical ministries start collapsing and dissolving *consider that primarily it is a judgment from God and do not even consider assisting them either financially or emotionally (to enable them to remain unrepentant) in what will probably be a much lamented and very public time for them but instead come outside of a system that has become corrupted by men and worship God outside the gates of the past Evangelical-Jerusalem failed Church system. - Note: It seems that modern day Evangelical Christians are at the same place where early Jerusalem Christians found themselves just prior to 70 A.D. where they were at one time a part of something that for a moment was unique and spectacular but had failed to move along with the broad-based and determined plans of God so therefore their system was to be upended by God and being in a system that was more of men than of God many of the early disciples in Jerusalem chose to vacate the Jerusalem Church and by doing so saved themselves from much hardship [even from destruction] and were therefore much more able to continue on with their lives and the lives of their family in a much better unhindered and untangled environment and were able with pure hearts to lift up clean and simple hands in complete worship and adoration to God.

Acts 12 - The Apostle James the representative of [and Apostle to] the redeemed group of Martyred Saints of Revelation is himself Martyred -- 'Acts 12:1-2 Now about that time Herod [Antipas] the king [the son of King Herod the Great of Matthew 2:1] stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.' Note: Jesus only allowed the Disciples Peter, John and James [each representing a distinct group of redeemed - saved people] to witness and participate at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1) and in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:33) while the other disciples were excluded.' - Peter the Apostle representing the Jews (Galatians 2:7), the Disciple John representing the Christian Church (Revelation 4:1) and James the Apostle representing the Martyred Saints of Revelation (Acts 12:2) - John and James were brothers as the Christian Church and the future [primarily Gentile] Martyred Saints of Revelation (Revelation 6:9) are brothers (Revelation 13:7) but are not the same group - The 144,000 (Revelation 7:4) Jewish witnesses of Revelation are also Martyred (Revelation 14:1) during the tribulation period.

The death of Herod Antipas (who put John the Baptist to death) - Herod the Tetrarch (Matthew 14:1): Acts 12:20 And Herod was highly displeased with them [the cities] of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country. And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration [speech] unto them. *And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. *And immediately the angel of the Lord smote [stricken] him [Herod], **because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and [five days later] gave up the ghost. *But the Word of God grew and multiplied. And Barnabas and Saul [Apostle Paul] returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry [delivering contributions], and took with them John [Mark John - writer of the Gospel of Mark - nephew of Barnabas], whose surname was Mark.

Jewish historian Josephus (Born: 37 AD - Died: 100 AD) on the Death of Herod [Antipas] (Born: 20 BC - Died: 39 AD) - when he had been quite worn out by the pain in his belly [infection from worms] for five days, he departed this life

Josephus on the Death of Herod: By Nathan Busenitz - In Acts 12:20-24, Luke records the remarkable account of the death of Herod Agrippa I (who reigned from A.D. 37-44). Below is the same event described by the historian Josephus. It's fascinating stuff. "Now when Agrippa had reigned three years over all Judea, he came to the city Caesarea. . . . . There he exhibited shows in honor of the emperor. . . . On the second day of the festival, Herod put on a garment made wholly of silver, and of a truly wonderful contexture, and came into the theater early in the morning; at which time the silver of his garment was illuminated by the fresh reflection of the sun's rays upon it. It shone out after a surprising manner, and was so resplendent as to spread a horror over those that looked intently upon him. At that moment, his flatterers cried out . . . that he was a god; and they added, 'Be thou merciful to us; for although we have hitherto reverenced thee only as a man, yet shall we henceforth own thee as superior to mortal nature.' Upon this the king did neither rebuke them, nor reject their impious flattery. But as he presently afterward looked up, he saw an owl sitting on a certain rope over his head, and immediately understood that this bird was the messenger of ill tidings, as it had once been the messenger of good tidings to him; and he fell into the deepest sorrow. A severe pain also arose in his belly, and began in a most violent manner. He therefore looked upon his friends, and said, 'I, whom you call a god, am commanded presently to depart this life; while Providence thus reproves the lying words you just now said to me; and I, who was by you called immortal, am immediately to be hurried away by death. But I am bound to accept of what Providence allots, as it pleases God; for we have by no means lived ill, but in a splendid and happy manner.' After he said this, his pain was become violent. Accordingly he was carried into the palace, and the rumor went abroad that he would certainly die in a little time. But the multitude presently sat in sackcloth, with their wives and children, after the law of their country, and besought God for the king's recovery. All places were also full of mourning and lamentation. Now the king rested in a high chamber, and as he saw them below lying prostrate on the ground, he could not himself forbear weeping. And when he had been quite worn out by the pain in his belly for five days, he departed this life, being in the fifty-fourth year of his age, and in the seventh year of his reign." (Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 19.343-350). [link]

Herod Antipas who put John the Baptist to death, son of Herod the Great - was Born: 20 BC - Died: 39 AD - Cause of death: unspecified [infected with worms]

Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great by the Samaritan Malthace, and full brother of Archelaus, received as his share of his father's dominions the provinces of Galilee and Peraea, with the title of tetrarch. Like his father, Antipas had a turn for architecture: he rebuilt and fortified the town of Sepphoris in Galilee; he also fortified Betharamptha in Peraea, and called it Julias after the wife of the emperor. Above all he founded the important town of Tiberias on the west shore of the Sea of Galilee, with institutions of a distinctly Greek character. He reigned 4 BC to 39 AD. In the gospels he is mentioned as Herod. He it was who was called a "fox" by Christ (Luke 13:32). He is erroneously spoken of as a king in Mark 6:14. It was to him that Jesus Christ was sent by Pilate to be tried. But it is in connection with his wife Herodias that he is best known, and it was through her that his misfortunes arose. He was married first of all to a daughter of Aretas, the Arabian king; but, making the acquaintance of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip (not the tetrarch), during a visit to Rome, he was fascinated by her and arranged to marry her. Meantime his Arabian wife discovered the plan and escaped to her father, who made war on Herod, and completely defeated his army. John the Baptist condemned his marriage with Herodias, and in consequence was put to death in the way described in the gospels and in Josephus. When Herodias's brother Agrippa was appointed king by Caligula, she was determined to see her husband attain to an equal eminence, and persuaded him, though naturally of a quiet and unambitious temperament, to make the journey to Rome to crave a crown from the emperor. Agrippa, however, managed to influence Caligula against him. Antipas was deprived of his dominions and banished to Lyons, Herodias voluntarily sharing his exile. [link]

Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1) [Father of Herod Antapas] - This revised chronology dates the capture of Jerusalem to 43 B.C., the rebuilding of the Temple to 32 B.C., and Herod's death to 8 B.C. - Some of the evidence for this revised chronology is summarized below

Herod the great captured Jerusalem for the Romans in the first century B.C. He rebuilt the Second Temple of Jerusalem, the Temple where Christ later taught. Herod tried to kill the Christ-Child, by killing the male children 2 years of age or younger in Bethlehem and the surrounding area. Not long before his own death, Herod put to death about forty Jews who studied at the Temple, "and that very night there was an eclipse of the moon." Biblical chronologists generally date the capture of Jerusalem by Herod to 37 B.C., the rebuilding of the Temple as beginning in 20 B.C., and Herod's death to either 4 B.C. or 1 B.C. This revised chronology dates the capture of Jerusalem to 43 B.C., the rebuilding of the Temple to 32 B.C., and Herod's death to 8 B.C. Some of the evidence for this revised chronology is summarized below. For details and references, please see chapter 12 of the book. 1. According to Josephus, the year in which Herod captured Jerusalem was both a Sabbatical year (which must include the summer before the capture of the city) and a year in which Tishri 10 fell in September. To determine the year of the capture of Jerusalem, we must take both these factors into consideration. Notice, in the Table above, that the usual date for the capture of Jerusalem is ruled out, because Tishri 10 did not fall in September in that year. So far, we have three possible dates for the capture of Jerusalem: 44 B.C., 43 B.C. and 36 B.C. Examining the length of Herod's reign and the year of his death will help us decide between them. [link]

Pontius Pilate (Matthew 27:2) - Eusebius quoted some early Apocryphal (the general term 'Apocryphal' is usually applied to the books that were considered by the Church as useful, but not divinely inspired - wiki.com) accounts which he did not name, that said Pilate suffered misfortune in the reign of Caligula (AD 37-41), was exiled to Gaul (present day France and Belgium) and eventually committed suicide there in Vienne - There is an old tradition linking the birthplace of Pilate with the small village of Bisenti, Samnite territory, in today's Abruzzo region of Central Italy. There are ruins of a Roman house known as "The House of Pilate" - [Eusebius born 263 AD - died 339 AD - became the Bishop of Caesarea [home of Cornelius (48 A.D.) - Acts 10:1], in Palestine (Israel), about the year 314 A.D. - wiki.com]

Etymology of the name Pilatus: There are several possible origins for the cognomen Pilatus. A commonly accepted one is that it means "skilled with the javelin". The pilum (= javelin) was five feet of wooden shaft and two feet of tapered iron. When the point penetrated a shield, the shaft would bend and hang down, thus rendering it impossible to throw back. Another definite origin of Pilatus was the name given to a hat worn by the devotees of the Dioskouroi. The Castorian cult was well established throughout the empire and persisted well into the 5th Century AD particularly among the Dacian and Sarmatian soldiers throughout the frontiers of the empire. The name Pileatus was used as a cognomen by the descendants of Burebista of Dacia whose descendants are known to have been soldiers who were stationed in Judea, Britain, Spain, Gaul, and Germany. -- Birth, life and death in legend: Pilate's date and place of birth are unknown. An 1899 article in the New York Times references a Scottish legend that Pilate's father was an ambassador to the Caledonians and that he was born in Fortingall in Glen Lyon, Perthshire; this legend is quite common in Highland Perthshire. The 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica article on Pilate said that Pontius suggested a Samnite origin-among the Pontii-and his cognomen Pileatus, if it derived from the pileus or cap of liberty, implied that he was either descended from, or had been himself a freedman. It is also commonly believed that the name 'Pontius' implies that he was descended from Gaius Pontius, the Samnite General. One tradition relates that he married Claudia Procula, daughter of illegitimate birth to Julia, Augustus' only natural offspring and adopted by Tiberius who had previously been married to Julia. Eusebius quoted some early apocryphal accounts which he did not name, that said Pilate suffered misfortune in the reign of Caligula (AD 37-41), was exiled to Gaul and eventually committed suicide there in Vienne. There is an old tradition linking the birthplace of Pilate with the small village of Bisenti, Samnite territory, in today's Abruzzo region of Central Italy. There are ruins of a Roman house known as "The House of Pilate." [link]

Acts 13 - The Missionary efforts of the Christian Church primarily to Gentiles begins with Saul [Apostle Paul] and Barnabas being sent out (Apostle) by the Holy Spirit on the first of three Missionary trips undertaken by the Apostle Paul and recorded in the book of Acts -- 'Acts 13:1-4 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen [a childhood friend of Herod], which had been brought up with Herod the Tetrarch, and Saul [Apostle Paul]. ***As they ministered to the Lord [Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit], and fasted, *the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the [Missionary] work whereunto I have called them. And when they [Church fellowship] had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, *being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia [in modern Syria]; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.' - Note: Where Jesus is the head and authority of the Christian Church it is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit that is in charge of gathering, assembling and orchestrating the Christian Church into becoming the one assembled Bride of Jesus Christ.

Acts 13:43-52 Now when the [Jewish synagogue] (redeemed - Jewish redemption) congregation was [concluded for the Saturday] broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next Sabbath day [Saturday] came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the Word of God [for salvation] should first have been spoken to you [Jews the redeemed of God]: but seeing ye put it [Salvation] from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life [here and now], lo, *we turn to the Gentiles. *For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for *salvation [eternal life] unto the ends of the earth. *And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them [evicted] out of their coasts. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost. - Note: What is being offered to the Jews is salvation. The [observant obedient - Synagogue] Jews are already redeemed (in the presence of God) and for the redeemed Jews salvation comes *after death. Jesus is offering Salvation [eternal life] here and now. The Gentiles [us]do not have redemption as the observant Jews do, some Gentiles are (saved) in that their conscience was a witness to them that there is a God but they were saved (also after death) not directly knowing God and not being in the presence of God as the redeemed Jews are. Gentiles who become Christians receive instantly both the Redemption (without sin in the presence of God) and Salvation (eternal life). Where the Jews have Jewish redemption and eventually (after death) eternal life (Salvation) a redeemed Jew can become a Christian and then also receive Salvation already having redemption but the Gentiles coming into the Christian Church only have the option of Salvation and with Christian Salvation comes redemption.

PAUL [the Apostle] has been called the greatest Christian who ever lived

PAUL has been called the greatest Christian who ever lived. He also suffered greatly for the name of Jesus Christ. When Paul defended his calling to the Church, he defined suffering as a major proof of his spiritual office. 'I have worked much harder,' he insisted, 'been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again' (2 Corinthians 11:23). Strength in Weakness: But Paul's many trials did not deter him from living the Christian life. Neither did they restrict his preaching the gospel. To the contrary, suffering seemed to impel Paul to even greater spiritual service. The apostle Paul said something remarkable about his adversities: 'For Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong' (2 Corinthians 12:10). We shouldn't, however, think of Paul as bigger than life or an indestructible superman. There were times when the tremendous hardships he confronted were far beyond his human endurance. After suffering one rather malicious incident of persecution, Paul admitted he and his companions 'despaired even of life' (2 Corinthians 1:8). But Paul had faith in the living God to see him through his trial. 'On him we have set our hope,' wrote Paul, 'that he will continue to deliver us' (verse 10). But as Paul's life demonstrates, God usually delivers us out of troubles we are already in, not necessarily from troubles before they begin. Yet, as we must, Paul was able to rise above all his many afflictions. How did he do it? And how can we surmount our trials and troubles? Paul certainly didn't overcome by his own strength or will. He never took personal credit for being able to bear his painfully heavy cross. He attributed his spiritual muscle to its true source - Jesus Christ. Paul said: 'I can do everything through him who gives me strength' (Philippians 4:13). He exulted, not in his own will and courage, but in the power of Christ in him. By his example we know that we, too, have access to the same spiritual power and courage. [link]

Seleucia [near Antioch (Syria)] - Seleucia was the seaport from which Paul and Barnabas left [from the Church in Antioch] with John Mark [Mark who the departed from the mission at Pamphylia] for their first missionary journey (in approximately 49 A.D.) (Photos)

Seleucus I Nicator of Syria founded Seleucia Pieria in 301 B.C. as a port for his capital in Antioch. The city became one of the "Syrian Tetrapolis," designed to promote Hellenistic culture in Syria. It was then an important political, military, and economic game piece in the Ptolemaic-Seleucid wars. In 63 B.C. Rome made Seleucia a free city and then in 70 A.D. made it the base for the imperial fleet. ... see Acts 13:4). Part of the ancient (manmade) harbor can still be seen, although it has since silted up. This harbor caused continual problems and required frequent maintenance. ... Titus' Tunnel: A stream which led into the harbor was so threatening during the flood season that the Romans built a water channel north of the city to divert it. Legionaries, sailors, and Judean prisoners provided the work for the project. Titus' tunnel, as it is called today, cuts through the solid rock of the mountain in two places. ... Vespasian Inscription: The tunnel is dated based on two inscriptions. The inscription shown here was dedicated to Vespasian and Titus, so construction of the tunnel probably began in 70 A.D. However it was not finished until the second century. [link]

Map of Paul's First [of Three] Missionary Journeys - [Paul made a fourth documented trip - as prisoner in his first visit to Rome] - This map reveals the areas in Asia Minor where Paul visited in his first missionary journey around 48 AD (Map - List of Bible Verses)

This map reveals the areas in Asia Minor where Paul visited in his first missionary journey. Around 48 AD, in the springtime, Paul and his companions Barnabas and Mark were sent on a mission from the church in Antioch. This would be the first of Paul's Missionary Journey's. They had been gone for a year and a half planting churches and appointing elders. They had traveled approximately 1,250 miles. When they [Paul and Barnabas] returned they reported to the Church [in Antioch and later in Jerusalem] all that had happened. [link]

Acts 14 - The first Missionary Journey continues and the Apostles [Paul and Barnabas] continue to experience and to witness firsthand both the events of miraculous conversions to Christianity from some and from others outright hostile opposition against Christianity -- 'Acts 14:3-7 Long time therefore abode [in the city of Iconium] they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave Testimony unto the Word of His [Jesus'] Grace, and granted [miraculous] signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the Apostles. And when there was *an assault made *both of the *Gentiles, and also of the *Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them, They were aware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about: And there they [also] preached the gospel.'

The first Missionary Journey is successfully concluded: Acts 14:21-28 And when they had preached the gospel to that city [Derbe], and had taught many, they **returned again to Lystra [where Paul was taken outside the city and stoned to death - and also where the Disciple Timothy (1st and 2nd Timothy) was from who joined Paul on the 2nd Missionary Journey], and to Iconium, and Antioch (Pisidia)[now modern central Turkey], **Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia [where Mark left them and the Missionary Journey (a journey Mark was not originally called by the Holy Spirit to be a part of) and went back to Jerusalem]. And when they had preached the Word in Perga, they went down into Attalia: And thence sailed to Antioch (Syria - now modern costal Turkey) [North of Israel - near the port of Seluecia where they originally left from], from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. And when they were come, and had gathered the church [in Antioch] together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. And there they abode long time with the disciples.

Ancient Syrian Antioch (Modern Antakya in Turkey): Seventeen ancient cities in present day Turkey were named Antioch but only two are remembered today in a historical sense - One is modern day Antakya (located in ancient Syria) and the other is Antioch in Pisidia (Central Turkey)

Overview: A city of southern Turkey on the Orontes River near the Mediterranean Sea. Seventeen ancient cities in present day Turkey were named Antioch but only two are remembered today in a historical sense. One is modern day Antakya (located in ancient Syria) and the other is Antioch in Pisidia ... The plain of Antioch was occupied from the Neolithic onwards but the city itself was not founded until 300 B.C. by the Greek General Seleucus I after the death of Alexander the Great. Antioch was one of the two capitals of the Parthian Empire and was populated by indigenous groups and Greek colonists. It became a Roman city in 64 B.C. and was made the administrative capital of the Roman Province of Syria. [link]

Acts 15 - The 1st Church Council takes place about 52 A.D. at the Church in Jerusalem - The 1st Church Council was specifically in regard to the major number of Gentiles that were now joining the Christian Church daily [predominantly through Missionary efforts] and whether or not the Gentiles would have to be circumcised and observe any of the Jewish customs or take part in any of the established laws of Moses -- 'Acts 15:6 And the Apostles and [Church] Elders [including James the ½ brother of Jesus] came together for to consider of this matter.'

Acts 15:6-22 And the Apostles and Elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing [arguing], [Apostle] Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago [Cornelius and his household at Caesarea] God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, *giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, **purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke [law of Moses] upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? **But we believe that through the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we [Jews who are Redeemed] shall be Saved, even as they [Gentiles who are now being Saved - Salvation]. Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. And after they had held their peace, James [the ½ brother of Jesus - Church leader in Jerusalem] answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon [Apostle Peter] hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, ***to take out of them a [Christian] people for His Name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After [Gentile Christian Church] this I [Messiah] will return [2nd Coming], and will build again the Tabernacle [House - Dwelling] of [the Throne of King] David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That [during the Christian Church Age] the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My Name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. ***Known unto God are all His works ***from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God [those who have the Holy Spirit]: But that we write unto them, *that they abstain from pollutions of [Gentile] idols, and from [Gentile] fornication, and from things strangled [Jewish law], and from blood [Jewish law]. **For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him [abstain from idols and fornication because it is un-Christian, abstain from unclean food and blood only if it offends the local Jewish population], being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day. Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole Church [in Jerusalem], to send chosen men of their own company to [the Church in] Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren ... - Note: The early Church recognized that God was active in calling Gentiles into His Christian Church and they also recognized that the Gentiles would have to conduct their new life in a manner consistent with Biblical Christianity and finally they concluded that it is important for Christians not to openly offend those that have remained Jewish. Also Note: All food including blood is now clean because the eternal blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed the world. Eating animal blood and probably human blood if it were obtained in a legal manner does not make a person unclean. Satan has devised a scheme that the world is unclean however it is not. It is unprofitable to do questionable things and germs and disease might be involved but if someone for example drank pig blood thinking it is an evil act the act itself is not but the intentions of their heart might be. - Some cultures eat blood foods and if the Jews are simply notified that it is a custom and not a slight on Moses then they are free to eat their blood food of course not offering any of it to a devout Jewish person because that would be terribly offensive. The 1st Church council was saying to the Gentiles to have our Christian Gentile liberties but also to be mindful and respectful of the [Redeemed] Jews who do still follow the laws of Moses. [article link]

Acts 15 (Part 2) - Christian Church Councils - All of the Church Councils throughout history have dealt specifically with the issues of God's Redemptive and Salvation plan for mankind and in light of God's plan for mankind the councils have also attempt to explain who God is to mankind - A Note of Encouragement: Participation in the blog Bible Study has been going extraordinarily well since the start of the study and it continues as one of the most active projects on the Basic Christian website. I'm encouraged and blessed daily by the numbers of people who are so actively studying the Bible and seeking a direct relationship with God in Jesus Christ. Continue with prayer, study and fellowship! Continue the good work in Jesus Christ!

A brief background note on the blog Bible Study and a summary of Redemption and Salvation: The Bible is about the Redemption and Salvation plan of God for mankind therefore the blog Bible Study is attempting to be about the Redemption and Salvation of mankind in examining the predetermined plan of God in Jesus Christ for mankind. - Summary: Adam and his wife [later named Eve] were both a part of the original creation of God and were both created possessing Redemption [in the visible, perceivable presence of God] and Salvation [eternal life]. With the fall of Adam and Eve by disobedience to God that directly resulted in sin against God then Adam and Eve lost their Redemption and Salvation and as a result of not having Redemption and Salvation they were then unable to pass along Redemption and Salvation to any of their descendants including us at our present day. The very children of Adam and Eve were without God in any form except in the brief [redemptive] knowledge of God that their parents Adam and Eve were able tell them about from their experiences and for a few corrective and punitive [redemptive] measures from God. It seems we fail to realize how complete the sin separation was for mankind and how devastating the results were. Adam and Eve were a part of the original creation of God and then their immediate children [Cain, Abel, Seth, etc.] composed a group of individuals separated from God but were able through the instructions of their parents to follow substitutional sacrificial practices. This group highly separated from God consisting of individuals and families were known as the 'sacrificing righteous Gentiles' a group of disorganized individuals that encompassed the highly personally [self] esteemed Job and it finally the system spun completely out of control and came to an end in the folly of Balaam the last of the sacrificing Gentiles. God chose the man Abram (Abraham) and his wife Sarai (Sarah) from among the sacrificing Gentiles to become the father of the Jewish Nation of further redeemed of God. Jewish Redemption was to bring mankind through the laws, customs and representation of God into a more direct and more Redeemed presence of God [as an example for all of mankind] than any of mankind had previously been since the fall of mankind. God Redeemed the Jewish Nation of Israel through Covenants (Promises), Laws (Society), Kings (representation of God), Priests (access for the people to God), Prophets (access from God to the people) all a direct representation of the one coming Jesus Christ the Messiah of all mankind. With the now accomplished Redemption and Salvation for all mankind in the Messiah Jesus Christ the finalized Christian Salvation and Redemption provided in the Virgin birth, atoning Redemption blood and eternal Salvation resurrection life of Jesus Christ is the completed work of God among mankind however not everyone is yet at the completed Christian work of God in mankind. The work of God in convicting Gentiles [in remote areas who have not heard the Gospel] through their conscience about the Holy God and through the enormity and splendor of God's creation continues. Also the Redemption of the Jewish people and Nation of Israel continues and soon another group of Redeemed the End Time Martyred Saints of Revelation will be established and quickly joined by the Redeemed 144,000 [Jewish Firstfruits (Revelation 14:4), Jews who acknowledge Jesus and remain Jewish] Jewish Witnesses of Jesus Christ the Messiah. Then after the return of Jesus Christ and during His 1,000 year Righteous Kingdom reign here on earth there will be another group of Redeemed 'Millennial Saints' to continue to fulfill and establish the Redemption and Salvation plan of God in Jesus Christ existing for all of mankind throughout every age and into all of eternity.

The Council of Jerusalem Acts 15:6-31 (Approx. 52 A.D.): where we read of the first General Church Council - A serious question of doctrine arose, and "the apostles and the presbyters came together to consider this matter" - The decree of the Council of Jerusalem went on, then, to establish a binding obligation upon all Christians in the local churches of Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: "that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality" (Acts 15:29) - Did the local churches bristle at this imposition of doctrine and practice from the ecclesiastical leadership of the whole Church? Not at all, but rather they "rejoiced over its encouragement" (Acts 15:31) {The 50 A.D. Jerusalem Council decision was yes, Gentiles can become Christians and then simple directions and reminders were given so that the new Gentile Christians would not offend God. The food (abstain from eating blood) decision was given so that Christians would not offend the Jews. Christians can eat any food however God is still protecting the Jews and He does not want them offended by others even Christians. Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them (Jews) that preach (law) him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.}

The Council of Jerusalem: We may prove this quite readily by turning to Acts 15:6-31, where we read of the first General Church Council. A serious question of doctrine arose, and "the apostles and the presbyters came together to consider this matter" (Acts 15:6). After hearing the arguments and testimony of Peter, Paul and Barnabas, the leader of the Council, James [half brother of Jesus, writer of the book of James], then passed a decree with the words, "Therefore I judge" (Acts 15:19, 'dio ego krino'). This passage describes no truly democratic process, but rather it describes submission to the judgment of a central ecclesiastical authority [an authority completely submitted to Jesus Christ]. -- After receiving the judgment of James, "it pleased the apostles and presbyters together with the whole Church" (Acts 15:22: 'apostolois kai tois presbyterois syn hole ekklesia') to dispatch delegates with a letter promulgating the decree of the Council. The council then drafted a letter in the name of "the apostles and the brother-presbyters" (Acts 15:23: 'hoi apostoloi kai hoi presbyteroi adelphoi'). This phrasing, and especially the apposition of 'presbyteroi' and 'adelphoi', is quite precise in establishing the authority of the decision of the Council in the office of the ministers who serve and lead the Church, as opposed to a democratic process. -- Does the phrase "whole Church" here refer to the universal Church, or merely to the entirety of the congregation at Jerusalem. Recalling that the leadership of the Council was comprised of the apostles who were planting local churches in the Hellenistic world, delegates of the Hellenistic churches, and the presbyters of the church at Jerusalem, we can only rightly conclude that they spoke in the name of the universal Church. Indeed, the letter explicitly states that the authors speak in the authority of the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28); since Paul tells us that it is by one Spirit that we were baptized into one body (1 Cor. 12:13) which is Christ (1 Cor. 12:27) and over which Christ is the head (1 Eph. 1:22-23), when Luke writes in Acts 15:22 of the leadership of the whole Church assenting to the decree of James which is binding on all Gentile Christians, he is necessarily speaking of the Church in its universal or catholic sense. -- The Council then sent the letter to the local churches in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. This letter remarks that the false doctrine which the council repudiated was in fact discernibly false because "we gave no such commandments" (Acts 15:24). Hence, the Bible tells us that right doctrine is subject to the discernment of the leadership of the whole Church. The decree of the Council of Jerusalem went on, then, to establish a binding obligation upon all Christians in the local churches of Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: "that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality" (Acts 15:29). Did the local churches bristle at this imposition of doctrine and practice from the ecclesiastical leadership of the whole Church? Not at all, but rather they "rejoiced over its encouragement" (Acts 15:31). Clearly, the Bible itself sets a precedent for the government of the universal Church by means of General Councils. [link]

wikipedia.org: First Council of Nicaea by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 325 AD - The First Council of Nicaea is commonly regarded to have been the first Ecumenical [representing the whole Christian Church] council of the Christian Church [that is if neglecting the Council of Jerusalem in 52 AD] - Most significantly, it resulted in the first uniform Christian doctrine, called the Creed of Nicaea

History: The purpose of a creed is to act as a yardstick of correct belief. The creeds of Christianity have been drawn up at times of conflict about doctrine: acceptance or rejection of a creed served to distinguish believers and deniers of a particular doctrine or set of doctrines. For that reason a creed was called in Greek a word that meant half of a broken object which, when placed together with the other half, verified the bearer's identity. The Greek word passed through Latin "symbolum" into English "symbol", which only later took on the meaning of an outward sign of something. The Nicene Creed was adopted in the face of the Arian controversy. Arius, a Libyan preacher, had declared that although Jesus Christ was divine, God had actually created him, and there was a time when he was not. This made Jesus less than the Father and contradicted the doctrine of the Trinity. Arius's teaching provoked a serious crisis. The Nicene Creed of 325 explicitly affirms the divinity of Jesus, applying to him the term "God". The 381 version speaks of the Holy Spirit as worshipped and glorified with the Father and the Son. The Athanasian Creed describes in much greater detail the relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Apostles' Creed, not formulated in reaction to Arianism, makes no explicit statements about the divinity of the Son and the Holy Spirit, but, in the view of many who use it, the doctrine is implicit in it. [link]

Nicene Creed of 325 A.D. - Constantinople Creed of 381 A.D.

First Council of Nicea (325 A.D.) We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made both in heaven and on earth; Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; He suffered, and the third day He rose again, ascended into heaven; From thence he shall come to judge the quick (living) and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost. -- First Council of Constantinople (381 A.D.) We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (eons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; from thence He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick (living) and the dead; *whose kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets. In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. [link]

4 Great Church Councils Part 1 & 2 (Mp3s) {Note: The Council of Jerusalem Acts 15:6-31 (Approx. 52 A.D.) is the original and first Christian Church Council. All of the later Church Councils are modeled after the first Jerusalem Council.}

Excellent!!! [link]

The Bible and The Creeds - Sermon Series: An Introduction to the Creeds (Mp3s)

Brian Borgman is the founding pastor of Grace Community Church. He earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Biola University (La Mirada, CA), a Master of Divinity from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary (Portland, OR) and a Doctor of Ministry from Westminster Seminary (Escondido, CA). [link]

Book of Common Prayer (1662) - "I believe there is no Liturgy in the world, either in ancient or modern language, which breathes more of a solid, scriptural, rational piety than the Common Prayer of the Church of England" John Wesley (PDF)

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England (you can download it by clicking the picture to the left or the link below) is still technically the only "official" prayer book of the Church of England, the mother church (for the moment at least) of the Anglican Communion. It itself is the result of more than a century of liturgical development through a turbulent time in British history. Its literary and theological influence is immense; this alone makes it an important document. [link]

Westminster Confession of Faith (1647) - Downloadable Documents (Doc)

The Westminster Catechism was completed in 1647 by the Westminster Assembly and continues to serve as part of the doctrinal standards of many Presbyterian churches. [link]

The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647) - Downloadable Documents (PDF)

In 1643, during a period of civil war, the English "Long Parliament" (under the control of Presbyterian Puritans) convened an Assembly of Divines (mostly Puritan ministers, including a few influential Scottish commissioners) at Westminster Abbey in London. Their task was to advise Parliament on how to bring the Church of England into greater conformity with the Church of Scotland and the Continental Reformed churches. The Westminster Assembly produced documents on doctrine, church government, and worship that have largely defined Presbyterianism down to this day. These documents included a Confession of Faith (1646), a Larger Catechism (1647), and a Shorter Catechism (1647), often collectively called "the Westminster standards." Parliamentary efforts to reconstitute the established Church of England along Presbyterian lines were soon thwarted by the rise to power of Cromwell (who favored Independency) and the expulsion of Presbyterians from Parliament in 1648, and then the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, which quickly led to the reinstitution of Episcopacy and the suppression of Puritanism. -- But things were different in Scotland. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland adopted the Confession of Faith in 1647 and the Catechisms in 1648. The Scottish Parliament ratified them in 1649 and again (after a time of political and religious strife) in 1690. The Presbyterian character of the Church of Scotland was safeguarded when Scotland and England were united under one crown in 1707. Numerous Presbyterian bodies have been formed since then, both in the United Kingdom and around the world, and they have always been constituted on the basis of the Westminster standards (although declension from them has sometimes followed). -- When the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America was formed in 1788, it adopted the Westminster standards, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures. However, it revised chapters 20.4, 23.3, and 31.2 of the Confession, basically removing the civil magistrate (i.e., the state) from involvement in ecclesiastical matters. [link]

The Westminster Confession of Faith 1648 - The Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) and its related documents are the greatest of all the creeds of the Christian church (Mp3s)

"As truly as in the cases of the Nicene and Chalcedonian formularies, the Westminster Standards mark an epoch in the history of human reflection on the truths of the gospel--an epoch in the attainment and registry of doctrinal truth; and as truly in the one case as in the other the statements they give of the truths that fall in their sphere are scientifically final. All attempts at restatement must either repeat their definitions or fall away from the purity of their conceptions or the justness of their language." (Benjamin B. Warfield, "The Significance of the Westminster Standards as a Creed," 1897). [link]

Historic Baptist Documents - Confessions, Catechisms, Creeds

Many contemporaries have a deep-seated suspicion of catechisms. In our own Baptist denomination, many would consider the words "Baptist catechism" as mutually exclusive. A popular misconception is that catechisms are used in times and places where inadequate views of conversion predominate or the fires of evangelism have long since turned to white ash. If the Bible is preached, they continue, no catechism is necessary; catechisms tend to produce mere intellectual assent where true heart religion is absent. This concern reflects a healthy interest for the experiential side of true Christianity. Concern for conversion and fervor, however, should never diminish one's commitment to the individual truths of Christianity nor the necessity of teaching them in a full and coherent manner.~An Encouragement to Use Catechisms, Tom Nettles. [link]

Acts 16 - The Apostle Paul departs for his 2nd of three Missionary Journeys - Barnabas and Paul have divided company so Paul takes Silas on his second journey -- 'Acts 15:35 Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, *with many others also. And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again [on a 2nd Missionary Journey] and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. And Barnabas determined to take with them [Mark] John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. *And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder [split] one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren [fellow Christians] unto the grace of God. And [starting] he went through Syria and Cilicia [local existing Churches], confirming the Churches.'

Acts 16:1-4 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra [where Paul was stoned to death on the first trip]: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus [Timothy, 1st and 2nd Timothy], the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess [Jewish], and believed; but his father was a Greek [Gentile]: Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. **Him [Timothy, ½ Jewish - ½ Gentile] would Paul have to go forth with him; *and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek [but that his mother was Jewish so Timothy should have been circumcised as an infant - Paul was trying to right a previous wrong - and most importantly Paul was trying to find a way for Christianity and Judaism to exist side by side an effort that will almost get Paul killed and will lead to his arrest and being sent to Rome]. And as they [Paul, Silas, Timothy and soon Luke (Acts 16:11)] went through the cities, *they delivered them the decrees [New Testament writings - book of James - probably Gospel of Matthew - and possibly the Didache (extra-Biblical material)] for to keep, that were ordained of the Apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. ... Acts 16:5-10 And so were the Churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily. Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of *Galatia [book of Galatians], **and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia [even though the Holy Spirit had previously directed the Apostle Peter to open up Christianity to all ethnicities there are still barriers that remain in preaching and spreading the Gospel], After they were come [diverted] to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not [again more barriers and another closed door]. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. *And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a [contact] man of Macedonia, and prayed [asked] him, saying, Come over into Macedonia [Greece], and help us. And after he had seen the vision, *immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us [the door was open] for to preach the gospel unto them. ... Acts 16:16-32 And it came to pass [in the city of Philippi, later the book (letter) of Philippians], as we went to prayer, a certain damsel [young lady] *possessed with a spirit of divination [lit. python] [knowledge of Satan's plans or intentions for people, always bondage, usually false hope and often evil - i.e. tragedy, death, illness] met us, which brought her masters much gain [money] by soothsaying [fortunetelling]: *The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation {she has the Holy Spirit of God upon here (since Pentecost - Acts 2:17) and an conflicting evil spirit inside of her}. And this did she many days [Paul took a while to assess and discern the spirits at work through and around her] {not outright confusion but a grey (foggy) area of Christianity and of the world - the events of the world and of the spiritual realm are not always just black and white and we do need to pray and to exercise and use Biblical discernment}. **But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit [of divination], I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her [stop possessing her]. And he came out the same hour [hour - with concern, patience and discernment]. And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains [the evil spirit] was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, And brought them to the magistrates [city officials], saying, These men, being Jews [early Christianity until Rome's edict was still considered a sect of Judaism], do exceedingly trouble our city, And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner [most escape proof part of the] prison, *and made their feet fast in the stocks [wooden handcuffs]. ***And at midnight [the darkest hour] Paul and Silas *prayed, *and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great [actual] earthquake [God intervened], so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled [escaped]. *But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here [we value your life and have not fled]. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas [grateful they did not flee], And brought them out, **and said, Sirs, what must I do to be Saved? **And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house [Christianity is available to everyone, male, female, young, old, etc.]. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. - The life changing message of Christianity continues to be given to a grateful mankind!

The Didache [lit. The Teachings] - The Didache is also called the "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" - It was possibly written around 65 - 80 A.D. {possibly 52 A.D. about the time of the letter from the 1st Church Council in Jerusalem} and is supposed to be what the twelve apostles taught to the Gentiles concerning life and death, church order, fasting, baptism, prayer, etc. - There is debate as to its authenticity - The work is cited by Eusebius who lived from 260 - 341 [A.D.] and Athanasius (293-373 A.D.) It seems to be referenced by Origen who lived from 185-254 [A.D.] - In the Didache, 16:2-3 is quoted in the Epistle of Barnabbas in 4:9, or vice versa - The Epistle of Barnabbas was [possibly] written in 130-131 A.D. - The Didache is not (purely) inspired {extra-Biblical}, but is valuable as an early church document

A total of 16 Chapters: CHAPTER 1 1:1 There are two paths, one of life and one of death, and the difference is great between the two paths. 1:2 Now the path of life is this -- first, thou shalt love the God who made thee, thy neighbor as thyself, and all things that thou wouldest not should be done unto thee, do not thou unto another. 1:3 And the doctrine of these maxims is as follows. Bless them that curse you, and pray for your enemies. Fast on behalf of those that persecute you; for what thank is there if ye love them that love you? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? But do ye love them that hate you, and ye will not have an enemy. 1:4 Abstain from fleshly and worldly lusts. If anyone give thee a blow on thy right cheek, turn unto him the other also, and thou shalt be perfect; if any one compel thee to go a mile, go with him two; if a man take away thy cloak, give him thy coat also; if a man take from thee what is thine, ask not for it again, for neither art thou able to do so. 1:5 Give to everyone that asketh of thee, and ask not again; for the Father wishes that from his own gifts there should be given to all. Blessed is he who giveth according to the commandment, for he is free from guilt; but woe unto him that receiveth. For if a man receive being in need, he shall be free from guilt; but he who receiveth when not in need, shall pay a penalty as to why he received and for what purpose; and when he is in tribulation he shall be examined concerning the things that he has done, and shall not depart thence until he has paid the last farthing. 1:6 For of a truth it has been said on these matters, let thy almsgiving abide in thy hands until thou knowest to whom thou hast given. CHAPTER 2 2:1 But the second commandment of the teaching is this. 2:2 Thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not corrupt youth; thou shalt not commit fornication; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not use soothsaying; thou shalt not practice sorcery; thou shalt not kill a child by abortion, neither shalt thou slay it when born; thou shalt not covet the goods of thy neighbour; 2:3 thou shalt not commit perjury; thou shalt not bear false witness; thou shalt not speak evil; thou shalt not bear malice; 2:4 thou shalt not be double-minded or double-tongued, for to be double tongued is the snare of death. 2:5 Thy speech shall not be false or empty, but concerned with action. 2:6 Thou shalt not be covetous, or rapacious, or hypocritical, or malicious, or proud; thou shalt not take up an evil design against thy neighbour; 2:7 thou shalt not hate any man, but some thou shalt confute, concerning some thou shalt pray, and some thou shalt love beyond thine own soul. CHAPTER 3 3:1 My child, fly from everything that is evil, and from everything that is like to it. 3:2 Be not wrathful, for wrath leadeth unto slaughter; be not jealous, or contentious, or quarrelsome, for from all these things slaughter ensues. 3:3 My child, be not lustful, for lust leadeth unto fornication; be not a filthy talker; be not a lifter up of the eye, for from all these things come adulteries. 3:4 My child, be not an observer of omens, since it leadeth to idolatry, nor a user of spells, nor an astrologer, nor a travelling purifier, nor wish to see these things, for from all these things idolatry ariseth. 3:5 My child, be not a liar, for lying leadeth unto theft; be not covetous or conceited, for from all these things thefts arise. 3:6 My child, be not a murmurer, since it leadeth unto blasphemy; be not self-willed or evil-minded, for from all these things blasphemies are produced; 3:7 but be thou meek, for the meek shall inherit the earth; 3:8 be thou longsuffering, and compassionate, and harmless, and peaceable, and good, and fearing alway the words that thou hast heard. 3:9 Thou shalt not exalt thyself, neither shalt thou put boldness into thy soul. Thy soul shall not be joined unto the lofty, but thou shalt walk with the just and humble. 3:10 Accept the things that happen to thee as good, knowing that without God nothing happens. CHAPTER 4 4:1 My child, thou shalt remember both night and day him that speaketh unto thee the Word of God; thou shalt honour him as thou dost the Lord, for where the teaching of the Lord is given, there is the Lord; 4:2 thou shalt seek out day by day the favour of the saints, that thou mayest rest in their words; 4:3 thou shalt not desire schism, but shalt set at peace them that contend; thou shalt judge righteously; thou shalt not accept the person of any one to convict him of transgression; 4:4 thou shalt not doubt whether a thing shall be or not. 4:5 Be not a stretcher out of thy hand to receive, and a drawer of it back in giving. 4:6 If thou hast, give by means of thy hands a redemption for thy sins. 4:7 Thou shalt not doubt to give, neither shalt thou murmur when giving; for thou shouldest know who is the fair recompenser of the reward. 4:8 Thou shalt not turn away from him that is in need, but shalt share with thy brother in all things, and shalt not say that things are thine own; for if ye are partners in what is immortal, how much more in what is mortal? 4:9 Thou shalt not remove thine heart from thy son or from thy daughter, but from their youth shalt teach them the fear of God. 4:10 Thou shalt not command with bitterness thy servant or thy handmaid, who hope in the same God as thyself, lest they fear not in consequence the God who is over both; for he cometh not to call with respect of persons, but those whom the Spirit hath prepared. 4:11 And do ye servants submit yourselves to your masters with reverence and fear, as being the type of God. 4:12 Thou shalt hate all hypocrisy and everything that is not pleasing to God; 4:13 thou shalt not abandon the commandments of the Lord, but shalt guard that which thou hast received, neither adding thereto nor taking therefrom; 4:14 thou shalt confess thy transgressions in the Church, and shalt not come unto prayer with an evil conscience. This is the path of life. ... [link]

Acts 17 - The 2nd Missionary Journey continues to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ into further reaches of mankind -- 'Acts 17:1-4 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica [1st and 2nd Thessalonians], where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days *reasoned {now the Book of Hebrews} with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and *risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ [Messiah]. And some of them believed ...'

Paul's sermon in Athens Greece at the Mars Hill outdoor Auditorium: Acts 17:16-34 Now while Paul waited for them [Silas and Timothy] at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. *Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, *and in the market daily with them [Gentiles] that met with him. Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans [pleasure seekers - food, wine, music, sex, adventure, etc.], and of the Stoicks (Stoicism) [pleasure deniers - no emotions, submit the body to the mind, overcome all obstacles in life with no emotions], encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because *he [Paul] preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. *And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus [Mars' Hill], saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing. Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, **Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are *too *superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I [starting with God's creation] unto you. God that made [created] the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord [owner - authority] of Heaven and earth, **dwelleth not in temples made with hands; *Neither is worshipped with men's hands [abilities, accomplishments], as though He [God] needed anything [for His existence from man], seeing He [God] giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; **And hath made of one blood [Adam and Eve] *all Nations of men [everyone] for to dwell on all the face of the earth, *and hath determined the times [generations] before appointed, and the bounds [city, state, nation - Limits] of their habitation; [restrictions] That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel [with their conscious] after Him, and find Him, though he be not far from every one of us [God is always close]: ***For in Him [in God's created realms] we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own [Greek] poets have said, For we are also His offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead [Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit] is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. **And the times of this ignorance [before Pentecost] God winked at [allowed mankind to rebel]; ***but now [after the cross, resurrection, Pentecost] commandeth all men everywhere to repent [in the Church age]: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man [Son of Man] whom He hath ordained; whereof ***He hath given assurance unto all men, ***in that he hath raised [resurrection] Him [Jesus - Son of God - Son of Man] from the dead. *And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, *some mocked: and *others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. *Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed [became Christians]: *among the which was *Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named *Damaris, *and others with them.

Areopagus (Mars Hill), Athens [Greece] - The Areopagus or Mars Hill is a bare marble hill next to the Acropolis in Athens - It is especially popular with travelers for its connections with a speech made by Paul the Apostle (Photos)

History: In pre-classical times (before the 5th century BC), the Areopagus was the council of elders of the city, like the Roman Senate. Like the Senate, its membership derived from those who had held high public office, in this case that of Archon. In 462 BC, Ephialtes put through reforms which deprived the Areopagus of almost all its functions except that of a murder tribunal. In classical times, the Areopagus functioned as the chief homicide court of Athens. At the foot of the Areopagus was a temple dedicated to the Erinyes, where murderers could find sanctuary. -- In the Bible: The Areopagus, like most city-state institutions, continued to function in Roman times, and it was then that the Apostle Paul delivered his famous speech about the identity of "the Unknown God." According to the biblical account (Acts 17) ... [link]

Acts 18 - The eventful, far reaching and highly successful 2nd Missionary Journey of the Apostle Paul concludes as Paul visits the seaport city of Corinth in Greece and then after a brief visit to Ephesus [in modern Turkey] he quickly makes his way back to the Church at Antioch hoping first to make it to Jerusalem in time to celebrate the Passover [Holy Week] in Jerusalem - After a very short visit in Jerusalem possibly during Holy Week [it's not mentioned if Paul made it in time] and then on to Antioch and after spending a short time in Antioch he soon departed for his 3rd and final Missionary Journey -- 'Acts 18:9-10 Then [while in Corinth] spake the Lord [Jesus] to Paul in the night by a vision, *Be not afraid [of persecution], but speak, and hold not thy peace: *For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.'

Acts 18:18-23 And Paul after this [put on trial before Gallio] tarried [stayed] there [at Corinth] yet a good while [longer], and then took his leave of the brethren, and [beginning to conclude the 2nd Missionary Journey] sailed thence [in the direction] into Syria [back to Antioch], *and with him Priscilla and Aquila [friends from Corinth]; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a [Nazarite] vow. And he came to [the Church in] Ephesus [in the modern day Nation of Turkey], and left them [Priscilla and Aquila] there [in Church]: but he himself entered into the Synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. When they [Christians] desired him to tarry [stay] longer time with them, he consented not; But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast {Passover?} that cometh in Jerusalem [now Holy Week]: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus. And when he had landed at Caesarea [an ancient seaport in Turkey - not Caesarea Philippi in Israel near Mount Hermon], and gone up, and saluted the church [in Jerusalem], he went down to Antioch. [--- End of the 2nd Missionary Journey] And after he had spent some time there [Antioch], he departed [--- Start of Paul's 3rd and probably final Missionary Journey (though disputed - there might have been a fourth Missionary Journey after Paul was released from prison in Rome)], and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples. - The second Missionary Journey concludes and the Apostle Paul now with a permanent passion [and even a fever] for Missionary life shortly begins another Missionary Journey.

Drive Thru History :: Ancient Greece - A TV Series DVD Promo (YouTube)

In the first episode Dave hops on a car ferry and ends up where you could once find the Oracle at Delphi. After some weird fun Dave looks at the origin of the Olympics, follows the conquests of Alexander the Great, and begins a look at the Apostle Paul. It's in this episode, Drive Thru History presents what is perhaps the most thorough, yet condensed, (about 15 minutes) story of Paul's missionary journeys ever produced for television. In Athens, Dave will take you to the Acropolis and the Parthenon and provides a quick lesson in Greek philosophy learning about Plato, Aristotle and Socrates. In the last episode Dave visits the ruins of ancient Corinth. He examines the decadence of the Corinthians during the Roman era. Corinth sits near an isthmus, and you will see why understanding the geography of Corinth was so important to understanding the people of Corinth. Lastly, Dave will examine the Apostle Paul's life in Corinth and his writings to the church there-writings that forever changed history. Visit the Drive Thru History Website: http://www.drivethruhistory.com. [link]

Acts 19 - With the 3rd Mission Journey the Apostle Paul makes more of a concerted effort to clean up loosened doctrines that are still around, to deepen and instruct the disciples in the correct Church doctrines of Jesus Christ and to strengthen the faith of the new leaders and new disciples by having a faith based solely on the living resurrected Jesus Christ -- 'Acts 19:10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.' - 'Acts 19:21 After these things were ended, Paul purposed *in the Spirit, [that later] when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia [Greece], to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.'

Acts 19:1-7 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos [a disciple from Alexandria, Egypt - he was a disciple of an early disciple of John the Baptist] was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John [the Baptist] verily baptized with the baptism of repentance [renewed heart], saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him [Jesus] which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. *When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve. ... Acts 19:13-20 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the Name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the Word of God and prevailed. - Other people even Jewish people were trying to use the Name of Jesus to command evil spirits however Jesus is not a Name to be thrown around like an incantation instead Jesus is the Name above every name and in His name He is to be worshiped!

Acts 20 - By the 3rd Missionary Journey of the Apostle Paul the Christian Church much as we know it today [with weekly Sunday worship] was firmly established and in operation throughout most of the Roman world -- 'Acts 20:7-11 And upon the first day of the week [Sunday], when the disciples came together to break bread [regular Christian Church day], Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. ... When he [injured man was healed] therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and [Paul] talked a long while, even till [the] break of day [sunrise], so he [Paul then] departed.'

Acts 20:16-38 For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost. And *from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the Church. *And when they were come to him, he said unto them [a farewell sermon], Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: *And how I kept back nothing [all Christian doctrines were publically taught] that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you [every doctrine], and have taught you publickly (publically), and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, **so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. *Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. **Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock [Christian Church], over the which the *Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the ***Church of God, ***which He [Jesus] ***hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous *wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His Grace, *which is able to build you up, and to give you an *inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He [Jesus] said, *It is more blessed to give than to receive. And when he [Paul] had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him, Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship [to continue on his way to Jerusalem].

Urbana Invite Videos - Urbana is intended for anyone interested in missions - It's our prayer that Urbana 09 will be an eye-opening, life-transforming, commitment-producing call to join God's mission (Video - Downloads)

Urbana 09 is intended for anyone interested in missions. The target audience is college-aged women and men between the ages of 18 and 30. But every Urbana draws people from all over North America who want to learn more about global realities, current missions issues, and their place in God's mission. ... Register here at www.urbana09.org. A minimum $100 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit must accompany your registration. The remaining balance should be paid by credit card, e-check, or check by December 15, 2009. [link]

Acts 21 - The Apostle Paul goes once again to the Church in Jerusalem and once again the Apostle Paul attempts to reconcile Christianity with Judaism and this time the events are disastrous and nearly fatal for the Apostle as Paul ends up arrested and in the custody of Rome no longer a freeman but a prisoner of Rome -- 'Acts 21:4 And finding disciples, we tarried there [in Tyre] seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, *that he should not go up to Jerusalem.' - Note: Christian laity prophecy, those exercising the gift of prophecy [forth telling] often simplify and under complicate the prophecy message they are intended to give. The many disciples who prophesied to the Apostle Paul did so in oversimplified black and white terms [don't go to Jerusalem]. The Apostle Paul correctly identified the prophesies as more complex and as a warning from the Holy Spirit, intending that Paul should go to Jerusalem but not to go there unprepared for the unsuspected and disasters events that were about to occur mainly the wholesale and universal rejection of Paul's Gospel message by his Jewish brethren in Jerusalem.

Acts 21:17-24 And when *we [Luke was among the disciples with Paul in Jerusalem] were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And the day following Paul went in with us unto James [½ brother of Jesus - leader of the Church in Jerusalem - book of James]; and all the elders were present. And when he [Paul] had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his Ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law [of Moses]: And they are informed [misinformed] of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. What is it therefore? the multitude [Christians in Jerusalem] must needs come together [be in agreement regarding the customs and laws of Moses for Jewish Christians]: for they [Jewish Christians] will hear that thou art come. **Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men [Jewish Christians] which have a [Temple] vow on them; Them take, and purify thyself with them [at the Temple], **and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: **and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law [of Moses]. - The Apostle Paul arrived in Jerusalem and with the advanced knowledge of Paul's pending arrival the Christian Church in Jerusalem just happened to have four men who were in dire need of a Temple ritual service and of someone to accompany them in their ritual Temple Service. The Christian leaders in Jerusalem being concerned for their own customs didn't even bother to ask Paul what his message was but instead insisted that Paul participate in their customs regardless of any circumstances that might occur. The Apostle Paul attempted to appease the Church in Jerusalem and while following and participating in their manmade localized customs disaster ensued.

Acts 22 - The Apostle Paul complies with the desires of the leaders of the Christian Church in Jerusalem - The results are a disaster as once in the Temple area Jews of Asia [modern Turkey] recognized Paul and immediately sought to kill him - Being arrested by the Roman authorities the Apostle Paul requested to speak to the crowd of Jews - The Jews of Jerusalem [many previously friends of Paul (Saul)] completely rejected the Apostle and more disheartening refused even to hear his message in its entirety -- 'Acts 22:24 The chief [Roman] Captain commanded him [Paul] to be brought into the castle [into the jail cell], and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he [Rome] might know wherefore they [Jews] cried so against him [Paul].' - Note: Even though the Apostle Paul was unexpectedly imprisoned in a Roman jail and facing death with charges of treason and riotousness the disciples who accompanied Paul used their precious time in Jerusalem wisely. Luke used the time to research and to write his Gospel of Luke while Paul even though in jail he used the time to write his letter to his Jewish Christian brethren in Jerusalem his book of Hebrews.

Acts 22:25-30 And as they [Roman guards] bound him [Paul] with thongs [leather ropes], Paul said unto the Centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and un-condemned? When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman [citizen]. Then the chief captain came, and said unto him [Paul], Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea (yes). And the chief captain answered, With a great sum [money] obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born [Paul has family that can come to his defense in the Roman courts]. Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined [scourged] him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him. On the morrow [next day], because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the [Jewish] Chief Priests and all their Council (Jewish Supreme Court) [Sanhedrin] to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them. - The Apostle Paul, the disciples, the Church in Jerusalem, the Jews, the Romans and all the world are trying to initiate their plan to get things to go their way by bringing in their customs, preferences, laws, rituals and their order however everyone is about to find out that there is a new plan being established in the universe and that it is not the plans and desires of man but instead the predetermined purposes and plans of God in Jesus Christ.

Acts 23 - Paul goes on trial both in Jewish and Roman courts - Ultimately in Rome Paul is acquitted and released from prison - However after a brief period of freedom in Rome Paul was rearrested, being a well-known Christian leader and during the continued persecution of Nero the Apostle Paul was put to death while in his second prison stay - A short time late the Apostle Peter was also executed in Rome during the same persecution of Christians by Caesar Nero -- 'Acts 23:1-5 And Paul, earnestly beholding the [Sanhedrin] Council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good *conscience before God until this day. And the High Priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him [Paul] on the mouth [being struck Paul becomes a type of Jesus (John 18:22)]. Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for [because] sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to [against] the law? And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest? *Then said Paul, I wist (lit. perceived) not, brethren, that he was the high priest [Paul is saying that the only High Priest is Jesus Christ]: for it is written [Exodus 22:28], Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.'

The letter (epistle) that accompanied Paul written by the Chief army Captain of Rome in Jerusalem to the Roman Governor Felix in Caesarea: Acts 23:25-35 And he [Roman army Captain] wrote a letter (epistle) after this manner: [army Captain] Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent Governor Felix sendeth greeting. This man [Paul] was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood {well actually later} that he was a Roman. And when I would have known [uncertain of their accusations] the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council [to clarify their charges against him]: Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds. And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee [clearly] what they had against him. Farewell [end of letter]. Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris. On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned [the foot soldiers] to the castle [back in Jerusalem]: Who, when they [the horse soldiers] came to Caesarea, and delivered the epistle (letter) to the Governor [Felix], presented Paul also before him. And when the Governor had read the letter, he asked [why do I have to deal with this mess] of what province he was. And when he understood that he [Paul] was of Cilicia [Tarsus of Cilicia]; I will hear thee, said he, *when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall. - The Apostle Paul entered the often clear but sometimes murky Roman judicial system. Paul was kept in prison in Caesarea and not forwarded to Rome in the hopes of Governor Felix that Paul would pay him a large bribe or ransom to obtain his freedom (Acts 24:26) but the Apostle Paul had been told in a vision that this was to take Paul to Rome to testify of Jesus in Rome so the Paul didn't even consider paying money for his release.

Acts 24 - The Apostle Paul would now spend over two years' time in jail in Caesarea - The Apostle Paul having already written the book of Hebrews [while in jail in Jerusalem] could have written his famous 'confinement' (prison) Epistles [the Bible books - Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, Philippians] while in jail in Caesarea though Church tradition holds that the four Epistles were written by Paul while under house arrest in Rome after having left Caesarea and having traveled by ship to Rome -- 'Acts 24:27 But after two years Porcius (Procurator) [High Roman official - 2nd in command to the Emperor - wiki.com] Festus came into [Governor] Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound [in jail]. - Note: Besides the four common Prison Epistles of Paul the book of Hebrews is a prison Epistle [Hebrews 13:19] (from Paul's imprisonment in Jerusalem) and the book of 2nd Timothy [2nd Timothy 1:8] is a prison Epistle from Paul's second imprisonment in Rome and was written possibly just days before Paul was executed as a prisoner of Rome

Acts 24:24-27 And after certain days, when [Governor] Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he [Paul] reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come *Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. He hoped also that [bribe] money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him. But after two years Porcius (Procurator) Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound. - The Apostle Paul navigates the many and varied ramifications of being a prisoner of not only of Rome and Jerusalem but also of the many and varied administrative officials of the Roman Empire.

The Epistles of Paul by C.I. Scofield - The Two Silences: Two periods in the life of Paul after his conversion are passed over in a silence which is itself significant--the journey into Arabia, from which the Apostle returned in full possession of the Gospel explanation as set forth in Galatians and Romans; and the two silent years in prison in Caesarea, between his arrest in the Temple at Jerusalem and his deportation to Rome - It seems most congruous [harmonious] with the events of Paul's life to suppose that these great revelations [Paul's Epistle books of the Bible] came during the silent years at Caesarea--often spoken of as wasted

The Two Silences: Two periods in the life of Paul after his conversion are passed over in a silence which is itself significant--the journey into Arabia, from which the Apostle returned in full possession of the Gospel explanation as set forth in Galatians and Romans; and the two silent years in prison in Caesarea, between his arrest in the temple at Jerusalem and his deportation to Rome. It was inevitable that a trained intellect like that of Paul, a convinced believer in Mosasism, and, until his conversion on the Damascus road, an eager opponent of Christianity, must seek the underlying principles of the Gospel. Immediately after his conversion he preached Jesus as the Messiah; but the relation of the Gospel to the Law, and, in a lesser degree, of the great Jewish promises, needed clear adjustment if Christianity was to be a reasonable faith, and not a mere dogma. In Arabia Paul sought and found that adjustment through revelation by the Spirit. Out of it came the doctrinal explanation of salvation by grace through faith, wholly apart from the law, embodied in Galatians and Romans. But the Gospel brings the believer into great relationships--to the Father, to other believers, to Christ, and to the future purposes of God. It is not only a salvation from sin and the consequences of sin, but into an amazing place in the Divine counsels. Furthermore, the new thing, the church in its various aspects and junctions, demanded clear revelation. And these are the chief themes of the Epistles written by Paul from Rome, and commonly called the Prison Epistles--Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians. It is contrary to the method of inspiration, as explained by Paul himself, to suppose that these crowning revelations were made apart from deep meditation, demanding quietness, and earnest seeking. It seems most congruous with the events of Paul's life to suppose that these great revelations came during the silent years at Caesarea--often spoken of as wasted. - Article from Scofield Reference Notes (1917) (Public Domain) For over 90 years people have relied on this reference work in their daily study of God's Word. Written originally in 1909, C. I. Scofield's intent was to provide a concise but complete tool that would meet the need of someone just beginning to read the Bible. [link]

Acts 25 - The Apostle Paul famously appeals his case to Caesar and Procurator Festus [now interim Governor for Felix] famously unaware of the Spiritual matters that the case involves grants Paul's appeal and agrees to send Paul on to Rome to be tried by Caesar himself -- 'Acts 25:10-12 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. *I appeal unto Caesar. Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, *answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.'

Acts 25:24 And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man [Paul], about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. *But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus [Caesar], I have determined to send him. [But] Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord [Caesar]. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, *I might have somewhat to write [in an epistle to Rome]. For it seemeth to me unreasonable [and unlawful] to send a prisoner [to Rome], and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him. - Festus found himself in a predicament of having an extremely hot button issue on his hands. An issue that was not going to resolve itself or go away by itself and after several attempts Festus was still unable to grasp or understand the exact nuances and the nature of the differences of the event that was creating such a great and catastrophic disturbance in Jerusalem.

Acts 26 - The Apostle Paul gives his Testimony to King Agrippa, the King's wife Bernice and to Festus - While the Apostle Paul is speaking - Festus then has his famous 'I didn't know Christianity was about that' moment and in a loud outburst Festus publically challenges what he sees as the absurdity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ -- 'Acts 26:1-2 Then [King] Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself ...'

Acts 26:21-32 21 For these [preaching the resurrection of Jesus Christ the Messiah to the world] causes the Jews caught me in the Temple, and went about to kill me. Having therefore obtained help of God [not of Rome, the Roman Captain], *I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ [Messiah] should suffer, and that He should be *the first *that should ***rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. **And as he thus spake for himself, Festus [came undone and] said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art [crazy] beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but **speak forth the Words of Truth and soberness. For the king [Agrippa] knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; ***for this thing [cross and resurrection of Jesus] was not done in a [secret] corner. King Agrippa, *believest thou the prophets? I know (lit. perceive) that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a *Christian. **And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds [chains]. And when he had thus spoken, the King rose up, and the Governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them: And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man [Paul] doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds. Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty [freed], if he had not appealed unto Caesar. - Festus has his famous 'I didn't know Christianity was about that' moment. Festus had though that Jesus was just some guy that some people though he was dead and some other people though he was alive because they had seen him and that the confusion and the controversy was over whether or not the man was dead or alive. When Festus realized that the controversy is about the Lord Jesus Christ who is God in the flesh and was killed before the eyes of many and was buried in a sealed, stone tomb but then Resurrected back to life three days later to interact with and to be witnessed by many eyewitnesses then Festus realizing that he was being told of spiritual life overcoming the physical death of mankind and of eternal life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ for the human as the doctrine of Christianity, for the moment at least Festus had gone beyond the scope of what he was capable of retaining and Festus publically could hear no more of the concept of Christianity. Did Festus later come to grips with and understand the reality of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and himself become a Christian, we don't know at least not at the moment.

Acts 27 - The Apostle Paul is finally sent on to Rome and after surviving a major shipwreck will eventually make it into Rome -- 'Acts 27:1-2 And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy [and go to Rome the capital city of Italy], they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a Centurion of [Caesar] Augustus' band [unit]. And entering into a ship of [the city of] Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us.'

Acts 27:13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. **For there stood by me this night the Angel of God, *whose I am, *and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, *lo, God hath given [with] thee [to safety] all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island [the island of Malta]. - The Apostle Paul is shipwrecked onto the mysterious island of Malta.

Acts 28 - The Apostle Paul finally arrives in Rome and discovers that no charges have been forwarded from Jerusalem to Rome -- 'Acts 28:16-21 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered [allowed] to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him. And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea [Israel] concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee.'

The book of Acts concludes: Acts 28:22-31 But we [Jews of Rome] desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect [Christianity], we know that everywhere it is spoken against. And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the Kingdom of God [God's perceivable (discernible) presence on earth - the Kingdom of Heaven, the eternal Visible Kingdom of God], persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. And some [Jews] believed the things which were spoken, and some [Jews] believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias [Isaiah] the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted [become Christians], and I should heal [lit. make whole - Salvation] them. Be it known therefore unto you, that *the Salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. - Note: The redemption of the Jews is not disputed by the Apostle Paul or by anyone what is at issue is the Salvation of the Jews. The Jews as redeemed are a part of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven and receive their Salvation later in the Kingdom of Heaven while the Christians are a part of the Kingdom of God on earth and we receive our Salvation [eternal life] while still on the earth having received the 'born again' - 'born from above' Spirit given by Jesus Christ. As is presented through the interaction of the Apostle Paul with his own Jewish brethren the difference between Jewish redemption and Christian salvation is immense and though both groups [Jews and Christians] are redeemed by God, the one and only God, the differences are still vast. Therefore historically and Biblically Jews and Christians are two distinct groups of People, however Jesus as the firstborn of the Resurrection receives both the Jews and the Christian Gentiles and with Jesus receiving as His firstborn [double portion] both the Jews and the Gentiles it is imperative that the Jews and the Gentiles assist each other at a certain level or at least it is imperative that the Christians give every bit of understanding, compassion and consideration to the "Jewish Sect" in order to please God and to fulfill our Biblical demands as given in alms from the House of Cornelius to the decrees of the 1st Church Council in Jerusalem and as they are presented throughout the entire Bible in both the Old and New Testaments of God.

ROMANS

The Books of Romans, Galatians and Hebrews are being grouped together and presented as a Trilogy of Systematic Theology by the Apostle Paul

The three books were written by the Apostle Paul with the primary audiences being the Roman Empire, the remaining Gentile world and all Hebrew/Jewish Christians. -- Romans --> Roman Empire, Galatians --> remaining Gentile world, Hebrews --> Jewish Christians in Jerusalem and scattered throughout the world. --- The Apostle Paul in part built his Trilogy written to the empowered Gentiles (Rome), the Gentiles (Galatia) and to the Christian Jews (Hebrews) off of a verse from the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk. "Habakkuk 2:4 ... but the just shall live by his faith." Habakkuk 2:4 appears only three times in the New Testament and it is in each of the three Trilogy epistles of the Apostle Paul to the Nations. 'Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.' - 'Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.' - 'Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in Him.' --- Romans --> who are *the just [the just are in a right relationship with God, the people who acknowledge God in the living resurrection of Jesus Christ and believe in His promise the free gift of eternal salvation available to all mankind]. Galatians --> how the just *shall live [the just shall live in the Holy Spirit, not after the law and not after physical self-serving, worldly desires]. Hebrews --> the just shall live *by faith [the just shall live by faith - Hebrews chapter 11 with its examples of faith in the lives of believers is known as the Bible's Hall of Faith].

Romans 1 - Paul a servant (bond slave) of Jesus Christ - At the writing of his letter to the Christian Church at Rome the Apostle Paul had not yet been to Rome - It would be three more years before Paul would make it to Rome - It would not be as a free person that the Apostle Paul would take his first steps into Rome but as a prisoner of Rome that the Apostle Paul would enter into Rome -- 'Romans 1:3-6 Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the [physical] seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with [Spiritual] power, according to the Spirit of Holiness [Holy Spirit], by the resurrection from the dead: By (Jesus) whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all Nations, for His Name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ'

'Romans 1:18-21 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men [mankind], who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest [conscience] in them; for God hath shewed it [spiritually] unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made [creation], *even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they [all mankind] are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.' - The Apostle Paul is making the point to the people in Rome [the center of world power and domination] that citizenship in Rome does not constitute access into heaven and that slavery in Rome does not constitute a denial of access into Heaven. The Apostle Paul makes the deliberate point that all people have sinned and are separated from God whether they are Romans in Rome, slaves in Rome, Jews in Jerusalem or anyone anywhere at any place or time in the world. The Apostle Paul makes the point that the whole world is in a lost and sinful condition and that everyone; man, woman and child is in need of the free gift of the salvation of Jesus Christ.

Xenos.org: Background of the Book of Romans - Scholars also agree upon the date and place of authorship, believing [Apostle] Paul wrote this letter while in Corinth (Acts 20), between A.D. 55 and 58 A.D. (Teachings - Mp3s, Video, PowerPoint)

History of the church: The origin of the Roman Church is historically obscure. There is no indication when or by whom the church in Rome was founded. Scholars theorize the founders were part of the Diaspora (Acts 8). This church already had a world-wide reputation by the time of Paul's writing (1:8). Because Paul had been unable to visit the church, he writes a letter stating his intentions (1:13-15). Authorship of the Epistle: There is no doubt the author of Romans is Paul. He clearly states this in the opening verse, and the style and content is identical to Paul's other letters. His primary theme is the gospel; God's plan of salvation; and righteousness for all mankind, Jew and Gentile alike (1:16-17). Scholars also agree upon the date and place of authorship, believing Paul wrote this letter while in Corinth (Acts 20), between A.D. 55 and 58. [link]

Drive Thru History :: Ancient Rome - A TV Series DVD Promo (YouTube)

In this series Dave takes you through the ancient history of Rome. Dave doesn't just talk about history either; he lives it in fast, easy-to-digest road trips. Like the trip to the Coliseum in Rome where Dave accidentally picks a fight with one of those cheesy "Roman Guards" who'll pose for a picture for a couple of Euros. Topic Summary: Episode 1: Lost in Rome, The Forum & Palatine Hill, the Emperors during the time of Christ, the Arch of Titus, and the destruction of Jerusalem. Episode 2: the Circus Maximus, chariot racing, the great fire of Rome, Nero's persecution of Christians and the Roman Pantheon. Episode 3: Hannibal invades Rome, the Coliseum, the Gladiators and the early Christian influence. Visit the Drive Thru History Website: http://www.drivethruhistory.com. [link]

Romans 2 - As the Apostle Paul stated "The wrath of God is going to be revealed from Heaven" now the Apostle Paul makes clear that we are all under that wrath - this is self-evident in that no person has even met their own standards they set for themselves let alone God's standards set for all mankind -- 'Romans 2:33 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest [others] them which do such [evil] things, and doest the same [one sin is just as evil as another and we all sin], that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?'

Romans 2:14-16 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law [of Moses], do by nature [created in the image of God] the things contained in the law [image of God], these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts [soul, intellect, conscience], *their [Gentile] conscience also bearing witness [to God's intentions for all mankind], and their thoughts the mean while accusing [convicting in wrong thoughts] or else excusing [exhorting in godly thoughts] one another [each thought]; In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ [Jesus is the standard set for all mankind] according to my gospel. This is explaining that all of mankind has within each individual a conscience placed there by God that provides a witness and a testimony about the nature and image of God. There is a right and a wrong and a difference between the two and there is also a certain higher power and authority [God] that will judge each individual for the right and wrong thoughts and actions that they commit. - This concept that God is in contact with every single human who has ever existed is the Biblical concept that God has created each individual in the womb and that God is intimately in contact and knowledgeable about every thought and intention of every human. God is not far-off and away from His creation. God is very close and intimate to His creation regardless of anyone's location or industrial standard on the earth. Clearly someone even in modern times on some remote island who has never heard the name of Jesus is still well within fellowship with God as their conscience testifies between right and wrong and of the existence of God though they may not know God by Name or know the love that God has for them in going to the cross for them they know of God's existence and are a 'law unto themselves' until the day of God's judgment. Having accepted in their conscience the authority of God in the universe they are not condemned on judgment day but receive eternal salvation because their conscience desires to obey God and to fellowship with God. Note: Part of what the Apostle Paul is saying is that before the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ all mankind had a conscience to direct their thoughts, intentions and actions but since the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit has been poured out [from Pentecost] upon all mankind so since the cross and resurrection of Jesus the knowledge of God has increased among mankind from just the conscience to the conscience plus the conviction and directing of the Holy Spirit. It is at the leading of the Holy Spirit that one ultimately becomes a Christian by accepting the Spirit of God inside of them to become a 'born again' Spiritual person, a Child of God now in the family of God.

Romans 3 - The Apostle Paul continues to reveal God's plan of salvation for mankind through Jesus Christ - 'Romans 3:29-30 Is He the God of the Jews only? is He not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the [Jewish] circumcision by ["a seal of the righteousness of the faith" - sign of circumcision] faith, and [Gentile] uncircumcision through [resurrection] faith.' - 'Romans 4:9-11 9 Cometh this blessedness [sins are covered] then upon the circumcision [Jews] only, or upon the uncircumcision [Gentiles] also? for we say that faith (belief) was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received *the sign of circumcision, *a seal of the righteousness *of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe [Jews and Gentiles], though they [Gentiles] be not circumcised [Jews]; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:'

Romans 3:20-26 Therefore by the deeds [works] of the law there shall no flesh be justified [made right] in His sight: *for by the law is the knowledge of sin [not salvation from sin]. But now the righteousness [Jesus] of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified [made right] freely by His grace through the redemption [cross] that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [full payment of sins] through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of {our} sins that are past, through the forbearance [patience] of God; To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just [God], and the justifier [imputing His righteousness onto the believer] of him which believeth in Jesus. - The Apostle Paul is pointing out that no unrighteousness is allowed into the direct presence of the Holy God. Therefore God has to give [impart] of His righteousness onto humans in order to allow us humans into His presence. The way we receive the righteousness of God from God is for us to acknowledge that Jesus Christ came to mankind and died for our sins, all of our sins and that there was nothing we could do but that Jesus did it all for us and in His doing it all for us we can freely receive of His righteous standing that He is freely offering to us if we will just accept that He died for our sins and is resurrected [shown to be righteous] for our righteousness.

Romans Road - Program Download Available (Mp3)

The Romans Road is a series of verses from the New Testament book of Romans, written by the Apostle Paul. These verses describe God's plan to redeem men's hearts and to give us eternal hope in the person of Jesus Christ. The Romans Road has been used by Christians over the centuries as a tool to share the good news of the gospel in an easy and effective way. [link]

Question: "What is the Romans Road to salvation?"

Answer: The Romans Road to salvation is a way of explaining the good news of salvation using verses from the Book of Romans. It is a simple yet powerful method of explaining why we need salvation, how God provided salvation, how we can receive salvation, and what are the results of salvation. [link]

The Romans Road to salvation - Let me take you down the path of the Roman Road to Salvation and the gate of eternal life with Jesus Christ

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, nobody comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6). I have only two choices either Jesus' statement is true or false. Think about this statement what does it mean? I either accept that Jesus is the way for salvation or I reject it. When people say all religions lead to the same path that is obviously wrong. How could that be true with Jesus above statement. It does not work. If we look at Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus says the following, "Enter the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. You may be asking yourself what is this narrow gate and how do I get through it? The Bible clearly tells us how to find this gate. Let me take you down the path of the Roman Road to Salvation and the gate of eternal life with Christ. [link]

Take the Romans Road to salvation

Take the Romans Road to salvation: --> Who is good? ~Romans 3:10~ As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. --> Who has sinned? ~Romans 3:23~ For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. --> Where sin came from. ~Romans 5:12~ Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. --> God's price of sin. ~Romans 6:23~ For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. --> Who paid The price? ~Romans 5:8~ God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. --> The only way out. ~Romans 10:9-10~ That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth, the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart God hath raised Him from the dead thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. --> Take God at His word and claim His promise for your salvation. ~Romans 10:13~ For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. [link]

Romans 4 - The Apostle Paul continues and now uses examples in the lives of Abraham and King David to illustrate how consistent the word of God is - how reliable the word of God is - and also how long ago it was that the promises of God were given [the original promise of the redeemer was given to Adam and Eve] and are still in use by God today [in the book of Hebrews Moses will be contrasted to Jesus] - 'Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God [that God has the power and authority of life over death], and it was counted unto him for righteousness.' -- 'Romans 4:6-8 Even as [King] David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin [because of a faith like Abraham].'

'Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him (Jesus) that justifieth the *ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.' Romans 4:17- As it is written, I (God) have made thee (Abraham) a father of many nations, before Him whom he believed, even God, *who quickeneth [makes alive] the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope [against all odds] believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith [the life giving power of God], he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God [to be the father of many] through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it [faith - that God 'quickeneth the dead'] was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it [justification - righteousness] was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it [faith] shall be imputed, *if we believe on Him that raised up [eternal life] Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered [to the cross] for our offences, and was raised again [resurrection] for our justification. - The faith of Abraham, the faith of King David and the faith of the Christian is that God is the giver of life and as the giver of life God has the power and authority of life over death. In Abraham God demonstrated His ability to give life in the two bodies that were completely beyond the capability of childbirth and yet Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 75 years old. -- King David had grievously sinned with Bathsheba and then later had her husband Uriah killed in a battle. When the prophet Nathan came to King David [2 Samuel 12] and told of a sin in the land King David said that person who sinned shall be put to death. It turned out that King David was that person who was to be put to death however "2 Samuel 12:13 And [King] David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD and Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die" because King David had a righteousness imputed by God not of works but by faith, the same faith that his forefather Abraham had in the faith that God will make right our wrongs and that God will give life even when death is required.

Romans 5 - The Apostle Paul now declares that once justified [in a right relationship with God] that we do in fact and in actuality have access into the presence of God and being in the presence of God we receive the blessings of God notably Peace and Grace -- 'Romans 5:1-3 Therefore being justified by faith, we have Peace [no longer at war] with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this Grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the Glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations [we are still in this world] also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience ...'

'Romans 5:5-6 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts *by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time *Christ died for the ungodly.' - 'Romans 5:10-11 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled [cross] to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved [resurrection] by His [resurrection] life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom *we have now received the atonement.' - 'Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned [lit. kingdom of sin] unto death, even so might grace reign [lit. kingdom of grace] through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.' Note: Jesus gave His life for the "ungodly" it is in our condition of a sinner that we become saved by Jesus and by Jesus we are transformed into a Saint. The clear message of Christianity is that God came to mankind to save mankind not that mankind somehow in some vague way went to God. There is no way to make a saint out of ourselves for we are "without strength" and even if we could, though we can't, make ourselves into a saint it would be rejected by God. We as humans just do not have righteousness or godliness in and of ourselves. Jesus gave His life for the ungodly so that through the righteousness of Jesus the ungodly can receive of His righteousness and with His righteousness and the Holy Spirit now "in our heart" we become an authentic, genuine and valid godly person.

Romans 6 - The Apostle Paul reveals to us that having received the righteousness of Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit in our heart we now have a "newness of life (eternal)" -- 'Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with Him (Jesus) by baptism [identifying ourselves with Jesus - also represented in our actual water baptism] into death [cross]: that like as Christ was raised up [resurrection] from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.'

Romans 6:5-14 5 For if we (Christians) have been planted [baptized] together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: *Knowing this, that our old [physical nature] man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead [to sin] is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe [faith] that we shall also [eternal life] live with Him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members {talents} as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: *but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members {talents} as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion [authority] over you: for ye are not under the law [of sin], but under [the law of] grace. - Note: in order for us to live eternally in the righteousness of Jesus Christ we have to first identify with the cross of Jesus Christ and with our need for His going to the cross for us in order for Jesus to completely remove [make dead] sin. But then with sin dead on the cross and removed from us we do now have eternal life through the eternal resurrection life of Jesus Christ. -- 'Romans 6:23 For the wages [works] of sin is death; but the [free] gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.'

Romans 7 - The Apostle Paul makes clear that our emotions and intentions are not to be just reformed and made a little better but are actually to be renewed and made new into the Spiritual image and presence of God in His Spirit inside of us - 'Romans 7:24 O wretched [dual nature - physical and spiritual (actually - body, soul, spirit)] man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death [and limitation]? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord {that His resurrection Spirit life delivers me from limitations that limit and distance me from God}. So then with the mind [my new unlimited Spiritual intentions] I myself serve [obey] the law [image] of God; but with the flesh [I still unwillingly and regretfully serve] the law of sin.'

'Romans 7:9-14 For I was alive [in the conscience] without the law [of Moses] once: but when the commandment [laws of Moses][Bar Mitzvah at 13 years of age] came, [knowledge of] sin revived, and I died [saw myself as the sinner I am]. And the commandment [law of Moses], which was ordained to [spiritual] life [image of God], I found to be unto [revealing physical and spiritual] death. For sin, taking occasion [in part before knowledge of the commandment] by the [absence of the] commandment, [sin] deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law [of Moses] is Holy, and the commandment [of Moses] Holy, and just, and good {but the law of sin and death is unholy}. Was then that which is good [law of Moses - image of God] made death unto me? God forbid. But sin [is death], that it might appear [reveal] sin, working death [physical and spiritual] in me by that which is good [law of Moses - image of God]; that sin by the commandment [laws of Moses] might become exceeding [obviously] sinful. *For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal [physical], sold [by Adam and Eve] under sin.' - The Apostle Paul is explaining how the spiritual law is both needed and able to give spiritual life where sin and death took away life and that the renewing ability of the Holy Spirit of God is completely capable of overcoming the sin, death and destruction that have ravaged mankind for such a long time. - In a sense there are no works involved in receiving the Holy Spirit because there is no struggle [no works] between the Holy Spirit and death as the Holy Spirit has a complete victory over sin and death no human works are required or needed. The concept that the Holy Spirit is a good start in overcoming sin and death but that then a person needs to add to it to overcome sin is an incorrect concept. As Paul will go on to say we do struggle and sometimes we struggle immensely in our Christian walk but that is because of our new dual nature in being still physical but now also having the Holy Spirit within us. This internal struggle is not an indication that the Holy Spirit is struggling to overcome it is an indication that our old nature is struggling to overcome and the remedy to this battle is to trust, rest and rely on the victory that the Holy Spirit has already accomplished over both sin and death. It is in the trusting, resting and relying on the Holy Spirit through seeking after the relationship with God that is now available to us that we are transformed and renewed though never to the point of ceasing from struggles because as long as we live in our physical body we will struggle. However along with our struggles we also now have hope and with hope the knowledge that one day through the victory of Jesus Christ we will escape this limited physical body of struggle and receive a new heavenly body that will not struggle against us, a new spiritual body that will correctly match our new spiritual nature that we now have in Jesus Christ.

Romans 8 - The Apostle Paul reminds us that with all the condemnation in the world and it is a world of condemnation that Jesus is one person who is not condemning us - Jesus Christ died for us, Jesus is for us and certainly not against us - Jesus is our biggest supporter and in fact the support of Jesus Christ is the complete opposite of the condemnation of the world - His support for us is confirmation and affirmation at the highest level that God does love us and that God does want us to have eternal life and a relationship with Him - 'Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even [acceptable] at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession [mediation] for us.'

Romans 8:2-13 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law [of Moses] could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending [incarnating] His own Son (Jesus) in the likeness of sinful [human] flesh, and for sin, *condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled *in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the [Holy] Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be [Holly] spiritually minded is [eternal] life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity [at war] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. *So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the [Holy] Spirit, *if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the [Holy] Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him [Father, Holy Spirit] that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die [eternally]: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live [eternally]. - Throughout the book of Romans and with all of his writing about the ease and certainty of receiving the free gift of the Holy Spirit of God and our becoming a new creation in God the Apostle Paul is revealing to the Gentile Empire a Spiritual and Personal Truth about God. It is that God is the God of Life and that God is so much the God of life that it is actually easier to receive Salvation Life from God then it is to receive damnation from God. God is for us and has not condemned us, He died for us, it is we who condemn ourselves. Those who do receive eternal damnation will have done it at their own hands by their own conduct with their own strenuous hard work and mortal striving in order to receive the damnation that they so diligently sought for so long. Had they sought the righteousness of Jesus Christ they could receive it instantly and freely however it has taken them a lifetime to turn from God and to reject the eternal life and goodness of God.

Romans 8 (Part 2) - The Apostle Paul now having established the transition from our mortality in earthy sin to immortality in Jesus Christ - now begins to explain more about the heavenly realm and more about eternal Christian concepts and principles -- 'Romans 8:11 But if the [Holy] Spirit of Him (God) that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in [inside] you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make heavenly aware] your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.'

'Romans 8:14-17 For as many (Christians) as are led by the [Holy] Spirit of God, they [looking ahead to the adoption in heaven] are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are [now while on earth] the children of God: And if children, then [after the adoption in heaven] heirs [sons]; heirs [sons in heaven] of God, and joint-heirs [a living inheritance in heaven] with Christ; if so be that we suffer [on earth] with Him, that we may be also glorified [in heaven - accomplished and in our new heavenly spiritual body] together [the Christian Church and Jesus].' - The Biblical concept of adoption is that a child when mature enough (adulthood) is then adopted and once adopted becomes a son and as a son receives an inheritance from the father. Abraham was a father of many Nations however Isaac was his only son, his only child to be adopted by Abraham and his only child to receive the inheritance of the promises, covenants and land in the Promise Land given by God to Abraham. Isaac would later adopt his child Jacob and give Jacob the inheritance over his brother Esau. Jacob then would adopt all twelve of his male children (Joseph via his children) as Jacob would even adopt two of his grandchildren Ephraim and Manasseh to give his son Joseph a double inheritance in his portion of land in the Promise Land. Ephraim and Manasseh are grandchildren of Jacob but because of their adoption by Jacob [Genesis 48:5-6] Jacob told Joseph that he would adopt his first two children but if Joseph had any more children Jacob would not adopt them, they would not get a same sized portion of the Promise Land as their uncles they become equal to and receive and equal portion of land in the Promise Land that their Uncles the children of Jacob received. Part of the adoption and inheritance process on earth and in heaven is then to receive glorification the fine robes, family ring, finances, authority and recognition by others as a son. A child cannot make decisions regarding the family wealth and possessions but an adopted son now has authority that a child doesn't have and a son is able to make decisions and do things a child is not permitted to do. Joseph in the Bible is the only person besides Jesus to be glorified. Joseph as a type of Jesus was glorified twice. First [Genesis 37:3] as a Jew by his father Jacob with the coat [robe] of many colors of glorification and second [Genesis 41:42] as a gentile when he received raiment and a ring from the Pharaoh of Egypt. Jesus was actually bodily temporarily glorified [Matthew 17:2] meaning that Jesus had no sin as sin will not be glorified in the presence of God. It is because sin will not be glorified in the presence of God [1 Corinthians 1:29] that the adoption as sons and the inheritance as sons has to take place in heaven after we have physically died and separated from our physical body were sin [Romans 8:3] has been confined.

Romans 8 (Part 3) - The Apostle Paul concludes his section on Christian heavenly spirituality by proclaiming the spiritual truth that absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ - 'Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither [physical] death, nor [events of] life, nor angels, nor principalities [fallen angels], nor [demonic] powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height [success], nor depth [failure], nor any other [i.e. unexplained UFOs (Note: UFOs are either manmade objects, or fallen angels manifesting or just demons manifesting)] creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'

'Romans 8:28-30 And we know that all things [for the believer] work together for good to them that love [agape, highest love] God, to them who are the called [all are called] according to His [election] purpose. For whom He did foreknow [those who answer His call like Abraham did], He also did predestinate [eternal destination] to be conformed [glorified] to the image of His Son (Jesus), that He [His Son Jesus] might be the firstborn [inheritance with a double portion - both the Jews and the (Gentile) Nations] among {very, very} many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate [eternal destination], them He also called [i.e. Abraham]: and whom He called, them he also justified [i.e. Jacob]: and whom he justified, them he also glorified [i.e. Joseph].' - The predestination of the Bible is that the people who answer the call of God and enter into a relationship with God like Abraham answered the calling of God are then after answering the call predestined to be completed [eventually in Heaven] by being changed into the glorious resurrection image of Jesus Christ. What this is saying in part is that God will complete what He has begun in us and that God will never leave us or abandon us part way but that He will guaranteed get us safely into Heaven. With predestination we can also know in advance a little of what our completed process will be like because we will be somewhat similar to the resurrected Jesus Christ in that we will be able to belong in Heaven and to interact in the Heavenly realm among God and among the Angels of Heaven. - The predestination is only after the calling and everyone is called so it isn't that some are predestined to heaven and others are predestined to hell. Eternity is our own freewill decision a decision that we all have to make and in our decision we all have the same opportunity in Jesus Christ to go to heaven. Lastly predestination rules out a variety of false teachings that would allude to different heavens or different levels of heavens or vastly different appearances in heaven based on individual rewards because with predestination we are all predestined to the same place and into about the same image though there will be slight variations because we remain individuals and do not become clones but we do become Sons of God transfigured into the glorious image of Jesus Christ.

Romans 9 - The Apostle Paul in continuing his systematic approach to theology now changes topics from sin and justification to the current standing of his fellow Jews - Paul expresses his regrets that the Jews are not partakers with the Christian Church in salvation [though the Jews still have the promises of God and are partakers of the adoption in the eternal Kingdom of God] - 'Romans 9:4-5 Who are Israelites (Jews); to whom pertaineth the adoption [heavenly adoption as Sons of God], and the glory [earthly glory and heavenly glorification], and the covenants [including the New Testament], and the giving of the law [of Moses], and the service [producing the Holy Scriptures, bringing in the Messiah, the 144,000 witnesses of Revelation, the Second Coming, etc.] of God, and the promises [of God]; Whose are the fathers [Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel)], and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ [the Messiah] came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.'

'Romans 9:27-28 Esaias (Elijah) also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved [become Christians]: For He (God) will finish the work [among the Gentiles and the Jews], and cut it short [make His work effective] in righteousness: because a short [effective] work will the Lord make upon the earth.' - A Summary of the righteous effective 'short work' of the Lord upon the earth: After the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden mankind has been separated from God and dispersed from one another. In re-gathering a separated and dispersed mankind unto Himself God has used segments of groups and epochs of time to re-gather His Kingdom. After the fall of Adam and Eve the first group of Biblical redeemed people were the Ancient Sacrificing Righteous Gentiles, this group had to sacrifice their own animals in order to have the blood covering for their sins and to be in a relationship with the Holy God. The Ancient Sacrificing Righteous Gentiles as a group and as individuals had little knowledge of God who they were sacrificing to and in fact they primarily had a physical relationship with God and they thought the blessing of God were physical in wealth and status and that curses from God were physical as well in poverty and sickness, this group also understood that to see God was to die that a sinful human could not enter the presence of the Holy God and live. Job was one of the later Sacrificing Gentiles [Job 1:5] and in the book of Job it is revealed that Job had some knowledge of God but really no idea how to fellowship with God and later Balaam possibly the last Sacrificing Gentile the system of Gentile sacrifice has become so misrepresented that Balaam just goes completely off course in serving God and Balaam becomes one of the Bibles primary examples in how not to conduct your life. From the Ancient group of Sacrificing Gentiles, a system that was spinning out of control, God called Abraham [Genesis 12:1] and created the Jewish Nation. Through Abraham and His Jewish Nation descendants especially through the giving of the Law to Moses and of the teachings of the Prophets that God was able to correct many of the misconceptions that persisted during the Ancient Sacrificing Righteous Gentile era. The Jews with their improved knowledge of who God is were able to get closer to God in their relationship with God. To the Jews God sent Himself the Redeemer and the Savior [Jesus Christ] of all mankind. The Christian Church was started from the midst of the Jewish Nation chosen of God and with the Churches advanced knowledge of God, knowledge [Romans 5:5-8] that God loves mankind so much that God was willing to die for mankind in order to reconcile mankind back to Himself the Church is in a much more intimate relationship with God then the Jews are able to be in. After the Christian Church has been completed and is taken (raptured) into Heaven there is another group after the Church called the Martyred Saints of Revelation [Revelation 6:9] and this group having missed out on the Church age but coming to the realization of their desire to fellowship with God they will be put to death by the world for their love of God. The Martyred Saints of Revelation will have been forgiven much for their sins and because they have been forgiven much they will love God much [Luke 7:47], even more than the Church loved God and the Martyred Saints with their love for God will be close to God in Heaven [Revelation 7:15] even in His Temple. The group that will become the closest to God in love and knowledge will be the 144,000 Jewish Witnesses of Revelation they will follow God continually in Heaven and they sing a song [Revelation 14:3] that no other group knows. However no group of people or person gets to know God completely as Jesus will have on Him a Name [Revelation 19:12] that no one knows.

Romans 10 - The Apostle Paul continues His teaching making the absolute irrefutable proof that direct access to God through Jesus Christ is now also available to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews - For about the first 10-15 years the Christian Church was entirely Jewish and there was some concern whether or not Gentiles could enter into the promises of God as a Gentile - Paul reveals that yes, because the death of Jesus on the cross finalized the physical earthly system and that Christianity is a new Heavenly Spiritual resurrection system that yes the Gentiles can enter into the new Heavenly system of Christianity and receive the promises and blessings of Christianity without first becoming Jewish -- 'Romans 10:10-13 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him (Jesus) shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord (Jesus) over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved (Salvation - Soteria).'

'Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel (Jews) is, that they might be saved (Soteria).' - 'Romans 11:2 God hath not cast away His people [the Jews] which He foreknew.' - 'Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved (Soteria): as it is written, There shall come out of Sion (Zion) the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:' - Soteria - Salvation (healing) in Jesus Christ. The name Jesus actually means God is Salvation. - In a sense the Jews have redemption from God the Father [and ultimatly Jesus] however Salvation at this moment is only from Jesus and they do not yet have a relationship with Jesus and are not yet experiencing the healing Salvation work of Jesus Christ. Salvation in Jesus is the primary difference between the Jews and the Christian Church. The Christian Church has emotional and spiritual Salvation healing while the Jews have not yet received their salvation healing. Note: All of the Jews includes all of the redeemed Jews; the Jewish forefathers [Abraham, Isaac and Jacob], the Jews in slavery in Egypt, those that died in the desert wandering, those in the Promise Land and those outside the Promise Land {Reuben, Gad and the ½ Tribe of Manasseh as an example}, those with a Temple and those without a Temple, those in Captivity in Babylon, those who returned to rebuild Jerusalem, those in the 2000 years of Diaspora, those who have returned, those who have not returend and those who are in the Tribulation of the End Times and it also includes the Jewish subset the 144,000 called out Jewish Witness of Revelation. -- 'Romans 11:2 God hath not cast away His people [the Jews] which he foreknew. [The Jews have stumbled over Jesus but have not fallen and are not cast away.]' - 'Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion [Greek Sion, Hebrew Zion -- there is also a Hebrew 'Sion' though not to be confused with the Greek 'Sion' (Zion)] the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:' -- 'Revelation 19:1 And after these [End Time, Great Tribulation] things I heard a great voice of *much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; *Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God:' This is the Host of Heaven, it includes all the saved people from Adam and Eve (the 'Mother of all living' - saved) until the last redeemed person; this includes the ancient Righteous Sacrificing Gentiles [i.e. Job], all the redeemed Jews [from Abraham until the Second Coming], those saved in the Christian Church era, the Righteous Gentiles in remote areas who do not hear the Name or Gospel of Jesus Christ but their conscience is a witness to them, the Martyred Saints of Revelation who die for their faith and the 144,4000 Jewish Witnesses of Revelation.'

Romans 11 - Having made clear that Gentiles now have access into the originally all Jewish Christian Church the Apostle Paul goes on to contrast the new [particularly in Rome] predominantly Gentile Christian Church customs with the old Jewish customs in Israel - Paul is saying to the Gentiles in Rome that it isn't enough to just boast that God is their Savior as the Jews had done in Israel in the past - But that God requires more than boasting and like the Jews the Gentiles will have to seek after, obey and follow God in order to remain Children of God - The Jews in a sense were set aside as the primary work of Salvation has gone to the Gentiles however Paul warns the Gentiles that just as God was under no manmade mandate or obligation to the Jews God remains under no manmade mandate or obligation to the Gentiles - Any Gentile can find themselves removed from the Church and from the promises of God by God just any branch can be removed from a plant and the branch is dead or dies yet the plant with the good healthy root continues to grow and flourish -- 'Romans 11:20-21 Well; because of unbelief they [Jews] were broken off [from Salvation], and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural [Jewish] branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.'

The Jews have redemption and those Jews who do not become Christians (Salvation) their Jewish salvation is postponed until they enter into heaven. To the Gentiles however Salvation is a package deal and both redemption and salvation begin at the same moment. The Apostle Paul goes on to explain in the Book of Hebrews to the Jewish Christians that for those Jews who do become Christians and receive the Salvation but then later reject their Christian (Salvation) that there is no ability to fall back into the redemption of Judaism. Anyone who has the blood covering of Jesus and later rejects the blood of Jesus and tramples it underfoot [Hebrews 10:29] is guilty of the blood of Jesus and will be condemned. At this point the Jews as a Covenant Nation do not yet have the blood of Jesus and therefore have not trampled underfoot the blood of Jesus. The Jews not yet having the blood of Jesus Christ are entitled to and do need our encouragement, our cooperation, our support and most important of all our Christian compassion and mercy. -- 'Romans 11:30-36 For as ye (Gentiles) in times past have not [faith] believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their [Jewish] unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your (Christian) mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all [Gentiles and Jews] in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the Mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of Him (Jesus), and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.'

Romans 12 - Having established beyond a doubt that Gentiles do belong and have a home in the Christian Church the Apostle Paul goes on to instruct the Romans in Christian living and in Christian conduct -- 'Romans 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.'

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you (Christian) therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove [live outwardly] what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. - Christianity is a living relationship with God. Sometimes it is thought that God is far away from us or that Christianity doesn't actually start until after we die and go to heaven but the truth is that God is intimately close to us and with God being intimately close to us here and right now in our physical body that Christianity does have just as much meaning, significance and practice while we are still alive on earth as Christianity has once we enter into our eternal condition in Heaven.

Romans 13 - The Christian Church in Rome specifically and throughout the world generally is being instructed to obey civil authorities because ultimately it is God is in control and in charge - God has permitted each civil authority to receive their position of authority - 'Romans 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject [to government authorities], not only for wrath [the wrath of God is upon those who disobey], but also for [our] conscience sake.'

'Romans 13:10-14 Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time [End Times], that now it is high time to awake out of [spiritual] sleep: for now is our salvation [the return of Jesus Christ] nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering [sexual perversion] and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.' - The ability to have a successful Christian walk and a meaningful Christian life is going to come by focusing on and looking to Jesus Christ. As we place our attention and desires on the return of Jesus and on His Divine Heavenly Kingdom our earthly physical desires will be replaced with godly, spiritual, Heavenly desires. Mankind was originally created to be in fellowship with God by being eternally heavenly focused however our sin nature does now distract us from our desired heavenly focus. Because of sin our emotions have been damaged and are now incomplete so a relationship with God and even a relationship with others is something that is not entirely natural to us so we do have make the effort to overcome sin in order to have a godly relationship with God and to be in fellowship with others. It is however only in the resurrection of Jesus Christ that we will be able to overcome our sin and to have our desired meaningful, godly relationship with God and to also be able to participate in our desired godly fellowship with others.

Romans 14 - The Apostle Paul instructs that Christianity is about encouragement, edification and building up of each other in Jesus Christ and that it is not like the ways of the world where tearing down, manipulating and even destroying one another are the norm -- 'Romans 14:18-19 For he (Christian) that in these things [consideration of others] serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify [encourage and build up] another.'

'Romans 14:11-13 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me (Jesus), and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another anymore: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.' - The Apostle Paul is saying that everyone Christian and non-Christian is going to have to give an account of their life that God gave to them to God. However for the Christian the account that we give to God is going to be a pleasing account it is an account of our intimate relationship with God and of our blessed fellowship with others. Our account to God is not intended to be a negative thing so let's all be careful that we don't turn our blessed account before God into an account that is less than blessed because we have been less than a blessing to God, ourselves and to others.

Romans 15 - The Apostle Paul again provides more Biblical standing from the Old Testament scriptures that Jesus came both to fulfill the promises given to the Jews and to receive unto Himself the Gentile Nations - Paul confirms the he indeed is God's chosen Missionary to deliver God's message to the Gentile Nations - 'Romans 15:15-17 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, *that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. I have therefore whereof I may glory [be accomplished] through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.'

'Romans 15:8-14 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a Minister of the circumcision [Jews] for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made [to the Jews] unto the fathers [Abraham, Isaac, Jacob]: And *that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy; as it is written [2 Samuel 22:50], For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. And again He saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people [the Jews]. And again [Deuteronomy 32:43], Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud Him, all ye people. And again, Esaias (Isaiah) saith [Isaiah 11:10], There shall be a root [offspring] of Jesse [of the Jews, Jesse is the father of King David], and He (Jesus) that shall rise {shall stand} [resurrection] to reign over the Gentiles; in Him (Jesus) shall the Gentiles trust. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing (faith), that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish [instruct] one another.' - 'Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand {shall rise} [resurrection] for an ensign [flag of authority] of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.' - The apostle Paul is confirming that even after the sin and separation of mankind that God still has authority over mankind over both the Jews who He instructed through the Law and the Prophets and who He physically came to becoming one of them and that God also has authority over the Gentiles who He also came to. No human is outside of the authority and representation of the resurrected Jesus Christ and it is in His resurrection authority that Jesus Christ does Heavenly reign and rule all the Nations of the world.

Romans 16 - Phebe a Deaconess [lit. servant, a female church worker] at the Christian Church in Cenchrea [the seaport near the major city of Corinth in Greece where Paul wrote his letter to Rome] - Phebe was entrusted to take Paul's letter from Corinth to the Christian Church in Rome a distance of about 617 miles - Phebe delivered the letter that Paul wrote and Tertius was the scribe for writing the letter, often a scribe wrote on parchment while the author of the letter spoke - Tertius [the scribe] salutes the Christians in Rome 'I Tertius, who wrote [scribed] this epistle, salute you in the Lord' - 'Romans 16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.'

'Romans 16:24-27 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Now to Him (Holy Spirit) that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the Mystery [the Mystery of God], which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest [the Mystery that God would dwell in human harts], and by the [Bible] scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all Nations for the obedience of faith [belief]: To God only wise, be Glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.' - The Apostle Paul mentions the previously unknown Mystery of God and reveals that the Mystery of God is that God in His love for mankind would come and die for mankind and that having died for mankind that God would unite with those who choose to unite with Him in such an intimate and meaningful way that God would actually with His Holy Spirit enter into the human spirit and dwell in the body of living human beings and that this blessing of intimate fellowship with God is for both the Jews and also the Gentiles. - 'Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the Mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself:' - 'Ephesians 3:3-7 How that by revelation He (God) made known unto me (Apostle Paul) the Mystery; as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the Mystery of Christ Which in other [past] ages [Prophets and Law] was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the [Holy] Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs [with the Jews], and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power.' - 'Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the Glory of this Mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily.' - The Apostle Paul concludes his letter to the Christian Church at the center of the Roman Empire in Rome [and to all of Christianity] with these words. 'Romans 16:27 To God only wise, be Glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.'

Memo - The blog Bible Study has completed the Book of Romans and next is the Book of Galatians - The study pace has been fast though in the future the pace will probably vary a little bit more and there might even be some pauses in the study it depends mostly on the quality of material being presented - I have some other things scheduled but I think we can keep studying around any other events

The blog Bible Study has been continuing at a fairly quick rate though it isn't the intention of the study to go at a fast pace and to set some sort of speed record although we might have set some record at the pace we have been going. The intentions are to only go as fast as we can get good material posted and we are getting good Bible study material posted at this rate however the rate will fluctuate from time to time. My intentions and concerns when committing to and starting the blog Bible Study were 1. That it wouldn't become a 2-3 year project as I don't even remotely have a schedule for that to happen. 2. Another major concern is that the study might not get finished and the slower the pace the more likely it won't finish in this window of opportunity that we have for the study. 3. Another concern was that the Bible study might go at such a slow pace that people wouldn't have enough material to study. There are few thing worse than going to a website to do a Bible Study and they have incomplete studies though that is fine and understandable for a study in progress however it is the intention of this website to have enough material so that people can do more than just get started in their studies but that everyone visiting the site, at all levels of Christian maturity will be able to find enough material to make good progress in their Christian Studies. Thanks again to everyone for your prayers and understanding. Keep up the excellent work in staying with the Bible study! God bless everyone, David Anson Brown

1 CORINTHIANS

THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS: Introduction - AUTHOR: PAUL, the Apostle (1:1; 16:21) - PLACE OF WRITING: EPHESUS (16:8) - TIME OF WRITING: Probably in the spring of 57 A.D., shortly before the Jewish feast of Pentecost (16:8), *during his third missionary journey [while in Ephesus] (Ac 19:1-41) - What is the purpose of this epistle? To correct sinful practices and refute false doctrine - Where is the theme of the epistle stated? 1 Corinthians 1:10

BACKGROUND OF THE CITY OF CORINTH: Corinth was situated on the Isthmus of Greece (called Achaia in the Bible) between the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea, above the Mediterranean Sea. About 50 miles to the east was the city of Athens. ... BACKGROUND OF THE CHURCH AT CORINTH: The establishment of the church occurred during Paul's second missionary journey. It is recorded by Luke in Ac 18:1-18, which can be divided into three sections: 1) Abiding with Aquila and Priscilla, fellow tentmakers; reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath (Ac 18:1-6). 2) In the house of Justus, abiding there and teaching for a year and six months (Ac 18:7-11). 3) An incident before Gallio, proconsul of Achaia (Ac 18:12-18). It appears from reading the epistle that the church was adversely affected by the immoral environment found in the city. Pride caused division in the church and disruption in the services (1 Cor 1-4, 11). Immorality and immodesty found its way into the church, which gave it a bad reputation (1 Cor 5). The brethren were taking their personal problems with each other before the heathen courts instead of working them out among themselves (1 Cor 6). Other issues affecting the church included questions about marriage (1 Cor 7), meats sacrificed to idols (1 Cor 8-10), women praying and prophesying with heads uncovered (1 Cor 11), the use of spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12-14), the resurrection from the dead (1 Cor 15), and the collection for the saints in Jerusalem (1 Cor 16). Thus the church was one beset with problems and questions that needed to be answered. -- PURPOSE OF WRITING: The bad news concerning the problems at Corinth had reached Paul in Ephesus. It seems that this news came from at least two sources: 1) the household of Chloe (1:11); and 2) a letter sent to him (7:1), possibly by the hands of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus (16:17). Therefore, in answer to these reports Paul writes: TO CORRECT SINFUL PRACTICES AND REFUTE FALSE DOCTRINE - THEME: 1 Corinthians 1:10 "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." [link]

There is going to be a slight shift in the emphasis of the blog Bible Study regarding the Church Epistles (part of study segment #6) 1st Corinthians, 2nd Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1st Thessalonians and 2nd Thessalonians - During the study of the Church Epistles the blog Bible Study is going to study and emphasize the rampant Deception currently taking place within the modern Evangelical Christian Church

Of the many problems and perils that face the current Christian Church the main problems and breakdowns within Christianity itself are not from the outside forces such as the events of the day as portrayed on the nightly news or by secular authorities or even by cults and groups that openly oppose Christianity the main peril and problem in modern Christianity is a breakdown in the leadership, the pastors, the teachers and the organizations of the current Christian Church. While studying the Bible's Church epistles the blog Bible Study is going to explore and examine some of the aspects of modern Christian leadership and current Church practices that are both unbiblical and unstable and that are now wreaking havoc and destruction on the Church, the body of Christ, from within the Church. Pastors, men and ministries that even a few short years ago seemed to be faithful and honest have now in a short time become so compromised and compromise is a byproduct of corruption so we have to assume corrupt, that they are now openly and outwardly opposing the work of God, the ministry of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. The blog Bible Study is going to actually look at two aspects of deception. 1. How we ourselves as true worshipers of God can over time and usually through hardships, bitterness, neglect or misconceptions can become deceived. 2. How outright wolves in sheep's clothing are deceiving and taking advantage of the Christian Church. Note: As important as it is to be able to discern and avoid the workings of the wolves and the false shepherds I think it is much more important that we ourselves the individual Christian worshipers of God be able to present ourselves to God as holy and undefiled (Romans 12:1-3) because ultimately our relationship and accountability with God is going to be the final result of our actions and our intentions and not the actions and intentions of others or of organizations.

1 Corinthians 1 - In the opening of the first Church epistle (letter) to the Christian Church in Corinth the Apostle Paul defines what it is to be a Christian - 1 Corinthians 1:2-3 Unto the Church of God which is at Corinth, to *them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with *all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from [God] the Lord Jesus Christ. - Note: The word "and" in the Greek language can also be used as an equal sign (=) "from God our Father, and [=] from the Lord Jesus Christ."

1 Corinthians 1:4-9 4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the Testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; **waiting [watching] for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the [Judgment] Day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called [invited] unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. - The Christian Church, fellowship with the living God as a Child of God is open and available to everyone who calls upon the Name of Jesus Christ in His resurrection glory, power and authority!

1 Corinthians 2 - Paul notes that earthly human wisdom will only go so far in understanding the Spiritual matters and nature of God as God has revealed Himself to mankind in the 3 in 1 [Triune - Trinity] nature of God - Therefore Paul speaks to people in a spiritual way so people can have an opportunity to receive the Spiritual nature of a relationship between God and mankind -- '1 Corinthians 2:1-5 And I, brethren, when I came to you, [I] came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, [in] declaring unto you the Testimony of God [Jesus]. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was [humble] with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing [salesmanship] words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: *That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.'

1 Corinthians 2:6-16 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect [complete in Jesus]: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought [nothing]: But we speak the wisdom of God *in a mystery [Triune - Father, Son Jesus , Holy Spirit], even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew [the Triune nature of God as revealed to mankind]: for had they known it [Triunity - Trinity], they would not have crucified the [the Triune] Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the [Triune] things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them [Triunity] unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God [are unknown to man] knoweth no man, but [unless the Spirit of God is within the born again person] the Spirit of God. [and] Now we have received [the born again Spirit of Jesus], *not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God [Jesus - Firstfruits];* that we might know the [Spiritual] things [of God] that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak [about], not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; *comparing Spiritual things with Spiritual. But the natural [physical, earthly] man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned [lacking]. *But he that is spiritual [born again] judgeth [considers] all things, yet he himself is judged [condemned] of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have [a mind above the earthly] the [heavenly, eternal] mind of Christ. - The Apostle Paul repeatedly throughout his writings refers to the 3 in 1 Triune (Trinity) nature of God [Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit] as revealed by God to mankind as a "Mystery". If God were exclusively the Father and not the Son or the Holy Spirit than (singular) God in man is not really a mystery. Having one Spirit of God inside of one man could be easily explained and would not be encompassed in a mystery. However having the 3 in 1 nature of God, God the Father and equally God the Son Jesus Christ and just as equally God the Holy Spirit the three being individually separated [as revealed to mankind] as well as eternal (always existent, self-sustaining), omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing) and yet the three being one it is a great mystery. The eternal, undefined, exact True nature of God is a mystery [at least currently] to mankind because God is unique and God is complex as revealed by God to mankind in the 3 in 1 complexness of God in the Bible.

1 Corinthians 3 - The Spiritual nature of God is revealed to now be inside and comingled with the [cleansed by the blood of Jesus] human spirit in the [completed] Spiritually born again person -- '1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?' - '1 Corinthians 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are [equally] yours ...'

1 Corinthians 3:9-15 For we [labor] are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry [living plant, vine branch], ye are God's building [structure]. According to the grace [individuality] of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder [of the Church structure of God], I have laid [revealed] the [Gospel] foundation, and another [Christian] buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed [be very careful] how he buildeth thereupon [the Gospel of Jesus]. For other [new] foundation can no man lay than [the original foundation] that is laid, *which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man [labors] build upon this [Jesus] foundation [then accordingly] gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work [labor on the one Christian structure] shall be made manifest [revealed]: for the [Judgment - rewards judgment] day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire [extreme judgment]; and the fire [Judgment of God] shall try [test] every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide [remain after the fire] which he hath built thereupon [the Christian foundation], *he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss [of rewards]: but he himself shall be saved [enter into Heaven]; yet so [emptied] as by fire. - The one eternal foundation of Jesus Christ is to be built on by all Christians of all denominations, at all times and throughout all locations. There are no alternate foundations in the House of God there is only the one True, Divine, precious [gold, silver, precious gemstones] eternal foundation of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 4 - It is required that those who oversee and administer the elements [mystery] of the Kingdom of God to themselves and to others that they do so being faithful to Jesus Christ -- '1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Let a man so account of us, as of the Ministers of Christ, and stewards [keepers, agents] of the *mysteries of God. Moreover *it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.'

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge [make final] nothing before the time, until the Lord [Jesus] come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and **will make manifest the counsels of the hearts [soul]: and then shall every man have praise of God [in the truth manifested of Jesus]. ... 1 Corinthians 4:7-15 For who maketh thee [beginning Christian] to differ from another? and what hast thou [of Christianity] that thou didst not [freely] receive? now if thou didst receive it [Salvation], why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received [but created] it? Now ye [beginning Christians] are full [have everything including all understanding and know all knowledge], now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us [the Apostles]: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might [benefit] reign with you. For I think that God hath set forth us the Apostles last [least in the Church], as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to Angels, and to men. We [experienced Christians] are fools for Christ's sake, but ye [beginning Christians] are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: **being reviled, we bless [as Jesus did]; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring [rejected] of all things unto this day. *I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons *I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors [to lord and reign over you] in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers [who care more for you than for themselves - to build you up and pray for your continued success]: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten [fathered] you through the Gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me [the Apostle Paul a mature, accomplished Christian, father of others in the faith]. - Christianity at first glance to some might look like an opportunity to get ahead in this world as an opportunity to gain status, respect, eat a free lunch, sell some books, increase some finances, gain earthly pleasures and flaunt authority over others. However true Christianity is about giving yourself to God and to others in an unselfish godly way and that the world is bitterly opposed to and completely at odds against. The beginning Christian sees what appears to be a good earthly opportunity for comfort and advancement in Christianity but the mature Christian experiences the difficulty of the reality of existing in an environment [both physical and spiritual (demonic)] that is truly hostile towards Christianity [the Christianity of Jesus Christ].

1 Corinthians 5 - The Apostle Paul rebukes some of the unholy behavior taking place in the Church and states that as a discerning Christian Paul does not even have to be in their presence to discern that their behavior is unscriptural -- '1 Corinthians 5:3-5 For I [Paul] verily, as absent [not physically among you] in body, *but present [discerning] in spirit, *have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this [immoral] deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit [of fellowship], with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan [remove the offender from Church fellowship] for the destruction of the flesh [having discovered the hard way after encountering Satan that serving (self) or is not worth it], that [through repentance] the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.'

1 Corinthians 5:6-13 Your glorying [about sin] is not good. Know ye not that a little [sin] leaven leaveneth [corrupts] the whole lump [fellowship]? Purge [remove] out therefore the old leaven [old sinful ways], that ye may be a new [fellowship] lump, as ye are unleavened [holy and undefiled]. *For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: ***Therefore let us keep the Feast [in Jesus], not with old leaven, neither with the leaven [sin] of malice [hostility] and wickedness; but with the [holy] unleavened bread of Sincerity and Truth. *I wrote unto you in an [previous] epistle [letter] not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators [Gentiles] of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company [with evil people within the Church], if any man that is called a brother [a fellow Christian] be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; **with such an one [avoid] no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them [don't judge non-Christians] also that are without? do not ye judge them [do judge fellow Christians] that are within? But them that are without [non-Christians] God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves [remove from fellowship] that wicked person. - Paul teaches of the necessity to judge people within the Church. It is of particular importance to Judge the pastors, leaders, teachers and elders of a Church or fellowship those are the offices most easily corrupted and they are the offices that need the most oversight. Don't hesitate to go to another fellowship in fact ALWAYS try to fellowship in two or more locations [denominations] although today the same tired message is repeated from denomination to denomination so that any actual variety is a rarity but it is unadvisable to be taught only by one man or only in one denomination particularly in this day and age of rampant deception with so many church personnel impersonating and pretending to be true Christian Church authorities. Note: The man that Paul referred to in this passage was removed from the fellowship, he then repented but the Church in Corinth would not receive him back into fellowship so part of the letter of 2nd Corinthians [which is actually 3rd Corinthians]is Paul instructing the Church to accept the repentant person back into fellowship. Also Note: The referenced previous letter from the Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth was probably brief enough and specific enough that it was intended only for a few people in Corinth for the one specific matter. In all of the other writings of Paul he wrote broadly to encompass the complete body of Christ in his writings and in his letters even in his personal letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon the Apostle Paul directed them as Church wide epistles.

1 Corinthians 6 - The Apostle Paul explains Christian liberty - we as Christians in a personal relationship with God in Heaven are free to do anything on earth - However on earth there are still harmful (unprofitable) things and if a Christian is not discerning enough to avoid and stay away from the harmful effects of things that still remain on this earth than a Christian can suffer the consequences of bad personal decisions -- '1 Corinthians 6:9-12 Know ye not that the unrighteous [unsaved] shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? *Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God. **And such were some of you [we have all sinned]: ***but ye are [now] washed [cleansed by the blood of Jesus], but ye are sanctified [set apart to God], but ye are justified [right with God] **in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit [born again] of our God. **All things are lawful unto me [we have liberty not the law], but all things are not expedient [well]: all things are lawful for me, ***but I will not be brought under the power [into bondage] of any [worldly thing].'

1 Corinthians 6:13 Meats [food is] for the belly, and the belly [is] for meats [food]: *but God shall destroy both it [physical stomach] and them [food urges] {food, bodily urges and our physical body become obsolete}. **Now the body *is *not *for *fornication, but [it is to worship] *for *the *Lord; and the Lord for the body. **And God hath both raised [resurrection] up the Lord, **and will also *raise *up *us by His own power [in a new body without food or sexual urges] {worship and our new resurrection body become everything}. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? *know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith He, shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:24). **But he that is [born again] joined unto the Lord *is one Spirit. **Flee fornication. **Every sin that a man doeth [greed, envy, etc.] is [in the soul] without the body; **but he that committeth fornication sinneth [both against the soul and the physical body] against his own [physical] body. What? *know ye not that your body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price [death on the cross]: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your [human] spirit, which are God's. - Sexual sin is one of the sins that a person can commit that has larger ramifications than other sins. When a person sins in their soul it is bad enough but when we sin body and soul it is a double portion of sin in a sense. When we sin in our mind for instance if we think God does not love us or does not hear our prayers then that is sin and God can and will deal with that sin (shortcoming) by revealing more of Himself to us. Sometimes our sins do bring us closer to God. God is able to use both our obedience and our disobedience in order to reveal Himself to us. The cults are often so wrong when they say that God can't do something because of our sin however with physical sin like murder, drugs, pornography, etc. it involves other people and brings our physical body and the bodies of others into the sinful act therefore the consequences of the sin are often multiplied [in a sexual encounter you might not have a social disease at the start of the encounter but because another person is involved you might have one at the end of the encounter] and yes God can and does overcome our physical sins however physical sins are an indication that a person is further away from God and being further away from God the person often needs more and drastic measures in order to bring them into a honorable relationship with God.

1 Corinthians 7 - 1 Corinthians 7:12-13 But [this is a New Testament Teaching] to the rest speak I [in the Holy Spirit in the New Testament], not the Lord [through the Old Testament]: If any brother [Christian] hath a [non-Christian] wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not [divorce] put her away. And the [Christian] woman which hath an [non-Christian] husband that believeth not, *and *if *he *be *pleased *to *dwell [no violence or abuse] with her, let her not leave him. *For the unbelieving husband is sanctified [set apart] by the wife [through her prayers and intercession for the family], and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband [through his prayers and intersession for the family]: else were your children unclean [without any knowledge of God]; but now are they holy [having some knowledge of God]. - Note: Divorce is unfortunate however love is above the law (Galatians 5:22). If someone is divorced they can remarry anyone out of love [a highest commitment of good to God]. Divorce breaks the law, it breaks the marriage, it breaks the family and it breaks society but marriage [any marriage, 2nd, 3rd, etc.] in a committed union through love in Jesus Christ can overcome all things. God is the God of a new life and of second, third, fourth, fifth chance etc. Have the freedom [freedom means making mistakes] and the liberty [to make more mistakes] in this life but be sure to live it for God and God is more than willing and more than capable of picking up the pieces of our life including and especially in failed relationships and in marriages.

1 Corinthians 7:17-24 But as God hath distributed [life's circumstances] to every man, as the Lord [comes down to man and meets man] hath called [invited] every one, so let him walk [where he first met God]. And so ordain I in all churches. Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. **Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called [where he met God, until or if you discern a change in your life]. Art thou called being a servant? care not for it [God can fellowship with a servant (slave)]: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. Ye are bought with a price; **be not ye the servants of men. *Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called [where he met God], therein abide [fellowship] with God. - The Apostle Paul is saying that God meets individual mankind where we are, at any particular moment in life. If someone is famous and they meet God then God has met them there in that condition they don't have to sell everything and become poor to fellowship with God they have already met God. So don't chase after God according to the wisdom of men but just consider that God has already dealt us many of our cards in life and God can work in and around the cards we hold in our life. Once meeting God that is a new relationship and some things do change [like going into some form of ministry]and many things stay the same in life. Make sure the changes and any new directions in life are from God when and if they happen.

1 Corinthians 8 - Continuing with instructions to the Church the Apostle Paul explains that Christian love is more important and more meaningful than knowledge and it is certainly more powerful than hidden (occult) knowledge - If someone has vast occult knowledge the answer often isn't our Christian knowledge but our Christian love and of our concern for them, their safety and their wellbeing -- '1 Corinthians 8:1 Now as touching (occult) things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity (love) edifieth [builds up].'

1 Corinthians 8:4-13 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing [without authority] in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, as there be gods many, and lords many, But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him. *Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge [of Jesus Christ]: for some with conscience [knowledge] of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat [food] commendeth [recommended] us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not [fast], are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty [to eat foods sacrificed to idols] of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak [suspect idols have authority]. For if any man see thee which hast [Biblical] knowledge sit at meat [rejecting the idol] in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols [accepting the idol]; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish [fall away], for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend [follow idols]. - Loosely this is about a Christian who has a good walk and goes into a pagan temple and has lunch as a Christian in a pagan place knowing that God is above all. Then a weaker Christian sees this and wrongly thinks that the Christian really worships idols so that person begins to think maybe idols do have power and is seduced away from Christianity all because a Christian went into a pagan place. 1. Always make sure [to the best of our ability]that when we do go into a non-Christian environment that we try to keep our Christian bearing if we act non-Christian at a sports event or whatever it is an issue. 2. Our actions do affect other Christians both for good and for bad so just be aware of it that our actions do affect other people even if we don't know them directly or realize it.

1 Corinthians 9 - The Apostle Paul points out that although servants of God are allowed to make a living from their service to God it is not intended that the Gospel [Good News of Jesus Christ] is to be perceived by others as having been sold for income -- '1 Corinthians 9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, *when I Preach the Gospel , I may make the Gospel of Christ [free] without charge, *that I abuse not my power in the Gospel.'

1 Corinthians 9:16-27 16 For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the Gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the Gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ, that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a [temporary] corruptible crown; but we [Christians] an [eternal] incorruptible [crown]. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air [shadowboxing]: But I keep under [submission]my body, and bring it into subjection: *lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, *I myself should be a [disqualified] castaway. - The Apostle Paul is continuing to talk about God's ability to meet people when and where they are. Paul is not saying that he joins [lawless] people in their activities, what the Apostle Paul is saying is that some people eat only certain foods and that is fine God can meet them there. Some people have certain customs and rituals and that's fine God can meet them there. At times in Church history missionaries have gone from developed countries like England and America to remote areas to spread the Gospel but at times the missionaries were so intent on making foreign people British or American subjects first that the teaching of the gospel was neglected. The Apostle Paul is saying that he does not try to convert people to a nationality or a custom but only to the eternal, living, Gospel of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 10 - A continuing encouragement for Christians to conduct our lives with an ever-present Kingdom of God conduct and with an eternal life purpose of mind -- '1 Corinthians 10:31-33 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, *or whatsoever ye do [with your liberty], *do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the *Jews, nor to the *Gentiles, nor to the *Church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit [benefit], but the profit [benefit] of many, **that they may be saved. - Note: The Bible divides the three groups; Jews, Gentiles and Christians.'

1 Corinthians 10:23-29 All things are lawful for me, *but all things are not expedient [well]: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify [build-up] not. Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth [benefit]. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles [market], that eat, asking no question [about its occult origins] for conscience sake: **For the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof. If any of them [non-Christians] that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no [about its occult origins] question for conscience sake. **But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not [don't join in] for his sake that shewed it, and for [our] conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof [God is Lord and does not want us to fellowship with idols (demons)]: Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other [try not to give people the false impression that Christians compromise and go along with the idols of others]: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience? - Note: Why is our Christian liberty judged for another man's conscience? Paul is saying that we have a more complete knowledge and we also have the backing of the God of the universe therefore we need to represent God to an unsaved world with as clear and uncompromised message as we can. If Christians send a message of compromise it conflicts with the no compromise message of Jesus and His cross but if we also send a message of no love then it also conflicts with the message of Jesus and His cross where His love for us was so complete that He died for us so we can live. Therefore try to keep and give and accurate representation of Jesus Christ and of His cross and of His resurrection to others who we interact with especially in social interactions.

1 Corinthians 11 - The Church is instructed in the Communion of Jesus Christ -- '1 Corinthians 11:23 For I have received of the Lord [Jesus] that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus *the same night in which He was betrayed [by Judas] took bread ...' - Note: The Communion represents and is a part of the Levitical Feats of "The Lord's Passover" Jesus was betrayed on the night of the Passover Feast [14th of Nisan - Leviticus 23:5]. The very next day, the day of the crucifixion (cross) of Jesus is the Levitical Feast the "Feast of Unleavened Bread" [15th of Nisan - Leviticus 23:6] then that first day of the week [Sunday] is the Feast of Firstfruits [Leviticus 23:7] - Jesus Resurrected on Sunday the Feast of Firstfruits and began (John 20:22) to give individually to each one of His disciples the Firstfruits of His Holy, eternal resurrection life - 'Romans 8:23 And not only they [all of creation groans for redemption], but ourselves also, which have *the Firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption [from Children of God to Sons of God], to wit, the redemption of our body.'

Christian Communion - The New Testament - The body [both the physical and the resurrection body of Jesus] and the blood [both the physical blood and the resurrection - eternal life, spiritual blood] of Jesus Christ: 1 Corinthians 11:23-32 23 For I [Apostle Paul] have received of the Lord [Jesus] that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is *My body [representing both the physical body and resurrection (spiritual) body of Jesus], which [physical body] is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in My blood [both physical blood and resurrection Spirit-life blood]: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. *For as often as ye eat *this [unleavened] bread, and drink this [grape and water mingled] cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily [thinking they are not a sinner], shall be guilty of the [sacrifice for our sins] body and blood of the Lord. **But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, **not discerning the Lord's body [that the physical body of Jesus was given physically for our sin on the cross (redemption) and that the Spiritual body of Jesus is given to us from His eternal life resurrection (Salvation)]. For this cause [not knowing that the same body of Jesus from the cross is the same body that resurrected and is for our eternal, resurrection life, salvation] many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep [are unaware of the power and of the pending resurrection in our own life]. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened (Hebrews 12:6) of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. - Note: The 'cup' is in reference to both the physical life-blood and the Spiritual life-blood of Jesus. The Communion of Jesus Christ represents both the body on the cross and the resurrection life body of Jesus. The New Testament - Communion of Jesus Christ represents both the Redemption (cross) and Salvation (resurrection) body of Jesus Christ. - Also Note: Jesus being without sin in His body (Matthew 17:2), bodily resurrected in His same body. We having sin our own physical body we vacate our physical body and it returns to dust [Genesis 3:19] then we each receive a new spiritual body - not a new physical body [not a reincarnation of a physical body] but a new eternal spiritual body for the purposes of our [continuing] eternal spiritual life.

1 Corinthians 12 - The individual nature and use of Spiritual gifts [abilities] giving from God are discussed -- '1 Corinthians 12:1-7 Now concerning Spiritual gifts [abilities from God], brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can [honestly] say [with the human spirit] that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost [but deceivers can easily say in their mind or with their mouth that Jesus is God - or some variation 'Almighty' to attempt to fool people]. Now there are diversities of [different] gifts, but [done in] the same [Holy] Spirit. And there are differences of administrations [uses for the same gift], but the same Lord [Jesus]. And there are diversities of operations [how each gift is used by each individual person], but *it is the same God which worketh all in all [in all Christians]. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit [each man] withal [each in a similar manner].'

1 Corinthians 12:27-31 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some [individuals] in the Church, first Apostles [sent out ones - evangelists], secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments [administration], diversities of tongues. *Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? [No!] But covet [seek] earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. ... [the way of love (agape)]. - All of the gifts, offices and functions of God are valuable and all work together in the one resurrection body of Jesus Christ. - Note: The individual workings and accomplishments through the use of the gifts are not a substitute for love. We have to love, God and one another in Jesus Christ or else any of the works we do are meaningless.

1 Corinthians 13 - The superior Christian way - The way of Love (Agape) - Spiritual resurrection life love in Jesus Christ -- '1 Corinthians 13:12-13 For now [while in our physical body] we see through a glass [eye], darkly [barely visible of the spiritual realm]; but then [after our resurrection and spiritual body then] face to face [with Jesus - God]: now I know [experience - Ginosko, G1097] in part; but then shall I know [experience divinely - Epiginosko, G1921] even as also I am known. And *now [in the darkened physical realm] abideth [exists] *faith, *hope, charity (love - Agape, G26), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love - Agape, G26).'

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that [Jesus] which is perfect is come [2nd coming], then that which is in part [the gifts - Apostle, teaching, prophecy] shall be done away. When I was a child [incomplete], I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man [adult - complete (sonship)], I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. - Note: Many of the various gifitngs of God the Holy Spirit are only temporary and will later be unnecessary in the presence of Jesus during His 2nd Coming Kingdom reign. Where the abilities of some gifts will cease of diminish in the presence of Jesus the ability to have faith, to have hope, to give and to love will increase in the presence of Jesus.

1 Corinthians 14 - The Christian Church is to function in an and orderly manner and in an atmosphere of mutual respect -- '1 Corinthians 14:31-33 For ye [Christian] may all prophesy [explain Biblical concepts] one by one, that *all may learn, and *all may be comforted. And *the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets [themselves] {people are not possessed (taken over) by the Holy Spirit the way a demon might (overpower) a person's freewill}. For God is not the author of confusion, *but of peace [comfort], as *in all Churches of the Saints [holy - saved].'

1 Corinthians 14:36-40 What? came [originated] the Word of God out from you? or came it unto you [exclusively] only? *If any man think himself to be a prophet, *or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I [Apostle Paul] write unto you are the commandments of the Lord [Jesus]. But if any man be ignorant [self-serving], let him be ignorant. Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy [explain to others the concepts of Christianity], and forbid not to speak with tongues. *Let all things be done decently [respecting one another] and [functionally] in order. - Note: This is a major indictment against the popularity preaching [one man shows] of modern Christianity. Everyone in the Christian Church is equal among each other and everyone can contribute equally among the fellowship, no exceptions. The one man shows of modern Christianity are completely unbiblical and worse yet having one person in several positions of leadership [i.e. leadership, teaching, counseling, guiding, etc.] is disastrous and almost always, without fail it leads to the eventual destruction of the fellowship.

1 Corinthians 15 - The Christian Gospel is given as the [cross] redemption and [resurrection] salvation of Jesus Christ for our benefit of receiving eternal [resurrection] life -- '1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you *the Gospel [Jesus Christ is risen] which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved [salvation], if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died [cross - redemption] for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried [proven to be dead], and that He rose again [resurrection - salvation] the third day according to the scriptures'

1 Corinthians 15:12-58 Now if [Jesus] Christ be preached [proclaimed] that He rose [resurrection] from the dead, *how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? *But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, *then is our preaching vain [empty], and your faith is also vain [empty]. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. **But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the Firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man [Adam] came death, by man [Jesus] came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in [Jesus] Christ shall all be made alive. *But every man [individually] in his own order: Christ the Firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming [in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17, Acts 3:21)]. Then cometh the end [Tribulation - Great Tribulation], when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God [from here on earth], even {to} the Father; when He shall have put down all [Satanic] rule and all authority and power. For He [Messiah] must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. **The last enemy that shall be destroyed is [physical] death [spiritual death (separation from God) - lake of fire remains (Revelation 20:14)]. For He [Jesus] hath put all things under His feet [authority - soul]. But when He [Holy Spirit] saith, all things are put under Him [Jesus], it is manifest that He [Holy Spirit] is excepted [excluded - the Holy Spirit is not at odds with Jesus and is not subjected], which did put all things under Him [Jesus]. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him [Jesus], then shall the Son [Jesus] also Himself be subject unto Him [Father] that put all things under Him, **that God [Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit] may be all in all. Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead {at times of severe persecution to get baptized was practically a death sentence}, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead {why baptize if it will cause your death if there is no resurrection}? *And why stand we [professing Christ] in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. ***Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that [plant seed] which thou sowest [plant in the ground] is not quickened [made alive], except it die: And that which thou sowest, *thou sowest not that body [blossoms] that shall be, but bare grain [seed], it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But *God giveth it a body [from a seed] as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies [sun], and bodies terrestrial [moon]: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. **So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption [physical flesh, sin]; it is raised in incorruption [spiritual body]: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: *It [human life] is sown a natural [physical] body; it [human life] is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [Jesus] was made a quickening [life giving] spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural [physical]; *and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man [Adam] is of the earth, earthy: the second man [Jesus] is the Lord from Heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: **and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. **Now this I say, brethren, that [physical] flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed [from physical body to spiritual eternal body], In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump [Church announcement from God - not the trumpet judgments of Revelation]: for the trumpet [announcement] shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible [in their resurrection body], and we [who are alive] shall be changed [into a spiritual body]. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality [eternity]. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, **then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, ***Death is swallowed up in [the] victory [of Jesus]. *O death, where is thy sting? *O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. **But thanks be to God, **which giveth us **the victory **through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, *be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, *forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain [emptiness] in the Lord [our labor is eternal].

1 Corinthians 16 - Paul concludes his current letter to the Church at Corinth -- '1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection [donation] for the Saints [in Jerusalem], as I have given order to the Churches of Galatia [modern day Asia, Turkey], even so do ye [in Greece]. Upon [Church day] the first day of the week [Sunday] let every one of you lay by him in store (savings), as God hath prospered him, *that there be no gatherings when I come.' - Note: the Apostle Paul continually separates himself from any appearance of being personally enriched by the work of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. - Also Note: The collection was taken for the Church in Jerusalem and likely 100% of the collection went directly to the Church in Jerusalem. Today in modern Christianity some ministries would probably take their own cut [though honestly many Church ministries do not take a cut - but in a modern non-Church, visiting pastor (as the Apostle Paul was) or crusade type of setting the donations are often misappropriated] of the donations [for a specific causes] and usually only a fraction of the designated amount of the original stated purpose would now make it to the original cause.

The Epistle (book) of 1st Corinthians concludes: 1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch [be alert, continually look for the 2nd Coming return of Jesus] ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you [behave] like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity. I beseech you, brethren, ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the Firstfruits of Achaia [a part of grater Greece], and **that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints, That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to everyone that helpeth with us, and laboureth. I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such. The Churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla [good friends of Paul, Jewish Christians originally from Rome] salute you much in the Lord, with the Church that is in their house. All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss [friendly embrace]. The salutation [closing remark] of me Paul [written] with mine own hand. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema [lit. banished] Maranatha [lit. until - Our Lord, come!]. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

2 CORINTHIANS

Second Corinthians "A Ministry of Reconciliation" - This is a unique letter with a writing style that is very personal, bold, at times sarcastic, and very defensive - It shares the concern, passion, intimate feelings and thoughts of an Apostle [Paul] who is defending his own apostleship and ministry in a church which he founded - The letter is the least systematic [theology] of the Apostle Paul's writings - Even a casual reading gives the impression of a man who is on his feet fighting a battle with his feelings and personal biases clearly involved - It reads almost like a man who expresses freely his feelings about himself and his ministry in a journal

Second Corinthians reveals Paul's deep concern for a troubled Greek church. The Church at Corinth had great potential, but its history was marked by dissension, confusion in theology, distortions in worship, and apathy in moral concerns. Therefore, it is a letter of extreme relevance for churches in our day and age. This is a unique letter with a writing style that is very personal, bold, at times sarcastic, and very defensive. It shares the concern, passion, intimate feelings and thoughts of an apostle who is defending his own apostleship and ministry in a church which he founded. The letter is the least systematic of the Apostle Paul's writings. Even a casual reading gives the impression of a man who is on his feet fighting a battle with his feelings and personal biases clearly involved. It reads almost like a man who expresses freely his feelings about himself and his ministry in a journal. Thus analysis of this letter is almost impossible. Try outlining it for yourself. Read with pencil in hand. ... CHRONOLOGY OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PAUL AND THE CORINTHIANS: 1. Paul visited Corinth on his second missionary journey and established a church there about A.D. 50 Acts 18:1-17). 2. While in Ephesus (A.D. 55), Paul heard of moral problems within the Corinthian church from Chloe's people and wrote a letter of instruction to them. He referred to this "previous letter" in 1 Cor. 5:9. This letter no longer exists; it was lost without trace. We will call it Paul's "Corinthians A" letter after F. F. Bruce's designation. 3. Paul received a letter from some of the members in the church concerning serious problems within the fellowship (I Cor. 7:1). They sought Paul's counsel in dealing with the issues. The family of Chloe came with news of the church (I Cor. 1:11), and the visit of Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus (I Cor. 16:17). On the basis of the letter and other information that reached him in Ephesus about problems in the church, Paul wrote what is now called 1 Corinthians in about A.D. 55 and sent it to Corinth via Timothy (I Cor. 4:17). We will call 1 Corinthians letter "Corinthians B". 4. The pastoral letter, 1 Corinthians, was not successful and the situation grows worse. In fact, it seems to have stimulated further rebellion against Paul's authority. In response Paul probably made a brief visit across the Aegean Sea to Corinth in a personal attempt to resolve the crisis (2 Cor. 2:1; 12:14; 13:1-2). This is often referred to as the "painful visit" which breaks his heart. Paul was rebuffed by members of the church. The opposition comes to a head with one member in particular defying his authority. The leadership in the church took no effective action in Paul's defense. Paul, deeply humiliated, left Corinth. 5. The "painful visit" didn't accomplish its goal, therefore Paul returned to Ephesus and wrote a third letter to the Corinthians "out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears." It is referred to in 2 Corinthians 2:3-4, 9, and 7:8, 12. This "exceedingly severe letter," delivered by Titus (2 Cor. 2:3f, 13; 7:13), is often called the stern or rebuking letter. This letter left Paul almost sorry that he had written it. We will call it letter "Corinthians C". 6. Titus visited Corinth with the "severe letter" in an attempt to reconcile the situation. Paul, in the mean time, was so anxious to hear from Titus that he left Ephesus traveling north to Troas seeking him (2 Cor. 2:13; 7:5, 13). Somewhere in Macedonia, probably Philippi, Paul received the good news from Titus of a change in attitude in the Corinthian church. The leader of rebellion had been rejected and disciplined. The church was once again open to Paul's counsel and desirous of his friendship. 7. Paul responded by writing 2 Corinthians from Philippi around A.D. 56 or early A.D. 57. We will call this letter "Corinthians D." 8. Paul made a final visit to Corinth (Acts 20:1-3) during which he solidified his relationship with the church and received the mission offering for the Jerusalem church. On this stay in Corinth Paul probably wrote his letter to the Romans. He sends Titus back to them with two other friends. F. F. Bruce is of the opinion that "this second visit of Titus to Corinth was not so happy as the former one. . . Paul was really putting them on the spot. . . . A new feeling of resentment showed itself among some members of the church, and it was fostered by certain visitors to Corinth who did their best to undermine Paul's prestige in his converts' eyes." He bases his theory on 2 Cor. 10-13. PURPOSE OF SECOND CORINTHIANS: False teachers who claimed to be apostles had infiltrated the Corinthian church with the goal of discrediting Paul's ministry and apostleship. This letter was written with the purpose of refuting these intruders. Paul is defending his integrity. 1. Paul wrote to prepare the Corinthians for his visit and insure the restored relationship with them (chapter 1-7). 2. He wrote to remind the church of their commitment to the offering for the poor saints at Jerusalem (chapters 8-9). 3. Paul defended his apostolic authority (chapters 10-13). 4. "He wrote to reprimand the obstinate remnants of the 'Cephas' (Peter) and 'Christ' factions for their persistent opposition" (Shepard, p. 273). THEME OF 2 CORINTHIANS: The joys and sorrows in Paul's ministry at Corinth at a time when his authority is undermined and severely questioned. ... GENUINENESS OF THE EPISTLE: Many scholars are of the same opinion as J. W. Shepard regarding the genuineness of 2 Corinthians. He writes: There is abundant proof of the circulation and genuineness of this epistle previous to 120 A. D. Polycarp and Irenaeus are among those who testify to this fact; through citation and otherwise. The evidence is yet more copious for early circulation dating from 175 A. D.; the Muratorian Fragment, Marcions Canon, and the citations from Clement of Alexandria and others. . . The internal evidence of Pauline authorship is so clear in the matter of style, vocabulary, and character of its general teachings as to render its authenticity unmistakable. So strong is both the external and internal evidence that only a small group of 'eccentric critics' any longer call in question its genuineness. [link]

2 Corinthians 1 - The Apostle Paul begins what in the Bible is 2nd Corinthians though possibly it is his 4th letter to the Church at Corinth - Paul was a simple straightforward man from a medium sized city (Tarsus) - In Corinth one of the true metropolises of the ancient world the seemingly unsophisticated ways of Paul were almost completely rejected by the highly cultured and complex people of Corinth -- '2 Corinthians 1:-2 Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the Church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia [grater Greece]'

2 Corinthians 1:9-24 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, *but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us; Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf. For our rejoicing is this, the Testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly [physical, worldly] wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus. And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit; And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea. When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness [Paul didn't neglect the Church at Corinth]? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay? But *as God is True, our word toward you was not yea and nay. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay [devious], but in Him was yea [God is straightforward, steadfast]. For all the promises of God in Him are yea [yes], and in Him Amen [lit. Truth], unto the glory of God by us. Now *He [Holy Spirit] which establishes us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not [postponed] as yet unto Corinth. Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith [redemption (cross) and salvation (resurrection) equal faith] ye stand. - Paul continues to attempt to remove the focus and adoration of the highly cultured Church at Corinth off of individuals and off of society in general and instead seeks for them to focus on the eternal Kingdom of God.

2 Corinthians 1 (Part B) - Intermixed in Paul's letter is his own personal memoirs and contributions to the Christian Church as a whole -- '2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.'

2 Corinthians 1:6-10 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation [wellbeing], which is effectual [an example] in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted [it is also an example], it is for your consolation and salvation. *And our hope [of your success in Christ] of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: *But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but *in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us; - Paul is revealing that the struggles he is facing day to day in life on the road as a Missionary is very much a constant struggle of life and death.

2 Corinthians 2 - Paul sets out that he is in Ministry to reveal Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world and not for fame, fortune or even wealth -- '2 Corinthians 2:14-17 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour [sweet aroma] of His knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour [aroma] of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one [unsaved] we are the savour [reminder] of death unto [their eternal spiritual] death; and to the other [fellow Christians] the savour [reminder] of life unto [eternal spiritual] life. And who is sufficient [worthy] for these [eternal - Kingdom of God] things? For we are not as many [hired pastors - imposters], which corrupt the Word of God: but as of sincerity [of an Apostle - Evangelist], but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.'

2 Corinthians 2:6-11 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage [turning our worship into socializing] of us: for we are not ignorant of his [Satan's] devices [tricks]. - Paul now mentions again the person referred to in 1st Corinthians who was removed from fellowship for immoral behavior. The Church in Corinth is instructed to allow the repentant worshiper back into the congregation because Christianity is not a social group and it is not a social gathering it is a place of fellowship, worship and obedience unto the almighty God.

2 Corinthians 2 (Part B) - Paul is explaining that this rift between the Church and himself is taking a heavy personal toll on him -- '2 Corinthians 2:1-5 But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that makes me glad, but the same [people] which is made sorry by me? And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all. *For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you [possibly a letter after 1st Corinthians and before this 2nd Corinthians] with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge [breakoff relations with] you all.'

2 Corinthians 2:12-13 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia [Greece]. - Apparently Paul wrote a very stern letter the "exceedingly severe letter" delivered by Titus from Ephesus to the Church in Corinth then Paul journeyed from Ephesus to Troas hoping to meet up with Titus and hear of how his stern letter was received back in Corinth. Paul was unable to find Titus so he went further towards Corinth into Macedonia. Titus (2 Corinthians 7:6) finally located Paul and his companions in Macedonia and gave him the good news that the [now missing] stern letter was well received by the Church in Corinth. After the news from Titus then Paul wrote this 2nd Corinthians letter. - Note: The often referred to "stern letter" could have actually been 1st Corinthians that is being mentioned and not a missing letter though Paul's first (memo) letter to Corinth is known to be missing.

2 Corinthians 3 - Glory brings about glory while dishonor brings about dishonor - In order to be conformed into the image of Jesus we need to be steadily transformed from spiritual victory (glory) to spiritual victory (glory) in the Holy Spirit -- '2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all [Christians], with open [unveiled] face beholding as in a glass [the physical realm] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image [as Jesus is already in] from glory [accomplishment] to glory [accomplishment], even as by the [Holy] Spirit of the Lord.'

2 Corinthians 3:11-17 For if that which is done away [the laws of Moses] was glorious, much more that which remaineth [the resurrection of Jesus and the giving of the Holy Spirit] is glorious. Seeing then that we have such [resurrection] hope, we use great plainness [outspoken boldness] of speech: And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face (Exodus 34:35), that the Children of Israel [Jews] could no stedfastly look [as the face of Moses dimmed] to the end of that [laws of Moses] which is abolished: But their [Jewish] minds were blinded [covered by the vail of Moses]: for until this day remaineth the same vail [vail of Moses] untaken away [when a Jew/Hebrew reads the Bible they see Moses not Jesus] in the reading of the Old Testament [by the Jews]; which vail is done away [removed from Christians] in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail [of Moses] is upon their [Jewish] heart. Nevertheless when it [Jewish heart] shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. - Paul is explaining that the Bible is not vailed to the Christian. When a Christian reads the Bible the meaning should be self-evident. We as Christians have the vail removed and we have the guidance of the Holy Spirit therefore we don't need to be instructed in the Bible as the Jews are instructed in the laws of Moses. Christians are to engage in their own readings, devotions and studies of the Bible and are not to rely on man or on classes taught by men in order to teach the Bible to us.

2 Corinthians 3 (Part B) - Don't rely on men to teach you the Bible and in the same context don't rely on men to recommend other men to you as men of good Christian character, conduct or ability - Assess each Christian man (leader, worker) yourself in prayer, in guidance and in discernment with the Holy Spirit and don't look for other people to commend your ministry instead just look for 'living' Spiritual fruit from God as conformation for your work in Jesus -- '2 Corinthians 3:1-3 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles (letters) of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? Ye are our [living] epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, *written not with ink [in the words of man], but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.'

2 Corinthians 3:4-6 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; **but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter [the law of Moses or the recommendations of man], but of the [Holy] Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. - Trust in God and look to God both in personal devotions and in personal ministry service. The laws of Moses are constricting, blinding and irrelevant to New Testament service based in the Holy Spirit to God and the advice, council and approval of men is just as entangling, constricting, blinding and worthless in New Testament Christian service and devotions to God.

2 Corinthians 4 - Paul reiterates the equality we all have in Jesus Christ - One Christian person [regardless of service or human status] will be raised up just as the next Christian person -- '2 Corinthians 4:14 Knowing that He [Father] which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up *us also by Jesus, and shall present [in Heaven] us [equally] with you.'

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward [physical] man perish, yet the inward [spirit-soul] man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction [difficulties of life], which is but for a moment [considering eternity], worketh *for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of [eternal] glory; While we look not at the [current] things which are seen, but at the [eternal] things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal [temporary]; but the [spiritual] things which are not seen are eternal. - Being reminded again of the eternal and complex nature of the spirit realm vs. the briefness and simplicity of the physical realm.

2 Corinthians 4 (Part B) - Christian work is difficult in fact it is doing the impossible therefore relax, enjoy and allow God to work naturally through your life in an extraordinary, supernatural way, a way unknown and not experienced by unsaved mankind -- '2 Corinthians 4:8-11 We [Christian workers] are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, *that the [unselfish] life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the [extraordinary] life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal [body] flesh.'

2 Corinthians 4:1-7 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint [resign] not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, **nor handling the Word of God deceitfully; *but by manifestation of the Truth commending ourselves *to every man's conscience [discernment] *in the sight of God. But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god [Satan] of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, **[Jesus] who is the image of God, should shine unto them. *For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. *For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness (Genesis 1:3), hath shined in our hearts (Isaiah 60:1, 1 John 2:8), to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this [spiritual] treasure in [fragile] earthen vessels [bodies], that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. - When we allow God into our lives He will live in us and through us naturally in a natural, supernatural way not in a manmade way or in a man-mandated way but only in a spiritual, supernatural way.

2 Corinthians 5 - The physical human body is temporary and for the [saved] Christian will be exchanged for a an eternal spiritual body as given by God to each of us individually -- '2 Corinthians 5:4-5 For we that are in this tabernacle [temporary physical body] do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed [unembodied], but clothed upon [with an eternal spirit body], that mortality might be swallowed up of [eternal] life. Now He that hath wrought [created] us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest [down payment - Firstfruits] of the Spirit.'

2 Corinthians 5:6-10 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the [physical] body, we are absent from the Lord: For we walk by faith, not by sight: We are confident, I say, and willing rather *to be absent from the [physical] body, and to be present with the Lord. *Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him [Jesus]. For we must all appear before the *judgment seat [lit. foot of the Throne - Bema, G968] of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his [physical] body, according to that he hath done, *whether it be good or bad. - Note: Humans because of sin are originally conceived [in the womb] separated from God but then can become spiritually 'born again' into the family of God as a "Child of God" and remain a child of God while in the physical body. After physical death and appearing in Heaven at the Bema (judgment of Jesus Christ) a holy (clean) person [Christian] is rewarded and adopted into the family of God going from a Child of God to a Son of God and as a Son receiving a new eternal spiritual body, a body in the (image - able to interact and associate with God) resemblance of the risen Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5 (Part B) - Paul continues to instruct the Church in the ability to discern between the staged and planned exhibits of mankind and the actual eternal Spiritual life realm of God -- '2 Corinthians 5:11-12 Knowing therefore the terror [lit. reverence] of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences [discernment]. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory [accomplish] on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them [imposters] which glory in [human] appearance [standing], and not in [a godly soul, spirit] heart.'

2 Corinthians 5:14-21 For the love of Christ constraineth [restraints] us; because we thus judge, that if (lit. since) one [Jesus Christ] died for all [mankind], then were all [mankind were] dead [separated from God]: And that He [Jesus] died for all, **that they which live should not [anymore] henceforth live unto themselves, *but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore [for that reason - the unselfish sacrifice of Jesus on the cross - and now the eternal life resurrection] henceforth know we no man after the [physical] flesh: yea, though we have known Christ [came at one time physically] after the flesh, *yet now henceforth know we Him no more [physically]. ***Therefore if any man be in Christ, he [born again person] is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. *And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by [Himself] Jesus Christ, **and hath given to us the Ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that ***God was in [Jesus] Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing [holding] their trespasses [sins] unto them; and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation [forgiveness of sins in the blood of Jesus]. Now then we are Ambassadors for [Jesus] Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray [ask] you in Christ's stead [stand-in], *be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; *that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. - Note: Jesus became sin for us, He took on our sin upon himself as he removed our sin from us. It is important to note that our sins [trespasses] did not affect Jesus permanently but only temporarily while He was on the cross for us. Jesus overcame our sins and as a result the sinless body of Jesus was able to rise from the grave. The Disciple John (Revelation 5:6) observes Jesus standing in Heaven in the midst of the Throne in His slain physical body. Jesus having no sin of His own and perfectly able to overcome our sins (all the sins of the world)was able to bodily resurrect. We humans are unable to overcome even our own sins by ourselves and therefore we do not bodily resurrect as Jesus did but we separate from our body our temporary physical body returns to dust and in the adoption we receive a new resurrection body a body vaguely similar [able to be in the presence of the Holy God and to worship and interact with God] to what Jesus has now.

2 Corinthians 6 - Paul now focuses on the opportunity that life is the opportunity to enter into an eternal life relationship with God -- '2 Corinthians 6:1-2 We then, as workers together with Him [God - Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit], beseech you also that ye receive not the grace [personal individuality allowed by God] of God in vain. For He saith, I [God] have heard thee [prayers] in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured [assisted, aided] thee: **behold, now [today] is the accepted time [to become a born into the family of God - child of God]; behold, now is the day of salvation [eternal life].'

2 Corinthians 6:3-10 Giving no offence in anything [offending not the Jews, Gentiles or the Church of god], that the [Christian] Ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving [representing] ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes [whippings], in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, *in watchings [looking for the 2nd Coming of Jesus], in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy [Spirit] Ghost, by love unfeigned, By *the Word of Truth [Holy Bible], by the power [lit. life creating, resurrection eternal life power - Dunamis, G1411] of God, by the armor of [Jesus'] righteousness on the *right hand [in Christian fellowship] and on the *left [outside of Christian fellowship], By honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. - Note: Paul gives a list of precautions to take and he includes in his list of precautions to be equally cautious and alert inside of the Church [right hand of fellowship] as with those who are outside the Church [the left hand path]. Inside of a Church particularly a metropolis (city) [mega-Church] like Corinth was is no place to remove our Christian armor and no place to set aside our individual discernment. There can be and are just as many perils within Church fellowships as there are outside of Church fellowships and inside the Church there is always the ever-present wolves seeking take advantage of people in the fellowship with their Christian guard down and sometimes the wolves are behind the pulpits and in the Universities and in the classrooms and write books and broadcast on the radio and other very public and prominent positions so always be careful inside of Church as well as outside of Church. Also Note: Because we do have the discernment of God we can interact more with people both inside and outside of Church. This is not an invitation to close up and disassociate with others, just the opposite it is a calling to interact more in a fallen imperfect world but with the admonishment to maintain at all times a prayerful, purposeful Christian demeanor and attitude at all times and in all places.

2 Corinthians 6 (Part B) - Do to the behind the scenes and always hindering nature of spiritual warfare and because of the Christian maturity of the Apostle Paul the Apostle is actively seeking to keep the door of communication open and accessible with his Church in Corinth knowing that Satan prefers to deceive in darkness with rumors and through innuendos -- '2 Corinthians 6:11-13 O ye Corinthians, our mouth [communication] is open unto you, our heart is enlarged [accepting you]. Ye are not straitened [confined] in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompense in the same, I speak as unto my children [in the faith], be ye also enlarged [accepting].'

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what Communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial [Satan]? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the Temple of God with idols? **for ye are the Temple of the living God; as God hath said, *I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; *and I will receive you [clean - holy], And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. - Note: The relationship restored by Jesus Christ between God and mankind is now a family relationship it is closer than the mutual friendship between God and mankind that existed before as in the days of trouble and separation experienced by Job and others in that time.

2 Corinthians 7 - Paul continues to represent that Christianity requires individual self-effort - Christianity, a relationship with God, does not just happen by coincidence or by random circumstances it is the result of continued individual intentions and actions in deliberately seeking a personal relationship with God -- '2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore *these promises [eternity in the family of God], dearly beloved, **let us cleanse ourselves [enter into a personal relationship with Jesus through His blood] from all filthiness of the flesh and [human] spirit, perfecting [completing in Jesus the] holiness in the fear of God.'

2 Corinthians 7:2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man. I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you. Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: *I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation [troubled efforts]. - Paul makes mention that even with all the difficulties, the misunderstandings and the confusion of the present situation between Paul and the Church at Corinth that really the effort is worth it "exceeding joyful" because the Church at Corinth still has much to glory in as people are being saved there and are growing in the grace of God there as the original work of the Apostle Paul was continuing on despite the enormous controversy over Church authority that had erupted there.

2 Corinthians 7 (Part B) - Paul mentions a previous letter he had written to the Church at Corinth and how the letter was difficult for them to read but very necessary in order for them to regain some eternal perspective in Jesus Christ -- '2 Corinthians 7:8-10 For though I made you sorry with a [previous] letter [1st Corinthians or possibly another letter no longer available], I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle [letter] hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, *not that ye were made sorry, *but that ye sorrowed to repentance [mind change - life change]: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. **For *godly *sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented [regretted] of: but the [self] sorrow of the world worketh death.'

2 Corinthians 7:14-16 For if I have boasted anything to him [Titus] of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth. And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how *with fear and trembling ye received him. I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things. - Paul is noting how the Church at Corinth, at least some of the people, understood the eternal ramifications of Christianity and "with fear and trembling" realized that Christianity is not something to be taken lightly but something to be taken very seriously as only True Christianity in Jesus Christ is the way to salvation and everlasting life a reality that the imposters in Corinth were neglecting to keep in mind themselves or to present to others.

2 Corinthians 8 - A healthy empowered Church-Fellowship is a body that is able to give to others while the week Church [regardless of size and location] is a Church that receives more than it gives -- '2 Corinthians 8:3-5 For to their [other Christian Churches in Greece] power [of giving], I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the [offering] gift [for Jerusalem], and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints [in Jerusalem]. And this they did, not as we hoped [but exceeded the expectations], *but first gave their own selves to the Lord [Jesus], and [then donated] unto us by the will of God.'

2 Corinthians 8:7-15 Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this [ability to give] grace also. *I speak not by commandment [the Christian Church does not tithe it only gives], but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, **though He [Jesus] was rich [in Heaven], yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His [human appearance] poverty might be [resurrection] rich. And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before {Corinth had previous year started to collect donations for Jerusalem but the collection lapsed}, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. *For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: As it is written (Exodus 16:18), He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack. - The Christian Church does not have the Old Testament law and therefore the tithe (tenth portion) of the Old Testament is not a part of the New Testament Christian Church. The Christian Church is composed of grace [individuality] not law [conformity] and therefore it is the freewill grace offerings of individuals that comprise the donations to the Christian Church.

2 Corinthians 9 - The Apostle Paul wants the Church in Corinth to experience the empowerment and the blessings of giving but he wants to be certain that they maintain an understanding that it is God that first and foremost gave to us in His free gift to us of eternal life in Jesus Christ -- '2 Corinthians 9:5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty [generosity], and not as of covetousness [provoked].'

2 Corinthians 9:8-14 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: As it is written (Psalm 112:9), He [the righteous man] hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth forever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness; Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the Saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection into the Gospel of Christ, and for your liberal [gift giving] distribution unto them, and unto all men; And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding Grace of God in you. **Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift [salvation - eternal life]. - We are to give to one another knowing that it is God who gave to us first and foremost in a reconciled relationship of eternal life in Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 10 - The Christian battle being a battle of eternity and for souls is a battle primarily being fought and waged in the spiritual realm - Later some physical observations and outcomes can be perceivable after the events or outcomes have been manifested from the spiritual realm into the physical realm -- '2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh [physical], we do not war after the flesh: *For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [physical], **but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; **Casting down imaginations [imagination, fantasy], and every high thing [like pride] that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of [Jesus] Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, *when your obedience is fulfilled [having kept everything in a godly eternal perspective].'

2 Corinthians 10:7-18 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? **If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, *let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's. For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification [building up], and not for your destruction [tearing down], I should not be ashamed: That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. *For his [Paul's] letters [epistles], say they [some in Corinth], are weighty and powerful; *but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. **Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such **will we be also in deed when we are present. For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that *commend themselves: **but they measuring themselves by themselves, and **comparing themselves among themselves, ***are not wise [we are to compare ourselves to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2)]. But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the Gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labors; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, To preach the Gospel in the regions beyond you [on into Europe], and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand. **But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. ***For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth. - Note: The biggest problem with modern day Mega-Church (Corinth) Christianity is that the Pastors or the leaders of the Mega-Church movement all got that way because they each pretend to be commended of God and they each pretend to have something more than the ordinary or average Christian has and therefore followers are encouraged to seek after them and their services, their crusades and their teachings (methods), etc. The problem with this false teaching is that it is opening the door wide open for the future Antichrist to be easily accepted by remnants of the Church. Modern Mega-Church leaders like Chuck Smith, Greg Laurie, Rick Warren and others are deceiving the people into thinking that they are in a unique and special relationship with God so therefore they seem to be preaching that people should seek them and what they have to offer when in actuality the Christian Gospel is clearly to seek Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ only. The real potential for disaster is that in having conditioned people to follow themselves, a few select Mega-Church men and even a couple of women then in the future when a stronger and even more deceiving personality arises on the scene people who are not grounded in Jesus Christ will more easily revert from following one person to the next eventually even embracing the Antichrist who being gifted with extraordinary abilities is going to make all of the modern lukewarm pastors look like the true incompetents and posers that they truly are in regard to spiritual matters. The audiences of deceived people having already been prepped and conditioned by the Mega-Church, the man centered gospel of modern Christianity, could easily be eternally deceived before the final coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His eternal Kingdom here on earth.

2 Corinthians 11 - Paul makes clear the Biblical concept that "subtlety" is the most dangerous Satanic element to the Christian and that many Preachers preach with a subtlety and a worldliness that can lead people away from Jesus and into the subtle worldly 'good works' and agendas that are actually of Satan -- '2 Corinthians 11:3-4 But I fear, lest by any means, as the Serpent [Satan] beguiled Eve [in the Garden of Eden] *through his [Satanic] **subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he [self-aggrandizing, worldly personality preacher] that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [accept] him [and his , worldly, vaguely entertaining but possibly highly Satanic preaching].' - Note: It isn't preaching the style that is being addressed but more the preaching content. The subtly 'worldly' preaching like Rick Warren at Greg Laurie's 2009 Anaheim Harvest Crusade (parts available on YouTube) after being introduced by Chuck Smith he is then supposedly leading people in prayer to Jesus but then not really mentioning repentance, sin, the cross or even addressing Jesus in his prayer it is that 'subtle' preaching and teaching of worldliness and the acceptance and passing on of worldly cultural trends into the Church that can actually be so 'subtle' and so worldly that it becomes Satanic.

2 Corinthians 11:5-10 For I suppose I was not a whit [bit] behind the very chiefest Apostles. But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things. Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, **because I have preached to you **the Gospel of God freely? **I robbed other churches, taking wages of them,** to do you service. And when I was present with you, and wanted [needed money], I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself. As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia. - Note: The Church at Corinth was a large Church and could easily have been capable of donating to other ministries however they were almost completely self-focused on their own functions and agendas and the thought of donating money to the foreign Church in Jerusalem was itself a foreign concept in the self-aggrandizing Church at Corinth. Today Mega-Churches continue the exact same scenario as the selfish Corinth Church did. Mega-Churches receive millions in donations however only a miniscule amount of money actually leaves the Mega-Church that is not in some way responsible for promoting the Mega-Church or the Mega-Pastor. A good analogy of the large corporation Mega-Churches of today is the Dead Sea in Israel where everything flows into the Dead Sea but there is no outlet from the Dead Sea so the water just gets shifted around in the Dead Sea and eventually dies but the Sea of Galilee [also in Israel] has an outlet river and it passes along as much water as it receives and the Sea of Galilee [where Jesus spent much of His time] is teaming with abundant life.

2 Corinthians 11 (Part B) - The Apostle Paul is now going to contrast what true Kingdom of God Christianity is like compared to the worldly social Christianity that is beginning to be practiced in Corinth -- '2 Corinthians 11:1-2 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband [Jesus], that I may present you as a chaste virgin to [Jesus] Christ.'

2 Corinthians 11:18-33 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, [as a comparison] I [Paul] will glory also. For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. For ye suffer [cultish hardship], if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face {some people accept and tolerate the oppression and abuse by the cults but do not want to accept the freedom and liberty of Jesus}. I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, I speak foolishly [worldly], I am bold also. Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of Christ? I speak as a fool [in contrast to them] I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft [often]. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned [to death], thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils *by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings [looking for the 2nd Coming of Jesus] often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily [mentally], the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? **If I must needs glory, *I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities [weaknesses]. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed forevermore, knoweth that I lie not. In Damascus [shortly after his conversion to Christianity] the Governor under Aretas the King kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me [because Paul so boldly spoke the Gospel]: And through a window [hidden] in a basket was I let down by [over] the [city] wall, and escaped his hands [of persecution]. - The Apostle Paul provides the Church at Corinth with some perspective of what true Christianity involves in contrast to the worldly social Christianity that was being adopted in Corinth.

2 Corinthians 12 - The Apostle Paul explains that he is paying a severe price, often being harassed demonically, because of the abundance and magnitude of the Holy revelations that Paul has been able to deliver to mankind [much like the afflictions of the prophets Isaiah, Daniel and Jeremiah] -- '2 Corinthians 12:7-10 And lest I [Paul] should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the [Holy] revelations, there was given to me a [demonic interference] thorn in the flesh, *the messenger of Satan to buffet [inflict] me, lest I should be [personally] exalted above measure. For [removal of] this thing I besought the Lord thrice [three times], that it [being demonic] might depart from me. And He [Jesus] said unto me, **My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect [complete] in weakness [as Jesus completes his strength]. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities [weaknesses], *that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: **for when I am weak, then am I strong [completed in Jesus Christ].'

2 Corinthians 12:12-15 Truly the signs of an Apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not [financially] burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong. Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will [still] not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours [belongings], but you [fellowship]: for the children ought not to lay up [finances] for the parents, but the [mature] parents [give an allowance] for the children. And I [as a mature parent] will very gladly spend [financially] and be spent [physically, emotionally] for you; **though the more abundantly I love you, **the less I be loved. - The Apostle Paul is touching on the truly Satanic depths that the Church in Corinth had begun to engage in. Previously the Church in Corinth had attacked Paul's speaking ability (2 Corinthians 10:9) and as an Apostle-Evangelist it was a direct Satanic attack from the Church directed at the Apostle Paul on his calling and on his abilities to fulfill his Christian Calling. Had the Church at Corinth encouraged Paul and his message it would have accomplished a lot to help Paul further the Gospel message he was given but instead the Church in Corinth took it upon themselves to cast doubt upon Paul, his abilities and his message. Secondly in another highly Satanic practice the Church at Corinth used the compassion of the Apostle Paul "though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved" as a tool in order to further attack the Apostle. When Paul was in their midst he was weak, compassionate and understanding and the Church in a worldly Satanic way took advantage of Paul using Paul's goodness and compassion against him [suspecting that with the goodness of Paul he would not retaliate]the Church perceived Paul to be a gentle and easy target *someone that they could form their social groups around as they ridiculed and asserted themselves superior to the Apostle Paul and in a worldly social way they probably were superior to Paul so it was no accomplishment to present themselves above Paul but in the spiritual Heavenly matters of Jesus Christ the Apostle Paul had much to offer them thought some simply because Paul was an outsider sought to reject out of hand his message of the Gospel.

2 Corinthians 12 (Part B) - Paul tells the Church in Corinth that his only objective is to build them up spiritually in Jesus Christ -- '2 Corinthians 12:19 Again, think ye that we excuse [make excuses for] ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but **we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying [building up].'

2 Corinthians 12:1-6 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to** visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man [the Apostle Paul] in Christ [a Christian] above [more than] fourteen years ago {thought to be on the first Missionary Journey with Barnabas in Lycaonia (Acts 14:19)}, whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth; such an one [the Apostle Paul] {died and} caught up to the third heaven [Throne of God]. And I knew such a man [Paul speaking in 3rd person to avoid promoting himself], whether in the body, or out of the body, *I cannot tell [explain] {the experience was instantaneous}: [only] God knoweth; How that he [Paul] was caught up into paradise [Heaven], and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a [physical] man to utter. Of such an one [3rd person] will I glory: yet of myself [1st person] I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. *For though I would desire to glory [in religious, spiritual experiences], I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: *but now I forbear [forgo], lest any man should think of me [exalted] above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. - Regardless of what someone might want to call Heaven (paradise, 3rd heaven) and the Throne presence of God the Apostle Paul had personally been there and he had personally as a Christian experienced Heaven in the very Throne presence of God.

2 Corinthians 13 - The Apostle Paul concludes his much labored letter to the Christian Church in Corinth, Greece -- '2 Corinthians 13:7-9 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.'

The Apostle Paul concludes the book of 2nd Corinthians: 2 Corinthians 13:1-6 This is the third time I [Apostle Paul] am coming to you. [Publically] In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now *I write to *them which heretofore have **sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare: Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to [your perception] you-ward is not weak [weakness in Christ], but is mighty in you. 4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the [almighty] power of God. For we also are weak in Him [Jesus Christ], *but {if need be} we shall live with Him **by the power of God toward you. ***Examine yourselves, ***whether ye be in the [Christian] faith; ***prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that *Jesus Christ is in you, except [if Jesus is not in you] ye be reprobates [unsaved]? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. ... 2 Corinthians 13:10-14 Therefore I [Paul] write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification [building up], and not to destruction. **Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect [complete in Jesus Christ], be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and [Jesus Christ] the God of love and peace shall be with you. Greet one another with an holy [embrace] kiss. All the Saints salute you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the Communion [fellowship] of the Holy [Spirit] Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

GALATIANS

Introduction: Part 2 of the Apostle Paul's Trilogy [Romans, Galatians, Hebrews] of Systematic Theology - The Book of Galatians

The book of Romans was written to Rome a Gentile Nation that was used to being in charge and used to having their own rights, power, authority and privileges to the extent that the Roman people as Pagans had viewed their privileges as god given entitlements. In this letter to the Gentile Region of Galatia the Apostle Paul is addressing a group of Gentiles that are foreigners from power and are accustomed to being the outsiders, separated from authority and alienated from the privileges of class and status that the Superpower Nation of Rome had enjoyed and had even taken for granted. The Galatians accustomed to their second class status could not quite grasp the concept of the free gift of Salvation and with it the free gift of receiving the Holy Spirit. The Galatians kept reverting back to their second class mentality of having to labor and earn every single accomplishment that came their way however being a second class citizen is itself a concept that is completely foreign and outside of Christianity. Christianity has only one class of citizens and they are all Saints, Sons of God and Children of the Promise. There is no second class status in Heaven there are no throwaways or hidden undesirables in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ only Jesus Christ and His class and that is the first class of eternity for all eternity.

Short introduction/synopsis to the New Testament Book of Galatians and an outline to the book - The book of Galatians was written by [the Apostle] Paul in the year 49 A.D. or 55 A.D. - The subject of Galatians seems to be parallel to that of [the Book of] Romans in the aspect of justification by faith alone

The book of Galatians was written by Paul in the year 49 or 55. The churches in Galatia were fashioned to a certain extent of converted Jews and Gentiles. The Apostle Paul emphasizes his apostolic personality as well as the doctrines that he was teaching. He did this in hopes that he would sanction the Galatian churches in the faith of Jesus Christ. It is believed this letter was written during the third missionary trip and that the church was founded during the second missionary trip. - The subject of Galatians seems to be parallel to that of Romans in the aspect of justification by faith alone. Paul directs special attention to the fact that men are justified by faith not by the Law of Moses. This of course was something quite different for the Jews to hear. The Jewish people had after all been brought out of the wilderness by Moses; now Christ is becoming the authority for people to stand on. - The concept of Galatians is one that deals with how people can come to God being of a sinful nature while God is of a holy nature. How does a sinful person stand in the presence of a Holy God? Paul gives the answer to this problem by saying there is one way only, through the salvation of God's grace which comes from the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. In other words, Paul says that one must receive Jesus Christ as savior to come before God. Paul says no longer do we need to pay attention to the "good point or good works" salvation of Moses law, but instead we simply need to follow the salvation plan of God through His Son Christ Jesus. The main theme of Galatians is justification by faith. This concept is explained, defended and applied. Paul also talks of his three years in Arabia, the fruits of the Spirit and his correction of Peter. [link]

Galatians - Salvation is by God's grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ by means of the Holy Spirit - The book of Galatians played a critical role in the formation and development of the Reformation and the conversion and spiritual life of Martin Luther

Background: Paul wrote to the Galatians after he had received word that there had been a change of attitude toward him and his Gospel among the Galatians. Not long after Paul left them during his first visit, false teachers and leaders began to attack Paul personally and turn the Church against him. They were preaching another Gospel. They were looking to the law for their salvation. They were being urged to accept circumcision and to observe Jewish days and seasons. (Galatians 6:12) This caused dissension and conflicts in the Church. - These agitators were likely Jewish Christians trying to sway the Gentile Christians to Judaism. It appears that they either had come from Jerusalem or had the support of the Jerusalem Church and leadership. They held that Gentile converts must enter the Kingdom of God by means of Judaism. As this was contrary to the teachings the Galatians had received from Paul, the Judaizers found it necessary to attack Paul's authority and apostleship. ... Salvation is by God's grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ by means of the Holy Spirit. -- The book of Galatians played a critical role in the formation and development of the Reformation and the conversion and spiritual life of Martin Luther. Galatians has been called 'Luther's Book'. [link]

Martin Luther (1483 - 1546) on Galatians by ARLAND J. HULTGREN Luther Seminary St. Paul, Minnesota (PDF)

DURING HIS LIFETIME NO FEWER THAN SIX EDITIONS OF MARTIN LUTHER'S lectures on Galatians were published. Of these six, five were in Latin, and one was in German. Two of these have been translated for inclusion in the American edition of Luther's Works. The one is translated from the 1519 Latin edition (based on lectures in 1516-1517), published during the early years of Luther's career, and the other is translated from the 1535 Latin edition (based on lectures in 1531), published at a later point in Luther's life. The two editions, from lectures given a decade and a half apart, are quite different in many respects, reflecting two very different times in Luther's life and career. Luther's teaching career was marked on many occasions with study and lecturin on Paul's Letter to the Galatians, often called the Magna Carta of Christian liberty, but called "my Katie von Bora" by Luther himself. In what follows the focus will be limited to the two sets of lectures published in the American edition. ... Luther made use of both the Greek New Testament and the Latin Vulgate in his work on Galatians. The Greek text used for the 1519 edition was that of Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, which had been published in 1516. Luther's subsequent exegetical work continued to make use of the Greek New Testament of Erasmus, which was revised and republished several times during the lifetime of these two contemporaries. ... It comes as no surprise that in both editions of Luther's lectures on Galatians the theme of justification by faith should take center stage. The theme is, of course,a major one in Galatians itself (2:16-21; 3:6-11, 24; 5:4-5). For Luther, however, it is not simply a major theme; it is the heart of the matter. When he writes concerning the "argument" of the letter as a whole, Luther says that the letter sets forth "the doctrine of faith, grace, the forgiveness of sins or Christian righteousness." Distinctions are drawn again and again between "political" (or civic) righteousness and righteousness received by faith and distinctions between law and gospel. The "real theologian," he says, is one who "knows well how to distinguish the Gospel from the Law." The actual phrase "simul justus et peccator" is to be found in the 1535 edition. ... The two editions of Luther's works on Galatians, coming from very different times in his career, exhibit striking differences. It is clear that when Luther lectured on Galatians in 1531, he did not simply pull out his notes from 1516-1517 to repeat what he had said earlier. Nor did he simply "touch them up." The printed edition of 1535 differs markedly from that of 1519; it is a new work altogether. The most obvious differences between the two editions are that the 1535 edition is longer, more polemical, and less philological than the edition of 1519. It applies the text of Galatians more directly to events in Luther's own time. In the 1519 edition Luther still identifies himself as an Augustinian. That is lacking in the 1535 edition. What also becomes obvious in reading the two editions is that the 1535 edition has much to say about the "fanatics" and "sectarians" that assail Luther, the evangelical movement, and the church at large. Luther refers, in fact, to his own work as a "movement,"34 but also says that in Wittenberg a "form of a Christian church" has been acquired over against the fanatics who would destroy it. ... That evaluation notwithstanding, problems with Luther's interpretations and perspectives have become evident in modern times, particularly in his understanding and treatment of Judaism in Paul's day. Moreover, connections between his understanding of first-century Judaism, his portrayal of Paul's opponents in Galatia, and his descriptions of his own opponents are drawn too easily. Luther himself admitted that his commentary of 1535 was inadequate and, above all, too "wordy." But every interpreter is bound by his or her social and temporal location to one degree or another. It remains clear that in Luther one finds a sympathetic hearing of the apostle Paul and a masterful performance in representing the teachings of the Letter to the Galatians in new circumstances. -- ARLAND J. HULTGREN is professor of New Testament. He is the author of a forthcoming commentary on the parables of Jesus to be published by Eerdmans. [link]

Galatians 1 - Continuing the Apostle Paul's Trilogy of Systematic Theology with Part 2 the Book of Galatians - Perhaps no other book either Christian or secular has made more of an impact in the changing, designing and shaping of Western Culture than the Bible's Book of Galatians -- 'Galatians 1:1-5 Paul, an Apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him (Jesus) from the dead; And all the brethren which are with me, unto the Churches of Galatia: Grace be to you and Peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.'

'Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.' - 'Matthew 28:1-6 In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward [Sunday] the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre [tomb]. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is Risen, *as He (Jesus) said. Come, see the [empty] place where the Lord lay.' - Paul mentions that whether a man or an angel preaches a different Gospel than the Gospel that Jesus Himself spoke about then it is not from God and not being from God it is an accursed message. The Angelic spiritual realm along with the Holy Spirit and with the human realm is also very active in preaching the Gospel of the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. Later in the Book of Revelation immediately after the Mark of the Beast (666) is offered to all of mankind remaining on the earth it will be Angels that will also preach the everlasting Gospel to mankind along with the sealed (selected) 144,000 Jewish Witnesses. The Angels will be preaching the Gospel instructing mankind to Worship the True and Living God the creator and giver of physical life as well as the creator and provider of eternal, everlasting, Spiritual life. - 'Revelation 14:6-7 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, *having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every Nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give Glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and *Worship Him that made [created] heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.'

Galatians 2 - The Apostle Paul is encouraging the Galatians to work on areas that they know need improving - By demonstrating in his own life that they don't need permission from a Church hierarchy in order to do what is Biblically right even to the point of rebuking authority figures when they fail to practice themselves what they preach -- 'Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith [resurrection] of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.'

'Galatians 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I (Apostle Paul) withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.' - Note: It's very important to know that when rebuking someone particularly an elder that 1. If you feel compelled to rebuke them don't even if you have prayed about it because it's probably not from God. 2. If you feel really, really compelled to rebuke someone then absolutely really, really Do Not rebuke them. 3. If you do not feel led to rebuke someone but you have a clear picture of the situation and you understand the beginning of the situation and know where the problem is in its current middle form and most importantly can see the resolution to the problem and in fact feel that the problem has already been resolved [maybe in Heaven] and that there just needs to be a tiny notification, a tweak, an adjustment here on earth to match God's will in Heaven [Matthew 6:10] then go ahead and talk to that person or persons about the topic. 4. When you do talk to someone try to ascertain if you have an open door for the conversation but if you have to seek someone out to have a conversation then forget it, don't even bother they probably won't listen to most of what you have to say and will probably twist what they did hear and then the whole situation will be worse after the conversation. If however there is a 'chance meeting' or a defined opportunity and both people are calm and there is a moment to build each other up in the faith then take that moment and build your brother in the faith up. For instance if you think a preacher is excessively telling too many personal stories from the pulpit then don't mention the personal stories much or at all but instead mention what part of the preaching blessed you for example a background on Biblical doctrine or an explanation of the original Greek word that helped explain the Bible better to you. In time the particular Preacher might lend more preaching to Biblical interpretation or in time we might be the one who needs to move on. A final comment about rebuking and you can tell that the Apostle Paul did this and that is that when the Apostle Paul rebuked someone else like in this case the Apostle Peter that Paul was also rebuking himself at the same time and was listening to what he was saying and making his rebuke a part of his own personal Christian Walk and life. Later when the Apostle Paul welcomes Mark back into his presence it is after Paul had rebuked the Church at Corinth for not accepting back into their midst a repentant believer. Always remember that for us the Word of God is a two edged sword [Revelation 1:16] it cuts [affects] both the speaker of the Word and the hearer of the Word.

Galatians 3 - The Apostle Paul explains that works have never been a part of a relationship with God - There has always only been one program with God and it is a program based on faith and trust in God and not in the works of man - Even Abraham's great relationship with God was based on faith and trust as Abraham had faith in God before he exhibited his works to God -- 'Galatians 3:2-3 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the [Holy] Spirit by the works of the law {no}, or by the hearing [free gift] of faith {yes}? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the [Holy] Spirit, are ye now made perfect [complete] by the [human] flesh? {no}'

'Galatians 3:6-7 Even as Abraham believed God, and it [his circumcision] was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of [Christian] faith, the *same are the children of Abraham.' - Note: Traditionally after Abraham the children (descendants of Abraham) are circumcised as an infant on the eight day after their birth. The infant circumcision is not a seal of the faith of the child but it is a seal of the faith of the parent [it is a generational faith]. Abraham was not circumcised as an infant Abraham was circumcised as an adult, he made his own decision and therefore Abraham's circumcision is the faith of an adult and his adult decision for faith is why our Christian faith is compared to Abraham but not necessarily to circumcision. Circumcision after Abraham is more like a child dedication for us as it is more of an exhibit of the faith of the parent than of the child. Abraham circumcised himself as an adult but then he also circumcised his infant son Isaac with his adult faith then later Isaac circumcised his infant son Jacob with his adult faith and on and on until the present time. -- 'Galatians 3:12-14 And the law [self-ability] is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them [self-ability]. Christ hath redeemed us from the [self-ability] curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written [Deuteronomy 21:23], Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the [Spiritual] blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the [Holy] Spirit through faith.' - The Apostle Paul is again declaring the finality of the death of Jesus on the cross and then with the finality of death on the cross then the giving of the Holy Spirit and a new life. Yes, Jesus in the eyes of man was made a curse [for our benefit] but keep in mind that Jesus died on the cross and with Jesus all sin and every curse also died [though Jesus resurrected the sins and curses of mankind remained dead and nailed to the cross]. The cross of Jesus Christ removed both the curse of our own human restrictions and constraints and also any curse or restraints from the Satanic, Demonic realm that might be placed on us in attempting to hinder and restrict us. 'Colossians 2:14-15 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary [against] to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His (Jesus) cross; And having spoiled principalities [fallen satanic angels] and powers [demonic powers], He (Jesus) made a shew [show] of them openly, triumphing [Victory] over them in it.'

Galatians 4 - The Apostle Paul continues to dispel any notion that there might be benefits to following the Law that faith alone and the receiving of the Holy Spirit cannot provide -- 'Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fullness of the time [human history] was come, God sent forth His Son (Jesus), made of a woman [virgin birth], made under the law [Temple in Jerusalem was in operation], To redeem [bring into the presence of God] them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. *Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir [inheritor] of God through Christ.' {Note: Being redeemed from the law is not the same thing as being redeemed from sin. It is similar to a Christian practicing alcohol, drugs, pornography etc. and then being redeemed from those things that are restricting a Christian from their closer more intimate relationship with the presence of God in their life. The Law was actually a boundary keeping sinful people apart from the Holy God but after being cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ and with the finality of His death on the cross the Holy Spirit then removed the boundary of the law from us and redeemed us into the actual perceivable presence of God.}

'Galatians 4:21-5:1 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid [Hagar], the other by a freewoman [Sarah]. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh [man's plan]; but he of the freewoman [Sarah] was by promise [God's plan]. Which things are an allegory [parable]: for these are the two covenants [Old Testament, New Testament]; the one from the mount Sinai [Mt. Sinai], which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar [Hagar]. For this Agar is mount Sinai in [Saudi] Arabia {the Biblical Mt. Sinai is located in Saudi Arabia with the now traditional Mt. Sinai located in Egypt}, and answereth to Jerusalem [Mt. Zion] which now is [in effect, New Testament], and [Hagar] is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem [Mt. Zion] which is above is free, which is [Sarah] the mother of us all [in faith]. ... *Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: *for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.' - This analogy of two Mountains or two locations Mt. Sinai [the Law] and Mt. Zion, Jerusalem [the cross and the resurrection] is one of the most important Biblical concepts because it goes straight to how and where we are to approach God. God was on Mt. Sinai when Moses met God in the burning bush and then as a sign God brought the Children of God out of Egypt and to Mt. Sinai to worship Him there. But they could only worship from a distance as they could not approach Mt. Sinai 'whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death' then as Moses and the Children of God journeyed to Israel their Promise Land God went with them. God in allegory left Mt. Sinai [Law] and relocated with the Children of God to Jerusalem [Mt. Zion]. If you want to keep the Law that mountain [Mt. Sinai] is vacant and if it's not vacant it's certain death if you even try to approach it. Mt. Zion in Jerusalem the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the other hand is both open and available to all mankind and along with the availability of Mt. Zion there is an invitation to all to come to God freely but only to Mt. Zion not to Mt. Sinai. It is only to Mt. Zion that the invitation for mankind to meet with God has been given.

Mountain Of Fire - The Search For Mount Sinai pt 2 of 5 - The boundary markers around Mt. Sinai (Video) - Exodus 19:12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount [Mt. Sinai], or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:' (YouTube)

Bob Cornuke from BASE Institute has been called a modern day Indiana Jones. This video is a clip from Bob's video about the The Search For Mount Sinai. -- {Note: The Apostle Paul is writing about Mt. Sinai from both common knowledge of the day and his experiential knowledge having been to Mt. Sinai himself. After his Damascus road experience and departing Damascus the Apostle Paul went to Saudi Arabia and stayed in Saudi Arabia for about three years. Earlier the Prophet Elijah [1 Kings 19:8] had also gone to Arabia [Mt. Sinai also called Mt. Horeb] and stayed for a short time in the cave on Mt. Sinai (video part 4 of 5).} 'Galatians 1:17 Neither went I [Apostle Paul] up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; *but I went into Arabia [for about three years], and returned again unto Damascus.' - 'Galatians 4:25 mount Sinai in Arabia ...' [link]

Galatians 5 - The Apostle Paul exhorts the Christian Church to live in their newfound life of freedom and liberty in Jesus Christ -- 'Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith [Jesus] Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.'

'Galatians 5:5 For we [Christians] through the [Holy] Spirit wait for the hope of [Jesus'] righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.' - The Apostle Paul makes another comment to Christians about the practice of circumcision reiterating that the physical practice alone symbolizes a bygone era and brings with it the bondage of that previous era. Circumcision the actual physical, ritual, process does not save people. People are not saved because they have been circumcised. The Apostle Peter will also make the same comment [1 Peter 3:21] to the Christian Church in regards to our water baptism. Likewise the physical, ritual event and process of baptism does not save us. People are not saved because they have been water baptized. Note: There are other significant reasons and blessings for each individual person to be water baptized [and it is a commandment from God] however salvation apart from a relationship with God is not a possibility even with a water baptism. - '1 Peter 3:21-22 The like figure [Noah's Ark] whereunto even baptism doth also now save us *not the [baptism in water] putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him.'

Galatians 6 - The Apostle Paul concludes his remarks and encouragement to the Christians in Galatia -- 'Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of (Christian) faith.'

'Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair shew [show] in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest [in hopes] they should [avoid] suffer [suffering] persecution [from fellow Jews] for the cross of Christ.' - A final note about the practice of circumcision in the early Christian Church. The Christian Jews and Christian 'Judaizers' knew and understood full well that the promises of God belong to the Jews and that circumcision was give as a sign to those who had received the promises of God. Therefore in the early Christian Church there was the understanding that if you weren't circumcised you weren't a part of the promises of God. The early Jewish Christian believers were just trying to keep things on a Biblical foundation according to the best of their Biblical understanding. It was the Apostle Paul that was called by God to go to the Gentiles and to bring the Gentiles into the primarily Jewish Christian Church and as a part of his ministry to the Gentiles the Apostle Paul was given an understanding in the doctrines of Gentile Salvation in the Christian Church. It was a part of the Ministry of the Apostle Paul to present and to clarify the doctrines pertaining to the predominantly Gentile Christian Church. - The main point that the Apostle Paul makes in regards to circumcision is that circumcision was an old physical sign but that now with the finality of the death of Jesus on the cross and the giving of the Holy Spirit the new Spiritual sign for the Christian Church for also having received of the promises of God is the Spiritual sign of the resurrection of Jesus Christ living inside of the 'born again' believer. Where circumcision was an outward appearance available to only a few the 'born again' Spiritual sign is an inward appearance and is available to everyone; male, female, Jewish, Gentile, rich, poor, young, old, sick, healthy, in prison, released from prison, in any circumstance, at any given location and during any time all are within the category of receiving the Holy Spirit and eternal life from God. Even those in the category of unbelief because unbelief itself in any given moment can be overcome by belief it's that simple, that easy and that fast that a person can receive the Holy Spirit from Jesus Christ and with it eternal Salvation life. - The Apostle Paul closes the Book of Galatians by imparting his personal blessing to them. 'Galatians 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.'

EPHESIANS

The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians - Colossians 4:16 mentions an epistle to the Laodiceans - It has been conjectured that the letter known to us as Ephesians is really the Laodicean letter [retitled] - Probably it was sent to Ephesus and Laodicea without being addressed to any church - The letter would then be "to the saints and the faithful in Christ Jesus" anywhere - Essentially, three lines of truth make up this Epistle: the believer's exalted position through grace; the truth concerning the body of Christ; and a walk in accordance with that position

The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians -- DATE: Ephesians was written from Rome in A.D. 64. It is the first in order of the Prison Epistles. Acts 20:1-27:44. See Scofield Note: "Acts 28:30" and was sent by Tychicus, concurrently with Colossians and Philemon. It is probable that the two greater letters had their occasion in the return of Onesimus to Philemon. Ephesians is the most impersonal of Paul's letters. Indeed the words, "to the Ephesians," are not in the best manuscripts. Col 4:16 mentions an epistle to the Laodiceans. It has been conjectured that the letter known to us as Ephesians is really the Laodicean letter. Probably it was sent to Ephesus and Laodicea without being addressed to any church. The letter would then be "to the saints and the faithful in Christ Jesus" anywhere. -- THEME: The doctrine of the Epistle confirms this view. It contains the highest church truth, but has nothing about church order. The church here is the true church, "His body," not the local church, as in Philippians, Corinthians, etc. Essentially, three lines of truth make up this Epistle: the believer's exalted position through grace; the truth concerning the body of Christ; and a walk in accordance with that position. [link]

The book of Ephesians - A short introductory synopsis to the New Testament book of Ephesians with an outline to the book - Ephesians is a cylindrical letter {circuit letter, a memo - Attn: to everyone} - It is a treatise of a doctrinal nature to the churches in Asia Minor - Some of the better {other} Greek documents do not include the words, "at Ephesus" found in 1:1 - Paul though worked at Ephesus for nearly three years and the fact that no personal names were mentioned help to support the ideal of a cylindrical letter to the churches. This letter is perhaps the same letter sent to Ephesus by Tychicus, Ephesians 6:21-22 {Note: No letter, only a messenger (Tychicus) is mentioned in Ephesians 6:21-22} - It is suspected that Christianity first came to Ephesus with Aquila and Priscilla when Paul stopped there on his second missionary trip - Paul remained in Ephesus for three years on his third journey - Ephesus being a major center for trade ranked it up with the cities of Antioch and Alexandria - Timothy was given charge of the church in Ephesus after Paul left - Years later [just after his imprisonment on the island of Patmos about in 92 AD] the Apostle John [accompanied by Mary] set up his headquarters in Ephesus

The letter to the Ephesians is one of the prison epistles. The prison epistles consist of the Books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon. These books were all written while Paul was imprisoned. As to how many times Paul was imprisoned in Rome we do not know for sure, it was at least once perhaps twice, however we do know these books were written during his imprisonment. The book of Ephesians is the first Roman imprisonment letter to the people written by Paul in 61. Paul's imprisonment for the first two years was at his own expense and he was held near the quarters of the Praetorian Guard. Ephesians is a cylindrical letter. It is a treatise of a doctrinal nature to the churches in Asia Minor. Some of the better Greek documents do not include the words, "at Ephesus" found in 1:1. Paul though worked at Ephesus for nearly three years and the fact that no personal names were mentioned help to support the ideal of a cylindrical letter to the churches. This letter is perhaps the same letter sent to Ephesus by Tychicus, Ephesians 6:21-22, "But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts." It is also possible that this is the same letter referred to as "my letter...from Laodicea found in Colossians 4:16, "And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea." -- The city of Ephesus was a commercial, religious and political center. The Great Temple of Artemis (Diana) was found there as well. It is suspected that Christianity first came to Ephesus with Aquila and Priscilla when Paul stopped there on his second missionary trip. Paul remained in Ephesus for three years on his third journey. Ephesus being a major center for trade ranked it up with the cities of Antioch and Alexandria. Timothy was given charge of the church in Ephesus after Paul left. Years later the Apostle John set up his headquarters in Ephesus. -- The topic of this book is to show God's eternal purpose and completion in Christ for the church. Paul brings into discussion in this letter the idea of predestination, Christ as the head of the body of believers, the church as the building and the body as the temple of God. The Spiritual gifts, mystery of Christ and the bride of Christ-the Church is also discussed in this letter. It can be seen also from this letter that even in prison Paul did not concern himself with his own problems instead he looked after the concerns of the people. Paul's testimony of Christ was most important to him. Paul's closing words: Ephesians 6:21-24, "But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen." [link]

All About Turkey: The Region of Ephesus - Ephesus [in modern Turkey] maintained its importance during the [early] period of Christianity; the Apostle St. Paul arrived there during the years of 50 A.D., and [the Disciple] St. John was buried on the hill of Ayasuluk (Selcuk, near Izmir) at the beginning of the 2nd century [100 A.D.] - On Bulbul Dag (Nightingale mountain) there is the House of the Virgin [Mary] where it's believed that she passed last years of her life and passed away - She [Mary] came to Ephesus together with St. John and taken up to Panaghia Kapulu mountain to survive the Roman persecutions

Ephesus: The findings obtained in this region where the native people, namely the Lelegs and the Carians have lived since the beginning, indicate that the city is dated back to 2000 years B.C. As far as the years of 1000 are concerned, it is assumed that the Ions came to this region, led by Androckles. Ephesus was captured by the Kimmers (Cimmerians) in the 7th century B.C., by the Lydians in 560, and later in 546 B.C. by the Persians; and was rescued from the Persian domination when Alexander the Great defeated the Persians in 334 B.C. -- Lysimachos, a commander of Alexander's, had the settlement removed from the whereabouts of the Temple of Artemis to the location between the Mount of Panayir and the Mount of Bülbül, and had a wall built around the city. The city was taken by the Kingdom of Pergamon after 190 B.C., by Rome in 133 B.C., and later by Byzantium. Ephesus maintained its importance during the period of Christianity; the apostle St. Paul arrived there during the years of 50 A.D., and St. John was buried on the hill of Ayasuluk (Selcuk, near Izmir) at the beginning of the 2nd century. Ephesus lived through its third glorious period during the reign of Justinian in the middle of the 6th century A.D. At this time, the Church of St. John was built by the Byzantine emperor. -- The ruins of Ephesus, situated near Selçuk town at 70 kilometers (44 miles) south of Izmir, is a main center of archaeological interest owing to the ancient remains that still exist. When you enter through the Magnesia Gate (south gate or upper gate), you can see the State Agora (or Upper Agora). The Temple of Isis is situated at the center of the Agora, and Stoa is placed on the North side of it. The Odeion (Bouletarion or Parliament) with a capacity of 1,400 persons is placed behind it and the Prytaneion (Town Hall) where the sacred fire used to burn, is on its flank. The Baths of Varius are placed on the east side of Odeion. On the west of the Agora, the Monument of Memmius built in the 1st century BC., the fountain of Sextilius Pollio built in the year 93 A.D., and the Temple of Domitian (81-93 A.D) are placed. On the south of the Agora, the fountain of Laecanius Bassus is situated. The Curetes street starts downwards from the Temple of Memmius. The Gate of Heracles (Hercules) is placed on this avenue. After passing through this part, the fountain of Trajan built in the years 102-114 is seen on the right hand side and after this, the Temple of Hadrian appears in front of us, in all its splendid beauty (117-138 A.D). The Scholastica Baths, built in the 4th century A.D., are situated behind the Temple of Hadrian. The houses of the rich people of Ephesus which were in front of it, have been restored and opened for visits at present with special permits. -- At the corner formed by the Curetes street and the Marble Road, the House of Love (Pornaion or Brothel) is placed and the Library of Celsus, restored and reestablished in recent years, stands right in front of this. The library which had been built in the name of proconsul Gaius Celsus completed in the year 135 A.D. by his son Tiberius Giulius Aquila, is entered by way of a stairway, 21 meters (69 feet) in width and having 9 steps. The southeastern gate of the Trade Agora opens to the Library of Celsus. Emperor Augustus' slaves, Mazaeus and Mithridates, liberated by him had this gate built in the year 1st century A.D.; it comprises three sections and has been restored today. The Corinthian columns of the Stoa encircling the Trade Agora with the dimensions 110 x 110 meters (361 x 361 feet), are standing erect today. The Temple of Serapes built in the period of Antony (138-192 A.D.) is placed behind the Trade Agora. -- One of the magnificent buildings of Ephesus is the Great Theater, largest in Asia Minor, which had a capacity of more than 24.000 people and is in a rather well preserved condition. The construction had started during the Hellenistic period but it could only be completed during the time of Trajan (98-117 A.D.). St. Paul was dragged into this theater to face the crowed because of his famous letter to Ephesians, but rescued by the security corps of the city. Festivals are celebrated in this theater today. -- All the streets of Ephesus were illuminated at night with oil lamps, this shows us the richness of the city. The Port Avenue extends in front of the theater. The avenue is 11 meters (36 feet) wide and 600 meters (1970 feet) long, and it has been called Arcadian Street because it was renewed during the time of Arcadius. On the whole north side of the avenue, there are the Harbor Gymnasium, baths and the Theater Gymnasium. The avenue that passes along the front of the theater, extends towards the Stadium built during the Nero period (54-68 A.D.) and towards the Vedius Gymnasium. The Church of the Virgin Mary built at the beginning of the 4th century A.D. is situated behind the Port Gymnasium just before the exit from the lower gate (north gate). **This was also the meeting place of the 3rd Ecumenical Council [The Council of Ephesus may refer to: The First Council of Ephesus of 431 AD. The Second Council of Ephesus of 449 AD. The Third Council of Ephesus of 475 AD. - Wiki.com]. ... The House of Virgin Mary: On Bulbul Dag (Nightingale mountain) there is the House of the Virgin where it's believed that she passed last years of her life and passed away. She came to Ephesus together with St. John and taken up to Panaghia Kapulu mountain to survive the Roman persecutions. The House was destroyed by many earthquakes and not discovered until 1951 thanks to a German nun, Catherine Emmerich, who saw its location in her visions. The site is recognized as a shrine by Vatican and visited by the Popes. Today, the House of Virgin Mary is renovated by George Quatman Foundation from Ohio and serves as a small church which attracts many Christians as well as Muslims coming to pray for Her. The Mass is held here every Sunday. On the 15th August 2000 there was a great ceremony for the Assumption of the Virgin, the year which marked the two thousand years of the birth of Jesus. [link]

Ephesians 1 - The Apostle Paul begins his generic Christian Church letter - A letter specifically designed to broadly address Church Christianity in a broad-based and uniform manner without giving special attention to specific localized Church issues as he had previously written in his letters (epistles) to the Church in Corinth -- 'Ephesians 1:2-4 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings *in Heavenly places *in Christ [Jesus]: According as He hath [eternally] chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love ...'

Ephesians 1:17-23 That the God [Father] of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the [Holy] Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him [Jesus]: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His [eternal] calling, and what the riches of the Glory of His [eternal] inheritance in the Saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward *who believe [faith], according to the working of His mighty power, Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set [enthroned] Him at his own right hand in the Heavenly places, ***Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, *not only in this world, but also in that [new heaven, new earth (Revelation 21:1)] which is to come: And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head [authority] over all things to the [Christian] Church, *Which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. - Establishing first of all the many doctrines of Christianity including "Ephesians 1:6-7 To the praise of the Glory of His Grace, wherein He [Father] hath made us accepted in the beloved [Jesus]. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace ..." and the establishment of Jesus Christ as the seated, enthroned King of the Universe the leader supreme of the eternal Christian Church.

Ephesians 2 - Christianity though composed of individuals is ultimately a group, a close personal family group - Family with one another here on earth and eternally family with one another and with God in Heaven -- 'Ephesians 2:19-22 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the Saints, and [family] of the Household of God [Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit]; And are built upon the foundation of the [N.T.] Apostles and [O.T.] Prophets, **Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone [the content of the Bible O.T. and N.T.]; In whom all the [eternal Temple] building fitly framed together groweth unto an Holy Temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an [Holy Spirit] habitation of God through the [Holy] Spirit.'

Ephesians 2:1-10 And you [Christian] hath He [Jesus] quickened [made alive], who were dead in trespasses [intentional sins] and sins [unintentional sins]; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to [Satan] the prince of the power of the air, the [evil] spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: *Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. **But God, who is rich in mercy, for **His great love wherewith **He [first] loved us, **Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved; *And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come He [God] might shew the exceeding riches of His Grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace [individuality] are ye saved through faith [redemption (cross of Jesus) + salvation (resurrection life of Jesus) = our faith]; and that [grace, cross and resurrection] not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus *unto good works, which God hath before ordained *that we should walk in them. - In Jesus Christ our sins are a thing of the past, dealt with and removed by God on the cross. With our sin now removed in Jesus we have eternal life and eternal freedom. Note: An important concept of Christianity is that the Second Coming of Jesus is going to be nothing like the 1st Coming of Jesus. In His first physical manifest in mankind Jesus came as a Lamb to be sacrificed for our sins both our sins against God and also our sins against our fellow mankind have all been sacrificed for and completely atoned [made right] for us by Jesus on the cross. The 2nd Coming, bodily [now a Spiritual body] manifest of Jesus will be almost the opposite of the 1st Coming of Jesus. Now Jesus will return not as a Lamb to be slaughtered again but as the Victorious Lion (Genesis 49:8-12) the Eternal King (Revelation 11:15) the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:4).

Ephesians 3 - The continued fellowship of Christianity both on earth and in Heaven -- 'Ephesians 3:9-11 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the Mystery [the Triune 3 in 1, Trinity Mystery of God], which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: **To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in Heavenly places might be known [experienced] by the Church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in [Himself] Christ Jesus our Lord ...'

Ephesians 3:12-21 In [Jesus] whom we have boldness and access [into Heaven] *with confidence by the faith of Him. Wherefore I desire that ye faint [resign] not at my [being imprisoned] tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom ***the whole family in Heaven and earth is named, That He [Jesus] would grant you, according to the riches of His Glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner [human, soul - spirit] man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts [soul - spirit] *by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all Saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height [the eternal dimensions]; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto Him [Jesus] that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, **Unto Him [Jesus] be Glory in the Church by Christ Jesus **throughout all ages, [eternal] **world without end. Amen. - Note: Only through Jesus Christ do we have access to Heaven and eternal life and with Jesus we do now have access to Heaven and live in eternity. Our eternity in Heaven was completed and established once, for all time and for all mankind [all who choose to receive] in Jesus Christ at His resurrection and by His sacrifice on the cross. Heaven and eternity are not future events for mankind they are continuous and contemporary events established by Jesus and 'experienced' by all Christians.

Ephesians 4 - Take special note that what we do now and how we behave as individuals has serious ramifications beyond just the initial people involved but extends on into the Assembly including both the Church group on earth and the group in Heaven -- 'Ephesians 4:23-25 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind [soul]; And that ye put on the new [born again - spiritual] man, which [comes] after God [has given it and] is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, *speak [to] every man truth [in love] with his neighbor: **for we are [an Assembly - group] members one of another [both on earth and in Heaven].'

Ephesians 4:1-16 I [Apostle Paul] therefore, the prisoner [not of Rome but] of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation [Christian duty] wherewith ye are called [invited by God to preform], With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; *Endeavouring to keep the unity of the [Holy] Spirit in the bond of peace. ***There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace [individuality] according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore He saith, When He [Jesus united Heaven and earth the past, present and the future] ascended up on high [Heaven], he led [the O.T. saved Saints from captivity (hades) into Heaven] captivity captive, and gave gifts [to the newly formed Christian Church] unto men. Now that He [Jesus] ascended [went down into 'hades' - for three days and three nights after the cross], what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended [and reconciled the past O.T. Saints] is the same also that ascended [and reconciled Heaven - God to man] up far above all [visible] heavens, that He might fill [reconcile] all things [Heaven, earth, past, present and future]. And He [Jesus] gave [gifts] some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting [completing] of the Saints, **for the work of the Ministry, for the edifying [building up] of the body of Christ: *Till we all come **in the unity [Heaven and earth] of the faith, and **of the knowledge of the Son of God [Jesus], unto a perfect [completed in Jesus Christ] man, unto the measure [eternal] of the stature [dimensions - realms] of the fullness of [Jesus] Christ: That we henceforth be no more children [immature], tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, *by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait [planning] to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him [Jesus] in all things, which is the head [overseer of the Church], even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase [maturity] of the [Church] body unto the edifying of itself in love. - The Ministry of Jesus Christ is to reconcile all the Saints [those desiring to be in a relationship with God]; past, present and future and Heaven and earth unto Himself for all eternity.

Ephesians 5 - Above everything be a follower of Jesus Christ - Only Jesus Christ has demonstrated to mankind the example that all mankind is expected to follow in achieving a godly relationship between mankind [with one another] and with God in Heaven -- 'Ephesians 5:1-2 Be ye therefore followers of God [Jesus Christ], as dear children [family members]; And walk in love, as [Jesus] Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice [on behalf of sinful man] to [the Holy] God for a sweetsmelling savour [atonement].'

Ephesians 5:8-21 For ye were [in times past] sometimes darkness, *but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: ***For the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth [unchangeable]; Proving [discerning] what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore He [Holy Spirit] saith, **Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and [Jesus] Christ shall give thee [eternal] light. See then that ye walk circumspectly [deliberatly], not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming [using it for God] the time, because the days are [still] evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the [Holy] will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the [Holy] Spirit; *Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; **Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father [only] *in the [one] Name (Ephesians 4:5) of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. - Fellowship with God is truth, righteousness and holiness as revealed to us in Jesus Christ, fellowship with God is not the personal desires, counsels, and agendas of man the two are almost mutually exclusive.

Ephesians 6 - The Apostle Paul concludes his generic Church letter (memo) with the important concept of Spiritual Warfare -- 'Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord [Jesus], and in the power **of His might. Put on the whole armor *of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [deceitful tactics] of the Devil [Satan]. For we wrestle [struggle] not against [physical] flesh and blood, but against [spiritual] principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against *spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and **having done all, *to stand [in Jesus].'

The Apostle Paul concludes the Bible's book of Ephesians: Ephesians 6:14-24 Stand therefore [in Jesus], having your loins girt about with truth [God's Word, Holy Bible], and having on the breastplate of righteousness [Jesus' Righteousness]; And your feet shod with the preparation of *the Gospel of Peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith [cross of Jesus (redemption) + resurrection life of Jesus (salvation) = our faith], **wherewith ye shall be able to quench [put out] all the fiery darts [projectiles] of the wicked. And take the helmet of Salvation [have knowledge of eternal life], and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word [Holy Bible] of God: **Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the [Holy] Spirit, and ***watching [looking for the 2nd Coming of Jesus - The Lion and the King of the Tribe Judah] thereunto with all perseverance **and supplication [prayer requests] for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the Mystery [Triune, 3 in 1, nature of God as revealed to mankind] of the Gospel, For which I am an Ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. **Grace be with all them **that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

PHILIPPIANS

Philippians: [Apostle] Paul's Joy in Christ - Philippi was Paul's pride and joy - Arms of friendship extended between Paul and the believers at Philippi that didn't exist in the other churches - None of his other letters has such abundant expressions of tender personal dedication and benevolence as this letter - Luke seems to have been their first pastor for about five years after its establishment in Acts 16

STYLE OF WRITING: This is the most personal, informal and cordial letter Paul wrote to a church. It is a thank you letter in response to a gift they have sent to Paul while he was in Rome. The reader senses the conflicts, hope, faith, determination, high purpose, deep driving passion of a man who seeks to glorify Christ in every dimension of his life. His greatest fear is to run and be disqualified. Philippians, Colossians, and Ephesians reach spiritual peaks found nowhere else in Scripture. This letter expresses joy and peace during a time of affliction and uncertain future. He hasn't received financial help from the other churches. The letter is filled with expressions of gratitude and thankfulness for their expression of love and faithfulness which he has received on several occasions. He writes his letter from the position of one who is secure in the place he occupies in the hearts of his readers. Therefore, he can share from his heart his personal convictions and his internal conflicts about the future. It is filled with joy, peace and thanksgiving. The words "joy," "rejoicing," "rejoice" are repeated many times in these short 104 verses. This is indeed written in the style of a spontaneous, loving sincere letter with general everyday moral exhortations. It is as a friend simply opens up his heart to those whom he loves. -- AUTHOR: Paul (Phil. 1:1). There is nothing in the letter, linguistic or historical, which can cause any doubt as to its authenticity. External evidence includes: Clemens Romanus, Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Tertullian, Marcion's Apostolicons, and Muratorian Canon. -- PLACE OF WRITING: It was written from prison in the city of Rome (1:7, 13; 4:22). Paul refers to his imprisonment in 1:7, 13, 14; 2:17. According to Acts he was a prisoner at Philippi (16:23, Jerusalem (21:33), Caesarea (23:25) and Rome (28:16, 30, 31). Paul was in prison two years while at Caesarea, however no final decision in his case was ever expected there. He was in prison at Rome for two years, pending his appeal to Caesar. The whole tradition of the early Church pleads for Rome. Moreover, Phil. 1:13, the "praetorian guard" and Phil. 4:22, "Caesar's household," would indicate the imprisonment at Rome. The Praetorian Guard was a force of 9,000 men at the disposal of Caesar. The final decisions regarding his appeal and, indeed, his life would certainly decide for Rome. -- RECIPIENTS: was the Church at Philippi (Acts 16:11-40; 17:14; 19:22; 20:3-4; Phil. 2:19). Paul, Timothy, Silas and Dr. Luke were all a vital part of the founding of the Church at Philippi. *Luke seems to have been their first pastor for about five years after its establishment in Acts 16. Paul directs his letter to the "saints" at Philippi (1:1; cf. Rom. 1:7; I Cor. 1:2; II Cor. 1:1). [link]

Philippi - Ancient Macedonia, Northern Greece - (Photos)

Gangitis River: Philippi apparently had only a small number of Jewish inhabitants and no synagogue. Consequently Shabbat worship was held outside the city on the Gangitis River. Here Paul met a group of women to whom he preached the gospel. Lydia, a merchant trading purple cloth, believed Paul's message and was baptized with members of her household. Subsequently Paul went and lived at her home. -- Excavations: Archaeological work has revealed a large and well-preserved forum, a theater, the alleged jail of Paul and several Byzantine churches, including one of the earliest churches known in Greece. The number of churches in the city in the Byzantine period indicate Philippi's importance to Christians at this time. A series of earthquakes apparently destroyed many of the buildings and probably contributed to the city's decline. -- Philippian Jail: This traditional place of Paul and Silas's imprisonment is of dubious authenticity, but it remembers the attack on these men and their subsequent flogging and imprisonment. In the course of the night, a violent earthquake shook the prison and the jailer feared that all might have escaped. After learning that none had fled, the Philippian jailer put his faith in Christ and was baptized with his family. [link]

GODS, GOLD AND THE GLORY OF PHILIPPI - The Apostle Paul's visit to Macedonia marked the first time he set foot on European soil (Acts 16:11) - However, this was not the first time the gospel was proclaimed in Europe (Acts 2:10) - In fact, the "Macedonian call" (Acts 16:9) seems to imply that there were already believers in Macedonia that needed help in evangelizing their province - One writer commented, "Out of Macedonia, Alexander the Great once went to conquer the Eastern world but later from Macedonia the power of the gospel went to conquer the Western world of Paul's day" (Swift 1984:250) - Philippi played an important role in the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul - He also had an effective and lasting ministry in the lives of the believers in the Lord Jesus in Philippi

Was Philippi Dr. Luke's Hometown? Some scholars have suggested that Dr. Luke's hometown was Philippi. This is a possibility. When one examines the pronouns in the book of Acts this observation is borne out. Up until chapter 16, Luke [Book of Acts] is writing about the work of Peter and Paul. When Paul, Silas and Timothy get to Alexandria Troas the pronouns change from "they/them" (Acts 16:7,8) to "us/we" (Acts 16:9,10). Dr. Luke escorts the group to Philippi (Acts 16:11,12). He is with them when they go to the place of prayer (Acts 16:13,16,17). When Paul and Silas leave Philippi, Dr. Luke stayed behind (Acts 17:1). Paul picks him up on his way to Jerusalem at the end of his third missionary journey (Acts 20:5,6). Luke appears to have stayed in Philippi for at least six years. More than likely it was because it was his home. After Paul cast the demon out of the slave girl, he and Silas were tried before the magistrates and accused of being Jewish, but Luke was not (Acts 16:19,20). Dr. Luke was a respected member of the community so they did not bring him before the magistrate. But also, Luke was a Gentile (cf. Col. 4:11,14), so the accusation of being Jewish would not have applied. This possibility will never know for certain unless an archaeologist uncovers an inscription in Philippi with Dr. Luke's name on it, although this is not outside the realm of possibility. A number of years ago an inscription was found in Corinth with the name of Erastus on it (Rom. 16:23; Acts 19:22; II Tim. 4:20). [link]

EarlyChristianWritings.com: THE EPISTLE OF POLYCARP [Bishop of the Church at Smyrna] to the Church at Philippi - Polycarp born about 69 A.D. - died as a martyr in 155 A.D. at Smyrna - {Note: Church Fathers [Fathers in the Christian Faith] also known as Apostolic Fathers are the 2nd generation of Christians. The Apostles were those who had exclusively and personally witnessed (1 Corinthians 15:6) the resurrected Jesus Christ. The next generation of Christians (the 2nd generation) are those [like Polycarp the Bishop of the Church in Smyrna ] who did not see the resurrected Jesus but who learned from the Apostles themselves. Polycarp was a student of the Apostle John who had been a Disciple of Jesus Christ. The term "Church Fathers" is applied to the 2nd generation of Christians in the same way that the term "Father of the Faith" is applied to Abraham (Romans 4:11). Abraham is not the first generation of faith in God but he is the first generation to have faith as we have it. Prior to Abraham, during the days of Abraham's father Terah (Genesis 11:26), the sons of Noah [1st global judgment of God] were still living and previous to the days of Noah the Adam of creation was still living. If a person wanted to know about the flood or the original creation before the flood of Noah they could get an eyewitness account from one of the sons of Noah, likewise the Apostles gave eyewitness accounts of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and having had an eyewitness experience with God in His resurrection, His global judgment flood or with God's original creation the Apostles and the ancients [those who had lived previous to the days of the flood of Noah (Job 12:12)] had a slightly different faith (John 20:29) than we have. We have a faith more similar to that of the Church Fathers than to the faith of the original Apostles.}

Polycarp and the presbyters that are with him unto the Church of God which sojourneth at Philippi; mercy unto you and peace from God Almighty and Jesus Christ our Savior be multiplied. I rejoiced with you greatly in our Lord Jesus Christ, for that ye received the followers of the true Love and escorted them on their way, as befitted you--those men encircled in saintly bonds which are the diadems of them that be truly chosen of God and our Lord; and that the steadfast root of your faith which was famed from primitive times abideth until now and beareth fruit unto our Lord Jesus Christ, who endured to face even death for our sins, whom God raised, having loosed the pangs of *Hades; on whom, **though ye saw Him not [not of the origional Apostles], ye believe with joy unutterable and full of glory; unto which joy many desire to enter in; forasmuch as ye know that it is by grace ye are saved, not of works, but by the will of God through Jesus Christ. ... I exhort you all therefore to be obedient unto the word of righteousness and to practice all endurance, which also ye saw with your own eyes in the blessed Ignatius and Zosimus and Rufus, yea and in others also who came from among yourselves, as well as in *Paul himself and the rest of the Apostles; being persuaded that all these ran not in vain but in faith and righteousness, and that they are in their due place in the presence of the Lord, with whom also they suffered. For they loved not the present world, but Him that died for our sakes and was raised by God for us. Stand fast therefore in these things and follow the example of the Lord, being firm in the faith and immovable, in love of the brotherhood kindly affectioned one to another, partners with the truth, forestalling one another in the gentleness of the Lord, despising no man. ... Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings and powers and princes and for them that persecute and hate you and for the enemies of the cross, that your fruit may be manifest among all men, that ye may be perfect in Him. Ye wrote to me, both ye yourselves and Ignatius, asking that if anyone should go to Syria he might carry thither the letters from you. And this I will do, if I get a fit opportunity, either I myself, or he whom I shall send to be ambassador on your behalf also. The letters of Ignatius which were sent to us by him, and others as many as we had by us, we send unto you, according as ye gave charge; the which are subjoined to this letter; from which ye will be able to gain great advantage. For they comprise faith and endurance and every kind of edification, which pertaineth unto our Lord. Moreover concerning Ignatius himself and those that were with him, if ye have any sure tidings, certify us. I write these things to you by Crescens, whom I commended to you recently and now commend unto you: for he hath walked blamelessly with us; and I believe also with you in like manner. But ye shall have his sister commended, when she shall come to you. Fare ye well in the Lord Jesus Christ in grace, ye and all yours. Amen. [link]

Early Christian Church Fathers - Published documents and letters of the Early Church Fathers

The following are early church fathers and apologists [defenders of the faith] of the first and second centuries [about 55 A.D. - 199 A.D.]. The first eight or nine documents are also known as the Apostolic Fathers. The writers known as the church fathers represent the ancient orthodox church as opposed to other elements of ancient Christianity such as Gnosticism. These are the church fathers and apologists that can be read on the Early Christian Writings web site. [link]

The Encyclical Epistle of the Church at Smyrna Concerning the Martyrdom of the Holy [Bishop] Polycarp [155 A.D] - We have written to you, brethren, as to what relates to the martyrs, and especially to the blessed Polycarp

We have written to you, brethren, as to what relates to the martyrs, and especially to the blessed Polycarp, who put an end to the persecution, having, as it were, set a seal upon it by his martyrdom. For almost all the events that happened previously [to this one], took place that the Lord might show us from above a martyrdom becoming the Gospel. For he waited to be delivered up, even as the Lord had done, that we also might become his followers, while we look not merely at what concerns ourselves but have regard also to our neighbors. For it is the part of a true and well-founded love, not only to wish one's self to be saved, but also all the brethren. ... But the most admirable Polycarp, when he first heard [that he was sought for], was in no measure disturbed, but resolved to continue in the city. However, in deference to the wish of many, he was persuaded to leave it. He departed, therefore, to a country house not far distant from the city. There he stayed with a few [friends], engaged in nothing else night and day than praying for all men, and for the Churches throughout the world, according to his usual custom. And while he was praying, a vision presented itself to him three days before he was taken; and, behold, the pillow under his head seemed to him on fire. Upon this, turning to those that were with him, he said to them prophetically, "I must be burnt alive." And when those who sought for him were at hand, he departed to another dwelling, whither his pursuers immediately came after him. And when they found him not, they seized upon two youths [that were there], one of whom, being subjected to torture, confessed. It was thus impossible that he should continue hid, since those that betrayed him were of his own household. The Irenarch then (whose office is the same as that of the Cleronomus), by name Herod, hastened to bring him into the stadium. [This all happened] that he might fulfil his special lot, being made a partaker of Christ, and that they who betrayed him might undergo the punishment of Judas himself. ... His pursuers then, along with horsemen, and taking the youth with them, went forth at supper-time on the day of the preparation with their usual weapons, as if going out against a robber. And being come about evening [to the place where he was], they found him lying down in the upper room of a certain little house, from which he might have escaped into another place; but he refused, saying, "The will of God be done." So when he heard that they were come, he went down and spake with them. And as those that were present marvelled at his age and constancy, some of them said. "Was so much effort made to capture such a venerable man?" Immediately then, in that very hour, he ordered that something to eat and drink should be set before them, as much indeed as they cared for, while he besought them to allow him an hour to pray without disturbance. And on their giving him leave, he stood and prayed, being full of the grace of God, so that he could not cease for two full hours, to the astonishment of them that heard him, insomuch that many began to repent that they had come forth against so godly and venerable an old man. ... Now, as Polycarp was entering into the stadium, there came to him a voice from heaven, saying, "Be strong, and show thyself a man, O Polycarp!" No one saw who it was that spoke to him; but those of our brethren who were present heard the voice. And as he was brought forward, the tumult became great when they heard that Polycarp was taken. And when he came near, the proconsul asked him whether he was Polycarp. On his confessing that he was, [the proconsul] sought to persuade him to deny [Christ], saying, "Have respect to thy old age," and other similar things, according to their custom, [such as], "Swear by the fortune of Caesar; repent, and say, Away with the Atheists." But Polycarp, gazing with a stern countenance on all the multitude of the wicked heathen then in the stadium, and waving his hand towards them, while with groans he looked up to heaven, said, "Away with the Atheists." Then, the proconsul urging him, and saying, "Swear, and I will set thee at liberty, reproach Christ;" Polycarp declared, "Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?" And when the proconsul yet again pressed him, and said, "Swear by the fortune of Caesar," he answered, "Since thou art vainly urgent that, as thou sayest, I should swear by the fortune of Caesar, and pretendest not to know who and what I am, hear me declare with boldness, I am a Christian. And if you wish to learn what the doctrines of Christianity are, appoint me a day, and thou shalt hear them." The proconsul replied, "Persuade the people." But Polycarp said, "To thee I have thought it right to offer an account [of my faith]; for we are taught to give all due honour (which entails no injury upon ourselves) to the powers and authorities which are ordained of God. But as for these, I do not deem them worthy of receiving any account from me." The proconsul then said to him, "I have wild beasts at hand; to these will I cast thee, except thou repent." But he answered, "Call them then, for we are not accustomed to repent of what is good in order to adopt that which is evil; and it is well for me to be changed from what is evil to what is righteous." But again the proconsul said to him, "I will cause thee to be consumed by fire, seeing thou despisest the wild beasts, if thou wilt not repent." But Polycarp said, "Thou threatenest me with fire which burneth for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but art ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why tarriest thou? Bring forth what thou wilt." While he spoke these and many other like things, he was filled with confidence and joy, and his countenance was full of grace, so that not merely did it not fall as if troubled by the things said to him, but, on the contrary, the proconsul was astonished, and sent his herald to proclaim in the midst of the stadium thrice, "Polycarp has confessed that he is a Christian." This proclamation having been made by the herald, the whole multitude both of the heathen and Jews, who dwelt at Smyrna, cried out with uncontrollable fury, and in a loud voice, "This is the teacher of Asia, the father of the Christians, and the overthrower of our gods, he who has been teaching many not to sacrifice, or to worship the gods." Speaking thus, they cried out, and besought Philip the Asiarch to let loose a lion upon Polycarp. But Philip answered that it was not lawful for him to do so, seeing the shows of wild beasts were already finished. Then it seemed good to them to cry out with one consent, that Polycarp should be burnt alive. For thus it behooved the vision which was revealed to him in regard to his pillow to be fulfilled, when, seeing it on fire as he was praying, he turned about and said prophetically to the faithful that were with him, "I must be burnt alive." When he had pronounced this amen, and so finished his prayer, those who were appointed for the purpose kindled the fire. And as the flame blazed forth in great fury, we, to whom it was given to witness it, beheld a great miracle, and have been preserved that we might report to others what then took place. For the fire, shaping itself into the form of an arch, like the sail of a ship when filled with the wind, encompassed as by a circle the body of the martyr. And he appeared within not like flesh which is burnt, but as bread that is baked, or as gold and silver glowing in a furnace. Moreover, we perceived such a sweet odour [coming from the pile], as if frankincense or some such precious spices had been smoking there. ... At length, when those wicked men perceived that his body could not be consumed by the fire, they commanded an executioner to go near and pierce him through with a dagger. And on his doing this, there came forth a dove, and a great quantity of blood, so that the fire was extinguished; and all the people wondered that there should be such a difference between the unbelievers and the elect, of whom this most admirable Polycarp was one, having in our own times been an apostolic and prophetic teacher, and bishop of the Catholic Church which is in Smyrna. Forevery word that went out of his mouth either has been or shall yet be accomplished. ... [link]

Polycarp [Letter] to the Philippians - Estimated Range of Dating: 110-140 A.D. - Polycarp resided in Asia Minor as Bishop of Smyrna and sent an epistle to the Philippians c. 120-140 AD - Polycarp was martyred c. 155 AD

Irenaeus mentions Polycarp in Adv. Haer., III.3.4: But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles [John and possibly Paul], and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time, a man who was of much greater weight, and a more stedfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles, that, namely, which is handed down by the Church. There are also those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, "Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within." And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, "Dost thou know me? "I do know thee, the first-born of Satan." Such was the horror which the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth; as Paul also says, "A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself." There is also a very powerful Epistle of Polycarp written to the Philippians, from which those who choose to do so, and are anxious about their salvation, can learn the character of his faith, and the preaching of the truth. Then, again, the Church in Ephesus, founded by Paul, and having John remaining among them permanently until the times of Trajan, is a true witness of the tradition of the apostles. ... Jerome provides the following summary in Illustrious Men 17: Polycarp disciple of the apostle John and by him ordained bishop of Smyrna was chief of all Asia, where he saw and had as teachers some of the apostles and of those who had seen the Lord. He, on account of certain questions concerning the day of the Passover, went to Rome in the time of the emperor Antoninus Pius while Anicetus ruled the church in that city. There he led back to the faith many of the believers who had been deceived through the persuasion of Marcion {i.e. water baptism saves - so they were baptized later in life, after marriage, after child birth etc. - Constantine (277-337 AD.) the first Christian Emperor of Rome and his father both believed this doctrine and both were baptized for the forgiveness of their sins at the end of their life only when on their deathbeds} and Valentinus {Gnostic Heretic - i.e. a greater god [Zoe] than God exists, Jesus-God (the Jewish, Christian God) was created by an even higher god [a god with lots of names (Lucifer, Gaia, Zoe, the Source, the Light, the Almighty, Divine Creator, Serpant, Father Satan, etc.) but usually secretly referred to as Satan or Lucifer]}, and when Marcion met him by chance and said "Do you know us" he replied, "I know the firstborn of the devil." Afterwards during the reign of Marcus Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus in the fourth persecution after Nero, in the presence of the proconsul holding court at Smyrna and all the people crying out against him in the Amphitheater, he was burned. He wrote a very valuable Epistle to the Philippians which is read to the present day in the meetings in Asia. [link]

BasicChristian.org: Did Jesus have a wife and child? Of course Not! - Da Vinci Code Gnostic (Jesus is only human) Cults Exposed!

Network TV, the movie "The Da Vinci Code" 'SEEK THE TRUTH' {Sony Pictures - Directed by: Ron Howard, Starring: Tom Hanks, May 2006} and now The Da Vinci Code part two "Angels & Demons" (2009) are programs that will insinuate that Jesus had a secret wife, Mary Magdalene and that the two had a child while He was here on the earth. Following is some material to consider regarding this very wrong and false topic. This is a startling topic yet it is a good opportunity for us as Christians to define Christianity to others and to point out the errors of the non-Biblical approach to defining Jesus. "Any marriage prior to the Cross would mean that Jesus was marring a sinner and really teachings of an earthly marriage of Jesus are yet another false set of teachings that are attempting to do away with the need of mankind for the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and of His Glorious Resurrection and it is an attempt to deny the special relationship that Jesus has with His Bride - The Church." [link]

Gnosticism - Hollywood's War on God: Learn how these movies are initiating the masses into a Gnostic worldview that will culminate in a "strong delusion" as the world joins Satan & the final Antichrist in their war against God (DVD - $19.95)

Hollywood's War on God is a mind-blowing, eye-popping documentary that reveals how satanic forces are using Hollywood's most memorable movies and most popular actors to propagate an ancient lie in fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Learn how these movies are initiating the masses into a Gnostic worldview that will culminate in a "strong delusion" as the world joins Satan & the final Antichrist in their war on God. Such titles include Ron Howard & Tom Hanks "The Da Vinci Code"; Keanu Reeves "The Matrix" and "Constantine"; Brad Pitt's "Fight Club"; Jim Carrey's "Truman Show"; Toby McQuire's "Pleasantville"; Arnold Swarzenegger's "Total Recall"; Johnny Depp's "From Hell"; Shawn Connery's "League of Extraordinary Gentleman"; J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter"; Harrison Ford's "Bladerunner"; Tom Cruise's "Vanilla Sky," "Eyes Wide Shut" and "Minority Report" and many others. [link]

Philippians 1 - The Apostle Paul begins his letter to the Church at Philippi a Church fellowship that had become one of his main delights and joys in the Lord -- 'Philippians 1:1-6 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the Saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops [Bible teaching Church leaders, pastors, Sunday school teachers, etc.] and deacons [non-teaching servants, ushers, preparing communion, etc.]: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, *For your fellowship in the Gospel *from the first day until now; **Being confident of this very thing, *that He [God] which hath begun a good work *in you *will perform [complete] it until the day [2nd Coming] of Jesus Christ'

Philippians 1:19-30 For I know that this [Paul's humiliation at being arrested and jailed] shall turn to my salvation [wellbeing, Christian growth] through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so **now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. **For to me to live is Christ, *and to die is gain [to gain Heaven and eternity with Jesus]. But if I live [on] in the flesh, this [Christian work] is the fruit of my labour [meaning of Paul's existence]: yet what I shall choose [death and eternal life in Heaven or continued Christian work and growth] I wot not [know not - still undecided]. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart [into Heaven], and to be with [Jesus] Christ; which [being in Heaven] is far better {Paul had already experienced being in Heaven}: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again. Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel; *And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token [evidence] of perdition [lost salvation], *but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, *but also to suffer for His sake [as Jesus was rejected by the world]; Having the same [rejected by the world] conflict *which ye saw in me, and now hear to [continue to] be in me. - Paul talks about the continued conflict that remains in the Christian. The Christian desire to begin life with Jesus in Heaven and also the desire to remain here on earth to do good and to continue to grow and mature in the Christian faith. Paul also talks about the conflicting notion of suffering persecution as a Christian. If becoming a Christian means suffering and rejection then why become a Christian and why would God allow it to happen and it's because while on earth we are conformed into fellowship with Jesus and in the 1st Coming of Jesus He was rejected, persecuted and suffered.

Philippians 2 - Paul explains that though circumstances are difficult for him at the moment a knowledge of their continued Christian growth and maturity would bring a joy to Paul that would help to make his present difficulties less difficult -- 'Philippians 2:1-5 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. *Look not every man on his own things, *but every man also on the things of others. *Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus'

Philippians 2:6-18 ***[Jesus] Who, being [originally] in the form of God, thought it not robbery [taking away from God] to be equal with God [Jesus as God is equal to God]: **But made Himself of no reputation [temporarily removed His status as Gog], and took upon Him the form of a servant [became a human], and was made in the [human] likeness of men: And being found in [physical] fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God [Father] also hath highly exalted Him, *and given Him a Name which is above every name: ***That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth [in Hades]; **And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation [wellbeing in Jesus, Christian growth, maturity] with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings [complaining] and disputings [arguing]: That ye may be blameless and harmless, *the Sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, **among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the [Gospel] Word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain [empty], neither laboured in vain. Yea, **and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of [give his life in service for] your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me. - The main theme of the letter to the Philippians is Christian growth and maturity and above all Paul wants them to continue to grow and mature in their Christian faith to the point that their lives are no longer selfish and that they no longer live life for themselves temporarily here on earth but now live their life eternally for Jesus in Heaven.

Philippians 3 - Paul is serious that this physical life is an opportunity to fellowship with Jesus in His sufferings and in His persecutions and that to know and experience the suffering of Jesus is to fellowship with Jesus -- 'Philippians 3:8-11 Yea doubtless, and I count all [accomplishments] things [in this life] but loss *for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in Him, *not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, *the righteousness which is of God by faith: ***That I may know Him [Jesus], *and the power of His resurrection, *and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; [so that] If [since] by any means I might attain unto the [Holy, eternal] resurrection of the dead.'

Philippians 3:12-21 Not as though I had already attained [eternal life], either were already perfect [completed in Jesus Christ]: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend [obtain] that [eternal life salvation] for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. *Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended [eternal life]: **but this one thing I do, forgetting those [uncertain] things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those [certain Salvation] things which are before [yet future], **I press [continue] toward the mark for the prize of the [Heavenly] High Calling of God in Christ Jesus. *Let us therefore, as many as be perfect [complete in Jesus Christ], be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto [with what Christian knowledge] we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, **who mind earthly things. **For our conversation is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: [Jesus] *Who shall change our vile [physical] body, that [being predestined to the image of the resurrected Jesus (Romans 8:29)] it [our physical body] may be fashioned like unto His glorious [eternal, spiritual] body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself. - Keep in mind that eternal life is something that is completed at the Throne, Bema Seat Judgment of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10) after our own individual death and resurrection and is not obtained specifically here on earth. - Note: The Apostle Paul was briefly in Heaven and possibly having doubts about his own ministry (Galatians 2:2) and his own standing with God [apart from the laws of Moses] the Apostle Paul appears to have witnessed in Heaven a Bema Seat Judgment take place. "2 Corinthians 12:4 How that he [Apostle Paul] was caught up into paradise [Heaven, Throne of God], *and heard unspeakable [Bema Seat Judgment] words, which it is **not **lawful [illegal] for a man to utter [repeat]." It's possible that Paul was able to witness a Bema Seat Judgment [or Judgments] and apparently all went well for the Christians and Paul realized that the Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ being the finalization 'acceptance' of individual Christianity is a reward for the Christian [those in Jesus Christ] and not a condemnation.

Philippians 4 - The Apostle Paul explains that eternal life our names written in the "Book of Life" is what is at stake in Christian Fellowship -- 'Philippians 4:1-3 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, **my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord [Jesus Christ], my dearly beloved. I beseech [request] [the two Christian women] Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they [try to get along and stop causing so much strife and drama within the fellowship] be of the same mind in the Lord. And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women [Euodias, and Syntyche] which labored with me in the Gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow laborers, **whose names are in the Book of Life [and if not removed (Revelation 3:5) will pass the Bema Seat Judgment of Jesus Christ].'

The Apostle Paul concludes the Bibles' Book of Philippians: Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. *Be careful for nothing; but in everything *by prayer and supplication [request to God] with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And ***the peace of God, which passeth all [physical] understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ***Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, **think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. ... Philippians 4:20-23 Now **unto God [Jesus Christ] **and our Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household [this letter is thought to be written while Paul is under house arrest in Rome while he is guarded by Roman guards]. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

COLOSSIANS

Background on Colossians: As far as we know Paul never visited Colossae, at least not at the time he wrote this epistle; he had only "heard" about the church at Colossae (1:4, 9; 2:1) - {Note: The book of Colossians is an extraordinary book of the Bible often the favorite book of the Bible for many Christians. The book of Colossians is unique in that the Apostle Paul was writing to a city that he had not yet been to, a city that had not had any Apostle visit it [unlike Rome where many Christians from Jerusalem and even Peter might have visited there before Paul]. The book of Colossians is considered Paul's opening evangelical statement of what the Apostle might have said to people in any given city who gathered to hear his first public appearance and presentation of the Gospel in places that previously had little or no exposure to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.}

As far as we know Paul never visited Colossae, at least not at the time he wrote this epistle; he had only "heard" about the church at Colossae (1:4, 9; 2:1). Nevertheless, it was a product of his ministry and beautifully illustrates his commitment to impart his vision of reaching others with the powerful message of the gospel. That this is so is illustrated in the following ways. First, Paul spent three years ministering the word in Ephesus from the lecture room of the School of Tyrannus. It was during this time all of Asia heard the Word (cf. Acts. 19:8-10, 26; & 20:31). Ephesus had three great attractions that brought people into the city from all parts of Asia. It was a seaport town, a center of commerce, and, with the temple of Diana, it was also a center for idol worship. Second, while on a visit to Ephesus, a young man from Colossae named Epaphras evidently heard the gospel from Paul and was converted. It appears that he was not only saved, but that he was trained and prepared by Paul to go back and plant a church in his hometown of Colossae (1:7; 4:12). The story of the establishment of the church at Colossae illustrates an important truth. "God does not always need an apostle, or a 'full-time Christian worker' to get a ministry established. Nor does He need elaborate buildings and extensive organizations." Through Paul's vision for training others for ministry, God took two men and sent them out to reach and build others in Christ in at least three cities of the Lycus Valley. ... The Scope of Colossians: Colossians presents the all-supremacy, the all-sufficiency, the uniqueness, and the fullness of the person and work of Jesus Christ as the God-man Savior, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and the total solution for man's needs both for time and eternity. It is a cosmic book, presenting the cosmic Christ: the Creator/Sustainer who is also the one and only Redeemer/Reconciler of the universe. One of my former and beloved Greek professors at Dallas Seminary, Dr. S. Lewis Johnson, had the following excellent summary of the importance of this epistle. In the first of a series of articles entitled "Studies in the Epistle to the Colossians" he wrote: "Without doubt Colossae was the least important church to which any epistle of St. Paul is addressed." So wrote Bishop Lightfoot some years ago in one of the finest commentaries on New Testament literature. Colosse had been "a great city of Phrygia," but it was in the afternoon of its influence and importance when Paul wrote the house-church there. And yet the message to Colosse, so bright with the light of the apostle's highest Christology, has become amazingly relevant in the middle of the twentieth century. With the sudden and startling intrusion of the space age and its astrophysics, nuclear power, missiles and rockets, the church of Jesus Christ has been forced to relate its Lord and Master to the ultimate frontiers. Colossians, which presents Him as the architect and sustainer of the universe, as well as the reconciler of all things, both earthly and heavenly, provides the church with the material it may and must use. Suddenly the epistle to the little flock in the declining city has become perhaps the most contemporary book in the New Testament library. -- The usefulness of Colossians, however, is not a recent phenomenon. The epistle is no late-blooming flower, although its grandeur and brilliance may strike one's eyes with increasing force in the present time. The Christology and the ethics of the letter are important for all time. It has always furnished a proper antidote to humanly devised schemes of salvation. As A. M. Hunter puts it; "To all who would 'improve' Christianity by admixing it with spiritualism or Sabbatarianism or occultism or any such extra, it utters its warning: 'What Christ is and has done for us is enough for salvation. We need no extra mediators, or taboos, or ascetics. To piece out the gospel with the rags and tatters of alien cults is not to enrich but to corrupt it.'" [link]

Background on Colossians (Part 2): Because of the rising tide of human philosophies confronting us today, no New Testament book speaks with more relevancy than does the epistle to the Colossians - Increasingly our generation wants to take religion out of the realm of rational discourse and relegate it to the area of personal preferences and opinions. If there are thirty-one flavors of ice cream, why can we not have similar variety in religions? - Thus, Colossians is a book that speaks to our cosmic age and to this New Age movement

Introductory Remarks: Because of the rising tide of human philosophies confronting us today, no New Testament book speaks with more relevancy than does the epistle to the Colossians. Not only do we live in an atomic and space age, but in the most technologically advanced age of all time. As in the past, this is a day where, duped by the age-old lie of Satan, man still continues to believe in himself and his ability to solve his problems apart from God as He is revealed in Scripture. Through one avenue or another, man continues to offer his own manmade solutions for the ills of society whether in the form of secular humanism or religious syncretism. But it appears many are becoming discontented over the futility of materialism and somewhat dissatisfied with the idea that life is but a cosmic accident. As a result, many are turning to the New Age movement that has been growing by leaps and bounds. This new movement claims we stand at the brink of an entirely new age of human achievement and potential, one that will unify the world and bring an end to war and an end to hunger through a redistribution of the world's resources and population control. It will lead to the conservation of the earth's environment, result in genuine equality among all races and religions and between men and women, and provide a global ethic that will unite the human family. But at the center of this movement is a religious syncretism that rejects the biblical revelation of God as revealed in Christ. According to this movement, Christ is only one of many religious leaders or influences that man may turn to because there are other ways that are equally valid. -- Increasingly our generation wants to take religion out of the realm of rational discourse and relegate it to the area of personal preferences and opinions. If there are thirty-one flavors of ice cream, why can we not have similar variety in religions? The gods of the New Age Movement are always tolerant of sexual preferences, feminism, and hedonistic pleasures at almost any cost. Why shouldn't we each choose a religion that is compatible with our private values? In order to have a meaningful faith, it must agree with our deeply held beliefs. What works for you might not work for me. Thus, Colossians is a book that speaks to our cosmic age and to this New Age movement. But let us not miss the fact that this movement has its source in the occult (though hidden under new names) and in Eastern religions that go all the way back to the beginnings of history with the fall of man. The New Age movement is not new; it is the most recent repeat of the second oldest religion, the spirituality of the serpent. Its impulse is foreign to none of us. The appeal is ancient indeed; its rudiments were seductively sold to our first parents in the garden. Human pride was tickled, and it jumped. The New Age movement promotes a belief in monism. Monism is the belief that all is one, that everything is interrelated, interdependent, and interpenetrating. It promotes the hideous idea that humanity, nature, and God are not separate from each other, but are one. As an illustration, Groothius also points out that John Randolph Price is a New Age writer who teaches that everyone should affirm, "I and the Father are one, and all the Father has is mine. In truth I am the Christ of God," and that he "tars as 'anti-Christ' those under-evolved, ignorant ones who deny 'the divinity of all men' (pantheism)." As evident from this statement by Price, pantheism is at the heart of the New Age movement. It teaches that "all is God." But their God is not a personal being; he is an impersonal energy, a force or consciousness. Out of this naturally comes another idea. Since all is one and all is God, we too are gods. The goal of the New Age movement is to awaken us to the god who sleeps within us, to teach us to live like the gods we are. The bait on this pagan hook is Satan's great delusion from the Garden of Eden, the promise of godhood. -- Secular humanism taught that "man is the measure of all things." Now, because of this promise of godhood for men, the New Age movement says with man all things are possible. The New Age worldview is what could be called "a cosmic humanism." But as mentioned, the ideas of the New Age movement are not new. It merely repeats Satan's age-old lie in a new age using euphemisms or new names to hide and remove old associations and stigmas. As will be shown, the heresy confronting the Colossians had certain similarities to the New Age movement of our day. Colossians is God's polemic and rebuttal to many kinds of delusions and heresies, but it is especially relevant to what we see happening in the world today. [link]

Colossians 1 - The Apostle Paul begins his letter to a Church stating what he would say to them if he could visit them -- 'Colossians 1:3-6 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, *praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, **For the hope which is laid up **for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the Word of the Truth of the Gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and ***bringeth forth fruit [evidence], as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the Grace of God in Truth'

Colossians 1:7-23 As ye also learned of Epaphras [a native of Colossae who on a visit to Ephesus was saved and taught Christianity by Paul, he then returned to Colossae and began the Church there] our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us your love in the [Holy] Spirit. *For this cause [their Christian love] we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire *that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and Spiritual understanding; *That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, *which hath made us meet to be partakers of **the **inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son [Jesus]: In [Jesus] whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image [same Spiritual substance] of the invisible God, the firstborn [receives the double inheritance, Jews (Exodus 4:22-23) and Christians (Hebrews 12:23)] of every creature: For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, *visible [physical] and invisible [spiritual], whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him [Jesus], and for Him: And He is [pre-existent] before all things, and by Him all things consist [exist, remain]. *And He is the head [authority] of the [Christian] body, the church: who is the beginning, *the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him [Jesus] should all fullness dwell; ***And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him ***to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in Heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled In the body of His flesh through death, *to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight [at the Bema Seat Judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10)]: *If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the Hope of the Gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; - Paul begins his message with the basics a need for faithfulness Jesus Christ, redemption and reconciliation to God only through the blood of Jesus and of the headship and authority of Jesus Christ over His Christian Church.

Colossians 2 - Paul then talks about the importance of not being deceived by the 'enticing words' [false religions, false science, empty philosophies] of man -- 'Colossians 2:1-5 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of *the [3 in 1] Mystery of God [Holy Spirit], and of *the Father, and of *[Jesus] Christ; ***In whom [Holy Spirit, Father, Jesus Christ] are hid **all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile [deceive] you with enticing [i.e. Gnostic] words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the Spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in [Jesus] Christ.'

Colossians 2:6-19 As ye have therefore received *Christ Jesus the Lord [authority], so walk ye in Him [Jesus]: Rooted [anchored] and built up in Him, and stablished [established] in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with Thanksgiving. **Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him [Jesus] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. ***And ye are complete in Him [Jesus], which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are [spiritually] circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: **Buried with Him in [spiritual] baptism, **wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened [made alive] together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses [sins]; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, ***nailing it to His cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, **He made a shew of them openly [in the resurrection], triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you [religiously, physically] in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: **Which are a shadow [O.T. example] of [New Testament] things to come; but the body [content of the Holy Bible] is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head [Jesus Christ], from which all the Christian Church] body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. - Paul gives more cautions and warnings that individual Christians are to be careful and not to get trapped into religious practices or into the preferences and spectacles of men as they do not foster a true Spiritual relationship with God in Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3 - The importance of living a new spiritual; heavenly, godly life, a maturing Christian life centered in the Holy Bible and focused on Jesus Christ -- 'Colossians 3:1-10 If ye then be risen [resurrection] with [Jesus] Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth [enthroned] on the right hand of God. **Set your affection on things above, **not on things on the earth. For ye are dead [to this world], and your [new] life is [Heaven] hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear [2nd Coming], then shall ye also appear with Him in Glory. Mortify [put to death] therefore *your members [worldly, desires, urges] which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old [sin] man with his deeds; And have put on the new [Spiritual] man, which is **renewed in [Biblical] knowledge after the image [spiritual substance] of Him [God] that created him [a new Spiritual person]:'

Colossians 3:12-17 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. ... Colossians 3:23-25 *And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily [with eternal significance], as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. - Everyone is to keep a holy perspective and an eternal purpose even while in this current physical life.

Colossians 4 - The Apostle Paul concludes his letter, a letter written to group of people that he will most likely not meet until after they have been gathered together and are a part of the great Congregation in Heaven -- 'Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch [look for the 2nd Coming of Jesus] in the same [prayerful manner] with thanksgiving' ... 'Colossians 4:5-6 Walk in wisdom toward them [non-Christian] that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace [hospitable], seasoned with salt [giving people a taste of Christianity, eternity], that ye may know how ye ought to answer [having ourselves a graceful attitude towards God and giving every person a desire for Christian spiritual things] every man.'

Paul concludes the Bible's book of Colossians: Colossians 4:15-18 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the Church which is in his house. **And when this epistle (letter) is read among you, ***cause [make it happen] that it [this letter] be read also in the Church of the Laodiceans; **and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea [probably know known as the Book of Ephesians]. **And say to Archippus, **Take heed to the Ministry **which thou hast received in the Lord, **that thou [continue] fulfill it. The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds [imprisonment]. Grace be with you. Amen. -Note: The letters of the New Testament [and all of the Bible but specifically the N.T. epistles] are meant to be read out loud in the gathered Churches. This ancient practice of reading Paul's letters [and all the letters of the N.T.] to the Church fellowship seems to have been neglected by the modern Church and it is a practice that we are commanded to do. Having one person or several people slowly read an epistle to the congregation should a standard Church practice even today.

1 THESSALONIANS

1 Thessalonians: An Exegetical and Devotional Commentary - The Thessalonian epistles were written to the church at Thessalonica - It was a church under persecution, but also a church that had a dynamic testimony and that had grown through the persecution - Significantly, in every chapter of 1 Thessalonians, the Apostle sought to comfort and motivate with the truth of the Lord's sure return

The Thessalonian epistles were written to the church at Thessalonica. It was a church under persecution, but also a church that had a dynamic testimony and that had grown through the persecution. Significantly, in every chapter of 1 Thessalonians, the Apostle sought to comfort and motivate with the truth of the Lord's sure return. As we study these books, therefore, we need to grapple with how the return of the Lord for the body of Christ should impact us and how it should not affect us, for as we will see, some had made a wrong application of the Lord's imminent return. ... Thessalonica was originally named Therma because of the many hot springs in the surrounding area, but in 315 B.C. it was renamed Thessalonica after the half-sister of Alexander the Great. It later became known as Salonika and today it is called Thessaloniki. It is one of the few cities that still exists today from New Testament times and has a booming population of 300,000. The city was conquered by Rome in 168 B.C., and was made the capitol of the entire providence of Macedonia. When Paul made his journey to the city, it boasted a population of 200,000 consisting mostly of Greeks though there was a large Roman population with a strong Jewish minority. ... To preach and teach the Word to a dying and lost world is never really an issue in the will of God, but exactly when and where (time and place) is an issue in keeping with God's preparation of the soil of human hearts. As Christians, we are all called to be a part of promoting the spread of the glorious truths of the Word, but where, when, and how are important matters that need to be discerned in the will of God for each individual believer. Thus, the birth of the church at Thessalonica was the result of both God's leading and the attentive ears of Paul and his missionary team. -- Having arrived at Somothrace in Macedonia, the missionary team moved on through Neopolis to Philippi, a leading city of Macedonia and a Roman colony. There Lydia, whose heart God had opened for the gospel, and her household were led to the Christ with a church being established in her home. After some days of ministry there, Paul and Silas were arrested on false charges, beaten, and thrown into jail. Following a miraculous deliverance by the Lord, the Philippian jailer and his household were also led to the Savior (Acts 16:19-40). These circumstances forced the missionaries to leave Philippi. So after encouraging the new believers, the missionary team left the city (though Luke may have stayed behind temporarily) and journeyed on through Amphipolis and Appollonia to the important city of Thessalonica. [link]

Background of 1st Thessalonians - Thessalonica was a major city in northern Greece. Situated on the main east-west highway of the Roman Empire, it was the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia and very loyal to Rome. It survives to this day, now known as Salonika - Paul planted this church on his second missionary journey about 50 AD - Upon hearing Timothy's report, he [Paul] writes this letter from Corinth to encourage, instruct and equip them in their relationships with Christ - This means that 1 Thessalonians is one of the earliest documents of the New Testament-preceded only by Galatians and James [and probably the Gospel of Matthew and the extra-biblical book 'The Didache'] - It is also one of the most personal

Paul planted this church on his second missionary journey about 50 AD. After Paul and Silas had, during the Apostle's second missionary journey, left Philippi, they proceeded to Thessalonica. Luke, one of Paul's mission band, concisely records what happened in Acts 17:1-15. The signal success of Paul's apostolate among Jews, proselytes, and Hellenes together with the conversion of "not a few noble ladies," aroused the Jews to a fury of envy; they gathered together a mob of idlers from the agora and set the whole city in tumult; they beset the home of Jason, found the Apostle away, dragged his host to the tribunal of the politarchs and charged him with harboring traitors, men who set Jesus up as king in place of Caesar. That night the brethren made good the escape of their teacher to Berea. There the Gospel of Paul met with a much more enthusiastic reception than that accorded to it by the synagogue of Thessalonica. The Jews of that city drove Paul to Berea and there, too, stirred up the mob against him. Concerned for their spiritual welfare, he sent Timothy back to check on them. Upon hearing Timothy's report, he writes this letter from Corinth to encourage, instruct and equip them in their relationships with Christ. This means that 1 Thessalonians is one of the earliest documents of the New Testament-preceded only by Galatians and James. It is also one of the most personal. [link]

1 Thessalonians 1 - The Apostle Paul begins his first of two letters of encouragement to a highly persecuted Christian Church a Church that was nearly wiped out do to the severe nature of the deadly persecutions it endured -- '1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 We give thanks to God *always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.'

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 For they [Thessalonian converts] themselves shew [by their endurance in the faith] of [unto] us what manner of entering in [influence] we had unto you, and ***how ye turned to God from idols ***to serve the ***living and true God; And to wait for [2nd Coming of] His Son [Jesus] from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus [Christ], which delivered us from the wrath to come. - The Christians, many of them new converts, in Thessalonica are commended for their faith and endurance in very difficult circumstances.

1 Thessalonians 2 - The Christians in Thessalonica were able to grasp and discern that the Words of comfort are from God and that the violent persecutions were from Satan -- '1 Thessalonians 2:11-13 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His [eternal] Kingdom and Glory. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God *which ye heard [from] of us,*** ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, **the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe [lit. faith - belief is the verb form of the noun faith].'

1 Thessalonians 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the Churches of God which in Judaea [Israel - Jerusalem] are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own [violent persecutors] countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and **they [violent persecutors] please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be Saved, to fill up their sins always: **for the wrath is come upon them [violent persecutors] to the uttermost. But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; **but Satan hindered us {Satan is actively at work in all regions of the world opposing all aspects of true Christianity}. For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing [personal fellowship among believers until the return of Jesus]? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his [2nd] coming [lit. presence - parousia G3952]? For ye are our glory and joy. - The violent opposition waged against the Christians is of the realm and influences of Satan and not at all of God.

1 Thessalonians 3 - The misery and even death of persecution does not make void the fact that we are even now alive in Jesus Christ -- '1 Thessalonians 3:8-10 For **now we live [even in persecution], if ye stand fast in the Lord. For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect [complete] that which is lacking in your faith [knowledge of the Ministry, the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ]?'

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 Now God Himself [Holy Spirit] and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way [path back] unto you. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. - We Christians regardless of circumstances or the amount of persecution are to remain "unblameable in holiness before God" because we are accountable to God more than we are accountable to our fellow man.

1 Thessalonians 4 - Living in times of crisis and persecution is not a time to relinquish immorality and holiness towards God -- '1 Thessalonians 4:1-4 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received (Acts 15:20) of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound [in holiness] more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification [holiness], that ye should abstain from fornication: **That every one of you [individually] should know how to possess his [own body] vessel in sanctification and honor [to God]'

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep [deceased Christians], that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For **if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the [2nd] coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep {from already being in the presence of God}. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the Trump [call] of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first {already in the presence of God}: **Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air (Acts 3:21): and so shall we [living and deceased] ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. - Note: This verse is particularly in reference to Christians who have died in martyrdom and by other causes and indicates that those who die before the 2nd Coming of Jesus will instantly be in the presence of Jesus and will not need to wait for us to enter into Heaven but already being there will reunite with those who are alive at the actual 2nd Coming of Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5 - A continued separation and distinction is made between the holiness and conduct of Christians and the rebellion and disobedience of non-Christians -- '1 Thessalonians 5:5-8 Ye [You] are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch [for the 2nd Coming of Jesus] and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. **But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of [our individual] salvation.'

The Apostle Paul closes the Bible's first of two letters to the Church in Thessalonica: 1 Thessalonians 5:14-28 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. **Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And ***the very God of Peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole *spirit and *soul and *body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He [God] that calleth you, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy [embrace] kiss. **I charge you by the Lord **that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

2 THESSALONIANS

2 Thessalonians - They thought that they were already in 'the day of the Lord' just preceding Christ's [2nd Coming] return - This doctrinal problem caused a practical issue - Some of the members, *convinced that the end was near, had given up their jobs, and were living in idleness waiting for the Lord - They were spending their time spreading their views and living off of others - So Paul had to write to them and straighten them out

The main reason for Paul writing a second letter to the Thessalonians was to bring encouragement to discouraged Christians. Between the time of the writing of the two letters a new problem had arisen. Apparently some believers had caused concern with regard to their relation to 'the day of the Lord.' They thought that they were already in 'the day of the Lord' just preceding Christ's return. They said that this seemed to be confirmed by their persecutions. So they looked for the immediate return of Christ. Paul wrote them 'not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by work, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.' (2 Thessalonians 2:2) The Thessalonians were concerned that they would fall victim to the day of Judgment. This doctrinal problem caused a practical issue. Some of the members convinced that the end was near, had given up their jobs, and were living in idleness waiting for the Lord. They were spending their time spreading their views and living off of others. So Paul had to write to them and straighten them out. (2 Thessalonians 3:6-15). This is the shortest of Paul's letters to the churches. Only the letter to Titus and the little note to Philemon are shorter. It is really a letter of prayer containing four prayers and one request. He seals the letter with his own hand to prevent the Churches from being misled by letters claiming to be his. [link]

Persecution in the Early Church - In the face of persecution, many Christians chose to die before they would deny their Lord [Jesus Christ] - Those who did so came to be called martyrs, which means "witnesses"

The Roman Empire was generally quite tolerant in its treatment of other religions. The imperial policy was generally one of incorporation - the local gods of a newly conquered area were simply added to the Roman pantheon and often given Roman names. Even the Jews, with their one god, were generally tolerated. So why the persecution of Christians? In order to understand the Roman distrust of Christianity, one must understand the Roman view of religion. For the Romans, religion was first and foremost a social activity that promoted unity and loyalty to the state - a religious attitude the Romans called pietas, or piety. Cicero wrote that if piety in the Roman sense were to disappear, social unity and justice would perish along with it. The early Roman writers viewed Christianity not as another kind of pietas, piety, but as a superstitio, "superstition." Pliny, a Roman governor writing circa 110 AD, called Christianity a "superstition taken to extravagant lengths." Similarly, the Roman historian Tacitus called it "a deadly superstition," and the historian Suetonius called Christians "a class of persons given to a new and mischievous superstition." In this context, the word "superstition" has a slightly different connotation than it has today: for the Romans, it designated something foreign and different - in a negative sense. Religious beliefs were valid only in so far as it could be shown to be old and in line with ancient customs; new and innovative teachings were regarded with distrust. The Roman distaste for Christianity, then, arose in large part from its sense that it was bad for society. ... Two Christian Responses: The Glory of Martyrdom and Apologetics - "Though beheaded, and crucified, and thrown to wild beasts, and chains, and fire, and all other kinds of torture, we do not give up our confession; but, the more such things happen, the more do others in larger numbers become faithful." -- Justin Martyr In the face of persecution, many Christians chose to die before they would deny their Lord. Those who did so came to be called martyrs, which means "witnesses." The second-century theologian Tertullian had converted to Christianity based in part on his wonder at Christians' faithfulness in the face of martyrdom and it clearly had a similar effect on others as well. It was Tertullian who famously declared, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church." Indeed, persecution seemed to have a dramatic effect on Christianity's numbers, but not in the direction intended by the persecutors. -- A second response of the church to Roman persecution was to write apologies, or defenses, of the Christian faith. The bishops and leaders who wrote these defenses are known as the Apologists. Writing especially in the 2nd century AD, the Apologists' primary goal was to defend Christianity against pagan accusations and misconceptions in an effort to stop the persecution. Thus they often addressed their works to Roman emperors. The Apologists explained, for example, that the Christian "love feast" did not involve cannibalism or orgies as many thought, but was a sacred meal of bread and wine in honor of Christ's death. -- The Apologists also sought to show that Christianity was equal or even superior to pagan religion and philosophy, and good for the Roman state. They pointed out that Christianity was just as old as Greek thought, having originated in the ancient religion of the Hebrews. They asked their readers to compare the ethical behavior of Christians and pagans. They explained that although they were not willing to sacrifice to him as a god, Christians prayed for the emperor's welfare regularly. [link]

2 Thessalonians 1 - The Apostle Paul begins his second and final letter to the heavily persecuted and heavily martyred Church in Thessalonica -- '2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure'

2 Thessalonians 1:7-12 And to you who are troubled rest with us [in Jesus Christ], when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty Angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel [of Peace] of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence [being separated from the presence of God - eternal damnation] of the Lord, and from the Glory of His power; When He shall come to be glorified in His Saints, and to be admired in all them that believe because our testimony among you was believed in that day. **Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and **the work of faith with power: That the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be Glorified in you, and ye in Him [Jesus], according to the Grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. - Paul gives the very important admonishment that vengeance does not belong to mankind but it belongs to Jesus Christ to be administered in the prescribed time, place and manner at the choice of Jesus Christ. But that glory for mankind in Jesus Christ does belong to mankind. The opportunity of mankind for peace and eternal glory in Jesus Christ, yes. The responsibility of man for vengeance, judgment and destruction on his fellow man, no.

2 Thessalonians 2 - To see people doing good and following God in peace during times of strife and evil is a sight and an event to be thankful for and to give thanks both to the people of peace and to God the author of peace and love -- '2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation [wellbeing] through sanctification [being set apart to God] of the [Holy] Spirit and Belief of the Truth: Whereunto He [God] called [invited] you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. **Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions [prayer, fellowship, Bible study, communion, baptism, etc.] which ye have been taught, whether by Word [Holy Bible], or our epistle [letter].'

2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 For the mystery of iniquity [sin] doth already work: only He [God - Holy Spirit] who now letteth [restrains evil] will let [evil reign (Revelation 6:1)], until He [Holy Spirit allows evil to reign unhindered] be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming [presence]: Even him [Antichrist], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; *because they received not the love [and peace] of the truth, that they might be saved [eternal salvation]. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie [that violence is of God]: That they all [violent] might be damned who believed not the truth [of peace, rest and trust in God], but had pleasure in unrighteousness [and violence]. - God is currently restraining sin and evil from having complete reign upon the earth however during the Tribulation times of Revelation sin will have fewer restrictions and mankind will be allowed to commit more of the evil desires of an evil heart and mind. The Seven Seals of Revelation are seven restraints on evil that are each individually broken and removed as evil is given free reign for a time upon the earth.

2 Thessalonians 3 - The Apostle Paul concludes his letter confirming that Jesus Christ is Peace and Love and that Jesus will keep us from committing evil if we will trust our lives and our circumstances unto Jesus - But that Satan is death and destruction and to follow Satan is to receive eternal death and permanent destruction -- '2 Thessalonians 3:1-3 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the Word [peace and love] of the Lord may have free course, and be Glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable [violent] and wicked men [who follow Satan]: for all men have not faith. But the Lord [Jesus] is faithful [peace and love], who shall stablish [establish] you, and keep you from {doing} evil.'

The Apostle Paul concludes the Bible's book of 2nd Thessalonians with a reminder that Jesus Christ is "the Lord of Peace." - 2 Thessalonians 3:13-17 But ye, brethren, **be not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that [violent] man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. **Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. ***Now the Lord of Peace Himself [Jesus Christ] give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

1 TIMOTHY

Historical Background To Paul's Pastoral Epistles [1st Timothy, 2nd Timothy and Titus] - Paul's First and Second Letters to Timothy and his Letter to Titus have been called "Pastoral Letters" since the eighteenth century (1700's) - [Though] Thomas Aquinas [born (in Sicily Italy) 1225 AD; died 7 March 1274 AD - wiki.com] had given this name to Paul's First Letter to Timothy already in the thirteenth century (1200's) - These letters are called "Pastoral Letters" because in them Paul reveals his concern for the future of the church and its ministry - In them he addresses a wide range of issues pertaining to the life and ministry of the church - He instructs his co-workers Timothy and Titus to provide the churches with qualified pastors and lay leaders - Paul informs them what are the qualifications of those servants in the church - He instructs them in the worship life of the church - He teaches them how to care for the souls in their congregation men and women, young and old, rich and poor - Paul urges them repeatedly to be on their guard against false doctrine and to teach the Word of God faithfully as well as to exhibit a godly life - He [Apostle Paul] anticipated that his martyrdom was near, as he stated in 2 Timothy 4:6 - According to Christian tradition Paul suffered martyrdom in Rome around 67 to 68 A.D. - It is therefore thought that Paul wrote his Second Letter to Timothy shortly before his death in A.D. 67 - {Note: 2nd Timothy was probably written within days of Pauls' execution (as soon as he received news [either from Jesus or from Rome] that he was to be executed) possibly even written within the last hours of his life.}

The Historical Background To The Pastoral Letters: Paul's three pastoral letters, unlike his other ten letters, do not blend into the historical framework of Paul's missionary journey's recorded in the Book Of Acts. The Book of Acts concludes with Paul's first imprisonment in Rome prior to the time he wrote his three pastoral letters. Thus the order of events in Paul's life and ministry, as well as the dates of those events, from the time of his release from his first imprisonment in Rome to the time of his second imprisonment in Rome and his execution remain uncertain. -- Upon his release from his first imprisonment Paul appears to have revisited the churches in Asia Minor (in what is now the country of Turkey) and in Macedonia (the northern Roman province in what is now Greece). Paul had intended to do this (cf. Philemon 22; Philippians 2:24). It seems he traveled southeast from Rome to the island of Crete. There he left Titus to organize the church and to have pastors appointed (cf. Titus 1:5). He then possibly set sail and traveled northeast to Ephesus on the west coast of Asia Minor. He left Timothy in Ephesus to take charge of the affairs of the church there. From Ephesus he traveled west to Macedonia, where he revisited Philippi, In Philippi it is thought he wrote his First Letter to Timothy and his Letter to Titus in the fall of A.D. 63. -- It appears that Paul may have then spent the winter in Nicopolis where Titus was to join him after being relieved in Crete by Artemas or Tychicus (cf. Titus 3:12). The Nicopolis Paul referred to is thought to be the city in the Roman province of Epirus, which was located on the western coast of what is now Greece by the Ionian Sea. There is the possibility that in the spring of A.D. 64 Paul traveled to Spain to do mission work, as he had hoped to do (cf. Romans 15:23,24). Some scholars have thought that if Paul did indeed go to Spain, he did so immediately upon his release from imprisonment in Rome in A.D. 61-62. There is no scriptural evidence to verify that Paul did journey to Spain. The Letter of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians, however, which was written in A.D. 96, states Paul did travel to Spain. If Paul did go to Spain around the spring of A.D. 64 and remained there to A.D. 65, he would have been there at the time of the burning of Rome, a fiery tragedy that Nero blamed on the Christians and used as an excuse to begin persecuting them. -- In his Second Letter to Timothy Paul wrote that he had been to Troas (cf. 2 Timothy 4:13) and to Corinth in southern Greece and to Miletus in Asia Minor (cf. 2 Timothy 4:20). If Paul did go to Spain in the spring of A.D. 64, then it appears he made a second trip to the East after his release before his second imprisonment in Rome. Where and when Paul was arrested is unknown. In any case, he was again imprisoned in Rome. During his second imprisonment he was treated harshly, unlike the better treatment he had received during his first imprisonment when he was held under house arrest in his own rented quarters. In 2 Timothy 2:9 Paul wrote that he was chained up like a criminal. He anticipated that his martyrdom was near, as he stated in 2 Timothy 4:6. According to Christian tradition Paul suffered martyrdom in Rome around A.D. 67 to 68. It is therefore thought that Paul wrote his Second Letter to Timothy shortly before his death in A.D. 67. [link]

1 Timothy 1 - 1st Timothy is the Apostle Paul's letter to a struggling Minister - Since all ministry is a struggle in one sense or another the letter is generally referred to as the main Pastoral epistle -- '1 Timothy 1:1-4 Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment [command] of God our Savior, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia [Greece], *that thou mightest charge some *that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: [and] so do [accomplish the task of teaching pure Biblical doctrine].'

1 Timothy 1:15-20 **This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation [acceptance], that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief [foremost]. Howbeit for this cause [salvation] I [Paul] obtained mercy, that in me first [who originally persecuted the Christian Church] Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting. -- {Doxology begins} ***Now unto the King [Jesus] eternal, immortal, invisible, ***the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen {Doxology ends}. This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. - The Apostle Paul continues to define priorities and to set goals for the Pastors of the Church particularly the goals of keeping salvation, mercy, forgiveness faith and the eternal glory of God as the main focal and attention points for the ministry.

Doxology General Information: A doxology is a short prayer or hymn of praise that extols the glory and majesty of God. Well known doxologies include the Glory to God (Gloria Patri {Latin}), the Glory Be (Gloria in Excelsis {Latin}), the Holy, Holy, Holy (Sanctus {Latin}), and the Hebrew word Alleluia, which means "praise the Lord" Some verses of hymns, such as Thomas Ken's "Praise God from whom all blessings flow," are also called doxologies

Doxology Advanced Information: The term, which is derived from the Greek doxa (glory), denotes an ascription of praise to the three persons of the Blessed Trinity. In its commonest form, known as the Gloria Patri or "Lesser Doxology," it is rendered: "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen." Its use at the end of the Psalms, as directed, e.g., in the Book of Common Prayer, dates from the fourth century. It is thus a symbol of the duty of Christianizing the Psalms and serves at the same time "to connect the Unity of the Godhead as known to the Jews with the Trinity as known to Christians" (Tutorial Prayer Book, p. 101). The so - called Greater Doxology is the Gloria in Excelsis, "Glory be to God on high." On account of its opening words, taken directly from Luke 2:14, it is sometimes known as the Angelic Hymn. This doxology is of Greek origin (fourth century) and was used at first as a morning canticle. Later it became incorporated into the Latin Mass, where it occupied a place at the beginning of the service. In the English Communion Service of 1552 the Reformers transferred the hymn to the end of the office, no doubt in accordance with the usage at the first (Passover, Last Supper) Eucharist [Holy Communion]: "When they had sung an hymn, they went out" (Matt. 26:30). In this position it forms a fitting conclusion to the Christian sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. It is now generally agreed that the doxology ["For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen" was added to the Catholic Mass in 1970 as part of the liturgical reforms that sought to make the Mass more ecumenical by adding or embracing prayers and forms recognized by the Protestants. While often attributed to the Protestants, this doxology actually has its roots in the Christian writing of the "Didache" of the first century. It's link to Protestantism is through Martin Luther, who emphasized it. - Answers.com] at the end of the Lord's Prayer is not part of the original text of Matt. 6:9 - 13. It may be regarded as an ancient liturgical addition to the prayer, which was adopted by the Greek church but not by the [Roman Catholic] Latin [until 1970]. ~ F Colquhoun (Elwell Evangelical Dictionary) [link]

1 TIMOTHY - The recurrence of doxologies (1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15,16; 2 Timothy 4:18) as from one living perpetually in the presence of God, to whom the language of adoration was as his natural speech

1 & 2 Timothy, Epistles by Paul -- The Epistles to Timothy and Titus are called the Pastoral Epistles, because they are principally devoted to directions about the work of the pastor of a church. The First Epistle was probably written from Macedonia, A.D. 65, in the interval between St. Paul's first and second imprisonments at Rome. The absence of any local reference but that in (1 Timothy 1:3) suggests Macedonia or some neighboring district. In some MSS. and versions Laodicea is named in the inscription as the place from which it was sent. The Second Epistle appears to have been written A.D. 67 or 68, and in all probability at Rome. --The following are the characteristic features of these epistles:-- (1) The ever-deepening sense in St. Paul's heart of the divine mercy of which he was the object, as shown in the insertion of the "mercy" in the salutations of both epistles, and in the "obtained mercy" of (1 Timothy 1:13) (2) The greater abruptness of the Second Epistle. From first to last there is no plan, no treatment of subjects carefully thought out. All speaks of strong overflowing emotion memories of the past, anxieties about the future. (3) The absence, as compared with St. Paul other epistles, of Old Testament references. This may connect itself with the fact just noticed, that these epistles are not argumentative, possibly also with the request for the "books and parchments" which had been left behind. (2 Timothy 4:13) (4) The conspicuous position of the "faithful sayings" as taking the place occupied in other epistles by the Old Testament Scriptures. The way in which these are cited as authoritative, the variety of subjects which they cover, suggests the thought that in them we have specimens of the prophecies of the apostolic Church which had most impressed themselves on the mind of the apostle and of the disciples generally. (1 Corinthians 14:1) ... shows how deep a reverence he was likely to feel for spiritual utterances. In (1 Timothy 4:1) we have a distinct reference to them. (5) The tendency of the apostle's mind to dwell more on the universality of the redemptive work of Christ, (1 Timothy 2:3-6; 4:10) and his strong desire that all the teaching of his disciples should be "sound." (6) The importance attached by him to the practical details of administration. The gathered experience of a long life had taught him that the life and wellbeing of the Church required these for its safeguards. (7) The recurrence of doxologies, (1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15,16; 2 Timothy 4:18) as from one living perpetually in the presence of God, to whom the language of adoration was as his natural speech. [Smith's Bible Dictionary] [link]

1 Timothy 2 - Christian conduct and social responsibility is addressed -- '1 Timothy 2:1-4 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.'

1 Timothy 2:5-8 *For there is one God, *and one mediator *between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an Apostle, I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not; a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity [accordance with fact (and) reality - Dictionary.com]. I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. - Now the Apostle Paul mentions how the parishioners [worshipers] in Church attendance, both the men and the women, should behave.

1 Timothy 3 - The qualifications for Church-fellowship overseers and leaders is given -- '1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a Bishop [Church overseers], he desireth a good work. A Bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife [no polygamy; this is not about divorce it is about the Church representing the one bride of Jesus Christ], vigilant, sober, of good behavior, *given to hospitality, *apt to teach [a Bishop is able to teach sound Bible doctrine (i.e. Sunday school) while a Deacon is a Church servant who does not yet regularly teach Bible studies]; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre [unclean money]; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous [desirous of worldly items] ...'

1 Timothy 3:8-13 Likewise must the Deacons (Church servants) be grave [lit. have dignity], not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; *Holding the [Trinity - Triune] Mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. *And let these [Christian servants] also *first be proved [discerned of]; *then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Let the Deacons be the husbands of one wife [no polygamy is allowed in the Christian Church], ruling their [own] children and their own houses well. **For they that have used the office of a Deacon well **purchase [eternally] to themselves a good degree [Christian maturity], and great boldness [Christian strength] in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. ... 1 Timothy 3:15-16 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest *know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the House of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the Truth. ***And without controversy great is the [Trinity - Triune] Mystery of godliness: God [Jesus] was manifest in the flesh [Matthew 1:23], justified in the Spirit [John 1:32], seen of angels [Luke 2:10-11], preached unto the Gentiles [Mark 8:1], believed on in the world [Luke 9:20, Mark 15:39], received up into Glory [Acts 1:9]. - Qualification to serve the Christian community continues to be faithfulness to God, to His word [the Bible] and to His people [Christians].

1 Timothy 4 - The Apostle Paul forewarns the body of Christ of advanced problems that will occur within the Christian Church in the later years of the Christian Church era just prior to the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ -- '1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the [Holy] Spirit speaketh expressly [emphatically], that in the latter times [end of the Church era] some [Christians] shall depart from the [Christian] faith, giving heed [attention] to seducing spirits [i.e. the various 'New Age' movements], and doctrines of devils [i.e. Ecumenicalism - reducing Christianity and making all religions equal and one]; Speaking lies in hypocrisy [two-facedness]; having their conscience [godly discernment] seared [hardened] with a hot [active] iron ...' - Note: Iron Biblically generally denotes a strong force often a demonic stronghold (Psalms 107:10) the 'hot iron' mentioned is possibly the result of a demonic deception and influence in the life of a once faithful Christian.

1 Timothy 4:6-16 If thou put the brethren [fellow Christians] in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good [faithful] minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the Words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. *For bodily exercise profiteth little [eternally - because our physical body does not resurrect (Genesis 3:19), we receive a new body (1 Corinthians 15:53)]: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that [eternal] which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. ***For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, **who is the Savior of all men [all are eligible to believe and be saved], *specially [actually saving] of those that [do] believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, **give attendance *to [publically] reading [the Bible in Church], to exhortation [encouragement], to doctrine [Bible concepts]. Neglect not the [spiritual] gift that is in thee [as a born again Christian], which was given [explained] thee by *prophecy [forth telling, explaining spiritual things], with the laying on of the hands [guidance, fellowship] of the presbytery [Church elders, overseers]. Meditate [contemplate] upon these [Heavenly] things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear [manifest] to all (Romans 8:19). Take heed [attention] *unto thyself, *and unto the [Biblical] doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save [lit. safety - Sozo, G4982] thyself, and them that hear thee. - As the critical End Times and 2nd Coming events of Jesus Christ draw near to mankind the bourdon and necessity of Christian Church leadership to remain faithful to God, to Christian doctrine and to one another greatly increases.

1 Timothy 5 - Christian fellowship and relationships are defined in terms not as strangers to one another, but as Christian family with one another - This includes all Christians even the people we haven't met or don't yet personally know -- '1 Timothy 5:1-2 Rebuke [harshly correct] not an elder [older man], but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as [equal] brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, *with all purity. Honor widows that are widows indeed.'

1 Timothy 5:17-22 Let the [Church] elders *that rule well be counted worthy of double honor [physical and spiritual], especially they who labor in the Word and Doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn [in the O.T. a work animal was allowed to eat of the field and from their labor]. And, The [Christian] laborer is worthy of his reward. **Against an [Church] elder receive not an [single] accusation, but before two or three witnesses [consider the matter]. Them that sin rebuke [in love] before all, that others also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect Angels [angels appointed by God to observe and overseeing Christian fellowship], that thou observe these things **without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. Lay hands [become yoked] suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: **keep thyself pure [holy]. - Note "Them that sin rebuke before all" is applicable if the rebuke is done in love, in an appropriate way and in an appropriate place. At times a pastor would do it [a public rebuke] in an attempt to gain more power and authority to himself over the congregation or as an opportunity to openly criticize a fellow Christian and often even a legitimate matter would create gossip and scandal within the Church fellowship so there are many parameters to an open and public rebuke and wisely it is seldom done though the opportunity of public rebuke exists for a reason within the Christian Church.

1 Timothy 6 - The Apostle Paul briefly touches on Christian employment and then concludes his first letter to Timothy by again emphasizing Christian conduct and service to God -- '1 Timothy 6:1-2 Let as many servants [workers] as are under the yoke [employed] count their own masters [bosses] worthy of all honor, that the Name of God and His Doctrine be not blasphemed. And they [workers] that have believing [Christian] masters [bosses], let them not despise them [i.e. if a non-Christian gets a promotion or a raise and not the Christian], because they are brethren; but *rather do them service [good work], because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the [eternal] benefit. These things teach and exhort.'

The Bible's book of 1st Timothy concludes: 1 Timothy 6:11-21 But thou, O [Christian] man of God, flee these [immoral] things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. **Fight the good fight of faith, ***lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called [invited], and hast professed a **good profession [publically professing Jesus Christ] before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth [makes alive] all things, and before Christ Jesus, ***who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession [Jesus confessed to Pontius Pilate that He is the Messiah (Mark 15:2)]; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing [2nd Coming] of our Lord Jesus Christ: -- {Doxology begins} Which in His times He shall shew [reveal Himself], [Jesus] who is the Blessed and only Potentate [supreme power], the King of kings, and Lord of lords; ***Who [Jesus] only hath immortality, dwelling in the light [of the Throne of God the Father] which no man can approach unto [the Throne of God the Father]; [the Father] whom no man hath seen, nor can see [because of our sinful nature]: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen {Doxology ends}. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, **that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good [eternal] foundation against the [heavenly] time to come, *that they may lay hold [grasp the meaning] on eternal life. O [Pastor] Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing [Christians] have erred [gotten off course] concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

2 TIMOTHY

Second Epistle to Timothy - The Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy, usually referred to simply as Second Timothy and often written 2 Timothy, is one of the three Pastoral Epistles, traditionally attributed to Saint Paul, and is part of the New Testament - [The Apostle] Paul [in prison again] clearly anticipates his being put to death and realities beyond in his valedictory found in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

Content: In his letter, Paul urges Timothy to not have a "spirit of timidity" and to "not be ashamed to testify about our Lord" (1:7-8). He also entreats Timothy to come to him before winter, and to bring Mark with him (cf. Philippians 2:22). He was anticipating that "the time of his departure was at hand" (4:6), and he exhorts his "son Timothy" to all diligence and steadfastness in the face of false teachings, with advice about combating them with reference to the teachings of the past, and to patience under persecution (1:6-15), and to a faithful discharge of all the duties of his office (4:1-5), with all the solemnity of one who was about to appear before the Judge of the quick and the dead. Paul clearly anticipates his being put to death and realities beyond in his valedictory found in 2 Timothy 4:6-8: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 2 Timothy contains one of Paul's Christological Hymns in 2 Timothy 2:11-13 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. (King James Version) [link]

A Tale of Two Cities - A Tale of Two Cities (1859) originally a novel by Charles Dickens [1812 - 1870] - Movie 1935 B&W Version {Best version} - An immortal story... A brilliant cast... An unforgettable film of the French Revolution - The most dramatic love story in the history (since the Bible) of literature! - [Spoiler Alert: The lead character Sydney Carton (a 'carton' - a is cheap container holding within it a more valuable content i.e. the human spirit and soul) offers himself up (2 Timothy 4:6-8) to be poured out as a drink offering.] (DVD)

Plot Summary for A Tale of Two Cities (1935 Version): An elaborate adaptation of Dickens' classic tale of the French Revolution. Dissipated lawyer Sydney Carton defends emigre Charles Darnay from charges of spying against England. He becomes enamored of Darnay's fiancée, Lucie Manette, and agrees to help her save Darnay from the guillotine when he is captured by Revolutionaries in Paris. Written by Marg Baskin. - A disreputable barrister finds redemption through the most unlikely of friendships and in the process provides for himself salvation of a kind. Written by Carl Schultz. - Plot Summary for A Tale of Two Cities (1958 version): British barrister Sydney Carton lives an insubstantial and unhappy life. He falls under the spell of Lucie Manette, but Lucie marries Charles Darnay. When Darnay goes to Paris to rescue an imprisoned family retainer, he becomes entangled in the snares of the brutal French Revolution and is himself jailed and condemned to the guillotine. But Sydney Carton, in love with a woman he cannot have, comes up with a daring plan to save her husband. Written by Jim Beaver. [link]

MOVIE - Dickens: A Tale Of Two Cities 1939 [parts 1-15] (YouTube) Movie Based on Charles Dickens' novel of the French Revolution produced by David O. Selznick with Ronald Coleman. [link]

2 Timothy 1 - The Apostle Paul's final letter - Paul starts out his last letter with his consistent business as usual approach - Then sprinkled throughout and nearing the end (2 Timothy 4:6 ) Paul suddenly reveals something that is heavy on his heart, that he knows he is close to being called home to Heaven - The Apostle Paul then just as quickly returns to his business as usual format and closes out his last epistle -- '2 Timothy 1:7-12 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner [Paul's later and final imprisonment]: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called [invited] us with an holy calling, *not according to our works, **but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But [the plans and purposes of God] is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath *abolished death, and *hath brought life and *immortality to light through the Gospel [His cross and resurrection]: Whereunto I am appointed a Preacher, and an Apostle, and a Teacher of the Gentiles. For the which [Gospel] cause I also suffer these [persecution] things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: ***for I know [Jesus] whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that [human soul and spirit] which I have committed unto Him against that day [of eternal judgment].' - {1. The Apostle Paul seemed to know from God that he was going to be offered as an acceptable sacrifice offering but Paul had been spared so many times (i.e. Acts 27:42-43) and he might not have been exactly sure of the moment. 2. The Apostle Paul desperately wanted the Christian Church to continue on and to function normally even after his departure. Paul wanted Timothy to not give up and go home but to still conduct Church business in Rome and elsewhere whether or not Paul was still alive and still in need of his clothing and materials that he had requested Timothy bring to him at prison in Rome.}

2 Timothy 1:13-18 Hold fast the form of sound Words [from the Bible], which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing [Christian ministry] which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. **This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. *The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well. - The Apostle Paul continues what would become his last letter with a slightly more personal tone and reveals that once again most of the Christians who were with Paul had abandoned him in another desperate hour of need and persecution.

2 Timothy 2 - Paul reiterates the necessity of applying and generously appropriating the grace of Jesus Christ into the individual efforts of day to day ministry - In other words don't be too hard on yourself in ministry but instead keep Jesus Christ in focus and trust that God is working daily in all events unto His ultimate Glory -- '2 Timothy 2:1-3 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me [openly] among many witnesses, the same [doctrines] commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness [hardship], as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.'

2 Timothy 2:8-13 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David [Tribe of Judah] was raised [resurrection] from the dead according to [as also taught in] my gospel [preaching]: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the Word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal Glory. **It is a faithful saying: For *if we be dead with Him, *we shall also live with Him: *If we suffer, *we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us: If we believe not, yet He [exists] abideth faithful: He cannot deny himself. - Note: The reality is that the 1st Coming of Jesus Christ was to accomplish His sacrificial death, burial and resurrection on our behalf and Jesus did completely accomplish His 1st Coming in order to remove sin from the world. It is therefore imperative that we suffer in the same world that Jesus suffered in and was rejected in if we desire to identify with Jesus to the point of then living and reigning in the new world after the 2nd Coming Kingdom reign of Jesus Christ. - Also Note: the verse "if we deny Him, He also will deny us" if we deny Jesus after knowing all that He did for us He will deny us and not Himself and the verse goes on to say "yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself" Jesus will continue to exist and continue to reign and rule whether or not we approve. Jesus Christ is not the figment of someone's imagination and just because we can remove Him from our mind it does not mean that we can remove Jesus Christ from reality.

2 Timothy 3 - The Apostle Paul seems to have been given a unique understanding of the events and condition of the 'Last Days' of the Christian Church -- '2 Timothy 3:1-5 This know also, that in the Last Days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection [a seared conscience], trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a [societal] form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.'

2 Timothy 3:10-17 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra [Timothy's hometown]; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and *all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. *But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, *deceiving, **and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures [Holy Bible], **which are able to make thee wise unto salvation *through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. - Note: The continuing and widening contrast between the Christian and the non-Christian just like in Jeremiah (Jeremiah 24:1-10) where eventually the figs (people) were either really good, pleasant and desirous in the sight of God or the figs were really bad and unpleasing to God but there were no in between figs. - Also Note: The "deceiving, and being deceived" is really the rails that ungodliness runs on. First a person has to deceive themselves before they can deceive others and this deception applies in the spirit realm as well. Satan first deceived himself (Isaiah 14:13) then he deceived 1/3 of the angels (Revelation 12:4) into rebelling with him and now besides the fallen angelic realm there is also the lesser demonic realm and Satan has seemingly a separate deception for the demonic real. Meaning that there are multiple layers of deception taking place [throughout multiple realms] in order to deceive the fallen angelic realm, the separate demonic realm and also to deceive mankind. Seemingly at one moment angelic [Antichrist] deception is occurring within the human realm, then demonic [violence] deception, then human [there is no God and no spirit realm] deception and then back to fallen angelic deception as mankind is continually being witnessed against by the various competing and interlocking deceptions.

2 Timothy 4 - The Apostle Paul's final admonishment to his fellow Christian brothers and co-laborers with him in the faith of Jesus Christ -- '2 Timothy 4:1-5 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick [living] and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the Word [Bible]; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come [End Times] when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the Truth [of Jesus Christ], and shall be turned unto fables [i.e. The Da Vinci Code]. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist [spread the Gospel], make full proof of [confirm with God] thy ministry.'

The Bible's book of 2nd Timothy concludes: 2 Timothy 4:6-22 For I am now [mentally and physically] ready to be offered [as an acceptable sacrifice to God], **and {bombshell announcement!} the time of my departure is at hand. **I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: **Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that [Bema east Judgment (2 Corinthians 5:6-10)] day: **and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His [presence and] appearing. {Paul then immediately returns to business as usual for the Christian Church} Do thy diligence [continue on] to come shortly unto me [there is the slight chance at another stay of execution]: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. *Only Luke is with me {it seems that Luke might have penned this letter for Paul as Paul was vigorously chained at this time and could probably only dictate briefly to Luke}. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. **And [continuing the ministry] Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. The cloke [cloak] that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments [scrolls]. Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware [wise about] also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. **At my first answer [trial] no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding **the Lord stood with me, **and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: **and I was delivered [from the previous imprisonment] out of the mouth of the lion [the circus or the Colosseum (Amphitheatre in Rome)]. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and **will preserve me unto His heavenly Kingdom: ***to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren. The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen. - Note: Luke who wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts was with Paul at the time of the letter (2nd Timothy) and probably until the end and it seems that Paul and Luke decided to gloss over the death of Paul [and later Peter] and treat it as just one of the many Christian deaths that were occurring at the time. It's possible Paul and Luke also thought it might be detrimental to Timothy, Titus and to many of the young ministers if they suddenly found out that Paul had been executed and most of all they certainly did not want the death of Paul to be written into the scriptures where it might even slightly compete with the Biblical message of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It seems that 2nd Timothy ends very much the same way that the Book of Acts intentionally ends with the topic of Christian doctrine [and not specific martyrdoms] being discussed between the Jews and Christians creating the emphasis of the Christian message and of the a continuation of the same Christian work that so many faithful Saints had given so much to in building on the original foundation laid by Jesus Christ.

TITUS

Background of Titus - Paul wrote this letter to Titus, a young [Gentile] pastor, who faced the unenviable assignment of setting things in order in the church at Crete - Crete is the largest island in the Mediterranean - The inhabitants of Crete had an evil reputation, a fact witnessed not only by Paul, but also by others - Their lying was famous, so much so that 'to act the Cretan' was a synonym for 'to play the liar' - Their morals were low and the wine of Crete was famous, drunkenness was everywhere - The low standard of morality among the Cretans had doubtless had an adverse influence on the lives of the believers

It appears that the chief problem in Crete came from false teachers, mainly, Jewish, 'of the circumcision' who are described by Paul as 'unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers'. (Titus 1:10) They were teaching 'Jewish fables' (Titus 1:14) and introducing 'foolish questionings, and genealogies, and strifes, and fightings about the law' (Titus 3:9). Occasion: Paul wrote this letter to Titus, a young pastor, who faced the unenviable assignment of setting things in order in the church at Crete. It seems that the immediate reason for the writing of Titus was the forthcoming visit of Apollos and Zenas to Crete. (Titus 3:13) Paul took the opportunity to write to Titus. He was prompted to write because of his personal observation of conditions on Crete and his realization that Titus would need the encouragement and authorization which the letter would give him. ... Paul also writes advising him to appoint elders, men of proven spiritual character in their homes and businesses, to oversee the work of the church. But elders are not the only individuals in the church who are required to stand tall spiritually. Men and women, young and old, have their vital functions to fulfill in the church if they are to be living examples of the doctrine they claim to believe. Throughout this letter to Titus, Paul stresses the necessary practical outworking of salvation in the daily lives of the elders and congregation alike. [link]

Titus 1 - The Apostle Paul's letter to Titus an accomplished Gentile Pastor - Where the much beloved Timothy was having abundant problems in his ministry, in his health and probable even problems sleeping at night - The Pastor Titus was seeing a lot of success in his ministries - Titus also occasionally traveled with Paul (Galatians 2:1) and went with Paul and Barnabas on an earlier visit to Jerusalem - Titus was sent to the Church in Corinth (2 Corinthians 7:6) and very much helped stabilize the situation - Titus was then pastoring in the extremely difficult neighborhood of the Island of Crete -- 'Titus 1:5 For this cause left I [Paul] thee in Crete, that thou [Titus] shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee'

Titus 1:10-16 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching [pseudo Jewish-Christian] things which they ought not, for filthy [money] lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to [false] Jewish [Kabbalistic] fables, *and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. ***Unto the pure ***all things are pure: **but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is **nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; *but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate [irresponsible]. - Note: Titus and Luke were among the first of the successful Gentile Church Pastors and Titus as an early Gentile apparently was a particular target of rogue Jewish practitioners. The type of Judaism that Paul seems to be addressing was a non-traditional 'Jewish fable' [i.e. Kabbalistic] type of doctrine that was being packaged and sold to some unsuspecting Gentiles by some less than devout Jews. - Also Note: One of the greatest Christian verses in the entire Bible "Unto the pure all things are pure ..." this verse is a great reminder as we try to be pure and holy while we live our lives before God.

Titus 2 - Paul points out the simple fact that the manner and way that the Pastor speaks and teaches in his local fellowship is the direction that the Church is going to go in -- 'Titus 2: 1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine ...'

Titus 2:11-15 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation *hath appeared to all men, *Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, **in this present world; ***Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, *zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. - The Apostle Paul reiterates and confirms much of what Pastor Titus is already doing and accomplishing in his ministry in and among his fellow Gentiles.

Titus 3 - The Apostle Paul reminds Titus to instruct his congregation to live constantly in an eternal, heavenly perspective -- 'Titus 3:1-7 Put them [congregation] in mind to be subject to principalities [lit. highest powers - God] and powers [lit. freedoms], to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. **For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. ***But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed on us *abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by His grace, ***we should be made heirs [inheritors] according to the hope of eternal life.'

The Bible's book of Titus concludes: Titus 3:8-15 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. *A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; **Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter. Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them. And let ours [fellow Christians] also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful. All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

PHILEMON

Philemon: Introduction - Even though this letter is a brief, personal note to a friend, it shows up in the early canon lists (Marcion's [Cannon of 144 A.D.] and the Muratorian [Cannon 170-200 A.D.]) - Further, the ancient church never doubted its authenticity

Epistle - Place of Origin: The traditional view that this letter was written while Paul was in a Roman prison has been assailed from two corners: some claim Ephesus is a better starting point, others suggest Caesarea. Before deciding on this issue, it must first be recognized that, on the assumption of authenticity, where Paul was when he wrote Ephesians is where he was when he wrote Colossians and Philemon. This can be seen by several pieces of evidence: the commendation of Tychicus, as the bearer of the letter, found in exactly the same form in both Eph 6:21-22 and Col 4:7-8, surely indicates that he was sent with both epistles at the same time; the strong verbal overlap between Colossians and Ephesians must, if authentic, indicate that the two were written at the same time; Colossians is inseparable from Philemon3-that is, they must both have been sent at the same time. Hence, all three letters were written and sent at the same time. Consequently, if there is anything in either Colossians or Philemon which helps to narrow down where Paul was imprisoned at the time of writing, such would equally apply to Ephesians. ... Occasion and Purpose: As we have discussed at length in our introductions to Ephesians and Colossians, Onesimus apparently ran away from Philemon, his pockets lined with his owner's money, and headed for Rome. He may have stumbled across Epaphroditus, who was also en route to Rome; if so, Epaphroditus may have urged him to seek out Paul in order to gain advice. While with Paul, Onesimus became a Christian (v. 10), and proved himself "useful" (a word-play on his name) to Paul. The apostle wrote this letter to Philemon, asking Philemon to reinstate Onesimus-this time as a "dear brother" (v. 16), rather than as a slave. Although Paul could command Philemon to do so, he urges him instead, hoping that Philemon will be willing without coercion. Further, to show his sincerity, Paul vows to pay back whatever Onesimus owes (vv. 18-19). [link]

PHILEMON Background: Onesimus who was probably a domestic slave of Philemon's and had run away, stole some money from Philemon (vs. 18) to afford the getaway - We need to remember that slavery was an accepted institution in the Roman Empire - Romans and Greeks brought multitudes of slaves (old and young) home from their wars, and the buying and selling of slaves was a part of their daily life

Apparently Onesimus fled across Asia, across the Aegean Sea and the Adriatic Sea to Rome. At Rome he was under the influence of Paul, was saved, and later returned to Colosse [Colossians 4:9 - note: Paul never visited Colosse himself]. Onesimus quickly grew in grace and endeared himself to Paul (vs. 11, 12) proving so serviceable to Paul that he would have gladly detained him in Rome (vs. 13) but Paul realized he belonged to Philemon so the Apostle took the opportunity to send him back with Tychicus, bearing the Colossian epistle and the private note to Philemon. -- The Letter: Paul's letter to Philemon was written to be the mediation between Onesimus and his outraged master. Terrible punishment was sanctioned by Roman law for such offenses; even the death penalty. A slave was absolutely at his master's mercy; for the smallest offense he might be scourged, mutilated, crucified, thrown to wild beasts, etc. But Philemon was a Christian, and therefore, when Paul writes this letter he appeals to his Christian character. [link]

Philemon - Thru the Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee - Christianity does not do away our duties to others, but directs [us] to the right doing of them (Mp3)

Christianity does not do away our duties to others, but directs to the right doing of them. True penitents will be open in owning their faults, as doubtless Onesimus had been to Paul, upon his being awakened and brought to repentance; especially in cases of injury done to others. The communion of saints does not destroy distinction of property. This passage is an instance of that being imputed to one, which is contracted by another; and of one becoming answerable for another, by a voluntary engagement, that he might be freed from the punishment due to his crimes, according to the doctrine that Christ of his own will bore the punishment of our sins, that we might receive the reward of his righteousness. Philemon was Paul's son in the faith, yet he entreated him as a brother. Onesimus was a poor slave, yet Paul besought for him as if seeking some great thing for himself. Christians should do what may give joy to the hearts of one another. From the world they expect trouble; they should find comfort and joy in one another. When any of our mercies are taken away, our trust and hope must be in God. We must diligently use the means, and if no other should be at hand, abound in prayer. Yet, though prayer prevails, it does not merit the things obtained. And if Christians do not meet on earth, still the grace of the Lord Jesus will be with their spirits, and they will soon meet before the throne to join forever in admiring the riches of redeeming love. The example of Onesimus may encourage the vilest sinners to return to God, but it is shamefully prevented, if any are made bold thereby to persist in evil courses. Are not many taken away in their sins, while others become more hardened? Resist not present convictions, lest they return no more. [link]

Philemon 1 - Philemon - The Apostle Paul's personal letter to a friend a successful businessman [from Colossae] whom Paul had met probably in Ephesus [Paul never made it to Colossae] - Philemon had a slave that ran away [and probably stole something] from Philemon and Paul asked Philemon to receive the slave Onesimus back, not as a runaway slave as he had been but now as a free brother in Jesus Christ to both Paul and Philemon - It's not recorded but Church tradition is that Philemon did receive Onesimus back and did grant him his freedom -- 'Philemon 1:15-16 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him forever; Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?'

The Bible's book of Philemon concludes: Philemon 1:17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. *If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, **put that on mine account; I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides. Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord. Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say. But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you. There salute thee Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus; Marcus [Mark], Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas [Luke], my fellow laborers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

HEBREWS

Introduction: The Book of Hebrews - The Book of Hebrews is probably the main content from the Apostle Paul's Synagogue visiting ministry [Acts 17:2] - Acts 9:15 'for he [Paul] is a chosen vessel unto Me (Jesus), to bear My Name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the [Jews] Children of Israel' - The Apostle Peter mentions Paul's Book of Hebrews in 2 Peter 3:15-16 'our beloved brother [Apostle] Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written [Book of Hebrews] unto you; as also in all his [other] epistles' - The Book of Hebrews is unsigned and undelivered most likely indicating that Paul wrote it himself while in Jerusalem and that Paul personally gave it to the Church in Jerusalem

The Book of Hebrews from the earliest times of the Christian Church has been attributed to the Apostle Paul without any previous controversy. It has only been in more recent times that scholars have attempted to remove the Apostle Paul from his writing. The Apostle Peter had read Paul's Book of Hebrews and mentions it along with his other epistles in one of Peter's writings. - '2 Peter 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation [Hebrews 2:10]; even as our beloved brother [Apostle] Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written [Book of Hebrews] unto you; As also in all his [other] epistles ...' - The original proclamation by God for the Apostle Paul is in Acts 9:15 'But the Lord said unto him [Ananias], Go thy way: for he [Paul] is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My Name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the Children of Israel' the Apostle Paul is to reach with his ministry; Gentiles, Kings, and Jews. Paul starts out his ministry reasoning with Jews on every Sabbath (Saturday) in the Synagogues as was his custom [Acts 17:2]. - In short on a visit to Jerusalem [Acts 21:17] the Apostle Paul was entangled in Christian Jewish customs and Temple rituals and it was in attempting to appease the Christian Church leaders in Jerusalem that the Apostle Paul was talked in to joining in on a Temple vow with some other Christians. The Apostle Paul went to the Temple in Jerusalem with the other Jewish Christians and was spotted by some of the Jews who had been outside of Jerusalem and were in opposition to his preaching. A riot ensued and the Apostle Paul was ultimately arrested by the Roman guards and held in confinement in the Roman 'castle' dungeon probably the same place where John the Baptist had early been confined by Herod. While in confinement it's most likely that the Apostle Paul figured that his long intended letter to the Hebrews in Jerusalem was in order and Paul wrote down in a sense the same message that he had been reasoning with all along with all the Jews in every synagogue he entered. Probably the Book of Hebrews is the main content of the Apostle Paul's synagogue visits. Unlike the Book of Romans the Book of Hebrews is undelivered and unlike the Book of Galatians the Book of Hebrews is unsigned because likely the Book of Hebrews was written in Jerusalem [while confined in the castle] and was not delivered by messenger but was given from the hand of Paul into the hands of Peter or possibly via the nephew of Paul [Acts 23:16 'Paul's sister's son'] into the hands of Peter and to the rest of the Christian Church in Jerusalem.

Perpetual Bible Study - Book of Hebrews: Background - The writer of Hebrews [Apostle Paul] understood this - It not would do for him to present the gospel merely as an alternative to Judaism; he had to clearly demonstrate the superiority of Christ - And that is the key - Hebrews is a book of comparisons, but it is not Judaism compared to Christianity, but Judaism compared to Christ - He is the difference - He is greater than angels, He is the [High] Priest after the order of Melchizedek, He is the perfect sacrifice, and so on

It is always useful to recall that Christianity did not originate "in a vacuum", so to speak. The gospel was first preached in Jerusalem, to a culture with a deeply entrenched religion and deep-seated beliefs. The religion and the culture were inextricably linked; it is not for nothing that the word "Jew" can equally describe a person's ethnicity or a person's religious affiliation. The two were practically synonymous in N.T. times. - Thus Jews in the first century had a very difficult decision to make when presented with the gospel. There are those who tried to bring Judaic ways into the church; these attempts were addressed at Jerusalem, as recorded in Acts 15. (It is a sad footnote of history that the legalizers eventually got their way, and many churches today essentially practice old-time Judaism with a Christian veneer.) But many others were faced with an either/or choice; reject the gospel and maintain your old ways as a Jew, or take the step of faith and accepting Christ, regardless of the consequences to your previous cultural standing. Let it not be said that this was a casual choice for anyone. - The writer of Hebrews understood this. It not would do for him to present the gospel merely as an alternative to Judaism; he had to clearly demonstrate the superiority of Christ. And that is the key. Hebrews is a book of comparisons, but it is not Judaism compared to Christianity, but Judaism compared to Christ. He is the difference. He is greater than angels, He is the priest after the order of Melchizedek, He is the perfect sacrifice, and so on. - The key phrase to me in the book of Hebrews is "a new and living way" (Heb. 10:20). That is what the gospel is. The O.T. rituals and observances were useful as patterns and shadows of things to come, but they could never meet the real needs of the Jewish people, or indeed of anyone. There is real life, eternal life, in the gospel. [link]

Hebrews 1 - The Apostle Paul's Trilogy of Systematic Theology to the Nations [Romans, Galatians, Hebrews] - The Book of Hebrews is to give the Hebrew, Jewish Nation a perspective of their past, present and future glory with God in Jesus Christ the risen Savior, Messiah - 'Hebrews 1:8-9 But unto the Son He (Father) saith, *Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness [the cross] is the sceptre [rule] of Thy Kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy [Father] God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy [human] fellows.'

Hebrews 1:1-4 God, who at sundry times [in history] and in divers manners spake in time past unto the [Jewish] fathers by the Prophets, Hath in these *last days {after the cross it's the last days until the second coming} spoken unto us by His Son (Jesus), whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds [physical and spiritual realms]; Who being the brightness [equal in Glory] of His [Father God's] Glory, and the express image [exact representation] of His [Father God's] person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself [carried His cross] purged our sins, [resurrected and] sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High; Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.' - The Apostle Paul immediately sets out the Divinity and the Superiority of Jesus Christ even over the angels. Paul notes that Jesus is both the creator and the inheritor of all things. Then Paul presents a reminder that the present universe is going to vanish and concluding that Jesus Christ as the creator, inheritor and redeemer of the Universe is not just an improved version of Judaism but is the ultimate consummation of the plan of God given throughout the ages to all mankind and to miss out on the plans of Jesus Christ is to miss out on the one and only plan available to mankind. Note: It is important to know that Jesus is currently seated at the right hand of the Father in Majesty on High. Any thought or notion of the previously rejected Jesus is an ancient aberration of human history as Jesus is currently reigning and ruling in Authority, Splendor, Majesty and Glory while all heaven rejoices at the presence of Jesus Christ. -- Also Note: A clarification technically Daniels' 70th Week [Last Days] began on the day of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem [Palm Saturday or Palm Sunday depending on how you figure it] so about six days, Saturday Triumphal Entry through the Thursday crucifixion, of Daniel's 70th week have happened. With the crucifixion the 70th week came to a temporary halt until the fullness of the Gentiles [Acts 15:17] can be brought in. - 'Daniel 9:20-27 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people [Jews] and upon thy Holy City [Jerusalem], to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision [Law] and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy (Jesus). Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah (Jesus) the Prince shall be seven weeks [seven Jewish decades 49 years - these weeks were the Jewish decade of seven years the Levitical decade seventh year of release], and threescore and two weeks [62 Jewish decades 434 years]: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks [the 434 years] shall Messiah be cut off [crucifixion], but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And He [Antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [the 70th and final week regarding Jerusalem]: and in the midst of the week at [3½ years] he [Antichrist] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation [in the rebuilt Temple] to cease, and for the overspreading [saturation] of abominations [evil] he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation [end of the Book of Revelation], and that determined shall be poured [vial (measured) judgments of Revelation 16:1] upon the desolate.'

Hebrews 2 - The Apostle Paul continues to build his case and lay the ground work that in Christianity there is something going on that is bigger than Judaism and in fact Christianity in the risen Jesus Christ is encompassing both heaven and earth and both our mortal and eternal existence - 'Hebrews 2:14-15 Forasmuch then as the Children [God's Children] are partakers of flesh and blood, He (Jesus) also Himself likewise took part of the same [flesh and blood]; that through death He might destroy him [Satan and sin] that had the power of death, that is, the Devil; *And deliver them who through fear of death [fear of dying] were all their lifetime subject to [phobia of death] bondage.'

Hebrews 2:8-13 Thou [Father God] hast put all things in subjection [authority] under His feet (Soul) [foot or feet can also can represent the soul in the Bible]. For in that He (Jesus) put all in subjection [at the cross] under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we see not yet all [earthly societal, political] things put under Him. But we (Christians) see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, Crowned with Glory and Honour; that He by the grace [individuality] of God should taste death [separation from God] forevery man. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many Sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect (complete) [even though God suffers and grieves in every wrong that is committed against every human some might think that God does not see or has not suffered as humans have so God also took on our physical form and suffered physically as we have suffered just so we could know for certain that God having willingly suffered with us physically is also more than willing and able to bring us into His presence and into a deep intimate relationship with Himself] through sufferings. For both He that sanctifieth [cleanses] and they who are sanctified [cleansed by Jesus] are all of one body]: for which cause He (Jesus) is not ashamed to call them [Christians] brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto My brethren, in the midst of the Church [Heavenly Congregation including Angels] will I sing praise unto thee. - All things are in "subjection" to Jesus Christ. Note: It's important to keep in mind that when the Bible talks about the "world" it is talking more about the world social and political system and not so much about the physical earth itself. Technically the world "social political" system was redeemed [brought back into the presence and authority of God] but the earth itself has never been out of God's possession [Psalms 50:12]. Besides the physical earth is going to pass away [Hebrews 1:11] so it would not need redeeming. In the beginning Dominion (authority) over the earth [Genesis 1:26] was given to Adam and Eve but possession of the earth as an inheritance from God was never given to them so not possessing the physical earth they did not lose it to Satan. One of the first mentions, besides the Book of Psalms of humans inheriting the earth is during Jesus' Sermon on the Mount [Matthew 5:5] and Jesus explains that "the meek shall inherit the earth" [the new earth]. Satan in not in possession of the earth and never having been Satan has always been a trespasser on the earth though he does have some ability to deceive and he did before the cross of Jesus have more power and authority over the decisions, politics and social structure of mankind. The powers of Satan have been broken for the Christian by Jesus on the cross. Satan is deceiving mankind into thinking that he has some form of real power, authority or ownership however he has only a short Antichrist kingdom that God will give to him and it will last only a short seven years [3 ½ in apparent secret leadership and 3 ½ in outright leadership]. Also note that Satan not having any substantial kingdom on earth is completely without any kind of kingdom or authority in hell. When finally confined in hell Satan is another inhabitant in hell no more and no less.

Hebrews 3 - The Apostle Paul continues to explain the Divinity of Jesus Christ in that Jesus' authority, creation abilities and congregation [gathering] spans both heaven [Angels and Saints] and the earth [humans, all things] unlike the great human endeavors - Even the accomplishments of Moses are limited and were only performed here on earth -- 'Hebrews 3:1-2 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the *Apostle and *High Priest of our (Christian) profession, *Christ Jesus; Who was faithful [in Heaven and on earth, all things] to Him [Father God] that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house [Nation of Israel].' - 'Hebrews 1:6 And again, when He (Father) bringeth in the firstbegotten (Jesus) into the world, He saith, And let all the Angels of God worship Him (Jesus).'

'Hebrews 3:4-6 Forevery house [establishment, Nation] is builded by some man [laws of Moses]; but He that built all things [physical and spiritual realms] is God (Jesus). And Moses verily was faithful in all his house [Nation of Israel], *as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; *But Christ as a Son over His own house [Heaven and earth]; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.' - 'Hebrews 2:10 For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.' - 'Hebrews 1:10 And, Thou, Lord (Jesus), in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands' - 'Hebrews 1:1-2 God, ... Hath in these last days spoken unto us [all humans] by His Son, whom He hath appointed Heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds [physical and spiritual realms];' - The superiority of Jesus Christ over Moses extends beyond the fact that Moses was a servant of God and that Jesus is the Son of God it also extends into the realms of their dominion. Moses served during the beginning and development of the Nation of Israel [Israel went into Egypt as a family (70 people) and upon their delivery from Egypt (some 200 years later) they left as a Nation (approx. 2.5 million people) the Nation of Israel]. Moses oversaw the beginning and building of the Nation of Israel however Joshua (Jesus) led them into the Promise Land and established them there. Jesus, God from Heaven has completed us in all things. Jesus created us and sustains our life, Jesus redeemed our soul back to Himself and has given to us of His eternal Spiritual life, Jesus has gone back into Heaven to prepare a place for us. The accomplishments of Moses and any human for that matter are so inconsequential when compared to the accomplishments of Jesus Christ that humans and also Angels shouldn't even be compared to Jesus.

Hebrews 4 - Having established that the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is both in Heaven and on earth and that it lasts for all eternity - The Apostle Paul now directs people to actually make sure that we enter into the eternal Kingdom of Jesus Christ - The way to know that we have entered into His Kingdom is that we have ceased from our works and have entered into a personal relationship of trust and rest with God -- 'Hebrews 4:1 Let us (Christians) therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His [eternal] rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.'

Hebrews 4:9-12 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us labour [make sure] therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall [in the wilderness] after the same example of unbelief. For the Word of God is quick [alive], and powerful [transforming], and sharper [makes a bigger difference] than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit [with spiritual implications], and of the joints and marrow [with physical implications], and is a Discerner [Judge] of the thoughts and intents of the heart. - The Kingdom of God is inherited based on our trusting and resting in the finished and completed works [cross, resurrection] of Jesus Christ. When we enter into God's rest provided only through Jesus Christ we have then entered into a personal relationship with God. Much of our personal relationship with God is going to involve our Prayer to God and our hearing from God in reading His Bible 'the Word of God'. When we read the Bible it should Judge us, lead us, guide us and direct us into a closer and more intimate relationship with God provided that our relationship with God is based on the trust and rest provided by the accomplished, finished and completed works of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 5 - Having made certain that we have entered into the right Kingdom the Kingdom of Jesus Christ the Kingdom of security and rest and that we have not been deceived into some kingdom of works, strife, envy and worry - the Apostle Paul will now goes into a long discussion about the Priesthood of Jesus' Divine Priestley Kingdom -- 'Hebrews 5:10 [Jesus] Called of God an High Priest after the order of Melchisedec (Melchizedek).'

'Hebrews 5:8-10 Though He (Jesus) were a Son, yet learned He [human] obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect [complete from heaven and also physically on earth], He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him; Called of God an High Priest [along with the Holy Spirit and Father God as each is the High Priest having access to themselves] after the [eternal] order of Melchisedec.' - Jesus is the Melchizedek High Priest encompassing and administrating both Heaven and earth for all eternity. It is necessary to show that Jesus is Divine from Heaven to have authority in Heaven but then the amazing component in Jesus' Kingdom of human Christianity is that God stepped down from heaven and became a human entering into our likeness, enduring what we endure He is completely able to relate to us from our level making Jesus complete (perfect) to be the High Priest in both Heaven and on earth. The Apostle Paul is instructing that where the Levitical/Aaronic priesthood was earthly based and physical and therefore limited in existence [only for the Jewish Nation], extent [the atonement had to be repeated yearly] and duration [the Levitical Priesthood ceased when Jesus was on the cross with the tearing of the Temple veil (Matthew 27:51)]. However the perfect, complete eternal Melchizedek Priesthood is sufficient for both in Heaven and on earth encompassing both the Angelic realm and the Human realm in the one Divine mediation authority of Jesus Christ. -- 'Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in Heaven.'

Hebrews 6 - The Apostle Paul is instructing the Jewish segment of the Christian Church that their redemption in Judaism once combined with the Salvation of Christianity is permanent and that for anyone Jew or Gentile to reject Jesus Christ after having experienced eternal Salvation is to forfeit salvation and receive eternal damnation - 'Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those [Jews or Gentiles] who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the [eternal] world to come, If they shall fall away [reject God], to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.' -- The Hebrews/Jews are redeemed by God but the difference between Jewish redemption and Christian salvation is immense. - The Jews are a part of the full plans of Jesus to the extent that Jesus came as a Jew and is Jewish. Jesus is not a Gentile.

'Hebrews 6:13 For when God made Promise to Abraham, because He could Swear [Promise] by no greater, He Sware [witnessed] by Himself,' - Rejecting God: A relationship with God is an individual decision. God has already made it clear even to the point of going to the cross that He is available for a relationship with all mankind through Jesus Christ. For a Gentile to reject Jesus is a personal spiritual decision that they have to make for themselves. Jesus has not rejected anyone therefore regardless of our human inabilities and actions while a person is alive and on this earth there remains a relationship with God in Jesus Christ. - The Patience of God: Patience is a Divine attribute it is not a human attribute therefore we cannot subscribe our limited knowledge of human patience to the Patience of God. God is Patient and Compassionate with all of mankind sinner and saint our so called sinful thought, desires, lies and covenants even with death and hell are lies [misrepresentations of God] and as lies they do not stand either for some form of good or for any form of evil because God does not acknowledge them they simple do not existence in any form with God. What is in existence with God is Zion and the one True plan of God in Jesus Christ. - 'Isaiah 28:15-18 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay *in Zion for a foundation a stone (Jesus Christ), a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: *he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. *And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.'

Hebrews 7 - If Melchizedek where human it would be a redundant Aaronic Priesthood but Melchizedek is not human He is eternal and Spiritual and therefore not a redundant human Priesthood - Melchizedek is superior to even Abraham - Abraham was blessed by God yet Melchizedek blessed Abraham - Jacob then having the blessing of Abraham from God blessed the Pharaoh of Egypt [Genesis 47:7] - Its simply not possible that Abraham would have received the blessing of a human after having received the blessings of God - Abraham did receive the blessing from Melchizedek -- 'Hebrews 7:1 For this Melchisedec [Melchizedek], King of Salem [Peace], Priest of [from God, of God] the Most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;'

'Hebrews 7:3-4 [Melchizedek] Without father [no earthy father], without mother [no earthly mother, at least at that time or more likely Melchizedek was an appearance of the Holy Spirit], without descent [preexistent], having neither beginning of days [eternal], nor end of [spiritual] life [everlasting]; *but made [manifested] like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this *man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.' - The entire concept of the Book of Hebrews and in fact all of Christianity is that God became a 'man' a human Priest in order to officiate a sacrifice on behalf of all mankind to God. The Sacrifice that Jesus performed was the Atonement sacrifice a sacrifice that amends the offenses of one party against another party. Mankind has offended God, God has not offended mankind nor Himself. God is not offering Atonement to mankind [God has not sinned against mankind] it is mankind that has sinned against God and is offering Atonement to God it is then up to God to either accept or reject the atonement offering and in Jesus Christ God has accepted the Atonement offering for all mankind for all eternity. If Jesus did not become a 'man' a human then the sacrifice of Jesus would be Atonement from God to God however the way between God has never been blocked. Had Jesus taken on the appearance of an Angel [Hebrews 2:16] then the atonement and accompanying redemption would have been for Satan and the fallen angels and it would have excluded mankind. Jesus became a 'man' in order to offer to God to Atone for mankind all mankind. Satan and the fallen angels/demons are excluded from the Atonement and redemption of man to God. There is no provision for the sin of fallen angels or the demonic realm. The Atonement is a onetime access atonement either the way to God is Atoned [open] for mankind or it is closed to all mankind there are not hundreds or thousands or millions of individual atoning sacrifices from mankind to God and there are not any Atoning sacrifices offered from God to man because God has in no way offended mankind. Atonement is a 'man' offering to God to repair a broken relationship and once the sacrifice is acceptable to God the relationship is repaired and the way to God is now open in the acceptable Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 8 - The Levitical Priesthood offered limited atonement in that the sacrifices they offered to God were limited to the Nation of Israel however the Atonement of Jesus Christ is unlimited because it was offered on behalf of all mankind and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross being an acceptable Atoning sacrifice to God has opened the way to God and access to God is now available to all mankind through the Atonement blood of Jesus Christ -- 'Hebrews 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest.'

'Hebrews 8:1-10 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum [summary]: We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the Heavens; A minister of the [Heavenly] sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. Forevery High Priest is ordained [given authority] to offer gifts and sacrifices [to God]: wherefore it is of necessity that this man [Jesus] have somewhat also to offer. For if He were on earth, He (Jesus) should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests [Levitical] that offer gifts according to the law [of Moses]: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith He [God from Mt. Sinai], that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. But now hath He (Jesus) obtained a more excellent [eternal, Heavenly] ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant [New Testament], which was established upon better promises [crucifixion and resurrection life of Jesus]. For if that first covenant [O.T.] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them [followers of the O.T.], He saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord when I will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their [Jewish] fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in My covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those [O.T.] days, saith the Lord; I will put My Laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a [Spiritual] people:' - Note: The Levitical/Aaronic Priesthood represented the Old Testament but with the New Testament encompassing Heaven and earth the new eternal Melchizedek Priesthood supersedes the old priesthood and is now the only Priesthood in existence to enable mankind to enter into the presence and into a relationship with the Holy God.

Hebrews 9 - The Apostle Paul is now saying that in Jesus Christ Spiritual access into the once restricted Holiest presence of God is now available to all mankind -- 'Hebrews 9:1 Then verily the first covenant [Old Testament] had also ordinances *of divine service, *and a worldly sanctuary.' - 'Hebrews 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the Holiest of all was not yet made manifest [available], while as the first tabernacle [and later the Temple in Jerusalem] was yet standing [with the veil blocking the way keeping mankind apart from the Holiest presence of God]:' - Now! - 'Hebrews 10:19-20 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest [presence of God] by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living [spiritual] way, which He hath consecrated [made available] for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh' {into His Spirit realm that is now available to all mankind}

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once [one eternal sacrifice] offered [to God] to bear the sins of many [all who receive]; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time *without [regard to] sin [but] unto salvation [healing]. - There will be no reference to sin on the second coming of Jesus Christ. The sin of mankind was dealt with entirely on the first visit of Jesus with His death on the cross. There is no future work for removing sin and when Jesus returns the existence of any sin will have to immediately depart from His presence. At His return Jesus will to set up His 1,000 year righteous Kingdom reign here on earth.

Hebrews 10 - The Old Testament and the physical Levitical Priesthood that accompanied it have been permanently removed by the completed work of the first coming of Jesus Christ - The New Covenant with its eternal Spiritual Melchizedek Priesthood has now been permanently established "once for all" in the shed blood and eternal bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ -- 'Hebrews 10:5-10 Wherefore when He cometh [incarnate] into the world, He saith, [Levitical] Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a [physical] body hast Thou [Holy Spirit] prepared Me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I (Jesus), Lo, I come in the volume [pages] of the Book (Bible Scrolls) it is written of Me, to do thy will, O [Father] God. Above when He said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first [Old Testament], that He may establish the second [New Testament]. *By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.'

'Hebrews 10:16-25 This is the [New] Covenant that I [God] will make with them after those [O.T.] days, saith the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these [sins] is, there is no more [need for] offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living [Spiritual] way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; And having an [Melchizedek] High Priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled [by the blood sacrifice of Jesus] from an evil conscience, and our [Spiritual] bodies washed with pure water [Holy Bible]. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for He (Jesus) is faithful that promised [to enter us into Heaven]; And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the (Church) assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting [encouraging] one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day [Second Coming] approaching.' - With our sins removed by the sacrifice of Jesus and now having received the eternal Holy Spirit inside of us we are completely equipped for all things Spiritual. Having confessing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and by receiving His Holy Spirit we now have everything necessary for living a complete, full and successful eternal Spiritual life with God and with our fellow Christian brethren.

Hebrews 11 - The Apostle Paul writes what is now known has the Bible's 'Hall of Faith' in Hebrews Chapter 11 - 'Hebrews 11:16 But now they [men and women of faith] desire a better country, that is, an Heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city [a home in Heaven].'

'Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' - 'John 20:25-29 The other disciples therefore said unto him (Thomas), We have seen the [Resurrected] Lord. But he (Thomas) said unto them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, *I will not believe [in the resurrection of Jesus Christ to eternal life]. And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came [the Resurrected] Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith He (Jesus) to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and *be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto Him, *My [Resurrected] Lord and my [Living, eternal life giving] God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed [in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ]: *blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed [in the sinless eternal life giving resurrection of Jesus Christ].' Faith in the Bible is singular: There is only one type of faith and that is that God is the creator of and giver of Life both physical life and eternal spiritual life. - Along with the one type of faith that of life over death there is only one faith and that is in the Resurrection Life of Jesus Christ. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ includes His Divine nature via His Virgin Birth, His sinless life, His Atoning blood sacrifice on the cross, His Resurrection of eternal life and His freely giving of His eternal Spirit Life. - 'Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;' - 'Colossians 2:27 ... [the Resurrected Jesus] Christ in you, the hope of glory:'

Hebrews 12 - The Apostle Paul now encourages every Christian to have an eternal perspective and Heavenly focus of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ - Having an eternal Heavenly focus we are to live our lives in a holy Heavenly manner -- 'Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus *the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy [our Salvation] that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is [Resurrected] set down at the right hand of the throne of God.'

'Hebrews 12:22-29 But ye (Christians) are come unto mount Sion [Mt. Zion], and unto the City of the Living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of Angels, *To the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn (Jesus Christ), which are written in Heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect [completed with the Spirit life of Jesus], And to Jesus the [Melchizedek High Priest] mediator of the New Covenant, and to the [sinless] blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not Him [Holy Spirit] that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth [at Mt. Sinai], much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also Heaven [Book of Revelation]. And this Word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are [human] made, that those things which cannot be shaken [eternal Kingdom of Jesus] may remain. Wherefore we receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a [judge and administrator] consuming fire.' - We are directed to have an eternal heavenly focus. The world and all that exists in it is once again going to be shaken [Book of Revelation] and all the false gods and false ideologies of demons and of mankind will crumble to the ground only the New Testament Kingdom of Jesus Christ will remain. Therefore it is with great hope that we look to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ the only Kingdom that is capable of lasting and enduring for all eternity.

Hebrews 13 - The Apostle Paul concludes the Bible's Book of Hebrews -- 'Hebrews 13:20-21 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant [New Testament], Make you perfect [complete] in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be Glory forever and ever. Amen.'

'Hebrews 13:1-2 Let brotherly (Christian) love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained [interacted with] Angels unawares [unknowingly].' - Angels are 'ministering spirits' [Hebrews :14] in fact all of Heaven [Hebrews 12:1] is very aware and interested in the events of mankind on earth particularly in the witnessing and ministry in the Name of Jesus Christ. Anytime anyone is preaching, witnessing or ministering [helping, serving] in the Name of Jesus Christ the residents of Heaven are aware and are even intimately involved. The holy Angeles as members of God's Kingdom are always present when ministry is being performed (it is their ministry as well) and on occasion we might encounter the visible or discernable presence of a holy Angel or Angels. Angels are present when ministry and witnessing are taking place here on earth and likewise the Holy Spirit of God is of course always present and in fact all of heaven declares the Glory of God. When we enter into the plan of Salvation from God and participate in God's plan of Salvation by doing His ministry work and in spreading His Gospel we are a direct participant in the Kingdom of God and we join in with the other participants in God's Kingdom of Heaven being accomplished here on earth. - After the Apostle Paul concludes his letter to the Hebrews 13:21 he then apparently receives some Christian visitors [probably while he was incarcerated in Jerusalem] from Italy who inform Paul that Timothy has been released from jail. Paul has his visitors read his letter and apparently they found it to be a little on the tough love side. The Apostle Paul then adds a four verse addendum starting with requesting the readers to bear with his short tough message and he also tells of the news and of greetings delivered to him and to all the Church from the Christians in Italy. The completed letter is probably then handed directly to his fellow Jewish Christians and to the Church leaders in Jerusalem.

Cowboys and Angels (2000) - Written and Directed by Gregory C. Haynes - [warning - skip the DVD previews] (Movie - DVD)

User Comments : What a nice surprise to see Mia Kirshner in a movie where she doesn't take off her clothes or kiss other girls or look anorexic... I think Mia is an amazing actress, and I was surprised by this movie. It's one of those that you see in the video store and say, "I've never heard of that - wonder if it would be worth my time." It's certainly not the best movie I've ever seen, but it was refreshing to watch a love story where the characters didn't have to have sex on their first date to know they were compatible. I liked the story. The angel bit was a little strange, but who hasn't wondered if there are angels among us? This was my introduction to Adam Trese, and I found his character likable and believable. I was annoyed with Radha Mitchell. She kept getting in the way. I suppose she was included so that the movie would be called more than just "Cowboys." Because that might be lame. Anyway, a refreshing change from what Hollywood believes love is all about. Three cheers for Greg Haynes for tackling this project. [link]

DebbieSchlussel.com: Happy 'Jewish' New Year! - Tonight (Friday), at sundown, Rosh HaShanah-the Jewish New Year-begins - One of the two most important Jewish holidays the other is Yom Kippur, it marks the beginning of the Jewish "Ten Days of Repentance" [Rosh HaShanah (New Year) until the 'Day of Atonemet' Yom Kippur] {Having just finished studying the book of Hebrews its good timing in that at sundown (8/18/2009) it is the start of the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah and ten days of Jewish observances that concludes with the feast of Yom Kippur the 'Day of Atonement' - We pray God's blessing, peace and prosperity for the Nation of Israel and for all the Jews throughout the world who are in blessed observance of their Holy Feast Days.}

On the holiday, we traditionally eat apples with honey (and other items with honey) to signify that we seek a new year that is as sweet as that uber-sweet combination. (My favorite apples, BTW, are McIntosh.) The holiday ends at nightfall on Sunday Night. During two days of intense prayer at synagogue, we hear the blowing of a ram's horn (called a "shofar"), which makes several different kinds of sounds we are required to hear. ... To all of my Jewish readers and friends, Shanah Tovah u'Metukah KeTapuach B'Dvash-May You Have a Good New Year, As Sweet as an Apple with Honey. Thanks to all of my readers who sent me e-mails and i- and e-cards wishing me a Happy New Year. Right Back at Ya! I hope you have a happy and healthy new year. [DS] -- {Having just finished studying the Bible's Book of Hebrews it's good to know that as the Jews celebrate Yom Kippur that there will be no blood from bulls or goats this year and that animal blood is no longer necessary [Hebrews 8:8] since during the Jerusalem Passover with Jesus Christ He instituted the New Testament for the 'House of Israel'. A few days earlier with His triumphal enter into Jerusalem Jesus presented Himself as the Messiah to the world, He was not universally received as the Messiah however it's irrelevant whether or not mankind acknowledges the institutions of God pertaining to whether or not the edicts of God go into effect. Jesus is the Messiah reigning and ruling from Heaven whether mankind accepts it or not and just as important the New Testament for the Nation of Israel has been instituted whether it has been accepted or not. - It's hard to understand that the New Covent is strictly Jewish as it was initiated by Jesus during the Jerusalem Passover while Gentiles were excluded by God from the Passover even that very night. In the Gospel of John [John 12:20] we learn that at least two Greeks came to Jesus' disciples to see Jesus. Gentiles were in Jerusalem the very day of the New Testament Passover and were there to 'worship' at the Feast and wanted to see Jesus however they were sent away until after the cross and resurrection of Jesus. The cross and resurrection of Jesus is the only way that we Gentiles have access to Jesus. The New Testament is the covenant between God and Israel it is actually the Jews that are under the New Testament as Christians we enter into the New Covenant that was previously promised to Israel [Jeremiah 31:31] that has been enacted and given to Israel and it has been instituted and is in effect for the House of Israel.} [link]

JAMES

An Overview Of The Book Of James - These factors suggest that the date of writing could have been possibly around A.D. 45 - Such a date makes the Letter of James the first book and letter of the New Testament to have been written

It appears that the letter was written during the early period of the Jewish Christian Church. The letter was written to Jewish Christians who had been scattered among the nations. They were most likely scattered by the persecution of Jewish Christians that erupted in Jerusalem in connection with the stoning of Stephen in the early A.D. 30's (cf. Acts 7:58-8:2). Since the letter was written to Jewish Christians, and it does not include statements directed to Gentile Christians, it was probably written before the influx of Gentiles began, such as began to occur during Paul's first missionary journey, which has been dated as A.D. 46-48. With the influx of Gentile Christians into the church the Judaistic Controversy arose, which was settled by the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem in A.D. 49-50. The letter makes no reference to the troubles and strife that arose with the influx of the Gentiles. Nor does it state that the Jewish Christians should not trouble the Gentile Christians over observing the laws of Moses and especially the rite of circumcision. These factors suggest that the date of writing could have been possibly around A.D. 45. Such a date makes the Letter of James the first book and letter of the New Testament to have been written. ... Already in A.D. 44 James the brother of the Lord was the recognized leader of the church in Jerusalem. Shortly after the apostle John's brother James was put to death by King Herod Agrippa, and immediately after an angel released Peter from prison to save him from the same martyrdom, Peter instructed those in the house of Mary to report his release to "James and the brothers", meaning the members of the church of Jerusalem (cf. Acts 12:17). In A.D. 49-50 James was clearly the leader of the church of Jerusalem and a recognized authority within the Apostolic Council. He voiced the final decision of the council that the Gentiles should not be troubled about having to follow the laws of Moses, especially with regard to circumcision, in order to be saved (cf. Acts 15:3-21). As a result of James' decree the apostles, elders, and church of Jerusalem then sent a letter to the churches to uphold that they were saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus (cf. Acts 15:11,22-29). In his Letter to the Galatians, written about A.D. 52, Paul put James on a level of importance equal with that of the apostles (cf. Galatians 1:19), and stated that James together with Peter and John were the "reputed pillars" of the church in Jerusalem (cf. Galatians 2:9). James was such an influential person within the church of Jerusalem that Paul referred to Jewish Christians from Jerusalem as "certain men (who) came from James" (cf. Galatians 2:12). At the end of his third missionary journey when Paul brought the collection from the churches for the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, he reported to James with the collection (cf. Acts 21:17,18). James was so widely recognized in the early apostolic church that Jesus' brother Judas (cf. Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3) introduced himself in his Letter of Jude as "Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James" (Jude 1). [link]

Bible Study Notes James Introduction Part I by Dr. Richard J. Krejcir - James is a book about the application of our faith and the importance to learn and grow in Christ - That way, we can grow in faith and maturity so we can apply our Christian character and conduct in how we (relate) to others!

During the time of James, the church was at a crossroads of ending its "honeymoon" period of being ignored by the religious leaders, so they were growing and feeling comfortable and good. They were still a part of Judaism and had not split off from their roots. Now, they are being singled out and picked on. The persecutions were just starting; the two other Jameses in the New Testament had been martyred, Steven had been stoned to death, and many were leaving the faith because of fear. The Church was also starting to deal with the human, sinful nature of gossip, strife, carnality, slander, doctrinal arguments and power plays, so their faith was becoming useless and unproductive-the themes we still have with us today. The self-filled life and the focus on the will of ourselves was overtaking fulfillment in Him and seeking God's Will (John 1:16; 3:30; Eph. 1:23; 3:19; 4:13; Col. 1:19; Col. 1:25). James seeks to write an extolment of Christ and an encouragement to the saints to look to Christ in faith and not to their circumstances. Thus, we will then be able to live a righteous life and be a meaningful Christian. [link]

Background of James - whose epistle (letter) is said to be the first of the epistles called Catholic (Universal) - The book of James was not widely circulated and accepted by the early church - The church applied the rule that unless a book was apostolic it could not be canonical [placed in the Bible]

The book of James was not widely circulated and accepted by the early church. The church applied the rule that unless a book was apostolic it could not be canonical. The Muratorian Canon, which dates from 175 A.D. fails to list the epistle of James. The church fathers rarely make reference to it. After describing the martyrdom of James, Eusebius says 'such is the story of James, whose epistle is said to be the first of the epistles called Catholic. It is to be observed that its authenticity is denied, since few of the ancients quote it, as is also the case with the epistle called Jude's...nevertheless we know that these letters have been used publicly with the rest in most churches.' The Council of Carthage recognized the epistle of James as part of scripture in 397 A.D. It is interesting that the east recognized the epistle sooner than the west. During the Reformation Erasmus doubted whether James the brother of Jesus wrote the letter. Martin Luther was slow to accept it because it taught little about Christ, was not apostolic, stresses law instead of gospel, and opposes Paul on the doctrine of faith and works. Luther said 'I cannot put the letter among the chief books, though I would not thereby prevent anyone from putting him where he pleases and estimating him as he pleases; for there are many good sayings in it.' He placed it without a number at the end of his New Testament. William Tyndale also placed it as the last book in his translation. However subsequent English translations have placed it in its present spot. [link]

James 1 - James a servant (bond slave) of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ - Jude also uses the introduction of 'bond slave' - James and Jude were full brothers and half-brothers to Jesus Christ - Both James and Jude became believers after the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ their half-brother - While Peter was the first leader of the Church James being a half-brother of Jesus became the de facto first leader of the Church in Jerusalem and as leader James dealt with the many and divers problems and relationships of the early Church - 'James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God [Jesus] and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction [need], and to keep himself unspotted [pure] from the world'

The book of James is probably the first Chri