Revelation 1:1 A Gift to Jesus

Revelation 1:1 NKJV

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,

This book is a gift from God, written down by John, about the most important Person to walk on this earth.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

But do we really know our Lord when it seems there are so many different ideas as to just Who He is?

1. He never existed

Most mythicists believe that the accounts of Jesus Christ in the Bible were mostly, if not completely derived from myths created to deify a normal man who did exist but had nothing to do with Christianity. It sounds very much like the Jewish view of Jesus.

2. Spirit Being, Not Flesh

This is the Gnostic view of Jesus.

In Gnosticism, Jesus is seen as the embodiment of the supreme being who became incarnate to bring gnosis to the world. Some claimed He was just a man who attained gnosis while others taught that the Christ was a heavenly spirit separate from the man Jesus. This spirit came upon Him at His baptism and left Him just before His crucifixion.

One branch of this philosophy was known as “Docetism” — from the Greek term dokein, which means “to seem.” These heretics believed that Jesus was not a real, flesh-and-blood man; he merely “appeared” to be.

3. The First-Created Being

Those affiliated with the Watchtower Society allege that Jesus Christ, was not an eternal being. Instead, it is claimed, he was “the first of God’s creations.

4. An Angel

Another theory of this group is the claim that Jesus is to be identified with Michael, the arch-angel.

4. Same Person As The Father

Those who are affiliated with the United Pentecostal Church contend that “Jesus” is merely the earthly name of God, the Father. They allege there is but one person who is God, but that “God” is represented in three manifestations — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Scripture, however, reveals a clear distinction between the Father and the Son, and between the Son and the Holy Spirit.

5, Messianic Manipulator

Jesus was a first-century huckster who manipulated people into believing he was the Messiah.

6. Good Man — Nothing More

A very common view regarding Christ is that he was merely a good man, perhaps a wise philosopher, but certainly not the Son of God. Modernists claim Jesus differed from ordinary men in degree, but not in kind.

6. One Prophet Among Many

Some accept Christ as a prophet of God but contend that he was merely one figure in a long line of divine spokesmen.

Islam

In Islam, Jesus (called Isa) was a prophet and a Messiah sent to the Israelites. He will return to earth at the end of times with the Mahdi to defeat the false Messiah.

The Mahdi (Guided One) is an eschatological redeemer of Islam who will appear and rule for five, seven, nine, or nineteen years, depending on interpretation, before the Day of Judgement.

The Quran and most Hadith claim Jesus was a “pure boy” without sin born to Mary and was a precursor to Mohammed.

He performed many miracles but was not divine and, according to some interpretation, his crucifixion, death, and resurrection did not occur, but rather, he was raised to heaven alive.

For many His reason for showing up with The Mahdi is to proclaim that He is really Islamic and denounce Christianity and Judaism.

In the Ahmadiyya Islamic view, Jesus survived the crucifixion and later traveled to India, where he lived as a prophet and died under the name Yuz Asaf.

Baha’i

Baha’i teaching asserts there has been a series of prophets, beginning with Adam. Adam’s successors were Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Zarathushtra, Christ, Mohammed, and finally Baha’i the most important of all.

Scientology

In Scientology, the teachings of Jesus are included among belief systems comprising earlier forms of wisdom. They deny His work on the cross by claiming that a man can only die for his own sin.

Raelism

In Raelism Jesus is listed along with several other religious figures who are considered prophets sent by an extraterrestrial race known as Eliohim.

Hinduism

In Hinduism Jesus is an avatar of the God Vishnu

Some claim Jesus traveled to Persia, India Nepal and Tibet during the ages of 13 to 29 to learn and study from the great masters there. He took the magic that he learned there and used it in his ministry in Israel.

Others claim he went to England to study the knowledge of the Druids.

Well William Blake did. Here are the words to “O Jerusalem,” written in 1804 and set to music in 1916 during the gloom of WW1.

And did those feet in ancient time

Walk upon England’s mountain green?

And was the holy Lamb of God

On England’s pleasant pastures seen?

And did the countenance divine

Shine forth upon our clouded hills?

And was Jerusalem builded here

Among those dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!

Bring me my arrows of desire!

Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!

Bring me my chariot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,

Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,

Till we have built Jerusalem

In England’s green and pleasant land.

He went to Egypt and unlocked the secret of the Pyramids.

He traveled to Greece and studied with the great philosophers.

He went to Japan where he lived and died. In the meantime, a twin brother took his place as the Messiah of Israel and was crucified.

These are all fantastic stories but we get the simple truth from God.

Luke 2:39-40

The Family Returns to Nazareth

So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

He grew up in Israel

Luke 2:41-52

The Boy Jesus Amazes the Scholars

His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”

And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.

Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Jesus lived a normal Jewish life before His ministry.

7. The Strictly Benevolent Christ

There are those who sincerely believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, a loving, compassionate character, who went about doing good, and who would never be able to bring himself to punish human beings eternally.

8. One of many “Sons of God”

The book of Urantia, a channeled book of 2,097 pages from 7 different spiritual beings in 1934, is the work of a physician and psychiatrist Dr. Bill Sadler. The book, published in 1955, claims that Jesus (Joshua Ben Joseph) is the 7th incarnation of the “Only-begotten Son of God” (Michael of Nebadon) the 611,121st creator son of god.

Jesus is the son of the son of god and the father in a sense that, when these two beings had a simultaneous original thought, Jesus was begotten.

This Jesus is only one of many divine sons of god who were incarnated on Urantia (Earth) He came to earth to help mortals realize that they were sons of god too.

1. Jesus in the Talmud

There are many Talmudic passages that are said to be a reference to Jesus.

The following are considered the most controversial as well as contested. Jesus was a common name in those days and there were many who claimed to be the Messiah

A. His names is “The Nazarene” in some accounts.

“The master said: Jesus the Nazarene practiced magic and deceived and led Israel astray”

Sanhedrin 43a tells of the trial and execution of Jesus and his five disciples, Matai, Nekai, Netzer, Buni, and Todah.

Here Jesus is a sorcerer who has enticed other Jews to apostasy.

A herald is sent to call for witnesses in his favour for forty days before his execution, but no one comes forward. He is then stoned and hanged on the eve of Passover.

B. Another calls Him Yeshua Ben Pandira (Jesus born-of-a-virgin), a combination of Hebrew and Greek, that pokes fun at his birth.

“Jesus son of Stada is Jesus son of Pandira?”

Rav Hisda said, “The husband was Stada and the lover was Pandera.”

“But was not the husband Pappos son of Yehuda and the mother Stada?”

No, his mother was Miriam, who let her hair grow long and was called Stada. Pumbedita says about her: “She was unfaithful to her husband.”

His father was a carpenter, his mother was a hairdresser and Jesus was a magician who “led astray Israel.” And, it says, he was “hung” on the eve of Passover.

Miriam, his mothers was also called “Stada” because she was a sotah, a woman suspected, or rather convicted, of adultery.”

C. Yeshu

Sanhedrin 107 tells of a Yeshu who offended his teacher by paying too much attention to the wife of an inn-keeper. Yeshu asked for forgiveness but his Rabbi was too slow to forgive him. In despair Yeshu went away, put up some kind of idol and worshipped it.

In Gittin 56b, 57a, a story is mentioned in which Onkelos, a Roman who converted to Judaism, summons up the spirit of a Yeshu who sought to harm Israel.

He describes his punishment in the afterlife as being boiling in excrement.

Scholars claim that Yeshu is not the short form of Yeshua but actually an acrostic for the Hebrew phrase “may his name and memory be blotted out” created by taking the first letter of the Hebrew words.

2. Jesus as Messiah

The Orthodox Jews do not believe that Jesus was or is the Messiah.

Here are some reasons they deny Jesus as Messiah

Christians have distorted, changed, and deliberately misinterpreted Hebrew words in the Old Testament to fit the narrative of Jesus.

Jesus did not descend from the Line of David. He was adopted by Joseph, who did not have sexual relations with Mary, and they claim that Mary’s genealogy is inadequate.

The Godhead denotes a threefold deity. They claim Christians are polytheistic

God cannot take any form.

Messiah is a prophet, a scholar, and a pious King. Jesus was not accepted by the Jewish people. He was arrested, tortured, and killed by the Romans like a common criminal. He had no kingdom.

The reason why they don’t accept Jesus is to them He didn’t meet the requirements for the job.

The mission of the Messiah

Isaiah 1:26

And I will restore your judges as at first and your counsellors as in the beginning; afterwards you shall be called City of Righteousness, Faithful City.

• Before he arrives on the scene there will be a Great War and much suffering

• He will bring about great political and spiritual redemption

▪ Once he is King, leaders of other nations will look to him for guidance.

▪ The whole world will worship the One God of Israel

▪ He will be descended from King David via Solomon

▪ The “spirit of the Lord” will be upon him, and he will have a “fear of God”

▪Evil and tyranny will not be able to stand before his leadership

▪ Knowledge of God will fill the world

▪ He will include and attract people from all cultures and nations

▪ All Israelites will be returned to their homeland

▪ Death will be swallowed up forever

▪ There will be no more hunger or illness, and death will cease

▪The dead will be resurrected

▪ The Jewish people will experience eternal joy and gladness

▪ He will be a messenger of peace

▪ Nations will recognize the wrongs they did to Israel

▪ The peoples of the world will turn to the Jews for spiritual guidance

▪ The ruined cities of Israel will be restored

▪ Weapons of war will be destroyed

▪ The people of Israel will have direct access to the Torah through their minds and Torah study will become the study of the wisdom of the heart

▪ He will give you all the worthy desires of your heart

▪ He will take the barren land and make it abundant and fruitful

• He will rebuild the Temple

Judaism has no notion from Old Testament Scripture of the Messiah not doing these things on his first visit.

They see no reason for a second one.

At some point there were groups who looked for two separate Messiah

Looking at the prophetic writings concerning the Messiah led some Rabbis to presume that there were two categories the Messiah prophecies fell into.

The Messiah was to be both someone who died on our behalf and a Redeemer who would be victorious and rule forever over the Messianic Kingdom.

To explain what seemed like a contradiction they concluded that there must be two different Messiahs. The one who would suffer and die was given the title Mashiach ben Yosef (Messiah son of Joseph) and one who would reign as king was given the title Mashiach ben David (Messiah son of David).

Both interpretations are still taught today in Judaism.

One sect of Ultra Orthodox Jews in New York, Lubavitchers, still believe that their Chief Rabbi Menachem Schneerson was the Messiah. When he died in 1994, they turned to Isaiah 53 to predict his resurrection and ascent ion to the throne of Jerusalem.

The Talmud teaches that the Messiah would come first “lowly and riding on an ass” and when he comes the second time he will be ruling as King of Kings.

The Messiah’s name of Messiah Son of Joseph is interesting because Jesus’s earthly father was named Joseph. Also interesting is Joseph’s rejection and betrayal by his brothers, and his later exaltation among the Gentiles in Egypt. This is an exact pattern of what Jesus experienced in His role as Messiah Son of Joseph. Though Jesus was not a physical descendant of Joseph, He is often viewed as a descendant in a figurative, symbolic, prophetic sense. Joseph’s redemptive suffering and life story are thought by some to be a parallel to those messianic passages that spoke of a Suffering Servant.

Along with Isaiah 53, the Suffering Servant is also found in Zechariah 12:10. The rabbis often looked to this prophecy as one that portrays a Suffering Messiah.

Rabbis saw similarities between King David and the future Ruling Messiah son of David.

Jeremiah 23:5 speaks of Messiahs’ kingship

Jeremiah 23:5-6

“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord,

“That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;

A King shall reign and prosper,

And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.

In His days Judah will be saved,

And Israel will dwell safely;

Now this is His name by which He will be called:

THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

A few Old Testament passages that speak of Messiahs establishment of the Messianic kingdom and peace for Israel.

Isaiah 11:1-10

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,

And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.

The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,

The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,

The Spirit of counsel and might,

The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

His delight is in the fear of the Lord,

And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,

Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;

But with righteousness He shall judge the poor,

And decide with equity for the meek of the earth;

He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,

And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins,

And faithfulness the belt of His waist.

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,

The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,

The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;

And a little child shall lead them.

The cow and the bear shall graze;

Their young ones shall lie down together;

And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,

And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,

For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord

As the waters cover the sea.

“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse,

Who shall stand as a banner to the people;

For the Gentiles shall seek Him,

And His resting place shall be glorious.”

Psalms 72

Give the king Your judgments, O God,

And Your righteousness to the king’s Son.

He will judge Your people with righteousness,

And Your poor with justice.

The mountains will bring peace to the people,

And the little hills, by righteousness.

He will bring justice to the poor of the people;

He will save the children of the needy,

And will break in pieces the oppressor.

They shall fear You

As long as the sun and moon endure,

Throughout all generations.

He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing,

Like showers that water the earth.

In His days the righteous shall flourish,

And abundance of peace,

Until the moon is no more.

He shall have dominion also from sea to sea,

And from the River to the ends of the earth.

Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him,

And His enemies will lick the dust.

The kings of Tarshish and of the isles

Will bring presents;

The kings of Sheba and Seba

Will offer gifts.

Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him;

All nations shall serve Him.

For He will deliver the needy when he cries,

The poor also, and him who has no helper.

He will spare the poor and needy,

And will save the souls of the needy.

He will redeem their life from oppression and violence;

And precious shall be their blood in His sight.

And He shall live;

And the gold of Sheba will be given to Him;

Prayer also will be made for Him continually,

And daily He shall be praised.

There will be an abundance of grain in the earth,

On the top of the mountains;

Its fruit shall wave like Lebanon;

And those of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.

His name shall endure forever;

His name shall continue as long as the sun.

And men shall be blessed in Him;

All nations shall call Him blessed.

Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,

Who only does wondrous things!

And blessed be His glorious name forever!

And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.

Amen and Amen.

Daniel 7:13-14

“I was watching in the night visions,

And behold, One like the Son of Man,

Coming with the clouds of heaven!

He came to the Ancient of Days,

And they brought Him near before Him.

Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,

That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion,

Which shall not pass away,

And His kingdom the one

Which shall not be destroyed.

Isaiah 9:6-7

For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace

There will be no end,

Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,

To order it and establish it with judgment and justice

From that time forward, even forever.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Jesus Christ fulfilled every prophecy concerning the Messiah

Luke 1:32-33

He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Revelation 19:11-16

Christ on a White Horse

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND

LORD OF LORDS.

Yet not in the way man thought

Acts 1:6-8

Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

He is God in flesh. He came to this earth, died on the cross for the sins of the world.

Everyone knows these verses:

John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Yet no one seems to keep reading

John 3:18-19

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

He is the Only Way to God. He is the Only Way to salvation.

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Revelation 1:1 A Gift from God

Revelation 1:1 NKJV

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,

This book is not just significant in that we have before us an account of the future of mankind, the earth, the universe, and the greatest spiritual battle ever known. This book is about the greatest figure to walk on this earth.

Jesus Christ

The God Man, the Son of God!

This book is His unveiling. We see Jesus Christ as He should be seen.

Sometimes we look over a very important phrase when looking at this verse.

Where this revelation came from:

1. This book was given by God.

Some will tell you that God is the “One” true god, but then they will also tell you that the god of the Bible (at least the Old Testament) was an emanation from Sophia (Wisdom.) Sophia was one of three emanations from the “One.”

This lower god, called Addonai or the Demiurge, is a blind, tribal, jealous god who believed he was not created and immediately began creating our universe and man from his evil matter.

This is the god of the Old Testament, the god of the Jews who. Through Moses tried to make their god prominent over all other civilizations.

Since he contained some of his mothers power, it becomes contained in man as a divine spark.

There are others who believe that this Demiurge is actually Satan (Yaldabaoth, Samael,Ariel)

This god is enraged with jealousy when a ray of light shines down on man and fills him with a soul.

In his anger he withholds and hides the tree of the knowledge of good and evil from man.

Man is brought to salvation by the serpent (Lucifer, the good god) by giving man access to gnosis through the tree and awakening his divine spark.

We will look at this information again later.

Pantheism –

Some believe that God is in everything and everyone so there is no reason to find Him. He is already in you. This idea permeates the New Age movement. It calls for man to dethrone God so He can become god himself.

Some will tell you that God as we know Him is actually a group of aliens (Eliohim) who placed us here as an experiment or that they are helping mankind evolve either physically or spiritually in order to receive our next bit of evolution.

You can see evidence of this in movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Mission to Mars

The worst and most dangerous ones will tell you that God is Lucifer.

The important thing to realize is that many will come saying all the right phrases and words and it will seem that these words (God, The Christ, the Spirit, salvation) will have the same meaning as what a true Christian knows.

Sadly they will not. They will have very dangerous and completely different meaning.

Some groups, Hinduism, for example, claim there are many gods.

Deists acknowledge the existence of some Supreme Being but deny our understanding of a God who is interested in and intervenes in the lives of man.

Islam, Jehovahs Witnesses, and Christian Science claim that there is no Godhead.

The LDS church will tell you that God is called Eliohim, a man (at one time Adam) who lived on another planet.

In most instances in these movements we are carried back to the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve are told they can become gods themselves.

Because if we are gods ourselves we don’t have to answer to anyone else.

Then there are those who claim that there is no God.

We should know the truth of God from His Word so we can discern between truth and falsehood.

God is the Creator of all the universe. He created everything in a literal 7 day period.

How do we know?

Because Moses wrote about it:

Exodus 20:11

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

And Jesus validated it:

John 5:45-47

Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

There is no other God except Him. He is all knowing, all seeing, timeless, completely separate from this universe. Yet He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us. His judgment and mercy are perfect.

In order to know God we must focus oh His Face, Jesus Christ.

He is the One True God of the universe and all time and the only Way to Him is through His Son Jesus Christ!

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Exodus 23:14-19: The Book of the Covenant Part 4

Exodus 23:14-19

Three Annual Feasts

“Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.

“Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God.

“You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread; nor shall the fat of My sacrifice remain until morning. The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.

There are 7 Feasts in total but only three are listed here. The reason is that these three are events where all able bodied men were to present themselves before God in Jerusalem.

The “Feast of Harvest” is the Feast of Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks.

The “Feast of Ingathering” is the Feast of Tabernacles.

1. This Feast caused the people to look back at God’s provision.

During the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot, the people were to gather together in Jerusalem to remember God’s provision in the wilderness.

They were to build small booths to live in for the eight days of the feast.

This wast to remind Israel of how they lived in temporary shelters while wandering the 40 years in the wilderness totally reliant upon God and how He takes care of man in every way.

Leviticus 23:33-43

2. This Feast was unique in that it included the Gentle nations.

The Lord told Moses to gather all men, women and children, along with the foreigners in their land, so they can learn to fear the Lord

Deuteronomy 31:12

3. This Feast caused the people to look forward to God’s promises.

The prophetic meaning of the Feast was that it looked forward to the promised Messianic age where all nations would gather before the Lord.

During the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot, the Jewish people were to gather together in Jerusalem not only to remember God’s provision in the Wilderness but also to look forward to that promised Messianic age when all nations will flow to this city to worship the Lord.

Zechariah 14:16

Jewish tradition tells us that on the last day of this Feast, priests read to the people from Zechariah 14 and Ezekiel 47. These two chapters speak of rivers of living waters flowing from out of the Tabernacle in the Messianic kingdom.

A largely popular part of this Feast, in Second Temple era, was a ceremony called “Water Libation Ceremony.”

This ceremony followed the daily sacrifices and was preceded by the nightly “Water Drawing Ceremony.”

Each day for 7 consecutive days a priest would walk up a ramp leading to the bronze altar of the Temple and pour a jug full of water into a bowl that drained into the altar. This ceremony was accompanied by much celebration.

Water was drawn from a spring, just east of Jerusalem, called “The Spring of Gihon.”

This spring may have been used to anoint Solomon.

This spring also ran into a pool called “The Pool of Siloam.” This pool was used in the Ordinance of the Red Heifer.

Numbers 19

Jesus sent a man to this pool

John 9:1-12

A Man Born Blind Receives Sight

Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”

Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.”

He said, “I am he.”

Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”

He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”

Then they said to him, “Where is He?”

He said, “I do not know.”

The waters of Siloam became synonymous with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit so it became known as “The Well of Salvation” and the pouring of the water on the altar symbolizes the outpouring of the Spirit during the days of the

Little did they know of just what was being offered to them in by the One whom they were looking for

John 7:37-38:

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Yet Israel was not then or today looking to Jesus as to Who He truly is.

They still claim He was a man who died just as many of the other false Messiahs did.

Yet He fulfilled everything they were looking for from The Torah.

Sadly the Torah is not where they get Gods Word. Their education comes from the Talmud

Some claim the Talmud calls Him a magician who led Israel into idolatry, a bad student of the Rabbis, and the son of an unfaithful woman who was hanged with his disciples and is now being boiled in excitement in the afterlife.

Paul tell us the Israel is blind to Jesus because God made it so.

Romans 11

We also learn that Israel is the main focus of the Tribulation.

Matthew 24

He was and is the Messiah Israel was looking for.

He is the Savior of the world. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords

Amen

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Revelation Introduction Part 6

Revelation 1:1 NKJV

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,

In the Old Testament we are told “Behold He comes!”

In the Gospels we are told “Behold He dies!”

In Acts, “He lives!”

In the Epistles, “He saves!”

In Revelation, “He reigns!”

This amazing book is the unveiling of Jesus Christ to us!

This book is the only one that promises a special blessing for reading it:

Revelation 1:3

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Sadly many won’t go near this book.

Why?

Possibly because of it’s warning:

Revelation 22:18-20

For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

I Am Coming Quickly

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

These words should cause us to think about the things that we teach or hear from others concerning what this book says.

This book tells us what it is:

Revelation 22:18

For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;

I firmly believe that our eschatology is the direct result of our hermeneutics. If you hold scripture to a high standard then, as we saw earlier, you will believe that the Holy Spirit chose every word and take a more literal view.

Regardless of where you stand in your interpretation of Revelation, it tells us that it is prophecy.

But what kind of prophecy?

The futurist sees the prophecy in this book taking place in the future before the second coming.

The historical views the prophecy in this book to be concerning Church history from the first advent up to the second coming.

The preterist see the prophecy in Revelation as completely fulfilled after John wrote this book.

The idealist or symbolic approach does not believe that the prophecy in this book points to any real event but as symbols of the struggle between good and evil.

Evidently there is a new approach called the eclectic approach. In this view, one allows the preterist, futurist, and idealist approaches to interact in a way that maximizes their strengths and minimizes their weaknesses.

This book is not meant to confuse:

Most believe that John wrote this book expecting the readers had done their homework by knowing the Old Testament and the many explanations that we find there.

With this in mind, perhaps we could actually use each hermeneutical view together for us to truly understand the message: a message to an earlier, present, and a future time with applications and symbols we can learn from.

This book gives us its outline:

When it comes down to it; this book is about, points to, and glorifies Jesus Christ.

Many scholars believe that Jesus in fact gives us a simple outline of this book within it’s pages.

Revelation 1:19

Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.

1. The things you have seen

Chapter 1: The Lord Jesus Christ

John see Jesus in His glorified State.

2. The things which are

Chapters 2-3: The Lords Church

The epistles of Jesus to the 7 Churches in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey)

3. The things which will take place after this “Metatouta”

Chapters 4-22: The Lords culmination of His program

Many see these chapters as the future fulfillment of prophecy

4-5 – We see the rapture of the Church.

Why?

Because they claim the Church is not mentioned anymore after chapter 4.

We see Christ coming for His Church in the air. Some call this the Secret Return.

Jesus takes His Bride (the Church) back to His Fathers Place (Heaven) for seven years.

The example used is the Orthodox Jewish marriage ritual includes a feast that lasts for 7 days (7 years for the Church) After these 7 days the Groom presents His Bride.

The rise of the Antichrist occurs during this time and culminates with the Tribulation, also known as, The Time of Jacobs Trouble.”

This will be the worst time to be on earth because there will be great anguish and mayhem.

This time is allowed in order to shake up the world and to wake up the nation of Israel.

What we can take from all of these things is that there will be a time when it could be too late to call out to Jesus for salvation. The time of grace is now and a prerequisite for reading this book is a relationship with the Lord!

We are being contested for daily and our future destiny relies on Whom we stand with and the choice is simple.

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Revelation Introduction Part 5

Revelation 1:1 NKJV

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,

Every one of the thousands of ropes used by the Royal British Navy is said to have a single red thread running through it.

It is used for identification of government property and the thread can’t be removed without taking the rope that contains it completely apart.

We see the same thing in the Bible.

The Bible consists of 66 books written by 40 different authors over a span of around 1500 years.

The Bible has many detractors. Those who say it is just another of the many holy books that exist, largely inspired by ancient myths and grouped under a false god in order to grant control to certain groups.

A book with history written after the fact to make predictions work out.

A book full of contradiction and allegory. A book full of intentional error and misleading claims.

While it is true that God’s Word physically is a book, it’s what we get from it that matters.

If you are like me then you subscribe to the idea that these 40 authors wrote what they wrote through the work of the Holy Spirit.

You would take this book literally in that each word was placed there through the work of the Spirit by the hand of each human author.

You would also believe that every word has meaning and that the only way to read this book is through the guiding and unction of the Holy Spirit.

Because if you have been truly saved through the grace of Jesus Christ, if you abide in Him, if you are in dwelled with the Spirit, then you see the red thread of Jesus Christ in each book.

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Revelation Introduction Part 4

Revelation 1:1 NKJV

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,

The different interpretations of Revelation

1. Preterism

This view denotes the first century fulfillment of the literary text and a more symbolic approach in interpretation. Prophecies have already seen their meaning in real past events but some events may be symbolic or allegorical of future events.

Preterism has many views similar to Amillennialism.

There are two views in preterism.

A. Partial Preterism

Also called Orthodox or Classical Preterism

This view claims that prophecies in Revelation were fulfilled in the first century and are mainly about political upheaval.

The destruction of Jerusalem, the Antichrist, the Day of the Lord, and the great tribulation were fulfilled either in A.D. 70 or under the persecution of Nero.

While some believe that The thousand years spans the Church age up to the second coming and the final judgment.

B. Full Preterism

Also called True Preterism and The A.D. 70 Doctrine as well as many others.

This view states that a literal interpretation of Matthew 16:28 places the second coming of Jesus in the first century, not a physical one but a symbolic return as a judgment against Jerusalem with the destruction of the Temple in A.D.70

All prophecies and end time events were fulfilled in this judgment.

2. Historical

This view associates symbols in prophecy as associated with historical nations, people, or events and results in a view of progressive fulfillment of prophecy from biblical times to the end of the world.

This view is very interesting but has opened the way for many speculative ideas.

At one point the Soviet Union was believed to be Satan’s agency in surrounding Jerusalem in the Great Tribulation and its collapse caused a problem.

Saddam Hussein was once believed to be the ruler who would bring in the end times.

3. Idealist or symbolic

This view states that Revelation does not refer to historic or future events but is actually allegorical for the spiritual path of man and his struggles with good and evil.

4. Futurist

Many prophecies will be fulfilled in the future by real events, for example, portions of Revelation and Daniel are to be read as future events in a literal, physical, and global sense.

This belief usually has a close relationship with Dispensationalism and Premillennialism and one of its proponents was Irenaeus. Many biblical pastors, teachers, and authors tend to favor it as well.

The problem we have with this kind of interpretation is that we can draw many different speculations in attempting to interpret God’s Word with this view in mind.

Even now, this very month, we see what could be an issue with Dispensational Theology.

Many believed that “the budding of the fig tree” that Jesus spoke of was the political creation of the state of Israel on May 14 1948.

Many claimed that this started a prophecy clock that would last no longer than a generation or no longer than 70 years.

This caused many to call for support for the state of Israel because they need to exist to lead way to the pre-trib rapture.

Many pastors and Christian writers made millions in book sales claiming the rapture would occur in the 80’s, the 90’s, and the 2000’s. These books, as well as the Left Behind series, reinstated these beliefs to many believers.

Yet it’s been 70 years and nothing happened except President Trump just moved our American Embassy to Jerusalem.

What now?

I’ll admit that the Dispensational, pre millennial, mid tribulation pre wrath idea sounds exciting. Yet, with so much biblical speculation, in the end, do we really need answers?

Were all these pastors and writers wrong or just reading what they wanted to happen into Scripture?

Or is it something else?

Were they blinded to God’s plan or just running up the wrong biblical tree?

Were they simply indoctrinated before they studied the text?

Why are there so many opposing views?

Does it matter?

Are we simply not allowing the Spirit to give us discernment for the truth?

Can this play a part in deceiving the Church?

Or is it enough to trust in Christ?

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Revelation Introduction Part 3

Revelation 1:1 NKJV

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,

Revelation 20:4

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Millennial views

1. Premillennialism

This view stated that the second coming of Jesus Christ occurs before a literal one thousand year period where He rules the earth. This view also claims that, before this occurs, the humanity will progressively worsen under an evil government or kingdom like system.

This view breaks down even further regarding the occurrence of a rapture of the Church.

The Rapture

The rapture is a future event where those who are in Christ, living and dead, are caught up to meet Jesus.

a few passages used as proof

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

The Comfort of Christ’s Coming

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

John 14:1-4

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

“Let not your heart be troubled; you 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 and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Revelation 3:10

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Matthew 24:30-31

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

The word “rapture” comes from 1 Thessalonians 4. Paul uses the Greek word “harpazo” (caught up) and it means “to snatch away;to seize.”

1 Thessalonians 4:17

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Like uses the same word in Acts.

Acts 8:39

Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.

There are three main views on the timing of the rapture.

A. Pre-tribulation

Also called Dispensationalist, this view claims 2 returns of Jesus Christ. The first event being the rapture of the Church or the Bride of Christ.

The second event is the 7 year tribulation. Many see this as a picture of a marriage feast in heaven for Jesus and the Church while God deals with Israel on earth (Jacob’s trouble).

The Antichrist rises into power during this time. Jesus returns again at the end of the tribulation for the whole world to see and the battle of Armageddon begins and Jesus begins His literal one thousand year reign on earth before the judgement of all mankind.

Many claim that Pre-tribulation rapture theology originated in the eighteenth century, with the Puritan preachers and was popularized extensively in the 1830s by John Nelson Darby and further in the United States by the wide circulation of the Scofield Reference Bible in the early 20th century.

Other scholars maintain that an earlier document called Ephraem or Pseudo-Ephraem already supported a pre-tribulation rapture.

Some scholars have pointed to Constantine’s Edict of Milan as the source. They claim that it signaled a shift from the premillennialism of the Church Fathers towards Postmillenialism or amillennialism where it stayed from the fourth century to the nineteenth century.

B. Mid-tribulation or Prewrath view.

This view claims that the rapture of the Church occurs halfway through the tribulation but before God’s wrath is poured out on the earth.

Much of this view is based on a linear, chronological interpretation of Jesus’ account of the end times in the Olivet discourse.

C. Post-tribulation view

Also called Historic Premillennialism. This view claims the rapture of the Church occurs after the tribulation. Believers are caught up to meet Jesus in the air and will accompany Him to earth where they share in His thousand year reign.

This view is called historical because many early church fathers (Polycarp, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, and Papias) evidently held this position.

John Gill, Charles Spurgeon, and Benjamin Wills Newton, a contemporary but theological rival of John Nelson Darby, held this view.

This view would differ from the previous views in that it seems to claim only one second coming of Jesus.

2. Postmillenialism

Christ’s second coming occurs after the thousand years that is ushered in by the Church

This view has two sub areas of interpretation.

A. Revivalist Premillennialism

The millennium represents an unknown period of time brought on by Church activities. A gradual revival takes place followed by successful evangelism. Jesus returns after all this happens.

B. Reconstructionist Postmillenialism

The Church increases it’s influence over the world through successful evangelism and rapid expansion. This culminates with the establishment of a theocratic kingdom that lasts for a literal or figurative thousand year duration and ends with the return of Jesus

Jonathan Edwards, in the Great Awakening, with the help of a number of European evangelical ministers first connected millennialism and revivalism through the great revivals in the 1730’s and 40’s.

These signs were seen as progressively painting the way towards Jesus’ millennial kingdom

3. Amillennialism

also called Realized millennialism and nunc-millennialism.

This view envisions a non-literal thousand years between Jesus’ first and second comings.

It’s proponents hold that the millennium has already begun at Pentecost and is identical with the Church age.

Jesus spiritually reigns at the right hand of God. At the end of the Church age, He will return in final judgment and establish a permanent reign in the new heaven and new earth.

The Epistle of Barnabas gives the idea that the amillennial view may have been present as far back as the first century.

Clement of Alexandria and Origen were amillennial, along with the John Calvin and the Protestant Reformers.

It is the view of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, Lutheran, Anglican, some Messianic Churches, Methodist, Churches of Christ, Disciples of Christ, and a few Baptists, the Amish and Mennonites.

I wouldn’t begin to try and decide which one of these views is correct.

I was once premillennial, pre-tribulation but I have been second guessing that belief into more of a mid-tribulation pre-wrath view.

Regardless of what we believe and as long as we are truly in Christ; does it matter?

Would it blind you of things to come or would we be busy looking for something that never happens?

I’ll admit, the pre-millennial view can be exciting but can also leave room for hucksters to fleece those who have not matured in God’s Word.

The amillennial view seems safe and who wouldn’t want the Church to grow in influence and souls saved by grace.

Would it cause those who believe one way or another to loose faith when the view they relied upon doesn’t happen?

I ask these questions only to make us think. Maybe these views were allowed to flourish only so that the people of God will cling to true truth, Jesus Christ.

May we beg our Lord to give us strength in all that comes our way and let us not hold to any man made seminary, denominational doctrine and let us hold fast to Jesus Christ and Him only.

One thing we know for sure.

He wins in the end.

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