Friday, December 18, 2015

BAPTISM SERIES -- Lesson Two Section 1 / The Wilderness

Questions added.
For lesson One, here is the link: (Lesson One)

The next section (Lesson Two) is the next addition, to 

Lesson Two

Progressing through the book of Matthew, the next words of Christ are found at Matt.4:4 where he is contending with his temptations by Satan, immediately following his baptism and it's vow to God (Matt.3:13,15,17; Luke4:16-21; Ps.40:7-8; Heb.10:7,16,9), to fulfill God's will and purpose concerning him (John4:34; 6:38). 
Here is the context of Christ's first response to Satan...
"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ " (Matt.4:1-4) (Deut.8:2-3)

So much could be said about each verse of this context, to supplement the actual words of Jesus, and the lesson those words teach us.
In Part A, I will do an overview of the context... verses 1-3 in sections 1-3
and then Part B will proceed to go into more scriptural depth about Christ's own statement at Matt.4:4. 
Examining the sayings of Christ, is the main purpose of this series (Matt.28:20 A).

Part A -- section 1 (Matt.4:1)
"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."

First we learn, that it was God's spirit that lead Jesus to be strengthened ("made perfect") through obedience, by the acceptance of trials (Heb.5:8-9; 4:15; Phil.2:8; John15:10; Rom.8:3) in the "wilderness" (Deut.8:2; Eze.4:6).
In imitation of Christ, his New Covenant anointed priests (Rev.5:9-10) (anointed with the token of Holy Spirit), must also be made "perfect" in holiness. They do that through loyalty toward and union with, that spirit. That requires endurance in it's fine work (1Cor.9:24-25; James1:12). Those who do this successfully, will receive more spirit (Matt.13:12) and life (John 6:63)
(Heb.10:14-17,19-22; 13:21; 5:5; 8:1,5; Ex.29:21; 30:25; Eph.5:26-27; 1Thess.3:13; Lev.8:30; Ps.133:2; 45:7; Heb.1:4-5; 1John2:27; 3:24; 4:13; John14:17; 2Cor.1:21-22; 5:5-6; 2Tim.2:10; Matt.5:48; Heb.12:23; Acts20:32; James1:4,12). The path to success was first tread by Christ. By acceptance of the same path of refinement tread by Christ, they are made perfect (John17:19; Rom.8:16-17; Col.1:24; 1Pet.5:10; 1:6; 4:13; 2Cor.4:17; Phil.3:10; Rom.6:5; 8:36; Rev.6:9,11; Eph.4:13; Heb.13:13; John10:3-4; Mark8:34-35; 1Pet.2:21; Heb.12:5-7,11-13; Zech.13:9; 1Pet.1:7; Mal.3:1-3; 1Cor.3:13; Rev.3:19).
Why did God's spirit lead Christ to face Satan?
Who else must be tested like Christ, and why?

Along with accepting such training, we also will always be afforded the choice to do what is right in God's eyes. God sees to that, and affords those who faithfully endure, a way to be delivered out of their trials, still preserving their righteous integrity (1Cor.10:13; 1:8; Matt.6:13; 2Pet.2:9; 1:3; 2Thess.3:3; Rom.16:25; James1:12; 5:8,11; 2Tim.2:12; Rev.3:10; 21:7). 
How may we overcome when under Satanic test?

God allows all those called to be His sons, to be tried by the devil (Luke22:31,46; Eph.6:12-13; 1Pet.5:8-9; 2Cor.11:3,13-14,4,20; Rev.2:20,10; Col.2:8; Eph.5:6; Matt.24:4; James1:13-14; Job 1:6,8-12,22; 27:6; 13:18; 31:6; James5:10-11) (Rev.13:10; Luke21:24; Matt.5:13; Rev.11:2). 
It is our opportunity to rise to meet the occasion, and to prove whose sons we truly are.
If we belong to Christ, we will, like him, endure in faithfulness, by obeying God throughout our trials. In doing so, we are spiritually branded and sealed, as servants of God (Deut.11:18; Rev.14:4-5; 22:4,3; Heb.8:10; Deut.11:18; 1Pet.2:10,9).
What opportunity is afforded those who are enduring Satanic trial?

For the aforementioned reason of refinement (James1:1-4); those of the woman covenant (Gal.4:24,26,28,31; Rev.12:1) are also lead by the spirit of God into the wilderness to face Satan (Deut.8:6; Matt.4:1; Rev.12:6,17,15,4,14; Dan.7:25; 12:7; Rev.2:10; 13:10,7). Yet as Par. 2 above explained; the faithful will be strengthened and enabled, to endure (Rev.12:14; Isa.40:31; Ex.19:4; Eph.2:6; Rev.12:5; 3:21; Heb.10:12; Rom.8:17; 6:5).
The "place prepared" for the "woman" (Rev.12:6), is her own heart (Prov.16:1; Job 11:13; Luke 1:17; James4:8; Isa.42:16) (Prov.17:3; Zech.13:9; Mal.3:3), which is being healed, cleansed, and nurtured by the truth of Christ, to follow in his footsteps (John14:3-6; 1Pet.2:21). God dwells in many such hearts/"ivory palaces" Ps.45:8; Eph.5:19 (John 14:2; 1Cor.3:16; Rom.5:5; 2Tim.1:14; Rev.3:12). 
She returns to the spirit originally given to her heart (Jer.4:1; Isa.51:1; 46:3; Deut.1:31; Isa.10:20-22) (1John2:27; 2Pet.3:2; John14:26; 16:13; Rev.22:6-7), so that it will enlighten her perception/"lamp" (Matt.25:1,4,7-10; Rev.13:17; Isa.55:2; Rev.3:18) (Luke11:34), so that she may faithfully endure her time under test in the "wilderness", while "facing Satan" (Rev.12:14) (Rev.3:10; Jude1:24-25; Rev.1:6).
Who, in the book of Revelation, is lead into the wilderness to be tested as Christ was?
What has God prepared for those who remember their devotion to Him?
How can a heart which has been moulded by God, prepare us to conquer Satan?

There are those called to follow the steps of Christ, who do not remain faithful (Deut.8:6) during their time of testing in the wilderness (Matt.4:1; Rev.17:3,2; Jer.2:20,19,21; Heb.3:12; Hosea13:6; Isa.1:21; 57:6-9; 31:1-2; Eze.16:23-25; Ps.78:58-59; Rev.13:11,14-15,8,7) [(Jer.2) (Jer.2:15; Rev.9:8; Jer.2:19; 9:15; Rev.8:11; Jer.2:5; Rev.13:8; Jer.2:9; Rev.2:23; Jer.2:21; Rev.14:18-19; Jer.2:21,20; Rev.17:1-2)]. These called ones fail the Satanic test, mentioned at Matt.4:8-9 (Rev.13:4,1-2; 17:3; Isa.31:1; Rev.9:7,9; 19:18-20; 17:14). 
In the scroll of Revelation, who else is in the "wilderness" of testing?
What are they seen doing?
Which Satanic test did they fail?

We will discuss those verses of Matt.4:8-9, in an upcoming lesson.

Part A -- section 2 (Matt.4:2) 
"After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry."

"After forty days and forty nights"
The time Jesus spent in the wilderness, was patterned for us in Moses (Ex.24:18; 34:28). By examining that pattern, we learn more about the purpose of Christ being there (Matt.4:2), after his anointing by God (Luke3:22; Ps.45:2,7,17; Luke22:29; Rev.3:21; Ps.110:1-4).
God initiated a covenant during that same time period, through Moses (Deut.9:9,11) during which he interceded on behalf of God's sinful nation (Deut.9:18,25; 10:10), and learned a means of atonement for His people's sins (Deut.9:18; Acts 3:22-23,25).

Other examples of this time pattern, also involve bearing the iniquity of sin  (Num.14:34; Eze.4:6; 1Kings 19:14,8; Jonah 3:4) and includes the repairing of a covenant/God's favor, for the repentant (Num.14:19-20,27,29-30,23,31-32,34; Eze.5:13; Jonah 3:6-7,10).
It is a period that signifies testing, to let each person prove their heart before God. By that period's completion, all reap what they have sown. Those who remain to inherit God's promises, are cleansed and suitable (Joshua 5:6; Num.32:13; 14:34).
(segment about numbers is removed, due to feedback. I will wait to publish that information, when it can be more fully explained.)

"Forty days and forty nights" is also a reference to the period during which God sent rain to cleanse the earth (Gen.6:11,17; 7:12,17), which also initiated a covenant (Gen.6:8,22,18). Those who remain faithful and are granted God's favor and mercy, and are carried through the period of trial, during which God removes the wicked (2Pet.2:4-9,1-3).
When Jesus went into the wilderness, he also suffered deprivation and temptation on behalf of his nation and it's sin (Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2; 19:10; Matt.15:24). He too sought God's Laws for His wayward people (Luke4:18-21), sought to become a channel of God's laws to be written on tablets of hearts, and for those who obey, a covenant... mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation with God, and divine favor for the repentant.
(John1:17; Heb.1:1-2; 2:10; 5:9) (2Cor.3:3; Jer.31:33; Ps.40:8; Deut.11:18; Rev.7:3; 14:1; 22:4).

Jesus Christ's successful endurance of ongoing Satanic test (Mark 1:13), established the fall and rise of many within God's nation, based upon the divine favor he attained by that faithful endurance, and it's comparison to those proving unfaithful.
(Luke 2:34-35; John12:48; Luke 1:50-54; Isa.8:14,18; Ps.110:2)
Our faith must accomplish the same
(2Cor.6:4; 1John2:13; Rev.12:11; 1Cor.6:3; Mal.3:18)
(Heb.11:7; Rom.4:13; John16:33; Heb.12:2; 1John5:4; Rev.3:21; Acts 3:25; Gal.3:29; Ps.110:2; Rev.5:9-10; Eph.2:6).

Lastly, Jesus began to fulfill his role toward those who entered a covenant with him, by the same time pattern (Acts 1:2-3).
What can we learn by this time pattern, and how might we apply it in our own life?
During that final period on earth, Jesus provided "orders" to his apostles (Matt.28:20) and God's teachings "about the kingdom", which are also contained in the scroll of Revelation (Rev.19:9; 22:19). During that 40 day period, it was time for Jesus to be the one to impart understanding, authority, and a means of reconciliation, through his apostles (2Cor.5:11-12,18-20).
We are facing our own period in the wilderness (1,260 days) (Rev.12:6)
We will either prove faithful to those teachings (Rev.12:14), or unfaithful (Rev.17:3) (two mothers) (Rev.22:11-12,18-19).

Those who prove faithful, will come through their time of testing in the wilderness... refined, restored, and reconciled to God (James 1:12; 1Thess.2:4).

...he felt hungry" (Matt.4:2)

According to Jesus, his "food" was to do the will of Him who sent him to the earth (John 4:34). That work and will, was to bear testimony to God's Words of truth (John5:36,24; 17:6,4; Rev.3:14; John1:1,4,9,14,17-18; 6:58). As we feed others, we are fed (1Cor.9:9-10; 1Tim.5:18).
This was also true of Christ (John 4:32,34; Deut.8:3). Yet until he finishes God's will, he feels hungry (Luke12:49-50; John5:17). When the fire from heaven is finally finished with it's work (Luke12:49; Jer.23:29; 5:14; Rev.11:5; 2Pet.3:7,10-13); Jesus will again feast in the Kingdom of God (Luke22:18; Ps.23:5; Rev.19:9; Jer.31:14).

(to be continued)


Sunday, December 13, 2015

" Locust - Scorpions " / " Abaddon " / " fallen star " / " Wormwood "


I am copying a question from the FORUM, for those who many not have read it there. I have made additions to it, here.
I received a letter, to ask if I had seen this excerpt from the Watchtower:

"Toward the end of the first century C.E., the apostle John received a vision of seven angels, each of whom sounded a trumpet blast. When the fifth angel blew his trumpet, John saw “a star” fall from heaven to earth. The “star” had a key in his hand with which he opened the shaft of an abyss. Thick smoke poured out, and from this came a plague of locusts. Rather than ravage vegetation, the symbolic locusts swarm against “those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” (Rev. 9:1-4) John no doubt knew how devastating a locust swarm could be. Had not locusts plagued ancient Egypt in Moses’ day? (Ex. 10:12-15) The figurative locusts that John saw well illustrate anointed Christians proclaiming Jehovah’s powerful judgment messages. They are joined now by millions of companions with an earthly hope. Little wonder that our united preaching undermines the authority Satan exercises through his worldwide empire of false religion."

The person who sent it to me, asked:
So in essence, if the GB are saying that the locusts are the 144,000 then surely they must see who the locusts king is, or don't they??
Their king is the angel from the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon—the Destroyer. (Rev.9:11; Isa.33:1)
-  -  -  -  -  -  -
My reply to him:

I will review this statement of the "WT" in segments, and add some considerations. 

"When the fifth angel blew his trumpet, John saw “a star” fall from heaven to earth."
Notice that they do not provide a scripture at the end of that sentence, to show who that fallen star is. That's because if the previous account of that fallen star is read (Rev.8:10-11), one can see that this is "Wormwood"... who poisons the waters. Every reference to wormwood in the Bible, is bad, and refers to leaders of God's people who mislead into idolatry (Jer.23:15; Amos 5:7) (Rev.2:20). They do not lead people to Jesus Christ, despite what they may claim (2Cor. 11:13,4,3;  2Thess. 2:1-2; Matt.24:4-5,24-25; Rev.13:11,15,8,7). "Falling", is not a good thing (1Cor. 10:12;  2Pet. 3:17).
To clarify, if the scripture the WT provides at the end of their comments is read
 (Rev.9:1-4), it can be seen that this occurs when the FIFTH angel sounds his trumpet... and it tells us that the star has already fallen (past tense, "had fallen"). It is when the THIRD angel sounds it's trumpet, that the star actually falls, at Rev.8:10-11). There it is clearly seen, that the fallen star, is "Wormwood". When the "WT" states... "When the fifth angel blew his trumpet, John saw “a star” fall from heaven to earth."; that is a lie. John does not see the star fall when the fifth angel blows his trumpet. (Rev.9:1) John saw the star fall, when the third angel blew his trumpet (Rev.8:10).

Note that the FORTH angel, shows that the heavenly bodies are darkened following the fall of Wormwood (Rev.8:12) 
(the bitterness of Wormwood, is associated with spiritual harlotry Prov.5:3-5 << literally, "bitter as Wormwood").
The darkening of the heavens at Rev.8:12, is also the result of the star that has already fallen, when it releases the "locust-scorpions" (Rev.9:2).

Also notice the deceptive strategy in the way the WT words this phrase...

When the fifth angel blew his trumpet, John saw “a star” fall from heaven to earth
In truth, we have seen that 

*John did not see the star fall from heaven when the fifth angel blew his trumpet. It clearly says that it already "had fallenbefore the fifth angel blew his trumpet (Rev.9:1).
*If we want to see the Bible's depiction of when the star actually falls, we must retrace our steps back, to Rev.8:10-11.
Just as Prov.5:3-5 pointed out, 

the mouth (teachings) of a Harlot seems as sweet as honey (Ps.19:9-10; 119:103), but the after effect to those who ingest them, is as bitter as wormwood (Rev.10:10-11; Prov.5:3-5; Rev.13:11).
(LINK: "The Fallen Star")

"The “star” had a key in his hand with which he opened the shaft of an abyss."

 Once again, the WT uses deceptive strategy by it's phrasing. They state that the star "had a key", as if it already had it before "falling". No, according to Rev.9:1; first it fell, and then it was given the key. So their wording has the star presently falling and already having the key, at the blowing of the fifth trumpet. But the scriptures indicate that the star had previously fallen, and afterward, received the key during the fifth trumpet.
Because they lack holy spirit, they just assume what seems obvious.... that there is only one key, and that there is only one holder. That misconception results in another miscalculation... that of assuming that this key holder must be Christ (Rev.20:1). 
Is that true?
We know, that the Devil has been killing from the beginning (John 8:44; 10:10) 
He opened the abyss of deception and death in Eden, and has the power to cause death, and to imprison every human to the consequence of sin, since then (Rom.5:12).
Jesus told us that he overcame the power of Satan to cause death (Heb.2:14-15; Rev.1:18). Yet death still kills. This is because salvation from the abyss is conditional, and does not come to all. Both Satan and Christ possess a key to death...

Satan opens it, and Jesus opens it... to rescue captives from it (Ps.40:2; 103:4; 49:15; Rev.12:5; Luke 4:18; Acts 26:18; Col.1:13; Ps.49:15) (Rev.13:10,7; Luke 21:24,22), or to rightly imprison there, he who created it (Prov.5:22;  2Cor. 4:4; Eph.6:12;  2Pet. 2:4; Rev.20:1-3; Prov.5:22; Col.2:15). It is my hope, that based upon the previous scriptures, readers discern that Satan's own kingdom of "darkness" (the abyss), and it's power to overcome persons by blind confusion, is rightly used against him, by Christ (Rev.20:1-3; Prov.5:22)... so that Satan himself is plunged into blind darkness... making him impotent and ignorant about how to overcome the obedient sons of light (John 1:5;  1Thess. 5:5;  1John 2:8; Luke 10:19; Acts 26:18; Col.1:13).
Yet as Rev.20:7-8 reveals; Satan will be released once again, by a keyholder (Wormwood). He will then be enabled to throw truth and light to the ground, once again (Rev.16:13-16;  1Tim. 4:1; Dan.8:12,11;  2Thess. 2:4,9-10; Rev.13:7; 11:2), by means of the disgusting thing standing in the holy place, which causes desolation to God's people (Matt.24:15; Dan.11:31-36). 
(The "thousand years" -- When?
("Disgusting Thing")

Are Satan and the demons the only agents of spiritual darkness?
False prophets who mislead others, can also open Satan's pit, causing others to die (Luke 6:39; Isa.9:16;  2Tim. 3:13; Eze.14:10). When they have that authority power (key is the symbol), they too have a key to the abyss of death... to send captives there. I hope you can recognize these Biblical facts. If you don't see them clearly, let me know. (LINK)
So... Wormwood  causes people to die... to be consigned to the abyss of death -Rev.8:11. Therefore, "wormwood" also gets a key to the abyss... the authority and power to open death-causing deception, and to cause people to come under the power of death (Matt.15:14). We see three identities exercising the power of the abyss (holding keys)... Satan, Wormwood (the fallen star), and Christ.
More than one person, can "open the shaft of the abyss", if they hold a "key".
Satan can give the key (authority and power) to those who do his will... He does use people (false prophets) to open deception and death/the abyss
(Rev.13:4; Matt.4:8-9; Rev.9:1,11).

"Thick smoke poured out, and from this came a plague of locusts."
The organization always used to point to Joel for their interpretation of the locust-scorpions. That is the right place to turn, for the many parallel traits between the locust-scorpions and the locusts of Joel  (LINK).
The WT has apparently stopped using the references in Joel, because both I and Obadiah have published the conclusion which Joel penned. If the references are followed through to the end, we learn that God destroys the locusts, and He compensates His people for the excessive punishment they suffered 

(Luke 21:22; Zech.1:14-16; Job 2:6; Rev.9:5; 6:9) by the locust's persecution (Joel 2:25-26). Rather than change this false doctrine upon it's discovery, they simply divert their readers from the Bible's truth, by now resorting to a reference in Exodus instead.
If we give scriptural consideration to the locust's scorpion tails, their nature also becomes clear 

(Rev.9:10; Eze.2:6; Luke 10:19).
(LINK: "Tails, Stingers, Scorpions")

God is free to discipline His own people (to "seal" them as His own slaves) (Heb.12:6; Job 23:10).
At Zech.13:9, God is said to discipline and refine "one third" before calling them His people.
If we return to Rev.9 to see how people respond to the discipline that chapter contains (including the locusts), we are told that "two thirds" do not repent/accept discipline/become refined (Rev.9:18,20-21). The "one third" is "killed" (Rev.9:15,18; 11:3,7; 6:9,11; John 16:2; Mark 13:12-14; 8:35).

"Rather than ravage vegetation, the symbolic locusts swarm against “those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” (Rev. 9:1-4)"
Of course, they fail to see the connection to Rev.7:3.
The "vegetation" is only guarded from "ravage" until the UNsealed, become sealed (1Pet. 4:17 LINK).
Again, their lack of spirit makes them assume the obvious, which is not the deeper truth.
Although the "unsealed" seem rejected... in truth we are all unsealed, until we become so.
We see that once those faithful are sealed... the "ravage" does break out on the "vegetation" (Rev.7:3; 8:7) (Isa.5:24-25) (2Pet. 3:7; Rev.20:15).

"John no doubt knew how devastating a locust swarm could be. Had not locusts plagued ancient Egypt in Moses’ day? (Ex. 10:12-15) "
"No doubt", John did. In fact, they are the very cause of the Greatest Tribulation (Joel 2:2; Matt.24:21-22) (greatest-tribulation).

Just because God sent locusts upon the Egyptians...
does not mean that the locusts cannot come upon God's own people for discipline as well. The WT seems to think that discipline is only for others, that they could not be among the "unsealed" men, and so they conclude that the proud and punishing locust-scorpions, must be themselves
 (Amos 9:8-10;  1Thess. 5:3; Rev.18:7).
(Amos 9:9,1; Luke 21:35; Rev.3:10; Matt.24:22,39)(Rev.12:15-16) 
("Earth"? >> who-is-earth) ("Earth swallows River")
(Jer.1:14; 47:2-3; Mal.4:5-6; Job 22:16; Luke 6:48) (Gen.7:24; 8:3; Rev.9:10)  

150=5X30 (5 months X 30 days each = 150 days) (Matt.24:39; Rev.12:15,16) >> (LINK)

As regards the rest of the paragraph....
"The figurative locusts that John saw well illustrate anointed Christians proclaiming Jehovah’s powerful judgment messages. They are joined now by millions of companions with an earthly hope. Little wonder that our united preaching undermines the authority Satan exercises through his worldwide empire of false religion."
....note that there are no scriptures (John 7:18,16-17; 16:13; Rev.22:6).
Regarding, "They are joined now by millions of companions with an earthly hope"...
   ...where is there a scripture that states that the locusts are joined by others?
   ...where is there a scripture that shows that anything comes out of the locust's mouths ("proclaiming messages")?
Are not locust's mouths known for devouring and swallowing (Nahum 3:15; Joel 1:4; Ex.10:12-14) .... not giving forth?
No, a "plague/curse" of locusts are for destroying... not proclaiming life-saving truths (John 10:10). The locust-scorpions of Rev.9 are instead said to "sting".
The Bible clearly tells us the purpose of that power (1Cor. 15:55-56) (Eze.2:6; Luke 10:19) (Rev.9:10).  Those with stingers inject sin into their victims... sin that brings forth paralysis and death (Rom. 5:12; 8:2;  1Cor. 15:56).  The identity of the "man of sin" who gains power over the unsealed anointed, is also described in 2Thess. 2:3,4; Rev.13:7; 9:10.

In stating that the TAILS have death's stingers (Rev.9:10;  1Cor.15:55,56) like scorpions (Eze.2:6);
these locusts deliver lies/sin/death, sourced in the abyss from whence they came. 
The Locust-Scorpions are in subjection to, and under the direction of, that last False Prophet/Wormwood/Fallen Star (Rev.8:10,11; 9:1,2,3). In servitude to that last Harlot, these Locust-Scorpions prophesy lies themselves (Isa.9:15,16; Rev.16:13). 

When these Locust-Scorpions falsely prophesy the Harlot's wormwood lies, what is the result to those who accept/receive/ingest those false doctrines?
Although the Harlot's lies may taste as sweet as truth (Ps.119:103,98; Eze.3:3), the result is death (Rev.10:10; Prov.5:3,4,5; 7:27; 2:16,17,18,19; Isa.28:14,15; Rev.8:11; Deut.32:32; Rev.17:2). Those Chosen who remain under that power, remain in death. They are in subjection to Satan, through his agents, and they remain under the power of the Abyss and it's destruction... unsealed as slaves of God. They are obedient to doctrines of demons, rather than obedient to the teachings of God and Christ. (Mark of slavery) (666)
(Deut.11:18; Rev.13:16) (Rev.14:1)

The WT teaches that Jesus Christ is the Destroyer... Despite Isa.33:1 and Ex.12:23 (Job 2:6) (Luke 22:31) (1Cor. 10:10; 5:5).
Yet, what do we expect?... Remember... the Wild Beast collective of Locust-scorpions is specifically spoken of as being blasphemous (Rev.13:5-6). 
The "False prophet" who empowers that Beast to dominate the anointed (Rev.13:14-15,7), "speaks like a dragon" (Rev.13:11) and teaches "doctrines of demons" (Rev.16:13-16; 13:11;  1Tim. 4:1).

There are many more scriptures which prove these things, but I hope the ones cited here are enough to convince you beyond doubt, that the Gentile WT is the "disgusting thing, standing in a holy place" (2Thess. 2:4; Matt.24:15; Dan.11:16,21-45) 

Thanks for writing to me. I hope you and your family are doing okay.

Love in Christ,


Monday, November 23, 2015

Who is the "Earth"?

UPDATE to: World - Earth - Home
as follows:

The original Hebrew word for earth, is "he-rets" (not "oikou"), and simply means "ground"/"land"/"soil". Think about how Jesus used this in illustration (Luke8:15). In Luke, chapter 8, the various forms of ground/soil, stands for differing hearts. A heart either accepts, keeps, and cultivates the planting of the seeds of truth within it (Luke8:11; James1:21; 1Cor.3:8,9), or not. Those who cultivate the truth within them, become "sons of the kingdom" (Matt.13:8,23,37,38), because those who cultivate the word in their heart (wheat seed), grow up into mature wheat, and are known by their works and fruits, resulting from a cultivation of that seed. 
That fine soil, now becomes distinct from the other soils/hearts/land/earth, as belonging to God (Luke8:5-8; Job 4:19; Ec.3:20; 12:7; 1Cor.3:9; Luke 20:9,13,15-16). 
It is the only sort of heart/soil that has accepted and cultivated the truths of God. What then, of it's designation? Is it still merely the dust of the earth as the rest? (Gen.3:19; Rom.5:12,19; John5:24; Luke8:15) Does it's identity come to acquire a designation that reflects it's acceptance of Truth within it?

When the Truth of God's Word finds a home in a righteous, faithful heart (Luke8:15; Matt.13:38; Mark4:20; James1:21) (Wheat Seed: The Word, or the Sons?); that person becomes an "occupied dwelling" for God's spirit and truth (John4:23; 2Cor.1:21-22; 5:5; Eph.1:14; 1Thess.4:8), resulting in eternal life for that person (1Pet.1:23; James1:18; John1:13; 6:63; 1John3:9; Rom.8:9-11; 2Cor.5:1-3).

God's spirit makes it's home within that heart of truth (John14:23,2; 2Tim.1:14; 1Cor.3:16) (Isa.66:1-2 LINK). That is the "occupied home" (Greek: "oikou") which the scriptures that contain "oikou"/"occupied home", are referring to (Col.2:9). (These facts are lost to the mis-translation of "oikou", when mistakenly rendered as the general "world" or "earth").
This fact must especially be kept in mind, when interpreting the symbolic book of Revelation and it's reference to "earth" ("oikou").
There is presently a prevalent misconception, that the scroll of Revelation applies to the world at large (Greek= "cosmos"), the entire "earth"/Greek= "he-rets")...rather than to God's own people ("oikou"). 
This dire ignorance is largely due to this mis-translation and mis-interpretation of the original Greek word, "oikou" (literally, "occupied home") into "earth" or "world", when those are not the Greek word originally written within the scripture.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Satan's release from the Abyss


Refinements added to
"The Thing That Acts as a Restraint"
as follows:

In the time of the end (1Tim.4:1; Rev.16:13-16; 2Thess.2:1-3; Matt.24:24-25; Rev.13:7; 2:20) Yhwh is allowing this "operation of error" (2Thess.2:11). It is therefore, not being restrained by Him, or those faithfully doing His will. 
  Satan's power and deceptions are then "misleading the entire inhabited earth" (Rev.12:9; 1John5:19b; 2Thess.2:9; Dan.11:36; 7:25; Rev.13:6-7). His designs were not restrained among God's faithful people, until Satan was chained and cast into the Abyss (Rev.20:3) "that he might not mislead the nations anymore" (Rev.5:9,10; 7:9; Luke10:17; 1Pet.2:9; John 8:32; Col.1:13; 1Cor.15:25).  That "abyssing" occurred when Christ put Satan there in the first century (Matt.28:18; Rev.1:18; 20:1-3) (Matt.8:29; Jude 1:6; 1Pet.3:19) (Luke10:17-20). 
Satan was released at the end of Christ's "thousand year" reign, by "Wormwood" (Rev.8:10-11; 9:1-3,11; Isa.33:1; Rev.16:13-16; 20:7-8,3; 12:12 F; 1Tim.4:1). He then  is able once again, to mislead God's people (Job 3:8; Rev.13:1,7; Luke 21:24; Col.2:8; Rev.13:10; Dan.8:11-12; 11:31; 12:11; 2Thess.2:4; Rev.11:2; Matt.24:24-25,15-16) (Col.2:8; Rev.16:13-14; 1Tim.4:1)
       (Job 3:8 "Who is Leviathan?")
through the agents of the abyss (Rev.9:1-3; 11:7 B)... the "locust-scorpions"/"Wild Beast" collective (Rev.9:3,10; Joel 2:1-2; Matt.24:21) (Rev.9:10; Eze.2:6; Luke 10:19). This occurs within Satan's "short period of time" (Rev.12:12; 20:3; Matt.24:22,32-33; Luke 21:28)... called, the Great Tribulation (Amos 9:9; Luke21:35; Matt.24:21; Dan.12:1; Eze.5:9; Rev.13:8,7; 2:20; Luke 21:22). 
(Meaning of "Earth")
These "locust-scorpions"/"Wild Beast"/"man of lawlessness"/"anti-Christ, IS the "thing that acts as a restraint" against the remaining ones of the woman's seed/Holy Ones/Temple of God (Luke21:22,24; Rev.3:2-3,17-18; 12:17; Dan.8:11-13).

The Greek interlinear shows the proper meaning of 2Thess.2:6. Some translations render this verse as containing two different identities...the one who restrains, and the one to be revealed. But the Greek helps to show, that these two are one in the same...

"And now the thing holding down you have known, into the to be revealed  him in the of him  appointed time." 
It is the thing holding down, that is also to be revealed.

2Thess.2:7 shows that the "holding down/lawlessness/set in opposition" will only be effective until this restraint is cleared away/exposed/revealed.

This indicates that the restraint will only be effective over the faithful anointed, until it is revealed, exposed, and made impotent by the spirit of truth that originates with Christ. (2Thess.2:8)
("by the breath of his mouth" -see John 20:22; Zech.4:6; Isa.11:4; Rev.19:15; Joel 3:13; Rev.19:14; 11:5; Mal.4:5-6; Matt.17:11; Mal.3:1-3; Rev.2:16; Eph.6:17) 

Let us examine the context of verse 6, to see the main subjects that Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy are speaking about.

Remember, according to verse 1, (2Thess.2:1) they are primarily speaking about the period of time when the anointed are "gathered together to him" (Christ) (Eph.1:10). This period of being "gathered together" was referred to by Christ, at Matt. 24:28 ; Luke17:34,37 ; John14:3-6 ; Rev.14:4; 1Pet.2:21; Rom.6:5; Heb.13:13; Matt.25:6; John10:3-4; Mark8:35; Rev.6:9-11).

During this period, God and Christ would begin to feed the faithful anointed prophets, directly (Luke 12:35,36,37; Dan.12:1,10,3; Rev.11:3-4; Matt.5:15; Rev.1:20; 10:7). They would no longer be fed by the "Steward" arrangement (Luke 12:42,45). Why? Because the steward is no longer providing the other anointed the "proper food at the proper time" (Matt.24:4-5,13:25) (Gal.4:2-3,8-9; Eph.4:13; Heb.5:14) (Luke12:42; 1Cor.4:1) (Matt.13:30). The faithful anointed are under the greatest test as the end approaches, and they need the truth in order to become sealed as slaves of God (Rev.7:3,15; 14:1,16; Deut.11:18; Rev.22:3-4). 
Christ will gather his Chosen faithful to him in the time of his "presence", to be fed (Rev.1:10;12:6,14; Matt.24:31,28; 22:1-2,8-10; Rev.22:6,16-17; John10:3; Heb.13:13; Rev.18:4; Matt.24:15-16; Eze.36:8; 34:25-27).

It is previous to the genuine, actual presence (Mal.3:1; Heb.10:37; Hab.2:2-3), that anointed need to be on guard against being misled into believing an earlier, counterfeit fulfillment of Christ's arrival (2Thess.2:2). The faithful slaves of Christ must now be gathered together in the cause of truth (John4:24; Rev.19:14) to bear witness to what Jesus now gives (Rev.19:10-11,14; 17:14; 6:9,11; 12:10-11,17; 17:14; 20:4).

For more about this subject, see latter part of:

Second Resurrection

Friday, November 6, 2015

Second Resurrection

(Rev.20:6,5 A) states:
"The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended."

So we see that, considered righteous and donned in white robes (Rev.6:9,10,11; 19:8); the sealed anointed receive life as the "new creation" (Eph.4:22-24; Gal.6:15; Col.3:11; 2Cor.5:17; Rev.3:14; 1:5; 14:1,4; James 1:18; John 6:57). 
Though only seen as physical, they have been given spirit life within (John 5:24; 6:63; 20:22; 1John3:14; Rom.8:9,11; 2Cor.5:17; 1Cor.3:16).
  The "rest" (Rev.20:5 A) of the "woman's seed" (Rev.12:17) who are overcome by Satan's "short time" (Matt.24:22) following his release from the abyss [Rev.13:1,7; 12:12; 20:3,7-8; 16:14,13; 1Tim.4:1; Rev.13:11,15-18; 16:13 (666)], must "come to life" after they "come out of" the "Great Tribulation"/final test (Rev.7:3; 9:4; Rev.7:14) (timetable-kingdoms). During that time, Christ will cause his "two witnesses" to prophesy, so that along with Satan's great deception (1Tim.4:1; 2Thess.2:9-12,4; Dan.11:36; Rev.12:9,15; 13:11,7; Dan.8:12,11,24-25; 11:31) ("gods"?) (Satan's "river"), God will not fail to make "the proper food at the proper time", also available (Dan.12:4; Rev.20:12; John 12:48; Luke 8:10; Dan.12:10,3; Phil.2:15; Rev.1:20; 8:6; 10:7; Isa.58:1; Rev.11:3-5; 20:9,15; Jer.5:14; 23:29; Hosea 6:5; Rev.2:26-27; 12:5; Eph.2:6) (Isa.65:13; Eze.34:13-15; Jer.31:12; Eze.17:22-24; 36:30; Rev.22:2; Eze.36:8; Matt.24:15-16) 
(Disgusting Thing). 
All present at that time, must avail themselves of the knowledge being provided through Christ's faithful steward (Luke 12:42-44; John21:17; Mal.2:7; 3:18; Matt.7:20) (Fine Trees). If they do seek it out, and they hear and obey it (Rev.3:22; 22:6-7,12), they too will receive life (Rev.2:29; 22:17; Matt.22:9-10; 10:40-42; Prov.25:25; Nahum 1:15; Isa.52:7; Matt.24:14; Isa.48:20; 62:11; Jer.31:10-12; 51:6; Rev.18:4; Isa.1:21; Rev.17:2; 2:20-21) ("Jezebel").
Of the few who do repent among God's people...
 (Rom.9:27; Rev.13:1,7-8,11,15,8; 2:20-21; 3:3,19; 9:20-21; 16:9,11; Matt.7:14,13; 24:5,4,11,24-25,22; Luke 18:26-27; 1Thess.5:17; Eph.6:18; Luke 21:36; Rev.7:10; Jer.31:11; 30:7,10);
... they will "come to life" 
(John5:24; Rev.3:20; John6:58; Rev.2:17; 3:11; James 1:12)...
"after the thousand years", and the Great Tribulation to follow... 
(Amos 7:1-2; Rev.9:3,2; Joel 2:2; Matt.24:21) (Greatest-trib.Why?) (Great-trib-2parts) (Rev.9:10; Eze.2:6; Luke 10:19), 
..."have ended" (Rev.20:5 A) (Rev.7:9-10,13-14,16-17).

For any questions that arise, please use the contact form to the right.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

GUIDE TO BAPTISM Series / Lesson One / Why did Jesus get baptized?

SERIES: All the Things I have Commanded
Questions added


I have received many letters, requesting that I create a guide to teach those wishing to be genuine disciples of Christ, rather than indoctrinated adherents to an organization. Many seek the path to baptism, and there is much controversy over just what Jesus himself requires previous to baptism, if anything.
When I myself explore that question, my mind is drawn to Matt.28:19-20. I believe that Christ himself clearly states there, his direction on this matter.
Using his words and commands as a guide, I have begun a guide for others.
I will create lessons based up on the commands of Jesus Christ (Matt.28:20).
Jesus himself associates learning these, with baptism.
Learning would come before the vow (Acts4:11; Matt.7:24; Luke14:27-28; Ec.5:4-6).

My own coverage of Christ's commands will naturally, lack much (John21:25; 20:30-31; 12:49; Job 26:14; Matt.10:27). But my efforts will be my own best attempt as guided by spirit and truth (Rom.5:5; John17:17; 4:24), to obey Christ's command to his bride members and priests, at Matt.28:20.

Here is the first post...


Part A

I suggest that you read Matthew, chapters 1-3. The end of chapter 3 will bring you to the first recorded words of Jesus, and we can see what we can learn from them.
When you are done with chapters 1-3, 
(Matthew chapter One)
(Matthew chapter Two)
(Matthew chapter Three)
read Matt.3:13-15 again. 
Baptism by John was the symbol of repentance for the Jewish nation (Mark 1:3-4) who were physical Jews (John 8:33,37,39; Matt.15:24; 10:5-6; Luke 1:54-55).  
John the Baptist was " 'greater / more' than a prophet" (Matt.11:7,9-10), because he had the spirit of an Elijah Herald (Luke 1:17,16; Matt.3:3; 11:14)... whose purpose is to awaken and cleanse God's nation to receive the arriving Messiah (Mark1:3; Matt.21:5). Such a Herald/Watchman, was also prophesied to arrive in the time of the end (Mal.4:5-6; Matt.17:11; Isa.49:8; Matt19:28; 25:6; Mal.3:1; Zech.4:9,14,11; Rev.11:4,3; 10:7; 16:17; 11:15; Isa.52:7; Rev.22:6,16; 1:1; John 16:8-14; Hab.2:2; Rev.4:8; 15:7) (Rev.12:14; Isa.40:3; 35:8; Matt.7:14; Rev.22:2), previous to Christ's final arrival (Matt.24:30,37; 16:27; Rev.1:7; 22:7)

At Mark1:3 and Luke1:17, we learn the work of the Herald, and how he prepares the heart to receive the arriving Messiah.
What does "turning hearts" between fathers and children, mean? 
The Herald comes to restore spiritual relationships...
" 'A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?' says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name.' "
(Mal.4:6) (Luke1:16) Eze.14:5-6) (2Cor.5:20; Col.1:20; Matt.17:11)

 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."  (Isa.9:6)
 "If you love me, obey my commands." (John14:15) 
 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise" (Eph.6:1-3) (Deut.4:40; Isa.59:21; Deut.11:18; Rev.14:1)
 "Like Isaac, we are children of promise (Gal.4:28)...Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother." (Gal.4:26) 
  (Heb.8:6) (Gal.4:24 a)

"Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel." 
(3John1:4; 1Cor.4:14; 2Cor.6:13; 1Thess.2:11; 1Tim.1:2; 2John1:4; 1John2:1; 1John5:21; etc.)
"I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one." (1John2:13-14)

And so when we read that the relationships between spiritual fathers, mothers, and children, are ripped apart and need to be restored,
we understand better why God will  "devote the whole land to destruction/a curse" (Mal.4:6) 

(Satan - 1Cor.5:5) (Zech.5:3), if these bonds are not repaired (Luke1:16; Rev.22:3,18-19).  (See LINK)
Why does God send a Herald, previous to His passing judgment on His people?
What does water baptism signify?
How does the Herald prepare the heart of his hearers?
What does it mean to "turn hearts toward children and toward fathers"?


Since the meaning of baptism is a preparatory cleansing (Eph.5:26; John15:3; 13:10; Heb.10:22), why did Jesus desire to be baptized?
Was Jesus a sinner? No (see Heb.7:26; 4:15; 2Cor.5:21).
So, why did he get baptized? 
The reason, is the first lesson we learn from him.
Jesus was born a Jew (see Gal.4:4-5). 
Why are we told (in verse 4) that he was "born of woman"? 
That seems obvious.
It is telling us something deeper. If we go to Gal.4:24, it shows that this is also talking about being "born under Law" (Gal.4:4,24). He was born into the Nation that was in covenant with God, through God's Law covenant (John1:17; 7:19; Rom.3:18-20; 2Cor.3:7-10; Gal.3:10-14) and the covenant with Abraham (Gen.15:18; 17:8), who was the forefather of the circumcised Jews (James2:21; Luke1:73; Acts7:2; Rom.4:1).
The covenant/promise given to Abraham, was for all Abraham's physical children to come, first (Gen.28:13-14; Acts 3:25-26; Rom.1:16).
Later, those who were not physical Jews (other nations too) would also become Abraham's
spiritual children (Gen.17:4-5; Rom.1:16; 4:9,13,16,18,23-24; Gal.3:6-9), Chosen to be so, because of their faith. Those who become Abraham's children through faith, are his spiritual children, from all nations (Gen.17:4; Rev.5:9-10)... those who will be his heirs to receive the promise God made to Abraham (Gal.3:28-29,26) There is no preference by God for the physical Jew, anymore (John 8:39,37; Matt.3:9; 21:43; Rom.2:28-29; 4:12; 3:29-30; Gal.3:28; Acts 10:34-35).
What does it mean to be "born of woman"?
How many "women" are mentioned, at Gal.4:24,26?
How do the "children" of each "woman", differ?
Who will inherit the full promise God made to Abraham (Rom.4:13; Gen.13:14-15; Gal.3:29)?
Are the physical Jews, still God's people of covenant? (Matt.21:43)

But if we go back to Jesus, and why he got baptized...
The Jewish nation was in a Law covenant ("woman" -Gal.4:24) with God. Jesus was born from that nation in covenant. That's why Gal.4:4 says of him, "born of woman" (Gal.4:24).
Jesus was born into God's nation of physical Jews, because they were to be given the first chance to become heirs of God's promises (out of respect for God's promises to their forefathers) (Acts 3:25-26; Rom.1:16; Matt.15:24; Rom.15:8; Luke1:72,55; Acts13:32-33,46; Matt.21:43). How could those who rejected Christ (Matt.21:42; Acts2:22-23), "bear fruit"? (John 15:8,4-5; Matt.21:43). The Jews who rejected and slew Christ (Matt.27:25), cannot bear righteous fruit (Phil.1:11; John15:5) and so, do not inherit God's Kingdom (Matt.21:43). A few of the Jews, did accept Christ (Isa.10:22; Luke21:20; 12:32).
Who was given first chance to inherit the earth along with Christ, and why?
Why did not all Jews succeed in inheriting the promises made to Abraham?

God fulfilled His promises to the physical Jews, through Christ (Acts 13:32-33; Gal.3:16; Rom.10:4; Matt.5:17-18; Gal.5:14) (Gal.3:21; Heb.8:6-7,13). He received the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham's physical seed (Matt.5:17; 2Cor.1:20; Gal.3:16,19; Gen.12:7)
Under the New Covenant, 
those who were not physical Jews would be included in a covenant with God (John 10:16; Rom.1:16; 4:16; John 11:52; 10:27; Rom.11:25; 9:6). Baptism today also symbolizes a cleansing, for the spiritual nation of "Jews", that exists under the New Covenant (Matt.3:9; Rom.2:28-29; Gal.3:7,29; John 10:16; Heb.8:10; Deut.11:18; Rev.14:1).
Through whom did God fulfill His promise to Abraham, from among the physical Jews?
Who is included under the New Covenant promises?
John the Baptist called for a cleansing and repentance for physical Jews, to prepare for the physical arrival of the Messiah. What does baptism today call for? From whom?


Jesus accepted that he came from the Jewish nation which was sinning, when John the baptist began his work.
Even though Jesus was not sinning, he did not separate himself from the nation that was sinning. In order to save them, he stayed connected to them, and took responsibility for them and their sins. God considers that "righteous" (Matt.3:15; Job 1:5,8; 42:7-8,10; Heb.9:7; Dan.9:20,3; Rev.11:3; Neh.1:6; Isa.6:5; Ps.145:18; Rom.3:25-26). For a time, the intercession of the righteous, is found lacking in the time of the end (Rom.3:10-13; Deut.32:32-33; Matt.3:7; 23:33,36; Mark.8:38; Rom.3:13; Rev.13:11,7; 18:3; Dan.8:11-12; Isa.59:14; Rev.8:1; Eze.22:30) 
(Mal.4:5-6), due to the dominion of "Wormwood" (Rev.8:10-11; 9:1,3,10; 11:7; 13:11,7). 
Without the intercession/discipline of Christ/"Michael", the elect would perish (Matt.24:21-22; Eze.22:30; Isa.59:16; 63:5; Dan.12:1; Rev.12:7; 2:16; Rev.12:10-11; Amos 7:1; Rev.9:1-3,10) (Matt.24:22; Mark10:26-27)
Why did Jesus desire to be baptized?
How does Christ's intercession for the physical Jews, compare to the intercession needed today for God's spiritual nation of Israel? (Rom.2:28-29)
Could the final remnant be saved, without the intercession of Christ/"Michael"?

If Jesus did not intercede on behalf of those in both covenants, God's people would not have a chance to have their sins forgiven, or to receive the promises God made to Abraham.
As the above scriptural examples showed, such intercession was done by righteous men, before. 
Even though the prophet Jeremiah was a good man in God's eyes,
his nation (God's people Jews, Israel) were sinning then also.
Jeremiah prayed to God to have mercy on his sinful people.
Even though he was not doing the sinning, he prayed like he was a part of it,
because he stayed a part of the nation, so he also, could help it.
See his prayer...
Jer.14:7, 19-21
He spoke like he was a part of the sinful nation, and he was repenting for them and those who came before them (forefathers) because they also sinned.
That is what Jesus was doing, when he was baptized, but unlike the righteous before him (Heb.9:7; 5:3; Job 1:5), he was completely without sin (Heb.4:15; 7:26; 9:24-25,11-12,14,28).
It was the right thing to do (Matt.3:15)... to share the identity with the sinful, so that he could share with them, his own righteousness. He, like Jeremiah, repented of sin, even though it was not his sins that he asked forgiveness for.
But there is another reason why it was "righteous" for Jesus to be baptized by John.
"John the Baptizer" was chosen by God to perform this role, even before his birth (Luke 1:13,15-17,76-80). He was chosen to turn God's nation from their sins, and to baptize them in symbol of that repentance. 
Jesus was obeying God's arrangement for all Israel, by seeking out baptism by John (Luke 7:29-30). We too, should obey God's expressed arrangement for baptism (Matt.28:19-20; Mal.2:7).
Although sinless, why was it "righteous" for Jesus to be baptized?
Although himself capable of baptizing with Holy Spirit (Matt.3:11), why did Jesus subject himself to John for baptism? (Matt.3:13-15)

These are the first lessons through example, that Jesus gave us, as recorded in the Greek scriptures.
A way to imitate the baptism of Jesus, is to submit ourselves to those whom God has chosen to baptize us, by learning from them, and by being baptized by them (Matt.28:19-20).
There is a second way to imitate the baptism of Christ...
If we belong to God's people today and we are striving to be righteous, we have a choice...
We can just separate ourselves from the sinners, keep quiet, and let them die (Isa.59:15; Eze.33:6).
Or, we can have feeling for what they are going to suffer because of God's punishment to come.
We can devote ourselves to doing all we can (Eze.33:7; Eph.4:25)... even giving our life for them (Eph.6:19; Amos 5:10; Rev.6:9; 13:15; Mark 8:35), so that some may be warned, wake up, and be given a chance to live.
In what two ways can we imitate the example we find in the baptism of Jesus?

We work to save others (1Cor.9:22-23; 10:33; Rom.15:1-2), even when they hate us [John16:2; Heb.13:13; Isa.66:5; Matt.24:49; Rev.17:6; Micah 3:9-11; John 15:18 ** (John 8:13,15,23 **; John 15:25); Rev.11:3,7-10; Matt.24:9; Rev.9:20-21; Micah 2:2; Rom.8:17], and they don't comprehend their sins (Mal.3:1-2,7-9,13-15,18; Isa.57:1; Rom.3:11; Rev.3:17-18; Jer.9:11-13).
[Matt.24:15 (the-greatest-tribulation-what and why)]
Just like Jesus said...
"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt.5:44)
"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke6:27-28)
"Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke23:34)
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." (Rom.12:14)
"Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else." (1Thess.5:15)
Do those we seek to help, always appreciate it?

What general reaction do we expect?


God does not listen to the prayers of the unrepentant sinners (John9:31; Prov.28:9; Ps.66:18).
But he does hear the prayers of His faithful servants (Ps.34:15; 1John3:22).
So, Jesus knew that he was the only one who God would listen to, for the sake of God's Nation (1Tim.1:15; Luke19:10).
If we have approach to God (Eph.3:12; Matt.21:22), we do not want to be selfish, but to pray for those who really need it (Titus 3:8; Heb.13:16).
We will also do what we can, to save sinners, and so,  imitate Jesus.
That is the job of God's priests (Heb.5:1; Phil.4:6; Eph.6:18; 1Tim.2:1; James 5:15-16; Hosea 14:2; 6:6; Micah 6:8) (John 17:1,15,20; Luke 23:34; Matt.5:44)
How can we imitate Jesus within our prayers?


Jesus was rewarded for his decision to be baptized... (Matt.3:16-17; 1Cor.2:10; Rom.5:5)
The heavens opened up [Mark 1:10; (Isa.11:2) Rev.4:1; 3:20; 2:17; Matt.7:7; Luke24:32,45; John3:12] (Rev.2:17; John6:51,55; 14:21) 
(Isa.29:11-12; Rev.5:2,5,7; John16:15,14; 15:15; Rev.22:16; 10:7; 20:12; John12:48), 
meaning that, God blessed Jesus with heavenly knowledge, wisdom, and understanding (Rev.5:2,5; Rev.5:7; Dan.7:13-14; John15:15).
Best of all, God declared that Jesus became His son (Heb.5:5; Matt.3:17). ...a Son in a new way.
Jesus was imitating God, by his mercy toward the sinful (Eph.5:1; Matt.5:44-48; Matt.5:9).
This is how, we also, become adopted as God's children.
What blessing does God give to those who extend His mercy to others?
When we imitate our merciful God, what confident hope can we have?

Part B


At the time of his baptism, Jesus presented himself to do God's Will.
He knew that God's will would require a death for the sake of both defending the truth, and the giving of life to others (John 10:15; Luke12:50; Rom.6:3; Matt.26:28)....
4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
    but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
    I have come to do your will, my God.’” (Ps.51:16-17; 69:30-31; 50:14; Hosea 6:6; Ps.40:6-8)
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” — though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, 
“Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 
13 and since that time (he reigns) he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool 
(Ps.110:1-2; 1Cor.15:24-25,27; Matt.28:18).
14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (Heb.12:22-23; Matt.5:48,44-45).
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.”
(Deut.11:18; Rev.14:1; Jer.31:33; 1Pet.2:10,9)
Christ left us the example of presenting himself to serve God whole-souled, while knowing that this would require a death for others, in order that they might live (1Pet.2:21; Rev.14:4-5; 20:4; 6:9,11; John 12:24-26). 
What did Jesus understand about his baptism vow?

That death would take many forms. It would first require self denial... a death of one's former, self-centered purpose (2Cor.5:15; Rom.14:7-8; Rom.7:6-7; 6:2; Gal.5:24). It would then require a social death, inflicted by a false religious community through exclusion and expulsion (John16:2; 9:22; 5:16; 15:20; Rev.13:8,15; 11:7; 6:11; Isa.66:5; Luke6:22; Heb.13:12-13; Rom.7:6; etc.) due to being "hated" by the "world"/religious system (John 8:40-42,48,23; Matt.15:24; John 15:24-25,18; 1:11; 16:2) (1John 3:15,12; Gal.4:16). (1John3:15; Isa.66:5; John16:2)
(Symbolic "Death" by means of the World)
 For many brothers of Christ, the death can also become literal and physical (Acts7:54-60; 11:19; 8:1; John21:18-19).
This sacrificial course should also be considered a command of Christ. How so?
(John15:12-14,17; 13:34-35; 1John 4:7-8; Matt.22:37-39; Rom.12:9-21; 2Cor.12:15; Phil.2:17; 1Thess.2:8; 2Tim.2:10; Col.1:24; Mark 8:35; Rev.19:11,14,8; 6:11; 17:14; 12:10-11; 2:26,17; 3:12,21; Eph.2:6) (Matt.10:32-33)
(John12:25; 15:18-19,24-25) (LINK)
In what three ways may a death for truth, be manifested?
Is such a "death", necessary? Why?


To be a genuine disciple of Christ, entails a sacrificial life (Luke 9:23; 14:27).
The occupation of such a life would be the praise of God (John17:4; 15:8; Luke 6:43,45; John7:18,16), the defending of His Truths (2Cor.11:3-4,20,12-13; 2Cor.10:5-6; Gal.1:8; Col.2:8; Rom.16:17; Eph.5:11), 
and to be loving... 
God (1John5:3; 2:15), 
Christ (2Cor.5:14-15; John21:15), 
Truth (Ps.15:2; Eph.4:24-25,15; Luke8:11,15-16; John14:6; 17:6,8,17-20) (Matt.5:20; Luke12:1), 
neighbor (Mark12:31; Gal.5:14; Luke10:29-37), 
fellow Christians (1John3:17; James 2:14-16; Matt.25:35,40; 2Cor.9:10-12; 1:11; 8:4,14; 1Cor.12:25-26; Heb.6:10; Rom.12:13; Gal.6:10; John13:34-35)
spiritual assistance among priests- (John13:15,14; Ps.119:9; Eph.5:26-27; Gal.6:6; 2Tim.4:2; Acts18:25-26; Eph.4:7; Rom.12:4-8; 1Cor.10:17; John13:14)
and our enemies (Matt.5:44; 1Cor.4:11-13; Rom.12:9,14,17-21). 
That love would be expressed in action (1John3:18) and would primarily be concerned with the spiritual welfare and future of all those we can reach.
In imitation of Christ, our baptism signifies our presenting ourselves to do God's will, as defined in a life of loving sacrifice for the sake of others.
In what three main ways, do we serve God?
In what ways do we display Christ's command to love? (John13:34-35)

For more on baptism today: (LINK)
*For Lesson Two: (LINK)


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