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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