Category Archives: John 3:16

A King a Curse and a Secret Princess (A True Christmas Story)

A king, a curse and a secret princess.

It was the last days of Judah.

(the Southern kingdom of Israel)

Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) was king.

2 Kings 24:8-15

To paraphrase…Jeconiah was an evil king.

Can a corrupt throne be allied with you–

a throne that brings on misery by its decrees? Psalm 94:20

The prophet Jeremiah was sent by the Lord numerous times with a word telling Jeconiah to straighten up and live right with God.

Hear the word of the LORD to you, king of Judah, you who sit on David’s throne–you, your officials and your people who come through these gates. Jeremiah 22:2

Jeconiah set himself against the prophet Jeremiah.

Yet, another warning from the Lord that Jeremiah

was delivered to Jeconiah :

 …”O land, land, land, Hear the word of the LORD! “Thus says the LORD, ‘Write this man down childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again in Judah.'”

Jeremiah 22:29-30

A curse to Jeconiah’s (and King David’s) blood line?

Jeremiah prophesied in Jeremiah 2:37 that Jeconiah would leave his throne and his land in captivity.

You will also leave that place with your hands on your head, for the LORD has rejected those you trust; you will not be helped by them.

Jeconiah, his  son Shealtiel, and many others were taken captive and moved to the city Babylon.

The descendants of Jehoiachin the captive: Shealtiel his son,

1 Chronicles 3:17 

Some years later, after the exile, Jeconiah’s  great grandson Zerubbabel (son of Pedaiah) returns to his land and should be king but, he is not (only a Governor) due to the curse on Jeconiah’s throne and the land.

The royal line of David appears to be broken.

Years passed.

Here is a line of descendants to follow Zerubbabel

(from Matthew 24: 13 -16)

Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim,Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

What?

Isn’t this is interesting?

So, Joseph, son of Jacob, husband of Mary…should have been a Prince or the sitting King during his lifetime?

Yet, Joseph grows up poor and humble (yet righteous man)

Joseph is off of the throne due to a curse of his forefathers?

The Old Testament prophesied that Messiah and King would be from the line of David but with this blood line it seems impossible.

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. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.   Isaiah9:6-7

Now what?

Is there another blood line of King David’s that isn’t cursed?

A secret prince …

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…or princess?

Yes.

Nathan.

Nathan’s blood line was a line not cursed by Jeconiah’s

foolish decisions and disobedience to God.

Nathan was King David’s and Bathsheba’s child.

David reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years, and these were the children born to him there: Shammua,  Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. These four were by Bathsheba daughter of Ammiel.

1 Chronicles 3: 4-5

Mary (mother of Jesus) was of the royal blood line that came through Nathan!

Mary, the secret Princess?

Here is Mary’s abbreviated line chronicled in Luke 3:31:

the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha,

the son of Nathan, the son of David, 

(You can read King David’s complete blood line in 1 Chronicles 3)

(You can read Mary’s and Jesus’ complete blood line in Luke 3)

(3…the number of the Trinity…interesting)

So, here we have two poor, humble, God fearing people,

(Joseph and Mary)

who will soon be married by an arrangement made by Mary’s father.

I wonder…

Did either of them realize that they were of “Royal Blood”?

Or, had everyday life and hard times erased any image or thoughts of royalty from their minds and lives?

A secret Prince.

And…a secret Princess!

Now, this is the awesome part!!

Because this was a virgin birth…

Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit, not Joseph…

There is NO CURSE!!!

This is described in Luke 1:26-35:

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

The curse is broken!

Royalty is restored!

King Jesus sits on the restored throne of David!

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Do you realize that our story is so similar?

You and I were also born under a curse.

You know the story, right?

The curse of Adam.

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 The woman, the apple & the serpent.

(That sounds like a book title)

Any way…

We too are a “secret Prince” or “secret Princess” through our Messiah and King Jesus.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.    Peter 2:9-10

Has everyday life, sin and hard times erased any image or thoughts of royalty from our own minds?

Sin does not have to reign in your kingdom and close the door to our royal priesthood.

Grace returns our crown!

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.    Romans 6:11-14

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Wear your crown with your head held high!

You are royalty!

So am I!

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Why Bethlehem?

Why Bethlehem?

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Why did God choose for His Son, Jesus

(The Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, Messiah)

to be born in the sleepy little city of Bethlehem?

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2

There could be a few reasons.

Reason     Image result for free clipart of number 1

Isn’t one of Jesus’ names, The Lamb of God?

The next day he (John) saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

Who were among the first to greet Jesus?

The shepherds.

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And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”…Luke 1:8-12

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This is interesting,  the land surrounding the city of Bethlehem was the land that the Temple’s sacrificial lambs were raised and cared for by the shepherds.

So, those shepherds that the angels visited were out in pastures tending to lambs and sheep that would one day be sacrificed…just like the Lamb of God.

This was prophesied in the Old Testament.

 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, Isaiah 53:7 

Jesus fulfilled those same words in the New Testament.

 Phillip used that scripture to proclaim that Jesus was the man who fulfilled that prophecy and shared the Good News with an Ethiopian eunuch and baptized him in Acts 8.

And he (an Ethiopian eunuch) invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: “HE WAS LED AS A SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER; AND AS A LAMB BEFORE ITS SHEARER IS SILENT, SO HE DOES NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH.

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A sacrificial lamb without blemish.

but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1:19

Jesus is your sacrificial lamb.

Offering you a gift bigger than life, for an eternity.

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Jesus, our Shepherd.

A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
Psalm 23:1

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Just as the shepherds of Bethlehem greeted the “Lamb”, they also greeted their “Shepherd”.

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. John 10:14-15

Though some received Jesus as Messiah, most Jewish people  turned away from Jesus and for 2000 years they have been a scattered flock with no shepherd.

 “They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. “My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, Ezekiel 34:5-6

So he (Micah) said, “I saw all Israel Scattered on the mountains, Like sheep which have no shepherd; And the LORD said, ‘These have no master. Let each of them return to his house in peace.'”

2 Chronicles 17-18

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Jesus is gathering His sheep.

The Jews.

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name. They will forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid. “When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations.…Ezekiel 39:25-27

Ezekiel 16:63
Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign LORD.'”

And the Gentiles.

…and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. 1 Peter 2:24-25

He came that they (we) may have life, and have it abundantly.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. “He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.…John 10:10-12

Jesus seeks you.

Receive the free gift of peace and safety for your soul

from the Shepherd and rest.

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Reason # Image result for free clipart of number 3

Jesus is called “Bread of Life”.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. “I am the bread of life.  John 6:47-48

The word Bethlehem is made up of two Hebrew words:

Bet Leḥem:  [bet ˈleχem]

Those two words mean: “House of Bread”.

The “Bread of Life” was born in the “House of Bread”.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. John 6:35

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Taste and see that the LORD is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!   Psalm 34:8

Reason   Image result for free clipart of number 4

Jesus is King.

His (Jesus) ancestors, specifically King David,

had humble beginnings as a shepherd himself in Bethlehem.

Matthew 1:1-17 offers the Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah.

In verse 1 it starts out like this:

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David,

the son of Abraham:

When my daughter was younger, she learned a cute little song that helped her remember this.

It’s a snappy little tune.

Here it is if you are interested.

An angel (yes, an angel) explains it like this to Mary in Luke 1:32-33:

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

The Old Testament prophesied it in several locations.

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. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7

Jeremiah 23: 5-6 says it like this;

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.

So, another reason Jesus was born in Bethlehem was so God could

give Jesus back the throne of His Father David to reign over Jacob’s

descendants forever with a kingdom that will never end.

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Amen!!!

Why Bethlehem?

There is one more reason…

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Look in the mirror.

You!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. John 3:16-21

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God continues to reveal himself to us in so many ways.

His love, mercy, wonder and mysteries are without limit.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts, Isaiah 55:8-9

We will truly never understand all He is this side of heaven.

Matthew 24 – Part 8

 

 

In Matthew 24 – Part 8 we look at Jesus’ final words of

instruction to His disciples:

36“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,f but only the Father.

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We cannot know the day or the hour.

The angels do not know when they will be called for the harvest.

The Son (Jesus) does not even know that appointed time.

But God’s people are suppose to be studying God’s Word,

(like Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 and Revelation)

so we can know the signs and discern the season.

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37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

What were the days of Noah like?

The LORD saw how great the wickedness

of the human race had become on the earth,

and that every inclination of the thoughts

of the human heart was only evil all the time.

The LORD regretted that he had made human beings

on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.

Genesis 6:5-6

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.

God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth

had corrupted their ways.

Genesis 6:11-12

Sound familiar?

Genesis 6:9 described Noah like this:

This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous

man, blameless among the people of his time,

and he walked faithfully with God.

He walked faithfully with God.

What is faith?

Hebrews 11:1 describes faith like this;

Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us

of the existence of things we cannot see. (GWT)

Noah believed things he could not yet see.

Noah built a very large boat NO WHERE near a body of water.

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Noah prepared for a flood when he and his peers

had no idea what rain was yet.

Noah prepared to house and feed many animals on his boat

(at least 2 of every kind)

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and those animals did not currently even live on his property,

much less in his own town or country.

 Noah built an ark because he believed his God.

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Do you believe your God?

How much faith do you really place in God’s Word?

Do you believe what He has written?

 Genesis 6:22 also says,
“Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”

Noah did everything God commanded him…

Regardless of his neighbors heckling him.

Regardless of the fact he may have looked foolish to men.

Regardless of the fact Noah saw no rain.

Regardless of the fact Noah saw no animals (yet).

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Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

 

Hebrew 11:7  says this about Noah:

By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Noah was warned about things not yet seen.

In reverence to God, Noah prepared.

Noah prepared because he had faith in God’s words.

Because of Noah’s faith,

he became an heir of righteousness.

Because of Noah’s faith in God,

his family survived.

The earth healed.

Noah’s remnant repopulated the earth.

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38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

It was a normal day.

Life was happening.

People were eating, drinking and marrying.

Because Noah listened, walked in faith and saw the signs

he was prepared to enter the boat at the first rain drop.

The rain came and took the others away.

40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

One taken.

One left.

Which will you be?

42“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Jesus is telling us to keep watch.

We will not know the exact day.

But, understand this…you must be ready.

(So after all the things happen that we have discussed in

Matthew 24 blogs 1 through 8,

keep watch and be ready because the time is near)

45“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

The faithful and wise servant found completing their tasks

 and in good standing when the master returns will become

in charge of all the masters possessions.

Would you call yourself a “faithful and wise servant”?

Will the Master return finding you doing what

He has placed you here to do?

48But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

What about the wicked, unaware servant with the

“while the cat is away, the mice will play” attitude?

The one not expecting the Master’s return?

Not too good.

They will be assigned a place with the hypocrites,

where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

What???

Hypocrites???

(That is a another post for another time)

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Matthew 24 – Part 6

The last post left us hanging at Matthew 24:30 so this post

Matthew 24 – Part 6 will pick back up there.

Then will appear another sign…

What sign?

The Son of Man in heaven.

30Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.

Christians will not be the only individuals to see

the return of Christ.

The Bible says, and then all the peoples

(This includes the unbelievers, the doubters,

those who stumbled and fell away, the lukewarm,

and those who chose to follow antichrist)

All will mourn when He is seen.

His power and presence will be heavy upon mankind.

The weight of His overwhelming glory felt by all.

The perfect, spotless, Son of Man will be seen coming in the clouds.

In Matthew 26:64, Jesus tells His followers during His ascension,

“But I say to all of you: From now on you will see

the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One

and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

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Jesus, in all His Heavenly majestic power

coming on the clouds of heaven.

Here is how Matthew 24:31 describes Jesus’ return:

31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call,

and they will gather his elect from the four winds,

from one end of the heavens to the other.

A trumpet sounds.

His angels will gather His elect!

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We (Christ followers) are His elect!

from the four winds,

from one end of the heavens to the other.

I want to be gathered…don’t you?

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will 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 imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.…

I Corinthians 15:51-53

Behold, Paul is telling us something.

Answers, to a mystery.

(So, it is no longer a mystery.)

We will not all sleep (die) from all those events listed in Matthew 24.

Some of the “elect” will remain on earth until the end of this age.

In a moment.

In a twinkling of an eye, we will all be changed.

When does this happen?

At the last trumpet.

For the trumpet will sound.

(Hey, we just read that in Matthew 24:31)

When this trumpet sounds,

  the dead will be raised to Him first.

They are transformed from perished to the imperishable.

Then, we (the elect still on earth) are changed.

From the perishable being created,

 to the imperishable God intends us to be.

From mortal to immortal for an eternity.

What about this?

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.…

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord.

Listen…this is a word from the Lord.

We (Christ followers) who are alive and remain

until the coming of the Lord.

Remain…that is a peculiar word to be used.

Remain after what?

Maybe those who remain after all the events of Matthew 24?

(and Mark 13 and the Book of Revelation)

Read what Revelation 14:12 says,

This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.

So, those people of God,

who have had patient endurance

while keeping His commands and

remained faithful to Jesus,

 will be caught up after the dead rise first.

Selah.

Back to 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, for a few more minutes…

The Lord descends from heaven with a shout.

An archangel blows the trumpet of God.

A trumpet (again), like we are studying in Matthew 24.

The dead in Christ will rise first.

We who remain alive will then be caught up.

We will all meet the Lord in the air.

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To me, it looks like…

I Corinthians 15:51-53 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

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coincides with Matthew 24:31.

Did you know that the Bible is just about 30% prophecy?

Did you know that so far the Bible has a 100% accuracy rate?

God’s Word is the only prophetic book and teaching

 that is 100% correct… 100% of the time.

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Question:

Do you believe God’s Word or the teachings of man?

that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

Revelation 10:6-7

The seventh angel blew his trumpet; and there followed loud voices in Heaven which said, “The sovereignty of the world now belongs to our Lord and His Christ; and He will be King until the Ages of the Ages.” Revelation  11:15

So, is the church (His elect) still here until (at least)

the mid point of the Book of Revelation (chapter 11)?

(BTW…there are 22 chapters in the Book of Revelation.)

This is what the Bible seems to reveal when read/studied.

Don’t be deceived by false doctrine and another gospel.

(Remember Galatians 1:6-8 and 2 Corinthians 11:3-5)

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Matthew 24 – Part 7 will wrap upImage result for free clipart of wrapped up this blog series.

Perfect Sacrifice

3:00 quickly was approaching.

The sky had been dark for several hours now.

The wind was blowing madly.

Lightning and thunder had violently entered the atmosphere.

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From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lemasabachthani?” (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)Matthew 26:45-46

Those close to the cross could hear Jesus

cry out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lemasabachthani?”

(“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

Then, it seemed to be over.

 Jesus gave up His spirit.

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And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice,

he gave up his spirit.  Matthew 26:50

As breath and life left His body,

the earth shook below the

 guards, mockers, spectators and mourners.

What was happening?

The ground below them was unstable.

Many hit the ground and fell to their knees.

Rocks were splitting and

tombs were crumbling around them.

An earthquake.

Someone just ran from the temple screaming that

the curtain in the temple had been torn in half

from top to bottom.

“How?”

The terror struck crowd asked,

“How could such a thing happen?”

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” Matthew 26:51-54

Death,  fear and defeat hung heavy in the air.

Blood was flowing…

from the cross and from the Temple.

As the sacrificial lambs bleated at the end of

 their lives over at the temple,

the now lifeless body of Jesus was

suspended between heaven and earth.

Could no one sense the Holy triumph,

pardon and grace that

immediately sweetened the atmosphere?

Satan did.

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 God’s timing was perfect.

His plan was now almost complete.

As the evening sacrifices were beginning,

the perfect sacrifice for mankind was now finished.

He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. John 19:30

Fear engulfed those who taunted Jesus through town and

at the foot of His Cross.

Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. Matthew 26:27-31

They now ask, “Was this the Son of God?”

“Was He really the King of the Jews?”

They dropped there weapons and ran like children.

Mary, Jesus’ mother, was weeping beyond measure.

The innocent baby she had birthed in a manager…

the child Joseph had raised and loved as his own…

a divine gift from God…

now draped bloody and lifeless from a sinners cross.

John comforted Mary the best he could.

Who would comfort him?

John felt so lost…so empty…so alone…so vulnerable.

Mary was now his responsibility.

John would honor Jesus’ last request.

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

John 19:25-27

For those who loved Jesus,

it seemed like a day of loss…

a day of sadness and darkness.

Even though Jesus’ had told them time and time

again what was going to happen,

they never grasped that this was The Father’s plan.

They never really quite knew His purpose.

“As you know, the Passover is two days away–and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” Matthew 26:2

Now, Jesus is dead.

Their friend and leader was gone.

His disciples…now scattered like sheep.

Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “ ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Matthew 26”31-32

One betrayed Him.

Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?” Matthew 26:25

One denied Him.

He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. Matthew 16:72-75

As they now mourn over their behavior

and the loss of Jesus’ life,

 they all feared for their own lives.

They wondered in cowardly silence,

“Will I be the next to die?”

As men removed Jesus’ mangled body,

they are filled with so many questions.

Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.” John 19:31-37

Thankfully, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for His body.

At least Jesus could find His rest in a borrowed tomb.

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night.

In his own shroud of secrecy, Nicodemus would prepare

Jesus’ body according to Jewish customs for burial.

Nicodemus prayed to Yahweh that his peers would

not find out and punish him.

Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. John 16:38-42

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As they brought His mangled flesh to the garden,

Nicodemus also sobbed as he anointed Jesus’ body with myrrh.

Did Nicodemus know that myrrh was one of the

same gifts offered to Jesus by the Magi over thirty years earlier?

Mary remembered as tears rolled off her cheeks

and onto Jesus’ body.

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When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:10-11

The group cried and mourned as they rolled the stone

over the door to seal the dark tomb and Jesus’ fate.

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But that is not the end of the story!

“Resurrection” is coming!

 

Hope

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For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him shall not perish,

but have eternal life.

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world,

but that the world might be saved through Him.

John 3:16-17

Now, is the time to…

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True life.

True love.

True hope.