John Chapter 11. The Resurrection of Lazarus caused division amongst the Jews

Chapter 11 describes events as Jesus was approaching the end of His Life. His short time at Bethabara was ending. Bethabara means the “crossing over”.  At the cross the Gospel was going to be crossing over from the Jews to the Gentiles.

Bethabara is the “place of the crossing” of the river Jordan where Joshua originally crossed over the Jordan river near Jericho when conquering the Promised Land.  So John the Baptist baptized here because He knew that the Law of the Old Testament would "cross over" into the Grace of the New Testament when Messiah arrived.

Then the time came for Jesus to be heading back to Jerusalem from Bethabara.

The Jewish leaders in their headquarters at Jerusalem hated and rejected Jesus. By killing Him they thought to end His influence. Religious headquarters make up their own rules and reject the Word.

"Headquarters" means that only a quarter of their heads work.

But by the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus was going to fire a warning at them which said, “I have power over death”.

But the Jewish leaders never recognized the warning.

Obsessed with their own man-made traditions and their own elevated self-importance, the Jewish leaders could not believe that the true Word of God, Jesus, was very different to what they believed. Their interpretation of the Scriptures that referred to Messiah was hopelessly wrong. As a result they had no idea what was happening in their day. The tragedy was that they ended up opposing the truth, rather than following and believing Jesus.

I CORINTHIANS 2:8   Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

A ghost is the spirit of a dead man.

They killed Jesus which allowed His Holy Ghost to go down to hell and defeat the Devil. That is why it was fatal for Satan to kill Jesus as that gave His Holy Ghost permission to enter hell as the Spirit of a dead Person. Hell has never recovered as Satan lost the keys of death and hell.

Jesus said

REVELATION 1:18   I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

The resurrection of Lazarus was the seventh miracle recorded by John.

This points to the seventh church age of the Laodiceans that ends in the resurrection of the dead saints from the seven church ages. This is the great act of triumph which shows the power of Jesus over death, hell, Satan, and the grave.

The miracles of Jesus that John recorded are:


  1. Water into wine (2:1-11),
  2. Healing of the nobleman’s son (4:46-54),
  3. Restoring the impotent man (5:1-15),
  4. Multiplying the loaves and fishes (6:1-14),
  5. Walking on the water (6:15-21),
  6. And curing the man born blind (9:1-12).

Lazarus said nothing at his resurrection.  The only important Person at his resurrection was Jesus.

This indicates that the only important Person at the end-time resurrection of the saints from the seven church ages will be Jesus ,  Who returns as the Archangel to raise the dead.

There is only one Archangel in Scripture, Michael.

JUDE 1:9   Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

The Archangel Michael took the body of Moses away from Satan so that Moses could appear with Elijah on the mount of Transfiguration.

I THESSALONIANS 4:16   For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

1964-0119 SHALOM

But, remember, if it goes plumb into the shadows of death, "I am the resurrection and Life; I will raise him up again." And when the great Director comes down and bears that stick down, then, "time shall be no more." When that Angel, of Revelation the 10th chapter, puts one foot on land and one on the sea, and a rainbow over His head, He swore, "time shall be no more." When that time comes, you will rise up from among the dead. While the rest of them lay there, you will go in.

This is a year after the supernatural Cloud was photographed over Flagstaff and a year after revealing the first six Seals.  Brother Branham is still waiting for the mighty Angel, who is actually the Archangel, to come down and raise the dead.

65-1127 I  HAVE  HEARD  BUT  NOW  I  SEE
Dear God, in this solemn moment, it's going to be a time like this when there really will be a clap of thunder someday, and the Son of God shall descend from the heavens with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and the trump of God, the dead in Christ shall rise.

One month before he died and brother Branham is still waiting for the Angel to come down for the resurrection.

 

JOHN 11:1   Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

Mary was more spiritual and focused on the Word that Jesus spoke. Martha focused more on her zeal for good works.

A woman is a symbol of the church.

LUKE 10:38   Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

:39     And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.

Mary represents the church that is focused on Jesus and His Word, the Bible.

Martha represents the church that labours and gets involved in good works which impress people and in the process neglects the Word of God.

:40     But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

:41     And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

:42     But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Good works are fine but it is more important to be Scriptural in what we believe and do.

Mary put Jesus first in her life. Jesus is both a Person as well as being the Word of God.

Our attitude to the Bible actually indicates our relationship towards Jesus.

Those who have a deep personal experience with Jesus will always wait on the Scripture to be fulfilled and take the Bible as their only guide in life.

Her love of the Word was rewarded by God giving Mary a deeper insight into the mysteries of the Bible.

JOHN 11:2    (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

The feet of a person represent the seven church ages.

In the Old Testament salvation was outside the Gentile kingdoms because God was dealing with Israel.

Let us consider the Gentile image that the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream.

At the cross, salvation would cross over to the Gentile people during the seven church ages. The legs of iron represented the pagan Roman empire. But the feet of the image was a mixture of clay and iron. The solid iron of the Roman empire became the bits of iron in the feet which represented Roman Catholicism which would mix with the clay of the true believers who formed the Bride of Christ. Seeds of life can only grow in clay, not in metal.

 

JOHN 12:3     Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

The feet of Jesus represented the church ages. The redemption of the church down through the 2000 years of church history has only been achieved at great cost and much suffering. The greatest cost was the price that Jesus paid for our sins when He was crucified.

The lovely smell of the perfume filled the house.  So the Gospel of salvation has been a lovely spiritual perfume that told the world of the love of God as it spread and filled the earth with the sweet smell of forgiveness from sin by repentance. As well as the beauty of His holiness.

Feet have glands that produce a strong and unpleasant smell. This symbolizes the stink of sin that we Gentiles are in before we accept by faith the sweet smell of Divine forgiveness when we repent.

ACTS 2:38   Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Mary's long hair that could wipe His feet as she kneeled is significant.

EPHESIANS 5:22   Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

:23     For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

A woman is a symbol of the church which is the Body of the Lord, that must be subject to her Head, Jesus.

Long uncut hair on a woman is a symbol of submission to her husband and to Jesus.

I CORINTHIANS 11:5   But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

I CORINTHIANS 11:15   But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

JOHN 12:7   Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.

Mary had the courage to express her beliefs. The others opposed her because Jesus had to tell them to leave her alone.

The woman Mary glorified the death of Jesus with the sweet perfume and her long hair (symbol of her submission to Jesus, the Word of God), while He was still alive.

This showed a deep spiritual insight. She saw His death and burial as something lovely like a sweet smell. Others would mourn His death and anoint His dead body for burial which showed that they viewed His death as a sad end to His remarkable ministry.

EPHESIANS 5:2   And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

"Savour" is a nice smell.

Mary sensed that somehow His death was glorious and to be celebrated with a costly and lovely perfume. In some deep and mysterious way His sad death and burial was going to be a glorious, fragrant event. This would only be possible if Jesus rose from the dead in a resurrection. Mary felt that the death and burial of Jesus was something that would be celebrated.

EPHESIANS 5:2   And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

She demonstrated with perfume what saint Paul would later write into the Bible. The death of Christ was sweet. This is totally opposite to our human opinions that see His suffering on the cross as horrific.

So the final events at Calvary followed Biblical prophecy in a way that humans could not comprehend at that time, as it was the exact opposite of human ideas. They saw Jesus being defeated as He died and could not grasp that it was actually the defeat of Satan. The events before the resurrection of the Old Testament saints were totally confusing to the human mind.

A resurrection is a time of confusion unless you are strictly following the Scriptures that are being fulfilled.

Nobody thought that when Jesus died, all the Old Testament saints would soon be resurrected.
MATTHEW 27:52   And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

:53   And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

As we approach the time of the resurrection of the New Testament saints, we can also expect events to get very confusing.

Thus we need to know the Bible so that we can spot the Scriptures that are being fulfilled in order to see where we are on God's timeline of events.

JOHN 11:3   Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

Mary (symbol of a church that gives first priority to the Word of God) and Martha (symbol of a church that gives first priority to practical and useful works) now send someone to call Jesus.

This is the big mistake of the churches. They tell Jesus what He must do to solve their problem.

As the resurrection approaches, impatience becomes our major problem.

We have to learn to wait on God, not try to tell God what to do.

JOHN 11:4    When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

Jesus looked at their distress and realized that they were hopelessly misinterpreting their current events.

Jesus always sees the big picture.

Our problems are small but dominate our thinking at the time. We fail to see a bigger plan that God is seeking to bring to pass.

ISAIAH 55:8   For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

:9   For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

“Not unto death” is easily misunderstood.

Lazarus would die in the short term but then would live again and become one of the most famous men in the New Testament.

Death is only bad if it results in separation from God.

To die physically and then later be resurrected to life is not really death.  It is just an interval of absence from this earth.

Like falling asleep where we lose contact with this world for a brief time.

Christians also face a short term death. But in the long term they will resurrect to eternal life.

When looked at from the viewpoint of endless eternity, our deaths will be virtually just like a brief sleep.

The resurrection to eternal life in a new glorified body will make us forget death, in the same way that triumphantly holding the miracle of her new-born baby makes a mother soon forget the birth pains that she has just suffered.

JOHN 11:5   Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

Lazarus and his two sisters had a close bond with Jesus. So neglecting them for two days did not mean that Jesus did not love them.

When God delays helping us it does not mean that He has forsaken us.

It simply means that He has bigger plans afoot.

JOHN 11:6    When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.

Healing Lazarus would have been a miracle.

But resurrecting the dead Lazarus was even a greater miracle.

But to resurrect a decaying corpse would be an even greater miracle.

With His own resurrection drawing closer, Jesus wanted to use the resurrection of Lazarus as a pre-view for the Jews.

The messenger arrived a day after Lazarus died.

So Lazarus had been dead for a day before the messenger got to Jesus.

Then Jesus delayed for two days before deciding to go to His Jewish friends. That means he would have delayed two days and got to Lazarus on the third day after He heard the news. So Lazarus would live on the third day after Jesus got the news.

This pattern matches a prophecy that Hosea made.

Hosea made a prophecy to the Jews around the year 780 BC.

He said that the Jews were going to be smitten (by the Romans) and torn out of their Promised Land.

Then God would return and heal the Jews.

HOSEA 6:1   Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

:2     After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

As a prophet Hosea knew that the Jews were falling away from God. He also knew that in 1948 God would begin to restore the Promised Land to the Jews so that the 144000 born again Jews would be restored to their rejected Messiah.

From Hosea’s viewpoint that would be three days later in God’s time.

780 BC + 1000 =220 AD   (Day 1)

220 +  1000  =  1220 AD   (Day 2)

1220 + 1000  =  2220 AD  (Day 3)

So Hosea’s third day fits in with our present calendar. God has begun to revive the Jews as a nation, just as He promised, during this third day.

A day with God is as a thousand years.

II PETER 3:8   But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

From Hosea’s starting point, God has waited two days, two thousand years. Then God turned back to the Jews to raise them up as a nation.

JOHN 11:7   Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.

Jesus returned across Jordan to Judea. Judea is the area that surrounds Jerusalem.

JOHN 11:8   His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?

The Jews hated Jesus so intensely that they really wished to murder Him.

The disciples could not see God’s plan. They thought that if Jesus died it would be a disaster.

JOHN 11:9    Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.

Jesus would die and then be resurrected on the third day. He had to die in order to be the sacrifice for sin. To die and then get out of the grave is not to stumble. He died, left this earth and won His great victory over Satan down in hell. Then He came up from the grave bringing His Old Testament saints with Him. That was not stumbling and falling. That was winning a most glorious victory.

Jesus walked in the Light of God’s Word. He fulfilled the prophecies that spoke of Him. To die when it was God’s will was actually a glorious Light for this world. The only important thing that can be done is to fulfill Scripture.

This is opposite to our human way of thinking. To follow God’s Word and be killed as martyrs, as would happen in the early church under the Roman empire persecutions and also in the Dark Ages and the great missionary age of the 1800s, was not stumbling.  These martyrs were actually advancing into a glorious Light for their reward will be great for eternity.

Although it often makes no sense to us, when God’s will moves through “disastrous” circumstances, it always turns out to be for the best when it is all over.

The disciples knew that the time was deadly dangerous because of the Jewish hatred.  Yet by following a path that would fulfill Scripture, only two would die, Jesus and Judas Iscariot.

This was the true Light. That one Man should die to save everyone else.

Only Jesus knew what was happening at that time. He was the Light of the world and knew exactly what to do and say.

He followed the path that allowed the Scriptures to be fulfilled and thus the Scriptures illuminated His path and directed His words and actions.

Even today, the human brain has been unable to find out everything about the workings of the universe. The human mind has its limitations. Our biggest problem is that we do not know what we do not know.

Equally, back in the days of Jesus, the human brains of the Jewish religious leaders were also unable to understand everything that was going on. By following their own ideas they merely got themselves onto the wrong path. It was as if they were blundering along in a mental or spiritual fog that darkened their vision. They had no idea of how dangerous their decisions were as they were opposing the Word of God.

JOHN 11:10   But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

The great Tribulation is the on-coming night time.

That will be a time of endless death that ends in the slaughter of Armageddon.

The two prophets Moses and Elijah as well as the 144000 Jews will be also be slain.

All the saved Christians, who as foolish virgins will also be killed in the Tribulation, because they worshipped God in Spirit but not in Truth as they were hanging onto their unscriptural church beliefs. Church-beliefs will be totally impotent as they will be unable to save church-goers from being destroyed during the Tribulation. Man-made doctrines may be clever but they are spiritual darkness that have no Light. The big group of millions of saved church-goers who miss the Coming of the Lord because they put church-beliefs ahead of Scripture, will stumble in the dark of the Tribulation. They will be killed in the Tribulation and miss the 1000 years of peace on earth. Then they will get up in the resurrection on Judgement Day.  Because they were saved before the Tribulation started, they will enter heaven.

JOHN 11:11   These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

Now Jesus set off to prove that such was His power over death that we can regard death merely as a temporary absence from this world’s affairs, as if we had just fallen asleep.

Thus Christians do not die, they just take a little sleep.

JOHN 11:12    Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.

The disciples assumed that Lazarus was just asleep.

But Jesus was speaking of death.

JOHN 11:13   Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.

JOHN 11:14    Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

JOHN 11:15    And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

In order to see a great miracle, something must first go very wrong.

Jesus would resurrect Lazarus to strengthen the faith of His disciples. Then the disciples would have more confidence to believe that if Jesus was killed, then He could resurrect Himself from the grave.

JOHN 11:16   Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

Thomas was extremely brave. He was quite prepared to die with Jesus in Jerusalem where he would be  facing the seething hatred of the religious leaders.

Didymus means twin.

Christians often have twin characteristics. Bravery to die for Jesus, but reluctance to believe all that Jesus does in their day. Thomas, for all his bravery, was unable to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead unless he could feel the nail marks in His hands.

JOHN 11:17   Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.

By that time the corpse of Lazarus had begun to decay.

God had promised the resurrection of a Holy One, the Messiah, within three days.

PSALM 16:10   For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Within three days there would be no decay of the body.

Lazarus lived a clean life. If Jesus resurrected him within three days, then people could claim that this prophecy referred to Lazarus. That is why Jesus had to wait till the fourth day.

So Jesus was leaving a clue for the disciples. Never had a holy man been resurrected within three days of dying. Thus they should have known that this prophecy would apply to Jesus.

Then His death would not be a disaster as it would be followed by a resurrection within three days.

To confirm this point let us look at the end of the great Tribulation, where the two great prophets Moses and Elijah will be killed. Their bodies will lie in the street of Jerusalem  for three and a half days. Then, just after decay sets in, God will raise them up to heaven. They will be great and holy men and must be dead for more than three days so that nobody can claim that one of them is the Holy One that did not corrupt.

REVELATION 11:9   And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

Let us return to Jesus as He came to the town of Bethany.

JOHN 11:18   Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:

There are eight furlongs in a mile. So Bethany was almost two miles away from Jerusalem.

JOHN 11:19    And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

Lazarus must have been fairly important as many Jews came to offer their condolences.

JOHN 11:20   Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.

Martha was the hard-working practical lady. A woman is a symbol of a church. It was almost the end of the first Coming of Jesus, and Martha, as is typical of modern day churches, could not wait for Jesus to come to her. Waiting for the leading of the Lord was not her strong point. She wanted to be active and rushed off to find Jesus. Mary was more spiritual as she waited until the Lord called her.

JOHN 11:21    Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

Martha did not wait for Jesus to speak to her. She told Him what she thought He should have done.

JOHN 11:22   But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

Martha claimed that she believed in Jesus despite feeling that she had the right to question His actions.

JOHN 11:23   Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

JOHN 11:24   Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

Martha could not recognize the Word for her day. She knew of the final resurrection but could not believe in a resurrection in her own day.

A strange aspect of human unbelief.

She believed that God could resurrect the long-dead saints on the last day at the end of time even though their bodies had totally decayed. But she did not believe that Jesus could resurrect Lazarus as He had waited just too long. She thought that to resurrect a person, it had to be done before his body rotted. But that contradicted what she believed about the final resurrection.

So believers always struggle to recognize what Jesus is doing in their day. Believers feel safe in a herd-instinct and stay with the majority will of their religious group. Today believers are scared to disagree with their specific church. Christians find safety in numbers. They are scared to stand up alone and believe what the Bible says.

But your spiritual experience depends on the relationship between you and Jesus alone. Not on your church relationship.

JOHN 11:25    Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

Jesus now tries to convince Martha to have a deep personal relationship with Himself so that she can believe fully in His power over death. This power will be proven by His ability to raise the dead.

Jesus needs to change Martha from an abstract belief in the resurrection that will take place “on the last day” because that is far in the future. All the Jews believed that so it was easy for her to follow the herd and believe the common opinion of the people. But she needed a personal belief in Him who alone can raise the dead and do the impossible. To believe in Jesus she would have to have the courage to disagree with all the Jews who were around her.

Modern day church-goers also do not have the courage to disagree with church opinions and traditions. They stay with the mob.

JOHN 11:26    And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Again comes the test. Can we see that physical death merely opens the Door for the spirit of man to enter heaven?

If that spirit of the dead man is alive and well in heaven, then it is easy for Jesus, Who is the Door to heaven, to allow the man’s spirit to come back through the Door and resume his life on earth.

JOHN 11:27   She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

Martha confesses her faith in Jesus as the Son of God.

JOHN 11:28    And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.

Martha spoke secretly to Mary as they were scared that if they announced the arrival of Jesus, the Pharisees might take Jesus by force. The Jews who came to mourn Lazarus, hated Jesus.

JOHN 11:29    As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.

Mary refused to move until she had heard from Jesus. Then she obeyed quickly, drawn to the Word (which is Jesus).

JOHN 11:30   Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.

JOHN 11:31   The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.

Mary had rapidly left the house to find Jesus. The Jews got it wrong. They thought she had gone to mourn at the grave of Lazarus. Mary was moving towards life. The Jews thought she was going to the dead.

JOHN 11:32   Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

Mary now also lost her faith in Jesus. This is easy to do when all the people around you do not have faith in Jesus.

This “herd instinct” is a huge problem in the church world. People simply believe what the majority say, not what the Word says. Mary felt obliged to fit into the gloomy grief of all the Jews who were around her. She was too scared, in the presence of all their unbelief, to make a stand by believing in Jesus.

JOHN 11:33   When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,

Mary had succumbed to the grief and unbelief of all the people around her. Crying like pagans who have no hope.  Their despair and emotional grief merely indicated their unbelief in the resurrection. They behaved as if death was a permanent separation instead of being a temporary issue.

What troubled Jesus?

Here He was, the only Person Who had power to raise the dead.

Yet Mary chose to cry and thus keep in with the unbelieving Jews who opposed Jesus.

People stay with their church group and reject Jesus as the Word of God. They believe what the church says, not what the Bible says.

Jesus’ main trouble was that Mary preferred to stay with the unbelieving  Jews, rather than stand up for Jesus.

JOHN 11:34   And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

His question is deep.

What He is actually saying is,

“Where have you laid Lazarus in your grief and despair? He cannot be in heaven because then you would be happy. Your hopeless sorrow indicates that you think he is in hell.”

They then aggravate their unbelief.

They call Him "Lord" but they do not believe in Him. Calling Jesus your Lord does not make you a believer.

MATTHEW 7:22   Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

:23   And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

If we do not believe and obey the truth of the Scripture then spiritual gifts will not save us from the wrath of God.

Jesus is not impressed by people calling Him Lord if they do not believe and obey the Bible.

Come and see” is what the four beasts around the throne of God say when they open the first four Seals, in Revelation Chapter 6. Each beast said “Come and see” when they revealed a deep mystery about the rise of the antichrist spirit as it rode through the seven church ages.

John, when he was caught up to heaven at the end of the seven church ages that are described in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3, only saw One Person on the throne of God.

REVELATION 4:2   And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

REVELATION 4:6   And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

Eyes speak of intelligence. They know the future (before) and they know the past (behind). They are to protect God’s plan for His church so that the church on earth can overcome the cunningness of the religious antichrist spirit.

REVELATION 4:7   And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

REVELATION 6:1    And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.

The lion represented the true Word of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Jesus Christ, as the early apostles and disciples wrote and preached the true Word of God.

Come and see” revealed a white horse of religious deception. A bluffer who had a bow but no arrow.

REVELATION 6:2   And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

Roman Catholicism developed the idea that there is no salvation outside the Catholic church with its subjection to the Pope. Around 860 AD Pope Nicholas the First, a strong man, was the first Pope to wear a crown. Shortly after the year 1300 AD this evolved to become the famous triple crown that the Popes were crowned with.

This denominational spirit, that you can only be saved if you belong to a certain church and are in subjection to the human leader of the church, would go on to conquer multitudes of people.

All this was a bluff because salvation is not controlled by the Catholic church or any other church. Salvation involved repentance and a personal experience with Jesus Christ which led to getting baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and receiving the Holy Ghost baptism.

ACTS 2:38   Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

ACTS 2:39   For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

What the apostle Peter said was the true roar of the lion-beast (representing the true Word of God) that protected Bible-believers against the religious deception of the unscriptural church-goers.

REVELATION 6:3   And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.

As time moved on the Roman Catholic church got involved with politics which is the art of self-deception.  The Roman church emerged as the dominant political force in Europe during the Middle Ages that are also called the Dark Ages. Brute force was used to bring people into submission to the church system.

REVELATION 6:4    And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

Another horse but not another rider. The antichrist spirit then combined religion or churchianity with politics and bred out a murderous monster. Tens of millions of people who disagreed with the Roman Catholic church were killed for their faith. But the ox-beast gave those martyrs the plodding strength of an ox that works hard and is then killed because its meat is so valuable.

REVELATION 6:5   And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

Dominating the religion of the church and having political power were not enough to satisfy the ambition of the antichrist spirit. The antichrist then rode the spirit of materialistic money-making by turning religion into a commercial business. Tetzel came to Germany to sell indulgences that the Pope claimed would pardon people from their sins. Wheat and barley make bread which represents the Bible. So the church sold salvation for the dead. Religion and salvation were shamelessly traded for cash and land. The church was on its way to becoming a materialistic big-business. This was the same spirit of the greedy money changers in the Temple that angered Jesus.

REVELATION 6:6   And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

The third man-beast had human wisdom. Humans could not puzzle out the deep mysteries of the Bible but they could read the Bible and restore the basics of the Gospel. Martin Luther in Germany preached salvation by faith to oppose Tetzel and the Pope. John Wesley in England preached holiness and outreach. Then the great missionary age was launched around the world.

Human wisdom was blessed of God and this enabled 47 men to translate the King James Version of the Bible by 1611. It was then thoroughly checked and the language updated for over 150 years until it was finally published in its modern form in 1769.  This Bible, still the world's best seller, became the backbone of the missionary age that started in the 1790s when men like William Carey went to India.

These men were given the inspiration to correctly translate the Hebrew and Greek words into English. However human wisdom could not interpret many of the mysteries that were written in the Bible.

Oil represents the Holy Spirit and wine represents the stimulation of revelation as God steered His church out of the Dark Ages of unscriptural unbelief.

REVELATION 6:7   And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

The seventh or last church age opened with the wings of supernatural  Pentecostal power as the eagle-beast soared. Then William Branham, the end-time Gentile prophet in America, recorded his former rain (or teaching rain) revelations of the mysteries of the written Bible. These could only be revealed by the penetrating insight of the eagle-Spirit.

By taking these revelations back to Scripture we should be able to see for ourselves the meaning of the difficult verses in the Bible that were previously not understood.

When the Bride understands the written mysteries of Scripture then the Holy Spirit, Who is Life, will lift the Bride up to Heaven to meet the Lord in the air.

When Life leaves then Death enters.  Death is simply the absence of Life.

The Tribulation then starts as the foolish virgins who chose to be church-goers, rather than strict Bible-believers, are killed. Two prophets, Moses and Elijah, take the Gospel to the 144000 Jews.

REVELATION 6:8   And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

A pale horse represents the three different coloured horses as they unite and merge into a politicized church that has become big business.

Church groups have different beliefs but they all have a common approach to Scripture. They will believe some portions of the Bible just the way it is written but then they happily believe other doctrines that are not written in the Bible, but have been invented by their human leaders. So all churches unite on the policy of each church having a human leader. This will finally result in the antichrist Pope taking over as the ultimate single superman head of the whole church in the Tribulation and eliminating all those who do not accept him.

Come and see” was God’s way of opening our eyes to the tremendous revelation of how the antichrist spirit rises to control the world. It also reveals the four ways in which God opposed the antichrist spirit and delivered the Christians who stayed with the Bible.

Let us go back to the life of Jesus.

The Jews were now united in their error and unbelief. Unable to recognize Jesus as the power of the resurrection, they now say, “Come and see” in order to point Him to a decaying corpse that they believe cannot be resurrected. This is the ultimate statement of unbelief.

JOHN 11:35   Jesus wept.

Jesus  could see, in this awful statement of unbelief, the dismal condition of the future church of the Laodiceans.

They are the last church age where the resurrection of the New Testament saints is to occur.

There the church, symbolized by Mary and Martha, will preach partly true and partly dead and decaying man-made ideas to their people. Locked in this tomb of lukewarm unbelief, each church is partly Scriptural and partly unscriptural.

That is why the parable of the ten virgins (clean women representing saved churches) states that they were all fast asleep whether they had the Holy Spirit or not.

1963-0320 THE  THIRD  SEAL

The Bride hasn't had a revival yet. See? There's been no revival there, no manifestation of God to stir the Bride yet. See? We're looking for it. It will take those seven unknown thunders back there to wake her up again. He will send it. He promised it. Now, now, watch.

A human leader dominates each church and succeeds with his personal opinions in disqualifying the church from being part of the resurrection and the rapture.

Nicolaitanism, which God hates, is the elevation of a man to be above the congregation. Those human leaders who claim to lead our present day church to Life in the rapture actually end up leading the church to death in the Tribulation.

No wonder Jesus cried.

God said to Laodicea that He has vomited the church out of His mouth (which is where His Word is).

Now individuals have to wake up and seek the Bible truth that the church rejects.

REVELATION 3:14   And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;

REVELATION 3:16   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

 

JOHN 11:36    Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

This statement just showed how ignorant the Jews were of the real reason for His tears.

Only those who believed that Jesus could not resurrect a decaying corpse would be crying.

Jesus Himself knew that the dead was about to rise.

JOHN 11:37   And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

The Jews were unsure why Jesus could heal the blind but not stop a man from dying. These Jews were totally out of contact with God’s bigger picture. They kept injecting their own ideas instead of just standing back and allowing Jesus to act.

Today Christians keep criticizing sections of the King James Version of the Bible and replacing those verses with their own opinions and translations instead of just believing what is written.

JOHN 11:38   Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

Jesus struggled to get over their unbelief. They could not place their faith in Him.

In the same manner the modern church just cannot believe in every word of the King James Bible. They believe some parts and change, contradict, and ignore other parts.

JOHN 11:39   Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

Each denomination has a man-made stone of wrong doctrines that blocks out the true light.

An individual has to be able to see that each church is in error where they deviate from the King James Bible.

Believing what the church believes then takes the person away from Scripture.

“My church has got certain wrong doctrines that must be removed”  is an essential modern day insight.

However corrupted the beliefs in any church are, any individual in that church can be awakened out of those dead man-made unscriptural traditions and brought back to a personal faith in the Bible, which is Jesus in Word form.

JOHN 11:40   Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

We have to believe in the Bible, not in the church if we are to see what God is doing today.

That is why so many message-believers said that Trump would lose the 2016 Presidential election. They believed the interpretation of selected quotes which message pastors taught them but ended up ignoring the Bible prophecy of the restoration of Jerusalem as capital of Israel.

But hardly anyone today has the courage to stand up to a pastor and correct him. Thus the churches stay bound in their errors. Dead to what is actually going on in the world.

63-0320  THE  THIRD  SEAL

Now, that's what's the reason today that the revivals that we're supposed to have... We have denominational revivals; we haven't had a real stirring. No, no, no, no. No, sir. Don't think we got revivals. We haven't. Oh, they've got millions and millions and millions of church members, but not a revival nowhere. No, no.

The Bride hasn't had a revival yet. See? There's been no revival there, no manifestation of God to stir the Bride yet. See? We're looking for it. It will take those seven unknown thunders back there to wake her up again. He will send it. He promised it. Now, now, watch.

Now, she was dead.

 

JOHN 11:41   Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

The reason for the miracle was to demonstrate His power to raise the dead. That would establish His claim as Messiah.

This would be a preview of His ability to resurrect the Old Testament saints just after His own resurrection.

This would also be a preview of His ability to resurrect the dead from the seven church ages at the end of the last Laodicean church age.

JOHN 11:42   And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

Jesus said He would do it. Now He does what He said he would do. That is the stamp of His authority.

Today we see the stamp of His authority by the Scriptures that He is fulfilling.

JOHN 11:43   And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

He had to call Lazarus by name. Otherwise all the dead would have been resurrected if He just said, "Come forth".

Jesus knew Lazarus personally.

The last resurrection will be a group but each individual in that group is known by God.

He cried with a loud voice”.

This is exactly what the mighty Angel of Revelation Chapter 10 does when He stands on land and sea.

REVELATION 10:1   And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

:2     And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,

:3     And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth:

So this Angel comes down to perform the resurrection.

A year after the Seals and the supernatural Cloud, brother Branham speaks of the Angel and the resurrection in the future tense.

1964-0119  SHALOM

But, remember, if it goes plumb into the shadows of death, "I am the resurrection and Life; I'll raise him up again." And when the great Director comes down and bears that stick down, then, "time shall be no more." When that Angel, of Revelation the 10th chapter, puts one foot on land and one on the sea, and a rainbow over His head, He swore, "time shall be no more." When that time comes, you will rise up from among the dead. While the rest of them lay there, you will go in.

In 1965 he was still placing these events into the future.

1965   CHURCH AGES BOOK  CHAPTER 1

And one of these days everything in time will stand still when the trumpet of God shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall rise

The dead shall rise, future tense.

1965-12 04 THE  RAPTURE

One day, there will come a blast from Heaven, "And the dead in Christ shall rise first."

This is the last sermon that he preached.

Then one month before he died, brother Branham was still looking for the blast or the single thunder of Revelation Chapter 6:1  as well as the shout and the voice of the Archangel to raise the dead.

One month before he died

1965-1127  I  HAVE  HEARD  BUT  NOW  I  SEE

Dear God, in this solemn moment, it's going to be a time like this when there really will be a clap of thunder someday, and the Son of God shall descend from the heavens with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and the trump of God, the dead in Christ shall rise.

The shout is his message. Yet here he places the shout into the future, one month before he dies.

So the shout was not when he understood and preached the message which revealed the Scripture. The shout is when the Bride is finally able to prove brother Branham's message from Scripture for themselves.

Then there will be a mysterious single Thunder.

Then the voice of the Archangel will raise the dead saints.

63-0320  THE  THIRD  SEAL

The Bride hasn't had a revival yet. See? There's been no revival there, no manifestation of God to stir the Bride yet. See? We're looking for it. It will take those seven unknown thunders back there to wake her up again. He will send it. He promised it. Now, now, watch.

Now, she was dead.

That is when the dead Bride will also wake up to receive her new body, and a great revival, thanks to the seven mysterious Thunders.

JOHN 11:44   And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

What is killing our Bible faith is the unscriptural church doctrines and opinions that are spiritual graveclothes with which church leaders wrap their people up in. Hand and foot. You cannot move out of your church and you can only work for your church.

Individuals are not free to believe the Bible where it contradicts church habits.

People have to ignore all the portions of Scripture that church leaders do not understand. Nobody dares to disagree with their pastor.

Yet there are 45000 different types of churches and denominations so there are a host of differences amongst all the church leaders.

Each individual lives in a bubble of delusion that his or her specific church is the only one that has got it all right.

"his face was bound about with a napkin” shows that individuality is destroyed in a church. Everyone must be the same. Everyone must conform to their church requirements. Nobody can express dissent or their own opinions. Everybody must toe the church line and “parrot” the accepted opinion of the church group.

But any individual with genuine faith in the Bible can be set free from church traditions and beliefs, so as to follow Jesus through the Scriptures.

 

But the resurrection of Lazarus produced a big division. 

Some Jews were able to believe in Jesus despite the opposition of their Jewish leaders.

But the rest of the Jews could not believe and rushed back to their religious leaders who confirmed them in their unbelief.

JOHN 11:45   Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

Mary stayed with the Word and was more spiritual than the hard-working Martha.

So those Jews who were more friendly with Mary also had a potential to be more spiritual. These were the Jews who could be influenced by the power of the resurrection.

The power of the resurrection caused many Jews to believe. The Pharisees who were the religious leaders were not present. So in the absence of their religious leaders, some Jews were able to believe.

In order to discover truth, we have to search the Scriptures for ourselves and get away from the church leaders who bind us to their opinions and forbid us to understand the Scriptures that they do not understand.

JOHN 11:46   But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

But the resurrection had a dividing effect. For those who did not want to believe in Jesus, the true Word, they simply rushed back to their leaders, the Pharisees, who did not believe in Jesus. Because they knew that their leaders did not believe in all the Word of God, they knew their leaders would zealously oppose what Jesus had done and said. The Pharisees had failed to kill Jesus by stoning Him.

Now they began to move closer to the Sadducees who had political connections with Roman power. The Romans could issue a death sentence.

This showed the falseness of the Jewish leaders.

To limit the damage to the Pharisees’ reputation that had been caused by the amazing miracle of the resurrection, the Pharisees turned to the Sadducees who did not even believe in the resurrection.

But the Sadducees were so scared that the Jews, inspired by the miracle working Jesus, would rise up against the spiritually powerless Sadducees. Thus the Sadducees were ready to form a union with the hated enemy of Rome in order to get a death sentence for Jesus. Anything, as long as Jesus could be silenced.

Church leaders also desperately silence anyone who contradicts them from Scripture or who reveals Scriptures that they cannot understand. The Word of God must be silenced at all costs by the leaders.

A  RESUME  OF  THE  AGES  -  CHURCH  AGE  BOOK  CPT.10

And that very same spirit and doctrine is right amongst all Protestants and it is called DENOMINATION. Nicolaitanism is organization, humanizing the leadership of the church, and thereby deposing the Spirit. Balaamism is denominationalism which takes the church manual instead of the Bible. And right to this hour, many of God's people are caught in the snare of denominationalism and God is crying to them, "Come out of her My people, lest ye be partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not her plagues." You see they are ignorant. But if the rapture should take place at this moment, ignorance would be no court of appeal from the judgment of God for being in the wrong ranks.

CHURCH AGES BOOK   CHAPTER 9    THE LAODICEAN CHURCH AGE

Now in every case you will notice that a false prophet is one who is outside the Word. Just as we showed you that 'antichrist' means 'anti-Word' so these false prophets come perverting the Word, giving it a meaning that fits their own devilish ends.

Have you ever noticed how the people who lead others astray bind them closely to themselves by fear? They say that if the people don't do what they say, or if they leave, then destruction will follow. They are false prophets, for a true prophet will always lead one to the Word and bind the people to Jesus Christ and he won't tell the people to fear him or what he says, but to fear what the Word says. Notice how these people like Judas are out for money.

JOHN 11:47    Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

The Pharisees and Sadducees opposed each other on many issues but readily united over their mutual hatred of Jesus.

The resurrection of Lazarus had forced them to admit that Jesus performed miracles. Being powerless themselves they realized that Jesus was a threat to their position of power.

They were jealous of the fact that Jesus, despite having no possessions or buildings, could attract so many followers.

They were threatened by the fact that Jesus never collected money.

He endlessly taught and performed healings and miracles, free of charge.

The Pharisees and Sadducees were a salaried work force who were focused on material gain for their efforts.

JOHN 11:48    If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

They denied the amazing miracles that established Jesus as the Messiah. They wanted the Jews to follow them, not Jesus. Today pastors get the people to follow their beliefs, not the Bible.

“Our place” comes before the “nation”.

Religious leaders are obsessed with their position, their power, their income, and their authority over the people.

The commercialization of religion was already established in those days.

The welfare of the people is just a pretense that the religious leaders pay lip-service to as their only real interest is their own elevated self-importance. Being put up on a pedestal and being admired by the people was their strongest desire.

Caiaphas became High Priest (in 18 A.D.), being appointed by the Roman prefect, Valerius Gratus.

Caiaphas remained in office until (36 A.D.), when along with Pontius Pilate, he was removed by the Romans.

Notice how the High Priest was now a political appointment, done by the Romans who were the hated enemies of the Jews.

JOHN 11:49   And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,

:50   Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

Caiaphas unwittingly prophesied the death of Christ. He unwittingly prophesied that Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb Who would die on behalf of the people.

God could speak to the people through the High Priest. Here Caiaphas was being God’s mouthpiece to announce Jesus as the one sacrifice that saved the people.

JOHN 11:51   And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

He actually was used by God as a prophet because he was the High Priest.

God can use a bad man to fulfill His will if He wants to.

JOHN 11:52   And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

This prophecy gathers all the children of God together in the sacrifice of Jesus.

Gathering people scattered around the world speaks also of the apostles mission to save the Gentiles scattered around the world  as well as the end time events that have seen the scattered Jews returning to Israel.

None of those, including Caiaphas himself, understood what he had just said.

JOHN 11:53   Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

Because they were so biased against Jesus they did not want to acknowledge His legitimate claims to be their Messiah.  They had been taught to think in a certain way and could not think differently.

Jealousy and backbiting, which is rife in politics, was now firmly entrenched in the Jewish religion. Jewish religion would unite with the Roman political power to produce a macabre dance of death.

Jesus never had a fair trial. Before they even seized Him they had already passed a death sentence.

Now they just schemed for a way to carry out the execution.

Caiaphas had ended the Law of Moses by tearing up his robe.

God then acknowledged that Caiaphas had ended the Jewish Law of Moses. God did this when He tore up the Temple veil when Jesus died.

Aaron was the first High Priest. He was given a special robe.

There was one condition attached. The High Priest’s robe was not allowed to be torn.

EXODUS 28:30   And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

:31   And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue.

:32   And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent.

When Caiaphas questioned Jesus the High Priest became insanely possessed and ripped his High Priest’s robe.

MATTHEW 26:65   Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.

JOHN 11:54   Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

The lust to kill Jesus was so intense that Jesus had to withdraw Himself from Jerusalem. He went to a city called Ephraim. This city seems to have got lost as the centuries passed by.

But although the city would lose its place and its importance, there is something special attached to its name.

Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. The first born Manasseh was due to inherit the blessing of the birthright. But Joseph’s father Jacob (also called Israel), when he came to confirm the blessing crossed over his arms and his right hand fell on Ephraim, not Manasseh.

GENESIS 48:1   And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

GENESIS 48:13   And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him.

:14     And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.

:15     And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,

:16     The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

:17   And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head.

:18     And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.

:19     And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

:20   And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.

The birthright crossed over from the older (representing the Jews) to the younger (the Gentile church).

God dealt first with Israel, making the Jews the older brother. Now the Gentiles, the younger brother, were going to accept the salvation of Calvary that the Jews were busy rejecting.

So the city of Ephraim was the right place for Jesus to wait until the final events of His life happened in Jerusalem shortly afterwards.

JOHN 11:55    And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.

This final Passover was going to be well-attended. Jews went there to purify themselves but did not realize that the final purification from sin was about to take place at Calvary.

The real Passover Lamb was about to be offered up, but the Jews were totally ignorant of the significance of these events.

JOHN 11:56    Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?

They were all speculating about whether Jesus would come or not, because they knew the Jewish leaders had planned to take Him, if He came. If He didn't come for Passover, they would use that to say that Jesus did not keep the feasts. Little did they know, that Jesus was the Passover Lamb.

JOHN 11:57   Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.

This just confirms the insane madness that was in the hearts of these Jewish religious leaders.

The whole city was turned into a nest of informers. They hoped to frighten the people into betraying Jesus.

The Jewish religion had degenerated into a strong desire to kill an innocent man. They could not tolerate the presence of Jesus Who was fulfilling the Scriptures.