Luke’s Gospel tells us about the human side of Jesus.
This is summed up by the 2016 presidential election in America : expect the unexpected.
The no-hoper who is called “the Trump” convincingly beat the firm favourite and obvious choice Hillary Clinton. Hillary had ten times more money to spend and she had the full backing of her party leaders and all the expert polls. Trump was condemned by the press and media as well as by his own party leaders. By winning, Trump sent shockwaves around the Earth.
So what is God trying to make us aware of? What sign of the times is this?
Another trump is also going to send shockwaves around the earth.
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:
:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
“The trump” is mentioned in association with the time of the resurrection of the dead Christians from the 2 000 years of church history. After that the living Christians will be changed into new immortal bodies which can defy the downward pull of gravity and go up to meet Jesus in the air. Christians today are pulled down by beliefs that cannot be proven from the Bible. Very few only believe what the Bible says. And they are despised and criticized for doing that. Going up is unnatural to us living humans, and few there will be of us who manage to do so.
I CORINTHIANS 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
The resurrection and the changing of the body will be the last two events before the coming of the Lord Jesus.
“a shout” is a message like John the Baptist’s to shake us out of denominational and non-denominational traditions and doctrines of man and make us Scriptural in what we believe.
The archangel is the mighty angel of Revelation Chapter 10 who comes down and uses his powerful “voice” to raise the dead from land and sea where they were buried.
Then “the trump” will be at the time of the changing of the body as “the trump” summons us up to Heaven to meet Jesus as He comes down.
A trumpet in Scripture was a warning for war.
I CORINTHIANS 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
A spiritual battle. The churches preach partly from the Bible and partly from man-made doctrine and tradition. This is an uncertain sound. We need to be completely Scriptural.
Before the resurrection and the trump actually happens, God sends a natural sign, as in the American election, to attract our attention and warn us that His Second Coming is imminent.
So who will be ready for the Second Coming of Jesus? Not many.
LUKE 18:8……Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
The firm favourites who feel so complacently secure in their churches will lose out and the no-hopers and the despised and written-off “heretics” ( or bad guys ) who disagree with the churches will win, to every one’s shock and surprise. The so-called church experts and church leaders have got it all wrong in the same way that all the expert polls got the election all wrong.
God’s thinking is very different to our human thinking.
Could such a thing be possible?
Yes. Jesus warned us that this would happen.
MATTHEW 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
:3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
God first calls the saved Christians to the wedding supper. They get first option. But they are not interested. They want their comfortable and popular church doctrines and traditions. The crown without the cross. Not staying just with the Bible, as that is too old-fashioned and primitive.
MATTHEW 22:4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
:5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
:6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
Christians are not interested in proving their beliefs from Scripture. All the Scriptures that they do not understand are dismissed or made light of as “not important”. Christians detest anyone who tells them that their churches are wrong. Any Bible verse that contradicts their beliefs is ignored. The people who try to correct them suffer character assassination. Each church group is convinced that they are right. A comfortable doctrinal smugness has settled over the churches. The sign on the church door says “Please do not disturb, or else…”
MATTHEW 22:8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. ( the saved Christians who prefer churchianity, saved Christians who have been blessed with prosperity and wealth, the saved Christians who are important and famous, the church leaders )
MATTHEW 22:9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. ( the rejects who want to be Scriptural, the despised, the no-hopers, the heretics, the poor )
MATTHEW 22:10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad ( like Trump ) and good ( like Pence. His name implies being poor rather than rich. Pounds, shillings and Pence ): and the wedding was furnished with guests.
So Luke’s Gospel will tell us what we do not want to hear.
We need to change if we want to be ready for the Coming of the Lord. His Coming is going to be different to what we think or expect.
In the New Testament, God has four beasts or living creatures around His throne that act as bodyguards for His Body, which is the church.
EPHESIANS 5:23 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.
:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ,
Only the body of believers that Jesus saves and who remain subject to His Word, form His spiritual body, known as His Bride or the wise virgins.
This is the heart of Christianity. We must be saved and also be obedient to what is written in the Bible.
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.
: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.
A calf is a young ox.
It is always difficult to describe a spiritual vision of Heaven in our earthly terms, but Ezekiel saw something similar in the Old Testament about 600 years before John’s Book of Revelation.
EZEKIEL 1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.
The eagle would be flying above them.
In the New Testament God’s throne is where He dwells in the hearts of born again men and women.
The four chambers of the heart symbolize the four creatures around God’s throne.
God has described the launch of His church (the body of Christ) in the Book of Acts.
This church was at its best during New Testament days and then, making the mistake of becoming subject to human leadership, it began to fall away in the Dark Ages.
Luke is the third of the four Gospels that surround and protect the Book of the “Acts of the Holy Spirit in His early church apostles”.
As such, Luke also represents the third beast seen around the throne of God, that had a face as a man.
Luke thus presents Christ as the perfect Man and also tells us Christians how we should believe so that our human behaviour and deeds can please God and further His Kingdom on earth.
It was only because Christ was in His church and controlling them, that they were able to produce the Book of Acts.
The four Gospels are thus the heart of the Bible as our eternal life depends on the life and sacrifice of Jesus.
Matthew presents Christ as King since the lion is the king of the beasts. Mark shows Him as the tireless Servant or ox. Luke introduces Him as the perfect Man. John states that Jesus is God in a human body.
His cleansing Blood is critical as it pumps eternal life through the believers in the Book of Acts. This set the standard for how God wants His church to operate.
The four Gospels tell us how to protect our experience with God so that we remain led by the Holy Spirit and not ruled and directed by human leaders. Satan wants human leadership to replace the leading of the Holy Spirit that guides us to obey the written Word of God, the Bible.
Only the Blood of Jesus could pump eternal life through the believers of the seven different ages and circumstances that the church would pass through during the 2 000 years of its history.
This third beast representing Luke’s Gospel must then also describe the main attributes of the Holy Spirit operating in God’s church during the Reformation Ages starting in 1517. God’s Spirit blessed and used the human wisdom and scholarship of Martin Luther in Germany to restore that “the just must live by faith”. Christians had to repent and get saved rather than trusting in ancient relics and indulgences. Then God began to further restore the church back to the New Testament by using the human wisdom and scholarship of John Wesley in England as he revealed the truths of holiness, brotherly love, and evangelical outreach. This laid the foundation for the great missionary age that was arguably the greatest age of human endeavour in the service of God, since the early church. That ended about 1906 when the Pentecostal revival of the Holy Ghost baptism began in California in America.
This age saw human wisdom and scholarship blessed by God’s annointing so that they produced the most accurate translation of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, the King James Bible of 1611.
This is the only Bible with no copyright. Thus it is the Word of God. All other Bibles have a copyright to protect the author’s viewpoints and financial income. Thus they are the words of man.
Referring to “a face as a man” draws attention to the “head”.
This headship of the church is one of the most fundamental problems in the church world.
The King James Bible is the true Word of God and is thus the head and only source of true Christian doctrine. These are the words that are spoken from the mouth of God.
The King James Bible is “Thus saith the Lord”.
The wise virgins with their lamps lit shine that light onto the King James Bible in order to illuminate the true Word, Who is Jesus Christ. They only believe what the Bible says.
The alternative is that you have to make an arbitrary choice of one or more versions from the hundreds of Bible versions that are available, all of which differ from each other in addition to all the corrected upgrades that keep appearing. This is a recipe for confusion.
In true Christianity, only Bible verses are believed to be the basis of doctrine because this alone establishes Jesus Christ as being Head of the church. (Believing some other idea or opinion makes some other person your head or my head.) The believers who only trust the written Bible, only call themselves Christians.
They want no other name because a wife only takes on the name of her husband.
EPHESIANS 5:23 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.
EPHESIANS 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
The first serious mistake made by those brave reformers who opposed the Roman Catholic church was to adopt the Roman Catholic church system of having a man at the head of the church. This is unscriptural and produces denominational “churchianity”.
Following a human head as pastor, spelled disaster. Since the Reformation, 30 000 different kinds of denominational and non-denominational churches have emerged. Human leaders have developed endless variations of doctrinal error. The Word of God alone is what we should follow.
In denominational “churchianity” some man (pastor, priest, bishop, pope etc) is the head of the church and the members call themselves by the name of their church movement or church leader – Lutheran, Methodist, Wesleyan, Baptist, Pentecostal, Message believer, Branhamite etc.
Trying to prevent the church from going down this multi-headed denominational path, Luke describes Jesus as the ideal Man that we should follow.
He, and He alone, is fit to be Head of the church as Jesus alone is the visible face of God.
This is similar to the American president being the face of the American nation.
So Luke reveals key points that we humans must remember as we endeavor to follow our ideal human role model, Jesus Christ. He is God in human flesh.
Luke focuses on the humanity of Christ, the human Man.
John’s Gospel will focus on the God Who dwelt in the human body of Christ.
LUKE 1:76 And thou, child, (John the Baptist) shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
Jesus is the face of God. So Luke also introduces Jesus as a Man.
Luke’s banner is thus the face of a Man. The face of Jesus Christ. He is the human face of God.
Thus Jesus alone is the Head of the church. All our so-called church leaders can at best be parts of the body of Christ. He is the Head, we are the body. All the parts of the body are controlled by the head.
Jesus is thus a fellow human being. This means that God came down to our level to show us how to think and live. As human beings, we must not look to our church leaders (who are flawed vessels) but to Jesus Christ as being our supreme example of what a human being should be like.
Luke was a doctor.
COLOSSIANS 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician,
A doctor is the best person to describe a man. Luke favours the Gentiles because the church is the body of Christ Who alone is the Head of the church. The bulk of the church body over seven church ages was and is made up of Gentiles.
So God chose Luke who was very sympathetic towards the Gentiles to write for the Gentile church. Luke also wrote the Book of Acts. The last portion of the Book of Acts is dominated by Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, as he sets up the foundation of the Gentile church during his three missionary journeys.
Luke is the longest Book of the New Testament which reflects the long time, almost 2 000 years, that will be covered by the seven Gentile church ages.
GALATIANS 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision [ the Jews ], the same was mighty in me [ Paul ] toward the Gentiles:)
Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. And Luke was his faithful companion as they travelled amongst the Gentiles. So Luke always felt a strong kindred spirit towards the Gentiles.
II TIMOTHY 4:11 Only Luke is with me.
Paul here comments on Luke’s faithfulness to the Gentile missionary work.
Dealing with Christ as a Man, Luke emphasizes the birth of both John and Jesus. Every man starts as a baby. So Luke, as a doctor, records the conception and pregnancy details.
Enemies of the Gospel would cut short the lives of John, Jesus and many of the early church.
Most men who die before old age live through two basic phases, first as a child and then as a father.
The disciples also grew through these two phases. As young men, they were the children of their Jewish fathers who kept the law. As children they needed to be trained by Jesus. Then, after Jesus left, the disciples grew older and became the fathers of the early church who knew them as apostles.
LUKE 1:17 And he (John the Baptist) shall go before him (Jesus Christ) in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
This statement was to show how John the Baptist was referred to in a prophecy made by Malachi.
The “hearts” of the fathers meant that the Jews had broken up into about five different denominations. The two main religious groups were the Pharisees who controlled the synagogues, and the Sadducees who ran the Temple. There were also Herodians (who were politically involved with king Herod), Zealots (who fanatical in their desire to kill enemies), and Essenes who separated themselves into the wilderness as indicated by the seven Qumran Old Testament scrolls that were found in caves near the Dead Sea between late 1946 and early 1947. Between 1949 and 1956 another 930 scrolls were found in the Qumran area, mainly fragmented, but 12 were in a state of good preservation. This was brilliant archaeological proof of how valid the Old Testament is as an accurate history of the Jews.
This reminds us of the seven baskets of fragments and the 12 baskets of fragments that were left over when Jesus miraculously fed the 5 000 men and the 4 000 men.
In the Jewish Temple was the 7-branched candlestick and the 12 loaves of shewbread that represented the seven church ages of the New Testament and the 12 tribes of Israel from the Old Testament. The Jews and the church are God’s main focus on planet Earth.
1947 was also a key year when the United Nations voted by a majority of about 2 votes to give the Jews a homeland in Israel. Russia, under the Jew-hating Stalin, suddenly backed the Jews for about 18 months.
In 1948 Israel declared itself a nation for the first time since it had been destroyed by Rome in 135 AD. The Arabs immediately attacked Israel.
By 1949 they had beaten the five Arab armies that were backed by seven Arab states to establish their homeland in Israel.
In 1956 they again beat Egypt in another war in the Sinai, and then smashed the Arabs in the 1967 six day war.
God was obviously turning back to Israel. The Qumran scrolls were found just when Israel was being re-established as a nation after about 1800 years.
In 1946 an angel appeared to William Branham in America, which launched his spectacular ministry in the supernatural gifts of healing and discernment, and this ignited a huge revival amongst the Pentecostals during the 1950s and the 1960s. During the 1960’s there were times when the Oral Roberts Pentecostal Association was collecting one quarter of the tithes money that was collected in the free (non-communistic) world.
God gave the supernatural a huge boost in the Pentecostal churches during these days.
The non-Pentecostal churches also made dramatic successes in the realm of evangelism during this period with Billy Graham, one of the greatest evangelists, setting the pace.
So God was reviving the supernatural gifts with the Pentecostal revival and the remarkable Bible teachings of William Branham in America. At the same time God was re-establishing Israel as a nation with its six-pointed star of David being the oldest national flag in the world.
But later in the 1950s, American president Eisenhower’s customary good sense failed him, and he mistakenly sent about 700 military advisers to South Vietnam to oppose the communists in North Vietnam rather than having a free election for all of Vietnam to vote on the issue of unity. Then President Kennedy, a Catholic, amplified Eisenhower’s error by sending 15 000 more advisers to South Vietnam in the early 1960’s to back the dictatorial and corrupt Catholic president Diem of South Vietnam. But when religion and politics combine it produces a macabre dance-of-death as good intentions produce the unintended effect of death and destruction. Things then got worse when president Johnson made the huge mistake of escalating this war dramatically in 1965 and historians claim that the next 15 years were the years when America tried to commit suicide. The American military had fought bravely and never lost a battle, but these three presidents produced a war policy that was indecisive and muddled, so that they badly compromised the war with increasingly irresolute decisions.
President Nixon skillfully disengaged America from Vietnam and by 1980 America began to recover, but the Pentecostal churches no longer seemed to have the spiritual impact that they had twenty years previously. Meanwhile the church world continued to splinter under equally muddled religious leaders until by 2016 there were about 30 000 different kinds of denominational and non-denominational church systems. Bible-based knowledge of true Christianity was being replaced by smugly optimistic “churchianity” attitudes. Finding safety in a church system has become the central mirage in our modern age of religious delusion. Self satisfied professions of church traditions and the doctrines of men replaced “believing in the written Word of God”. Jesus was being pushed out of our churches. He stands outside the door of the church and knocks. The people in the churches are more concerned about being recognized and accepted by the elevated church leaders.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
In John the Baptist’s day the Jewish religion had also fragmented, but not as badly as today’s church world. Luke’s use of the plural “hearts” shows all these divisions that existed amongst the Jewish fathers, which were the challenges that John had to contend with.
LUKE 1:17 And he (John the Baptist) shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,
All of these groups had their own interpretation of the Law of Moses. Each group was convinced that they were right, but they all were wrong.
Each religious group had such an exalted opinion of themselves that John could only resolve the issue by calling them all snakes or serpent seed. He thus condemned the whole multitude of Jews who came to hear him preach, men and women.
LUKE 3:7 Then said he (John the Baptist) to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
A snake has a forked tongue. One part is truth and the other part is a lie. The churches today preach partly the truth (Jesus died for our sins) and partly a lie. (For example, Jesus was born on 25 December, and somehow there was a decorated tree connected with the stable. Both these ideas are completely unscriptural. – The wise men went into a house and saw a young child. They were not visiting the Baby in a stable. So what else have our churches got wrong? But hardly anyone dares oppose the unscriptural word “Christmas” or “Christ’s mass” as the Catholics first called it around 350 AD, because then you run foul of big business as well as the churches.)
MATTHEW 2:11 And when they (the wise men) were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother,
(There is no mention of Joseph. The wise men were spiritual men. God, their spiritual Father, had guided them at night for two years by His Holy Spirit in the form of a Star, which no-one but the wise men saw. Thus God made sure that the man Joseph who was considered to be the human “father” of Jesus was not present when these Spirit-led men arrived to worship their heavenly Father in the form of a Child.)
ISAIAH 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
These men were not wise because they were learned. They were wise because they were seeking to find Jesus. Are you wise?
There is a thought that scares me – John called the multitude of the different denominational Jews “vipers or poisonous snakes”. If John came back in our day, then it seems that he would simply condemn all our different church groups and tell us all to be “zealous to repent”. After all, each of our different church groups is convinced that they are right. But it is also obvious, that with so many differences, all the church groups cannot be right. The scary thought is that all our church groups could be wrong. Remember, there were no groups that were right in John’s day.
MALACHI 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Elijah the prophet was promised by Malachi (some 400 years before) to prepare the people for the Lord’s first Coming. The “heart” of the fathers is singular and as such speaks of the success of John the Baptist’s ministry because all the Jews that he turned to Jesus believed that only Jesus was the Head of the church. All these older Jews, once they were turned, then they served Jesus alone with one united heart. They left the various denominational Jewish groupings of Pharisees, Sadducees, etc and simply became Christians who believed and followed the New Testament Bible teachings.
Luke, as a doctor, accurately diagnoses that John the Baptist only fulfills the first half of the prophecy of Malachi. John the Baptist told the Jewish fathers who thought that they were keeping the Law that they were actually disobedient if they rejected their Messiah by not turning to their children, the younger generation of Jesus and His disciples. These children had both the wisdom and the truth of what was just in the eyes of God.
Then these disciples would grow up and become the apostolic fathers of the early church and write the New Testament.
The church would later fall away from the New Testament beliefs in the Dark Ages and then have to be restored back over many centuries, starting with the great reformer Martin Luther in 1517, and moving on to the incredibly effective evangelist John Wesley who laid the foundation for the great missionary age of the 1800s. After that the great Pentecostal revival started in Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California and is the origin of the Pentecostal movement. Different groups operated under the freedom of the Holy Spirit. It began with a meeting on April 9, 1906, and continued until roughly 1915. By 1917 this Pentecostal movement had divided up into official man-made denominations under human leadership and lost its initial impact. In that year Communism launched its revolt in Russia under Lenin and God began to raise up this evil system that will one day punish the West for rejecting God’s leadership by His Spirit and His Word and replacing it with human leadership and man-made doctrines. In the same way God had raised up Babylon to punish the Jews in 606 BC for not staying with His written Word. Then in 1919 – 1920 God sent a plague of Spanish Flu that Bill Gates claims killed 65 million people over and above the 20 million who died in the first World War from 1914 – 1918. Mankind paid heavily for rejecting the leadership of the Holy Spirit in favour of human church leadership.
MALACHI 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Then another Elijah ministry is prophesied for the end time, just before the great Tribulation, when we as ‘young children’, born some 1900 years after the early disciples or apostles, will be turned back to the New Testament teachings of these apostolic fathers. To emphasize this end time ministry, a curse will strike the earth to preview the greater curse that strikes in the great Tribulation. A curse is something that lingers on and does not quickly disappear. This curse was the atom bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 with their lingering radioactivity that did much damage long after the initial explosions. That was a warning to us that we should be on the lookout for a prophet, like John the Baptist, who could prepare us for the Second Coming of Jesus by taking us back to the original apostolic teachings of the New Testament. If we do not turn back to the New Testament beliefs of the apostolic fathers, then many Russian nuclear bombs are going to fall in the great Tribulation. This is the ultimate fate of America for her rejection of this end time prophet. Watch Russia, the king of the north.
Children are endlessly curious and ask questions. Their parents get irritated because they do not know the answers and are too lazy to find out themselves, so they stifle the curiosity of the children by shrugging it off as unimportant. Eventually the children lose interest.
Christians today no longer are curious about the Bible. Ask them why Jesus wrote with His finger in the dust when asked to stone a woman and they are not interested. They do not know themselves and do not want to find out. They behave just like typical parents. Then they say it is not important.
Thus today’s Christians are not the curious children that will turn back to the apostolic fathers who wrote the New Testament.
When asked a question that your church group cannot answer, you need to be curious and begin to investigate outside your church. Once you step outside your church, you have a chance of finding Jesus, the true Word, because He stands outside the church door.
Luke, as a doctor, records the details of Mary and Elizabeth from the beginning.
Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost and conceived Jesus when Elizabeth was six months pregnant with John.
LUKE 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
LUKE 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
Mary then went to visit and stay with Elizabeth. At six months, the foetus is surrounded by a protective layer of water. So Mary brought the Word of God (Jesus) to the prophet of God, John, when he was in the waters of his mother’s womb.
LUKE 1:52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
:53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
Luke, emphasizing Jesus as a Man, stresses how God will deal with men.
God exalts the unimportant men and puts down the important men.
So God deals with mankind in a different way to what we expect.
Rich men have money and can buy comfort on planet Earth but find spiritual emptiness and thus very little accommodation in Heaven. God is more inclined to send them away than to invite them into Heaven.
LUKE 1:56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
John could only be born when the waters of the womb broke. Then he would no longer be in the water. So the Word left him as Mary departed. Some thirty years later the prophet John was back in the waters. This time he was in the waters of Jordan, baptizing the people. Then once again Jesus came to him. The Word of God always comes to a prophet who is in the water. This symbolizes that a true prophet stays in the water of the Word.
EPHESIANS 5:26 That he (Christ) might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
A prophet’s ministry is to teach us the Word of God. Believing and obeying the written Word enables us to clean up our act.
When Mary got back to Joseph so that she could marry him, she was three months pregnant.
Thus it was obvious to everyone that Joseph was not the father of Jesus. Thus Mary had to live with the accusation that she had an illegitimate child. Both Jesus and Mary had to endure this reproach.
When arguing with Jesus, the Jews said that they were not illegitimate.
JOHN 8:41 ….Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
By saying this they were implying that He was illegitimate.
So Luke makes it clear that if a man believes, he lays himself open to false accusations and slander. This is one of the hazards of Christianity.
Then John the Baptist was born.
LUKE 1:59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
:60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
As a doctor Luke noted the medical detail of circumcision. The Jews then wanted to call him Zacharias (the name of his father) as if he would follow in his father’s footsteps and be a priest. But that was not God’s will. The baby was going to become a young man who would radically disagree with the Jewish fathers of his father’s generation. He would turn that older generation of fathers to the younger generation of their children. Thus the baby needed a different name.
So Luke emphasizes that if a man wants to serve God he must be prepared to disagree with his parents if they do not follow Scripture. Truth is more important than family.
LUKE 14:26 (Jesus said) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
LUKE 1:80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
John the Baptist needed to know the truth so he had to grow up in the desert far removed from the religious leaders of his day. They could only guide him into error. He had to stay separated from them.
John did not join any one of the religious denominations or groups of his day. That is why God could trust him.
But Jewish children, when they grew up, could only enter the priesthood, or the service of the Lord, at the age of thirty.
NUMBERS 4:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
2 Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers,
:3 From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.
The priesthood was taken from the tribe of Levi. They served God for twenty years, from the age of thirty to fifty. So, technically, John the Baptist and Jesus had to get to the age of thirty before commencing their ministries. John was six months older than Jesus. When Jesus got to thirty, John had been preaching for six months.
LUKE 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized,
LUKE 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age,
John the Baptist, when he got to thirty, could begin the baptism of repentance to make the Jews aware that the official Temple priesthood was now far off into error. The Jews had to realize that their religious leaders were totally incapable of preparing them for the First Coming of Christ. The Jews belonged to their synagogues or the Temple, and thought they were safe. That was a total delusion. They rejected Jesus, and more than a million Jews died when the Roman army under Titus destroyed the Temple in AD 70.
The written Word of God has been rejected by our churches because Jesus stands outside the church door. We think we are safe in our different church huddles and their conflicting beliefs just because we are saved. That delusion will be shattered when the great Tribulation strikes like a spiritual tsunami or tidal wave.
(That is why another John the Baptist is needed in the last church age as the church leaders have pushed the Word out of the church. The pastor claims to be the head of the church. No body can have two heads, so there is no room for Jesus. Thus our church leaders cannot prepare us for the Second Coming of Christ. Today church members base their beliefs on human opinions and traditions, and dread being asked to prove their beliefs by connecting just Scriptures together. All they can do is frantically quote what their leader says, or what they think he said.)
A hard fact for the Jews was that the young generation of John the Baptist, Jesus, and His disciples were actually serving God despite being outside the official religious system. They did not belong to any of the Jewish denominations of that day. Only those who were outside the religious groups had the truth.
[We have the same problem today. God describes our official churches as blind and says that He stands outside the church of the Laodiceans (which means “people’s rights”), which is the last church age.]
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
:17 and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
There is an illusion of safety in numbers. But the church leaders do not know what God is doing today as they are all going in different directions, just like blind men groping in the dark.
MATTHEW 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
Be careful. In today’s world the “ditch” represents the great Tribulation. A grim irony for saved Christians who think they are going up to the Wedding Feast and will find themselves going down to an awful death in the great Tribulation.
“How did we all get it so wrong?” they will cry, just like the radio and TV announcers did after Trump’s victory in the 2016 American presidential election.
The Bible calls our churches blind, and we claim that we can see. Time will tell who is right. And, sadly, it will not be us.
Luke has to present Jesus as the ideal Man. So Luke mentions very human issues.
Man’s biggest concern is wealth and this is always unevenly distributed. In 2015 America had 42% of the world’s wealth and second placed China had 11 %. The ten wealthiest nations had 84% of the world’s wealth. There are approximately 200 countries in the world.
The poorest 40 countries own 1% of the world’s wealth.
Thus 150 countries have to share only 15% of the world’s wealth, giving each of them one tenth of a percent.
In the wealthy United States, 80% of the people only own 15% of the wealth. So there is a vast majority of poor people on planet earth. The poor are not impressed with the small group of the wealthy elite who seem to end up in charge and ruling the poor. The 2016 American presidential election cost about 7 000 million dollars. No poor person can win this election.
An endless problem on earth is the injustices and dislocations caused by the accumulations of great wealth in the hands of so few.
Luke appeals directly to the poor who are the vast majority. Jesus is their Man. Joseph, who adopted Him, and Mary were nobodies. Joseph and Mary, though religious, had no idea that Messiah had to be born in Bethlehem. So God drove them there by inspiring Augustus, the Roman emperor called Caesar, to raise a special tax.
LUKE 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
Joseph, a poor man, has to travel about 140 kilometers from Nazareth to Bethlehem. His wife is heavily pregnant as the Baby is due in about one week. She has to ride on a donkey which is very uncomfortable and slow. The journey will take about a week. Will they get to Bethlehem before the birth? That thought would worry them all through the journey. So this is the worst time for Mary to travel. The donkey has to carry a week’s food, blankets for sleeping on the side of the road, and Joseph’s carpenter tools (two years later when the wise men get to Bethlehem, the family is still there and Joseph had to work in Bethlehem to support them). There is no place for baby clothes, baby cot, etc.
Why are they doing this uncomfortable trip? In order to pay taxes.
It is difficult to imagine a worse reason. We all hate paying taxes.
They have to travel slowly because of Mary’s condition. Faster people overtake them so that when they get to Bethlehem the inn or hotel is full. They find refuge in a stable that stinks and is not hygienic.
Stables are dirty places, covered in animal manure. They do not smell nice. The Baby is born. A manger, wet with spit from the cows and oxen licking up the last particles of food, is His cot. At the end of His life, humans will spit all over Him too. Why? He is the Bread of Life. We cannot eat bread until we have chewed it and thereby covered it with spit.
LUKE 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
There was no room for them. They were not wanted. At the start of His life, Jesus was on the outside of religious Jewish society. At the end time in the last church age He stands outside the Christian church door.
The swaddling clothes in this case were old sacks. The only cloth available in a stable is the old sacks that are wrapped around the oxen’s yokes that stop the wooden yoke rubbing against the ox’s neck and creating a sore spot. Oxen work hard and sweat. The rags wrapped around the wooden yoke get saturated in ox sweat. So Jesus was wrapped in rags that were full of sweat. Poor shepherds rushed to the stable, and were themselves dirty and sweaty as “they came with haste”. So they felt at home in His presence as He was wrapped in sweaty cloths in this dirty stable. Jesus makes the poor feel at home because He got off to the humblest start. Few babies could be born in poorer circumstances.
At the end of His life there would also be sweat. He would sweat drops of Blood. Why? Adam sinned and his punishment was to earn his living by the sweat of his face. So human sweat had to touch the Blood of Jesus so that this punishment could be redeemed and one day, in the new earth, there will be no more sweat-induced hard work.
Luke now makes it clear that God does not think the way we humans do. That is why God is not impressed with our human religious traditions.
For the first and only time in human history a multitude of angels appeared on planet earth in a fabulous display of praise and the glory of God.
Where did it happen? In a remote region of the Roman empire’s border called Palestine. Where in Palestine? Nowhere definite. An unknown field somewhere in the vicinity of a minor town called Bethlehem.
Who was the audience for this one-off incredible supernatural extravaganza?
An unknown small group of uneducated, poor shepherds. Out in the fields they did not bath too often. They smelled like their sheep. We do not know who any of them were. Their names were not worth mentioning because they were such nobodies that no-one would have recognized their names anyway. They were dead scared, in the presence of the supernatural.
So Luke tells us something about God as a Human. He does things in a totally unexpected way. He ignored the favourites ( the religious Jews in the Temple and the synagogues ) and appeared in a most dramatic way to poor and struggling men who had no influence and absolutely no importance, and obviously no money. Too poor to bring presents, they were sufficiently grubby to feel at home and not be put off by the dirty and smelly circumstances of the stable. God was clothing Himself in human flesh and getting off to a start that was so completely unexpected in its simplicity that only the poor and unimportant could appreciate Him.
The Devil was totally fooled. He thought he knew better than to waste time and effort on a miserable stable and some unknown shepherds that were of no value. Two unknown no-bodies in the persons of Joseph and Mary could not have any significance in God’s plan. Obviously this whole scene had nothing to do with the coming of Messiah. When Messiah arrived it would be to the important religious leaders in the Temple and there would be much pomp and glory. Only then would Satan rally his demon hordes to do battle with Him. Satan was completely outwitted by a very humble and very simple scene that was acted out by very ordinary people who society regarded as having zero importance.
Jesus, the greatest Baby of all time, was accompanied in the stable by a group of zeros.
The digital information age of computers and cell phones has revolutionized our lives. The digital age depends on two numbers, one and zero.
The birth of Jesus, the Word of God Who had all the spiritual information that we need, revolutionized the world. He is number One. So everyone else at His birth had to be a zero.
Luke emphasizes this human relationship between Jesus the Man as 1 and the rest of us humans as 0.
The world around us wants to make us rate ( self, ambitions, our church traditions, our church leader, our family, our culture, money, fame, women ) as number 1 and what the Bible says as 0.
Notice how little the people of today, including church goers, know of the Bible.
LUKE 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
:9 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.
LUKE 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke makes no mention of the wise men. They came two years later, and found the young Child, not a Baby. The wise men went into a house, not a stable. Jesus and Mary were present, but not Joseph.
Matthew 2: 11 And when they (the wise men) were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother.
Wise men would not have felt at home in the very unhygienic stable. Sweaty shepherds felt right at home in the stable. They were used to the smells of animals.
So Jesus, as a Man, got off to the poorest of starts in the humblest of circumstances. He thus fits in with the poor, who are the vast majority of mankind.
Luke mentions that He went to the Temple when He was twelve. The priests marveled at His knowledge.
Joseph and Mary left Him and had to return after three days to find Him in the Temple.
LUKE 2:48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
Surrounded by the Jewish intelligentsia who would not believe in the virgin birth, Mary got scared and called Joseph the father of Jesus.
His answer was one of correction and profound insight, delivered with such exquisite tact.
“How is it that ye sought me?” A very gentle rebuke. He could have said, “If you have been looking for me it is because you left without checking that I was with you. That is not good parenting.”
The lesson for us all is that we easily leave the Word of God and move on with our lives in an unscriptural way.
“wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” Such tact. He could have said “Why are you so frightened of these men that you deny My virgin birth.”
What He said was in effect that if Joseph was His father than he would be in Joseph’s workshop doing woodwork. But if God was His Father, then He would be in God’s Temple talking to the priests and doctors. Because He had stayed all three days in the Temple, Jesus had stayed in His Father’s house. So His real Father, God, had not left Him for those three days the way Joseph, who was not His real father, had.
That way Jesus affirmed His virgin birth with great courage before an important audience that would not believe that claim. Their hostility was the reason that Mary had been scared to state this unpopular fact. So we learn that times will come when we have to stand up for very unpopular Bible truths that the church leaders strongly oppose. Will we have the courage to disagree and tell them what they do not want to hear?
Jesus made an answer that was so clever that He corrected Mary’s mistake without making it obvious that He was correcting her. Such is the respect that He had for Mary. This is a real role model for children who rebel against, disrespect, and criticize their parents.
LUKE 2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
Here Luke teaches as an invaluable lesson. If a man wants to give orders to others, he must first learn how to obey orders. Jesus thus went through those difficult teenage years by being subject to Joseph and Mary and never disrespecting them. What a brilliant example. This made Him competent to give orders to others when He came of age and left the home of Joseph and Mary.
COLOSSIANS 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
John the Baptist is the forerunner of Jesus.
The conditions amongst the religious Jews at the first Coming of Jesus were very similar to the conditions amongst saved Christians at the Second Coming of Jesus.
So Luke mentions the human issues that John the Baptist dealt with, as they will also apply to our day.
LUKE 3:7 Then said he (John the Baptist) to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
John slams the religious Jews. He calls them serpent seed, a bunch of vipers or rattlesnakes. These are snakes with poison in their mouths. Poison is any belief contrary to Scripture. They do not love God, they are just scared of hell. It shows in their lives as they do not display fruits of repentance. They thought they were safe because they descended from Abraham. This is a sign of smug arrogance. John warns them that God will reject the favourites and raise up the stony hearted who no-one gives a chance of making Heaven. We have a similar attitude today. Saved Christians with smug complacency feel safe in their churches, even though there are thousands of very different conflicting beliefs circulating around in all the different churches.
Luke mentions John claiming that when He deals with men, God rejects the popular and those who feel they are complacently superior. He raises up those who have no hope of winning and are rejected as losers. (A classic illustration was the triumph of the rejected Trump for whom there was no hope and the stunning loss of the overwhelming favourite Hillary Clinton in the 2016 American presidential election. That does not make Trump a good guy. God will use the stony hearted if He has to.)
LUKE 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
LUKE 3:9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
If we do not measure up to God’s standards, then even though we are saved Christians we will go into the great Tribulation. The saved Christians, who are self-satisfied and arrogantly feel that they are certain to be called by God, despite their large ignorance of Scripture, will end up being left behind in the great Tribulation, while God drags some rejects into His salvation plan.
MATTHEW 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
This is written in the future tense. John the Baptist had come as Elijah, but John was already dead when Jesus spoke this. John did not restore anything. He turned the Law upside down by introducing a water baptism and then introducing the Messiah. Today Christians get saved but are then hopelessly tangled up in numerous conflicting beliefs. We need someone to restore us back to the beliefs of the New Testament church. If we fail to do that, then even if we have been saved from hell fire, we will nevertheless be cast into the fire of the great Tribulation time.
How ready are we Christians for the Second Coming of the Lord? God wants us to be restored back to the early church of the New Testament. How far have we moved in that direction? Hardly anyone proves their beliefs from the Bible only anymore. The ignorance of Scripture is now at an epidemic level. Just as long as saved people attend one of the 30 000 different kinds of denominational and non-denominational churches, they feel superior and secure as they repeat the quotes of their leader. The fruits of knowing the Bible are sadly missing. Our ignorance is puffed up by our complacent arrogance. We are saved so we think that we do not really need to know what is in the Bible. After all, we attend our chosen church regularly, and our church leader or pastor studies the Bible. So we delude ourselves that we are safe in spite of knowing very little of what is written in the Bible. But the great Tribulation is coming, and we need to know what is going on in order to avoid it.
Introducing Christ as a Man, Luke mentions the advice that John the Baptist gave to other men.
LUKE 3:10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
:11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. (Be generous)
:12 Then came also publicans (tax collectors) to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?
:13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. (Don’t be greedy. Don’t be dishonest with money)
:14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. (Don’t be cruel. Be firm but fair, and be happy that you have a job and don’t demand more salary)
Luke focuses on issues that affect a man, and he sees our biggest human weakness which is selfish greed. Almost all the Jews’ questions involved money and possessions. This remains the main obsession with Christians today. Luke then mentions John’s antidote. Give to the poor. Live simpler to get by on your salary. If you hold any public position then be kind and be fair. You are there to help and not to oppress people, and certainly not to enrich yourself.
LUKE 3:19 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,
:20 Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.
Marriage and divorce is, and has always been, a huge human issue.
MALACHI 2:16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away:
“Putting away” means divorce. God hates divorce.
MATTHEW 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
No-one can separate a legally married husband and wife. A marriage vow is until death-us-do-part.
So no person can divorce a spouse and remarry while that divorced spouse is alive, because the vow stands until death.
MARK 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
MARK 10:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Divorce and remarriage is thus totally wrong.
But a woman must be a virgin when she marries. If she committed fornication before marrying, and does not confess to the man who wants to marry her, then her marriage vow is false and is not binding on the man. When he discovers her true state, then if he wishes to, he can immediately leave her and is then free to marry a virgin as that marriage “vow” was invalid – it was a false vow. This does not apply to adultery because they were already legally married and a legal marriage vow is until death. The marriage vow is “for better or for worse”. So adultery means being unfaithful which is a “worse” situation. But that does not nullify the vow. The marriage vow remains valid, however unfaithful a spouse may be. Thus no-one can divorce and remarry because of adultery.
MATTHEW 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication (sex before marriage), causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
King Herod got his brother’s wife to divorce his brother, and then he married her. A typical divorce and remarry scenario. John the Baptist rebuked Herod, and promptly got locked up in prison for daring to preach this truth.
Why did Luke mention this issue? Because divorce and remarriage would become a major sin at the time of the Second Coming of Jesus. The churches today have compromised on this issue, and condone divorce and remarriage.
A married couple may divorce if they want to, but then they must live apart singly.
Men and women have an endless lust to break down God’s standards about marriage.
Nelson Rockefeller in the 1962 divorced his wife and remarried in 1963. This issue dogged him and alienated the votes of many married women, and he never became the Republican candidate for a presidential election in spite of trying three times. Americans then still seemed to recognize that marriage was for keeps.
But in 1980 the divorced and remarried Ronald Reagan became president.
In 2016 Donald Trump, married three times and divorced twice, became president. Divorce and remarriage is no longer an issue to Americans.
If John the Baptist appeared in modern days to condemn this unscriptural behavior which our churches now condone, then he would be locked up yet again as some kind of religious nut case.
So we have sunk far into unscriptural error, and we think that God does not mind. But He does.
LUKE 3:20 Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.
:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
Here we notice something most significant.
Luke tells us in depth about John the Baptist and his preaching. But when it comes to the climax of John’s ministry, the baptism of Jesus, then Luke does not mention John’s name at all. Why? Compared to Jesus, John’s name does not even rate a mention.
Yet John was one of the greatest prophets. The prophet messenger who introduced Messiah.
Luke does not mention the events in order. He mentions John being locked in prison as this is an excuse to stop speaking about John. And then Luke goes back in time to the baptism of Jesus where he does not mention John’s name.
So what is Luke telling us? As humans we have value because Jesus died for us but we have absolutely no importance. Whatever we do for God, He could use stones and rejected people to do the same job if He wanted to. So none of us is entitled to feel any importance or any comfortable smugness.
Many Christians today have degenerated into being little more than a lump of self-adoration that is desperate to be admired by others.
But, Luke’s reality check indicates that compared to Jesus we rate as a zero.
The shepherd’s who heard the angel’s sing God’s praises when Jesus was born were too unimportant to be mentioned by name. And when Jesus was baptized, the great prophet and most important man of his day, John the Baptist was also not mentioned by name.
In the presence of the Man Jesus, every human fades into insignificance.
In our digital information age there are two numbers, one and zero.
These two numbers are the basis of all the information that floods our world.
Jesus is number one, every other human being in comparison is a zero.
Luke wants this to be the basis of all our spiritual knowledge.
I CORINTHIANS 15:31…, I die daily.
Paul, the greatest apostle of the first church age strove each day to be a zero. This was his key to success.
If we zeroes fall in line behind Jesus, with Him being in front as the Head, then every zero that is added increases the value of the total. For example 1 000 000 has more value than 100.
We must not take on the mark of the beast which is represented by the number 666.
Zero is the only number which cannot be numbered. Adding zero does not cause any number to get closer to 666.
Thus as the moon only reflects sunlight, we must only reflect “It is written…” in the Bible. Our own opinion is worth a zero. Only what is written in the Bible counts as a 1.
The mark of the beast is the brainwashing of the mind with man-made doctrines and traditions and opinions that are not written in the Bible.
Luke lists the bloodline of Jesus, the perfect Man, starting with Adam who was the first perfect man.
But Adam messed up, which meant that Jesus as the perfect Man, not only had to live perfectly Himself, but also had to sort out the mess that Adam had made in Eden, and redeem the rest of us from sin as well.
Jesus was not the son of Joseph. Mary proved that by only marrying Joseph when she was more than three months pregnant. Joseph was in the kingly line of David as he was a descendant of Solomon, David’s kingly son.
But this line of kings was cut off by the sins of king Jeconiah (also called Coniah).
JEREMIAH 22:24 As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence;
JEREMIAH 22:28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?
JEREMIAH 22:30 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.
God promised that none of his descendants would sit on the throne. Thus Joseph could not be king as a descendant of Jeconiah.
Luke picks up this human problem. How can Jesus be king of the Jews if the descendants of king Solomon have been cut off by king Coniah? This forces Luke to trace the ancestry of Mary from David through his eldest son Nathan.
LUKE 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
Heli was Mary’s father. Because Joseph married Mary and adopted Jesus, everyone supposed that Jesus was the son of Joseph.
LUKE 3:31 Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David,
This line is free from Jeconiah’s curse as they are separate from Solomon’s line.
Joseph had to adopt Jesus as his son. This makes Jesus able to be King (as the adopted son of Joseph) and He was free from the curse as He was the born the son of Mary and was not the biological son of Joseph. An adopted son has all the rights and privileges of a natural born son.
That is why Mary had to endure all the slander of being pregnant before she married. She had to prove that Jesus was not the biological son of Joseph. He was the adopted son of Joseph.
Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness. Physically weak, He was subjected to the temptations of the Devil. He used no supernatural gifts or power to withstand Satan. To each temptation He responded with a reference to the written Old Testament , “It is written…”
As a Man, Jesus resisted temptation by staying with the written Word of God. That was His only defense.
Jesus is our perfect example, so we humans need to adopt exactly the same strategy. We must know what is written in the Bible and stay with that. We must not deviate from the written Word in order to agree with human opinions and traditions.
Jesus then went to Nazareth and stood up in the synagogue.
LUKE 4:17 And there was delivered unto him (Jesus) the book of the prophet Esaias (Greek for Isaiah). And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
He stopped halfway through the last verse. Why?
This is what Isaiah actually said :
ISAIAH 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Jesus provides a brilliant insight. Verse 2 in Isaiah refers to two events separated by about 2 000 years.
“the acceptable year of the Lord” refers to the First Coming of Jesus to save us.
“the day of vengeance of our God” refers to the great Tribulation that follows His Second Coming when He takes His Bride away.
Thus we have to learn to rightly divide the Word of God. We must know what each Scripture refers to.
II TIMOTHY 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Take another example :
MATTHEW 17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
The disciples realized Jesus was Messiah. But they wanted to know why Elijah had not come before the First Coming of Jesus. In other words the disciples had completely missed what John the Baptist’s ministry was all about. So we must be careful. A man of John the Baptist’s calibre can come in our day, and we can just as easily completely miss the significance of his ministry like the disciples did with John the Baptist.
Jesus then speaks of a future Elijah who will come before the Second Coming of Jesus. This prophet will restore us saved Christians back to the full Gospel, which were the teachings of the New Testament church that were lost during the Dark Ages.
This cannot be John the Baptist because John did not restore the full Gospel. John’s ministry was the beginning of the Gospel as he introduced a water baptism and pointed out the Messiah to Israel.
MARK 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Then Jesus referred back to the ministry of John the Baptist which was by then well in the past tense of history.
MATTHEW 17:12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
:13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
Rightly divide the Word of God.
Jesus first spoke of a future Elijah who would come before the Second Coming of Jesus.
Then He referred to John the Baptist who had come before the First Coming of Jesus.
Two separate ministries in the spirit and power of Elijah, separated by about 2 000 years.
MALACHI 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
“the day of the Lord” is the great Tribulation.
:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Rightly divide the Word. There have to be two distinct ministries. God only turns the wrong beliefs to the good beliefs that are correct.
First a ministry to turn the wrong fathers to the good children.
Then another ministry to turn the wrong children to the good fathers.
How is this possible?
The good children were Jesus and the disciples who had the truth.
John turned the wrong Jewish fathers to their good children, Jesus and the disciples.
After Jesus left, the disciples grew up to become the good apostolic fathers of the early church.
Then the church lost the truth in the Dark Ages.
With 30 000 different denominational and non-denominational churches that exist today, we are the wrong children who desperately need to turn back to the good New Testament beliefs of the original apostolic fathers who were the disciples, with Paul taking the place of Judas Iscariot.
We need an Elijah to restore the Bible truths in our divided denominational age.
Between the two Elijahs who appear before the First Coming and the Second Coming, the church had to go through seven different stages (white light is broken up into seven dominant colours in a rainbow). During these ages the church would be mainly Gentile.
The church started with many Jewish converts, but soon grew to be a basically Gentile church.
To emphasize this point, Luke, who favours the Gentiles, quotes how Jesus suddenly refers to two Old Testament events where God had also used Gentiles in His great plan.
LUKE 4:25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
:26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.
Elias is the Greek for Elijah. Sidon was Gentile territory.
LUKE 4:27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.
Eliseus is the Greek for Elisha. Syria was Gentile territory.
So both Elijah and Elisha (who had a double portion of Elijah’s spirit) were involved with Gentiles. Thus it is no surprise to find the Elijah, who comes just before the great Tribulation, is also a Gentile prophet to the end time Gentile church.
LUKE 4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
:29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
:30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,
This is typical of human nature. The Jews thought that they were closest to God. Hearing of the possibility that God would rather favour the Gentiles, the Jews were driven to rage and wanted to kill Jesus. Once again God was turning away from those who thought they were favoured (the Jews) towards the unfancied Gentiles that the Jews rejected.
The church has the same problem today. Christians get angry at the suggestion that Jesus is outside the church (because we think that He is impressed with us) and is planning to turn to the Jews whom He is establishing in their promised land. Saved Christians are so complacent in their various denominational and non-denominational churches that they refuse even to listen to someone who tells them that they are wrong. Yet all these different churches disagree with each other. Thus there is plenty of error in the church systems.
As a doctor, Luke records a miraculous healing.
LUKE 4:38 And he (Jesus) arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.
:39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.
Here Luke points out a mistake in the future Roman Catholic church. Simon Peter had a wife. The Roman Catholics claim that he was the “first Pope”. But then why do their Popes not marry? This is an obvious contradiction in their beliefs.
Peter, if he was the first Pope, baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. The Catholics claim that all Popes are infallible, and thus all Popes should agree with each other.
So the Popes should baptize the same way as Peter.
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.
: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.
:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Why do modern day Popes not baptize like the “first Pope”, Peter, did?
Ours is also an “untoward generation” that believes in all sorts of strange beliefs that are not in the Bible.
Jesus gave Peter the keys to Heaven, and Peter opened the Door to Heaven for us by telling us to repent, and to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, and to receive the Holy Ghost. This rule applies to all those who God calls. We have no right to change it.
There is One God. He has three Titles : Father, Son and Holy Ghost. But the human Name of God is Jesus Christ.
The New Testament began with the Spirit of God manifesting Himself in the human body of Jesus.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
I TIMOTHY 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh,
When God took on His new human Name of Jesus Christ, the Bible never again in the New Testament ever refers to God by His usual Old Testament names of Jehovah or Yahweh.
Thus the Jesus of the New Testament is the Jehovah of the Old Testament.
Luke considers the calling of the disciples by Jesus.
Luke always gives us the human side of serving God, as well as God appearing in our midst as a Man amongst men, the supreme Head of the church.
We have our human free-will, which is a small circle or puddle in which we can do whatever suits our selfish short-term interests best. Our conscious mind operates in this little pool, which we frantically try to keep calm and placid as a personal comfort zone.
God’s will is the Big Picture that is an unseen spiritual river running strongly and disturbingly through the affairs and circumstances of life on Earth, that is aimed at the long term benefits of God’s salvation plan. We cannot consciously enter this realm as God’s thinking is too different to our thinking. God has to push or force us, usually protesting like Jonah, into this realm of His perfect will which disturbs our comfort zone that we foolishly value.
ISAIAH 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
EZEKIEL 3:14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.
Ezekiel, that great prophet, did not always find it easy to serve God.
Let us see what Luke has to say.
LUKE 5:2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
:3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
Simon (later surnamed Peter) was not in the boat, he was on the beach washing his nets as he had given up trying to fish having caught nothing. This was the wrong place to be as Jesus entered his empty boat.
Washing his nets was the wrong thing to be doing because he was going to be using them again.
Jesus would send Simon back to where he had caught nothing in his own strength after having really tried hard. Simon had now despaired and given up.
LUKE 5:5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing:
When Simon was down on his luck having worked all night and earned nothing, then Jesus chose to use him when he was feeling useless. And we think that God is impressed with our talents and skills.
MATTHEW 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Our job is to pray that God will let us into His Big Picture and make us do something for His perfect will. Then He will add the things that we need for our personal survival. We must pursue His will, not our own will. If women, money or fame are our motives, then we pursue our own wills. Of course we humans are very good at deluding ourselves that we are thereby serving God. We are easily fooled into regarding self-gain as proof of being in God’s perfect will.
I TIMOTHY 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
LUKE 5:3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
Jesus first used the ship to teach the people. That was His first priority. Afterwards they could fish for material gain.
LUKE 5:4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
:5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
Simon obeyed Jesus even though this was completely opposite to his human thinking. He was a skilled fisherman but he now had to do something that made no sense to him. His natural skill had made him give up fishing for that day, but obeying the Word of God even when it was contrary to his accumulated experience, would reward him.
:6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
Obeying the Word of God brought success. A greater success than he had ever had before.
LUKE 5:7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
:8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
This incredible success had nothing to do with Simon’s personal skills and talents, and thus left him with an overwhelming feeling of his own unworthiness.
I CORINTHIANS 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
If you and I ever truly get into the presence and the will of God, we will have no desire to glorify ourselves. In the face of great success we will still regard ourselves as most unworthy. Compared to Jesus, we are simply nothing. There is no reason why He should use us. It is only His grace if He does choose us. Thus we have nothing to brag about.
God’s biggest problem is that when He blesses a man, that man begins to think that he is something.
LUKE 5:9 For he (Simon) was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
Simon was astonished that Jesus had used him to achieve this great success. So were his friends and partners. This attitude impressed Jesus. The three men did not think they were something, because Simon felt totally unworthy. They were simply amazed that God had used them. Because of this humble attitude in the face of this huge success, Jesus chose them.
So the correct human attitude to God is to regard Jesus as everything, and ourselves as nothing in comparison to Him.
In their success they did not compare themselves to other men because Jesus had done it all, not them. Competitive Christianity is an ugly stain on the Gospel.
LUKE 5:10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
They were trained fishermen, but these talents were of no real help as they now were to be trained for something far better, which was how to catch converts for Jesus.
:11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
Their first step was to lose all interest in material success.
They had just brought in the greatest catch of all time.
Here was a heap of money that would make them rich, and they simply just walked away from it all. This was not a prosperity Gospel.
A true follower of Jesus is not interested in serving God in order to achieve material gain.
MATTHEW 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
How do we know that we are in God’s perfect will? When we learn to despise any motive of material gain as our reason for serving God. A genuine Christian serves God first and leaves it up to God to supply him or her with their needs. We serve God because we love Him and want to be part of His big plan. How successful we are in this world is a secondary matter.
Claiming to serve God while our motive is to serve for material gain simply means that we are not in God’s perfect will.
A leper (the worst of diseases) came to Jesus and said that if He wanted to, Jesus could heal him.
LUKE 5:13 And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.
Luke, as a doctor, is impressed with this miracle.
LUKE 5:14 And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
Jesus told him to tell no-one.
This teaches us that spiritually gifted people should desire no fame or publicity from the power that God has granted them. Fame is not something that does humans much good. Sadly, many people love to flaunt themselves as supernatural show-offs. Especially if they are successful. That is not how it should be. We should never be drawing attention to ourselves.
LUKE 5:15 But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.
The fame of this healing attracted so many people to Him, that Jesus was not free to pursue God’s will but was hemmed in by large crowds who all wanted their own personal wills to be met. Fame had the unintended consequence of causing Jesus to be controlled by the fervent wishes and requests of the crowd. But Jesus is supposed to be in control of the events, not the crowd.
:16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
The second step that the disciples had to learn was to withdraw from the praise of mankind as that leads to a person having to satisfy the wishes of the people who bestow the fame, rather than following God’s will.
People will always be impressed with God’s power, but the human vessel that God used must withdraw from the human praise which bestows fame on a person. The wilderness is a lonely place away from people. There is no fame in the wilderness because there are no people. So we must learn to withdraw from the praise of people (which we as humans love) and then be in prayer to God for guidance. Contact with God will always remind us that only He achieves any worthwhile success and thus only He is worthy of praise, not us. Praying to God and reading the Bible is our best chance of finding God’s perfect will for the next step in our lives.
Listening to the praise of others will not guide us into the path of truth.
Once a Christian becomes famous, the end result tends to be that he or she has to respond to the wishes and demands of the crowd, rather than to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The next incident was people trying to get to Jesus despite the crowd that surrounded Him. Again, this was an unintended consequence of fame. So many people with lesser needs surrounded Him that the one man who had a really serious need could not get near to Jesus Who was in a room. They eventually broke through the roof and lowered a paralyzed man down to Him.
LUKE 5:18 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.
:19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.
:20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
The human lesson we learn is that we should make every effort that we can to get people to Jesus. He alone can save and heal. Our job is to get people into His presence.
Sickness is a consequence of sin. If there was no sin there would also be no sickness. Only God can forgive sin. Jesus thus proved that He was God in the flesh. Jesus forgave him his sin and his paralysis disappeared. The disappearance of his sickness was visible evidence that his sin had gone.
But this miracle has a deeper meaning.
A lame man is heavy. To lower him down without dropping him will require at least four men, with one man holding each corner of the blanket or couch that he is lying on. The man himself is completely helpless. So we humans are helpless in our sin and unbelief. The four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, if we believe what they say, provide a spiritual blanket or couch ( what we would call a mind-set or a basis for our faith ) which can lower us into the presence of Jesus Christ.
Our main sin is unbelief. This is only forgiven in the presence of Jesus Who is the Word of God. As we begin to believe more of the Bible, so our unbelief gets less and our sins disappear. Then we must start walking according to what is written in the Bible.
Jesus then called a publican or tax collector to follow Him. His name was Levi. Tax collectors were hugely unpopular. It almost seems, from a human viewpoint, that Luke was shielding him by calling him by his name Levi. He was later known by his other name Matthew, and was famous as the author of the first Gospel. By calling him Levi, Luke may have been trying to spare Matthew from the embarrassment of his past reputation, as many people would assume that Levi was someone else.
Luke seems to be very human here in his attempt to protect his Gospel buddy. A nice human touch. A reminder to us to focus on the good in people, and not recall the errors of their past that they have repented of.
LUKE 5:27 And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.
:28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him.
:29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.
The tax collector who collected as much as he could squeeze out of people, now left all his ill-gotten gains and followed Jesus. Following Jesus just made people lose interest in money.
In addition he now made a great feast and generously spent money on people. This represented a complete about-turn in his attitude to money. He preferred God to Mammon. Such is the effect that Jesus has on people. He changes their lives.
Following Jesus has this changing effect on us humans. The amount that your life has changed tells us to what extent you follow Jesus. Are we still as greedy as we used to be before we met Him?
LUKE 5: 30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
:31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Christians easily become exclusive and condemn those outside their own specific church group, especially if people are sinners or people who disagree with them who they regard as heretics.
But the sick need help. Sinners also need help. Those in doctrinal error also need help. We should always be available to help anyone who is in need.
Thus we learn that Christianity is a club that exists for the benefit of non-members.
LUKE 5:36 And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old.
PSALM 104:2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment:
We do not really see people. Most of what we see of them is the garment or clothes that they are wearing. God covers Himself with the light of His Word, which is the meaning of His Word or the hidden message that people miss.
The more we understand the meaning of God’s Word, the more we see of God.
I JOHN 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
God is light and He reveals Himself by illuminating what is written in the Bible.
I TIMOTHY 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto;
We keep looking at Scripture and waiting for God to reveal it to us so that we can “see the light” and understand more of the Bible.
When Martin Luther in 1517 revealed that the just will live by faith, this revealed light ripped apart the Roman Catholic traditions of indulgences, purgatory, and the reverence for ancient relics and bones of saints. These old ideas just could not fit in with this new revelation of justification by faith. Thus Luther had to separate from the Catholics as they disagreed with him. Whenever God reveals new light the existing churches reject it, and prefer to defend their old wrong ideas, and a new movement has to start.
LUKE 5:37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
Wine represents the stimulation of revelation. The return of the spiritual gifts with the Pentecostal revival in the early 1900s was not something that the traditional churches could handle. These churches wanted the security of human order, tradition, and man-made controls. The freedom of the Spirit could not be confined within the human rules of the traditional church order. The Pentecostals had to separate from the traditional churches.
:38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.
The Pentecostal believers had to move out of the traditional churches and start a new movement in order to preserve their initial leadership of the Holy Spirit.
:39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.
The Pentecostal movement was impressive in terms of the workings of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They introduced the idea of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which was an excellent and vital step towards restoring the church back to the New Testament church of the original apostles.
But Bible teaching was the Pentecostals’ weak point.
In terms of their understanding of such things as prophecy and of the two thousand years of church history, and of original sin, they were no real improvement on the non-Pentecostal churches. Original sin and the Book of Revelation were interpreted by them in much the same way as the the other churches who relied on teachers like Scofield and Larkin who published before 1925.
Imagine how far behind we would be if our science knowledge stayed at about the level it was it was in 1925? We would be rated as incredibly ignorant. So the same applies to our Bible knowledge.
In the manifestation of the Spirit, Pentecostals soared ahead of the other churches on eagle wings. When it came to understanding the mysteries of the Bible, the Pentecostals were just as much out of their depth as the other churches were. Their blurred and fuzzy insight is not represented by the incredibly clear eye of an eagle for fine detail.
Pentecostals have eagle wings but parrot eyesight. Parrots can only repeat what others had said.
Their main punchline to cover their ignorance of many issues in the Bible is “It is not important”.
That is not the real truth. They are actually saying “I do not have a clue. And I am totally uninterested”.
Pentecostals could not explain why God did not tell Adam and Eve to repent. Every other time that God came on the scene, He first called the sinners to repentance. He only sent judgement if they rejected His offer of mercy. Jonah told the very evil people of Nineveh to repent. When they did, God forgave them. Why then did God not tell Adam and Eve to repent?
Pentecostals could not explain why God required the shed blood of an animal to forgive the sin that began with Eve eating a fruit.
They could not explain why Eve was punished by having many conceptions. After all, she had been told to multiply and replenish the world and that would seem to require her to have many children. Or have we missed something?
They could not explain why Eve was punished with a difficult childbirth because she had eaten fruit.
GENESIS 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
God used the word “because” when He spoke to Adam and the serpent and thus explained to them what they had done wrong. Then He punished them. But God never explained to Eve what she had done wrong. He never used the word “because” when speaking to her. He just mentioned her punishment without giving a reason for her punishment. Pentecostals cannot explain this.
GENESIS 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Notice. There is no “because” in this sentence.
Why as a punishment was her desire to be to her husband? Surely the desire of any wife is towards the husband that she loves.
Today, church women object to being in submission to their husbands. So they do not like the submissive role that God has given women. The woman of our “selfie” age are not interested in God’s Word. They demand equality as their right. “Laodicea” means “Peoples’ rights”. This is the blind and apostate last church age.
Notice. When God speaks to an animal, the serpent, He explains the reason for the punishment by saying “because”.
GENESIS 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
God then turned the serpent into a snake. The serpent was an animal, the “missing link” between monkey and man. The serpent was able to reason, and speak and understand words. The snake can no longer do this.
So God explained the punishment He was giving to the man and to the animal, but not to the woman.
The woman was thus actually rated as below the animal in terms of her complete inability to understand what she had done wrong. No wonder women are allergic to being referred to as animals like cows or she dogs.
But both Adam and Eve ate of the same fruit. Why could God explain to Adam what he had done wrong, but God could not explain to Eve what she had done wrong?
Pentecost cannot explain this.
So Pentecost was magnificent with spiritual gifts and restoring the Holy Ghost baptism. But they still failed, like the other churches, to answer basic questions on original sin and many other topics, especially prophecy concerning the two thousand years of church history.
Thus their new wine was unimpressive in terms of revealing the mysteries of Scripture.
Pentecost, great spiritual movement that it was, was just a preparation stage for the final teaching ministry ( the former rain or teaching rain ) that would unlock the mystery of God’s Word before He sends the latter rain or harvest rain.
Pentecost failed to produce the end time prophet who could reveal the mystery of God.
A prophet who could take us back to the teachings of the New Testament church and revive the old teachings and revelations of the original apostles. That is the only way in which we will get answers to these questions.
REVELATION 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
The better we understand Scripture, the more chance we have of avoiding the oncoming great Tribulation. The better prepared we will be for the Coming of the Lord.
Today churches do not want Bible teachers. They want interpretations of quotes and traditions of men.
No church wants a Bible teacher who would tell them that they are wrong.
No-one wants to change. But change is what we have to do.
JOHN 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Pentecost restored how to worship God in Spirit. But now we must also learn how to worship God in truth, so that we can answer the questions that arise in the Bible.
But we can only interpret a Scripture in the light of other Scriptures that are linked to it. Whatever the end time prophet teaches, we must take his revelations back to Scripture and prove the ideas from Bible verses, not from his quotes.
If we believe quotes just because he said so, then we have also gone off into error.
The fact that Jesus, the Word of God, is outside the church door means that revelation in the “Message churches” is based on quotes and interpretation of quotes, not on Scripture.
No body can have two heads. As soon as the pastor is the head of the church, Jesus has to move outside.
The Bible says He is outside the church in this age. Thus all the churches, including the “Message churches”, are in deep trouble but “knowest not” that this is the case because they think that they “have need of nothing” so they certainly don’t want correction. Nor do they think they need correction. Being blind, they cannot see their own faults.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
REVELATION 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:
The saddest picture in the Bible.
An apostate church that is smugly comfortable and arrogantly complacent because of their successful pursuit of wealth.
Outside stands an unwelcome Jesus. There was no room for Him in the inn at the beginning and there is no room for Him in the church at the end.
I CORINTHIANS 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
“Maranatha” means our “Lord has Come”.
“Anathema” means “bind under a great curse” .
A curse lingers on, like the long-lasting radioactivity from nuclear radiation that we have seen at Fukushima in Japan, Chernobyl in Ukraine, and the atom bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.
If we do not love and follow Jesus Who is the Word of God then when He Comes, saved Christians will go into the great Tribulation, which is the day of the Lord, and be bound under the great curse of that widespread future nuclear holocaust. When those nuclear bombs start exploding, life on earth will be hell.
II PETER 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Once in the great Tribulation, Death and Hell take their final ride. You don’t want to go there.