The Fall of Babylon #52



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ September 15th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

REVELON BOOKThe Fall of Babylon

  “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”  (Revelation 14:8).

This is a preview of chapter 17 and 18 and will be dealt with when we come to those chapters.

The Third Angel’s Warning Of God’s Wrath And Of Hell

 “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”  (Revelation 14:9-11).

This third angel, like the one with the everlasting Gospel, no doubt flies through the heavens with a message of warning. All who accept the Antichrist and his religion will suffer God’s wrath in hell. The Bible has far more to say about hell than it does about heaven. Hell is a real place with real fire and suffering, which lasts forever. It took the death of God’s only beloved Son to keep you out.

 The Blessed Who Die in the Lord

 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.   And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”  (Revelation 14:12-13).

You have heard of the patience of Job. Like Job, these will find themselves in the midst of Great Tribulation and suffering. God will be silent, and from all outward appearances, indifferent to the suffering of His people. However, those who know Him and His Word know that is not the case. God is a longsuffering God. He is not willing that any should perish. He will wait as long as His patience allows.

His saints are called upon to trust Him even unto death. God will keep His Word and show Himself faithful! These show their faith by keeping His commandments and having faith in Jesus, their Messiah.

Death by execution will possibly be a daily event within the kingdom of the Beast. God encourages His saints by assuring them that death would end their suffering and that their works will be rewarded accordingly. Notice that those who worship the beast die and spend eternity in the sufferings of hell, while those who worship God and die under the Beast, spend an eternity of blessings with a loving God.

The Second Advent and the Gentiles Nations at Armageddon

 “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.”  (Revelation 14:14-16).\

This section ends with the Second Advent of Christ and the battle of Armageddon. In verses 14-16 the Lord Jesus reaps the “harvest of the earth.”

The Gentile nations are going to be “drawn” together to the battle at Armageddon where they will be destroyed as they fight against Israel. In Zechariah 14 God said He would accomplish this. (See Ezekiel 38, 39; Joel 3; Revelation 16:13-16; 19:11-21.)

We believe the harvest and the vintage are in the same battle. I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land (Joel 3:2).

 This is the judgment of the nations in Matt. 25:31-46. God said in Joel 3:2 that He would plead with the Gentile nations concerning Israel. No doubt, some nations will listen to God and defend Israel. He will also plead with Israel, and a remnant of the righteous will repent and fight the wicked. “In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them” (Zechariah 12:8). The weakest among the nation will become as King David and fight for the cause of Christ. This, we believe is the battle spoken of in the above text.  

 The Second Advent and Israel at Armageddon

“And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.”  (Revelation 14:17-20).

We believe the harvest here is of the wicked within the nation of Israel because of the reference to the vine of the earth. Israel is repeatedly called a vine. See Isa. 5:1-5; Jer. 2:21; Psa. 80:9; Hosea 10:1; Deut. 32:32. God gathers the nation of Israel to the battle for its destruction. Only one-third will remain when this battle is over. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God” (Zechariah 13:8,9). (See Zechariah 14:14; Romans 11:25-29.)

The Lord Jesus will be involved in this battle. This assures us that these events are at the Second Advent. “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth” (Isaiah 63:1-6).  (See Revelation 19:11-21.)

It is obvious that chapters 15 and 16 culminate the wrath of God just prior to the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. There were three other accounts of His second coming within the book:

Chapter 6:12-17  Chapter 11:13-16  Chapter 14:18, 20

These plagues began under the seals and the trumpets. However, under the form of vials, they are greatly intensified. These events may take place just months or days before the Second Advent.

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL PREACHED BY AN ANGEL # 51



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ September 12th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

 

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL PREACHED BY AN ANGEL  #51

 “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”  (Revelation 14:6-7).

God is not limited as to how He gets His message of salvation to man. We limit Him when we assume that it must be done our way. God can and will use any means necessary to save man. We should take a lesson from Him.

               The wisdom of God is written in the creation. His wisdom and power are clearly visible to all willing to see. God has also given every man the ability to set standards of morality. This is demonstrated when we excuse ourselves, or accuse others. (See Romans 2:12-16.)

               God has always wanted man to be saved. Jonah was to be a witness. Israel was to be a witness to the nations. He gave the 144,000 to be witnesses. He told His disciples that they were His witnesses. The churches of the Revelation were to endure and be faithful witnesses unto death. They are to continue that which was started in the book of Acts.

               When it seemed impossible for men to witness and get the Good News out to others, God brought in his reserve preacher whose pulpit was the sky. God will use this special angel to proclaim a salvation message to the lost.

               This Gospel is called “the everlasting gospel” not because of its results, but because of the content of its message. The message is, “fear God…give Him glory…worship Him Who made heaven…earth…the sea…and fountains of water.” Nothing is said about believing on the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. That Gospel is totally absent here.

               From Genesis to Acts, men were not required to believe on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Not even Jesus’ disciples knew that message when they preached the kingdom Gospel! However, the Gospel preached by this angel was the same Gospel Gentiles were required to believe prior to converting to Judaism or Christianity. This is exactly what Peter said to Cornelius. “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:  But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34-35). In every dispensation, God has His message and His massagers.

THE RAPTURE OF THE 144,000 #50



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ September 6th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE RAPTURE OF THE 144,000

Chapter 14 takes the reader through the entire Tribulation one more time. We have stated repeatedly that Revelation was not written in chronological order. There are seven independent events listed in this chapter.

               We leave the horrible events of chapter 13, which issue from the first and the second beast, the Antichrist and the False Prophet. That scene took place on earth. The opening events in chapter 14 take place in heaven. Jesus is seen standing in the heavenly Jerusalem on Mount Zion with His redeemed 144,000.

               Tim LaHaye thinks this scene is on earth, and he takes several pages to prove that the 144,000 here are different than the ones sealed in chapter 7. He says that, of the millions who have followed Jesus in this dispensation, some were never married and would qualify as the 144,000. He says that these are certain “elite” believers of the church age who have earned this special status. In addition, he believes they follow Jesus during the Millennium. He argues that they are probably different because of the differences recorded about the two groups.

               We disagree with Brother LaHaye and will give our reasons following the text.

 “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”  (Revelation 14:1-5).

               In chapter 7, a parenthetical chapter, the 144,000 are sealed prior to the opening of the first seal in chapter 6:1. It is obvious that they were sealed for ownership and protection. In 9:4 the demons are commanded to not harm the 144,000 who were sealed.

               There is no reason to assume that God sealed them for protection and then allowed them to be martyred later in the Tribulation. It is also illogical that God would mention two sets of 144,000 that were sealed. The Book of Revelation is not about believers of the church dispensation; therefore, these in chapter 14 are not from the church, the body of Christ, but are the same ones sealed at the beginning of the Tribulation.

               We are not told what the seal is. In chapter 14 it is the name of the Father. Whatever it means it implies their commitment to Him and His ownership of them.

               They are called the “first fruits” unto God. That is, they were the first of the Jewish nation during the seven-year Tribulation to be redeemed by God and set aside for a particular ministry. We believe they will be witnesses to the rest of the nation.

               John hears singing and harps playing in heaven, which sounded like the thundering of many waters. No doubt this was a beautiful and awe-inspiring sound. The 144,000 had the four beasts and twenty-four elders for their audience. The song is called “new” because it was never sung before, nor could anyone else sing it. Bible songs were an expression of some experience that had occurred in the life of the singers. Examples of this are seen in the song of Moses at the Red Sea in Exodus 15 and Deborah’s song in Judges 5.

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.  The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.  Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.  The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.  Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.  And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.  And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.  The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.  Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.  Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?  Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.  The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina.  Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away.  Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.  Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.  The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.  For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea. And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.  And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”  (Exodus 15:1-21).

               The redemption of these 144,000 is from among those on the earth and suggests a rapture. Throughout the Tribulation they have been on the earth. No doubt their purpose was to witness for God and Christ. They are now seen in the heavenly Jerusalem on Mount Zion. “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,” (Hebrews 12:22). We believe they were caught up to that location.

               They are called virgins. This may be a figure of speech illustrating their purity, by rejecting the religion of the false prophet and keeping themselves from the immorality of that religion. Homosexuality will be prevalent in the religion of the Beast and the False Prophet.

               We believe, however, these are actual virgins. Jesus gave the parable of the ten virgins who waited on the Bride Groom. This special group was faithful in His absence and watched for His return. Because they were ready, they were called to “go out and meet” Him. This, no doubt, is the meaning concerning the 144,000. They are the fulfillment of the parable. (See Matthew 25:1-13.)

THE SECOND BEAST-THE FALSE PROPHET #49



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ September 5th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

REVELON BOOKThe Second Beast-The False Prophet (13:11-18)

 “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”  (Revelation 13:11-18).

               Just as the identity of the Antichrist is unknown today, so it is impossible to identify the False Prophet. We are informed only of his character and his deeds.

               The beast (Antichrist), we are told, comes from a sea of people. As we have said, we believe the Antichrist comes for Syria, and Babylon. It seems evident that the “sea” consists of the kingdoms within the Old Roman Empire. However, the False Prophet is said to come “…up out of the earth.” Most agree that this is the land of Palestine. 

               Dr. Walvoord says the earth means he comes “out of the world, not simply out of Palestine.” Tim LaHaye says, “He will not be of mixed nationality; that he comes out of the earth (around Palestine) may indicate that he will be a Jew.”  Cohen and Kirban say, “This would seem to mean that he raises out of the ‘land,’ that is, the land of Palestine.” 

               It is possible that the False Prophet comes from the land of Palestine, but it is not imperative. Some argue that the False Prophet and the Antichrist must be a Jew or at least a half-breed. Again, we see no proof why that must be so, and we have read most of the arguments. 

               This beast (false prophet) has two horns like a lamb. He appears, to the masses, as a sheep; however, he speaks the words of the dragon. When he opens his mouth, he speaks a lie.

               Since religion is the opiate of the people, the False Prophet capitalizes on this to weld the people to the Antichrist and his kingdom.  He accomplishes this through miracles, images and executions.

               It is not uncommon for false prophets to have miracle working power. This is seen in both testaments. Two examples are in Egypt, and in the book of Job. Paul warned of this man and his deception. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:3-11.) Jesus warned of this person when He said, Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.  Behold, I have told you before.  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not” (Matthew 24:23-26).

               We cannot be sure what this live image is. This may be a huge television screen like that on Times Square in New York. This live image could be a means through which the Antichrist communicates with those within his kingdom. He would also be able to see them through modern technology that exists today. We are not saying that this will be the case, but it is possible, and most likely. The internet with its web cams and virtual reality make this easy for us to understand the possibility.

               Those who do not comply will be killed or brought under subjection through hunger and privation. None can buy or sell without proper identification provided by the Beast kingdom. Each person must have a number, a name, or a mark. The constant threat of terrorist attacks will force the nations to institute a tracking system which cannot be foiled.  No one today knows exactly what that system or mark is, but it will be clear in that day. We hear much today about the ability to control nations through embargoes, and “freezing” bank accounts.  The Christian can see that everything is quickly falling in place for all these events to transpire.

Regardless, the false prophet is controlled by Satan, and will assist is the deception of the masses. We should note the he is also called a beast.

THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS, AND BEGINNING OF HIS MINISTRY. A-4



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ August 30th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS, AND BEGINNING OF HIS MINISTRY. A-4

 

lion and lambMatthew 4:1-25

Jesus was always led by the Spirit. It was necessary that He be tested by the devil to show that a sinless man with a free will could resist his temptations. The first Adam had every comfort which Jesus did not have, yet Adam willing sinned and plunged all creation under a curse and into death.

Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness without food or water. Although the hunger would have an effect on His strength, He was able to resist the temptation which involved food. The temptation in Eden also involved food. “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Genesis 3:6. Adam and Eve had every food imaginable, yet ate of the one commanded to not eat. She also misquoted God’s Word, whereas, Jesus quoted it and defeat the devil thereby. (Deut. 8:3). This temptation was an appeal to the lust of the flesh.

The devil now appeals to the pride of life. “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Matthew 4:5-6. “Josephus describes as of tremendous height (Antiq. xv. 11.5)” Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words. The suggestion by the devil was that angels would carry Jesus into the Temple area proving that He was their Messiah, and the people would willing accept Him as sent from God.   

Satan quotes Psalm 91:11-12, rather, he totally misuses the verses. The context will show that the verses have nothing to do with this temptation. They were written to Israel by Moses to encourage them as they wondered through the wilderness. It is interesting that the devil did not quote verse 13. It predicted his own doom. See Deut. 6:16 for our Lord’s response. We note that the devil purposely misused the verse. Sadly, many preachers do the same thing today. They may not do it to deceive, but they do have an agenda, and if they find any verse that will accomplish it, they will completely ignore the true intention of the context in order to get people to “buy into” their plan.  

The devil has many wiles, and he will use all of them if necessary. The next recorded temptation was directed to the lust of the eyes. The devil gave Jesus a panoramic view of all the kingdoms of this world in a moment of time. Satan knew from Genesis three, that there would be an end to his kingdom, and the Son of God would take it. Thus, he offers Him a way to have the kingdoms, in an attempt to avoid his loss of all, and his confinement in hell. Again, Jesus defeats this temptation by obeying the Word of God. (Deut. 6:13).

Although the devil left Him, it was only for a season. If one follows the life and ministry of Jesus, he will see the devil at work on every page. I would recommend every Christian read the account of the temptation as described by John Milton in his Paradise Regained. It is a classic, and will open one’s eyes to the possible extent of the full forty days of testing.

Matthew 14 explains why John was in prison. Jesus leaves Galilee and dwells for a season at Capernaum by the sea. The reason is given in verses 14-16. The reader should consult a good map of Bible lands to follow the travels of Jesus. The great light that was seen was Jesus, the Light of the world. (Isa. 9:1-2).
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”(17)

  • Literally, “kingdom from the heavens.” It is headed by Jesus Christ for the purpose of re-establishing the kingdom of God over this rebellious part of God’s realm. Only found in Matthew because it is the gospel of Jehovah’s King. It is a dispensational term and refers to Messiah’s kingdom on earth. Offered by both John and Jesus (Mt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7). Because it was rejected, it was postponed until Christ comes to set up the kingdom (Mt. 11:12,20-24; 27:22-25; Lk. 19:11-27; Acts 1:6-7; 3:19-26)… At the end Christ will come and set up a literal earthly kingdom forever (Mt. 25:31-46; Rev. 11:15; 19:11 — Rev. 20:10; Zech. 14; Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-27; Lk. 1:32-33). During the first 1,000 years of His eternal reign He will put down all rebellion and rid the earth of all rebels. Then God will become “all in all” as before rebellion (Rev. 20:1-10; 21:1 — Rev. 22:5; 1Cor. 15:24-28; Eph. 1:10). Anything said of the kingdom of heaven can also be said of the kingdom of God, because the former is only the earthly dispensational aspect of the latter. There are many things said of the kingdom of God, however, which cannot be said of the kingdom of heaven.” Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.

There is no doubt that these men had heard and observed the ministry of Jesus prior to this event. When called, they immediately followed Him. They were called to preach the Kingdom of Heaven, and get the nation to accept Jesus as their Messiah, and King.

The word gospel means “good news.” “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” Galatians 3:8. Every dispensation had its gospel, and all of them differ. Sadly, many pastors cannot see or understand this truth. The common saying that “people in the Old Testament looked forward to the cross” is not true. Not one person in Matthew through John understood or believed that Jesus was going to die for our sins.  

Jesus was and teacher and a preacher. He spent most of His time teaching the disciples, and the other, preaching to the multitudes. His message in Matthew was “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” His healing ministry was part of the Kingdom gospel, and it confirmed the Old Testament Scriptures concerning Himself. The Kingdom and the King were offered. The reactions will be the rejection of the King and the Kingdom.

 

JOHN INTRODUCES ISRAEL’S MESSIAH AND KING. A-3



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ August 27th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

 

Matthew 3:1-17

lion and lamb“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.  And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.”

The events take place about thirty years after the birth of John. He has spent most of His life in seclusion in the wilderness, and Jesus spent much of His life in seclusion at Nazareth.

The common people believed John’s message and wanted to be ready for the Messiah. John’s ministry was preparatory. Those who wanted to be part of the Kingdom of Heaven, repented, were baptized and confessed their sins. John knew that the Pharisees and Sadducees were a bunch of vipers. They rejected John’s message because they did not believe it, nor did they see themselves as sinners. The fact that they were descendants of Abraham meant absolutely nothing. 

It is interesting that John ask who had warned them of the wrath to come. John has the Tribulation in mind. The Scriptures were clear that the Day of The Lord must precede the Kingdom. The axe laid at the root of the trees, the baptism with fire, and the purged floor, all pointed to that day.

John baptized those who repented, Jesus would later baptize the repentant nation with the Holy Spirit. “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:” Isaiah 44:3. A foretaste of this took place on Pentecost when the Spirit was poured on the Apostles. Since the nation refused to repent, the fulfillment of that promise has been postponed until the remnant repents in the Tribulation. John was attempting to turn the nation to the coming Messiah so Isaiah could be fulfilled.

John was the last of the Old Testament prophets to announce the coming of Christ. The fact that the Law and the Prophets were “till John” does not mean the Law of Moses ended at the coming of John, or that there were no prophets after his coming. The meaning is, the former days foretold Christ’s coming, John was now in the days of His coming. 

John lived as a poor man. His home was in the wilderness. He came in the manner of Elijah, and would have fulfilled in type his ministry, had the nation receive his ministry. John did no miracles, and was not in the Kingdom of Heaven. He did not start a church, Baptist, or otherwise. His message and ministry concerned the Kingdom of Heaven only. The statement by Jesus that John was greater than all prophets, spoke not of his character, but his ministry. They all told of His coming, John introduced Him to Israel.

John was not a Baptist, he was the baptizer. The church at Corinth had its factions. “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:12. It is significant that none claimed to be of John. It is unfortunate that there is a church denomination named “The Church of Christ,” and one called “The Church of God” simply because believers were designated as such. Thus, many have made the same error with the name Baptist. The early church had no denominational name, even though believers were call by many names. John’s message, nor his baptism had nothing to do with the death, burial, or resurrection of Christ. That event never entered the mind of John or the Twelve. John’s gospel was the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, and was not what we preach, or what Paul preached.

Jesus was also about thirty years of age when He came to be baptized. There is more significance in His age than most think. Also, for those who affirm that the follow Christ to the letter, why do they not wait untill they are thirty?

Jesus was baptized, not that He needed repentance, but to identify Himself, and make Himself known as Messiah and the Son of God. Jesus kept the Law, and did what was expected of those who followed the truth. John’s baptism introduced, and made known Israel’s Messiah and King. Jesus was declared to be that, and more, at His baptism.

THE WISE MEN FROM THE EAST. HEROD SEEKS TO KILL JESUS. THEIR FLIGHT TO EGYPT. THE RETURN TO NAZARETH. A-2



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ August 24th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE WISE MEN FROM THE EAST. HEROD SEEKS TO KILL JESUS. THEIR FLIGHT TO EGYPT. THE RETURN TO NAZARETH. A-2

lion and lambMatthew 2:1-23

Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in accordance with prophecy. We are not told specifically what part of the East these wise men came from, or how many there were. They may have been from the area of Babylon where Daniel was a captive. They uttered prophecies, explained omens, interpreted dreams, and practiced divination (Dan. 2:2, 48; 4:9). Balaam attempted to curse Israel, but God overruled, and he spoke this prophecy. “I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.” Numbers 24:17. The “Star” here is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Herod the king was troubled at the thought of another king. Jerusalem was troubled because they knew the cruelty of Herod. Dake gives the following note about Herod.

  • “Herod the Great, son of Antipater (an Idumean) and Cypros (an Arabian woman). Antipater was made Procurator of Judea by Julius Caesar in 47 B.C. Herod was made governor of Galilee when he was 25 years old and was made king of Judea in 37 B.C. He rebuilt the Jewish temple (Jn. 2:20). At his death in 4 B.C. his kingdom was divided. His son Herod Antipas reigned over Galilee and Perea from 4 B.C. to A.D. 39 (Lk. 3:1-2). He killed John the Baptist (Mt. 14:1). Another son, Archelius, was made ruler of Judea and Samaria (Mt. 2:22). He is called “Philip” in Mt. 14:3. Philip was succeeded by Herod Agrippa I in A.D. 37. In A.D. 40 he took over all the original territory of Herod the Great. He is mentioned in Acts 12. He was succeeded by Herod Agrippa II (Acts 25:13; 26:32).”Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.

A major indictment of the religious leaders was, they knew where their Messiah was to be born, and what His office was.  Knowing all this, they willingly and knowingly rejected and killed Him.  

Herod pretended he wanted to worship Jesus, but his plan was to kill him. All this was plotted by the devil to destroy the Son of God. The star that led the wise men, not to a manger, but to the house where the young child was. He was about two years old at this time. The star that led the wise men was an angel. (Rev. 1;20).

The important thing is that they were seeking the King. His mother has no preeminence in their search and worship. They “fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” God warned them not to let Herod know where the child was. Thus, they returned home without going back to Jerusalem from Nazareth.

Joseph is warned in a dream to take the child to Egypt for protection from Herod. After the death of Herod, Joseph was instructed to return to Israel. Two prophecies were fulfilled in this action. One, “out of Egypt have I called My Son.” The second prophecy, although not written down, was His return to Nazareth.

While Joseph and his family were in Egypt, Herod want on a killing spree, and murdered all babies two years old and younger. Again, Matthew shows how all events were a fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture.  The text quoted form Jeremiah 31:15 is a Tribulation passage. Ramah is a city about five miles north of Jerusalem. This show the extent of Herod’s wrath. Thus, the worship by the wise men, the flight into Egypt, and the return to Nazareth were all fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW #A-1



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ August 20th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

 

THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW #A-1

lion and lambMatthew 1:1-25

 (Note: When I began my study of Matthew, my intent was to deal only with the Sermon of the Mount. However, it expanded to cover the rest of the book. I will return to the beginning of the gospel and comment on it till we come to the Sermon on the Mount.)

 The four gospels have one theme, that theme is Jesus Christ. The theme is divided into two major divisions. 1. The proclamation of the Kingdom, and the King. (4:12-16:20). 2. The rejection of the King and the Kingdom. (16:21-26:35).

 The four gospels are still under the Law of Moses, and there is nothing in any of them of the church of this dispensation. Neither is there any preaching, or understanding of the coming death, burial, and resurrection. The present church and gospel was a mystery, and was unknown until revealed to the Apostle Paul.

 The genealogy of Jesus Christ, the last Adam, stands in contrast to that of the first Adam. In Genesis five, we see nothing but death and the curse. In the genealogy of Jesus, there is no mention of death, and the promise of the removal of the curse is seen.

 It is very significant that Jesus is called the son of David and Abraham. Both received a covenant. David is promised that of his seed, a king would sit on his throne and rule Israel forever. (Isa. 9:65-11; Luke 1:32-33; Rev. 11:15).

 The Abrahamic covenant not only involved a Seed, it involved the Promised Land. (Gal. 3:16; Gen. 13:15). When Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice, he was a type of God the Father offering His suffering Son. Thus, in Matthew, you have the first half of the book where Christ is the son of David, and in the last half, the suffering son of Abraham.

  One must not overlook the four women mentioned in the genealogy. These are Thamar, Rachab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. Three of these were immoral. Two were Gentiles, and two were Israelites. This speaks volumes of the humanity, the humility, and the compassion of our Lord.

 It is important that we understand events concerning Jechonias. (Jer. 22:30ff).

  • “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] The curse upon Jehoiachin or Coniah was that he should be childless as far as having a son to reign on the throne of David was concerned. No man of his seed was ever to reign in Judah Manymore. Thus the Davidic line of kings came to an end in him; and yet the Messiah, the eternal king of David’s seed and of the royal family, came to be King of the Jews and this He will be at His second coming. How would Christ succeed Jeconiah as King of the royal line if no man of that seed could ever reign anymore in Jerusalem and Judah? The answer is simple: Joseph, the husband of Mary of whom the Christ was born, was of the seed of Coniah or Jehoiachin and the direct heir to the throne of David which a son of his own begetting could not occupy, because of the curse. However, Christ, who was not begotten of Joseph but of God through Mary (who herself was of another line of David — Nathan’s line), could rightfully, in the reckoning of both God and man, occupy the throne (Mt. 1:1-18; Lk. 1:23-38). See note, Mt. 1:6. Coniah had seven sons and his descendants continued until Joseph, the foster father of Christ, was born, and also thereafter (1Chr. 3:17-18; Mt. 1:1-18). So “childless” here could only mean as far as the throne was concerned.” Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible:

 It should be noted that Jesus was not begotten by Joseph. He was the only begotten Son of God, and Israel’s King and Messiah.

 The word “espoused” has the same meaning as our word to be “engaged.” She was joined to Joseph is a promise of marriage. When Joseph discovered that she was pregnant, he was contemplating giving her a bill of divorcement, rather than have her stoned. (Deut. 24:11-4). God revealed to Joseph that she was the virgin mother of the coming Messiah. He was told that the child would be named JESUS, and that He would save Israel from their sins. Consistent with the book of Matthew, he quotes Old Testament prophecy to validate what was revealed to Joseph. (Isa. 7:14).

 The name Jesus means Jehovah Saves. However, the name Emmanuel, means God with us. This name, Emmanuel, is never used again in Scripture. It will become a fulfillment in the Kingdom of Heaven.

 Joseph did not have sexual relations with Mary until after Jesus was born. Thereafter, they had a regular marriage relationship, which resulted in half brothers and sisters to Jesus. “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

  • Mary had other children:
  • It is plainly stated that Jesus had four brothers (i.e., half brothers), James, Joses, Simon, and Judas. He had at least three half sisters also: “are not his sisters here with us?” These are referred to as “his own kin.” His mother, brethren, and sisters are used literally (Mt. 13:55-56; Mk. 6:3).
  • The Lord is called Mary’s “firstborn” (Mt. 1:25; Lk. 2:7), and the natural inference is that she had other children. The Greek: prototokos is used only in Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15-18; Heb. 1:6; 11:28; 12:23; Rev. 1:5 of the first of many others. Had He been her only son, the word would have been monogenes which occurs in Lk. 7:12; 8:42; 9:38; of human parentage of the “only son,” “only daughter” and “only child”; and of the Lord Jesus as “the only begotten of the Father” (Jn. 1:14,18; 3:16,18; 1Jn. 4:9).
  • It was predicted by God that Mary would have other children and the Messiah would have brothers: “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children” (Ps. 69:8-9).
  • “His mother, and His brethren” are mentioned as following Him to Capernaum and seeking to hinder His work (Mt. 12:46-50; Mk. 3:31-35; Lk. 8:19-21; Jn. 2:12). The children of some other woman would not be following Mary as “His brethren.”
  • “His brethren” are mentioned as not believing on Him until after the resurrection (Jn. 7:3-10; Acts 1:14).
  • James is called “the Lord’s brother” (Gal. 1:19). See note, Mk. 6:3. Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.

 

THE RESURRECTION, THE COMMISSION #56



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ August 17th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE RESURRECTION, THE COMMISSION #56

lion and lambMatthew 28:1-20

Although Sunday began at 6 P.M. on Saturday, it appears that the women were at the tomb before Sunday, sunrise. There is little doubt that Jesus arose early Sunday after 6 P.M. otherwise He would have been in the grave another night, making four nights in all. It was early that morning the women, Peter and John came to the tomb.

This is the second earthquake within three days. An angel rolled the stone back to allow them to see that Jesus was not there. He instructed them to go and tell the disciples that Jesus was alive, and would meet them in Galilee. They left with fear and great joy.

As they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. They came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him. Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. Sometime during the night Jesus ascended to heaven and presented Himself to His Father. He may have put blood on the mercy seat. Time is not a factor when the speed of Deity is concerned. Those who had been at the tomb met Him on their way. They fell at His feet and held them as they worshiped Him.

The soldiers had a dilemma on their hands. The tomb was empty and there wasn’t a body to account for. This derelict of duty would normally cost them their lives. But the priest were also caught in the web of lies. Thus they paid the soldiers to say the body was stolen by the disciples while they slept.

o   Seven points proving their story absurd:

  •  That so many guards under a death penalty would all fall alseep.
  •  That they could remain asleep during the moving of a big stone and body.
  •  That several disciples needed to move such a stone and body could be quiet enough not to rouse a single guard.
  •  That disciples could accomplish this in secret working among soldiers stationed at the very door of the tomb.
  •  That if the guards were all asleep they could know who took the body.
  •  That their word was contradicted by hundreds of godly men who were eyewitnesses and would not lie or be bribed like pagan soldiers.
  •  That the miraculous events from the day of Pentecost on confirmed the truth of Christ’s resurrection. Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible:

We might add that no one would be willing to die for a known lie. Yet, all the disciples were more than willing to die. They knew the truth.

Dr. Reese correctly says, this is not the great commission, but the great omission. No church or Christian keeps this command. In fact, they cannot. In addition, the other gospels gives added details to the commission. Mark says, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” Mark 16:15-20.

Jesus had commanded His disciple to teach their converts to “observe all things whatsoever I have command you.” Now, that creates a serious problem for our brethren who refuse to rightly divide the Word of God. I know of no fundamental church that prays the Lord’s Prayer. These Bible correctors desperately try to make the gospels fit the Pauline Epistles.  It won’t work. See Galatians 2:7 to 9. What about observing or teaching others to observe all that the Lord commanded His disciples, by parable, precept, example and other teaching?

Finally, the resurrected Lord told His disciple that they would be endued with power after the Holy Ghost came upon them. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8. I have been around the greatest (?) of preachers, and I am yet to meet one with any power remotely close to that given the disciples. Most people today confuse applied psychology as power of the Holy Ghost. I have had men preach who could fill the altar (?) only to discover they were practicing gross immorality in secret. They did not have the power of God, they were simply skilled speakers. No church or pastor obeys the great (?) commission, nor can they.

THE CONDEMNATION AND CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS CHRIST #55



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ August 14th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE CONDEMNATION AND CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS CHRIST #55

Matthew 27:1-66

lion and lambJesus was arrested on a Tuesday evening. He was abused and interrogated throughout the night. The chapter opens on a Wednesday morning. Those who condemned Him, and bound Him had no idea they might as well have attempted to bind the universe. He was willingly led as a sheep to Pontius Pilate the governor. (Isa. 53).

Conscience is not a sufficient guide, when free will is unable to produce godly sorrow and repentance. Judas was now fearful and showed remorse that he was plagued with self-condemnation. He brought the thirty pieces of silver and cast them down at the feet of the chief priest and elders. He confessed to them that he had betrayed innocent blood. Had he gone to Jesus, he, no doubt would have been forgiven. However, he could not repent. He was bound by the cords of sin, of his own making. Judas went to a place called the potter’s field and hanged himself. The rope broke and he fell to the rocks below and his bowels burst out. His next stop was hell.

The hypocrisy and cruelty of these religious leader is so repulsive, one finds it hard to deal with. They were violating every religious and civil law of the Scriptures, yet they strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel in the matter of how to dispose of the thirty pieces of silver. (Zech. 11:12).

As Jesus stood before Pilate, He was ask if He was the King of the Jews. Jesus respond, “Thou sayest.” Jesus was saying He was the King of the Jews. Then the chief priest and elders brought all manner of accusations against Him. Jesus did not answer their questions, nor did He open His mouth. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7.

It was a custom that a prisoner be released each year at that feast. The question was put to the people if he should release Jesus or Barabbas. Barabbas was a noted criminal. Pilate knew who they would release, he was playing the crowd, and attempting to absolve himself.

Pilate has now receive two witnesses as to the innocence of Jesus. Judas said, “I have betrayed innocent blood,” and Pilate’s wife warns him to have nothing to do with this just man. God had revealed to her in a dream that Jesus was innocent.

The crowd was determined to kill Jesus, and Pilate was too weak to make a right decision. So, he washed his hands in their presence in an attempt to absolve himself of the blood of this “just” person. Sadly, that washing was not enough to keep Pilate out of hell.

The Jews responded “… His blood be on us, and on our children.” How little did they know they were giving their nation a death sentence. There is no rational answer as to why the Jews have been the object of hatred till this very day. The history of the Jew is a trail of their own blood. Sadly, the worst is yet to come. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Matthew 24:21-22

Mockery is one of the cruelest forms of torture and humiliation. It is compounded when you know you have unlimited power to silence your critics. Again, Jesus shows total restraint, and He willingly drank the cup given by His Father. Matthew is careful to show the Jews that Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of their Scriptures. Here, he quotes Psalm 22. “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” Psalm 22:18. It was common to post the crime on the cross. The crime of Jesus read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” This not only added to their condemnation, it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. (Luke 23:38).

Two thieves were crucified with Jesus. This is another prophecy. “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12. One thief understood that Jesus was innocent, and that He was the Messiah. He request that Jesus remember him when He established His kingdom. He was assured a place in it. It is noteworthy, that one thief was saved and one was lost. Someone said the lesson is, none should presume, and none should despair.

Jesus could find no sympathy from His Father, or from man. He was made sin for us. However, creation trembled to its very foundation with a great earthquake. Also, the sun was so grieved that it refused to shine on Israel for three hours. Satan had receive his death blow by the death of the woman’s Seed. I am sure millions of angels stood ready to assist the Son of God. But they were not permitted to intercede.

The cry of Jesus was not for Elijah, and they knew it. This was just one more form of mockery. Elijah is to come as a forerunner of the Messiah. They were mocking Him by pretending they misunderstood Him. Jesus had said, no man takes My life from Me. I can lay it down, and take it up again. He was is full control of His faculties, and was aware that all required of Him had now been fulfilled. Knowing this, He bowed His head and dismissed His spirit.

At the death of Christ, God took hold of the veil in the temple and rent it from the top to the bottom. This was God’s testimony that the blood shed on the cross fulfilled all Old Testament sacrifices, and that sin was forever paid for. The way to God was now open to all men, and an earthly priest was no longer needed.

We are told that many who were in the graves were resurrected after His own resurrection. Since their resurrection was after His, they too could have had glorified bodies, and taken to heaven with Him. Or, they could have raised in natural bodies like others under His ministry and died again. Lazarus is one example.

 

This is a third witness to the person of Christ. “Now when the centurion …feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”
This rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph begged for the body of Jesus to bury it. Mark says he was a “… counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.” Mark 15:43. We are once again reminded that the ministry of the four gospels, and the message, and expectation was the earthly Kingdom of Heaven. It had nothing to do with the church of this dispensation.

Although the body was wrapped in a clean linen cloth, it had not been prepared for a proper burial. Certain women observed where He was buried. After the Sabbath, they came to properly prepare the body. “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.” Luke 24:1. This is just one more proof that the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven did not contain the message of His death, burial, and resurrection. Had they expected His resurrection, all would have gathered at the tomb for His appearing. Such was not the case. It is a scandal that pastors cannot, or will not acknowledge the difference between the gospel of the Kingdom, and the gospel of the grace of God which was revealed to Paul.  

Dr. Dave Reese has a chart in his commentary of the events concerning the three days and three nights Jesus was in the grave.

Crucifixion Days

   Number of Days             Day of the week     Number of Nights
  Crucified on Wednesday and died of a Wednesday. c. 3 P.M.   
  Wednesday 6 P.M.-Thursday 6 A.M.                        1
                   1 Thursday 6 A.M. to 6 P.M. `
  Thursday 6 P.M.-6 P.M.                         1
                   1 Friday 6 A. M. – 6 P. M.  
  Friday 6 P. M. – Saturday 6 A. M.                         1
                   1 Saturday 6 A. M.-6 P. M.  
Total Days: 3 Saturday c 6 P.M. Resurrection(First day of the week begins 6 P.M.) Total Nights:  3