Who Is the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved? Hint: It’s NOT Who You Think!

Who is the disciple that Jesus most loved? Most people would say John, but is this what the Bible really teaches us? To find out the truth, we have to jump around the four gospels and see what the scriptures say.

Then she runneth, (Mary Magdalene) and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulture, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulture. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulture. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying: yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulture, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And that the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulture, and he saw, and believed. John 20:2-8

When we read these versus above, it is very evident that the disciple whom Jesus loved, along with Simon Peter, were the two who followed Mary Magdalene to the empty tomb. Now we go back to Mark chapter sixteen…

Afterward he (Jesus) appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. Mark 16:14

Mark chapter 16 takes place after the empty tomb has been discovered. Notice what it says…Jesus appeared unto the eleven. (Eleven, because Judas Iscariot is dead and no longer part of the twelve.) And notice that none of the eleven believed…not one…but as we read in John 20:8 the disciple whom Jesus loved saw and believed. This means that either the Bible got this wrong, which it didn’t. That the disciple Jesus loved is John, and John believed, then later on did not believe…which is highly improbable…OR…the disciple whom Jesus loved is NOT John as we are most often taught. To get to the bottom of this, we have to dig even deeper into the scriptures. (Yes, this scripture also proves that Simon Peter was in the room and that he was at the tomb, but note…nowhere does it say in John 20:2-8 that Peter believed!)

And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest; and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out the other disciple, which was known unto the high priest and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.  John 18:15-16

We read here that Simon Peter, and another disciple, who we are often told is John, go to the palace. Peter cannot get in, not until the other disciple, who is known, gets in and then gets permission for Peter to gain access.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

In Acts 4:13 it clearly states that ‘they took knowledge of them’.  In Acts 4:6, it clearly states that Peter and John are standing before the high priest…but wait, if it was John who was standing before the high priest in John 18:15-16 why was he not known of the high priest? Because we ready clearly in John 18:15-16 that ‘the disciple was known of the high priest’. A person cannot be known one day, and not known the next or even a few weeks later. Once you are known of someone, undo cannot undo the knowing.

It is clear that John is NOT the disciple that Jesus loved. So, if John is not the disciple Jesus loved, who is?

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

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

If you want to read John chapter 11:1-36, you will see this is the account of when Lazarus dies and Jesus raises him from the dead. For my purposes, I took out the two versus that pertain to what I am writing about. The two scriptures above are the ONLY two scriptures in the Bible that explicitly state that Jesus loves specific people. Martha, her sister and Lazarus. NO where else is any person called out by name where it states Jesus loves so and so. No where in the Bible does it say Jesus loved John…but it does say he loved Lazarus. (Now this is not to say Jesus does not love anyone else. We are told in John 3:16 that God so loved the world…) This is not the point to be made, the point to be made is no where else in the Bible, aside from John 11:5 & 36, does it specifically name people Jesus loved.

John 12 is the last mention of the name Lazarus, then in John 13, the Bible uses the term the disciple whom Jesus loved. Why the switch?

Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus. John 12:9-11

We read here that people were not ONLY coming to see Jesus, but Lazarus too. Because Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus was becoming a celebrity. Taking people’s eyes off Jesus and placing them onto another is not a good thing. It only makes since that from this point on, the author stops using Lazarus’ name and refers to him as the disciple whom Jesus loved.

Another point to be made here…Lazarus is becoming such a problem that the chief priests want him dead…that ties back to John 18:15-16. Lazarus was known of the high priest because he was a wanted man. Everyone knew Lazarus had died. He was dead several days before Jesus resurrected him. It was a big deal when Jesus resurrected Lazarus, not just because of the miracle itself, but because there was no way the priests could say it did not happen. Too many people saw the burial of Lazars’ body, too many people saw the resurrection and or the aftermath. Lazarus was a threat because there was no way the priests could spread rumors that his resurrection was a fake. People would know they were lying. And Lazarus attracting people to Jesus was a big problem for them, hence the reason they wanted to kill him.

That brings us to another point…it is not until Acts 4:13 that John is described as bold. Go back and read the four gospels…John was not a very brave or bold man. It was not until Acts 4, AFTER John is filled with the Holy spirit that he is bold!

We now know that it was actually Lazarus who entered the palace of the high priest; and as wanted man…pretty bold. Something John would not have had the courage to do so. And that strange account in Mark 14:50-52 when a young man wearing linen appears and then flees during Jesus’ arrest…most likely Lazarus. The men who had arrested Jesus tried to detain the young man…again, Lazarus was a wanted man!

The disciple who ran to the tomb outran Peter, not because of a petty rivalry, as we are often taught, but because of passion. Lazarus outran Peter because he had more courage, no fear and greater passion. Lastly, take note… in John 20:7-8, the other disciple did not believe until after he saw the napkin (or face cloth) lying separately. Remember…Lazarus too had been buried and risen. What was covering his face when he stood? The napkin (John11:44). Lazarus’ face was covered and his covering had to be removed. Jesus’ cloth was folded and separate from the burial clothes. This is the very thing that caused Lazarus to believe.

Why was Lazarus so bold, and the other disciples weren’t until after they were Holy Spirit filled? Because Lazarus had already tasted death. He had ‘been there and done that.’ He did not fear death.

Some may argue, that the disciple whom Jesus loved, had to be John, because he is called disciple, and to be one of Jesus’ disciples, you were one of the twelve. Truth is, Jesus had many disciples, not just the twelve. And no where in the Bible does it ever say the disciple whom Jesus loved is one of the twelve. We know Lazarus was not considered one of the twelve, so this fact alone, that the Bible never states that the disciple whom Jesus loved was part of the twelve only helps support the facts, that all point to Lazarus being the disciple whom Jesus loved.

The more I study God’s word, the more I come across things that are often taught incorrectly. It is mind boggling how many false teachers are out there, and or, how many false teachings the church as a whole don’t even realize are false; and teach as doctrine or fact. This is a huge problem, and why it is so important to get into the word yourself. Take everything you hear or read and hold it to the scriptures! Do the research yourself! It is so easy to get led astray if you are not in the word. However, if the Bible is your ONLY source for truth, and you are well read, then it will be much harder to be led astray when you run into a false teaching. From my own personal experience, the more one knows the Word, the better your discernment.

The next time you read the book of John, or see a picture of the last supper, you will be armed with truth, and the events will actually make sense, and you will get a much deeper understanding. (Yes! Do your own study, it was Lazarus who was sitting closest to Jesus during the last super, not John.)

Made in the Image of God?

Are We Made in the Image of God? Go ask a majority of Christians whose image they are made in; most will say God’s. Even unbelievers, who know a bit about Christianity, will answer the same. But is it true? Are we made in God’s image?

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the foul of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.   Genesis 1:26-27

This passage clearly shows that Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, but does that mean we also are created in God’s image? The answer is NO!

This is the book of the generation of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him. Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth.    Genesis 5:1-3

Words matter! When you read the versus above you see a transition from man being made in God’s image, to man being made in man’s image. What happened? Why the change? The fall is what happened. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree in the midst of the garden, they shed their glory for sin. (Notice also how the verse says God blessed them? And when you read Genesis 3:16-19 God is now cursing them?) They not only lost their glorified bodies; they lost their blessings as well.

In our fallen state we are no longer made or born in God’s image. We are born in the image of our earthy father who bears the image of fallen Adam. (The image of Satan.)

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.   John 8:44-47

When we are born, we are born in sin. Our hearts are wicked.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?   Jeremiah 17:9

There is no good in us. And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.   Luke 18:19.

 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:   Romans 3:10

God is good, God is righteous, God is just, God is love, God is truth, God the opposite of everything we are. How can a person then say that they are born in the image of God? If that were true, then we would have the characteristics of God, and not those of our father the devil.

You don’t believe you are wicked?

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves or mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.    1 Corinthians 6:9-11

We are all sinners. Everyone of us! This is why sin is so easy for us, so attractive to us in our flesh. Since the fall of man, we are no longer born in the image of God, but the image of sin. But God, in his mercy sent his only Begotten son Jesus, to take our sin upon him! Jesus was a perfect sacrifice. He was crucified, buried and rose again on the third day. And he now sits at the right hand of God the father.  When we accept the gift of salvation, the Holy Spirit indwells us…and we are restored once again into God’s image!

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.   2 Corinthians 5:21

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

We can’t see the change in our physical bodies. A believer and non-believer can be walking side by side, and physically we see no difference. But in the Spiritual world, to the eyes of the heavenly hosts and to God, this change is very clear.

That ye put off concerning the former conversation of the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.    Ephesians 4:22-24

The struggle is real! Those of us who are sealed with the holy spirit have been transformed spiritually back into the image of God, yet our spirit and soul still reside in a fallen, sin attracted body. That is why we have to choose daily to die to ourselves and let Christ live in us! (Galatians 2:20)

Now, just because a newborn baby is not made in the image of God, does that change our value or worth?

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee…    Jeremiah 1:4

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!     Psalm 139:13-17

Not in God’s eyes. He knew us before we were even formed. He knew we were going to be born unperfect in sin, yet his thoughts towards us are precious. What a gift salvation is! What an awesome God we serve!

All Lives Matter; A Nation Torn.

“We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” M.S.

“Colored people are like human weeds to be exterminated.” M.S.

“Even this will not be sufficient, because I believe that now, there should be national sterilization for certain dysgenic types of our population who are being encouraged to breed and would die out were the government not feeding them.” M.S.

“A free race cannot be born of slave mothers.” M.S.

“How are we to breed a race of human thoroughbreds unless we follow the same plan? We must make this country into a garden of children instead of a disorderly back lot overrun with human weeds.” M.S.

If you have read these quotes and are not sickened by them, then something is wrong with you! They are not mine, nor are they my beliefs. These are just a few of the many disgusting, sick sayings from a woman named Margaret Sanger. Yes, the very same woman who started Planned Parenthood. What happened to George Floyd was a tragedy, and in no way do I condone his killing! But I have to ask…why are so many people up in arms, protesting both peacefully and violently over one man’s death, when each day approximately 1,000 African American babies are killed? Not one; 1,000 a day. Take a moment to let that number sink in; 1,000. In fact, in New York city alone, more African American babies are aborted than born each year. New York, the city that celebrates the fact that they kill helpless innocent babies. Abortion murders more African Americans in this country alone than crime, accidents, heart disease, cancer or aids.

Last week, after this latest killing, we saw a resurgence of Black Live Matter agenda and angry people protesting. We should be angry… for all humans, from all ethnic backgrounds, that were senselessly murdered. Even more so, we should be outraged that millions of innocent people, of all ethnic backgrounds each year (in this nation alone), are senselessly, and brutally murdered! (125,000 per day, worldwide; all ethnicity’s.) 125,000 PER DAY! We should be holding massive protests in everyone of our towns and cities; demanding that the murders stop! Why are people looting and burning businesses that have nothing to do with the murder of George? If, in our anger, we are going to burn and destroy anything, it should be the abortion clinics. Yes, I did just say that! Righteous anger is justified. Read the Bible…Jesus had righteous anger when he fashioned a whip and drove out the money changers in the temple. (John 2:15)

And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. (Deuteronomy 12:3 KJV)

Abortion clinics are modern day alters to the false god Moloch, and God has no problem with us tearing down alters to false gods. (The verse above is just one of many throughout the Bible, where God demands the alters to be destroyed.) Now, I am not saying we harm ANY person. Life is precious, all life; even the life of those working and or performing abortions. We are to have mercy and compassion for the lost; hate the sin, love the sinner. 

Here is the irony of all of this…On average, 88% of the African American population vote in a manner that keeps people who support abortion in office. (37% of whites, 65% Asian and Hispanic, and 56% labeled other, vote the same.) Voting for individuals such as Nancy Pelosi, who received a Margaret Sanger award for her activism towards Planned Parenthood, or Hilary Clinton, who was quoted for the following.  “I admire Margaret Sanger enormously…I am really in awe of her.” H.C. It makes no since. Why in the world would anyone vote for a person who supports the murder of any people groups? While other ethnicity’s are voting in this manner, (as shown above), numbers show that it is the African American’s as a majority, who are killing themselves. It makes no since!

Abortion is MURDER. Life begins at conception!

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16, NKJV).

Our bodies are NOT ours to do with whatever we want, whatever feels good, whatever pleases us.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV)

Wake up America! Open your eyes! Without a heart change, (which can only occur when you know Christ and have the Holy Spirit living inside you,) this senseless killing, this hate…everything that is wrong with our society, will just continue…and escalate; getting worse and worse. This is not a fight one race against another, or one person against another. This, like everything else on this earth, is a spiritual battle.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12 KJV)

As long as we are focused of the physical, and not the spiritual, then Satan is winning!

There is a solution…the wisdom of God.

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. (Proverbs 1:20-33)

Until we repent as a nation, go back to our Biblical foundation, tear down our alters to Moloch and cry out to Jesus…then we have no hope. As seen above, God is letting us ‘eat the fruit’ we have brought upon ourselves. Jesus is our only hope, He is the only way. Look at where following the world has gotten us? We need to follow Jesus.

…I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12 KJV)

ALL LIVES MATTER! We are all once race, the human race; created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26-27)

Can We Keep It? Covid 19, and Our Willingness to Throw Away Liberty for Safety.

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One sad thing this Covid 19 epidemic has shown me is just how many people in this country are willing to give up some liberties for ‘safety’. Many of our governors have overstepped their boundaries, passing edicts that are completely unconditional. In some places it sounds like a story right out of World War Two’s Nazi Germany, with local governments requiring papers in order to leave your house; proving you are an ‘essential worker’. The use of drones to spy on citizens, encouraging neighbors to call the authorities on one another. Public shaming of people who refuse to wear a mask. And, the sad part, very few citizens are doing anything about it. Some, think these edicts are a good thing, either out of fear, ignorance or because they don’t like what America stands for and align themselves more with the globalist, communist, socialist agenda. Others, are following out of ignorance of our constitutional rights. They really don’t know what rights we have. And worse yet, are those who DO know the constitution, and are staying quiet; happy to conform and obey for a sense of peace and security.

I have seen so many posts on social media, and many news stories, where people are upset over armed citizens who are protesting at court houses against the various decrees governors have placed on us during this epidemic. And yet, the second amendment was given to us for just that reason! When our government infringes on our rights as a citizen, then we have the right to remove them, and by any means necessary.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent to the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its foundation on such principals and organizing powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.  (Excerpt from Declaration of Independence. July 4th 1776)

We have the right to work. We cannot be forced to wear a mask. We cannot be forced to stay at home, nor do we have to show papers when we do go out. We have the right to gather together in our churches for worship. To gather else ware. And we have the right to free, uncensored speech. (Many social media platforms are censoring; removing videos and articles they don’t agree with.) These rights have been stripped from us during this epidemic, and nowhere in the Bill of Rights, or in the Constitution, is there a clause allowing the loss of our freedoms, even temporarily, for ANY reason; to include a virus. Even a virus of epidemic proportion! We can protect the vulnerable without giving up our rights! (Like Sweden). Our elected officials work for us! They are not our superiors, they are not to be dictators, they are not to give edicts that go against our rights. When they do, we have the right to remove them from office!

If you want to stay at home, fine. If you want to wear a mask, do it. If you want forgo church for a season, and other social functions, then do so. If you don’t agree with something you read, OK. BUT DON’T INFRINGE ON MY RIGHTS to work, wear what I choose or don’t choose, to socialize, to speak, and to worship! I want my immune system to stay strong! Ever heard of heard immunity? Look it up. Fresh air, sun, dirt, sand, water and germs; yes germs are GOOD for us! There is no such thing as essential and non-essential! The small business owner has the same right to be open, (to feed their family), as the big corporations and box stores. Churches nationwide should be allowed to meet without fear of arrest. We have the right to gather!

There are those, even confessing Christians, who argue… “Christians are to obey government, or Jesus was peaceful, so one should only object peacefully.” I have to ask, what Bible are you reading? Yes, we are told to be subjected to the authorities that God placed over us. ‘To give to Caesar what is Caesars’; pay taxes. (Matthew 22:21) HOWEVER, if, and when, those authorities come against our God given rights, we are to obey God, not government. (Acts, 5:29) And Jesus, he was peaceful? Jesus was all the time questioning authority, coming against the Pharisees and Sadducee’s. Was Jesus peaceful when he drove out the money changers in the temple? Jesus fashioned a whip of cords and drove out the people and the animals; He overturned tables! Peaceful? I think not, but righteous, yes! (Mark 11:15, Matthew 21:12, John 12:13-16). Jesus himself said he did not come to bring peace, but rather division. (Luke 12:51-53) So, while I do represent Christ, and I need to show love, compassion, and grace, I do NOT have to allow the government to trample my rights. I am not to turn a blind eye, to keep silent. In fact, if I see an injustice taking place, I should speak up and be able and willing to fight and defend my rights and the rights of others. Righteous anger is not a sin!

And the whole mask thing! Now the left is comparing those of us who are pushing back against the mask mandates, as to them pushing back against their rights to an abortion. It is not even the same thing! Abortion is murder! It goes against every Christian principal this nation was founded on. One of our unalienable rights is life! Not only is mask wearing unhealthy, (you can research that), in most cases it does nothing to prevent the catching or spreading of covid. If you look at this mandate through a spiritual lens, a mask is a symbol of fear. Are you trusting God for protection? Or, are you going to follow the world; those who are lost and fearful? Because you can live in a bubble, and if God wants you to perish from Covid, or any other virus…you can’t do anything about it!

Fear! What this all comes down to is fear. And we are commanded NOT to have fear. The Bible mentions fear in over eighty passages. Fear is sin, for we are NOT trusting God when we are living in fear. It is sad how far our country has swayed from a Christian foundation and belief in God. Our forefathers never would have allowed the government to infringe on their rights during an epidemic (or any other time) for safety! Life is NOT safe! We are all going to DIE! YOU ARE GOING TO DIE, I AM GOING TO DIE! Virus are always out there! Yes, some are easier caught than others, some more deadly. We cannot give up our freedoms and hide in our homes each time a new virus is discovered. This is not the first pandemic, and will not be the last. If God is going to take you using Covid, there is nothing you can do to prevent it! That is why having a relationship with Jesus Christ, knowing that your soul is eternally secure, is so important! It may not be Covid that gets us, it could be a car accident, a disease, etc. We don’t know how or when we are going to die! Only God knows, and we need to be ready.  Jesus is the only way! Jesus died on the cross, taking our sins upon him, reconciling us to God. And he rose, defeating death once and for all! We are eternal beings, this life is temporary. Where are you going to spend eternity?

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrews 9:27 KJV)

We are made in the image of God, no wonder the enemy wants us to cover our faces! We are to be a light shining in this dark world. If we are hiding in our homes, and when we do venture out, acting fearful like the world, how are we standing out? How are we setting an example? How are we saying to a lost and frightened world, “Yes, look at me, I am different. NO, I am not going to conform. NO, I am not willing to give up my rights for peace and safety, because life is NOT SAFE. However, I am NOT fearful! I am full of joy, hope and peace…WHY? Because I know Jesus! And if it is my time, then God will take me. And if it is not, then no matter what I do, I will not die today. And you…you can have this peace too, let me tell you about my Jesus.”

“There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” Psalm 91:10

1/3 of the population during the Revolutionary War, fought for the freedoms we now have. 1/3…not much different than we are seeing today. You may not agree with what I am saying. You may label me as a conspiracy theorist, an idiot, or old fashioned; clinging to my religion. But know this, the reason you are free to speak your mind, to have an opinion…is because a few brave men (and the women who supported them), risked all to write the Declaration of Independence, and to fight for our freedom from a tyrannical government. They carefully crafted our constitution, knowing that man’s heart is ultimately evil. (Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 2:14-16) It is now our job to keep our freedoms, not just for us, but for generations to come. And if you think once our rights are striped, that the powers that be will not come after you; because your beliefs, your lifestyle is closer in alignment to theirs… you are so very wrong. Man will never be satisfied; he always wants more. Left unchecked, those in power will always want more control. You may not agree with the method of the protesters, with those of us who are pushing back against the unconstitutional government mandates, but you should be concerned. You should be willing to fight alongside us, for your right to believe and live the way in which you choose. So, mock all you want, but at least I can say, (if our country recovers from this crisis that we have allowed during Covid -19), that I was one of the few who refused to conform and refused to blindly follow worldly authorities. That I choose to believe the Word of God over man, chose to stand out, letting my light shine brightly for all to see, and chose to fight for our God ordained freedoms.

I pray you can say the same, that you are going through this epidemic without compromise, without fear; fully trusting God each and every day. For the only being we should fear, is God. God did say that broad is the road that leads to destruction, and narrow is the road that leads to life. (Matthew 7:13-14). I don’t want to follow the masses, not if doing so leads to destruction. Following God may not be the easy path, but I would rather follow Him and find eternal life, than follow man and find eternal death. And I do wonder? With most of our population so willing to give up liberty for a false sense of safety, how long will we be able to keep what our forefathers paid for with their blood, sweat and tears?

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:31-39 (KJV)

The Awesome Mystery of the Cross

cross

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread). And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.  Acts 12:1-4 KJV

Let me point out, that unless you read this scripture in the King James, you will miss this point completely, for the King James is the ONLY translation that uses the word Easter; all other translations use Passover. The King James is translated by the Textus Receptus, or in Latin, ‘the received text.’ In the 19th century, it came under mainstream criticism by men who were not content with the word of God, and translated using the Majority, or Alexandrian text; out of Egypt. Note: The name majority, Satan is slick…gives it a name that makes one believe it is good, because it is majority. Yet, when has the word of God ever been a majority vote? NOT GOOD! Remember Egypt in the word represents sin, bondage…God brought his people OUT of Egypt, they were not to turn back…they were to stay out of Egypt. (Deut. 6:12, Jer. 44:13, etc.) Why should it be any different for us? So, when God says he will preserve his word (Psalm 6:12-7), he did, and he did so through the Textus Receptus.

Focusing back on the scripture above, many will argue that the translation of Easter was mistranslated. (Again, those are the men who subscribe to the Majority text.) That it is really speaking of Passover. Yet, without having to interpret the word of God, (again, another thing we should never do), we have just read in parentheses that ‘these were the days of unleavened bread.’  Herod had James, John’s brother, killed during Passover, the days of unleavened bread. When that happened and Herod saw the reaction from the Jews, how it pleased them, THEN, he decided to kill John.

Herod, was a Politician. Like many politicians today, he was corrupt, and did things to please those in high places and further his career. He was not a Jew; this is also a subject that many people get confused on. His family history shows that he was an Edomite, not a Jew. Somewhere in his family history, a member(s) converted to Judaism. This is how he finally came into his position. You see, like most politicians, he could ‘talk’ the talk and ‘walk’ the walk for he heard the truth, but Herod himself was not a true believer, or convert. For if Herod was a devout believer of the Jewish faith, he would not celebrate Easter, a pagan holiday that was celebrated long before Christ was crucified on the cross. If he was a true believer of the Jewish faith, he never would have carried out the execution of James during the Passover, just as the scripture says he did. Remember the rush to execute Jesus and get him in the grave BEFORE the Passover began? Yet, Herod has James killed during Passover. And, as we read, Herod’s plan was to wait until AFTER Easter to kill John. Why wait? Because Easter was a Holy day for Herod; he celebrated Easter.

So, this brings into question, why do many people today, who confess to be followers of Christ celebrate Easter? Because many are ignorant; they either do not read the scriptures as we are told to do. Or they study, but are not using the true word of God.

Study to shew thyself approves unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)

Or, sadly, many know that Easter is a pagan holiday, but they don’t want to be different. They don’t want to go against the masses; for life then would be a bit harder. Some even go as far as to justify the use of pagan symbols, like the Bunny and egg, saying they can change the meaning to represent Christ. When did God ever allow that? When did God ever tell His people to become one with pagans? To adopt pagan holidays, and rituals, only change the meaning so that it represents His word? HE DOES NOT, and HE NEVER WILL. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! (Hebrews 13:8). In fact, God tells us to not be conformed to the world!

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2 KJV)

1 John 2:15-17 tells us not to love the world or the things of the world. And there are many more versus that speak of us not conforming to the ways of the world, but rather to put our minds on the heavenly. If we are following Christ, we are supposed to be different! We are supposed to stand out and be a light in this dark world. Does it make life a bit more difficult? YES! It sure does. Our family rarely goes to church on Resurrection Sunday, for we have found it difficult over the years to find a church that refuses to celebrate Easter, instead of the resurrection. We don’t participate in egg hunts, may poles or the other pagan rituals, so we are often turning down invites. (And sadly, many churches endorse these activities in their children’s ministries, which is another reason we opt out.) However, on the rare occasion we do find a church that celebrates Resurrection Sunday. What a blessing! Those churches, while few, are out there as a beacon of light! You are blessed if you have that!

Why does this matter? First, if we look and act just like the world, we will not stand out. No wonder many unbelievers look at the church today, as a whole, and see nothing but a bunch of hypocrites! Yes, none of us are perfect, and we will continue to sin until we receive our new bodies. However, we should attempt to live our lives as best as we can according to the scriptures, even if we don’t agree with what the word says. Who are we to question God? Romans (9:19-23)

Second, all of us will stand before God someday. 2 Timothy 2:15 is a commandment…we are told to study the word. Sadly, many Christian’s don’t do this. They hear a sermon or read something and believe what they hear. They don’t go home and get into the scripture themselves. It is amazing the discernment God gives, when you are in His word. It is mind blowing how many false teachings are out there. Often, when I am listening to someone preach, or listening to a program on the radio or TV, the number of false teachings I come across us huge! If I were not really well read, and I mean the entire Bible, not just the New Testament, how easily I would be led astray! While I am still learning, and not perfect in my knowledge, when I stand  before God someday, I do not want to be found ashamed, only because I did not study the word myself as I was commanded to do. Think about all the people who will stand before God ashamed…ashamed because they choose not to study the word, which for most of us today is so easily accessible. Ashamed because they did not want to stand out, to be different, so they choose to follow the world and not the Word.

Third, Is Jesus not enough? Why do men see the need to add candy, bunnies and eggs to the amazing Resurrection of Jesus? How confusing the mixing of pagan and Holy is to our children. How sad, that as a whole, the Christian church has diminished the power of the cross! What a gift we have in Jesus; and we take it for granted. We read in the scriptures that Jesus came to save the lost sheep of Israel. (Matthew 15:22-28). Contrary to what many believe today, Jesus was NOT sent to us. Study the old testament, and you will discover the same…a messiah was foretold, a messiah for the Jewish people. However, there is a mystery that Paul speaks of often in his writings. An amazing mystery!

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:5-8 KJV)

That at the time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; (Ephesians 2:12-14, though I encourage you to read through to 20.)

You see, no man knew what God had planned. The prophesies and scriptures all pointed to the fact that God was sending a savior for HIS people. When Paul wrote that we were alienated, strangers, having no hope…that is exactly where we stood before Jesus died on the cross. We, as gentiles, had no access to God, no hope…we were doomed. But…God, so loved the world, (John 3:16).  He had a secret plan, a mystery, that according to the scriptures had God revealed His plan, and the enemy knew it, Jesus would not have been crucified.

Just think about this, let it sink in for a moment…this is the amazing gift of salvation we have through Jesus Christ! We were cut off from God, without hope, but because of Christs crucifixion on the cross we now have direct access to God! We are NO LONGER WITHOUT HOPE! Isn’t that enough? Our reason for celebrating Christ resurrection without diluting it with pagan rituals? Think how God feels when he looks down at earth, his creation, mixing false Gods with the sacrifice His only begotten son Jesus made on the cross. Are we really stupid enough to believe that when we stand before God someday, we will not be held accountable for this? That God will overlook our sin? Yes, our sins are forgiven…but by choosing to disobey God, we are telling God we don’t want Him, we don’t need Him…that is a scary thought.

Where do you stand today?

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, of the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the  LORD.”  (Joshua 24:15)

Are you willing and ready to forsake all to follow Christ? It may not be the popular or cool thing to do, but in the end, you will not regret it. This life if but a vapor…eternity is just that, eternal. And Christ IS COMING SOON! Are you looking forward to his return, or clinging to the things of this world?