Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

Anyone that has had exposure to the Christian religion is aware of Satan and  his prominence throughout the bible. Recently, while studying the bible, I have been examining some of Satan’s attempts to thwart the plan of God and I believe I have stumbled across an example where Satan may have missed one of the links and prophecies pointing to the birth of the Messiah. I am starting to become convinced that Satan missed this link because the Holy Spirit excluded it from the official record (the Torah), though I think historical record and a little circumstantial evidence proves my point.

From the standpoint of mankind, Satan is an ultra powerful supernatural being. The bible tells how Satan is an angel and we know from reading the scriptures that angels can wipe out scores of thousands of humans in one fell swoop (read 2 Kings 19:35 where an angel slew 185,000 Assyrians one night). However, that being said, Satan is a creation and is not a god and has limitations. We read from the very beginning of the bible to the very end that Satan has attempted to destroy the lineage and the path of the Judean royal line to prevent Christ from being able to reign upon David’s throne and to claim the title of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Satan is an ultra powerful being but he is not all-knowing and uses the holy word of our Lord as a prime source of knowledge to plan his attacks upon the royal line. Obviously, God knows and understands this, but adds the information to the scriptures knowing Satan will use it in whatever manner he can to thwart the plan of salvation.

I believe that Satan missed having the knowledge of watching for the precise signs to point to the location and the time of the birth of The Christ and I feel this information that led the “wise men” to find the Messiah came directly from Daniel, a book that details an historical storyline that I feel is extremely cool. You will find many links and article and posts about the possible history of the Magi that showed up in Jerusalem, but I know of no one else that has my viewpoint as to why they showed up (the reason for this simply could be that I haven’t looked hard enough)…

As a child, knowing the story of Christ’s birth, I always wondered who these guys called the Magi (or wise men) were. I would ask, but all anyone that I asked could say was they were wise men from the east and they would leave it at that I was always left unsatisfied with these answers, so let’s look a little deeper.

Historical research indicates that the Magi were members of the Medeo-Persian Priesthood1 and we find that Daniel was chief of this priesthood according to Daniel chapter 4. Daniel 4:9 “Belteshazzar2, chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God [is] in you, and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation. (NKJV) This scripture tells us Daniel held the office over these magicians to the court of Darius, the ruler of the world. At that time in history, Daniel was probably the second or third most powerful man in the world.

We also read in Daniel 6 the familiar story of the lion’s den. After Daniel leaves the lion’s den and is found unharmed, King Darius created a decree that was written and sent to all the nations of the earth stating that all nations under his rule must fear and reverence the God of Daniel (Daniel 6:25-28). These scriptures seem to me to set up a series of conditions that gave Daniel the ability to spread the influence of the God of Israel and the specific date prophecy he would receive about Christ in Daniel chapter 9. These conditions cited in the scripture indicate a link to the appearance of the Magi that appear unannounced (which creates much consternation and fear in Herod3) bringing gifts for the newborn Messiah in the gospels and to me, it is one of those events where the bible implies a Messianic prophecy that didn’t make it out of the Holy Spirit’s editing room for us to read, though Daniel seemingly knew the specifics of it and it seems he taught his dedicated followers to pass on this prophecy down through the centuries to their successors. Remember, Gabriel gave Daniel the specific day Christ would present himself as the Messiah and was told he would be crucified, and it is not a stretch of the imagination to assume he gave him a specific prophecy of the birth of our Savior also…kept out of the official record so Satan would be taken by surprise.

So what happened? The fact that five hundred years later this imposing procession of important foreigners (Magi from Parthia4) suddenly shows up at Herod’s doorstep in Jerusalem while following a special starand looking for the new born king of God’s chosen people, means they had to be there following some precise instructions, and the fact they were descendants of the Median Magi priesthood that was under the leadership of Daniel the prophet several centuries earlier, even though their nation worshiped strange gods, screams direct linkage to me.

Where am I going with this? My personal opinion is that Satan is totally familiar with the Holy Word and knows every word, every nuance, every prophecy, every covenant, every commandment and every screw-up of the Israelites in there. My thought is that this prophecy that guided Daniel to instruct the Magi to pass the prophecy down through their ranks from generation to generation was missed by Satan because it was left out of the record, causing him to ignore these pagan priests that are conveying the message of the expectation of a Jewish Messiah appearing under certain miraculous conditions to their following successions of priests. OK, if that’s true, why was it left out? We could throw out conjectures all day, but I believe this visit by the Magi gives us an indication, on a much smaller scale, of what celebrations should have been taking place in Israel if the Jews had paid attention to prophecy and had known to look for the Messiah, is one possibility. Another possibility is their visit was an end-run around Satan’s deception campaign, which in part, was designed to prevent such an announcement to be heralded, but the Magi succeeded at announcing to the Jewish leadership that the Messiah and king was among them. Or maybe it’s a combination of the two thoughts. Regardless whatever could have happened, the Jewish leadership were, once again, asleep at the wheel and ignored this event, which is only one of the most important events this creation has ever witnessed, and the single event that started the clock for the greatest love story ever lived, and the purpose of the creation.

Because Christ as the Messiah was rejected by the nation of Israel, The Lord turned his back on them as prophesied throughout the Torah, (Hosea’s prophecy is my favorite) which resulted in the catastrophe in 70 AD and the diaspora6 of the Jews.

I have a non-traditional view of the scripture, according to many of my acquaintances, so in my mind’s eye, I see God discussing with the others in the Trinity over steaming cups of nectar, his script for our universe before zapping us into existence. We all know what happened…Lucifer (who had become the Satan) threw a wrench into the works, apparently causing the Lord to rewrite the script of our complicated SIM game7, so to speak, even though I feel our Lord set up Satan so he would cause his own fall because of Satan’s addiction to the real killer, pride. I am always looking for patterns and, I guess conspiracies and one pattern that I see is; after the Jews turned chicken and refused to invade Canaan the first time, The Lord sent them wandering for thirty eight years before they were allowed to occupy the land. Fast-forward several hundred years and we have the Jewish nation reject God again by rejecting His Son. Thirty eight years later, the Romans destroyed the temple and massacred over a million Jews in the process of the siege and occupation of Jerusalem. I can’t help but wonder if this was simply a modified script from the original one I had imagined above, one where possibly the Jews accepted him and thirty eight years later, the chosen people, with Christ as their King, started the rule of the earth from Zion. Just as they had captured and occupied the promised land so many years ago.

In hindsight, we can look back and think, “what dorks, these guys had these prophecies about the Messiah, mainly the one from Daniel chapter nine, right there in front of them and they ignored it and see what it got them.”. Before we get all holier-than-thou, we need to look at ourselves. Heck, forget religion, here in America, our leaders ignore and reject our own constitution, they reject moral judgments and teachings, much less the teaching of the scriptures and we’ve only had a couple hundred years to do it in. At least Israel seemed to hold it together a few hundred years longer than that.

God Bless, Jim

1 http://ldolphin.org/magi.html

2 Belteshazzar was Daniel’s Persian name

3 There had to be many, many more than three Magi to cause the apoplexy that Herod seemed to demonstrate over seeing them

4 http://www.biblestudy.org/maps/parthian-empire-large-map.html

Numbers 24:17 tells of a star in prophecy, but after reading it in context, I don’t see the link to the prophecy of Christ’s birth…

6 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaspora

7 I personally think we are some sort of giant SIM game where our reality is all smoke and mirrors and the real reality is what we refer to as the ‘spirit world’. The apostle Paul supports that view in Ephesians 6:12

I have listened to some fascinating views about the scriptures by several Christian scholars in the last few years, with Chuck Missler being the primary source of these audio journeys through the scriptures and related topics. Dr Missler is fairly adamant about Wednesday being the day of Christ’s crucifixion. Whether Christ was crucified on a Wednesday or a Thursday or a Friday holds no significance to our salvation. However, the more we can delve into the mechanics of the scriptures and the more we can see the patterns and intricate designs that are present from cover to cover, the more we uncover the tapestry of the irrevocable Word of Our Lord. Therefore, I decided to tackle this subject even though it is one of the hundreds of opportunities to study and search the scriptures for my own edification and learning, and I am sharing the surprising (to me) results. As I said earlier, Chuck Missler seems to believe that Christ was crucified on a Wednesday. I had listened to his reason and conclusions but mentally, the math didn’t really add up and the case for Wednesday didn’t look very promising; I really didn’t think Christ was crucified on Friday, but I’m wasn’t sold on the fact that Christ was crucified on Wednesday either…Wednesday just seemed too far fetched and too early in the week. Thinking more about this I listened to Chuck Missler’s Learn the Bible in 24 Hours series, Hour 16: The Final Week, again and came to the same inconclusive roadblock. I then realized that I had never put it down on paper, so I donned virtual pen and paper (LibreOffice Writer) and proceeded to write it down.

Before I started putting anything down, I knew I needed to establish some ground rules. Before we go any further, I want to give you the perspective that drives my study of the word of my Lord. From the first time I picked up a bible, I whole-heartedly believe that the Lord says what He means, and means what He says, and I take the bible very literally. Therefore, reading from the account of Christ where He gave the Pharisee a sign about Jonah spending three days and three nights in the sea creature (Matthew 12:40), and the accounts we are given in the gospels by the Holy Spirit about Christ being in the tomb for three days and three nights (Mark 8:31 and others), made me realize that I believe Christ and the Holy Spirit were referring to three full days and three full nights. I also needed to keep in mind that the Jewish calendar starts the day at 6 PM in the evening, because God referred to the creation time periods as the evening and the morning (in that order). Also I am assuming the timer started the first evening after Christ died. I supposed, because it was the longest time period of my trial, I decided to humor the Wednesday crucifixion idea first and then work toward resurrection Sunday

So with all that, here is my math assuming Christ was crucified during the daylight hours of Wednesday and His body is prepared and He is placed in the grave that evening (the beginning hours of Thursday) using the formula the Lord started in Genesis (evening and morning)

Evening (beginning of the day at 6PM)

1 1st Thursday (High Sabbath, Feast of Unleavened Bread)
2 2nd Friday
3 3rd Saturday (Sabbath)

Daytime (ends at 6PM)

1 1st Thursday (High Sabbath, Feast of Unleavened Bread)
2 2nd Friday
3 3rd Saturday (Sabbath)

After I wrote this out, I backed off and looked at it…and to my surprise…it works. I was flabbergasted, because just before I finished writing out the math I was sure I was, at the best, going to prove Wednesday wasn’t the day Christ died, or at the worst, it would remain inconclusive. I did not expect to prove to myself that Christ was crucified on Wednesday…but I did.

The above math shows that when the sun went down on that third full day, Sabbath (Saturday) following the day he died, (Wednesday), the sundown that followed at 6PM began Sunday, the Feast of First Fruits. After daybreak on Sunday was when Mary Magdalene met the two angels guarding the tomb and discovered her Lord was already risen.

The issue I was having (as I suspect many have) is mentally I started counting with the day and discounted the fact that Christ would have been placed in the tomb and starting the clock on the first night. Using that simple fact means that I have proven to myself that Wednesday was the logical day that he was taken out and slain. A Thursday crucifixion would mean Sunday would be day three and inferring full days, that doesn’t work either because the scripture tells us Mary saw him early on Sunday. Assuming the Holy Spirit and Christ meant full days and nights, (which I absolutely do) this makes a Friday crucifixion that doesn’t work at all, for that would only account for one night and one full day.

God Bless, Jim

8-10-11

for Koinonia Institute

P.S. A classmate of mine, Jody Brownd, at Koinonia Institute suggested, using Psalm 119:62 “At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.” that Christ possibly rose at midnight…interesting…I buy it.

We all know that there are scientific fact spread all through the holy scriptures, but what about I John 3:2? How can that be perceived as a scientific statement? These are my thoughts on this very cool verse that speaks volumes. First let us see what John is telling us about Christ after His resurrection in 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (KJV)

Wow. We have seen in the gospels where Christ appeared before hundreds of people after His crucifixion. We have read where He taught, where He walked and talked, where He dined and met with followers and where He disappeared into thin air and materialized into a locked room to meet with His disciples. We already know he was the I AM of the burning bush and was The Angel of The Lord in several encounters in the Old Testament. Scientific discoveries, coupled with an expansion of understanding of mathematical principles, of the last two centuries have increased our knowledge of our physical universe. Part of that scientific discovery was the expansion of the understanding of dimensionality and the development of new theories, such as the string theory1. So what?

The more we as humans, in our endeavors to elevate our understanding of our universe, the more we find that these expansions of knowledge assist in demonstrating the hidden gems of the scriptures. Our expansion of understanding that we live in a multidimensional universe helps to explain how our Lord could just seem to appear and disappear at will all through the bible. This multidimensional was hinted at by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians2 when he wrote that we live in a four dimensional universe a few hundred years before Euclid ‘discovered’ the fact. John also tells us that they weren’t seeing the full representation of Christ after He had changed form, but only what our two dimensional eyes3 could perceive of Him. John was explaining to them that was the reason Christ could seem to disappear and appear at will…because he existed in a higher dimension than we can view or really understand. Some don’t care about this, but I find it fascinating when we are able to peer a little deeper behind the curtain and discover more gems of information that do nothing but increasingly solidify on an ever increasing basis the proof that the scriptures are divine in nature and infinite in scope.

God Bless, Jim

8-7-11

for Koinonia Institute

1 http://www.examiner.com/christian-worldview-in-national/quantum-mechanics-string-theories-black-holes-and-the-bible

2 Ephesians 3:18 …may be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (KJV)

3 We, only see in two dimensions, width and height, and the stereoscopic effect of the eyes working in conjunction make it appear we see in three dimensions, but we don’t…sorry.

We can draw some fairly decent basic conclusions of Christ’s resurrection body from the scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments. There several detailed examples of recorded visits where Christ appeared before, walked with, and visited and dined with his followers during the interval after His resurrection and before His ascension. I’m only going to cover a couple of examples to highlight the conclusions we can draw.

Right off the bat when I started researching from the first appearance to Mary Magdalene, I realized it isn’t as clear cut and straight forward as I assumed it would be a few sentences ago. Why? Let’s look at this first appearance we find in Mark’s account in Mark 16:9 Now when [Jesus] was risen early the first [day] of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. (KJV) This seems simple enough, but we need to develop the context so when we read on a couple of more verses, we find this in Mark 16:12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. (KJV) What? What in the world does the word form in this sentence mean? In the Greek it means what we expect it to mean, the external appearance of something. So we can conclude that he appeared looking one way to Mary Magdalene and looking quite different to the others. John sheds some light on this in his gospel account in chapter 20:16-17 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and [to] my God, and your God. (KJV) So it seems that when she first saw him he had just arisen and was still in the same human form as he was when he was laid in the sepulcher. Apparently between this visage and subsequent ones, he ascended and then returned in the form that he was seen afterward. Also on this first encounter by Mary Magdalene, a couple of verses earlier, in John 20:15 we are told she didn’t recognize him and thought he was the gardener. Why?

Let us look at beards. In I Chronicles chapter 19, as in many other places in the Old Testament, we find it was shameful for a Jewish male to be shaved. In Isaiah 50:6 we get a glimpse of one of the ways that Our Lord was tortured, because apparently they ripped out his beard. So, perhaps when she saw this beardless man her automatic and natural assumption would have been that this guy wasn’t a Jewish male, but rather a gentile, and likely a slave, instead of Our Savior.

Later on we find that He challenged Thomas to touch Him in John chapter 20 and also we read in Luke 24 that Christ walked and talked for seven miles and afterward dined with a couple of the disciple before he pulled a disappearing trick and vanished. I believe if he had been some floating, spectral being that we refer to as ghost, gliding along with them on on the road, they would have figured out something was very strangely wrong about this man (“Hey, why can we see through this guy, why isn’t his feet touching the ground as he moves?”). This one instance by itself is fairly definitive of the fact that He was flesh and blood…only he was flesh and blood that could vanish and move through walls which is a super indication that Christ had definitely changed form as we read in Mark 16:12.

God Bless, Jim

8-7-11

for Koinonia Institute

If you asked a hundred Christians in the conservative, ‘bible-belt’ section of America where I live the question, “Why was Christ crucified?”, almost all of them would say, “He died for our sins.” and leave it at that. That would not be an incorrect answer, just an incomplete one, for I need to know why He had to die for our sins. I am going to attempt to explore that question and try to do it justice.

The key word to the short answer is ‘sin’. What is sin? According to blue letter bible, sin is a transgression or violation of divine law (God’s law) as is defined below.

a. Its origin, as regards the human race. The first man and woman, by their own choice, violated the law of God; they sinned against God.

b. Words, which describe sin in some of its forms. Hebrew: “Chata,” to go out of the way, to miss the mark. “Pasha,” to transgress. “Avah,” to twist, to act perversely. Greek: “Hamaritia,” a missing of the mark. “Paraptoma,” a falling away from law, truth, right. “Parabasis,” a going over or beyond truth and right, transgression. “Anomia,” lawlessness. “Asebeia,” irreverence.

c. Definition. “Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.”


Regardless which definition we apply to ourselves, the trait of free will and gullibility within human beings condemn us to sin. Genesis 1:27-31 tells us that God created man in His own image and blessed him and gave him dominion over the Earth and was pleased with the results. Since humans were created in His image, and humans sin, does that mean God is sinful in nature, because we sure are? No, of course not. When God created Adam there was no sin. Unfortunately for us, there was a wrench thrown into the works called Satan and Romans 5:12 tell us Adam fell because Satan was allowed to introduced sin into the world, via Adam. I can infer just from the book of Job, using the patterns that are prevalent all through the bible, that Satan kind of goaded God into this competition with us as the pawns and our souls as the prize. I was going to go a different direction with this, but I suddenly am compelled to explore the path of the Trinity and creation…


For some reason, I always had difficulty remembering that sometimes ‘God’ can refer to the Trinity, or can refer to God the Father or can refer to God the Son. John in chapter 1 of his gospel says that God the Son is the author of creation and that Christ created the universe and all things in it, including us. That means we are created in Christ’s image (how cool is that). It also means that Adam is a direct creation of Christ, even though it apparently was a collaborative effort (the plural verbiage denoting the Trinity in Genesis 3:22). Satan, however was able to deceive Adam through Eve and he was successful in generating doubt and confusion in what God (Christ) had commanded, causing them to sin by eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Why was this one tree, that they were told not to eat from, placed within the perfect garden of Eden? I think we can derive from the patterns we see in Job, it was there as a test and a temptation, much like the events within the book of Job were. Where am I going with all this?


This is partially conjecture on my part, but I think Christ created Adam in His own image as a sinless person that had no conception of good and evil. Satan presents a challenge and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is introduced into the midst of this perfect garden. It doesn’t take long for Satan to begin his deception campaign by beguiling Eve into sinning by transgressing the commandment of God (Christ) and eating of this lone tree and then convincing her husband to do the same. This means that Adam, a direct creation of Christ, and created in the image of Christ, falls by sinning. In response Our Lord performed the opening gambit in the competition for our souls, exhibited by a string of prophecies, that leads eventually toward a checkmate against his wily opponent, Satan*1. How was this brilliant maneuver performed?


Christ introduced the prophecy concerning the plans to ultimately defeat Satan by the parabolic announcement of Himself becoming human in
Genesis 3:15*2 and taking over the role that Adam failed at through the miracle of the virgin birth of Himself as a man. While Christ will not sin like Adam (remember Christ’s temptations by Satan from Mark chapter 1 which basically is a parallel of the temptations of Adam and Eve by Satan, which they failed), He will take upon the sin that His direct creation, Adam, introduced into the world and then willingly die for our salvation upon the cross while wearing this cloak of sin and transgression, relieving us of this unbearable burden and beginning the ‘end game’ process of sealing the lid on the ultimate defeat of Satan. I believe Christ, from the beginning, arranged His own crucifixion to pay the debt of sin that Adam started, thus soundly tromping Satan.


I can see the scenario where we and our universe were created with the intention of Christ being our creator and ruler, possibly in Eden which was in the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Satan, by being allowed to introduce sin into the world*3, only delayed the inevitable end result where Christ becomes the ruler of all nations in the end and, just possibly, bring Eden back to it’s glory, as it was in the beginning.


God Bless

Jim

8-5-11

for Koinonia Institute

*1 Those familiar with chess will know that a game can be won or lost in the first move that, if played right, can set up a domino effect type of scenario that may not manifest itself until scores of moves have been played, resulting in a checkmate.

*2 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (RSV)

*3 Satan made all those “I will” statements in Isaiah 14, maybe God has allowed everything to go on to prove that Satan’s “I will” statements are actually “I am only delusional and that I can’t” statements…