The Gospel of Matthew
Mystery # 1: The King is Coming: They will call him Immanuel
Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: when as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Yeshua from the very moment he was introduced in his incarnate state in the Book of Matthew is surrounded by God’s supernatural and miraculous handiwork. We all know the story as there is not one more well-known then the Nativity story. Mary had been found with child, and that child was of the Holy Ghost. His name of course was Yeshua in Hebrew, Jesus in English or Emmanuel which means God with us.
The Messianic Prophecy of the Old Testament comes alive in the New Testament, as the words of the Prophet Isaiah foretold of this event. Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the LORD himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. To appreciate when this was originally written it would have been around 734 BC. Isaiah used the Hebrew word “almah” to describe the idea of a virgin. The other important word mentioned in Isaiah 7:14 is the Hebrew word “oth” which means sign, not any ordinary sign but a miraculous sign. We also know that this is not just any ordinary child for the name is Immanuel (see Isaiah 8:8 and 8:10 to see how it is used). Then we come to Matthew 1:22, 23 which explains why this Messianic prophecy has come about.
Matthew 1:22 Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the Prophet saying, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. God wasn’t through with providing miraculous signs for the birth of the savior of the World. God provided a marker in the Night Sky, a star out of the east that resided over the tiny town of Bethlehem. God used this star as a guide to those that desired to worship the Christ Child. This was not any star, for it actually moved when needed. More than likely it was an angel of God, shining it’s light.
We read in Matthew 2:9, When they had heard the King, they departed: and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
So it was, still another miraculous sign for an miraculous event that can only be explained as extraordinary concerning the supernatural birth of the savior, our opening MOB in the New Testament. It is this same God that we worship today, a God of infinite capabilities a God of limitless supernatural existence where the supernatural is in fact the natural everyday common naure of the Almighty. This is why we say we worship a Great God and there is no name above his name. Join us as we continue to look into Yeshua’s amazing ministry of Grace and Supplication.
Mystery # 2: God's Beloved Son
Matthew 3:16 -17 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon him. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.
Never has there been a clearer picture of the Lord Jesus’s relationship to God the Holy Father than in Matthew 3:16-17. John the Baptist was preaching in the wilderness of Judea and he began baptizing people in the River Jordan once they had repented and confessed their sins to God. So it was that Yeshua, came down to the River Jordan one day to be baptized by John.
All the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John recount this very important and notable event in Jesus’s ministry. In John 1:33, John the disciple of Jesus states the following, And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. John goes on to say that he can bare testimony that this indeed is the Son of God he is describing here.
The Prophet Isaiah mentioned in Isaiah 11:2 that the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him (him being the Lord, the Messiah Jesus). In Isaiah 42:1, we read that the Lord has put his spirit upon him, him again referring to God’s special servant, the Lord Jesus (Yeshua). In fact this passage in Isaiah is even referred to in the Book of Matthew12: 17-18 making clear the relationship that Yeshua is God’s Special Servant. Jesus had just healed first a man with a withered hand in the synagogue on the Sabbath and then he healed many more that had been following him. Matthew 12:17-18 states That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying; Behold my servant, whom I have chosen: my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: and I will put my spirit unto him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles. There is no mistaking that this is Yeshua being referred to.
We have seen this very special relationship between the Father God and his Son, countless times before especially in the New Testament When Jesus was giving his final discourse to the people in John 12, he spoke about both himself and his Holy Father as both one is the same and yet two distinct identities (which is really the Mystery if the Triune Nature of God). John 12: 26 – If any man serves Yeshua, the Father will also honor as well. Jesus goes on to say that it makes no sense for him to ask his Father to save him from what is about to unfold (his death and crucifixion), as this is the whole reason he came to Earth to begin with (to suffer and die for the sins of mankind).
John 12:28 Jesus asks God the Father to glorify his name. Then much like in Matthew 3:17, we again hear the voice from Heaven (which is most likely the Father in Heaven) saying I have glorified it, and will glorify it again. It’s important to make the distinction between this voice and that of the angel who spoke to the people nearby. Only the Father God could complete the request that his son Jesus requested for him to glorify his name. The Messianic Psalm 2:7 states Thou Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. The whole idea that the Lord is begotten is the past participle of the verb beget, which means to father or produce as offspring. You will recognize this word of course from John 3:16, one of the most popular and most often quoted Bible verses: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The Father will once again mention he is pleased with his son Yeshua, upon his transfiguration which was the revelation of the true deity of Christ before the disciples and as well the fulfillment of the scripture that Jesus did not come to put an end to the Law but to fulfill it. We will deal with this transfiguration in more detail down the road. Matthew 17:5 states When he yet spake, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.
So we see a Father God very actively involved in the affairs of his son and like a proud Father watching his son’s activities and letting all know that this was his son and not just any son, the Son of Righteousness, the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter himself gives an account of the testimony of the Glory of God in 2 Peter 1:17 -18 stating, For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in which I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
So we see the Father God once again watching over his beloved son, as any father should do. And just like a proud Father, he wants all who will bare witness to know that he loves his Son dearly and he is well pleased of him. In this way, God wants us to understand what the sacrifice meant for him and for us (much like a sacrifice that we can comprehend that being of Abraham who was tested by God concerning Isaac, his only son at the time). The Father God wanted us to know how much he loves his son Yeshua but how much more he is willing out of his mercy and grace to sacrifice his son for the sake of his plan of redemption to come to fruition.
How it must have pained the Father God seeing his beloved son suffering on the cross until the Lord Jesus cried out to his Father that it was finally finished and he commended his spirit to his Father. How great is a love like that? Jesus said it best to his disciples one day, that there is no greater love then the love of one who lays down his life for his friends. Jesus called his disciples friends and he calls you as well, his friend for he lay down his life for us all. Now beloved as you have been born witness to this great love, if you have allowed the Lord, to redeem you, you can reap the benefits of knowing how Great the Father’s Love truly is, not just for his son, but for all those he would call the children of the Most High, whether they love him back or not, whether they acknowledge the sacrifice made for them or not, God’s Love and Redemption remains steadfast and is available to all who seek it.
Mystery # 3 : The Temptation of Jesus
Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Mark 1:12 Says that immediately the Spirit drove him into the wilderness which suggests a powerful influence by God’s Holy Spirit. We also find out in Mark 1:13 that this was known of the temptation experience; that Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days. Now no one knows if Satan was tempting Yeshua the whole time, for we only know of 3 instances that the devil tried to tempt him and we’ll review all of them and what their significance and relevance to us implies. Certainly Jesus was among the wild beasts and one would think he did a lot of praying, he certainly did a lot of fasting for he ate and drank nothing during his time in the wilderness. In Luke 4:1 we find out that Jesus was full of the Holy Ghost after his trip to Jordan, so he was ready for his “testing” from the devil.
It is interesting when we read in Luke 4:2, we understand how the devil works – he waits for the opportune time. He waited for Jesus to get hungry, very, very hungry (he was after all part man) before he offered him a temptation of hunger. Luke 4:2, Being forty days tempted of the devil, And in these days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him saying, “It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” Now this temptation has several elements behind it. Let’s review some of them, what was the devil trying to accomplish? He wanted to show Jesus and God the Father that Jesus was weak and his will power was weak as well. How futile were the devil’s plans in attempting to "show up" the Lord.
The devil wanted to embarrass Jesus throughout all his temptations and he tried to make Jesus come across as self-serving and caring more for his personal welfare then the mission that he and God the Father were pursuing. This mission was a plan for the redemption of mankind. The Lord wanted to make a statement about our need to pursue the things of God, which are more than earthly needs including food. God knows that our true hunger is not filled with bread or manna (as it is called in the Old Testament), our true hunger is satisfied and filled through the things of God. This goes all the way back to the Book of Deuteronomy and the Commandments of God being handed down to Moses for the Israelites in Canaan. See this parallel in Deuteronomy 8:2. The Lord God had led the Israelites for 40 days in the wilderness (just like Yeshua) and when the people were hungry and they cried out to Moses to ask God to feed them, we have written in Deuteronomy 8:3, And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did they fathers know: that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
It is interesting to note that the Israelites had many rebellions against God in the wilderness and that their testing revealed their weakness, unlike Yeshua who stood tall in victory against the devil and his temptations in the wilderness. In the 2nd of the three temptations by the devil, the devil took Jesus to the Holy city of Jerusalem and he sat him at the highest point on top of the Temple. The devil then said unto Jesus, If you be the Son of God (this being a mockery question because of course Satan knows he is the Son of God) then throw yourself down because it’s written that God will give his angels charge over you, and in their hands they will take you up, so that you don’t smash your foot against a stone. This is again the devil knowing scripture inside and out and taking it purposely out of context and turning it inside out, so it used for selfish gain and not to glorify God.
The scripture passage can be found in Psalm 91:11-12 and reads Psalm 91:11, For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash they foot against a stone. Now how does Yeshua respond here? Matthew 4:7, Jesus said unto him, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord they God” In life we cannot live like the way the devil wants us to when it comes to God. We cannot be saying things to God like, “Well if you’re really God then do this for me,” which really is a way of creating God in your own mind, which is a form of idolatry and certainly not worshiping God in Truth and in Spirit. Be careful beloved that you don’t fall into this trap, for it is indeed a snare set up by Satan to trap you as seen in this previous verse. Satan loves to try and create doubt as it is a direct attack against your faith in God and since Satan knows he cannot attack God’s faith (since he doesn’t need to have any, after all he is God), he can only attack man’s faith.
The next temptation, the third temptation Yeshua had to go through in the desert; Satan took the Lord to a very high mountain top. There he showed him all the Kingdoms of the World, in their most glorious state (to entice him all the more). The devil said to him bluntly, I will give all the kingdoms to you if you just fall down and worship me. Now the interesting thing to note is the fact that Satan can offer Jesus the Kingdoms. These Kingdoms and the dominion over them were originally handed over to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 1:28). Because of the fall and the original sin a transfer took place from Adam and Eve to that of the devil, that old serpent who gained temporary keys to the kingdoms of the planet. That remains the case to this very day and certainly in Jesus time.
So Satan the small g (god) of this world has for a limited time has control over the affairs of the World but be not fooled, he is on a short leash and God has that leash in his hand. No matter how it appears even now that chaos is coming about, God is in control, God is always in control. We also know the many warnings in the Word of God that friendship with the World means we are at enmity with God, which means we are enemies of God if we are in love with the World and the things of the World. This makes sense if we know that the World temporarily belongs to the devil. So it is fair to say that the devil legitimately was in a position to offer Yeshua the kingdoms at that precise time. Although Satan being the Father of Lies, would have probably gone back on his word anyways and would most likely never relinquish the Kingdoms to anyone, never mind the Son of God.
So how does the Lord respond here, and it serves as a model for the way we should be dealing with all of the attacks of the devil upon our Christian Walk. The Lord responded in Matthew 4:10, Then saith Jesus unto him, “Get thee hence, Satan for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Now this was an official rebuke of the Lord to Satan. The rebuke involved once again the quoting of scripture from Deuteronomy 6:13 which states, Thou shalt fear the LORD, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Then the next verse as well is important, Deuteronomy 6:14, Ye shall not go after other gods, or the gods of the people which are round about you.
In Joshua 24: 15, And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve. With this rebuke, the devil, Satan had given up on tempting the Lord or perhaps did not have anything left “up his sleeve” to tempt the Lord with. The Lord despite being weak, hungry, thirsty (because he was still a man in part) had succeeded in the trials that God the Father had allowed in order to test his son and ready him for his Earthy ministry.
So why did the God the Father allow this testing to take place? A Dad (the Bible tells us to not call anyone father other than God the Father so let’s call him a Dad) loves or at least should love his son enough that he would be willing to chastise them when needed. The son, sometimes needs it to keep in line with his Dad. Sometimes, it is done to make a son battle ready. For this is where Yeshua’s ministry really begins from this point forward. We too, can ask when the Lord chastises us, we need to know it is done out of love. Hebrews 12:6 states, For when the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son he receives. If the Father is willing to test his own son, how much more do we know that we will need to be chastened by the Lord and tested as well? Proverbs 3:11-12 states, My Son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciples those he loves, as a father the son delights in. Yeshua made it through the testing period, but how do we do when the devil comes to tempt us and test our “mettle”? Please also note where the devil tempted Yeshua, once in the wilderness (which is not a stretch to say can be a representation of the storms of life) and the other two temptations took place in high places (where the devil loves to go to).
We know of course James 4:7 says submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. No matter what it is, an addiction to smoking, alcohol, drugs, pornography, over eating, gambling, adultery you name it beloved, God has provided an escape for you and will always provide you with the ability to get past it and break the chains and yoke of bondage to sin forever. Pray for it, believe and claim the victory in God’s Name. Get a support network of brothers and sisters in prayer behind you, get accountability and allow the Holy Spirit to set you free from the sins that bind you.
Lastly 1 Peter 4:12-13, Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes, upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
Mystery # 4: The Story: Jesus' Ministry Begins
Matthew 4:23 –And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
At the age of 30, Jesus ministry began and in the next verse of Matthew 4:24 we read that Jesus became so well known throughout Syria as well. Many people come forward to be healed from all sorts of diseases and many were possessed by demons. Some were thought to be insane but really were possessed and others had the palsy and Jesus healed them all. Multitudes followed Yeshua from Galilee, from Decapolis (which was comprised of about 10 cities all located in Jordan), as well as Jerusalem, Judea and beyond Jordan.
One cannot even define the scope of Jesus Ministry, for no one ever before Jesus or after Jesus ever did the things he did on Earth. One must argue he didn’t exist all together then try to argue that he never performed these countless miracles. Why is that? Simply put, most if not all the miracles were very well documented as they were always performed in front of many witnesses, sometimes in the thousands. So there were many witnesses who basically could give an exact account of each miracle, validating their credibility on a historical and factual level.
John 21:25 says it best, And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the word itself could not contain the books that should’ve written. Amen If you don’t believe that, let’s highlight just a few of the miracles Yeshua performed in the Books of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John beloved.
In Matthew 8: v.11-12, Jesus heals a man with leprosy as well he heals a centurion’s servant. In Matthew 8 v.14-15, Jesus healed Peter’s Mother-in-law. Then in Matthew 8:16, Jesus cast out demons out of many people and healed all that were sick. In Matthew 8:28, Yeshua healed a demon possessed man at Gorgesenes. In Matthew 9: 6-7, Jesus healed a crippled man. In Matthew 9:32, Jesus healed a mute by casting out a demon. In Matthew Ch.12 V.13, Yeshua healed a man with a withered hand. In Matthew Ch.14 v.14 Jesus healed the sick in a great multitude of people. In Matthew Ch.14. V.20, Jesus fed that great multitude (which was 5000 People out of only 5 loaves and 2 fishes) In Matthew 14:26, Yeshua walked on water. In Matthew 14:36, Jesus again healed a large number of people at Gennesaret. In Matthew 15:28, Jesus exhorts a woman to have faith, allowing the daughter to have a demon cast out of her. In Matthew Ch.15 V.30, Yeshua again healed many people who were diseased and crippled. In Matthew Ch.15 v.37, Jesus once again fed four thousand people from just seven loaves and a few little fishes. In Matthew Ch.17 v.18 Jesus healed a boy possessed with a demon. In Matthew Ch.20:34. Jesus healed two blind men. Matthew 28; 6, the greatest miracle of them all, Yeshua rose from the dead.
But there is more, and we are not including these for any other reason than giving God the glory. We can boast of the Lord, there is no shame in that God is great and awesome and it is a fact and not an opinion. In the Gospel of Mark, Mark 1:25, Jesus rebukes an unclean spirit and drives it out of a man in the synagogue. In Mark 1; 39, Yeshua cast out devils in Galilee. In Mark 4:39 Yeshua calms a storm. In Matthew 5:2, Yeshua heals the Gadarene demoniac. In Mark Ch.20 -49, Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus. In Mark 16:19, Jesus is seen going up to Heaven, where he resides at the right hand of God the Father.
In the Gospel of Luke 5:4 Jesus causes a miracle of the draught of fishes to become a great multitude of fishes. In Luke ch.7:12 Jesus heals the centurion’s servant. In Luke Ch.7 v.14-15, Jesus raised the Widow’s son at Nain. In Luke Ch.13 V.11-12 Yeshua heals a crippled woman on the Sabbath. In Luke14: 3-4, Yeshua cleanses ten lepers. In the Gospel of John, Yeshua performs his first miracle ever. In John 2:9 Jesus turned the water into wine. In John 4:53-54, Jesus second miracle he ever did was healing the official’s son. In John 5:8. Yeshua healed a sick man on the Sabbath day. In John 9:7, Jesus heals a man born blind. In John 11:43-44 Yeshua raises Lazarus from the dead.
So many miracles and these are the only ones recorded; these are the ones that had witnesses. How many more miracles did Jesus perform that were never recorded in the Bible? We may never now, or then again maybe someday we will somehow know. If God wants us to know, we’ll know. One thing we can know for sure, is we worship and serve an Awesome God, a God of Wonders.
Psalm 147:5 says Great is our LORD and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.
Mark 10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, But not with God: all things are possible with God.”
Jeremiah 32:27 I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?
So beloved if you ever you think your sins are too big for God to forgive you, remember your putting God in a box and there is not a box large enough that could cover the universe and beyond that could ever be big enough for God to fit in, for he is infinite. We can’t even fathom what that means.
True thinking out of the Box (which is now a cliché term and is passé) involves thinking about the Glory of God. There is nothing God can’t do nor anything too difficult for him to accomplish. You can put all your faith in him. Do it today, for we are not promised a tomorrow, as sufficient is the evil for today (Matthew 6:34)
Mystery # 5: Outer Darkness : The place of Burning & the Gnashing of Teeth
Matthew 8: 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Today’s MOB, is as a serious a topic as there can be, the final destination of one’s eternal soul. That soul will go somewhere, and it is really a black and white issue. God made it that way on purpose, so it would not be confusing. Choose this day, which kingdom ye serve and will be part of, the Kingdom of light where God resides, God’s celestial body including the saints or the kingdom of darkness –the place where there is non stop weeping and gnashing of teeth where the worm burns, but never dies. (Mark 9:48)
There are 3 places in the Bible where the term Outer Darkness is used. There is the parable of the wedding feast story in Matthew 22:1-14 where the person who was sneaking into the banquet without the proper garment (representing the robe of righteousness that we wear before the Father for what Yeshua did in atoning for our sins) was cast into Outer darkness.
In our featured passage for this MOB, it is crystal clear that Outer darkness is a place of intense and never ending suffering for the unrepentive unbeliever. This place is unmistakably hell, a place likened to an immense furnace of fire. In Matthew 8:12, the Outer Darkness refers to Gehenna which is another word for hell or the place or state of the lost and condemned. The Valley of Hinnom is often referred to as a “Gehenna like place” on Earth as well. In the Hebrew Bible, Gehenna was initially where apostate Israelites and followers of various Baal and other Canaanite gods, including Moloch (or Molech), sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chr. 28:3, 33:6). Thereafter it was deemed to be cursed.
In Matthew 22:13 we see the parallel of the consequences of not being prepared for the wedding banquet, which again also symbolizes the wedding banquet that Yeshua will host with all the saints in Heaven someday soon. All those gathered at that feast which will symbolize the marriage of Yeshua to his bride, the Church. The Consequences of not being ready for such a banquet and not wearing the appropriate garment can be found in Matthew ch.22 v.13, Then said the king to the servants, bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him, into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
V.14 is the verse that gives it away-what’s at stake, one’s eternal soul. For many are called, but few are chosen. We see the term Outer Darkness used once again in the Book of Matthew in Matthew 25:30. This time the term can be found at the end of the parable of the talents, with an emphasis of the necessity of serving Christ fully and faithfully, whole heartedly if you will.
The wicked servants who hide their talents may be unbelievers or simply those who refuse to use the God given talent that God has given them. It is open somewhat to both interpretations. Such an individual’s still considered wicked and cursed by God. Matthew 25: v.26, His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed. What are the consequences of such a person who is lazy and uncaring about such matters? The answer can be found in Matthew 25:30, And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Later in the verse, Yeshua will speak of future judgment and mention that those who never showed compassion on the least of these, the Lord promises he will tell them to depart from him, that they are cursed into everlasting life that was prepared for the devil and his angels. (V.41) v.46, And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
God never intended Hell to be a place for his creation to occupy. After original sin took place, God needed a place to vanquish his enemy, Satan. He had already created the Heavens now he needed something, completely opposite for those who rebelled against him, the fallen angels and the once anointed cherub Lucifer (now known as Satan). After original sin took place, man in his fallen sinful condition now would end up in the same place that the demons & evil spirits would end up occupying for all of eternity.
It was God’s original intentions to not have to blot anyone out of the Lamb’s Book of Remembrance (the Book of Life). Now God is given no choice when one choices to say no to the Lord’s plan of redemption prior to the Tribulation Hour. In fact scripture is clear, only those who wash their robes white before the Lord will be saved out of the Tribulation (besides God’s children of course). What does that mean? It means coming to the Lord through martyrdom and being executed for your faith. (Revelation Ch.7 V.14) We’ll talk more about this soon in some MOB’s to come.
We also know that scripture tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2:11, And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they shall believe a lie. Just like God let the Pharaoh’s heart harden even though he and the rest of Egypt had been put through so much, God will also give all those that have refused to worship God in Spirit and in Truth to be caught up in deception and forever be doomed to spend eternity in darkness. The Outer Darkness where the weeping and gnashing of teeth takes place is reserved for all those who hate and despise God and will blame God for there being there. They will curse God’s Name forever as they burn forever and yet can never be taken out of their suffering.
I pray you never have to find that out for yourself beloved.
Mystery # 6: Believe the Miracles: Yeshua gives his disciples Power from God
Matthew 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
In our MOB today we look at the power God bestowed upon the disciples, but also apart from the Lord Jesus, these were the first ministry workers for the Lord. Certainly there were others like John the Baptist who had come before the disciples who actually paved the way for the Lord himself and the Prophets of God also had amazing gifts, but the disciples of the Lord had the total package to pretty much do it all. The special commission the Lord gave the twelve apostles was to focus their ministry on the Jews. What’s important to note (and this may rub some believers the wrong way, and it’s certainly not our intentions to do so), is that some of the gifts the Lord gave the disciples were for that time frame and certain gifts of healing (which still of course happen today) and the raising of the dead (in particular) was a gift God gave to some for that specific time frame. There will be a time in the future when not only the 2 witnesses in the end days will be resurrected after being killed (most likely Elijah and Enoch the two that never died) but Satan will do a counterfeit resurrection in order to fool those lacking discernment that will get duped by the false signs and wonders. So it’s not that there are not powers to resurrect the dead, but God is very discreet when and how such powers are in effect.
So how do we know that God has a specific timeline set for certain gifts? We can learn more from 1 Corinthians 12:30, after the previous verses mention some of the gifts God has blessed believers with such as the gift of tongues, gifts of discernment, gifts of healing and more. V.30 states, Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? God has a time and a place for everything as is the case just a few verses before this one in 1 Corinthians 12:13, we find that this is the final time that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is used in the New Testament. Paul writes that the best gifts are the ones that are most useful in giving God glory and not ones that merely draw attention to one’s self. In 1 Corinthians 13:8 Paul goes on to speak how tongues was intended originally to be used as a part of evangelism and witnessing to another person who speaks a foreign language and was a sign. The language was unknown to the person speaking it but there was someone who would bear witness to this that could actually interpret it. There was no unknown tongue here. Tongues was intended by God to be used in a certain way and what has been happening in many charismatic circles has been completely unbiblical to say the least. We will feature a MOB on this controversial subject down the road.
Yeshua in Matthew 10:8 tells his disciples to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. The Lord empowered the disciples who had to use faith as their fuel for the gift they have received. Remember when Yeshua told Peter to come out of the boat and walk on the water towards him in Matthew 14:29? It’s important to remember that Peter was actually walking on water until he became fearful, and his faith was challenged. Matthew 14:29, And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on water to go to Jesus. V.30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid and beginning to sink he cries saying, Lord, save me. Do you think the disciples could have raised the dead, healed the lepers and the sick and crippled or cast out demons without a sufficient amount of faith in God? Of course not! This is exactly why Jesus said what he said in John 14:12 When he said to his disciples, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works then these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Because Jesus was no longer going to physically be around (although he left the Holy Spirit, the Ruach HaKodesh behind to be the comforter to all of us), this is why Yeshua said greater will the things you do by faith. Faith in the Lord, is the driving power behind everything of God when it comes to the gifts of the spirit. They are all useless unless 1) they are done for God’s Glory and 2) they are done with faith. So while most of us may never raise the dead may never heal a blind person, we can know that God has blessed us with spiritual gifts that we can use for his Glory. So pray to God if you either don’t know what the gifts God has blessed you with or if you need to seek God’s direction on how best to use the gifts. He will grant everything to you. For the other part of John 14: 13-14 is God’s promise, V.13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.
With God, all things are possible.
Mystery # 7: Behold I send my Prophet: Yeshua speaks of John the Baptist
Matthew 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Jesus the Lord in Matthew 11 tells his disciples about John the Baptist. We have covered John the Baptist on a couple of occasions, so it is hoped that this MOB will tie all things together concerning John the Baptist.
So what was Jesus referring to as what was written in the scriptures? Malachi 3:1 is the scripture Yeshua was referring to, Behold, I will send my messenger and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord whom ye shall seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.This was the prophetic text that predicted the Ministry of John the Baptist. The Lord wanted his disciples to know that John the Baptist was many things. He was more than a prophet, the Lord states in V.9 of Matthew 11, that John the Baptist was God’s Messenger, and the one who was tasked with paving the way for the Lord.
Jesus positions John the Baptist appropriately in V.11, Verily, I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater then John the Baptist: not withstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Now here lies a mystery indeed. How can this be? How can the least in Heaven be greater than John the Baptist? Let’s see if we can unravel this. It’s quite simple beloved. The Lord was talking about the exact moment in time, and not the future. At that exact moment despite all the righteous acts & works, John was doing for the Kingdom of Heaven (not for works unto salvation but for the Glory of God), John was nevertheless a sinner, made of flesh and blood. As we know apart from redemption, flesh and blood can have no part of Heaven. We know that because no flesh shall see the Kingdom of Heaven, scripture tells us in I Corinthians 15:50 that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. So those inhabitants in Heaven at the same time that John the Baptist was preaching, were in fact greater than John. They had eternal existence and they already were glorified and made holy by God Almighty. John hadn’t been glorified at the time.
Yeshua goes on to tell the disciples that from the days of John the Baptist until this very moment in time, the Kingdom of heaven was being forced upon the people rather than seeking God’s way of ushering in his kingdom. The Prophets of God had reminded the people of Israel of this, and the Prophets had prophesied right until the coming of John the Baptist. In Matthew 11;14, Yeshua says And if ye will receive it, this is Elijah, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Again the Lord is referring to a passage found in Malachi. This time the Lord is referring to John the Baptist coming in the spirit of Elijah. The Prophet Elijah (ironically is one of the two witnesses) and will come on the scene during the time of the Great Tribulation (the Day of the Lord / Jacob's Trouble) but this verse alludes to John the Baptist coming. Malachi 4:5, Behold, I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
John the Baptist did arrive on the scene, he was the forerunner and messenger to Messiah Jesus. John the Baptist did appear before the destruction of the Second Temple. John the Baptist did preach repentance to the Jews, the Prophecy of the Lord Jesus would be fulfilled completely with the actual return of Elijah during the Great Tribulation as one of the two Prophets of God (the 2 witnesses). We will do a MOB on this when we do our extensive study of the Book of Revelation. Elias, which is Greek for Elijah the prophet who we covered in first and second Kings and was a prophet of great renown and was taken up to Heaven in a chariot of fire in 2 kings 2:11. So the Prophet Malachi prophesied that Elijah would be sent before the coming of Yeshua the Messiah, in order to prepare a way for him.
Luke 1:17 states it in this way, that John the Baptist comes in the spirit and power of Elijah. Shortly after Yeshua’s Transfiguration (we’ll talk about that another time), the disciples were asking Jesus about Elijah in Matthew 17 V.10 And when his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come? Yeshua then answered them that Elijah must come first and restore all things and that Elijah has come already and they knew him not (they failed to recognize that John the Baptist was the one). They put him to death (he was beheaded), so shall the Son of Man suffer. V.13 –Then the disciples understood that Yeshua spoke unto them of John the Baptist. Some Jews expected Elijah to appear in person, and not just Elijah but other prophets as well (like Jeremiah). John the Baptist is long gone, now the Holy Spirit paves the way for the Lord and more importantly as we read in The Book of Revelation 3:20, the Lord is knocking at the door of many people’s hearts. He won’t force the door open, he will wait for you to open the door, if you indeed listen for his still small voice. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
John the Baptist was a voice crying in the wilderness; repave the way of the Lord! The Lord has a voice as well, a much quieter voice. Listen intently and you can hear the still small voice of God. God stands outside the door, waiting for you to open it and receive him.
Mystery # 8 : The Cities that did not Repent: A lesson doomed to be repeated
Matthew 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not.
A lesson to be learned for sure, when Jesus Ministry was in full force, he let it be known a few cities that he had preached to and in, were not going to get off with no repentance. It had to be a case where a true lack of reverence to God was in exhibit as well, for God’s Wrath to be provoked. Listen to Jesus’s words as he condemns certain cities of the sin of not repenting. Matthew11:21, Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sack cloth and ashes.
In fact Jesus promised that come the Day of Judgment when all men have to stand before The Great White Throne of Judgment, Yeshua said it will be more tolerable to have been under judgment of Tyre and Sidon (two cities God destroyed for their sins). There is a third city, Capernaum which thought of itself in so lofty terms. Jesus promises they’ll be brought down all the way to Hell. For again Yeshua had performed many a mighty work there. Again a comparison is made, this time to Sodom, saying even that Sodom would not have been destroyed if they would have seen the Miracles of God compared to Capernaum’s sins indifference in their lack of repentance.
Matthew 11:24 Yeshua says, But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, in the day of Judgment, then for thee. So does God really judge a whole city? He can if there is no righteousness in anyone in that city. Such was the case in 3 cities, Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. These were three cities who had witnessed first hand, the mighty works of Yeshua, 3 cities that were apathetic to the idea of repentance and brushed it off, as deemed unnecessary.
What other cities could possibly be judged like this come the Day of Judgment? Who knows, how many. You start to get some clues, when you see nations stripping away God from their schools, you strip God from everyday life, when you allow tiny unborn children to be slaughtered in the millions in their mother’s wombs yearly decade after decade, when you allow children and others who have done know crime to be molested , made slaves and even killed and beheaded, when you allow statues of Satan and other Godless beings to be displayed, when you allow every type of sexual perversity upon the Earth to be practiced, when evil is encouraged in everyday life and good and righteousness is frowned upon, when Governments are so corrupt and are taking advantage of the people, when secret occultic societies try to brainwash the masses, when the youth of today worship Satan and a portion of the visible Church itself is wrapped in apostasy, wordly pursuits and lies. The list can go on and on and on. The Earth is full of sin and corruption. Nations as well are full of sin and corruption and I am sure this list will remind you of a few nations close to your home.
You see in the case of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum, these were three cities that Jesus spent much of his ministry at. These were the areas that Jesus did most of his miracles that we recently listed in a MOB. According to the Jewish Talmud, Chorazin was a city known for it’s harvest of grain. We know also it was destroyed by an earthquake in the fourth century AD and was rebuilt in the fifth century.
One thing in common with the three cities, Yeshua cursed, Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum, was that they were 3 Jewish cities with very little to no Gentiles living in them. These were indeed regarded as the lost sheep of Israel. There was one other common denominator in these 3 cities that Yeshua condemned, and that was there ongoing struggle with paganism. Some of the synagogues were riddled with symbols of the zodiac and images of Helios, the Sun God. More than anything it was the indifference to Yeshua’s miracles that “sealed the deal” as to their condemnation. They should have seen the Power of God and out of fear and reverence regarding God’s Mighty Works, they should have repented of their idolatrous ways and of all their sins. Instead they remained indifferent; satisfied they were fine just the way they were.
Speed ahead to the Book of Revelation and even though Yeshua was directing his visionary revelation towards John, the Lord stated to the Church of Ephesus (but still applicable here) in Revelation 2:5, Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove they candlestick out of this place, except thou repent.
Chorazin was destroyed by an earthquake. Bethsaida was destroyed by the Assyrian Invasion somewhere around the 8th century and unlike Chorazin was never rebuilt. Lastly, Capernaum was partially destroyed in the Persian conquest around 70 AD along with the Temple in Jerusalem. In Capernaum alone, Jesus raised the dead, healed many a sick person and drove out many a demon yet Capernaum like Chorazin and Bethsaida removed unrepentive. This is a lesson to learn about not taking God for granted when it comes to repentance.
Now will history repeat itself and will cities once again be destroyed because of the lack of repentance? God was willing to spare Sodom for just a handful of believers. May no one in any city or town take for granted God’s miraculous ways, his grace, mercy and supplication or lose the fear of God, for he is holy and righteous and greatly to be loved but always to be approached with fear and trembling. It’s the beginning of understanding.
Coming up next ...
Mystery # 9 : The fall of the Kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of God
Matthew 12:22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
So here was a man who not only needed a demon cast out of him but he was also blind and deaf on top of that. He didn’t have much going for him to say the least. The Pharisees of course denied the miracles that Yeshua was performing and stated that Beelzebub (another very old name for Satan) was behind all of this chicanery. The source for the name Beelzebub is in 2 Kings 1:2-3, 6, 16. Ba‘al Zəbûb is variously understood to mean "lord of the flies" or "lord of the (heavenly) dwelling"
Jesus knew what the Pharisees were thinking and he was quick to remind them that any kingdom that is divided amongst itself cannot stand and will in fact fall. Yeshua took their statement and showed them the folly of it by stating why would Satan cast out Satan? If he is going against himself, what is there to gain and how can his kingdom succeed? Of course the answer is rhetorical; his kingdom won’t succeed if divided. In fact we know it won’t succeed even unified.
Yeshua went on to say that if what the Pharisees claimed to be true that Jesus did get his power from Beelzebub, then who is helping the Pharisees children to cast out demons? This “hypocrisy” Jesus says will judge the “hypocritical” hearts of the Pharisees. In V.28 Yeshua says, But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God then the Kingdom of God is come to you. Just like that Jesus shows the difference of the Kingdom of God & the Kingdom of Satan. Jesus is not only bearing witness to God the father and his Kingdom, but he is bearing witness to all those who follow Jesus.
The next verse is overlooked for it is indeed a statement about the nature of Spiritual Warfare. When one enters into a strong man’s house (when we think strong man, we think of the housing that God has created with man. We have the housing where the Holy Spirit resides for we have the body and we have the soul. The soul is where spirits like to dwell because the mind, the will, the emotions and even the intellect can all be altered by demonic affliction. So Jesus says when you enter a strong man’s house for the purpose of taking his goods and having your way with the possessions of the household (the soul), one must first bind the strong man and then he will spoil his house. So who is the strong man? The strong man is a lead demon (and there are many for they are legion) and in the hierarchy this lead demon is the one that the Lord Jesus said could only be cast out through fasting and fervent prayer. This lead demon acts as the strong man, the one who is the hardest to move out of a body. If one is partially successful in deliverance remember it is not unusual for a lesser demon to vacates the premises and come back with a strong man demon, who is much stronger and far more wicked than before. (Matthew 12:45) Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked then himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse then the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
That indeed is the depiction of how an unclean spirit returns that is a spirit that has not been delivered from the host body it seeks to possess and reign over. As many as 7 additional demons may return to torment the "host".
Then the Lord states in V.30, that he that is not with me is against me, and those that do not want to be part of the flock of the Lord are purposefully scattered all over the place. In V.31, in what could be a MOB in it’s own, the Lord says something very powerful, something that all men and women of every type and background should know. Matthew 12:31, Wherefore I say unto you All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. Yeshua goes on to say when one speaks against the Holy Ghost, they will not be forgiven, neither in this World, or the World to come.
So what is the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Well the reason the text is included where it is, because it had to do with what just happened. The Pharisees blasphemed the Holy Spirit when they attributed the works of the Holy Spirit in casting out the demon to Beelzebub. This of course is blasphemy and can’t and won’t be forgiven by God. Yeshua then called these same Pharisees a generation of vipers; they are filled with evil but try to say good things. The only thing that can really come out of them, is of course evil. The Lord points out that every word, every idle word that men and women speak, we shall all have to give an account for, and for some their words will condemn them.
When the Pharisees asked for a sign, Jesus said an evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. Jesus told him the sign would be the Prophet Jonah and what happened to Jonah when he spent 3 days and 3 nights in the Whale’s Belly. The men of Nineveh, where Jonah finally went, did actually repent of their sin. The men of Nineveh even rose up in judgment too condemn this wicked generation that the Pharisees lived in. How much more wicked is the generation we live in now beloved?
The Queen of the South (the Queen of Sheba) was a woman of great wealth, beauty and power who originated from either Ethiopia or Yemen (no one knows exactly where). She of course is mostly known as the woman who greatly influenced King Solomon and seduced him into idolatry and the ways of Mystery Babylon (which is alive and well today believe it or not). Well even the Queen of Sheba would rise up in judgement the Lord said against this wicked generation.
So from the study of this MOB we see the Power of God over the devil, we see the kingdom of God vanquishing the Kingdom of Satan. Even today Christians are vilified, demonized and portrayed as terrorists especially if they are fundamentalists. If they believe the Bible is true, if they believe in an Apocalypse of Armageddon, if they believe Jesus is coming again, then they are considered a threat. And you know what? They are right, they are a threat. Not a threat as in what we are seeing with threats of domestic terrorism or what ISIS is doing in killing and beheading anyone and everyone they can. The true Christians are a threat as salt and light and as a testimony to the Living God in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ and God’s Plan of Redemption and the small window of time remaining to repent and get right with the Lord. For what did Yeshua come back to the Earth to do? He came back to reprove the works of darkness and do away with the Satanic destruction and corruption that has overtaken the planet. As John 3:8 states, He that commiteth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. When one follows the Lord Jesus, one can see how God is vanquishing the works of Satan, and one will witness the very fall of the Kingdom of Satan for righteousness sake and the Glory of God Almighty.
The Lord said to Peter in Matthew 16:18 that the Church that belongs to Yeshua will be built upon him, "The Rock" is often misinterpeted that the Church is built on Peter which is not only a mistake, it's blasphemous. Yeshua says that the gates of hell shall not prevail. A few verses later, Peter ignorantly rebuked the Lord's Plans meaning well but failing to see the big picture. Jesus said Get behind me Satan, because Peter let Satan influence his thoughts. How often does that happen to us beloved? We think we are doing God's Work but without the discernment granted us by the Holy Spirit we fall prey to Satan's subtle thoughts and we are influenced and pulled astray in doing his bidding more then God's? For us to honor God we must be filled with the Spirit of God and not of the carnal mind of the flesh beloved. We have to walk in the Spirit and have our mind renewed and transformed daily so as to not conform to the ways of this World. The World is not our friend, it is not even God's friend. It's God's enemy to be frank. In that way we do honor God and not the small god of this world. For as we will see next, the Son of Man Yeshua is coming back soon and he will return in his great glory.
Mystery # 10 : The Son of Man shall come in great Glory
Matthew 16:27 For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. This verse in Matthew 16:27 lines up with another verse in Matthew just a few chapters later in Matthew 26:64 Jesus said unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Yeshua was in both instances above, speaking of the time in the future when he would return with his army of angels as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This is the Son of Man who alone is worthy to judge all men and women on the planet and to give everyone their just sentence according to their works. Now this is not an endorsement of a work based faith, far from it. Simply put this is the justified (in Christ) vs. the unjustified (those not in Christ).
So Jesus is speaking about when he returns to Earth, purges the Earth of evil in a Holy War against his enemies. Then Yeshua will set up his kingdom in a 1000 year millennial reign. At the end of that reign, then the judgment of man will begin. Christ will set on this Great White Throne of Judgment, the dead will be resurrected, and either mankind will be found to be in the Book of Life or thrown into the Lake of Fire for their second and final death.
Mark 8:38 mentions also that the Son of Man (that is Yeshua) is coming in the Glory of his Father with the holy angels. If we turn to 2 Thessalonians 2 we learn more about the timing of the Coming of the Lord. 2 Thessalonians 2: 1, Now we beseech you, brethren by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him. Many have presumed that this is the rapture of the church, but often enough if one continues to read the context the verse above is part of, it is made clear of the timing of the Lord’s Second Coming. V.3 Holds the key. Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.
So one must ask themselves, has a falling away taken place? We are not talking about a random few backslidden Christians here; we are talking about a great and significant apostasy. What could cause this? There are a few options but most likely it would be a great deception that would see faith believing Christians who were duped into believing and accepting some form of deviation or belief system counter to traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs. The other possibility involves a great persecution or the very fact that the luke warm believers have become despondent or paralyzed in fear, when they thought they would have been raptured and yet are still here, at the arrival of the Great Tribulation. These luke warm believers will be so angry at their pastors and blame them for not getting them properly prepared they will turn away from the Church and the body of the Christ. They will not be willing to pay the price of being a Christian which may end up being their life.
As well, has the Son of Perdition been revealed? Some look to Rome or to the U.S President past or present, and say yes, the Son of Perdition, has been revealed. What we are definitely, seeing is the Antichrist spirit at work, setting up the Antichrist kingdom, whether the actual Antichrist is alive and well, most likely that would be a reasonable consideration since at the time of this writing (2016), no Antichrist had taken the World stage as of yet. The Lord himself says in Revelation 22: 12 And Behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. This accompanies what was stated in Matthew 16:27 as we come full circle and this very important part of eschatology is completed upon the Lord’s Return. Revelation 22:7 The Lord says one more time, Behold I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the saying of the prophecy of this book. So we keep the eschatology alive with faith and believe upon it.
The Lord promises in Revelation 22: 20 that Surely, I come quickly. And to some he will come as a thief in the night and catch them unaware and unready, others will be looking up for their redemption draws nigh and they are ready to go and be with the Lord forever.
Which one are you beloved? Are you looking for the blessing of the Lord’s Return or are you feeling shameful in seeing him as you have not come clean with the Lord and you have sin in your life that remains unrepented? Get right with God today beloved.
Mystery # 11 : Understanding the Transfiguration
Matthew 17: 1-3 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light and behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him.
The Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ, what is it? It is an amazing supernatural experience, a true mystery of the Bible, if there ever was one. Jesus had just finished telling his disciples that he would very soon suffer and be killed and then raised back to life (Luke 9:22). Jesus took 3 disciples with him on a trip up a mountain to pray. The disciples were Peter, James and John. It was at some point and time on the mountain while praying that Yeshua’s appearance changed into what is thought to be, the Lord’s glorified form.
God demonstrated his Supernatural prowess by having Moses and Elijah appear out of nowhere. The two of them talked with Jesus about his death to come. Then a cloud came upon all of them and a voice that could only belong to the Father saying, This is my Son, whom I have chosen, whom I love listen to Him! Then just as the cloud disappeared, so did Moses and Elijah. Jesus was alive with his disciples again. The Lord told them not to say a word of any of this until after he was resurrected from the dead. There is a sense of timing with God and during Jesus Earthly Ministry there were times when Jesus made a special request not to have a particular miracle that was witnessed, to be revealed. In this instance the Lord didn’t want the Transfiguration to be addressed until after his resurrection.
There are a number of key points as to the significance of why the Transfiguration took place, in the first place. Jesus wanted the disciples to truly grasp that he was the Messiah and the Son of God. What better way to do this, then the supernatural laden Transfiguration of the Lord, in front of some of his key disciples? In Matthew 16:16 The Lord commended Peter concerning his proclamation that Yeshua was the Son of God. In V.15, Jesus asked who do you say I am? to Simon Peter after Peter had said that some people say he is John the Baptist, others, Elijah and still others Jeremiah or one of the Prophets.
So Jesus asked Peter who he said he was and in V.16 Peter said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the loving God; to which Jesus said that the Father, in heaven revealed that to him. It was extremely important for the Lord’s disciples to know and believe that he was who he said he was, the Son of God, the Messiah. Up until now, Jesus had done all kinds of miracles, healings, casting out demons, feeding the multitudes, raising the dead, walking on water, changing water into wine and on and on. Now the Lord was going to deal directly with the disciples in a different manner all together. Jesus would focus on what was to come, his death, burial and resurrection. The disciples could not grasp at this time of the significance of what the Lord was doing, what he was doing, and why he must die, only to be resurrected.
The Transfiguration continued Peter’s statement. It clearly showed Peter, James and John that Yeshua was far from ordinary; he was no common man, no prophet, nothing less than the Son of God. The Lord commanded authority over his disciples but when the Father told the disciples that they should listen to him, for once and for all, the authority of Jesus was established (if it wasn’t already).
In understanding the Transfiguration we need to also recognize that the Messiah’s Kingdom, is one of Glory and we can see God’s Glory fully on display in it. Jesus looks radiant and holy in appearance, similar to when a few of the prophets had seen Visions of the Lord. It is interesting that if we look at Luke’s version of this event, we learn that when Moses and Elijah appeared, the topic was about Jesus’s approaching death in Jerusalem. Jesus wanted to show that the order of things had been set in motion, that Heaven and God the Father were behind the Lord’s Death and Resurrection. Moses and Elijah’s appearance to the disciples, solidified the authenticity of Christ’s Mission on Earth. It was like an endorsement, from God the Father.
As well the Lord wanted his disciples to know that he would be glorified in all things. The disciples needed to know the importance of Yeshua’s death and resurrection. The Transfiguration taught the disciples what God wanted them to know about his plan of redemption.
Perhaps you have met people skeptical that Jesus is the Great I Am, and he is who he says he is. For when they ask you who do you say Jesus is, what will your answer be? We all need to give a reason for the hope that is inside us; we should never hide it under a bushel. Romans 1:16, is a very well-known verse but one we need to inscribe unto our hearts beloved, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jews first and also to the Greek. The Lord will give you the boldness to proclaim this as the good and acceptable year of the Lord and proclaim it in confidence knowing what a Great God we serve.
Mystery # 12 : End of Days: The Destruction of the Temple and the Last Days
In our MOB, in this edition we will study the time that Yeshua was giving what is known as the Olivet Discourse, which was an explanation by Jesus concerning a wide range of topics including the Destruction of the Temple and the last days as well as the coming woes, the Great Tribulation and the Lord’s coming again.
The very first inquiry by the disciples in this Q & A like session was concerning the destruction of the Temple. Did Jesus really address the destruction of the temple? Some scholars would say no. As they walked away from the Temple, Yeshua promised that the Temple would be destroyed. There was no mention of when and if it would ever be rebuilt. On the Mount of Olives, Jesus and the disciples sat. Then one disciple asked, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the World?” (Matthew 24:3) This is our feature passage in this edition of the MOB.
So starts what can only be regarded as Eschatology 101 and a true study of end time events as laid out by Yeshua himself. We will look at them all in this dynamic passage. The very first thing Yeshua says, is that be careful that no man should deceive you. For there will come perilous times when many people shall say they are Christ. And many will be deceived by the false christs. We have had that going on for sometime, there remains to this day a good number of people around the world who claim they are either the reincarnation of Jesus, the christ consciousness (not the Jesus of the Bible but a new age approach) or those that would have you believe they are the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and the actual 2nd coming of Jesus in the Flesh.
There will be rumors of wars and wars (which has been going on for a long time, famines and pestilence (also going on for a long time) and earthquakes (also going on for a long time). These we are told are the beginning of sorrows. We can safely say (that at the time of this writing) we are in the beginning of sorrows but one might agree we are closer to the hour of The Great Tribulation then the beginning of the Sorrows, for as he mentioned the signs have been going on for a long time now.
The Lord also wanted the disciples to know that they would be persecuted for his name’s sake. He told them frankly that they would be hated, persecuted and even killed by all the nations because they follow the Lord. The Lord says many will be offended which is an indication (they don’t approve of Christian’s values, morals and belief systems). Those that seek to kill the Christians will in fact turn on one another, betray one another and hate one another. As we already had seen there will not only be many false christs, there will also be many false prophets (we have them today and have had them for quite a long time). These false prophets will also deceive many of the World with their fake signs and lying wonders that Satan has equipped them with to strengthen the deception.
The World will become an even colder place then it is presently, as it will be almost completely be void of love and full of sin and iniquity and evil men’s deeds will wax worse and worse scripture says as the restraint of the Holy Spirit is pulled back from God in order for sin to be truly manifest and drawn out. However all those that endure unto the end, shall be saved scripture also says. So Yeshua made sure to include that message of hope. When the World has seen the Word of God (the Gospel) go out to the 4 corners of the World, then the end shall come.
Are we there yet? The Gospel is still going out to some very remote places as missionaries penetrate into some of the most uninhabitable environments to bravely share the Gospel. Muslem's are having dreams about Jesus revealing himself to them in record numbers. Scripture mentioned that many young and old alike would have these dreams in the very last days before Christ comes back.While this has been happening for a while, the success of the Gospel spreading as it has, particularly in countries like Africa and other places, where life is very tough, has seen epic growth in people coming to the Lord in the last few years’ time.
Yeshua then spoke to his disciples, about the Great Tribulation, the time of Jacob’s Trouble. A subject we have covered on numerous occasions here at Mysteries of the Bible. Jesus uses the Abomination of Desolation as mentioned in the Book of Daniel (and a MOB that we did) as a key reference point. When the Abomination of Desolation takes place in the Holy Place (the rebuilt temple) as performed by the Antichrist and/or the False Prophet, then it’s time for the Israelites to flee into the Mountains, especially there in Judea. The Lord says for the Israelites to flee and not to look back. In V.21 we read about the severity of why this is truly the Great Tribulation and like nothing ever seen on the Earth before. For then shall there be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the World to this time, no, nor ever shall be. The next verse is key to understanding how God in his sovereign grace always provides for his children in times of tribulation.
V.22 And except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: for but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Unless the Lord provides a way of escape for his elect, his children they would all be killed because that is just how nasty The Great Tribulation will be. This is not to put fear into the hearts of believers, for the Lord did not give us a spirit of fear, which comes from the enemy, Satan, although the enemy wants you to think it comes from you. The Lord wants to prepare our hearts, so that we were warned in advance, so that none of this should come as a surprise to any of us who can discern these end times. We should not act shocked when all of this goes down, as the heathen will. We need to stand strong in confidence, as a testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ’s Holiness and Righteousness even when he pours his wrath on the Earth.
Again the Lord warns the disciples and us, his body living today that there are many false christs, many false prophets on the Earth, even those doing great signs and wonders. There will be false signs and wonders and if it were possible (which it isn’t by God’s Grace), even the elect would be deceived. The Lord says don’t go here and there just because someone says the messiah is here, or he is over there. The Son of Man will come suddenly like the way lightning strikes, but will come in such glory that shines so brightly and will be unmistakable. The Lord mentions that after The Great Tribulation has ended, the Sun will go dark, the Moon also will not give any light, the very stars themselves will have fallen from the Heavenlies, and even the Heavens will shake. Don’t forget there was a war in Heaven as well prior to Satan being cast down to Earth.
It is at that time and only that time, then that the Son of Man shall appear. The Son of Man will come in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory (we just covered this verse recently). All the Lord’s angels will be gathered together with a sound of a trumpet and all of the elect will also be gathered up that are in Heaven with the Lord. The Lord goes on to mention that no man knows the hour or the day that Yeshua will come back, only his Father does. Some have a hard time believing that Yeshua doesn’t know but there is no reason for us not to take this literally as we do the rest of scripture. When the Lord returns then and only then will those who are asleep in their graves (the dead in Christ) will rise and those who are still alive at that time will be changed in an instant. That is your true biblical rapture if you so choose to call it that. Scripture calls it the second coming of Christ the Lord.
Jesus does some comparing of when he comes back, it will be just like the Days of Noah. During those days people were carrying on, having a good time, they has no thoughts or concerns about their sins or need for repentance and getting right with God. Just like the flood came and took all of the people away (including the Nephilim), so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. As equally devastating, 50% of the remaining population will be taken out by the time of the Lord’s return. No one knows when the Lord returns for he will return as a thief in the night. Often mistaken as a verse referring to the rapture, V. 40 –V.42 reads, Then shall two be in the field: the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken and the other left. Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
This is not a verse written about the church or the rapture beloved. In fact these verses are written for those who haven’t gotten ready for the Lord’s coming back and are still trapped in their sins and have not repented. 50% of them will die physically in their sins from the horrible catastrophes being poured out on the planet. So the next time you hear those verses being suggested as referring to the rapture, please know they have nothing to do with the rapture at all but the unfortunate fatalities that are inevitable during the time of Jacob’s Trouble.
The Lord would go on to teach the disciples through parables about the faithful and unfaithful servants, the ten virgins, the talents, which are all examples of the folly of not being ready when the Lord returns. The Lord promises when he returns in his glory with his angels, he shall separate all the nations from one another. The Lord will separate the sheep from the goats and part of this will be based on the fruit or lack of fruit that was exhibited by those calling themselves believers. If those that claim to be followers of Christ, lived their life’s accordingly to how God has instructed us to live, such as loving the Lord God almighty with all thy heart and all thy strength and all thy might, taking care of the least of these, and loving they neighbor as thyself are just some examples of fruit bearing acts.
This was just a brief glimpse and an abbreviated glimpse at that of the Olivet Discourse and the verbal eschatology that the Lord Jesus had provided his disciples. He obviously meant it for us as well. There have been many a reader that has taken a knee jerk reaction to what we’ve covered in this edition. Again the Lord wants to warn us so we are not dismayed by the strive and trauma associated with the tribulation experience, whether it be the deception of the false prophets, the earthquakes, the famines, pestilence and intense persecution of the Church that scripture says explicitly, that the Antichrist does wear out the saints. There will be organized attempts to completely eradicate the Christians from the Earth. In fact the time will come when man will think he is doing good by killing the Christian who will be seen as evil. We also know that scripture makes it clear that those who call evil good and good evil are heading for certain damnation.Whatever the source of the Tribulation, the Lord wants us to have peace, and no fear for perfect love casts out all fear and that only comes from knowing the Prince of Peace, Yeshua the Messiah.
Now the Lord of Peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
Mystery # 13 : The Torn Veil : Jesus's death & the darkness that fell upon the Earth
Matthew 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
There is an amazing amount of supernatural activities all dealing with a number of very unusual circumstances centering on the death and crucifixion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. At a place called Golgotha, the place of skulls, Yeshua was nailed to a cross, although some say it was more like a pole. Whatever the case may be, after the Lord had been hanging there for six hours of excruciating pain with his lungs ready to collapse and cave in on him, a very peculiar darkness came over the land. This may have in fact covered the entire Earth, as we suspect it did.
For 3 hours, there was this darkness (and this was the morning when it was bright outside) and it was now the 9th hour of the Lord’s crucifixion and at that time Yeshua cried out to his Father in his last final breaths saying, Eli, Eli, lama Sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? It was a moment when the Lord’s Humanity was expressed and he felt abandoned and he took the brunt of all the sins of the World upon himself. He felt the anguish of absorbing an indescribable pain and so after crying out one more time, he knew it was time to forsake his mortal coil and yield his spirit to the Father and so he died.
It was exactly at that moment that the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom as well there was a pretty significant Earthquake. But that’s not all we go on to read that the graves were opened and may bodies of the saints which had been asleep, rose in a type of temporary resurrection. V.53 And they came out of the graves after his resurrection and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. So when Yeshua rose from the dead, so did a number of the saints, as well. Many forget this mini-resurrection event. They know of the Resurrection that takes place after the Lord comes back just prior to the Great White Throne of Judgment, but they often forget about this “mini –resurrection.”
In fact the power of this whole series of events led some spectators to know that this was the Lord at work, and one centurion in particular come away from it, with great fear and reverence saying that this was indeed the Son of God they just crucified. There are a number of key points to cover here and the chief one is the ripping of the veil of the temple when Christ died. What did this represent and what was the symbolism of it? Well it was no coincidence it was the temple where the Mosaic Law and the Levitical Law that the Jewish scribes, the Pharisees and the Sadducees had clinged unto for years.
It was the fulfillment of the New Covenant and a sign that the Old Covenant especially when it comes to the requirements for sacrifice and atonement, was finally over. Jesus had successfully atoned for the sins of the World and no longer was a sacrifice needed in the temple. The Lord had provided it, so the veil was torn, symbolizing and end to the traditional ways when the Lord died it was completed once and for all. Redemption now was in place for man and animal sacrifice would now no longer be needed. It was only the high priest who could enter past the veil just once a year and once the veil was torn, God moved his presence away from the temple and he would no longer dwell in a house built by human hands. For now the Holy of Holies could be entered by any man through Jesus Christ, the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the Earth. Yeshua is higher than the highest Priest in the Holy Land so just as Yeshua’s body was torn on the cross, the veil was torn in half for us.
The fact that so many of the saints were resurrected speaks to the power and testimony of the Resurrection of the Lord since scripture is quick to point out, that when the saints were resurrected, many came to witness the resurrection of the saints never mind the actual resurrection of the Lord. Can you imagine the testimony that would be for people to see believers in God who had passed away, now walking around. The resurrection of the saints did take place at the same time the Lord was resurrected, which was to coincide with these events.
Indeed the Supernatural events surrounding Christ’s death includes the darkness that took place in the middle of the morning, the veil being torn at the moment Yeshua died on the cross and lastly many saints also being resurrected at the time of the Lord’s resurrection, are all truly remarkable events to us. Just remember the Supernatural of God to us, is the natural and every day to God beloved. John 5:24-25 states, Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word, and believes Him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgement but has passed out of death unto life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
An even more direct quote to put all of this in perspective beloved, can be found in Hebrews 10:19-20 Therefore brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is through his flesh.
Mystery # 14: He is Risen - The Greatest Miracle of all, Christ's Resurrection
Matthew 28: 7 And go quickly and tell his disciples, that he is risen from the dead, and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him; lo, I have told you.
The Moment is at hand, the greatest mystery of the bible, the greatest Miracle of the Bible, never mind of the entire recorded and known history of our planet Earth. Outside of when God created man in the Book of Genesis, undoubtedly, when Christ died on the cross, was buried and rose after 3 days, is the most amazing and most impactful event that could ever occur on planet Earth, bar none. There is no other single event in the recorded history of mankind that has transformed more lives on this Planet then the blessed hope of the resurrection. For Christ stole the sting of death and after 3 days had victory over death, and stole the keys to Hell itself and was an overcomer of the World. He had invited us to partake in his victory by God’s Grace and Mercy.
So it was on the 3rd day and just at the crack of dawn and the end of Sabbath, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, most likely Matthew (Levi)‘s Mother, came to the Sepulcher, the place where Christ was buried. In front of the Sepulcher were 2 guards making sure that none of Jesus followers were going to come and try to steal the body of Yeshua in order to claim that he was resurrected. There was a great earthquake right about that time. An angel of the Lord descended from Heaven and came to the front of the sepulcher. The guards just stood frozen, shocked by what they were seeing. There they were greeted by the angel of the Lord. The angel of the Lord rolled the stone away from the entrance. The angel of the Lord was described as having a bright countenance like lightning and a raiment white as snow. The guards saw the angel of the Lord and shook in fear and fainted unto the ground. The angel of the Lord then told the 2 Mary’s not to fear. He told them, he knew why they were there and that they were seeking Jesus. He told them that he is not there, he has risen. The angel of the Lord encouraged them to come into the sepulcher and see for themselves that Jesus was no longer in there. Then the angel of the Lord convinced them to tell all the disciples that Yeshua was raised from the dead.
The angel of the Lord told the 2 Mary’s that Yeshua could be found in Galilee and they could see him there. The 2 Mary’s left the sepulcher and began to run to find the disciples, to tell them the wonderful news. Before they could get to the disciples, Jesus met up with them. They fell down at his feet and worshipped him. Jesus told them to not be afraid and told them to tell the disciples to go to Galilee where they could see him. The soldiers who were guarding the sepulcher informed the elders and high persist of what happened and they were then bribed by the elders and the high priests to lie about what they had seen, telling them to change the story to one where they fell asleep and the disciples came in the night, physically moved the sepulcher and stole the body of Jesus. They did not want a movement or a following to build from stories of Jesus’s Resurrection. The Ten disciples (two fewer than the 12 – as Thomas was not present and Judas Iscariot had hung himself recently after betraying the Lord) went to Galilee as the Lord had requested and specifically came to a mountainside where Jesus met up with them. The amazing thing was, while some disciples worshipped him, there was a few that still doubted the Lord’s resurrection.
It was at this time that the Lord instructed them to go out to the 4 corners of the World and preach the Gospel. The Lord would appear a number of times again before finally ascending to the Father, to take his rightful position at the right hand of the father in the 3rd Heaven. The Bible makes it clear that many witnesses had seen Jesus in his resurrected body. Many more had seen the temporary resurrection of the saints as well that were resurrected (which we just featured in our last MOB on the Torn Veil), In fact in 1 Corinthians 15:6 makes it clear that after Yeshua appeared to all the disciples he also appeared to 500 followers. After that, he was seen of above 500 hundred brethren at once of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
So over 500 followers, saw Christ, all at the same time, now how is that for witnesses? Here are just a few that saw Christ in his resurrected form after the crucifixion. Many Magdalene and the other Mary saw Christ. Cleopus and his companion saw the risen Christ, as did Simon Peter, as did 10 of his disciples. In Jerusalem, Cleopus and a disciple saw the Risen Lord for a second time. The Ten disciples saw him for a second time, as did Thomas (better known as Doubting Thomas) for he had to touch the crucified holes in the Lord’s hands to believe. Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James & John, Zebedee, and two others saw the Risen Christ at the Sea of Tiberias which is better known as the Sea of Galilee. On a mountain in Galilee, the eleven disciples saw the risen Christ, and then the 500 brethren saw the Risen Christ. James ( we don’t know which one) saw the Risen Christ and then finally, the Apostles saw the Risen Christ one last time, as he ascended into the clouds of Heaven, to join his Father God. Even after that Stephen as he was being stoned to death being one of the very first martyrs for Christ, saw the Gloried Christ in Heaven. None of these encounters were visions or dreams, in many cases, Christ was touched, his wounds touched, Jesus even ate food with his disciples. It was real and to the chagrin of those who wish it to be a fairy tale, reality.
Over 40 days’ time Yeshua was seen by hundreds and hundreds of eye witness and in some cases a multiple amount of times. The Lord made sure, the account of his resurrection was undeniable. Yet to this day, many still refuse to accept this. There are some who want to remain blind to the fact the Father sent his only Begotten Son, to die for us, yet while we were sinners, he gave up his only son to die for us. The Lord put the sins of the World upon himself, the Lamb that was slain for the World’s sins. He died for your sins; he died for all of our sins. He stole the keys of death and has victory, over death and Hell (judgment). Acts 1:3 He also presented himself alive after his suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. So beloved the ultimate question and maybe the only question that matters, is what to do about the Resurrected Lord? Does it matter to you, should it? Perhaps you say it has relevance to you, and is everything you live for. Perhaps you say it has no relevance to you, and it is nothing you live for. Man in his efforts via transhumanism is trying to build his own ladder to Heaven and his immorality, free from the stigma of death and sin and ultimately, God’s Judgment. Man is trying to find the god particle at CERN, but he won't find it there. Man can't find his own substitute for God, not while he has a God shaped vaccum inside of him. All attempts to find a substitute for God won’t work of course. Why? Man was created by God, for God’s Pleasure not man’s pleasure. Man was created for God’s Glory not man’s glory. We are all here because of God, because he desires all of us to have a relationship with him, if it were not the case we would be like the animals, we would have bodies and souls but be void of a spirit. The embodiment of the spirit in man is what makes us created in God’s Image. It is Jesus that we look to for our redemption and nowhere else and no one else. Many will turn to the Antichrist someday and worship the beast due to being deceived including a good number of apostate people that occupy our Churches today and call themselves Christians. How sad.
We close with this John 11:25-26, Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believed in me will never die. Do you believe this?
I ask beloved, search your heart and pause for a moment of reflection, do you believe this?