Thursday, August 13, 2020

AUGUST 13 THE JESUS QUESTIONS JQ#24 “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven or from men?”” (Matthew 21:25)

AUGUST 13  THE JESUS QUESTIONS   JQ#24  “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven or from men?””  (Matthew 21:25)

LIVING FOR JESUS Daily Prayer    
JESUS, my Lord and my God, all my Praise and Glory is raised to You! You Lord are beyond any description and Your Greatness is more than can be compared! O Lord, words alone cannot express Your Glory, Lord it takes the Pure Holy Spirit to fully Praise You.  We are not yet what You have purposed us to become and I certainly have much work to be done in my life to achieve Your Purpose for my poor wretched soul which is still growing in Your Spirit each day. I suspect that it will be a wretched soul until my wretched body decays into the wretched earth, but Lord Jesus, grant it Lord that I will die each day to my wretched self that Your Love, Peace, Joy, and Righteousness will increase in my life that is now wholly surrendered unto You.   AMEN

Jesus addressed the “indignant” accusations of the chief priests and scribes (that were in the temple of God in Jerusalem watching Jesus do “wonderful things” which could only be accomplished by the Messiah) by rebuking them with the very scripture they themselves were supposed to be teaching. Instead of teaching “God’s Commands” to the multitudes the scribes and chief priests were endeavoring to make political and economic gain for themselves in God’s temple in God’s Holy City, Jerusalem! (Matthew 21:12-16) After Jesus rebuked the “indignant” chief priests and scribes that had seen Jesus executing the duties of the “Office of the Messiah” right before their very eyes in the temple of God in Jerusalem, Jesus “left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He lodged there.” (Matthew 21:17) The chief priests and scribes in the temple in Jerusalem had been executing the duties of their offices with rulings that had been handed down to them from the Sanhedrin Supreme Court located just outside the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem in Bethphage on the Mount of Olives for hundreds of years. The curse that slowly but surely overcomes all men seeking “power and authority” overtakes the power seeker when he tries to assume the “power and authority of God” and even the strongest of men succumb to the “power curse”! Each man that “succumbs” then contributes to the decay of the “command of God” as they inject personal opinion and personal desire into what they would like to see as a “command” and thereby the “command of God” is defiled bit by bit by the defiled selfish desires of the doctrines of men——— and eventually what surfaces as “legal” as declared by the Sanhedrin becomes the “doctrines of men” taught to the multitudes by the chief priests and scribes but bears only a slight resemblance to a “command of God”. The transition from the “command of God” to the “doctrine of men” is a slow and subtle “cancer” infecting all “power usurpers” and is most often shrouded in “entitlements” and after successive (or more accurately in today’s terms, “progressive”) rulings of each “Supreme Court” are handed down, and there eventually comes that time when in order to make room for more “personal” interpretation in the interest of “self-promotion” and “vote-buying entitlements”, the “command of God” must in some cases be eliminated altogether! If you think this has not happened in America, look at the United States Supreme Court decisions and plot them on a time line against the moral decay milestones our society has experienced from the time that we were the greatest country on earth to our present 3rd world status!  Notice particularly on the moral decay timeline the correlation between moral decay and the removal of God from our government and prayer from our schools! What one must conclude (when the Truth  of God slaps you in the face) is that Jesus knew something and that indeed each society and every generation must address His Question: “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven [God the Father] or from men?” (Matthew 21:32  JQ#24) because you cannot answer that Question without realizing that each society is ruled by a “government” and the important question in any society is not “Who the government rules?” but the really critical question is “Who rules the government?” For Example: At one time when our society was a majority Christian nation and the people took active part in the American government, there was a Godly meaning to “a government of the people, by the people and for the people” but now that America is described as “whatever we once were, we’re no longer just a Christian nation…” (former President Barak Obama Email to CBN News 2007) and Christian prayer has been removed from our public schools, the sacrifice of the unborn to “commercial endeavors {death for profit}” is endorsed by the United States Supreme Court and is the “law of the land”! Least our society forgets,  “We the People” must stand in Holy Judgement before the eyes of the True and Only Supreme Judge, regardless of what “earthly laws” are passed by a “earthly Supreme Court”!!!  It is truly important that we as a society, we as a family, we as the Church, and we as individuals give an honest answer to this Question and admit to ourselves what we truly believe about “baptism”, “power and authority”, “heaven”, and how they all relate to “Jesus”, “Faith”, the “doctrines of men” and the “commands of God”!?!?!?!?!?

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

AUGUST 12 THE JESUS QUESTIONS JQ#24 “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven or from men?”” (Matthew 21:25)

AUGUST 12  THE JESUS QUESTIONS   JQ#24  “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven or from men?””  (Matthew 21:25)

LIVING FOR JESUS  Daily Prayer    
JESUS, Precious is the Name above all names, Jesus, My Redeemer, my Savior. Lord I can Praise and Glorify Your Holy Name for You have delivered my soul, You have restored the Joy of my Salvation and I once again can see and feel Your Guiding Hand lifting me up and leading me on.  Jesus keep me on the paths of righteousness and keep me centered in Your will. I pray that my repentance be turned to true service to You and to the Kingdom and that my repentance will be an acceptable offering before the LORD-Whose-Name-Is-Great!!!   AMEN

Jesus continues His confrontation with the “Supreme Court” that had been abusing their position with God to promote the “doctrines of men” and had become trapped themselves in those doctrines. When they perceived that they were losing their power over “the multitudes” to Jesus (who was demonstrating the True Power and Authority of God) that they actually conspired to dispose of Him. Jesus had been in the temple of God in Jerusalem where He had driven out the “moneychangers”, and those that were “buying and selling” in the temple, and “the seats of those that sold doves” (Matthew 21:12). Jesus then declared the temple a “house of prayer” and healed the multitudes that were brought to Him in the temple, thus restoring the Temple of God back to the Purpose for God establishing His Holy Temple in Jerusalem {See Psalm 147:2-6} — every problem, sickness, ailment, disease, or broken-heartedness that was brought before Jesus in the temple of God and spread before the Lord in His “house of prayer” had their prayers answered as Matthew records: “[all that] came to [Jesus] in the temple…He healed them…but when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did…[the chief priests and scribes] were indignant.” (Matthew 21:14-15) One must ask that if the chief priests and scribes “saw the wonderful things” that Jesus was doing for the multitudes in the way of answered prayers that had been lifted to God in the house of God, then why on earth were the chief priests and scribes “indignant”?!?!? I cannot get past the fact that Jesus is exerting the True Power and Authority in the temple that bears God’s name, in Jerusalem, the city that God declared as the “City of God”, and yet the self-appointed “rulers” can look upon the True Work of God and become “indignant” ??? — it can only be that the “rulers” feared losing their self-appointed “power and authority” more that they feared the source of “True Power and Authority” and that the “indignant” will defend their little bit of power and fame however temporary and fleeting it may be. This is a major problem Jesus encountered and it is a major problem that society today is encountering and therefore we should look carefully at how Jesus reacted to those that defend the “doctrines and traditions of men” over the “commands of God”!!! Jesus addressed the indignation of the “power mongers” that He encountered while doing “wonderful things” in the temple of Jerusalem with the same type of response that He had used when facing Satan and the Temptation in the wilderness —— “And Jesus said to [the indignant chief priests and scribes], ‘Have you never read’…” (Matthew 21:16) and then Jesus quoted the Holy Scriptures to the “indignant” chief priests what God had to say about the matter at hand. Matthew then records that after Jesus quoted from God’s word that “Then [Jesus] left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He lodged there.” (Matthew 21:17) It is just as significant a point that Jesus leaves Jerusalem after His confrontation with the “chief priests and elders” (Matthew 21:23) and goes to “Bethany” and “lodged there” as it was when He “drew near to Jerusalem” that He “came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives” (Matthew 21:1)!!! The significance of Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and being hailed by the multitudes as the “Son of David” cannot be overstated, especially when Jesus immediately went to the temple and drove out those that had been defiling the house of God by making it a commercial establishment instead of a house of prayer, and we know that it was the Sanhedrin Supreme Court that was located in Bethphage that had given permission (probably there were many “bribes” given to the Supreme Court) to the moneychangers and those that bought and sold in the temple to use the temple for commercial gain! Now that Jesus is exposing the “problem” we must read closely as to what Jesus does next, for He never leaves a problem exposed without presenting the resolution to that problem — and so now Jesus has cleaned the temple of “money changers” as His first order of business upon entering Jerusalem, then after the confrontation He retired to “Bethany” — do you suppose that when Jesus returns to Jerusalem in the morning that He will resolve the problem? Another good question that it is appropriate to address to those that see the “wonderful things” that Jesus does and then they become “indignant” at the mention of His Holy Name, “Do you suppose that just because Jesus left and went to lodge outside the city for the night that He will ignore the problem in the city?” ——— or to speak the language that our society listens to today I’ll ask the question in Hollywood language — “Just because [Jesus] walked away do you think you are safe? Did you not hear what He said as He was leaving ————— “”I’LL BE BACK”” ?!?!!?!?  

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

AUGUST 11 THE JESUS QUESTIONS JQ#24 “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven or from men?”” (Matthew 21:25)

AUGUST 11  THE JESUS QUESTIONS   JQ#24  “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven or from men?””  (Matthew 21:25)

LIVING FOR JESUS Daily Prayer   
JESUS, I thank You Lord for answered prayer as I am walking through my own “valley” of recovery and You give me assurance that You are walking with me and that You will take me “through the valley”. Satan attacks from the bushes saying that we have been abandoned and we run and hide in fear which takes us off the “paths of righteousness” — forgive me for my doubts and fears for there should be nothing in my walk but complete “faith” that You will “never leave me nor forsake me”. Lord Jesus, I move back to the “Light” and once again I can see Your Path and these words cover my soul — Blessed Assurance, Jesus IS mine!!      AMEN

Jesus entered Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey as foretold in Zechariah 9:9 to the shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed in He who comes in the name of the LORD!” (Matthew 21:9 & Psalms 118:26)  which should have alerted everyone that knew enough  scripture to know who King David was, that Jesus WAS the Coming King that would sit on the Throne of David forever and Jesus WAS “coming in the name of the Lord” and He WAS making His Official entry into Jerusalem! So the Sanhedrin was making a “politically correct” ruling that even though Jesus could work miracles and was doing them in the name of the God, that it was the “opinion” of the “Supreme Court” of Israel (the Sanhedrin) that Jesus was just a “prophet from Nazareth of Galilee” (Matthew 21:11) and that was what the multitudes were being told by the “ruling powers” in Jerusalem — however, Jesus has not come to bow to the “doctrines of men” nor abandon His God-given Purpose simply because the “man-made supreme court” of the land rules against the will of God! As soon as Jesus entered Jerusalem He went straight to the temple of God and did what anyone would expect the Chosen One, the Messiah to do! “Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those that sold doves. And [Jesus] said to them, ‘It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:12-13) The Lesson that Jesus is Teaching by what He is “doing” should be seen thusly as the “fulfillment” of prophecy — Jesus rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Zechariah 9:9) on the colt of a donkey and is met with praises from the daughter of Zion and declared the Son of David which refers to the Chosen One and coming Messiah. (Psalm 118:26) Once into Jerusalem, the “King” goes to the temple of God and “drove out” everything that was defiling the temple of God! (Matthew 21:12) All these things were written in the Holy Scriptures and pertained specifically to the Messiah, not a prophet! Only the Messiah had the “power and authority” to do what Jesus was doing to the temple of God in the City of God and to leave no doubt that He was the Messiah, the Son of David, the King of the daughter of Zion, Jesus continued doing what only the Messiah could do, “Then the blind and the lame come to [Jesus] in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and scribes say the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’, [the legalists] were indignant.” (Matthew 21:14-15) I cannot help but see the world that my generation is living in today being played out exactly as it is written in these passages in Matthew. We have taken prayer out of our schools and God out of our government. We have allowed our rights and freedoms to know God for ourselves to be ridiculed and overruled by decisions handed down by a group of judges that have been politically appointed to establish the “law of the land” without any consideration to the commandments of God but instead these decisions and laws promote the “doctrine of men” that happen to be in “power” and have the man-made “authority” to appoint a “judge” to the Supreme Court of the land! Today our politicians have abandoned “executing the offices of government” as supported by the Commandments of God. Our society today can still see Jesus “…and all the wonderful things He did…” and there are multitudes in each generation that are still seeing Jesus do “wonderful things” in our daily lives and we shout “Hosanna to the Son of David”  and then we turn on the TV and hear that the Supreme Court has decided that it is “politically incorrect” to talk about God and we are subjected once again to the “doctrines of men” — we have succumbed to letting a government of men determine that it is “legal” to kill our unborn if we find the acts of God inconvenient to our modern lifestyle. Jesus had one week left on earth and His Question is simple but significant: “Do you trust men with unlimited control of your lives and are you willing to give them all the authority and power over our legal system, which will be administered without the consent or blessings of God?”

Monday, August 10, 2020

AUGUST 10 THE JESUS QUESTIONS JQ#24 “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven or from men?”” (Matthew 21:25)

AUGUST 10  THE JESUS QUESTIONS  JQ#24  “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven or from men?””  (Matthew 21:25)

LIVING FOR JESUS Daily Prayer    
JESUS, my Lord and my Shepherd, my Redeemer and my Passover Lamb, You Lord are all things Good! Lord, even when I find myself going through one of the valleys  that my earthen vessel and its aging process takes me into, my mind is stayed with a single verse, “Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10) for to “be still” in the valley of shadow is a statement our spirit makes saying “Yeah though I walk through the valley, I will fear no evil for You are with me…” and then the Peace-that-passes-all understanding surfaces and I give praise to God that even though my circumstances change that my God never changes, You are the God of heaven and earth, the God of the mountains and the God of the valleys, the God who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Lord I know that my faith only fails because I have not yet learned to surrender completely to Your Unchanging Will so Lord keep me centered in Your Will, Your Mercy, and Your Grace.   AMEN

Jesus really “walks the walk” in this section and all one has to do is look at the actions of the Sanhedrin and the actions of Jesus to determine who is following the Will of God and who is following the will of men. Jesus came to Bethphage, sent two disciples to retrieve a donkey reserved for the “LORD” and Matthew records: “All this was done that if might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet (Zechariah 9:9)…So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set [Jesus] on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road . Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out saying: ‘HOSANNA TO THE SON OF DAVID! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD! HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST!’ And when [Jesus] had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved…” (Matthew 21:4-10) This event is known as the Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the week before His Crucifixion! It is reasonable to pause at this point and take note that as Jesus “drew near to Jerusalem” that He was hailed by the multitudes that had been observing Him as “King” and “Son of David”. The multitudes proclaimed as Jesus made His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” —but the scene changes after Jesus enters Jerusalem and starts executing the duties of His God-given office of Messiah for when those in Jerusalem asked “Who is this?” (Matthew 21:10) that the “authorities” gave the “politically correct” answer, “This is the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.” (Matthew 21:11)  Not because of the miracles the multitudes had observed Jesus doing was Jesus demoted from Messiah to just another prophet, but it was at the hands of the “ruling powers” in Jerusalem and specifically the “power authorities” such as the Sanhedrin, the scribes, and the Pharisees who were continually handing down their rules to “control” the multitudes ——— this “rule changing” becomes the crux of the problem Jesus addresses with  JQ#24 ——— Jesus asks these ruling authorities: where does “power and authority” really come from, “from heaven or from men”? (Matthew 21:25) Of significance here is the fact that regardless of what people said about Him or who He was, Jesus kept doing those things that only the Messiah would and could do, therefore it is not what men say about God that is important to our Eternal Security, it is what God Himself has done to secure our Eternal Security that has any bearing on our souls as they enter into Eternity!  But we must pray that we do not get trapped into “political correctness” that teaches that it is “political correctness” and the “Supreme” court of men that has “power and authority” and that whatever “politically correct men” say is “legal”. Therefore, the desires of men become the  “law of the land” which then becomes the “doctrines of men”. These “doctrines of men” is that which Jesus referred to in JQ#12 “Who decides what is legal, God or man?” (Matthew 12:1-21) Jesus had already warned us “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28) Now Jesus is asking in essence “Who has the true power and authority to destroy both soul and body in hell, men or God?”  With less than a week left in His earthly ministry, Jesus is getting right to the point of the Passover and fulfilling all the prophecies concerning the Messiah. “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says…” (Revelation 2:7) Maybe its time that we “Listen To” and “Stand Up” for Jesus?!?!?!?

Sunday, August 9, 2020

AUGUST 09 THE JESUS QUESTIONS JQ#24 “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven or from men?”” (Matthew 21:25)

AUGUST 09  THE JESUS QUESTIONS   JQ#24  “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven or from men?””  (Matthew 21:25)

LIVING FOR JESUS Daily Prayer    
JESUS, Lord and Savior, You know my heart and today I will let the Holy Spirit utter worthy praise to You. Jesus it is about You, it is about Your Love, it is about Forgiveness, it is about Repentance. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God and Satan prowls the earth looking for ways to deceive and when a saint gets close to truly serving God in a pure and acceptable way, then Satan increases his attacks — Lord You have victory over the world and You have promised that You would “keep us” so Lord I call on that promise!     AMEN

Jesus was fulfilling prophecy when He got the donkey for it was from their location outside of Jerusalem in Bethphage that the Sanhedrin (the supreme Court of the nation) handed down decisions. In an article by Ernest I. Martin: “The Significance of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives”, Mr. Martin explains: “The reason that these types of decisions were to be made at this special village [Bethphage] on the east side of Jerusalem proper is because it was necessary that these decisions be made ‘at the entrance’ to Jerusalem. There were biblical reasons for this. Note Proverbs 31:23 which says ‘Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders’ also ‘Execute the judgement of truth and peace in your gates’ (Zechariah 8:16) In the case of Jerusalem, which was the capital city of the nation, the principle gate was on the eastern side just beyond the camp (that is, ‘outside the camp’) Thus the Sanhedrin had the village of Bethphage built just to the east of the city limits of Jerusalem proper. This village of priests was located just to the east of the summit of the Mount of Olives.” Mr. Martin continues on the significance of Bethphage, “The word ‘Bethphage’ means the ‘House of Unripe Figs.’” Mr. Martin says the village of priests was called Bethphage because tradition teaches that the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil was a fig tree so the Sanhedrin “were supposed to act as JEHOVAH’s judges and thereby were to be rendered free of sin in their judgements. This is why they named the village ‘House of Unripe Figs’ But there was a second reason for naming the village ‘Bethphage’.  Figs are always unripe at the start of the growing season. This place of Bethphage was the site where the Sanhedrin determined legal measurements for the nation. It was where they set the limits on sacred things (the size of the city, the Temple, the day to start the scared calendar, when to observe the festival day, starting the census, etc.) … In a word, it was from Bethphage where the measurements of the nation were enacted and legalized. It was also the place where the most rebellious of the elders in Israel were sentenced to die… There is even further New Testament significance to these matters. It was no accident that the Messiah told His disciples to go into Bethphage and obtain a donkey for him to ride into Jerusalem to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah about the Judahites adoring their king riding on a donkey. By getting this donkey at Bethphage was like saying that the Messiah went to the central Supreme Court area of the land in order to get his royal position for legal sovereignty approved.” Jesus knew what He was doing and Jesus knew what He was saying by getting the donkey at Bethphage and we read: “And all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, behold your King is coming to you, lowly and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Matthew 21:4-5) Jesus did fulfill all the prophecies of the Messiah so one has to ask, why would the Sanhedrin turn the people against Jesus, do you think it was because they knew that they would lose the “power and authority” that the traditions of men had given them? I see a major problem with this line of thinking because the Sanhedrin would not exist if it were not for God so they are making a major mistake going against God Himself to retain their position of power and authority that they had only because God had given His Commandments to men in the first place!?!?!?!?

Saturday, August 8, 2020

AUGUST 08 THE JESUS QUESTIONS JQ#24 “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven or from men?”” (Matthew 21:25)

AUGUST 08  THE JESUS QUESTIONS   JQ#24  “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven or from men?””  (Matthew 21:25)

LIVING FOR JESUS  Daily Prayer    
JESUS, praise be to the Son that was obedient to the Father’s will, praise be to the Father that loved the world so much that the Father desired to provide for the salvation of His Creation and was willing to go to the greatest extent to prove His Love for us as the Father’s Plan for our salvation willed that the Son, His Only Begotten Son, the Only Acceptable Sacrifice for All Sin would become flesh and dwell among sinful man that the Righteousness of God could be substituted for the world’s iniquities against the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit of God! For God desires that none should perish, thereby God offered Himself as The Sacrifice providing the Only Way to restoring the “broken” Fellowship through Repentance and the acceptance of the Divine Gift of Grace, freely bestowed on all who believe! I believe Lord Jesus that You died for my sins, again I pray that You become Lord of my life, fill me daily with Thy Holy Spirit, lead me in paths of Righteousness, restore my soul and then return to me the Joy of my Salvation by Grace. Have Mercy, O Lord, on me, a sinner.   AMEN

Jesus has drawn “near to Jerusalem, and [He has come] to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives” (Matthew 21:1) and instructs two of the disciples to go into the walled village of Bethphage to get a donkey that THE HOLY SPIRIT has arranged to be waiting for THE MESSIAH TO USE FOR HIS TRIUMPHAL ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM!  Jesus tells the disciples that “if anyone says anything to you” that they are to simply say, “the Lord has need of them”. (Matthew 21: 2-3) These places and the events are significant because the earthly ministry of Jesus is about to climax and Jesus will be crucified!  His death is but the fulfilling of prophecy about the Messiah that has been expected and prayed for for thousands of years!  Within the upcoming week, the very people that will first receive Jesus as their long awaited King will then cry for His crucifixion! The significance of when and where these last events in the earthly ministry of Jesus occur are a witness to the TRUTH OF GOD that God loved the world so much that He was willing to give His Only Begotten Son as the Sacrificial Lamb!!! God began with one man Abraham and promised Abraham that if Abraham would follow God that God Himself would “make [Abraham] a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3) God then led Abraham to Canaan and God told Abram, “to your descendants I will give this land”  (Genesis 12:7) and later when God gave Abraham and Sarah their son Isaac, the “Child of Promise”, which God had told Abram, “…Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.” (Genesis 17:19) and after Isaac is born and grows to a young lad, God tells Abraham to “take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” (Genesis 22:2)  Abraham and Isaac willingly obeys God and builds the alter on which Isaac the son was to be sacrificed by his father Abraham and Isaac asks his father “look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” and Abraham replied “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb…” (Genesis 22:7-8). So here as Jesus is about to enter Jerusalem for the Passover and all thought of the Jewish nation is centered on God delivering Israel from their bondage in Egypt which God had accomplished by sending the death angel to kill all the firstborn in Egypt, all except those that had listened to God and had applied the blood of the Passover lamb as they were instructed “take some of the [Passover lamb’s] blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where [you] eat [of] it…” God then explained the significance of “applying the blood of the Passover Lamb”  when God told His people at that first Passover,  “For I will pass through the land… and will strike the firstborn… I will execute judgement… I am the LORD… when I see the blood [of the Passover Lamb] I will pass over you…” (Exodus 11:1-10, 12:1-13) When Jesus calls for the donkey that has been reserved for Him in the Mount of Olives at Bethphage to be brought to Him, we can see that Jesus is fulfilling Promises of God that had been made with the “Father of Faith” and the Patriarch of Israel, Abraham, and the Promised Child, Isaac for with His death Jesus fulfilled all prophecy of the Messiah! This fulfillment of prophecy was summed up after the crucifixion as John recorded these Words of Jesus the Son explaining the Motives of God the Father: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but through Him the world might be saved.” (John 3:16-17) The connection here between the Passover and the purpose of God is to obvious to be called coincidental but then aren’t we still today arguing about “Who” has the “authority” over our daily lives, “the doctrines of men, or the commands of God?”  

Friday, August 7, 2020

AUGUST 07 THE JESUS QUESTIONS JQ#24 “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven or from men?”” (Matthew 21:25)

AUGUST 07  THE JESUS QUESTIONS   JQ#24  “Is the power and authority of baptism from heaven or from men?””  (Matthew 21:25)

LIVING FOR JESUS Daily Prayer   
JESUS, Your WORD is TRUTH and if we but listen and apply Your WORD to how we live then we will know the WAY to Eternal Life, the Way You have shown us by the LIFE you lived in the flesh that we may know the Father. It is only by knowing the Father that we can know MERCY, FORGIVENESS, and GRACE, for GOD IS LOVE! The Gift of God is HIS LOVE, Graciously Bestowed on all that BELIEVE that “God so Loved the world that He GAVE His ONLY Begotten Son that whoever BELIEVES in Him shall NOT perish but HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE”!!! Give me this day, my daily bread and teach me Your Truth that I may know the Father’s LOVE!!!   AMEN

Jesus has been addressing the problem with living our lives based on the doctrines of men instead of developing a personal relationship with our Creator — Jesus has been Teaching all along that God has a Plan for each individual and that God desires a personal relationship with us. Early Lessons have been to help us understand that each individual has “spiritual value” (JQ#10) and that we should review our spiritual expectations” (JQ#11) which Jesus then tied into the very important issue of letting the doctrines of men dictate our perception of God as Jesus asked “Who decides what is legal, God or man?” (JQ#12) Jesus has made it very clear that our personal responsibility to God is to know and understand God and specifically our obligations to God when Jesus asked “Why do you transgress the Commandment of God because of your traditions?” (JQ#16) The question of listening to those in our generation who claim to know what God “really” means has been addressed specifically with JQ#22 “Is it not lawful for [God] to do what [He] desires with [His Creation]” All the while Jesus has been living His own life as an example for us as He time and time again confronts the “legalists” of His time on earth called the “scribes and the Pharisees” as they try to prove that what they believe about God is the Truth and what Jesus is claiming about God is blasphemy — and now that Jesus is coming to the end of His time on earth and is approaching the final Passover in Jerusalem, He is Teaching the Final Lessons at places that are most significant in understanding that it is the “commands of God” and not the “doctrines of men” that should be our guide for living our daily lives and for worshipping God Himself in Spirit and in Truth. JQ#24 starts with Jesus sending two of His disciples “into the village opposite to you” and there they would “find a donkey tied, and a colt with her.” (Matthew 21:2) and the disciples were instructed to take them to Jesus. Jesus gave the disciples instructions that if “anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘the LORD has need of them’, and immediately he will send them.” (Matthew 21:3)  These actions and instructions are one of the most revealing Lessons on the Truth of God that Jesus will teach but to understand what that Truth of God is, we must know the significance of not only what Jesus is doing but the location as well, for when these circumstances, actions, and location are put together they are monumental in all the Lessons Jesus has been teaching His disciples thus far in His earthly ministry and  this Lesson reveals the main problem existing in the Jewish religion at that time! That same problem is now prevalent in our current generation, a problem that Jesus not only addresses with His actions but then Jesus pronounces Judgement and a curse on the Sanhedrin who was the root of the problem when Jesus pronounced His curse on their “authority”. The first important location is the village that Jesus sent the disciples to for the donkey, the village named “Bethphage”, a walled village built by the Sanhedrin located just east of the western summit of the Mount of Olives. The Sanhedrin built the walled village of Bethphage at this location close the entry of the East Gates of Jerusalem because of its historic religious relevance in the area known as  the Mount of Olives which was one of the most important religious centers of that time and still holds religious significance today. The Sanhedrin had two main locations, one inside Jerusalem and the second was in the walled village of Bethphage — the Bethphage location was reserved for specific decisions of the Sanhedrin such as death sentences for rebellious leaders of the nation. After Jesus was tried by the Sanhedrin and taken to Pilate to obtain Roman permission, He was then taken to the Mount of Olives to await the final sentence of death which was handed down by the Sanhedrin at Bethphage! So once the significance of Bethphage is understood and when the long and valid history of holiness associated with the Mount of Olives is added to the equation then the scriptures themselves will throw additional light on why Jesus, as He “drew near to Jerusalem” sent His disciples into Bethphage to get a donkey.  JQ#24 starts taking on great significance as we consider that the Question addresses the origin of True Authority and Power for spiritual matters and spiritual doctrines and the Question is quickly bringing into focus the Truth of God that we must consider all our “choices” as being either from “heaven or from men”. Food-for-thought about JQ#24 ———“If our automobiles aren’t running and not taking us where we need to go, we don’t call a plumber  TO GET US BACK ON THE ROAD — so why should we consider learning about ‘heavenly’ things from ‘earthly’ resources — especially worldly  resources that insist abortion is legal because of a decision of 7 men?”