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FEAST OF PASSOVER ISSUE

FILIPINO FEATURE
‘Ang Pagkabuhay
na Muli—Ito Ba
ay TOTOO?’
See page 11

Vol. 2 No. 3 March-April 2009

Could you recognize "another Jesus"? ...


GOD–
OD In
Person
Is God everywhere? Is he in every
Who
is
leaf of every tree? Does he
permeate the cosmos with his
being? Is he in every blade of
grass?

Well, yes and no. God is in every


blade of grass in the same way I am

Jesus?
in a transceiver I built years ago and
later sold. You might even find
some of my DNA in that radio,
because I got a little careless with
my tools. But I am not there. I am
here.

God is in every blade of grass in the


same way my wife is in the little The Bible mentions "another Jesus".
painting she did years ago when we Is the one you worship the Jesus of salvation?
were playing with oils. But if you
think you can put your foot on God
when you walk across the grass, Possibly one in three of earth's population would claim to be `Christian'. They
you are badly mistaken. believe, of course, that their faith was founded by Jesus Christ just under two
thousand years ago. It's generally believed that one mid-winter day he was born in a
I don’t know when it happened, I stable and lived some thirty years in Palestine before beginning a ministry during
don’t know where it happened. It which he laid the principles of a brand new faith - Christianity.
has probably happened over and
over again in history, but somehow, He was `framed' by the Jewish religious authorities and handed to the secular
we have been sold a bill of goods Romans - who crucified him one morning. He died that afternoon. Death, however,
about what Andree Seu calls "A
didn't hold him, for he was resurrected three days and three nights later, and is alive
lower case, upper story god who
was the ‘ground of being.’" today.
Whatever in the world that means.
God is not everywhere. He is where Fact or Fiction? The whole concept of a historical Jesus has been debunked as
he wants to be when he wants to be myth. It's a way to convey some profound truths - but Jesus himself never existed,
there. goes the story. Never mind that this flies in the face of inconvertible testimony from
ancient sources. (Continued on page 2)
(Continued on page 4)

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The New Testament (e.g., Acts 17:2) record clearly
From page 1…Let's examine, though, some of the real evidences the disciples observing the `Jewish' Sabbath -
myths that surround this most historical of those who actually God's Sabbath, the festival of Unleavened Bread (I
inhabit history's hall of fame. Corinthians 5), Pentecost (or feast of Firstfruits (I Cor.
16:8), Atonement - the `fast' (Acts 27:9).
Depending on culture, Jesus has been portrayed by a variety
of physical racial stereotypes. He's `like one of us' - black, The apostle Paul sums it up this way, speaking to the Jewish
or white or yellow or brown. And with 'our features'. But leaders in Rome near the end of his life: "I have committed
whatever our perception of him, Jesus was born of a woman nothing against the people or customs of our fathers" (Acts
of Judah in Palestine, and there's no Biblical indication that 28:17). Earlier he had in a court of law refuted his accusers
he differed from those around him. However the Jews of the saying: "Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against
time may have physically looked at that moment of history - the temple nor against Caesar have I offended anything at
Jesus was one of them! His physical characteristics are all" (Acts 25:8).
irrelevant to his mission.
Old Time Religion. Paul was simply reflecting the teaching
Much of the story - as peddled in Christian circles - is of Jesus. Our Savior did not overturn the `old time religion'
indeed fiction. He was not, for example, born in December. the faith of the Scriptures. He built on it. The New
He did not die on a Friday, nor was he resurrected on Testament is his final testimony, until his return, to the
Sunday. Nor did Jesus introduce a brand-new religion! Father's revelation.

The Bible does, though, give us a Constantly Jesus would refer to the writings
rounded picture of an individual born of Moses and the prophets. The divine Law,
into a law-abiding religious family. He he said, was now to be `written on the heart'
grew up in a Jewish family with several - inward. Jesus magnified the Law of God
brothers and sisters. He looked like his insisting that not only should we submit to
fellow countrymen, ate like his fellows, it in practice but even in our thoughts
worshipped like them. In general he was (Matthew 5-7). It's not just sin to murder
part of the local culture. but it is sin to even hate, for example. If we
are to be his disciples we must abandon our
Worship. Take the way Jesus own humanly devised traditional
worshipped. Like all his co-religionists observances.
he attended synagogue on the seventh-
day Sabbath and observed the divinely- In contrast to modern Christianity, Jesus -
appointed annual festivals passover and and his first disciples positively upheld the
Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Trumpets, Atonement and teachings of the Old Testament. There is no `immortal soul'.
Tabernacles. The Bible traces his attendance at and support The divine Law is at the heart of true religion. There is no
for these `holy convocations' or services. heavenly reward and no fire that will endlessly consume the
unrepentant. And, as we have seen, there is in the religion of
Nor did his death change his attitude to these holy days. the Bible no Christmas, no Easter, no 'saints days'.
Even in those tumultuous last days of his life Jesus made
provision for the disciples to observe the festival of Most, indeed, of modern Christianity's cherished beliefs are
Unleavened Bread after his death. He rose from the dead as totally absent - often condemned - in the teaching of Jesus
the `Firstfruits' at the very time when the Jews celebrated and the apostles! Observed objectively the Bible and
the cutting of the firstfruits grain harvest. He then marked modern Christianity appear as two totally different
the beginning of his church by sending his Spirit on the religions. The terminology is the same. The lead characters
traditional `Day of Pentecost'. These days, in other words, are the same. But the substance is different with only
were shadows - faint images of the reality which was occasional overlap.
fulfilled in him.
Paul warned of 'a different gospel which is not another'
Christian Practice. And what of the first Christians? Had (Galatians 1:6-7). It sounded similar, it used the same
Jesus left special instructions secret instructions - that all words, it included similar concepts - but it was 'another'. A
this should change? Secret - for nowhere do we find in the devilish deception.
entirety of Scripture that his disciples should now abandon
these age-old holy days and substitute Christmas, Easter, False prophets abounded then - as now. 'Deceitful workers'
All Souls, saints days etc! Paul called them to the Corinthian brethren. They pretended

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to be true Christians - yet preached 'another Jesus' (2 have learned, and that from childhood you have known the
Corinthians 11:4). And no wonder, says Paul "for Satan Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for
himself transforms himself into an 'angel of light'. Therefore salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus".
it is no great thing if his ministers transform themselves as
ministers of righteousness" (2 Cor. 11:13-15). What were the `Holy Scriptures'? None other than the books
we know as the Old Testament, for the New was not yet
Is the Jesus you know the real Jesus? Could you possibly written.
have received 'a different spirit', a 'different gospel' (v.4)?
According to the Scriptures that's a possibility! Paul Beguiled by the false notion that Christians had no need for
elsewhere urges his readers to 'examine yourself whether the divine Law, the majority rejected God's Sabbath, the
you are in the faith'. annual holy days, the ethical code of Scripture leaving an
open door for a host of `pagan' practices. The apostles
Dramatic Struggle. So - how did the primitive faith battled against this slippery path into lawlessness to no
change? Why does modern Christianity differ so vastly avail. It opened the way for the great Babylonian mystery
from the life-style and the teaching of Jesus? religion to take over the church of God.

Christianity was born into a world in religious turmoil. In It was a different Jesus, a different Gospel, a different spirit.
the eastern Mediterranean countries the ferment was Christians embraced a lawless spirit - powerfully
dominated by Greek thought - a philosophy that had been condemned by Jesus and his apostles.
hammered out over several centuries. The ancient - and
Biblical - concepts of the nature of man were replaced by a Jesus warned that his way was tough. It would divide
universal notion of inborn immortality. First century families. It would invite persecution and death for many
religion was deeply influenced by those ascetic practices who followed him. And in our day it is a minority religion.
forcefully condemned by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Not a couple of billion but a tiny handful of believers
Colossian Christians. struggling against a tide of lawlessness in and out of the
Christian church.
Because the religious foundation of the Old Testament was
rejected the floodgates opened to any and every practice The late first century churches (Revelation 2 & 3) had sunk
under the guise of `being led afresh by the Spirit'. into this spiritual mire. As then, so too now, Jesus' call to
the vast majority of those who profess to know him is
But as Paul wrote to the young evangelist Timothy (2 `change now' - abandon lawlessness. To those who obey,
Timothy 3:14-17): "...you must continue in the things you his message is `stay faithful'. /James McBride, Churches of
have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you God, UK.

God—In Person… (from page 1) It may be a new Deism, an idea that


God created all this, but left
Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? immediately and has no further interest
He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not in what he made. It is a silly idea on its
see?" (Psalms 94:8-9). face, but what lies behind it? I think
there is a simple fear of acknowledging
the reality of a personal God, because
We know that we can’t hide from God, but if he doesn’t want to see or to hear,
a personal God will have ideas. He will
no power in the universe can make him. God does not have to watch every sex
have preferences. He may even have
crime, every foul murder of a child perpetrated on his world below. It is not a
demands. He may expect things of us
question of divine ability or presence, but of divine will.
that we don’t want to do. He may have
standards we don’t want to live up to.
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear
heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and
But hiding your face from God won’t
your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear" (Isaiah
make him go away. God, knew what
59:1-2).
would happen when men were finally
forced to admit that they can’t explain
Increasingly, even skeptics are being forced to admit that evolution simply can’t intelligent design without a
account for everything that is. But even admitting the irreducible complexity of designer.God knew that they would
the cell, many are still not ready to admit to the idea of God. So they are left with then invent a god for themselves who
design without a designer. is an impersonal, cosmic force. A God
who is everywhere and nowhere at the
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same time. Because an impersonal god, would not make any demands on how poet. That life equals light. The light
we live our lives. shines in darkness and the darkness
just doesn’t get it.
Knowing this would happen, God took steps to ensure that men could know that
he is personal. He came in the flesh. It is a poetic way of saying that light
penetrates darkness while darkness
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was cannot penetrate light. Light and
God. The same was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1-15 KJV) darkness are complete opposites. This
is an important idea, called in
philosophy, antithesis. Modern thought
This strange construction is only an introduction to an idea. It is not the idea
does not like antithesis. We prefer to
itself. It presents a paradox, a favored approach to an idea in Jewish thought.
How can something be God and be with God at the same time. I know, in think that nothing is really black or
English we speak of a man being beside himself, but this is not English, it is white, darkness or light. Nothing is
Greek, and that is not what is going on. either all good or all bad. John wants
us to get this straight, right from the
start.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him;
and without him was not any thing made that was made. There was a man sent from God,
whose name was John. The same
came for a witness, to bear witness of
Now we have a small problem. What is the antecedent of "him." Is it God, or the the Light, that all men through him
one who was with God? But then, isn’t the one who was with God, also God? might believe. He was not that Light,
but was sent to bear witness of that
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in Light./ Ronald L Dart, Born to Win (CEM)
darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

I can’t help wondering if John doesn’t intend this as a kind of poetry. It certainly
reads that way. To say, "In him was life," is rather more than saying "he is alive."
I am alive, but I don’t have what this one has. In him was life, says John the

Did Jesus Christ exist prior to his


human birth?
Was and is Jesus God? Did Jesus not exist prior to his birth as a human being? Or was and is Jesus God and
did he exist prior to his human birth as the Apostle Paul seems to indicate in his writings?

Defining Arguments Once an argument is defined it is half It is also asserted by those believing God is one person that
won. Those who believe that the Godhead is composed of Jesus did not call himself God and if he were God why didn’t
only one person (known as the “One God” theory) state the he tell people that he was God? This argument (which uses
following simple argument: flawed logic known as arguing from silence) is not valid
because it could also be argued that in the gospels (especially
1) God cannot die. Luke) Jesus doesn't refer to himself as “Lord” either. In fact,
Jesus tended to avoid referring to himself as the Messiah and
2) Therefore, since Jesus died, He cannot be God (part of the mostly used the title “son of man.”
Godhead).
Can mere humans be sinless? The New Testament is very
Another tactic used by those who believe this theory is that it cautious to avoid any hint of polytheism (which is the belief in
is first assumed that what we call 'God' is one -- meaning only and/or worship of more than one god or in many gods). There
one person. Using this definition it is therefore concluded that is only one God – the Old Testaments says so, and Jesus said
only the “Father” can be God and Jesus cannot be. so (Mark 12:29-30). But, the man Jesus is a unique man. He
was a sinless man according to the New Testament (1Peter
2:22-24; 1John 3:5; 2Corinthians 5:21). But, according the
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both Old and New Testament passages, no human person can The Time Leading Up To Christ Ideas of pre-existence
be sinless (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Psalm 130:3; Proverbs 20:9). The flourished among the Jews during the intertestamental period
Bible clearly states: (the time period between the old and new testaments). There
was the idea of the existence of the “Son of God”. Many, but
“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God " particularly Philo’s speculations on God’s eternal wisdom,
(Romans 5:12). fostered it. There were many apocalyptic ideas about the
coming of the “Son of Man” who was considered already
Also note: existing and hidden with God. There were many rabbinic
ideas even of the pre-existence of the Torah – God’s law – that
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, they believed already existed before it was given. Other ideas
and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). of pre-existence were of “paradise” and even the Messiah’s
name.
Was Jesus GOOD? Here is an interesting passage that
opponents to the deity of Jesus quote. A man came to Jesus Satan usually counterfeits God’s truth. So, when John wrote
and said, the “prologue” to his gospel, he brought the truth of the pre-
existing Word by stating: “And the Word (Greek: logos)
“Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may
was God.” No such statement was ever made about any of the
have eternal life? And he said unto him, 'Why callest other “pre-existing” people or things.
thou me good? There is none good but one, that is,
God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the The Son of God Those who believe that God can only be one
commandments.' ” (Matthew 19:16-17) person say that Jesus was the “son” of God but so are we.
They point out that angels were called “sons of God” as well
Great weight is placed on the fact that Jesus wouldn’t even call as the nation of Israel and its king. They quote James Brady,
himself “good”. But was He good? Of course he was and “The title Son of God undoubtedly stems from Old Testament
many New Testament passages show that Jesus used the same texts such as 2Samuel 7:14f and Psalm 2:7, in its association
Greek word for “good” to refer to other men and things. with the Davidic King.”

Those who quote this passage to say that Jesus rebuked a man In other words, they imply that the title “Son of God” as
for calling him “good” pass right over the statement of Thomas applied to Jesus is no more than applied to angels, Israelites or
in the Gospel of John when he said to Jesus, “My Lord and the king of Israel. Please note that when the Bible talks about
my God.” John records no comment from Jesus. Now, why Jesus it calls Him “THE” Son of God with the definite article.
not rebuke Thomas right there and then? “Hey, Thomas, don’t The rest of us are referred to as “sons of God” or “a son of
call me God. I don’t even let men call me “good” let alone call God” or merely as “sons”. So, what does the New Testament
me “God.” You’ve just committed blasphemy!” In the Book say about “the Son of God”?
of Revelation on two occasions when John was overwhelmed
with what he saw and bowed before an angel, he was told to Consider the following New Testament passages:
worship God only (See Revelation 19:10 and 22:9).
“Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that
The New Testament definitely shows a much greater believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1John 5:5).
reverence, exaltation and praise for the risen Christ than for the
flesh and blood Christ. Jesus did not want anyone to look on “He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in
flesh and blood as “God.” himself: he that believes not God has made him a liar;
because he believes not the record that God gave his
Son” (1John 5:10).
Can't use Elohim Proponents of the “one God” theory are
correct when they assert that the Hebrew word “Elohim” used
for God (Strong's Concordance #H430, used in verses such as Do these passages make you think that being the Son of God is
Genesis 1:1-31, etc.) cannot be used to prove that God is more light or trivial? You can’t be saved unless you believe Jesus is
than one person. While it is used in the plural for false gods, the Son of God. But some would say that we are all “sons of
angels, and judges, it is mostly used with singular verbs when God” and that this designation does not elevate Christ to any
major exalted position and certainly not to deity itself!
speaking of God. However, there a number of passages where
it is used with a plural verb as well. These, however, are in the
minority and cannot be used to PROVE that "Elohim" means a Really? Read this:
plural of persons. But at the same time, one cannot state with
certainty that Elohim cannot be more than one. “He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the
Son of God has not life” (1John 5:12).
For further study, some passages discussing the deity of Jesus
which are explained away by those who believe in "one God" How important is the Son of God?
include John 1:1-14, 18, 30; 3:13; 6:62: 8:58; 10:30; 17:5.
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“These things I have written to you that believe on the "But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom
name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus
eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him."
Son of God” (1John 5:13). (1Corinthians 8:6, KJV)

Speaking of converted Christians we read: Now, if Jesus is not “God” then the Father is not “Lord.” In
some of my sermons I show how the New Testament gradually
“If they shall fall away, it is impossible to renew them brings the Father and Son together and blurs the distinction
again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves between them.
the Son of God afresh and put him to an open shame”
(Hebrews 6:6). The Worship of Jesus Evidence shows worship of Jesus began
in early Palestinian Jewish Christianity . In the earliest
“Of how much sorer punishment, do you suppose, shall Christian community Jesus was already understood to be at
he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the God’s right hand in heaven, risen from the dead, and active in
Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant, the Church by His Spirit, and coming in the future as king,
wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has ruler and judge of the world.
done despite to the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29).
He was God’s end time revelation and the source of our final
“And because you are sons, God has sent forth the
Spirit of His Son into your hearts crying, Abba, (which
salvation as well as the source of the enthusiasm of the Spirit
means) Father” (Galatians 4:6). that was present in the Christian worship services. He was and
is the focus of all Christian relationship, through Him, to God.
Notice that it is the Spirit of Christ in us that allows us to call
God our Father! Our sonship depends upon Jesus’ unique Psalms and hymns celebrating His exaltation by God and
sonship! God’s work of salvation through Him were sung and
composed from the earliest times. Acclamations and prayers
addressed to Jesus go back also to the earliest times. For
“God is faithful, by who you were called into the
instance we have the Aramaic cry: Marantha (Our Lord,
fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord”
(1Corinthians 1:9). come!) (1Corinthians 16:22; Revelation 22:20). This was
preserved in Aramaic in the Greek speaking churches, which
indicates its very early origin and shows the expectation of His
Conversion and coming to God is really being called into the
appearing as well as our present religious relationship with the
fellowship of our Lord Jesus Christ!
one who is to come.
“As the Son, He is the image of God from the
The New Testament evidence for personal prayer to Jesus as a
beginning…” (Colossians 1:15-18).
regular feature of early Christianity has been very much
UNDERESTIMATED and virtually neglected by those who
And we are predestined to be conformed to the image of the believe God can only be one person.
Son (Romans 8:29).
Paul Prayed To Jesus Here are a few examples of such
“And when all things shall be subdued to him, then
prayers:
shall the Son also himself be subject to him that put all
things under him that God may be all and in all”
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
(1Corinthians 15:28).
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my
power is made perfect in weakness’ " (2Corinthians 12:8-9
Herein lies the key to all the New Testament. It is only NIV).
meaningful to speak of the Son in view of God’s revelatory
action. For this reason Father and Son are really one in this Note that in most all of Paul’s writings, “Lord” refers to Jesus
activity. Christ and “God” refers to our Father in heaven. For Paul and .
..
God and Lord The New Testament (especially Paul’s writings)
refers to “God the Father” and to “the Lord Jesus Christ.” In “for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all
many Old Testament passages we find the words “LORD things came and for whom we live; and there is but one
God” or “Lord GOD”, but Paul does not use these two words Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and
together. Almost always, “God” is God the Father and “Lord” through whom we live” (1Corinthians 8:6, NIV).
is the Lord Jesus Christ. Some have insisted that 1Corinthians
8:6 is proof that Jesus is not God. “Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord
Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the
Lord make your love increase and overflow for each
other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.
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May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be Paul writes,
blameless and holy in the presence of our God and
Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy “For there is no difference between the Jew and the
ones” (1Thessalonians 3:11-13 NIV). Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that
call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name
Note how Paul separates God and Lord. But they overlap in of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:12-13).
functions.
This passage is quoted in Acts 2:21 referring to the Lord Jesus
“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our and belief in Him. But it is a quote from Joel 2:32 which
Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal reads,
encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts
and strengthen you in every good deed and word” “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on
(2Thessalonians 2:16-17, NIV). the name of the LORD (YHWH) shall be delivered: for in
mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as
Note here that “our Lord Jesus Christ” and “God our Father” the LORD (YHWH) hath said, and in the remnant whom
are both asked to strengthen us in every good deed and word. the LORD (YHWH) shall call.”

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Both Paul and Luke took this passage referring to YHWH and
Christ's perseverance” (2Thessalonians 3:5 NIV). applied it to Jesus! In the Old Testament people called on
YHWH. See Psalm 17:1. But the New Testament talks of
Note that the Lord here is probably the Lord Jesus. But He is calling upon the Lord (Jesus). See Acts 9:14,21; 22:16; 2 Tim.
to direct our hearts into God’s love and Christ’s endurance. 2:22.
Note how these functions become very indistinguishable.
Who can be worshipped but God? He does not share His glory
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at with another. Jesus has to be equal with God in order to accept
all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you” the worship and praise given to Him (Philippians 2:6-9).
(2Thessalonians 3:16 NIV).
In the Form of God Philippians 2:6-9 is a most powerful
“The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” (Romans passage:
16:20).
"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery
Jesus is the Lord of peace. Is that Jesus or the Father. When to be equal with God: But made himself of no
Paul says, “The Lord be with all of you” is he excluding the reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant,
Father? Do you see how many problems we get into when we and was made in the likeness of men: And being found
try to be too technical in separating Christ and the Father? in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became
obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Stephen prayed to Jesus “And they stoned Stephen, calling Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given
upon, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he him a name which is above every name: . . ." (Philippians
kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this 2:6-9, KJV)
sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep”
(Acts 7:59-60). Most scholars believe that Paul was quoting a hymn already
sung in the early church. The phrase “being in the form of
To call on the name of the Lord Jesus is what it means to be a God” has been explained away by those who believe God can
Christian. only be one person. They say, “The text does not say he was
God.” In other words he was in the form of God but not God.
“ . . . called to be saints, with all that in every place call
upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs But, to be fair, we have to consider the rest of the passage. We
and ours” (1Corinthians 1:2). see that he emptied himself and took the “form of a servant
(slave).” Now, was Jesus the “servant” of God or was he just
YHWH and the Lord Jesus "For the scripture saith, in the form of a servant but not really a servant? On the night
Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed" (Romans he was betrayed he said, “I am among you as he that
10:11). serves.” The book of Acts refers to Jesus as “servant.” If “in
the form of God” does not mean he was equal with God, then
This appears to be a quote from Isaiah 49:23 that refers to “in the form of a servant” does not mean he was a servant!
those who wait on YHWH will not be put to shame. Is Paul The Greek words, “in the form of,” are the same! Written by:
David L. Antion / BibleStudy.org
applying a YHWH passage to Jesus Christ the risen Lord? It
appears he is.

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mourning the Son whom God had He admitted he deserved to die
Jesus Christ's miraculously given her. (verses 40-41). He, too, had mocked
Jesus earlier, but now he rebuked the
Innocent of any crime against God or other criminal.

Last humanity, Jesus had been betrayed,


arrested, scourged and condemned.
Now, from the cross, Jesus' thoughts
reached above his pain and rejection.
We are not told of any other
conversation between this second
criminal and Jesus. Perhaps only Jesus'
Instead of being consumed with his example and prayer, which he
own pain and misery, Jesus asked overheard, moved him so deeply. He

Sermon forgiveness for those responsible for


the evil done to him — by extension,
all who ignorantly go the way of sin
and death.
said, "Jesus, remember me when you
come into your kingdom" (verse 42).
Jesus replied by offering him hope for
the future: "I ten you the truth, today
you will be with me in paradise" (verse
2) "You will be with me in paradise" 43).
Jesus Christ spent his final hours of
Jesus next spoke to encourage one of
human life nailed to a cross. Despised
the criminals crucified with him. Both Like the first criminal did, most people
and rejected by the world he came to
criminals, likely thieves or murderers, reject Jesus Christ. Their petitions to
save, history's only perfect person took
Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross God thus go unanswered. However, all
upon himself the consequences of our
who surrender to Jesus receive not
sins. The Bible records that on that
only strength to face the present, but
spring day, from a hill outside Jesus shared in our humanity. He set
also lasting hope for the future. There
Jerusalem, Jesus spoke several times. an example for us, suffered for us and
is a future beyond the grave. Eternal
No one Gospel writer records all his was victorious over sin and death in
life in God's kingdom awaits those
sayings. Matthew and Mark describe his work on the cross. His victory, both
who will embrace Jesus as Lord and
one. Luke and John each give us three. in his death and his resurrection,
enables us to be reconciled to God Savior.
Together, these sayings constitute a
powerful message from our Savior's and restored to fellowship with him.
heart during the hours of his greatest 3) "Woman, behold your son!" Jesus
While hanging on the cross, Jesus honored and showed concern for his
spoke of: mother. When it seemed impossible for
personal agony. They reveal Jesus'
him to help anyone, he provided for
innermost feelings as he poured out his
1. Forgiveness (Luke 23:32-34) Mary's care through his trusted friend
life for us.
2. Hope (Luke 23:39-43) John.
1) "Father, forgive them" Only Luke 3. Care (John 19:25-27)
4. Loneliness (Mark 15:33-34; "When Jesus saw his mother there, and
tells us that Jesus, shortly after he was
Matthew 27:45-46) the disciple whom he loved standing
crucified, prayed, "Father, forgive
5. Suffering (John 19:28-29) nearby, he said to his mother, `Dear
them, for they do not know what they
6. Triumph (John 19:30) woman, here is your son,' and to the
are doing" (Luke 23:34). 7. Reunion (Luke 23:44-46) disciple, `Here is your mother.' From
that time on, this disciple took her into
Nearby were Roman soldiers his home" (John 19:26-27).
gambling for his clothes, common
people whipped to frenzy by the early on joined bystanders in reviling
Jesus (Mark 15:32). Luke tells us, "One 4) "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"For the
religious leaders, and gawkers who
of the criminals who hung there hurled first time, Jesus' thoughts were on
came for the hideous spectacle. The
insults at him: `Aren't you the Christ? himself. He cried out, "'Eloi, Eloi, lama
Jewish elders mockingly said they
Save yourself and us!'" (Luke 23:39). sabachthani?'- which means, `My God,
would believe in him if he saved
This man wanted only escape from his my God, why have you forsaken me?"'
himself (Matthew 27:42-43). On his
pain. The gulf between them (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34).
left and right were two criminals
condemned to die with him. remained, because this faithless
criminal had no desire to know his Many have puzzled over Jesus'
Savior and repent of his sins. seeming doubt. Was Jesus afraid?
Not everyone at the foot of the cross
Had his Father deserted him in his
was hostile to Jesus. Women who had
But a miraculous change occurred in greatest need? Jesus was quoting the
followed him during his ministry and
the other criminal. He came to believe. first portion of Psalm 22:1, a prophecy
some of his disciples now came
forward. His mother, Mary, was This man was just as guilty as the first.
8
of the Messiah's suffering and — the heat, pain, rejection and in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit"
exaltation. loneliness. He could have suffered and (Matthew 27:50; see also Mark
died in silence. Instead, unexpectedly, 15:37). Only Luke preserves Jesus'
We sometimes forget that Jesus was he asked for help. "Knowing that all words: "Jesus called out with a loud
fully human. Yes, he was God in the was now completed, and so that the voice, `Father, into your hands I commit
flesh, but he was also subject to all the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, my spirit.' When he had said this, he
feelings of mind and body that any of `I am thirsty"' (John 19:28). breathed his last" (Luke 23:46).
us feel. Jesus spoke these words after
three hours of darkness had covered Jesus asked for a drink and received God is love, and Jesus' ministry
the land (Matthew 27:45). Jesus hung vinegar, fulfilling David's 1,000-year- showed what love is. He gave himself
on the cross alone, where he took our old prophecy (Psalm 69:21). for us. He preached his last sermon
place to feel the pain and anguish that "Immediately one of them ran and got most effectively, by both word and
sin causes. a sponge. He filled it with wine example. In his last seven statements,
vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered he affirmed God's greatness and
There, in the darkness and pain, it to Jesus to drink" (Matthew 27:48). glory.
bearing the burden of our sins, Jesus The man who had hurried to answer
fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy: "Surely he Jesus' request said: "Now leave him God's work goes on Jesus' example
took up our infirmities and carried our alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take and words on the cross bore fruit even
sorrows, yet we considered him him down" (Mark 15:36). before his death, when the repentant
stricken by God, smitten by him, and robber acknowledged him as Lord
afflicted. But he was pierced for our 6) "It is finished" Jesus had finished and appealed for his mercy.
transgressions, he was crushed for our his work on earth. His sixth message
iniquities; the punishment that brought was one of triumph: "When he had On that Passover so long ago, Jesus
us peace was upon him, and by his received the drink, Jesus said, `It is finished his own mission as a human on
wounds we are healed. We all, like finished.' With that, he bowed his earth. But his work goes on now in his
sheep, have gone astray, each of us head and gave up his spirit" (John church. Christ's followers today preach
has turned to his own way; and the 19:30). his gospel of salvation. They show his
Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us love for fellow humans. And they look
all" (Isaiah 53:4-6). Jesus' humility rings in his words. His for his return as King of kings and Lord
was not a vain, I-showed-you attitude. of lords.
Soon Christ would savor the sweetness He did not even say, "I did it." He
of eternal victory over sin and death. claimed no credit. He asked no pity. This is the wonderful message of good
His final three statements came in To the end, Jesus' mind was on the news that Jesus Christ preached the
rapid succession. work he came to do. He announced, day he died for all.
for all to hear, "It is finished."
5) "I am thirsty" Death drew near.
The time of final sacrifice was close. 7) Jesus' final words Matthew tells us,
Jesus had endured — and overcome "And when Jesus had cried out again

The ABC’s of Victory


Although things are not perfect No weapon that is known
Because of trial or pain On earth can yield the power
Continue in thanksgiving Praise can do alone
Do not begin to blame Quit looking at the future
Even when the times are hard Redeem the time at hand
Fierce winds are bound to blow Start every day with worship
God is forever able To "thank" is a command
Hold on to what you know Until we see Him coming
Imagine life without His love Victorious in the sky
Joy would cease to be We'll run the race with gratitude
Keep thanking Him for all the things X alting God most high
Love imparts to thee Yes, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but...
Move out of "Camp Complaining" Zion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!
9
The Meaning of Sincerity
"Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither
with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the
unleavened bread of sincerity and truth," I Corinthians 5:8
What does it mean to be "sincere"? Paul tells us that we should strive
Are we sincere in our relationship with to be "sincere and without
our God and His Son? In making the offence" in his first address to the
point of sincerity, many have given the Corinthians. Could Paul have
analogy of ancient pottery makers in been thinking along these lines? Jesus the Messiah is the "Light of the
Corinth. Notice: World" (John 9:5). If we are held to
the light and brightness of His
As the stories go, there were many "Therefore let us keep the feast, countenance, will the cracks and flaws
fine pottery makers in the Roman not with old leaven, neither with the in us be open to scrutiny and
world, and it turned out to be a leaven of malice and wickedness; correction, or will we be found in
lucrative business. The pottery would but with the unleavened bread of contempt, being vainly covered for
be formed, then placed into an oven sincerity and truth," 1Corinthians outward appearances?
to cure. The well-respected potter 5:8.
would inspect his pottery after firing, If there be any "wax" in our lives, let
and if any cracks were found, the The Greek word for sincerity, us repent and remove it while there is
vessel would be discarded and he still time.
would start over. Naturally, this would , is number 1505 in
increase the overall price and value of Strong’s and is defined as: clearness,
i.e. (by implication) purity A Living Sermon
fine pottery.
(figuratively):--sincerity. The root
meaning is to be 'genuine', 'unmixed', I'd rather see a Christian than hear one
Given the same situation, other less 'without deceit'. Are we as believers any day,
reputable potters would take the being genuine and sincere in our I'd rather have one walk with me than
blemished vessel and rub wax into the mission to serve the Most High God, simply show the way,
crack, perhaps melting it somewhat, The eye's a better pupil and more willing
or are we apt to cover the than the ear,
then paint over the imperfection and imperfections that are inherent to
sell it as if it were pristine. These Fine counsel is confusing but example is
humans? always clear,
individuals could sell their pottery for
And the best of all the preachers are the
cheaper prices, thus undercutting the ones who live their creed,
sincere pottery makers. God knows all things, and it is in vain
to attempt to cover up deceitful ways. For to see the good in action – that's what
everybody needs.
This prompted the honorable pottery I can soon learn how to do it if you'll let me
makers to hang a sign over the Judged by Sunlight see it done,
entrance to their stores: sincerus ... I can watch your hand in action but your
meaning this store has pottery without Another Greek word for sincere is tongue too fast might run.
number 1506, and is found in And the sermons you deliver may be very
wax. The actual definition of the Latin wise and true,
word means to be pure or clean. Philippians 1:10: , judged by But I'd rather get my lessons by observing
sunlight, i.e. tested as genuine what you do,
Whether the stories of the ancient (figuratively):--pure, sincere. By some For I may misunderstand you and the high
pottery makers are true is debatable -- accounts of the Corinthian potters, a advice you give,
but the idea of being "without wax" in But there's no misunderstanding how you
person could check the purity of the
act and how you live.
our personal lives with Jesus is valid. vessel by adding hot water (if wax is I'd rather see a Christian than hear one
present, it will melt) or by holding it up any day!
Imperfections to the sunlight and observing it with a
critical eye.

10
Ang Muling Pagkabuhay
Ni JesuKristo

Ito Ba Ay Totoo?
Gaano kahalaga ang pagkabuhay muli ni JesuKristo sa Kristiyanismo?
Gaano kahalaga ang muling pagkabuhay ni JesuKristo sa iyo?

Para kay Apostol Pablo, sa pagkabuhay na muli ni


JesuKristo umiikot ang doktrina ng Iglesia noong unang Sa mga Gawa 1:3, mababasa nating: “Na sa kanila
siglo. Pansinin ang kaniyang isinulat sa I Corinto 15:14, (mga apostol) nama’y napakita rin siyang buhay, sa
pamamagitan ng maraming mga katunayan, pagkatapos
“At kung si Kristo’y hindi muling binuhay, ay walang na siya’y makapaghirap, na napakikita sa kanila sa loob ng
kabuluhan nga ang aming pangangaral, wala rin naming apatnapung araw, at nagpahayag ng mga bagay tungkol sa
kabuluhan ang inyong pananampalataya.” kaharian ng Diyos.”

Ang mga ito’y mabibigat na salita, mahalaga sa Ang mga apostol ay saksi sa buhay, kamatayan at
ating pananampalataya bilang isang Kristiyano. Gayun pa pagkabuhay na muli ni JesuKristo. Subalit hindi lamang sila.
man, ang mga ibang “pantas” sa ngayon maging ng ibang Maging si Apostol Pablo ay sumulat sa 500 katao na
“naliliwanagang kaluluwa” ay hinahamon ang kredibilidad nakasaksi sa nabuhay na muli na si JesuKristo. (I Corinto
ng pagkabuhay na muli ni JesuKristo. Tayo ay tunay na 15:3-8). Sa ating kapanahunan ngayon, ang isang bagay ay
nabubuhay sa isang panahong mapag-alinlangan. napagtitibay sa pamamagitan ng dalawa o tatlong saksi,
gaya na rin ng nagsasaad sa Biblia (Mateo 18:16). Subalit
Para sa nakararami, ang Biblia ay napakabigat dito, sa usaping pagkabuhay na muli ni JesuKristo, mahigit
tanggapin o napakahirap intindihin. Di ba ang Biblia ay sa 500 saksi ang nakatala sa salita ng Panginoong Diyos!
naglalaman ng mga kuwentong
patungkol sa makapangyarihang Ang mga apostol ay saksi sa buhay,
paglalang; isang malakihang kamatayan at pagkabuhay namuli ng Bakit napakaraming saksi?
pagbaha sa ibabaw ng lupa; ang buhay ni JesuKristo. Maging si Bakit ito isang mahalagang usapin?
pagkahati ng dagat; ang Apostol Pablo ay sumulat sa 500 Simple lamang: kung hindi natin
mahimalang mga pagpapagaling; katao na nakasaksi sa nabuhay na mapagtitibay na si JesuKristo na
ang mga makapangyarihang muli si JesuKristo. I Corinto 15:3-8 anak ng Panginoong Diyos ay
pagtugon sa mga panalangin; ang nabuhay sa mga patay, paano natin
pagkabuhay na muli ni JesuKristo at marami pang iba? pagtitibayin ang ating pananampalataya na tayo at ang mga
Marami rin ang umaaming sila ay Kristiyano ngunit hindi sila mahal natin sa buhay ay mabubuhay ring muli sa mga
lubos na naniniwala rito. patay? (I Corinto 15:12).

Alam din ng mga apostol ang pagdududa ng mga Ang pagkabuhay na muli sa mga patay ay
taong nakapag-aral. Tunghayan ang 2 Timoteo 3:7, bilang mahalaga sa Simbahang Kristiyano at sa darating na
halimbawa. Sa makabagong panahon, sa kabila ng kaharian ng Panginoong Diyos sa lupa – kasama ang isang
pagdududa ng maraming nakapag-aral at walang buhay na JesuKristo bilang Hari ng mga hari at Panginoon
kinikilingang mga mananaliksik ay tinanggap nila ang ng mga Panginoon.
pagkabuhay na muli ni JesuKristo. Ito ay dahil sa maraming
pagpapatunay ng mga taong nakasaksi sa mga pangyayari.
Kaya paano tayo makatitiyak na si JesuKristo ay
Maraming Mga Katunayan nabuhay sa mga patay? Ang atin bang pananampalataya
ay kailangang walang basehan o may mga patunay para sa
Ang mga salitang “maraming mga katunayan” ay isang muling nabuhay na JesuKristo? Ang Pagkabuhay na
hiniram at ginamit sa ibang mga paksa, gaya ng patunay sa muli ay bahagi ng pundasyon ng Kristiyanismo at
paglalang. Subalit ang mga salitang ito kung ating iintindihin mapatutunayan ito. Subalit suriin muna natin kung ano ang
ay tumutukoy rin sa pagkabuhay na muli ni JesuKristo. sinasabi ng mga pumupuna at nag-aalinlangan.
11
babaling sa mga kathang kuwento. Makikita nating ang
Ang Pagkabuhay Bang Muli Ay Isang Kathang-isip tatlong teoryong ito at ang kanilang uri ay talagang ganoon
Lamang? – mga teoryo, opinion at pagbabakasakali, subalit hindi
totoong nangyari o patunay.
May tatlong basikong kaisipang ipinapanukala ang
mga pumupuna, na makapagpapaliwanag sa muling Kulang Ba Sa Katotohanan Ang Biblia?
pagkabuhay ni JesuKristo. Kung tutuusin, ang pangyayaring
maraming kaisipang ibinibigay ang mga tao upang Marahil ang iba ay tinatanong ang
magpaliwanag ay isa lamang indikasyon na mayroong pagkamakatotohanan ng muling pagkabuhay ni JesuKristo.
kabuluhan ang pagkabuhay na muli. Maraming tao ang nagpapalagay na ang Biblia ay isa
lamang sa mga ito. Ito ay isang lehitimong pagpuna.
Ang unang kaisipan ay tinatawag sa ingles na
“swoon theory,” na nagsasaad na nagkunwari si JesuKristo Ang Biblia ay isang aklat na ngayon. Noong una,
sa kaniyang kamatayan. Kung hindi siya totoong namatay ang Bagong Tipan – kung saan nakapaloob ang mga
sa krus, hindi siya magbabangon sa mga patay sa libingan. patotoo sa pagkabuhay na muli – ay kinapapalooban ng 27
Ang kaisipang pagkukunwari sa iyong kamatayan na may magkakahiwalay na aklat at liham o sulat. Ito ay isinulat ng
nakatarak na tabak ng isang sundalong Romana sa iyong di bababa sa walong may-akda at may iba pang nagbigay
tagiliran ay tila baga mahirap ng kanilang mga salaysay na di
paniwalaan. malaman kung ilan pa ang mga ito.

Nakipagsabwatan ba si Daang taon ang ginugol


JesuKristo sa sundalong Romano para pagsamasamahin ang mga
para lamang magkunwaring magkakahiwalay na patotoong ito
magtarak ng tabak sa kaniyang bago nabuo sa isang aklat na
tagiliran para maging makabag- madaling basahin. Ginawa ito para
damdamin ang kaniyang pag- mapadali ang pag-aaral at dahil din
arte? Alam ng mga taong military sa inspirasyong ibinigay sa mga
kung ano ang kamatayan; taong nagpatotoo nito.
sapagkat bahagi ito ng kanilang
gawain. Ang sundalo ay maaaring Ang Matandang Tipan, na
ipinakikita sa karamihan ng tao na ayaw maniwalang si naglalaman ng mga propesiya at mga basehan na si
JesuKristo ay patay na, na siya ay tunay ngang patay ( JesuKristo ay mamamatay, ay kinapapalooban ng 39 na
Juan 19:34). Ang detalyeng ito ng kaniyang pagkamatay ay magkakahiwalay na aklat na iniakda ng iba’t-ibang
pinagtibay bilang isang tunay na patotoo (Juan 19:35). manunulat at mga nag-ambag. Si Moises halimbawa ay
isinulat ang unang limang aklat. Subalit kapansin-pansin na
Ang pangatlong posibilidad ay ang “hallucination iba ang tumapos ng huling kabanata habang itinatala nito
theory.” Ang mga alagad ni ang pagkamatay ni Moises.
JesuKristo ay biktima ng …kung di natin mapagtitibay na si JesuKristo na
isang klaseng malawakang anak ng Diyos ay nabuhay sa mga patay, di natin Ang mga iba pang
“hysteria” o pagkatuliro ng mapagtitibay ang ating pananampalataya na tayo patotoo sa Matandang Tipan:
isip. Bakas pa lamang ng at ang mga mahal natin sa buhay ay mabubuhay Isinulat ito sa loob ng daang
kaniyang kamatayan ay ring muli sa mga patay. I Corinto 15:12 taon ng mga taong may iba-
umaapaw na sa kanila. Kung ibang pananaw, subalit
iyan ay totoo, mahigit 500 ang biktima ng malaking naglalaman ng karapatang katunayan, tunay na pangyayari
“hysteria” at paglalaro sa isip; kasama na rito ang mga at kasaysayan.
opisyal na Romano, mga opisyal na military, mga bantay sa
templo, mga lider na Hudyo at iba pang kahalintulad nito. Kaya ang Biblia ay hindi mawawalan ng
Kahit na yaong mga pumatay sa Kaniya ay maaaring katotohanannn dahil sa sinasabi ng iba na “isa lamang itong
naglalaro rin ang isip dahil tinangka nilang hadlangan ang panggagalingan ng impormasyon.” Ang katotohanan, ito ay
mga nakasaksi sa pagsasalaysay ng mga tunay na isang koleksiyon ng maraming aklat at sulat galing sa
pangyayari tungkol sa pagkabuhay na muli, kaysa ipakita maraming mga manunulat, na naglalaman ng katakut-takot
na lamang ang katawan at patunayang ito’y di totoo (Mga na mapapatunayang mga kasaysayan, mga pangyayari,
Gawa 4:32-33:5:28). mga patotoo ng mga nakasaksi at mga detalye.

Ang mga nag-aral at mga naliwanagang mga tao ay Pagdating sa pagkabuhay na muli ni JesuKristo,
kailangang habaan ang kanilang pisi para asahang ang katunayan ay inilahad at sinupotahan ng maraming
tanggapin ng mga taong may sapat na pag-iisip ang manunulat na nakasaksi, na ang bawat isa ay sumulat ng
teoryang ito. magisa. Base ito sa mga patotoo ng mahigit na 500 na
kataong nakasaksi, kasama na rito ang mga Romano, mga
Alalahanin, sa 2 Timoteo 4:3-4 ay sinasabing Hudyo, ang mga relihiyon, mga pinunong sibil at military.
darating ang panahong ang mga pumupuna, nag- Tunay na isang kapanipaniwala kaso ang inilahad at
aalinlangan at kahit na ang mga nananampalataya ay sinuportahan, kung pipiliin nating tingnan ang katunayan.
12
May kaunti pang nalalabing nakasulat na salaysay
Ang Katotohanan Ay Base Sa Totoong Nangyari ng mga nakasaksi sa pagkakapaslang kay Julius Caesar,
subalit ni wala man lamang nagtatanong sa kuwento ng
Ano ang kapanipaniwala o ang sinasabi sa korte na kaniyang buhay at di kapanipaniwalang pagkamatay.
“katanggap-tanggap” na katunayan? Paano nga ang mga Tinanggap ito bilang isang tunay na pangyayari sa
patotoo ng mga nakasaksi, gaya ng atin nang nasabi? Ang kasaysayan. Kaya bakit ang lahat ng pag-aalinlangan sa
batas ba sa korte o hukuman na nagsusumikap na buhay at tila baga di kapanipaniwalang kamatayan ni
makakuha ng mga tunay na pangyayari sa isang kaso, ay JesuKristo samantalang lalong maraming mga nakasulat na
tatanggapin ang nakasulat na patotoo ang mga nakasaksi.
patotoo ng nakasaksi? Kung ang Ang apat na Ebangelio – apat na
isang saksi ay hindi makasisipot, Kung inyong babasahin at
nakasulat na salaysay ng mga saksi sa
ang nakasulat na salaysay ay pag-aaralan ang mga nakasulat na
bahay, kamatayan at pagkabuhay na paglalahad ng mga nakasaksi sa
tinatanggap.
muli ni JesuKristo. Mateo, Marcos, Lucas at Juan, at
Ganito ang apat na ebangelio – apat na nakasulat isaalang-alang ang katunayan, itanong mo sa iyong sarili:
na salaysay ng mga saksi sa buhay, kamatayan at “ Maari bang nagkunwari si JesuKristo sa Kaniyang
pagkabuhay na muli ni JesuKristo. sariling Kamatayan?”

Ang mga Kristiyano ay kailangang suriin ang mga “Ang lahat ba ng daan-daang mga saksi, kasama
nakasulat sa mga ebangelio – ang mga nakasulat na na ang mga pinuno at opisyal ng gobyerno, ay mga biktima
salaysay ng mga saksi. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit iniingatan lamang ng isang malawakang “hysteria” o halusinasyon?”
ang mga ito para sa ating kapanahunan ngayon.
Napakaraming mababaw at mapatutunayang “Hahayaan ba ng mga apostol at mga alagad ni
pananampalataya ang nakabase o umaasa sa kanilang JesuKristo na sila’y lait-laitin sa natitira pa nilang buhay at
mga naririnig sa mga makabagong mangangaral. Lalong pagkatapos ay kitlan ng buhay para lang sa isang bagay na
mainam na basahin ang salaysay ng mga taong naroon at alam nilang hindi totoo?”
nakaalam ng mga tunay na pangyayari.
Si Apostol Pablo ay nakipagtalo sa isang hari, na
Isang halimbawa, tingnan ang patotoo ni Lucas – sinasabing “sapagkat ito’y hindi ginawa sa isang sulok”
ang ikatlong aklat ng Bagong Tipan. Para itala ang mga (Gawa 26:26), na ang ibig sabihin ay hindi maaaring di
tunay na pangyayari na kaniyang nasaksihan, isinulat niya mapuna. Ang iba sa mga tumutuligsa kay JesuKristo ay
ang sunod-sunod na pangyayari (Lucas 1:1-3). Bakit? Para mga pinakamataas na pinuno ng mga Hudyo (Marcos
ang mga mambabasa, kasama na kayo at ako ay “makilala 15:1). Ang pinakamataas na opisyal ng Roma sa Judae ay
ang katunayan tungkol sa mga bagay na itinuro sa iyo.” naroon din at kasama sa paghusga kay JesuKristo (Marcos
(Lucas 1:4). 15:2).

Si Lucas ay isang doktor o manggagamot Ang kaharian ng Roma ay napaka-organisado.


(Colosas 4:14). Isa siyang nakapag-aral na tao na Tiyak na si Pilato ay may ulat ng kaganapan at tala ng mga
maaaring nagkaroon ng pagsasanay sa pagharap sa pangyayari na iniaayos at tiyak na mapapansin ang mga
totoong mga pangyayari. Ang bagay na ito sa kaniyang mga
Ang paghahari ni JesuKristo sa kamatayan
kaniyang isinulat na salaysay isinumiteng tala ng pangyayari sa
at ang Kaniyang muling pagkabuhay ay Roma. Ang mga opisyal military
bilang isang saksi samakatuwid,
ay masasabi nating nagbibigay pag-asa. at sundalo ng Roma ay naroon
kapanipaniwala. Dagdag pa sa kaniyang ebangeliong din (Mateo 27:27,54) at maaaring nagbigay ng ulat sa
isinulat, isinulat din ni Lucas ang aklat na Ang Mga Gawa pangyayari sa mga nakataas sa kanila. Mga mahahalagang
Ng Mga Apostol. Sa panulat din ni Lucas nanggaling ang tao sa lipunan ng mga Hudyo ang naglibing sa katawan ni
mga salitang “maraming mga katunayan” (Gawa 1:3). JesuKristo (Juan 19:38-39).

Ang tatlo pang ebangelio ay mga salaysay rin ng Sa mga pangyayaring ito, paano masasabi ng mga
mga nakasaksi, katanggap-tanggap na katunayan. taong may sapat na pag-iisip na si JesuKristo ay
Samantalang inilalahad nila ang mga katulad na nagkunwari sa Kaniyang kamatayan o dili kaya’y ang daan-
pangyayari, ang mga ito’y mga aklat na magkakahiwalay na daang mga saksi, kasama na rito ang mga opisyal ng
isinulat – hindi basta kopya ng bawat isa. Roma, ay “histerikal” at pinaglalaruan ng isip lamang?
Kapag nabasa na ninyo at isinaalang-alang ang mga
Ang paghahari ni JesuKristo sa kamatayan totoong nangyari sa kaso, iisa lamang kahatulan. Si
(Hebreo 2:9,14-15), at ang Kaniyang muling pagkabuhay JesuKristo ay nabuhay, namatay at bumangon sa mga
ay nagbibigay pag-asa sa Kaniyang tunay na mga taga- patay!
sunod (Filipos 3:10-11). Dahil sa ang pagkabuhay na muli
ay isa sa mga pinakamadaling patunayang pangyayari sa Ang Kasinungalingan At Ang Tangkang Pagtatakip
kasaysayan, maaari tayong manampalataya sa ganitong
pag-asa.

13
Ang pinakamatandang kaisipang ginagamit para di na isasaalang-alang ang patotoo ng mga nakasaksi, na
paniwalaan ang salaysay ng mga saksi sa muling maingat atpinaghirapang mapanatitli at mapangalagaan ng
pagkabuhay ni JesuKristo ay ginawa ng mga taong mga eskriba atmga pantas sa loob ng 1900 na taon, o
pumatay sa kanya (Mateo 28:11-15). Kabilang dako, agad-agad na tatanggapin ang mga walang kabuluhang
isinulat ni Apostol Pablo na mahigit 500 saksi ang nakakita teorya ng mga nagdududa sa makabagong panahon?
na si JesuKristo ay buhay
pagkaraan ng pagkapako Ang pinakamatandang kaisipang ginagamit para di Kayo ang mamili.
niya sa krus. Alin ang higit paniwalaan ang salaysay ng mga saksi sa muling Kung wala ang nabuhay na
na kapanipaniwala? pagkabuhay ni JesuKristo ay ginawa ng mga muli si JesuKristo ay wala
taong pumatay sa kanya. Mateo 28:11 tayong tunay na pag-asa sa
muli nating pagkabuhay at
Ngunit may 500 saksi ang nakakita na si
Ang mga ganoon din ang ating mga
masasamang pinuno at mga
JesuKristo ay buhay pagkaraan ng pagkapako mahal sa buhay (I Corinto
kasama nito ay lagging niya sa krus. Alin ang higit na kapanipaniwala? 15:12-23). Kung wala ang
nagsusumikap na magsinungaling at pagtakpan ang nabuhay na muling si JesuKristo ang bawat isa sa atin at ng
masasama nilang gawa. Ang teoryang ninakaw ng mga ating mga anak, kasama ng buong sangkatauhan, ay
alagad ni JesuKristo ang kaniyang katawan ay mananatili pa ring nakalugmok sa kasalukuyang panahon
ipinalalaganap pa rin hanggang ngayon. Ang mga ayaw ng krimen, gutom, utang, digmaan, droga, sakit, pagpatay
maniwala sa mga totoong nangyari sa kabila ng mga at mga kahalintulad nito. Kung ngayon lamang ang ating
nakasulat ng mga nakasaksi ay biktima ng buhay, ang buhay natin bilang Kristiyanismo ang siyang
kasinungalingang ito at pagtatakip. Maliban na lang kung pinakakahabag-habag sa lahat ng mga nilalang ng
sila’y magbago, hindi sila aariing-ganap ng pagkamatay ng Panginoong Diyos (I Corinto 15:19). Wala na tayong pag-
kanilang manunubos. asa sa darating na maluwalhating kaharian ng Panginoong
Diyos sa lupa kung saan ang buhay at mapagmahal na si
Ano Ang Gagawin Mo? JesuKristo ang siyang Hari ng mga Hari at Panginoon ng
mga Panginoon.
Ano ang gagawin mo? Tatanggapin mo ba ang
mahihina , walang basehahang mga teoriya, opinion at Ang mga nakasulat na salaysay ng mga nakasaksi
espekulasyon ng mga nagdududa sa ating makabagong ay patibay ng katotohanan. Si JesuKristo ay nabuhay,
panahon o ang mga nakasulat na patotoo ngmga nakasaksi namatay at nabuhay na muli. Ano ang gagawin mo sa
sa mga pangyayaring iyon? pagaaralan mo ba at maingat kaniyang patotoo?

Isinalin sa Tagalog mula sa “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Is It A Fact?” na isinulat ni Donald L. Hudgel ng Bible Education
Services. Ipinamamahagi bilang babasahin ng Shelter In The Word, email: info@ShelterInTheWord.com; P.O. Box 197, Perry, Mchigan,
48872-0107, USA.

HUMILITY: The precious gem of the


Christian Crown
Paul was led to prophesy nearly two thousand years ago, that in our age, the last
days before the return of Christ and the new age of the Kingdom of God on earth,
HUMILITY would be a rare gem. "For people will be.....PROUD, ARROGANT AND
CONTEMPTUOUS BOASTERS.....INFLATED WITH SELFCONCEIT....." (2 Timothy
3:1-4; Amplified Bible).

We have had, and still have, those who lead nations of done for the benefit of their nation and mankind.
various political groups, who do nothing but boast of their
greatness. These are individuals who are inflated with We have had, in the past, those who shout and
conceit about what they would do IF in a position of power. threaten to annihilate others in war. Unfortunately, these
On the other hand, those that already are in powerful individuals are still with us.
positions brag of the great things they and their party have
14
We have those with earthly riches who are arrogant It took some drastic measures on God's part (by
and domineering toward those with few earthly riches. Then allowing Satan to do some painful things to Job) to bring
we have those that are poor in material goods being proud Job to true REPENTANCE and HUMILITY. I guess God could
and contemptuous of the rich. have used another method, but for whatever reason He
chose the ones He did). Human nature is such that many, it
There have been, and no doubt will be again, those in seems, have to be brought low before HUMILITY is their own
the world of sports who claim "I'm the greatest" and time experience. With many who are brought low, we find PRIDE
proves they were not so great after all! Yes, and even in the and CONCEIT a big part of their personality too. So the
place that you would least expect to find it - RELIGION - proverb, "PRIDE GOES BEFORE DESTRUCTION, AND A HTY
there's PRIDE and CONCEIT RAISING its INFLATED HEAD. SPIRIT BEFORE A FALL" (Proverbs 16:18) becomes a reality.
Some religious leaders of different denominations feel they
must always be in the limelight of their church papers, On the other hand, true honor usually comes only to
magazines, news letters, etc. Many individuals think they are those who have exhibited a humble spirit. For example, the
indispensable, no matter how old they are and there is no great statesman, Sr. Churchill (who inspired the Allies during
one else that can preach, teach, or broadcast like World War 2) found himself ridiculed, derided and made a
themselves! We could go on relating examples to the political exile In his own country. All because he dared to
opposite of HUMILITY, which is warn his country that Hitler was out to conquer the world. It
evident in our society today. was not until war broke out that Mr.
Truly the genuine gem of Churchill was honored by being called
HUMILITY is a rare jewel. to lead the British nation against Hitler.
The proverb says, "...before honer is
In the WORLD BOOK HUMILITY" (Proverbs 18:12).
DICTIONARY the word HUMBLE
is defined as "...having or A person with true humility will
showing a feeling that one is exhibit the quality of character that
unimportant, weak, poor, acknowledges areas of weakness in
etc...modest in spirit, not proud, his/her own abilities. When Moses was
deeply or courteously called of God from the burning bush to
respectful...without wrongful lead Israel out of Egypt, he did not
pride in oneself or in answer by saying he was great and
accomplishments..." that the Lord had made a wise choice
in choosing him. No, Moses humbly
EXAMPLES OF HUMILITY came before his Creator, confessing
the weak areas of his character; public speaking with
eloquence was not one of his gifts! (See Exodus 3:10-11 &
There was a man who had great wealth, notoriety and
Exodus 4:10). Moses went down in history as one of the
prestige. He treated his servants very well. He helped the
greatest men, and it Is recorded of him In Numbers 12:3,
poor and needy. He gave to widows and orphans In his
"Now the man Moses was very meek (humble) above all the
realm. He was not obsessed with his wealth or position and
men which were upon the face of the earth."
he was true to his wife in body and mind. Idolatry was not a
part of his worship. This man had no hatred for anyone,
The great prophet Isaiah when called to prophesy
including his enemies. He shared his home with travellers and
against Israel and other nations, immediately saw his sins
was known for his hospitality. All of these accomplishments
and weakness of character and confessed them (Isa. 6:1-7).
and more were this man's badge, and if any man deserved
to be proud and boastful, it was this man. And that was his
Jeremiah also humbly said he was too young, to
weakness. He was CONCEITED and SELF-RIGHTEOUS. His
immature to speak (Jer. 1:6).
name was Job. Read the narrative in Job chapter 31 and
32:1.
The man God used to write more of the New
Finally, the Lord spoke to Job and brought him to see Testament than any other author was Paul. He wrote, "For I
that even with all his abilities and good deeds, he was am less than the least of all saints..." (I Cor. 15:9; Eph. 3:8).
nothing compared to the Almighty. (Read Job 38 through Paul's weakness and sins (though under the blood of Jesus)
41). Humility became a part of Job's character when he kept him constantly HUMBLE as he reflected on his life.
uttered these words, "Therefore (I now see) I have (rashly)
uttered what I did not know...I had heard of you (only) by How many of those that God has used to speak and
the hearing of the ear; but now my (spiritual) eye sees you. do his work still remain humble, even though they have
Therefore I loathe (my words) and abhor myself, and repent experienced success, at least as the world defines success? (It
in sackcloth and ashes" (Job 42:3-6). is difficult to remain humble and not become proud and
egotistical when men give you acclaim). Only the resurrection
and history will tell.
15
When John the Baptist (whom Jesus said was fulfilling Elijah was a man powerfully used by the Lord, not only
the prophecy of Elijah to come, Mt. 17:11-13, and that none in preaching and warning, but also In performing great
among men had risen who was greater Mt. 11:11) was physical miracles (I Kings 17:18; 21:17-29 and 11 Kings
asked if he was Elijah, or the Christ, or a great prophet, he 1:1-17). But the day came when God decided that Elijah's
answered, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. work should be given to another. It was time for him to step
Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet aside, to no longer be in the forefront of fame and glory.
Esaias..." (Jn. 1:19-27). Although John must have been told He was to relinquish his hold of power and authority. Elijah
of the manifestations of God to his parents concerning his was given the ultimate test and he passed with flying colors
birth; although he must have known as a boy and a young (II Kings 2:1-18). This is one of the reasons Elijah and Moses
man that he was destined for a great commission to Israel, (two of the most humble men in history) were in vision at the
still he remained humble. His is one of the greatest examples transfiguration of Christ (Mt. 17:1-13).
of true HUMILITY in the entire Bible.
Those individuals that will be in the first resurrection, at
HUMILITY IS TEACHABLE the return of Christ, will also exhibit like Moses, Elijah and
others, a humble God-like spirit. They will be the ones who
Another characteristic that exhibits itself in those that will be willing to follow the greatest example of humility to
have the gem of humility in their crown, is the ability to ever be exhibited, our LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.
accept and to seek counsel from others. Humility knows the He, who had all perfection, glory and power, was, next to
wise truth of the proverb that says, "in the multitude of the Father in GREATNESS. He of whom it is written, "...He,
counsellors there Is safety" (Prov. 11 :14). who had always been God by nature, did not cling to his
privileges as God's equal, but stripped himself of every
Notice how the meek man Moses was able to accept advantage by consenting to be a slave and to be born a
the wise counsel of his father-in-law (Exodus 18:13-27). He man. And plainly seen as a human being, he HUMBLED
not only accepted it, he acted on it. himself by living a life of utter obedience, to the point of
death. And the death he died was a death of a common
criminal. That is why God has now lifted him to heights, and
This example brings us to the realization that no one
has given him the name beyond all names. So that at the
man is an island unto himself. It is a true saying that there is
name of JESUS 'every knee shall bow', whether in heaven or
strength in numbers. A truly humble person will acknowledge
earth or under the earth. And that is why every tongue shall
that he is not the sum total of all wisdom, knowledge and
confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, to the glory of God the
understanding. That he can only do so much, spread himself
FATHER" (Phil. 2:6-11, Phililps translation, emphasis mine).
just so thin, before he becomes a shattered physical wreck.
Truly, before praise must come HUMILITY!
A meek and humble person will realize that others
have God given talents and abilltles, and will be delighted
to use these attributes to enhance the whole. He will be glad HUMILITY IN SERVICE
to delegate responsibility and share the betterment of the
whole. He will show trust and confidence in them (not forever If there is anyone who is reading these words and is
looking over their shoulder) but always there to strengthen seeking for personal greatness in the eyes of mankind,
and assist when needed. Again, read Moses' example in whether it be in the field of politics, finance, economics,
Exodus 18, where he chose able men to help him govern science, sports, or even religion, let him take to heart the
Israel. admonition of Jesus in Matt. 20:25-28, "You know that the
rulers of the Gentiles rule it over them, and their great men
HUMILITY'S GREATEST TEST hold them in subjection, tyrannizing over them. Not so shall it
be among you; but whoever wishes to be GREAT among you
must be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among
Perhaps the greatest test for anyone in exhibiting
you must be your slave, just as the Son of man came not to
humility (a test that many, who have enjoyed the acclaim of
be waited on but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom
others while in a position of authority, fail) is to humbly step
for many..." (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
aside in favor of another person or group. This is the crucial
test.
One of the main ingredients in HUMILITY is service to
Many gifted and talented people in various walks of others. This calibre of humility comes at great cost. It is the
life have humbled themselves in all facets of physical living epitome of a laid-down life, poured out, lived out on behalf
except this one area - a willingness to relinquish power and of others. Yes, it costs a great deal to experience and know
control. They always must be in control and make the final true humility. For most people it's a price that is prohibitive;
decision or veto the decisions of others, thus keeping they simply will not pay it!
themselves as the supreme and only authority. The failure of
not passing this final test means they have not been able to THE MEEK ARE NOT WEAK
achieve total or GODLY HUMILITY.
16
The humble person is a gracious, congenial individual out to God for help. He reaches out to Christ for restoration
who is easy to get along with. These good natured souls win and healing. He exercises faith in another because he knows
friends on every side because they refuse to shove, push, he must touch someone greater than himself.
and throw their weight around, they don't win their wars with
brutal battles and fierce fights. They win their way into 2) It is to such souls that God gives Himself gladly, freely. He
hundreds of hearts and homes with the passport of a lovely, draws near to those that draw near to Him. He delights to
loving spirit. But this quality of life does not come from a dwell with those of a broken and contrite spirit. 'The Lord is
position of feeble impotence but rather from a tremendous nigh unto them that are of a broken and contrite heart; and
inner strength and serenity. Only the strong, stable spirit can saves such as be of a contrite (meek) spirit' (Ps. 34:18)...ln
afford to be gentle. Moses was, in many ways, a powerful, vivid and shattering contrast we are warned explicitly that
strong man, yet he was the humblest of all men during his God actually RESISTS the PROUD. He does not just tolerate
day. or indulge arrogant souls. He actually opposes them
actively. This is a terrifying truth that should make any self-
Jesus Christ was the perfection of humility, yet He was centered, hty individual tremble (James 4:4-10).
by no means a weak individual. Notice how He dealt with
those who misused the TEMPLE of God (Jn. 2:13-17) and 3) In contrast to this, the third amazing reality about humility
how, on occasions, He answered the hypocritical religious is the impact it makes on our fellowman. It is the genuinely
leaders of His time (Mt. 23). Jesus is the center of Christianity humble, gentle soul who wins friends and draws around him
- He set us the complete example (I Peter 2:21) for us to a circle of loving associates. This quality of life draws others
follow. And as Phillip Keller, in his book "A GARDENER as surely as nectar in a blossom draws bees. The gentle
LOOKS AT THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT" so aptly put it on genial person is the recipient of affection. People bestow on
page 68, "Unless we keep clearly in view the life and the him their blessings. He is lavished with love and surrounded
character of Christ we will succumb to the eternal temptation with compassion. The proud, arrogant, hty person has few
of living like our contemporaries, giving tit for tat, insisting friends, if any. He stands upon his little pedestal of pride in
on our rights, demanding our pound of flesh, stepping on grim and gaunt loneliness. Others leave him alone. They
anyone who trespasses against us, while all the time pushing ignore him deliberately. If he is so independent, let him live
for PROMINENCE AND RECOGNITION. This is the world's his own Life; let him go his own way; let him suffer the agony
way; Christ calls us to tread In His footsteps. He tells us to of his own selfishness."
deny ourselves dally (give up our right to ourselves). He asks
us to take up our cross continuously (that which cuts I will add one more benefit of HUMILITY, in fact. the
diametrically across my selfish interest), crossing out the greatest benefit of all.
great "l" in my life to produce peace. None of this Is very
appealing. It goes against the grain of our old nature. It is Those who humble themselves now, under the mighty
not a bit glamorous or romantic" (emphasis mine). hand of God, will be exalted in due time and inherit
everlasting GLORY as a child of the Father in His Kingdom.
THE BENEFITS OF HUMBLENESS
"By HUMILITY and fear of the Lord are RICHES, AND
Humility has a basic fruitage of three fantastic HONER, AND LlFE" (Proverbs 22:4). By Keith Hunt
benefits. They could not be stated any better than Mr. P.
Keller does in his aforementioned book, I quote from pages Permission is given to photo copy, e-mail, web site etc. any article by Keith
169 and 170: Hunt and distribute to others. As Christians it is taken for granted that
proper credit will be given not for fame but out of politeness. All praise for
work we do should go to the LORD.
1) "Humility is the only seedbed from which faith can
spring...ln brokenness and contrition the humble person cries
saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted,
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Answer: This is a question that has been pondered and debated

Q&A: Father, Why Have You


unendingly, it seems.

The short answer is, God withdrew His Holy Spirit from Jesus
and turned His back on him because Jesus had taken upon
Forsaken Me? himself all the sins of mankind, and God (The Father) cannot
and will not look upon sin.

Question: What does it mean when Jesus said "Father, Father


why have you forsaken me?" when he was nailed on the cross? The long answer is more complicated and can become very deep,
Matthew 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud so if you have more questions about it after studying this answer
voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, WITH YOUR BIBLE OPEN, then please send me e-mail with your
my God, why hast thou forsaken me? additional questions about this subject.
Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice,
17
God, the Father, will NOT look upon sin! He hides His Face
from it. God will not allow one iota of His Character to be changed What does the word ‘Easter’ mean in
by even observing sin.
the Bible?
Isaiah the prophet tells us about that.
Question: What is meant by the term Easter in Acts 12:4? Is this
Easter the Jewish Passover or a pagan festival?
Isa 59:2 "But your iniquities (law-breaking) have separated
between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from Answer:
you, that he will not hear." First, lets take a look at the verse in question along with the few
verses before it:
The Word of God (John 1:1) gave up ALL the GLORY,
MAJESTY and POWER to become a human being (verse 14), "Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands
live a perfect life as an example to us, and to become that to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother
sacrifice demanded by God's Righteous Law. of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the
Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the
days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended
When Jesus took upon Himself the fullness of mankind's sins, it
him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four
was needful, in order to OBEY God's Law, that He be baptized and
quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to
die because of mankind's total sins. They had all been heaped
bring him forth to the people. " (Acts 12:1-4, KJV)
upon Him.
The second part of your question needs a bit of clarification and
Although Jesus lived a perfect, sin-free life, the sins of mankind explanation. Biblically speaking, the Passover was not a "Jewish"
which He so graciously accepted condemned Him to death. festival although Jews (members of the tribe of Judah or citizens of
the Kingdom of Judah, consisting of the tribes of Judah and
That death had to picture eternal death, so God The Father, of Benjamin and most of the tribe of Levi) certainly celebrated this
necessity had to withdraw His Holy Spirit from Christ as He hung festival and still do. The Kingdom of Judah came into being when
there on the cross, almost dead. the other ten tribes of Israel (the tribe of Joseph became two tribes
– Ephraim and Manasseh) split from those three tribes at the end
of King Solomon's reign. The ten tribe nation was called Israel
When Jesus knew the absence of the Holy Spirit, He cried out,
from that point forward and the citizens of the Kingdom of Judah
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" That absence
were called Jews. The Passover festival was an Israelite festival
of God's life-giving, Holy Spirit will be what those unconvertible,
and not just a Jewish festival – it was ordained for all 12 (actually
unrepentant, incorrigible people will feel just before their eternal
13) tribes to keep.
death at the end! It was also prophesied in Ps. 22 verse 1!

The holy day or festival known as Passover was never called


HAD GOD NOT RESURRECTED JESUS (BECAUSE JESUS'
Easter by the first century church. The word Easter is a derivative
OWN LIFE HAD BEEN SINLESS) THAT DEATH WOULD HAVE
of Ishtar, or Astarte or one of other names (such as Venus) given
BEEN PERMANENT because of the sins of mankind He had
by various cultures to their goddess of fertility. This is the origin
accepted!
of Easter eggs and the rabbit (noted for its rapid procreation) as a
symbol of that celebration.
How frightening that is when one understands the whole picture of
salvation!
The King James Version Bible was written by scholars whose
orientation was toward Catholic and Anglican church doctrines,
The Christian Passover each year memorializes all these and this caused some of the errors in translation i.e., the
things and teaches us once again that we MUST be able to claim translation of the Greek word pascha, which means "passover", as
that wonderful, ultimate sacrifice of Jesus when He and God offer "Easter" in Acts 12:4.
it to us. There ARE conditions that must be met in order to claim
that sacrifice as payment for our sins. The New International Version Bible correctly translates pascha as
"passover":
There is much, much more to all this. "After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to
be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod
intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover."
If this raises more questions about this subject, please e-mail me (Acts 12:4, NIV)
and I will do my best to serve you! Ken Browder, - Seven Times Pascha is correctly translated as Passover elsewhere in the KJV
Newsletter -http://7times.org and almost all other reliable translations.

Easter is indeed of pagan origin and was originally celebrated at


the spring solstice as part of the worship of a pagan goddess of
fertility.

NOTE: Thank you for your question. As the Bible is the ULTIMATE WRITTEN AUTHORITY of TRUTH given by God, we encourage you to
check our answers from God's Holy Word. May God truly bless your studies and your efforts to obey Him!

18
Jesus on

Prayer
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what
I say?” – Luke 6:46
Jesus’ first instructions to his disciples (talmidim) on prayer are
found only in Matthew’s account (Matthew 6:5-8). In context, he
had just finished talking to them about ostentatious almsgiving
(Matthew 6:1-4). God does not reward good deeds done for the sake
of appearances. Acts of almsgiving and philanthropy done for the
praise of men will receive no reward from God. When doing good
deeds, it’s best to keep a low profile.

Spiritual Exhibitionism This context Jesus then teaches the correct way to “Gentiles” were non-Jews – pagans or
is important to Jesus’ discussion pray: “But whenever you pray, go into heathen. They employed in their
prayer because the theme of your room and shut the door and pray prayers to the gods some peculiar
ostentation is carried through: “And to your Father who is in secret, and practices. In this section, the Greek
when you pray, do not be like the your Father who sees in secret will word used to describe pagan prayers
hypocrites, for they love to pray reward you,” (Matthew 6: 6 RSV). is battalogeo. It appears no where else
standing in the street corners to be in the New Testament or in
seen of men,” (Matthew 6:5a). Note: Jesus is not here contemporary secular literature.
forbidding collective prayer. The early Robert Mounce, in his commentary on
Several things about this verse jump followers of Rabbi Jesus often Matthew, suggests that it is a word
out at us. First, Jesus doesn’t say “if” gathered for prayer (Matthew 18:19- made up from another Greek word:
you pray, but “when.” He takes it as a 20; Acts 16:13 etc.). Praying in a battarizo, meaning to “stammer or
given that his followers would be a group as Christians is not the same as stutter.” Mounce explains that
praying people. ill-motivated exhibitionistic praying in “Behind the word is the practice of the
the public square to gain recognition heathen who developed long lists of
Second, some people, whom Jesus from men. divine names, hoping that by endless
called “hypocrites,” deliberately repetition they would somehow
position themselves to be seen by Prayerful Long Windedness Once invoke the name of the true god and
others as praying. Ostentatiously Jesus had addressed spiritual receive what they wished. To know
giving alms (charity) and praying are exhibitionism in both deeds of charity and pronounce correctly the name of a
both forms of spiritual exhibitionism and in prayer, he turned his attention god was thought to provide the power
which Jesus condemns. Prayerful to another dimension of prayer: long to manipulate that god,” (New
public posing and posturing are ways windedness: “When you are praying, International Biblical Commentary –
of getting others to say, “Oh my, look do not heap up empty phrases as the Matthew by Robert H. Mounce, p.
how spiritual she is – she’s always Gentiles do; for they think that they 56).
praying.” Those who gain recognition will be heard for their many words.
and praise from men for their gifts of Do not be like them, for your Father Of course I believe that when Jesus
charity and exhibitionistic praying knows what you need before you ask was originally giving this teaching, he
have, in that human praise, the full Him,” (Matthew 6: 7-8). was speaking in Hebrew, not Greek.
reward for their “spirituality” (verse The key thought here is “many
5b). words.” God is not impressed by the
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sheer volume or loudness of our God Anticipates Any of you who hand know what your left hand is
words. In fact, in Judaism, one of the have been parents have experienced doing.”
highest forms of prayer is silence: “Be the phenomenon of knowing what
silent, all flesh, for He is aroused from your children are going to say before We also learned that God is
His holy habitation,” (Zechariah they say it. You know when they are unimpressed with overlong and
2:13). Worshipful silence before God “on approach” what is coming next: overloud prayers. A silent prayer can
often enables us to hear the “still “Dad, I need some money to buy that be as effective as a noisy one – if not
small voice” (I Kings 19:12). Silence video game,” or, “Mom, I want to stay more so. The rule of thumb is this:
can be “listening prayer.” up later tonight to watch (whatever).” The subject of the prayer dictates the
God, our loving Father, is the same, appropriate length of the prayer. On
God heard the silent prayer of “…your Father knows the things you occasion, Jesus prayed all night, but
Hannah, Samuel’s devoted mother need before you ask him,” Matthew many of his prayers were relatively
though “…Hannah spoke only in her 6:8b). God anticipates his children. short. You can bet there were no
heart; only her lips moved, but her wasted words in those prayers;
voice was not heard,” (I Samuel 1:13). In this article we have learned that everything he said had substance.
When we appear worshipfully before God is not impressed with Surprisingly, Jesus didn’t always pray
the throne of God, he “hears” the ostentatious giving or praying. Those for healing or exorcism – he simply
desires of our hearts and often grants of us who perform acts of piety to “be took authority and cast out the disease
them, “Delight yourself also in the seen of men” have, in that human or the demon. Jesus could do this
Lord, and he shall give you the desires approbation, all the reward we’re because the prayer that gave him this
of your heart,” Psalm 37:4). After a going to get. It’s best not to be a authority had already been done. By
time of barrenness (I Samuel 1:5), the spiritual exhibitionist or an Brian Knowles
Lord granted Hanna a son who ostentatious giver and prayer. That’s
became a great prophet. what it means by “don’t let your right

Which teaching of Jesus caused the


LARGEST number of his disciples to leave
him?
The answer to your question lies in the These words of Jesus were very them in parables, because seeing they
following verses: confusing to many of His disciples. They do not see, and hearing they do not
just didn’t get it. Why is that? It’s hear, nor do they understand.
"Jesus said to them, 'I tell you the because their minds were not opened to
truth, unless you eat the flesh of the spiritual understanding at that time. "With them indeed is fulfilled the
Son of Man and drink his blood, you Most of the people who listened to prophecy of Isaiah which says: 'You
have no life in you. Whoever eats my Jesus Christ’s teachings during His shall indeed hear but never
flesh and drinks my blood has eternal ministry did not have the understanding understand, and you shall indeed see
life, and I will raise him up at the to comprehend what He was talking but never perceive. For this people's
last day. For my flesh is real food about. Notice: heart has grown dull, and their ears
and my blood is real drink. Whoever are heavy of hearing, and their eyes
eats my flesh and drinks my blood "Then the disciples came and said to they have closed, lest they should
remains in me, and I in him.' . . . On him, "Why do you speak to them in perceive with their eyes, and hear
hearing it, many of his disciples said, parables?" And he answered them, with their ears, and understand with
'This is a hard teaching. Who can "To you it has been given to know the their heart, and turn for me to heal
accept it?' Aware that his disciples secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but them.'
were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them it has not been given. For to
to them, 'Does this offend you?' . . him who has will more be given, and "But blessed are your eyes, for they
. From this time many of his disciples he will have abundance; but from him see, and your ears, for they hear.
turned back and no longer followed who has not, even what he has will be Truly, I say to you, many prophets
him." (John 6:53-56, 60-61, 66, NIV) taken away. This is why I speak to and righteous men longed to see what

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you see, and did not see it, and to had given thanks, he broke it, and one if observing the Passover and these
hear what you hear, and did not hear said, "This is my body which is for annual holy days, they simply can’t
it." (Matthew 13:10-17, RSV) you. Do this in remembrance of me." understand God’s plan of salvation and
what He intends to do in the future.
Just as God through Jesus Christ was "In the same way also the cup, after
not trying to save the world then, He is supper, saying, "This cup is the new Just as in Jesus’ day, the vast majority
not even now trying to save the world, covenant in my blood. Do this, as of humanity over the last two thousand
but He will in His own good time. God often as you drink it, in remembrance years have not understood the REAL
must get mankind’s attention first, but of me." For as often as you eat this spiritual meaning of His teachings and
that will not happen until punishment is bread and drink the cup [annually], have not yet been called to salvation.
executed and man repents of his sins. you proclaim the Lord's death until he One day, however, they will after Jesus
comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the Christ returns to this earth in all power
Getting back to your question, most of bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in and glory to take over the reins of
His disciples thought Jesus was talking an unworthy manner will be guilty of government and to restore this world
"literally" about His flesh and blood. profaning the body and blood of the the way it was meant to be. After Satan
That is why many turned away and did Lord. is bound and mankind repents of
not walk with Him after that. In reality, breaking God’s laws, spiritual
His saying was symbolic of the bread "Let a man examine himself, and so understanding will be opened to
and wine that he would introduce to His eat of the bread and drink of the everyone. Notice:
twelve disciples (apostles) at His final cup. For any one who eats and drinks
Passover before He suffered. without discerning the body eats and "And in this mountain the LORD of
drinks judgment upon himself. That is hosts will make for all people a feast
Then, what was He saying to His why many of you are weak and ill, and of choice pieces, a feast of wines on
disciples who could hear and some have died. But if we judged the lees, of fat things full of
understand? That, in order to have ourselves truly, we should not be marrow, of well-refined wines on the
eternal life, one must observe the judged. But when we are judged by lees. And He will destroy on this
Passover annually and take the symbols the Lord, we are chastened so that mountain the surface of the covering
of bread and wine which represent we may not be condemned along with cast over all people, and the veil
Jesus’ body and blood. The annual the world. So then, my brethren, [Satan’s deception] that is spread over
observance of the Passover is the true when you come together to eat, wait all nations.
Christian’s renewal of His baptismal for one another-- if any one is
contract. Unless one is called to hungry, let him eat at home-- lest "He will swallow up death forever, and
salvation and observes the Passover, he you come together to be condemned. the Lord GOD will wipe away tears
has no eternal life dwelling in him/her. About the other things I will give from all faces; the rebuke of His
Jesus Christ gave His body and blood in directions when I come." (1Corinthians people he will take away from all the
a great sacrifice to cover the sins of 11:23-34, RSV) earth; for the LORD has spoken. And
humanity. Thus, with the observance of it will be said in that day: "Behold,
the "Pass-over", God "passes over" our The observance of the Passover occurs this is our God; we have waited for
sins because they are covered by the in the Spring of the year (the 14th day Him, and He will save us. This is the
sacrifice and blood of Christ. Notice of the first sacred month which in LORD; we have waited for Him; we
what Paul said: Hebrew is called Abib or Nisan) and is will be glad and rejoice in His
the beginning of God’s master plan of salvation." (Isaiah 25:6-9, NKJV)
"For I received from the Lord what I salvation for man. God’s master plan is Written by: Rick / Eileen Beltz/
also delivered to you, that the Lord outlined in the keeping of the seven Biblestudy.org
Jesus on the night when he was annual holy days or Biblical festivals of
betrayed took bread, and when he God. These are outlined in the Old
Testament book of Leviticus 23. Unless
How Pearls are Made:
Made: Pearls are a product of pain. When a grain of sand pierces the shell of an oyster, all the otherwise dormant
resources within the tiny oyster respond to the foreign irritant by caring for that sensitive spot. Over time, the sand particle is
covered by healing fluids, and the wound becomes a pearl. That's true for you, too. When hardships invade your life, allow God's
Spirit to shape your response. Don't be bitter. Don't rush ahead of His plan. Rest in Him. Allow Him time to turn that irritation
into an opportunity for your growth – and watch a beautiful pearl emerge from your set of circumstances.
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let
patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." – James 1:2-4

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The next time you feel like God can't use you, just remember...

NOAH was a drunk....


ABRAHAM was too old...
ISAAC was a daydreamer...
JACOB was a liar...
LEAH was ugly...
JOSEPH was abused...
MOSES had a stuttering problem...
GIDEON was afraid...
SAMSON had long hair, and was a womanizer!
RAHAB was a prostitute!
JEREMIAH and TIMOTHY were too young...
DAVID had an affair and was a murderer...
ELIJAH was suicidal...
ISAIAH preached naked...
JONAH ran from God...
NAOMI was a widow...
JOB went bankrupt...
JOHN the Baptist ate bugs...
PETER denied Christ...
The Disciples fell asleep while praying...
MARTHA worried about everything...
MARY MAGDALENE was demon possessed...
The SAMARITAN WOMAN was divorced....more
than once!!
ZACCHEUS was too small...
PAUL was too religious...
TIMOTHY had an ulcer.... AND
LAZARUS WAS DEAD!!!! No more excuses now. God's waiting to use your full potential!

Who Are We?

The Mustard Seed Newsletter is published free by The Mustard Seed Evangelistic Association –an affiliated association
committed to the publishing of the Gospel that Jesus Christ preached and as recorded for us in the Holy Scriptures. This goal
is to be within the framework of the Commission set forth to His believers and followers to "go and make disciples of all
nations ... teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20). It is our hope that the Mustard
Seed and its other publications will become a shared-resource and vehicle for our readers to come to know and understand
the Gospel of Jesus Christ—the Kingdom of God. You are invited to join us in this exciting and marvelous work!

"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown
it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."
Matthew 13:31-32

For your question and/or comment, email us at mseedwork@yahoo.com/ peopletowin@gmail.com/ Raul deAsis Hipe/Editor

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