Archive for God the Father

30 WAYS PENTECOST FORESHADOWS THE RAPTURE by T.W. Tramm

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Pentecost/Shavuot/Feast of Weeks, Prophecy, Rapture, Resurrection with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2022 by paulthepoke

Author and Bible-researcher T.W. Tramm is the founder of Season of Return Ministries, an organization whose mission is to equip the reader with critical knowledge related to the unfolding of Bible prophecy in our time. Tramm’s books, articles, and commentary can be found on numerous eschatological-themed websites. The author makes his home in Washington State.

T.W. Tramm’s materials can be reviewed on the following: 

https://www.facebook.com/twtramm 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVxcqsgEKvYtscqyYJpTxbQ/videos 

https://www.theseasonofreturn.com/

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NO MAN KNOWS the day of the Rapture (Matthew 24:36–44).

There is, however, a day on God’s calendar that strikingly foreshadows this event.

The following is a summary of 30 correlations between the biblical festival Pentecost and the catching away of the Church.

. . .

30 WAYS PENTECOST FORESHADOWS THE RAPTURE

1. A HARVEST FESTIVAL

The most telling feature of Pentecost is that it is one of three harvest festivals, during which all Israelite males are required to appear before the Lord:

“Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to me. ‘Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread … the Festival of Harvest [Pentecost] … and the Festival of Ingathering [Tabernacles] … Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord God’” (Exodus 23:14–17).

A harvest and gathering before God denote a resurrection or rapture (Matthew 13:30, 39; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; Revelation 7:9–14).

Furthermore, the three harvest festivals correspond to the “order” of resurrections mentioned by Paul: “But each [will be resurrected] in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:23).

The harvest at Unleavened Bread corresponds to Jesus’ resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20).

The harvest at Pentecost corresponds to the Church’s resurrection–rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13–17).

The harvest at Tabernacles corresponds to the resurrection of tribulation saints at the Second Coming (Revelation 20:4–6).

2. A GREAT MULTITUDE

Of the three harvest festivals, Pentecost typically saw the largest crowds. This is because the other harvest festivals occurred in the early spring and fall when adverse weather could interfere with travel from distant lands. A large crowd gathered in Jerusalem on Pentecost corresponds to the great multitude gathered before God’s throne at the Rapture (Revelation 7:9).

3. FIRSTFRUITS OF THE WHEAT

Pentecost celebrates the firstfruits of the wheat harvest (Exodus 34:22). The Rapture is when the first of the “wheat,” symbolic of believers, is harvested and gathered into God’s “barn” (Matthew 13).

4. A GATHERING FROM EVERY NATION

At the Church’s first Pentecost, devout people from every nation, tribe, and language were gathered in Jerusalem (Acts 2:5, 6). At the Rapture, devout people from every nation, tribe, and language will be gathered in heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation 7:9).

5. GATHERED IN ONE PLACE

On the Church’s first Pentecost, all the believers were gathered in one place (Acts 2:1). The next time all believers will be gathered in one place is at the Rapture (Revelation 7:9).

6. A TIME OF REJOICING

Pentecost is a time to rejoice before the Lord: “Celebrate the Festival of Weeks [Pentecost] … and rejoice before the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy. 16: 10, 11.) The ultimate time of rejoicing before the Lord will be immediately after the Rapture (Revelation 7:9–12; 1 Thessalonians 2:19).

7. THE WAVE OFFERING

The wave offering of the grain-sheaf during Unleavened Bread is a picture of Jesus’ resurrection (Leviticus 23:10; 1 Corinthians 15:20). Thus, the subsequent wave offering of baked loaves on Pentecost is a picture of the Church’s resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:23). The ripening of grain during the seven weeks between Passover and Pentecost symbolizes the growth and maturation of the Body of Christ during the Church Age. The grain transformed into bread on Pentecost represents the Church in a state of fullness, or completion, at the Rapture.

8. A TIME OF ACCOUNTABILITY

When the Israelites appeared before the Lord on Pentecost, they were required to bring an offering proportionate to the blessings God had bestowed upon them (Deuteronomy 16:16, 17). The requirement to bring a proportionate offering recalls how one’s fruits will be judged at the end of the age: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required” (Matthew 25:14–30; Luke 12:48).

9. SEVEN WEEKS PRECEDE MESSIAH

Pentecost is the festival preceded by a count of “seven weeks” (Leviticus 23:15, 16). In Daniel 9, a count of “seven weeks” precedes an appearance of Messiah the Prince: “From the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks” (Daniel 9:25).

10. PAYDAY FOR REDEMPTION

The sending of the Holy Spirit on the Church’s first Pentecost is called the “down payment” on our redemption (Ephesians 1:14). Since the down payment for redemption occurred on Pentecost, it is logical for the final payment, the redemption of our physical bodies at the Rapture, to occur on Pentecost (Romans 8:23).

11. A TIME OF SEALING

Pentecost is the day on which the Church was first sealed by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). At the Rapture, the first fruits of Israel will be sealed by the Holy Spirit (Revelation 7:3, 4). If the sealing of the Church on Pentecost was the model, the sealing of Israel at the Rapture may occur on Pentecost as well.

12. THE THIRD DAY

Moses ascended Sinai to receive the Commandments on the “third day,” corresponding to Pentecost (Exodus 19). In John chapter 2, Jesus attends a wedding on the third day and alludes to the fact that He will be resurrected on the third day (vv. 1, 19–21). Thus, Pentecost is symbolically a “third day,” a day associated with weddings and resurrections.

13. THE 50th DAY

The Greek word translated Pentecost, Pentēkostē, means “fiftieth.” Fifty is the number of redemption, pertaining to the Jubilee (Leviticus 25:9, 10). Also, wherever the number 50 appears in Scripture it denotes fullness and completion, pointing to the fullness of the Gentiles at the Rapture.

14. A WEDDING DAY

The wedding between God and Israel occurred on Pentecost (Exodus 19).

Similarly, the betrothal of the Church to God occurred on Pentecost (Acts 2; Ephesians 4:30). This is significant because, according to the ancient wedding tradition, the bridegroom comes for the bride around the anniversary of the betrothal.

15. RUTH

In the Book of Ruth, the wedding of the Jewish redeemer to the Gentile bride—a picture of the Wedding of Messiah at the Rapture—occurred around Pentecost (Ruth 4:9–10).

16. RAPTURE ALLEGORY IN SONG OF SOLOMON

In Song of Solomon, the shepherd comes to gather and spirit away His beloved Gentile maid—a picture of the Rapture—in late spring, around the time of Pentecost (Song of Solomon 2).

17. ENOCH’S RAPTURE

According to Jewish tradition, Pentecost is when Enoch, a prophetic type of the Church, was taken up, or raptured, to be with God (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5).

18. POSITIONALLY, PENTECOST DENOTES THE CHURCH AGE

Pentecost’s parenthetical placement between the first and last harvest festivals, Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles, is suggestive of the Church Age.

19. INFERENCE VIA FESTIVAL ATTENDANCE

Scripture mentions Jesus going to Jerusalem for the harvests at Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles but not Pentecost (John 2:23; 5:1; 7; Luke 2:41–43). Conversely, Scripture mentions Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, going to Jerusalem for Pentecost but not the other harvests (Acts 20:1–6). Jesus’ nonappearance at Pentecost may foreshadow His appearing only in the clouds at this festival’s fulfillment. Similarly, Paul’s attendance at Pentecost may point to the Church being in heavenly Jerusalem on this day.

20. THE SHORT AND ABRUPT HARVEST FESTIVAL

The first and last harvest festivals, Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles, both last for seven days (Leviticus 23). In contrast, Pentecost is a one-day harvest festival, comparatively short and abrupt like the Rapture of the Church.

21. THE FESTIVAL WITH NO SET DATE

Pentecost is the only harvest festival with no assigned date in Scripture; it is instead calculated by counting seven weeks from the “day after the Sabbath” (Leviticus 23:15). That Pentecost has no assigned date means “no one knows the day” (Matthew 24:36).

22. AN HOUR WE THINK NOT

Jesus tells His followers that He is coming at an hour they “think not” (Matthew 24:44). Because there is disagreement around which Sabbath to count the seven weeks from, the correct date of Pentecost is in question. It is thus possible that God’s true Pentecost is on a day most would “think not.”

23. THE FESTIVAL OF GOD’S TRUMP

The first time God’s trumpet was sounded was on Pentecost, when He descended in a cloud on Mount Sinai (Exodus 19). If the model holds, the next time God’s trumpet is sounded, at the Rapture, may be on Pentecost as well.

24. PETER PROCLAIMS THE DAY OF THE LORD ON PENTECOST

On the Church’s first Pentecost, Peter stood up and quoted a prophecy from Joel:

”Then Peter stood up … raised his voice and addressed the crowd: ‘Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you… this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people …. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord’” (Acts 2).

It makes sense that Peter would quote the part of Joel about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as this is what was occurring that day. However, the question arises: why would Peter, at that time, quote the part of Joel about the coming Day of the Lord? Peter’s quoting of a prophecy about the onset of the Day of the Lord on Pentecost suggests the two are connected.

25. JUDGMNET DAY FOR TREES

In Judaism, it is taught that Pentecost (Shavuot) is when fruit trees are judged. In Scripture, fruit trees represent people (Psalm 1:3). The trees that do not produce “good fruit” by way of a relationship with Jesus are “cut down” and thrown into the “fire” of Tribulation (Matthew 3:10–12; 7:17–23; 25:11–13).

26. ANCIENT SCRIPTURE READINGS

Since ancient times, the Jewish scripture readings associated with Pentecost describe the Lord judging the earth (Ezekiel 1:1–28; 3:12; Habakkuk 2:20–3:19). If Pentecost is mainly about the giving of the Commandments or the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as commonly taught, why do the passages read on this day depict the Lord coming in judgment?

27. THE FESTIVAL PRECEDING SUMMER

Pentecost is the harvest festival that occurs in late spring, just before summer begins. In Matthew 24, summer is a metaphor for the end of the age (Matthew 24:32).

Moreover, in the Old Testament, summer is when . . .

• The “godly people” are said to have “vanished” from the earth (Micah 7:1, 2 NLT).

• The Jews lament not being saved at the harvest (Jeremiah 8:20).

• Israel is deemed ripe for judgment (Amos 8:1, 2).

28. THE TIME OF RIPENING FIGS

Pentecost, occurring in late spring, is when early figs ripen. With this in mind, it is interesting to note that . . .

• Figs represent Jews (Amos 8:1, 2).

• Figs that ripen early are said to be very good, or desirable (Hosea 9:10).

• Early ripe figs, because they are desirable, are quickly “snatched up” (Isaiah 28:4 NLT).

Could the figs that ripen early, around Pentecost, be symbolic of believing Jews “snatched up” at the Rapture?

29. THE FESTIVAL PRECEDING THE GRAPE HARVEST

In Scripture, the harvesting and crushing of grapes symbolizes the judgment of nonbelievers at the Day of the Lord (Revelation 14:14–20). In ancient Israel, grapes were the first major crop to ripen after Pentecost.

30. THE FESTIVAL OF NEW BEGINNINGS

Pentecost marks the beginning of new dispensations in Scripture, namely the Age of Law and the Church Age (Exodus 19; Acts 2). If the pattern holds, Pentecost may mark the beginning of the next dispensation, the Day of the Lord.

With the above summary in view, it is fair to say that Pentecost, better than any other festival, embodies the types and themes of the Rapture: harvest, fullness, completion, redemption, resurrection, a wedding, a gathering, a new beginning, an unknown date, and the sounding of God’s trumpet.

The fundamental theme of Pentecost is, again, the harvest. There are three main harvest festivals and three main resurrections in God’s plan of redemption, suggestive of the following scenario:

• Unleavened Bread (First Coming)

• Pentecost (Rapture)

• Tabernacles (Second Coming)

Pentecost clearly foreshadows the harvest of the Church. What is less clear is whether the harvest will occur on the day marked Pentecost on our calendars.

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A DAY NO ONE KNOWS

While the preliminary fulfillment of Pentecost, the sending of the Holy Spirit, occurred on the day the festival was observed by the early Church (Acts 2), one cannot be as certain about the ultimate fulfillment, the Rapture, as the day of this event is said to be unknown (Matthew 24:36). That the day is unknown is why Jesus implores us to “keep watch” and not assume He is delaying if He fails to appear at an expected time (Matthew 24:42–51; 25:1–13).

Paul emphasizes that the day is unknown in a letter to the Church at Thessalonica:

“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:1, 2).

According to Paul, there is no need to discuss dates because it is already understood that Jesus is coming like a thief. Question: on which day does a thief show up? Answer: no one knows. One might know generally when a thief may show up—e.g., late at night or when nobody is home. However, to try and pinpoint the day or hour would seem futile. So if our reading of 1 Thessalonians is correct, the Lord could appear on a day not expected.

To reconcile the notion of an unexpected day with an appointed time such as Pentecost, I have considered two possible scenarios.

The first possibility is that Pentecost, the harvest festival with no fixed date, is not about a date at all but rather points symbolically to a time of fullness or ripeness. Recall that Pentecost is the 50th day, and the number 50 symbolizes fullness or completion. In this scenario, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church’s first Pentecost represents the planting of a ‘field,’ the Church-field, which has been growing and maturing for almost 2,000 years. No one knows when exactly the last believer will be sealed by the Holy Spirit and the Church-field deemed ripe for harvest in accordance with God’s timetable.

The other scenario I have considered to reconcile an unexpected day with an appointed time is that the Rapture will indeed occur at Pentecost. However, due to confusion around the correct reckoning of the festival, the day marked Pentecost on our calendars may not represent God’s true Pentecost.

For the above reasons, it is wise to think of Pentecost as a ‘season,’ rather than a mere 24-hour period.

Better yet, be ready always!

Jesus is coming soon.

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*Visit the author’s website: www.theseasonofreturn.com

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVxcqsgEKvYtscqyYJpTxbQ

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: No one knows the day or hour of Jesus’ return (Matthew 24:36). However, a convergence of biblical signs and timelines suggests it is near. To escape the judgment reserved for a God-rejecting world, one must be in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. If you have not yet done so, call on His name and believe that He is the Son of God who died for your sins and was raised from the dead (Romans 10:13). Do it today. Time is running out.

For PDF of post, click on the link below.

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Reconciled in Christ to the Father… Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , , , , on May 26, 2022 by paulthepoke

To be a Christian means being reconciled ‘in Christ’ to the Father–the only way at all to be reconciled. It means to lay down our lives, how we want to live, and to allow Christ to live through us instead.

We do not transform Christ into our image, hence 36,000 different denominations. We transform into Christ’s image, which is glory, from one level of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18) as we surrender our will (of the old sinful nature) for His will (the new nature of His glory) in love. His glory makes the church one.

To truly belong to Christ, we must be willing to give up everything. We can’t perfect the old nature. We must die to it and receive a new nature: the nature of God’s glory. In dying, we find His life.

Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice so that You could give us your garment of glory to wear, that we may not be found naked and ashamed when You come for us. Thank You for the blood You shed for us for forgiveness of sins, and for your body broken for us so we can have healing. Thank You for taking our sins and shame upon Yourself and killing the old nature of sin, and for reconciling us to the Father in You (in Christ).

“God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)

“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” (Matthew 16:25-27)

Blessings to everyone!

Stuck in Sin, God’s Not Listening

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Freedom in Christ with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2022 by paulthepoke

Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

God says that one’s attitude towards sin matters. He is talking about the space between the ears. The verse above is conditional, If

If I had cherished… This is the Hebrew word raah. Strong’s Concordance defines the word as “to see”.

This is the word that is used repeatedly in the creation account in Genesis.

Genesis 1:31a And God saw (raah) all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.

Iniquity or aven in the Hebrew can be defined as trouble, sorrow, or wickedness.

…in my heart… The heart or leb in the Hebrew is known as inner man, mind, will, or heart.

…the Lord would not have listened. This is the Hebrew word shama. Plainly stated, it means to hear.

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear (shama), O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

We are talking about the fundamental senses of seeing and hearing. God sees what is going on in your heart and mind. There is no tricking God.

Personally, if an individual knows a mental attitude is wrong, if you are sinning (mentally or physically committing) and you know it. God’s not listening to you.

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Job 35:13 Surely God does not hear an empty cry, nor does the Almighty regard it.

Surely God does not hear an empty cry This is the Hebrew word shav. It is defined as: emptiness, vanity, or nothingness.

This is the same word utilized in the Third Commandment.

Exodus 20:7 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

If one does not take God seriously, He does not take you seriously. If one is not listening to God and what He has to say, He’s not listening to you either.

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Isaiah 59:2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

…but your iniquities… These are not just sins. These are avon or punished sins (Strong’s). The result is a barrier between the sinner and God. Because of our sin we committed, He does not want to see us or hear from us.

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John 9:31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, God listens to him.

John understands this is an established fact. We know that God does not listen to sinners…

As sinners, we are not stuck in an eternal state of God closing us out. There are two things we can do to be heard again, worship and obey.

  1. …worshiper of God… In the original Greek, this is the word θεοσεβής/theosebés. The definition is be God-fearing. Worship and respect God.
  2. does His will… ποιέω/poieó: to make or do.

John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments. said Jesus.

Do what God says. And we always have a solution in Jesus Christ. He removed the barrier between the Father and us with His death on the cross.

Mark 15:37-38 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

https://www.amazon.com/Paul-Lehr/e/B09W8FB77N

Temple Veil Torn… Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Gospel, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2022 by paulthepoke

In Matthew 27:50 we read “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.” The next 3 verses is all one sentence.

“And, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves AFTER His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” (Matthew 27:51-53)

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Mark 15:37-38 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

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Luke 23:44-46 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

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The veil is symbolic of Jesus’ flesh that was broken for us, and raised for us, and ascended to the right hand of the Father for us, giving us access into the Father’s presence, which is glory.

“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near…” (Hebrews 10:19-22a)

The place of the Holiest (the Holy of Holies) is at the Father’s right hand of glory, not anywhere on the earth or still hanging on the cross. The cross is a way-point to the Father, and Jesus is the way. He is also the door allowing us entry into the Father’s house (His presence).

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3)

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Jesus never meant for us to remain forever hanging on the cross that kills us. Rather we carry the dying of Christ in us which even daily puts to death the old nature, so that the life of Christ, which is the glory of the Father, might also be revealed in us. We died with Him and are raised with Him, and we are seated in Christ right now at the Father’s right hand. And Jesus gave us His garment, the glory, to wear right now, not after we die.

If someone only has Christ in them, the hope of glory, they aren’t living the new life yet and still struggling with sin, because their perspective is on the earth. We need to shift our perspective to where Christ is, coming all the way up to where we are seated in Him at the Father’s right hand. If someone can only see Jesus hanging on the cross, as if He said “I am the way to the cross” and not “I am the way… to the Father”, then they haven’t awakened the glory within them yet to shine on them. The cross is true and we were buried with Him, but it’s also true that we were raised with Him and seated in Him at the right hand of glory.

Jesus said to His disciples (including us who are also disciples), “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father.” (John 16:25)

Notice how Jesus just revealed that all of His figurative speaking, parables etc., was doing one thing: telling the world about the Father—the place where He was taking us. And He was going to speak plainly to His disciples. So, if you’re a disciple Jesus will introduce you to the Father. Then notice how after Jesus told them plainly which was immediately, His disciples received revelation from the Father and understood all things.

“His disciples said to Him, ‘See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.’”

Then Jesus said, “Do you now believe?” And started telling them how they would all leave Him alone, but He wasn’t alone, because His Father was with Him.

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Once Jesus reveals the Father to us, this is how we are too. Even if everyone leaves us, we are never alone. We are strong because Christ, the glory, is the strength in our weakness, and we can endure anything because we have His joy. Joy and perfect peace are clear evidences of His glory radiating out of us—shining on us.

“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, AND the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Matthew 11:27)

Let’s set our minds on things above where Christ is. Where is He? At the Father’s right hand. We died with Him already. Now we live in Him at the place where He is, where life is.

If we shift our focus to where Jesus is right now, the glory treasure that He deposited within us will wake up instantly! And we will know it because we will have instant joy and perfect peace.

“Wake up O sleeper! Arise from the dead! And Christ will shine (dawn) on you.” (Ephesians 5:14)

“Wake up My glory! Wake up psaltery and harp! I will awaken the dawn. (Psalm 57:8)

Who is Christ Jesus and What Does That Mean For Us Today? Part 2… Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Rodna Epley with tags , , , on March 10, 2022 by paulthepoke

In Matthew 16:1-20, when Jesus asked Peter, “Who do men say that I am?” His answer was, “You are the Christ, Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”

It was never Jesus’ job to reveal Himself. It is the Father’s job to not only draw people to Jesus (John 6:44), but also to reveal that Jesus is His Christ. Interestingly, it is Jesus’ job to reveal the Father to those He chooses. “No one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. (Matthew 11:27)

The Father was not to give His glory “to another” OTHER than the Messiah (Christ) (Isaiah 42:8), and the Messiah gave His glory to us (John 17:5,22, Colossians 1:27). Christ the Messiah was one with the Father by way of the glory. It is the glory of God that makes things one (John 17:22).

Now we are carriers of this glory-treasure that is hidden “in earthen vessels” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7), until we discover it and activate it, hence Paul’s commands to “put on Christ” (Romans 13:14) and “stir up the gift” (2 Timothy 1:6).

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It is not automatically activated upon receiving Jesus. It takes a true disciple to go deeper with God. That is a choice we make to choose Him, although He chose us first (John 15:16). Author, Larry Thompson, wrote in his book Riches of Glory, “We are born of imperishable seed, but as long as the seed remains inactive and not germinated, then nothing manifests.”

Jesus commanded “His glory into us.”

“This treasure in our earthen vessel is now, not when we get a glorified vessel. We are fellow-workers with the Father of glory, manifesting His glory wherever we go.”

Jesus “restored the glory. Now we restore the glory wherever we go, in all that we say and do.”

Thompson, Larry, Riches of Glory: Secrets of the Kingdom Series (St Helens, OR: Streams of Glory Ministries, 2019), 41.

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When we speak of the person of Christ, we are speaking of a Man who operates in the fulness and brightness of the Father’s glory in exact representation of His person (Hebrews 1:3), or in the case of a man (or woman) in the process of being transformed into glory, the Holy Spirit is transfiguring us into the image of Christ from one glory level to another (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Jesus took off His garment of glory to put on our garment of flesh and entered our world to die, rise, and ascend to the right hand of the Father. From there He poured out His blood upon the mercy seat before the Father for the forgiveness of our sins, and He put the garment of glory back on.

He gave us the same garment to wear even in this life by pouring out His Spirit of glory into us, to be awakened more and more. To the degree that we activate the glory within us will be the degree our lives reflect Christ in this world. We do this through abiding in the word and allowing Jesus’ word to abide in us, through repentance from dead works and leaving the world of sin, through communion and fellowship with Christ and the church, through actively and daily separating the precious from the vile so we can be as God’s mouth (Jeremiah 15:19), and through speaking the words we hear the Holy Spirit declaring to us, and doing the works we see Him doing.

Yoke of Slavery

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Freedom in Christ with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2022 by paulthepoke

Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. ESV

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Slavery or δουλεία/douleia in the koine Greek of the day. The word is translated as slavery or bondage. The root word is δοῦλος/doulos or slave. Doulos is also translated as servant in the New Testament.

The Hebrew word for slave is ebed. Generally speaking, the word is translated as servant in the Old Testament. Ebed is used 800 times in the Old Testament. Ebed is from the word abad in the Hebrew.

As a nation, Israel is all too familiar with slavery. The nation Israel spent 400 years in Egypt as slaves. In the verse below, the term abad is used.

Genesis 15:13 Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years.

Click on the audio/video link below for teaching and commentary.

Humanity’s dilemma… What are we going to do? What are we going to choose? Fundamentally we have two choices, life or death.

Romans 6:16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

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What happens when one chooses a lifestyle of sin regardless of the specificity? God says we are a drift, thoughtless, and sensual. We are malicious, spiteful, greedy little haters. Again, the end result is death. And our path to death is not paved with good times and gold.

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

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Don’t kid yourself. There is no way we can overcome sin on our own. We are currently in a fallen and broken state. We are not independently strong enough to break the yoke of sin. It is a monstrous and overwhelming burden.

Believers are called to be slaves to God the Father. Notice the progression in the verse below from Romans. Choose God and this leads to growth, purification, and holiness. The end result is eternity with the Father, Son, and Spirit.

Romans 6:22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

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Believers are called to be slaves to justice. We are called to do the right thing by God.

Romans 6:18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

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This is ultimately about your attitude and heart toward Jesus. He wants us to be a willing participant. Christ is not making us follow Him. As people, we have the free will to choose.

1 Corinthians 7:22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.

A point of Galatians 5:1 is this. As a believer in Jesus Christ, the individual has broken away from the yoke of sin because of Him. One has become free. This is an appeal to the will. Don’t go back to being a slave to sin. Stay with Him and in Him.

Who is Christ Jesus and What Does That Mean For Us Today? Part 1… Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , , on February 2, 2022 by paulthepoke

Think of God, the Father, as the glory, and think of Christ as another layer of His glory manifested in the Man Jesus. Christ is the express image of the Father’s person, and the brightness of His glory (Hebrews 1:3). This divine nature of Christ is the exact image of the Father. To speak of Christ is to speak of glory. These are interchangeable terms according to the apostle Paul, and author, Carey Newman, in his book Paul’s Glory-Christology. He quotes C.A.A. Scott in, “it is difficult to resist the conclusion that for St Paul… the Glory was an equivalent for Christ.”

We can better understand who and what ‘the Christ’ is by looking at Exodus 33:22 and Colossians 1:27. Also John 2:11; 11:40. When Moses said, “Please, show me Your glory.” God answered, “So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.” The Father used ‘My glory’ and ‘I’ interchangeably. The Father is His glory.

Christ is also the glory, interchangeable terms, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)

Jesus existed in heaven with the Father as the Word (Logos) of God before the foundation of the world and God created everything through Him. On earth He had two natures, human (the Man) and divine (the Christ).

Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen affirms this by referencing Luke 22:42, “Not My will, but Yours, be done.” Jesus was born without sin because God was His Father. He had no sin nature, and His mind did not need transforming. He had a human nature (like Adam before sin), yet He heard the Father’s voice clearly and obeyed Him perfectly. He never broke fellowship and daily surrendered His will out of love for the Father. If Jesus had only one nature on earth, there would be nothing to surrender to another, nothing to sacrifice for the sake of love.

God is about intimate fellowship: one makes a request and the other willfully surrenders. Jesus, the Man, did not want to die. The pain, shame, loneliness, and sense of abandonment from His Father was excruciating. The Father was all He had ever known. With a perfect human nature Jesus never gave into His own will, because His mind did not need renewing.

Ours does. Every speck of it.

Jesus surrendered His will even to death, and continually aligned Himself to the Father while He lived. Separated from His Father on the cross, He truly experienced how we feel. Without a human nature, He could not have identified with our suffering. Without a divine one, He could not have reconciled us to the Father. Considering all this, 2 Corinthians 5:19 makes much more sense, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing” our “trespasses to” us, “and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

Carey C. Newman, Paul’s Glory-Christology: Tradition and Rhetoric (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017), 3.

Kärkkäinen Veli-Matti, Christology: A Global Introduction (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2016), 68.

Accept God’s Grace… Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Gospel, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2021 by paulthepoke

There is someone out there today whom God, our Father in heaven, wants to know that He can forgive you and He wants to more than anything. He already sees and knows every detail about your life all the way back to when He created you until now, even to the end of your life if you have an end.

He still loves you, immensely, intensely, more than you may ever realize in this life. Please do not give up. He can fix anything literally, no matter how bad, no matter how hurtful, no matter how impossible it seems. What seems unbearable and unforgiveable in this moment can change in an instant. No matter how many sins you have committed, especially the ones you think passed the threshold of God being able to forgive. All can be forgiven. Nothing is too hard for Him.

If you have written yourself off, God has written you back in. He is a good Father who will do anything to bring His son or daughter back home. Your sins which are many and too hurtful to even think about. Or perhaps you have lost feeling over them and that worries you, can be forgiven, all of them instantly. The entire weight of it all, no matter how heavy or ugly, is lifted off you. You will feel it go too. The weight of it gone, just like that.

Your Father loves you more than you can imagine. He is not condemning you. He wants to heal you completely, and He is the Healer. That is why He sent Jesus. That is why the Father walked this earth through His Son Jesus and took man to his worst end so that he can bring man to his best end, forever reconciled to Him.

Though it is a mystery, Jesus gave up His life so that the old nature of sin and the propensity toward sin can be put to death in you. He rose from the dead by the glory of the Father so that His life. The new nature of His own glory can be imparted to you. This is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

But He does not leave you in a state of only hope that can be disappointed. His glory wakes up within you as He fills you with His Spirit and the new nature of His own glory begins to operate in you.

Jesus went to be with the Father, and He showed you the way to the Father, and He sat down at the Father’s right hand on the very throne of glory, so that you can be seated there with Him right now and forever.

Allow yourself to be forgiven. Dare to see just how far God’s grace and glory can reach and transform. What have you got to lose? The very moment I decided to give God a 100% chance show me who He is, is the very moment He showed up. He was always there, but He showed me that He was there. He did not wait to interact with me. He only briefly waited for me to show a genuine attempt to know Him.

If this is for you, know that you are not alone, and that I am praying for you. Your Father in heaven does love you and can fix literally anything. All suffering is meant for His glory. The greater the suffering the more His glory is about to be released. It is at the point of being released. Please give Him that chance. In fact, the more you have sinned, the more you will be able to love God, because the depth of our ability to love corresponds to the depth of His forgiveness toward us.

Luke 7:45-47 Jesus said, “You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore, I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

If this is for you, pray this with me,

“Father in heaven, thank you for giving me this chance to be forgiven. My sins, which are many, I give to you. Thank you for giving your Son Jesus to die for me on the cross and take my place. Thank you for raising Him from the dead by your own glory and raising me from the dead with Him. Thank you for seating Jesus at your right hand on the throne of glory and seating me there with Him. I know I do not deserve that and there is no way I can earn that position in Christ, but I receive it by faith. Your word says that I have access into your presence through the door of Christ and through your promises to me. Thank you that you loved me so much that you died for me even while I was still a sinner. You believed this day would happen when I would come to you and finally surrender my life to you. Without Christ I know that I can do nothing, but with Christ nothing is impossible, and all things are possible. I am trusting that your word is true and that you can make something wonderful of my life. I promise that if you give me all of you then I will give you all of me to the best that I know how. Baptize me in your Spirit and fill me with your glory Father. I believe that Jesus died for my sins and that Christ in me put to death the old nature in me. I believe that Jesus rose from the dead by the glory of the Father and raised me up with Him. I believe that Jesus went to be with the Father and brought me there with Him. I choose You Papa because You first chose me. I love You Father because You first loved me. Thank you for your wisdom. Thank you for your favor. Thank you for giving me your Spirit and making me perfect on the inside in the inner man. Thank you for the daily transformation of my mind that is to come as I make your word my home and you teach me how to be your child and to operate in your glory, which is Christ in me that I am learning to wear on me on the outside. Thank you for eternal life and for all that you will do in me from here on out. Thank you that you are strength in my weakness, that you are filling me with joy and taking away my sorrow, that you are imparting to me your vision for me so that I can know my life has meaning. I give you all of me because you gave me all of you. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, Amen.”

ONE Kingdom and Christ is the King… Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2021 by paulthepoke

The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are describing the same kingdom—the kingdom of glory, where the presence of our Father saturates the atmosphere, and where Christ Jesus is the King of glory sitting on the throne of glory at the Father’s right hand of glory. Jesus proves it here when He compared His kingdom to something.

“The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” (Matthew 13:33)

“To what shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” (Luke 13:20-21)

The different phrasing was used because Matthew was writing to the Hebrews who had a concept of heaven, and Luke was writing to the Greeks who had a concept of god.

These are not two separate kingdoms, and the devil most certainly does not have control or authority over our Father’s kingdom. Jesus stripped the devil of any authority over us, that we had given the enemy through sin, and He placed us in Himself (in Christ) where He is seated in heavenly places now at the right hand of the Father of glory, with the earth as His footstool and the enemy under our feet. We are the righteousness of God “in Christ“.

And this parable is not talking about bad yeast either. Jesus was talking about good baker’s yeast, the yeast of the Father’s glory that raised the bread of life, that raises the dead to life in Christ, and that multiplies any batch of dough it is worked into.

Watch some videos on making bread with good baker’s yeast; it will give the proper imaging of this parable.

Compare it with what is bad yeast. Jesus said, “Beware of yeast of the Pharisees”. This is bad yeast which is doctrine that cannot produce life, and it cannot multiply in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus did not say, beware of the yeast of heaven. We want that kind of yeast!

Blessings to everyone! Have a beautiful day!

The Word, The Spirit, and The Glory… Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2021 by paulthepoke

The author of a book I’m reading by David G. Bloesh “Holy Scripture” stated that “truth must be transmitted to humanity through the grace and power of Jesus Christ by means of the awakening of the Holy Spirit.” An awakening of the glory within us (if Christ is in us) is indeed what we need!

Some theologies are dependent upon science to confirm the Scriptures, or dependent upon the futility of human reasoning, which is devoid of the Spirit of God, to confirm them. But Scripture actually teaches there is nothing in man in his fallen nature that can know God or even recognize Him anywhere. While reasoning can certainly aid us if our spiritual eyes have been opened, without “eyes that see”, we are blind to the truth of Scripture. Human reasoning alone will make laws out of everything. It can arrive at a conclusion, but it will be a wrong one. It will bind and not loose.

It is the Father of glory who enlightens our eyes, but it is not apart from Scripture. He always confirms a revelation with the Word.

Ephesians 1:17-18 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saint.”

While we should be able to see God everywhere, all of creation has been subjected to futility due to the bondage of corruption, so we cannot. Even though “the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1), still man cannot recognize his Creator without direct intervention from God who opens the eyes and minds of the blind. The heart of man without the oneness of the glory of God is deceitful and desperately wicked. He cannot do good and he is utterly blind. Scripture is only black and white ink to him, but God could open His eyes as He is reading.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:19)

The Spirit of God is one with His Word and one with His Glory, the essence of the Trinity. The written word that we call Scripture is the framework of the living Word. While Scripture is not without error, the living Word is without error, and the Lord watches over His own Word to perform it. He works with His written Word. Truth is like a stream of pure glory running through the Word that cannot be broken, but it is invisible until He reveals it to us. He illuminates it to us as we read. If any part of the written Word is not from Him, then it will not be illumined by Him, so we do not have to worry about it.

“Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” (Jeremiah 1:12, ESV)

As we read, we might find ourselves saying, “Wow! I never saw that before! That’s amazing Lord!” His presence accompanies revelation of the Word and perfect peace is present. It radiates on us in that moment.

There is no mistaking the presence of God once we encounter Him. Any revelation from Him will always be backed by Scripture. Otherwise, it is only us trying to make sense of something. Scripture apart from the Spirit does nothing for us, except bind us with a law. We walk away and forget immediately what manner of man we were (James 1:24).

But the Holy Spirit of glory reveals truth through His written Word as if He were just now giving it. It does not matter if it was written thousands of years ago; the Spirit of God is eternal; He is timeless; He exists outside of time. He is past, present, and future all at once and then some. The same Holy Spirit who inspired the Scriptures, also gives light to our eyes so we can know Him and be known by Him with even the same strength that Jesus knows Him.

Many times, I receive revelation from the Holy Spirit while not reading the Word and not listening to a preacher, but I have the Word hidden in my heart, and Scriptures come to my mind along with the revelation, so it is still being confirmed by the Word.

When we partake of communion, the body of Jesus is representative of not only His body broken for us, but also of His Word. We eat it and live forever. His Word is our home. We sup with Him and He with us. We even become the Word ourselves because we are becoming all that Christ is. His Word and His Spirit and His Glory are ONE. They all work together to give us the wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.

Blessings to everyone!

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