Archive for Mary

The Birth of Christ and Taxes, God’s Will

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christmas, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , on December 24, 2019 by paulthepoke

December 25 is the day we culturally celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church declared December 25 as the day of the birth of Christ. This declaration occurred in 336 AD. It was an attempt to replace the Roman holiday Saturnalia, a week long holiday of every imaginable debauchery. December 25 was the birthday of the sun. In the interest of getting along with the culture, the Catholic Church replaced the birthday of the sun with the birthday of the Son.

Today in the 21st century, we have returned to the roots of Saturnalia. The “Christmas” celebration through New Year’s has become a week long party. There is nothing new under the sun…

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Articles/Christmas/christmas.html

There is no Biblical evidence for a specific December 25 date for the birth of Jesus. If you find it, let me know. Christmas, December 25 is not a God Appointed Feast or holiday, plain and simple.

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Luke 2:1-3 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.

This is the context of the birth of Jesus. Joseph and Mary were on their way to pay taxes.

Now, say you are a money grubbing emperor or a king or a politician. Let’s say you want to collect tax revenue from your subjects. When would you do this? For maximum collection of funds, travel conditions and weather would need to be at their best. People are going to have to travel to register.  Would you pick late December? I don’t think so. Greed dictates a different season of the year to allow for the best possible participation and revenue.

Yes, God can use the payment of taxes to fulfill His Word and His will. Jesus needed to be born in Bethlehem.

Micah 5:2 But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.

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There are many factors that point toward Jesus being born in the early fall. Some of these include: the timing and relationship to the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1), shepherding habits and timing (Luke 2), Biblical patterning of God’s appointed Fall Feasts, and Zechariah’s appointed priestly Temple service.

Excellent arguments are made for Jesus being born during the Spring Feasts. Rabbi Jonathan Cahn makes an articulate case.

The bottom line is this. The Bible does not say specifically when Jesus was born. When He was born is not the issue.

But, what is of the utmost importance is stated by the Apostle Paul. This is the priority. As believers in Jesus Christ we should draw a line in the sand and stick a flag in the ground over this issue.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…

He was born. It is not about when He was born.

Christ died for our sins. He was buried. And Jesus was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Cling to Jesus Christ Who Is In the Father… Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Gospel, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2019 by paulthepoke

Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ “- John 20:17

After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He commanded Mary to not cling to Him, to not fasten or adhere herself to Him. Not because there wouldn’t be a time when she couldn’t do that, but because the time for clinging to Him was not yet. The reason He gave her was that He had “not yet ascended to My Father”.

I’ve heard many a sermon in my life surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and every one of those sermons that I can recall clings to Jesus either at the cross or right after He was raised from the dead outside the tomb. But they don’t cling to Jesus where He commanded us to cling: in Christ who is in the Father after having ascended to Him. Clinging to Him there includes all other access points, including the cross and the empty tomb along the way to the ultimate destination.

Do NOT adhere to me—for I have not yet ascended to my Father!

The implication being that we CAN adhere to Him AFTER He ascends to the Father.

To ascend doesn’t appear to have meant a physical ascension at that point, because we see the disciples handling Him and perhaps clinging to Him before the mount of ascension event occurred. So during the time between His first appearance to Mary at the tomb and when He allowed His disciples to handle Him, Jesus ascended to the Father in some way spiritually, but likely not physically—not yet. He spent 40 days on earth first preaching the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus used this ascended kind of language even before the cross…

Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. – John 17:13

No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.- John 3:13

Another way to say this is: There is only one person who has already ascended into heaven, Me, the Son is Man, and I’m in heaven right now.

When Jesus revealed the Father plainly to His disciples, He left out of His explanation all the stuff He did to redeem us. As important as all of that is, Jesus focused on the reason He did everything and where He took us—our ultimate destination. Here are His words,

“I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”- John 16:28

This is the purpose of the Gospel: to show us the Way to the Father. The Father is the destination, and we follow Jesus all the way there, where the power exists to do the greater works, where the glory exists that makes us ONE with the Father in Christ in the same way that Jesus is ONE with the Father (John 17:22,23).

“…he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”- John 14:12

Greater works… because I go to My Father.

That’s how we do them. The power for greater works comes from being restored to glory, to the Father, right now. Our minds are still being transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), but we are still fully restored now because we are properly positioned in Christ.

We don’t continue only clinging to the cross or clinging to Jesus standing outside the empty tomb. We cling to, fasten ourselves to, adhere to Jesus Christ where He is now: in the Father. The Father is the clinging place—where His glory makes us ONE.

That’s not to say that we don’t carry about the dying of the Lord Jesus which puts to death the old nature so that the new nature in Christ wakes up within us. It’s not to say we don’t rise with Jesus from the dead by the same glory of the Father that raised Him. And it’s not to say that our minds are not being transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18) as we overcome one suffering after another (Romans 8:18).

But for this post I’m just bringing into focus the actual purpose of the Gospel which has not really been understood. That Jesus restored us to the Father in Himself. He restored us to glory where we learn to cling to Him and never let go again: where we have the ABILITY to cling to Him and never let go again. Because from the place of the Father is where Christ holds us. He clings to us, we cling to Him. He abides in us, we abide in Him. That’s the point of everything Jesus did and it’s vital that we know this and are intensely aware of it. Perfect peace is the strongest and most obvious indicator that we are in Christ.

Have a blessed day everyone! ❤️🙏🏼

Jude, A Slave

Posted in Jude with tags , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2018 by paulthepoke

JudeAnthonyVanDyckJude 1:1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James…

Who is Jude? Iουδασ/Judas… His name means “he shall be praised”. His name is Judah in the Hebrew means “praise Yahweh”.

Members of the synagogue in Nazareth identify Judas as Christ’s half-brother. They also proclaim James and Judas (Jude) are brothers. Mary is the mother of Jesus, James, and Jude. Joseph is the father of James and Jude. God is the Father of Jesus.

Matthew 13:55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?

Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?

The Apostle Paul testifies James is Jesus’ brother.

Galatians 1:19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.

And James and Judas are brothers, therefore, Judas and Jesus are half-brothers.

James and Jude grew up with Jesus. They lived with Christ in the same house under the same parents and siblings. His brothers had seen miracles. Water was turned into wine. Thousands were fed. Christ had walked on water. Yet…

John 7:5 For not even His own brothers believed in Him.

The unbelief in Jesus was before His death, burial, and resurrection. Hearts and attitudes would change after the fact of the ascension of Christ.

Acts 1:14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

…a servant of Jesus Christ…

As of the writing of the epistle, Jude considered himself a bond servant or δουλοσ/doulos in the Greek. The word is frequently translated as “servant” or “bond servant”. Notice, Jude does not associate himself as a half-brother to Jesus. He refers to himself as a servant.

Strong’s Concordance defines δουλοσ/doulos as: a slave, bondman, man of servile condition; metaphorically, one who gives himself up to another’s will; those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men; devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests.

As believers in Jesus, we were purchased by His shed blood. He loves us. He owns us. We are redeemed.

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Resurrection: The Atheist Demands Proof

Posted in Resurrection, Spring Feasts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2017 by paulthepoke

The atheist, always wanting proof. The arguments are all the same. The Bible does not count as evidence so they say. Jesus is imaginary. The Bible is a fairy tale and just a book of stories. Religion is for the weak minded. Insert next cliché here…

The atheist claims to have read the Bible. They usually studied the Bible at a liberal university and read it cover to cover of course. They took a class under a liberal, tenured professor. And they were brainwashed and told what to think.

Here is my challenge to the atheist. Sit down by yourself. Read. Comprehend…and think. Stop regurgitating what somebody told you. As an introductory to Jesus, I recommend the book of 1 John.

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So you want proof…

Eye Witness Accounts

1 Corinthians 15:6-8 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.

In the passage above, there are 512 plus eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

John 20:11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb;

Luke 24:10 Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles.

Salome is included with this group in Mark 16:1 for a total of at least 4 women.

Luke 24:13-15 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them.

Cleopas and friend are two other witnesses.

Matthew 27:54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

And to close out the list, a Roman atheist and his fellow guards. Seeing was believing for these boys.

 

But Jesus was not the only person resurrected. He was the first but there were others.

Matthew 27:52-53 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

The events took place during Passover. Jews were required per Mosaic Law to come to Jerusalem for the holiday. Tens of thousands of people would have been in the city visiting in addition to the population.

The evidence provided in Scripture would stand in a court of law. Harvard Law Professor Simon Greenleaf wrote A Treatise on the Law of Evidence. The document is viewed as “the greatest single authority in the entire literature of legal procedure.” The United States judicial system functions on the rules of evidence established by Greenleaf.

Professor Greenleaf, an atheist, took up the issue of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The facts changed his mind.

Professor Greenleaf’s legal standard of proof is not the issue. The case for the resurrection of Jesus is legally tight. Who cares if the facts stand in a man-made court of law??? The issue is this…

DO YOU BELIEVE THE RECORD?

Isaiah 7:14 Born of a Virgin

Posted in Christmas, Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

The message is straight forward and not confusing in the original Hebrew… the Lord Himself will give you a sign. The Hebrew word for “sign” is ‘owth. According to Strong’s Concordance the word means:  sign, signal, a distinguishing mark, banner, remembrance, miraculous sign, omen, warning, token, ensign, standard, miracle, or proof.

Virgin, this is the word where the debate is taking place. According To Strong’s Concordance the word means the following: virgin, young woman, of marriageable age, maid or newly married. The Hebrew word is almah. The word is generally translated as young woman or maiden.

The critic would argue that since this word is not translated “virgin” elsewhere and it does not literally mean “virgin”, that it is a reach to translate the word “virgin”.

70 Jewish translators and scholars of the Bible in the 3rd century B.C. translated the word “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14. This was before the birth of Jesus. One cannot accuse the scholars of translating to fit an agenda. The concept of a “virgin” conception/birth was made at least 200 years before the world even knew of Christ.

In Matthew 1:23, the apostle quotes Isaiah 7:14. He uses the word “virgin”. The fact that Mary is a “virgin” is restated in Matthew 1:25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. The grammar of verse 25 in the Greek is indicative that Joseph did not have sex with Mary until after she gave birth to Jesus.

Previously in verses 18, 20, Matthew spells out that Joseph was aware Mary was pregnant prior to their marriage and she was a virgin.

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.

In Matthew 1:20, an angel communicates to Joseph that Mary has conceived from the Holy Spirit. Translation, she physically did not have sex and had not had sex prior to this event of conception.  But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

The name Immanuel means “God with us” or “with us is God” in the Hebrew.

In the final analysis, it does not matter what I think. It does not what anybody else thinks. What matters is what you think. Do you believe the Bible? Was a man, Jesus, who claimed to be God, born of a virgin?

Merry Christmas!

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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