YAHSHUA was dead; His body was not in the tomb, Mary Magdalene puzzled over what she was seeing, without understanding what had happened on that early morning of the first day of weeks. Without any delay, she ran to tell Simon Peter and John about it. Anxiously and worried, Mary related to the disciples that they had taken YAHSHUA’S body; she did not know where to. Her heart was disturbed and fearful with the idea that YAHSHUA’S body had disappeared. While the disciples went to verify her report, they left also puzzled, for not having understood the words of YAHSHUA concerning His resurrection in three days. Meanwhile, Mary remained at the tomb sobbing, overtaken by her emotion at the thought of Him been gone. She stood at the tomb alone, for the disciples had left at the reality of the empty tomb; they pondered over the fact, for their understanding was veiled with unbelief. As of today, not all Israel has yet been unveiled to see and perceive YAHSHUA been risen from the dead. But for Mary Magdalene, that was all a different story. Delivered from seven demons, she lived her freedom displaying her gratitude to the Lord, as in together with other women, she ministered to and provided for Him out of her property and personal belongings (Luke 8:2-3). Her love for YAHSHUA was clearly genuine, even when she thought Him to be dead.
Life in its entirety is empty without the desire to know its Author. When the Creator walked this earth, many rejected Him, although His life was a beam of light, comfort and healing for all who met Him. From blindness to the lifeless unto life, YAHSHUA stood tall and confirmed Who He was. The masses followed Him and few had to struggle to see Him, as Zacchaeus for being short in stature, as the woman with the blood flux, could only touch Him to receive her healing. Without the help of the media, the world in those days depended very much on word of mouth. YAHSHUA was so sought for, that sometimes, He had not even the time to eat. The Samaritans asked Him to remain with them a while, after His encounter with a Samaritan woman at the well. Two days He remained with them at their request, for the harvest was truly ripe. People upon hearing about Him, came from far places to see Him. The Greeks in particular, who went up to worship at the Feast; they came to Philip, and made the request, Sir, we desire to see YAHSHUA. Philip together with Andrew told YAHSHUA (John 12:21-22). It is not registered if they had a chance to see Him or not, but the fact remains that their desire was to see YAHSHUA, even though, their theology was polytheistic; they assumed that there were many gods and goddesses. The Apostle Paul when in Athens, was grieved in spirit when he saw that the city was full of idols; Acknowledging their theological obsession, he addressed them by saying, Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, to an unknown God. What therefore you worship in ignorance this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things (Acts 27:16, 22-25). It was that God, the only true God that the Greeks desired to see. It was the “Unknown God” Whom they wanted to see and know.
(I Thess. 5:8; Eph. 6:16-17)
The heart and the mind are often connected to the spiritual world in their functions as the life of the body (heart) and the controller of our thoughts (the brain). The Bible tells us to guard our heart above all things, because everything we do, flows from it (Prov. 4:23). The word heart is found more than 800 times in the Old Testament and 200 of these times, it is related to the soul of man: intellect, emotions, will. In the field of the physical, the heart and the brain are two organs that work together communicating in four ways:
Neurologically (through the transmission of nerve impulses
Biochemically (via hormones and neurotransmitters)
Biophysically (through pressure waves)
Energetically (through electromagnetic fields interactions).
The brain and the heart together comprise the soul of man. As a matter of fact, man is what his soul is. The soul, which is invisible, becomes visible in the ways we behave. Our actions reveal what is inside our heart and mind. The heart, the size of a fist, is a muscular organ serving as a pump carrying blood via the circulatory system, supplying oxygen, nutrients, and removing carbon dioxide from it. In an amazing way complete in divine wisdom, the heart is the life of man, as it controls the flow of blood, for life is in the blood.
The Bible says that everything we do flows from it. Imagine that, a muscular organ with such power, but in the physical, it does not do it alone. It just cannot do it. It takes the brain to work with it, for the brain, our three-pound organ, controls our thoughts, memory, speech, etc. The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord. It receives information through the five senses: smell, sight, touch, taste and hearing. The messages are meaningfully put together to serve us. In the Garden of Eden, Eve was tempted by the sight sense. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate (Gen. 3:6). So, here we have the lust of the eye. The connection between our hearts and our brain happens silently, in a subconscious dialog of emotion through signals between our heart and our brains. Our emotional estate when out of control, affects the body, and the soul. Anger, for example, is one of many reactions that takes a toll on our health, when not under control. The Bible warns us when angry, do not sin. There is nothing wrong in displaying anger, when kept under control. Do not let anger control you; let not the sun go down upon your wrath (Eph. 4:26); Psalm. 4:4 says: Be angry and sin not; commune with your own hearts upon your beds and be silent. Controlling anger is one way to guard the heart and the mind, and also the body. Diseases often happen to the body when we hold anger deeply in our hearts and minds -soul. From mental illnesses to heart diseases as in stroke, heart attack, hypertension, etc. The body is very much affected as a result of the heart’s and brain’s decision. It receives the injuries as the result. Protecting the heart and mind, the rest of our organs will be protected also. Solomon says, Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep your corrupt talk far from your lips; let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before God; give careful thought to the paths for your feet and steadfast in all you ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil (Prov. 4:24-27). Mouth, lips, eyes, feet will follow the heart and the thoughts of the mind. The Bible says, Out of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matt. 12:34). Paul advises us to control our thoughts directing them to whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious. If there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things (Phil. 4:8).
(Father), grant me a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You, by having the eyes of my heart flooded with light, so that I can know and understand the hope to which You have called me, how rich is Your glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of Your power in and for me, as demonstrated in the working of Your mighty strength, which You exerted in Christ when You raised Him from the dead and seated Him at Your right hand in the heavenly, and You raised me up together with Him and made me sit down together in the heavenly sphere in Christ Jesus.
Grant me (Father), out of the rich treasury of Your glory, strength reinforced with mighty power in my inner man by the Holy Spirit; may Christ through my faith dwell in my heart! May I be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, that I may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp what is the breadth, length, height, and depth of it, that I may come to know the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge; that I may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
Father, may I be filled with the full knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom, and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things, that I may walk in a manner worthy of You, fully pleasing to You, desiring to please You in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of You. I pray that I may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of Your glory, (with) every kind of endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to You, Father, Who has qualified and made me fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints in the Light. I pray that my love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that I can determine what really matters and be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise (of You, Father).
Now to You, Who by the power that is at work within me, is able to do superabundantly, far over and above all that I dare ask or think, to You be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever Amen!
(I Thessalonians 5)
Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians is one of the earliest of his writings. In this letter, Paul offers comfort in the midst of their persecution, by teaching concerning the return of Christ. The subject of the second coming of Christ permeates the letter, which brought encouragement for them all. Verse ten, we read, And look forward to and await the coming of His Son from heaven, Whom He raised from the dead- YAHSHUA, Who personally rescues and delivers us out of and from the wrath which is coming and draws us to Himself. The coming wrath of God, long time been taught, is certain as is the deliverance of His people from it. The world today, has turned toward its destruction in an unprecedented way and so fast, everyone is in awe! Peace, is the cry. The more it cries for peace, the more chaos is created, as to shape the world into one order, under the power of a few, and ultimately, one leader. The world’s government’s sovereignty is now challenged, and pressured into doing what has been dictated. The news sounds the same everywhere. The world, as it is today, dresses alike, eats the same foods, and now it is working on one religion system. Unity, as in one order of government, and one religion, applied to the entire world, is their way to bring about “peace” through one man, the antichrist. That’s what they think and are working hard toward that goal to make it happen on their watch. The Bible says, When people are saying, all is well and secure and, There is peace and safety, then in a moment unforeseen destruction will come upon them as suddenly as labor pains come upon a woman with child; and they shall by no means escape, for there will be no escape (vs.3). In the words of YAHSHUA, But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to this life and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose; for it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth. Keep awake then and watch at all times, praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man (Luke 21:34-36).
How does one reason God’s way, plan, and His fulfillment? We sinned; He gave us His Son to ransom us from its penalty with His life. While being nailed to the tree, YAHSHUA prayed a prayer of forgiveness for those who were nailing Him to the cross. How can one reason God’s love for us to the point of not only dying in our stead, but wanting us to live in heaven with Him? The soul, in its journey of reason, wonders clueless to the fact that there is no answer to these questions. Reasoning is good for us to understand the whys of the matter, but it takes faith to calm the heart and the mind, when there is no answer to the questions. Our rational conclusions do not always line up with faith, if we so depend on it for our understanding of things. The acceptance of Scripture without regard to reason and logic is a step of faith outside human’s interference. Faith, true faith, that is, relies on confident expectation. Think, for example, Abraham, who had to wait for twenty-seven years before God fulfilled His promise to him of a son. Not only that, the fact that he and his wife were past the age of childbearing, opened the door to reasoning to step in, as he asked the Lord the question: “After I have become aged shall I have pleasure and delight, my lord, being old also? And shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? And Sarah, who is ninety-nine years old, bear a son?” (Gen. 17:17b). But God is not limited by impossibilities; in fact, nothing is impossible to Him, as He confirmed it to Abraham with these words: Is anything too hard or too wonderful for the Lord? At the appointed time, when the season comes around, I will return to you and Sarah shall have borne a son (vs.14). Here we have God reasoning with Abraham, leading him to apply faith on that which seemed to him unreasonable.
Because you have guarded and kept My word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial, which is coming on the whole world to try those who dwell upon the earth (Rev. 3:10) YAHSHUA’S words to the church of Philadelphia.
God’s promise of deliverance for His faithful church has been established from the beginning under the condition, “Because you have guarded and kept My word of patient endurance.” Conditioned as in, “forgive and you shall be forgiven.” What does it mean? The phrase the word of my patience, “Refers not to individual commandments to patience, but to the entire gospel message. The general whole of the word of YAHSHUA the Messiah communicated to men. The whole gospel, then, is so named inasmuch as it all records the patience which Christ exercised; it means that nothing in sorrow, nothing in trial, nothing in temptation, no antagonism, has the smallest power to divert us from doing what’s right.” (Maclaren’s expositions) ‘The word of My patience’ means “the word of Christ which requires patience to keep it; the gospel which teaches the need of a patient waiting for Christ.” (Vincent’s word studies).
The conditions in which qualifies the believer to escape the wrath of God are summarized in these words: “guarded and kept My word of patient endurance.” The Word of God throughout teaches endurance and patience. Two difficult things to apply to our Christian living. Without patience there will be no endurance to keep going, as in waiting for the Lord. Many so- called Christians have lost the patient and endurance of faith, to follow their ways contrary to God’s word. They walk in darkness and embrace whatever they hear from TV. They lost the very essence of God’s promise and continue walking far from Him. They lost hope in the fact that the Lord is coming, because, like the unbelievers, they do not believe in the promise and have become scoffers of it. The Apostle Peter wrote, … You must know and understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, walk after their own fleshly desires and say, where is the promise of His coming? For since the forefathers fell asleep, all things have continued exactly as they did from the beginning of creation… nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape you, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day (II Peter 3:3-4,8). Men forget that God is eternal and there is no limit of space of time for Him. He exists outside of the measure and frame of time, in an everlasting, forever in an infinite and unmeasurable time: a thousand years as a day, a day as a thousand years.
(I Thessalonians 1:10)
The consistency of God in saving His people before judgment, is remarkable and reliable. We see it in Noah’s days, when God saw the condition of the inhabitants on the earth, how degenerate, debased and vicious it was, for all humanity had corrupted their way upon the earth and lost their true direction (Gen. 6:12). He was grieved of heart for having created men. But He saw that Noah was a just and righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God (Gen. 6:9). So, Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord (V. 8). God, in His mercy, always warns His servants before His judgment comes and, in those days, it was no different. He commanded Noah to build an ark for his salvation and that of his family, for God declared to him that He was going to bring judgment on the earth through a great flood, because of the wickedness of men. One hundred twenty years took for Noah to build the ark and warn the people. Time sufficient enough for people to repent of their wicked ways. In the year 1656 God sent judgment on the earth, 726 years after Adam died. Noah was then 600 hundred years old. He was born 126 years after Adam died, which was in the year 1056.
The earth was relatively young when God’s judgment fell upon it, but it was absolutely ripe for judgment, due to wickedness abounding. We cannot fathom what was going on in those days; it is beyond our understanding, when we read the accounts of Genesis six. When Satan rebelled against God, one third of the angels rebelled with him. Satan’s purpose was and always is to steal, to kill and destroy men. He started in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve followed him, he brought down the entire human race under his control. Therefore, we live in a cursed world under condemnation of sin, with the exception of those who have accepted YAHSHUA’S gift of salvation. One thing nonetheless, we can be sure: God did not destroy the righteous Noah with the wicked people of those days, neither will He do in the future. He spared Noah and his family for his righteousness. So, God was consistent and just in His act of judgment yesterday, and He is today and He will always be. David prayed, Gather me not with sinners and sweep me not away [with them], nor my life with bloodthirsty men, in whose hands is wickedness, and their right hands are full of bribes, but as for me, I will walk in my integrity; redeem me and be merciful and gracious to me (Psalm 26:9-11).
The purposes for the great tribulation are clearly stated in the book of Daniel chapter nine: to finish transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place (vv. 24). Summarizing all, it is to make an end of wickedness and wicked ones. When YAHSHUA came in the period of the sixty-ninth weeks of the seventy weeks of years given to the Jewish nation, He took upon Himself the penalty of our sin and iniquity, He suffered the pain of the tribulation and of hell, so to deliver those who would accept Him. Those who believe in Him go through the process of regeneration, and sanctification and ultimately glorification through the new birth. As He told Nicodemus, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you that unless a person is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God; unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. What is born of flesh is flesh; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. God so greatly loved the world that He gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life; for God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; but he who does not believe in Him is judged already, because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God; The [basis of the] judgment lies in this: The Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works were evil” (John 3:16-19).
YAHSHUA, after teaching the famous sermon on the mount, came down with a multitude of people following Him. From that crowd, a leper shows up and begs Him to be healed, as he prostrating himself and worshiping Him said, “If You are willing, You are able to cleanse me” … YAHSHUA then responded, I am willing and healed him. His day begun reaching out to a spiritually hungry and thirsty crowd. These were as if sheep without a shepherd. They always seemed to know where to find YAHSHUA. It was as if they had an appointment with Him. That day was no different. On His way to Capernaum, a Centurion came up to Him begging Him to heal his servant. He expressed the anguish of his servant by saying, Lord, my servant boy is lying at the house paralyzed and distressed with intense pain (Matt. 8:5-6). This Roman Centurion, without out a doubt, had heard about Him and now came to Him believing Him. It only took the first step for him to receive the result of his faith. In fact, YAHSHUA marveled at his faith and as a result, his servant was healed. Entering Peter’s house, He found Peter’s wife sick with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her. After that, many who were under the power of demons came to Him; He drove out the spirits with a word and restored to health all who were sick. The Word of God concludes, Thus He fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, He Himself took our weaknesses and infirmities and bore away our diseases (vs.14-17). Those were very busy days for Messiah YAHSHUA. Compelled by love, compassion, He healed diseases- all kinds of diseases, He freed many from the power of demons. Those were physical, emotional, and spiritual storms people brought to Him. None who came to Him left emptied handed or disappointed. Out of His fullness, as John said, they had received one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift upon gift (John 1:16).