Your Dead Shall Live

(Isaiah 26:19-21)

Your dead shall live [O Lord]; the bodies of our dead [saints] shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For Your dew [O Lord] is a dew of [sparkling] light [heavenly, supernatural dew]; and the earth shall cast forth the dead [to life again; for on the land of the shades of the dead You will let Your dew fall] (Isaiah 26: 19). Resurrection unto life with YAHSHUA is the promise that rings eternally in the heart of all believer. Here the Prophet Isaiah assures the promise with words that connect to the words of our Lord when He said, I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, although he may die, yet he shall live; and whoever continues to live and believes in Me shall never die at all (John 11:25-24b). For the believer, death can only touch the physical part of the body. It has no power over the spirit. Life is in the spirit of the believer, although physical death has been ordained for men because of sin. Paul said, the body that is sown is perishable and decays, but [the body] that is resurrected is imperishable; it is sown in dishonor and humiliation it is raised in honor and glory. It is sown in infirmity and weakness it is resurrected in strength and endued with power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a supernatural body. [as surely as] there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body (Cor. 15:42-44). Paul referred YASHSUA as the first born from among the dead because He was the first to experience birth after death through His resurrection, so we will too. He will die no more. Many people experienced resurrection but had to die again. In the book of Revelation- the revelation of YAHSHUA the Messiah, John also referred to Him as the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the First-born of the dead… (Rev. 1: 5a). Because we were given the right to become the children of God by believing in His name, we owe our birth neither to bloods nor to the will of the flesh nor to the will of man, but to God [we are born of God] (John 1:12), even though we died physically, we shall live.

“For Your dew is a dew of light” That implies life coming from heaven in a supernatural dew. When YAHSHUA rose from the dead in the powerful resurrection power, the tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep in death were raised to life and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people (Matt. 28: 52-53). We know that these people were not resurrected in their glorified bodies, either to eternal life and like the rest who came to life, they died again. That was not the “heavenly, supernatural dew.” The impact of the resurrection of our Savior YAHSHUA- the author of Life, was so great and so powerful that caused life to enter into the lives of those saints. If they were recognizable, I presume they were saints who had died recently. I am just speculating, of course, for the Bible does not tell us whom they were. 

Who Do People Say I Am and How About You?

(Matt. 16:16; Luke 9:20; John 19:19)

After having healed all those that had come to Him and fed the multitude of thousands with seven loaves of bread and a few fish, YAHSHUA asked a very important question in two folds: Who do people say that the Son of Man is, but Who do you say that I am? The conjunction but emphasizes the importance in the clear understanding of the knowledge the disciples must have of Whom YAHSHUA was. He directs the first question in the third person – the Son of Man is, but when directed the question to them, He asks them in the first person, but Who do you say I am? Or How about you?

The Samaritan woman, after talking to YAHSHUA, went to town and she began telling the people, “Come, and see a Man Who has told me everything that I ever did”! She concluded with a curious question, Can this be the Christ? Many believed the words of the Samaritan woman enough to come and meet Him. And perhaps out of curiosity they came. But when they heard Him, they said, Now we no longer believe just because of what you said; for we have heard Him ourselves and we know that He truly is the Savior of the world, the Christ (John 4:42). Hungry for more of His words, they asked YAHSHUA to remain with them and He did stay there two days (John 4:40).  Two days represent the period of two thousand years God was giving to the Gentile nations to hear the Gospel and turn to Him. In contrast with these Samaritans, the Jews of those days, in spite of all that they had witnessed in miracles, they could only conclude that He was perhaps John the Baptist, Elijah or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets (Matt. 16: 14).

Blood and Water Flowed Out From His Side

(John 19:32-35)

What’s the meaning of blood and water flowing out from YAHSHUA’S side? Have you ever wondered why and the meaning behind it? The truth of the matter is that we never stop to wonder why and what’s the significance behind it; we go on with minimum knowledge, not perceiving how little we care to know the reason behind it, to understand the extent of YAHSHUA’S suffering on our behalf. I believe that knowledge, as a glass window, will make possible for our eyes of understanding to see clearly and to change the way we see Him in His sufferings, and in relation to blood and water flowing out from His side when He was pierced. There is much to consider in the case of blood and water being flown from His side that is very important in the physical and in the spiritual realm to all those who are called believers in YAHSHUA.

John reports that, since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from hanging on the cross on the Sabbath- for that Sabbaths was a very solemn and important one- the Jews requested Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first one, ad of the other who had been crucified with Him, but when they came to YAHSHUA and they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs, but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out (John 19:31-34)

The Prophet Isaiah prophesized that YAHSHUA’S sufferings inflicted by Jews and Gentiles were marked on His appearance. His face and His whole appearance were marred more than any man’s, and His form beyond that of the sons of men-… (52:14a); He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, and a man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces, He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him (53:3). David, in his poetic writings, prophetically described the extent of YAHSUA’s physical as well as emotional sufferings in Psalms 22: Eli, Eli lama sabachthani? (My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?)  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; it is softened and melted down with me. My strength is dried up like a fragment of clay pottery my tongue cleaves to my jaws and You have brought me into the dust of death, for [like a pack of] dogs they have encompassed me; a company of evildoers has encircled me, they pierced my hands and my feet, I can count all my bones, …they part my clothing among them and cast lots for my raiment… (Psalm 22).

Fear, The Harmful Way To One’s Doubt

Fear, is a thing that eats the emotion, destroys the body and mind, and ultimately controls the lives of those who feed on it. A spirit, the Bible calls it by name, is not given by God, but by the enemy of the soul. Through the spirit of fear, doubt takes over the mind and leads us to a hardening of the heart toward truth. A dangerous place to be, for it is there that we will lose the chance to repent, if we keep hardening our heart toward God. A dangerous wall made of lies, keeping truth unacceptable, blinding the eyes and hardening the heart.

The spirit of fear does not work alone; it has many other spirits working along with it. It is by the hearing that doubt penetrates the soul; it is seeing and not believing that the heart closes itself to truth. In the days of Noah before the flood, God gave that world 120 years to repent through the warning of judgement, for He is a compassionate God, not willing that men should perish. But the message Noah passed on to the people was to them as if a tale told children. Wherever there is truth, doubt is sure to hide in the heart and in the mind. The danger of doubt is the hardening of the heart. In Romans, Paul warns us concerning that. When God gives the doubter up in their doubt, for refusing to hear the truth, nothing will change that, but the repentant heart.

Fear, working its way to bring doubt in the heart of men, has led many to eternal destruction, because when our forefathers chose to accept the message from the serpent, doubt entered not only their hearts, but the entire world suffered the consequence. In choosing to believe Satan’s message, they forfeited God’s message and the world became Satan’s kingdom. We see the evidence of it all around us. Antagonism, hate, jealousy, envy and many more spirits permeating human as well as in the lives of the animals. For fear of the truth, doubt found an opened door to control the mind; for not wanting to believe truth, men rejected it. The spirit of unbelief attaches itself onto the spirit of doubt. Whenever we doubt God’s words, we manifest the spirit of unbelief residing in our mind. The disciple Thomas was rebuked by YAHSHUA when he doubted His resurrection. Because he saw he believed, he was not praised for that, but rebuked by our Lord YAHSHUA saying, reach out your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place [it] in My side. Do not be faithless and incredulous, but believe (John 20:27).

Why Lazarus Had To Die and Be Buried

(John 11)

When YAHSHUA received the message from Lazarus’ sisters, concerning his sickness, He was in a town beyond the Jordan River, which was a day’s journey to Bethany, where Lazarus and his sisters lived. His death took place 2 weeks before the Lord’s death. He died on Friday April 17th, and he rose on Monday April 20th. This parallels to the time span when YAHSHUA died, which was 2 weeks later, on the Friday of the first of May, which is 15 days from April 17th; and He rose on May 4th, two weeks from April 20th.  The delay Lazarus’ sisters experienced did not constitute a delay in God’s calendar to implement His divine plan in which He would glorify His Son through the display of His power over death, with the purpose that the nation of Israel might believe in this their last chance, YAHSHUA to be His Son, the Messiah that was to come to redeem the nation.

Arriving at the place, four days later, YAHSHUA encountered Martha, who in deep sorrow, expressed her frustration by saying, If You had been here my brother would not have died. “If you had been here” a phrase that demonstrates faith and confidence in YAHSHUA’S divine being. The presence of the Lord is the most desired presence Christians long for. His presence brings joy, peace, unity, love, healing, forgiveness, hope and much more. When He saw people’s sorrow over the dead, He then partook of their sorrow and wept with them, knowing that sin is the cause of death. Sighing repeatedly, deeply disquieted, he went to the tomb. This was the moment when He lived His soon coming death by crucifixion, and the evil treatments He was going to go through. This was the moment when He saw Himself paying the penalties of sins in a most humble way men ever experienced; when men’s cruelty, for whom He was going to die, would take its toll on Him, leaving Him completely disfigured; that would be the moment of His Father’s abandonment of Him as the sins of the world would weigh on Him. That was a disquieted moment, although for Lazarus and his sisters, it was a very exciting moment- it was Lazarus’ resurrection moment.

Behold, the Messiah (part 2)

Messiah being essentially one with God and in the form of God, did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped, or retained, but stripped Himself, so as to assume the guise of a servant in that He became like men and was born a human being. And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name. That in the name of YAHSHUA every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess and acknowledge that YAHSHUA the Messiah is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2: 6-7).

On the first day of weeks, that is, counting from the day after the Sabbath, when they had brought the sheaf of the wave offering, seven Sabbaths (Lev. 23: 15-16). That constituted Pentecost and the waving of the sheaf constitutes resurrection- Messiah’s resurrection, behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled the boulder back and sat upon it. And his countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. He said to the women who had come to the tomb, do not fear. He is not here for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord was laid. There was the empty tomb! Some of His disciples witnessed as well and believed Him. As two of His disciples were walking to the city of Emmaus, Messiah walked with them to their place and ate with them. On the evening of that same day, Messiah appeared to His disciples though they were behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. He stood among them and said, Peace to you! Then He showed them His hands and His side. The disciples were filled with joy. The Prophet Zachariah foretold that in “that day” future day yet to come, Israel will look upon their Messiah, Whom they had pierced and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him as one who is in bitterness for his firstborn. Messiah remained on earth forty days after His resurrection. He appeared to five hundred people at that time. They all testified His resurrection. He, the firstfruit of all those who will believe in Him, went ahead to conquer death. It was swallowed up in and unto victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through the Lord YAHSHUA the Messiah.

Behold, the Messiah (part 1)

Who has believed our message? asked Isaiah. The Messiah came to His people but they received Him not. He grew up before His Heavenly Father like a tender plant out of dry ground- loved and accepted only by few. His own betrayed Him for a sum of thirty shekels. Judas, the betrayer and one of His disciples, taking charge of a band of soldiers and some guards of the high priests and Pharisees, delivered Messiah with a kiss to the Jewish authorities. Judas was not an enemy who taunted Him; nor was not one who hated Him; but it was a man of His equal, His companion and one of His familiar friends; one who ate with Him. His own people delivered Him to the Roman government with insistence and urgency, with loud cries demanding Governor Pilate to crucify Him.

After His last supper on earth, having spent His last hours privately with His disciples sharing His last words and preparing them for what was to come, the Messiah went to a special garden, which was His custom to do. Gethsemane was His place of prayer. A quiet and isolated place away from all the noises of the crowd. That night, however, was His last visit to that garden. He had come to that garden this time to confront the reality of the plenitude of the time of His trials and ultimately death by crucifixion. There He prayed in agony more earnestly and intently, for the stress of the moment caused His sweat to become like great clots of blood dropping down upon the ground. He prayed: Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done. An angel appeared to Him from heaven to strengthen Him at that time. Moments later a crowd lead by His betrayer showed up. They came out with swords and clubs as if He were a robber. They were the chief priests and captains of the temple and the elders. They took Him first to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was the high priest. Then He was bound and taken to the house of the high priest. So, it started the series of His unjust and illegal trials.

Days of Elijah

(I Kings 18)

The days of Elijah foreshadowed today’s day in the increase of apostasy, immorality and idolatry. When Israel was under the control of evil kings, including Ahab and Jezebel, who reigned its northern kingdom, they persecuted and killed God’s prophets. They were intolerable of anything related to the Living God. Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, was a Phoenician princess, a prostitute and a killer. She worshiped Baal, the god of fertility, practiced in her native land, Tyre. Her name, symbolic of shame and wickedness, was visible in many aspects of her life.  The name Jezebel remains alive and active today in its synonymous with evil.

In those days, God raised up a prophet called Elijah, who confronted both Ahab and Jezebel for their wickedness. A prophet filled with power and determination against the evil Ahab and Jezebel was on display. To start with, he killed all Israel’s 850 false prophets and prophetesses in a single day. A courageous prophet for the hour, at the time when darkness was abundant in the nation of Israel, for the nation had lost the sense of their true God in their worshipping of Baal, Jezebel’s god, and other gods as well. We find the report of Elijah’s amazing courage in I Kings 18, when he confronted all 850 of Baal’s false prophets and prophetess and challenged them to a test in which to prove YAHWEH to be the only true God. As a result, the slaughter of those false prophets took place, cleansing the nation of idolatry. A necessary cleansing for the nation to be blessed once again.

Where there are leftover roots of evil, good cannot prevail. Elijah, under God’s anointing, destroyed the root causes of the nation’s idolatrous evil. When the people who had come to the meeting Elijah organized at Mount Carmel, saw God’s consuming fire coming down over the offering on the altar, they repented and turned to the Lord by falling on their faces, and saying, The Lord, He is God, He is God!  (I Kings 18:39b).

Remove the Stone

(John 11: 39-43)

Lord, by this time he stinks, said Martha. Take away the stone, was the command of YAHSHUA to the crowd. So they did. And Yahshua lifted up His eyes and said, Father, I thank You that you have heard Me (vs.39, 41).

YAHSHUA lifted up His eyes and prayed after the stone had been removed. This is an important observation to be noted. Even though YAHSHUA could have removed the stone just by a command, He told the crowd to do it. For that, it required faith and obedience, for Lazarus had being dead four days. Martha’s word and of those  of the crowd expressed doubt but YAHSHUA ignoring their unbelief, confronted Martha with the question Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God? (vs. 40) YAHSHUA, before entering the place where Lazarus was, He assured Martha of Lazarus’ resurrection; He assured her that He Himself was the Resurrection and the Life… (vs. 25). Lazarus was dead, yes, but that did not matter in the scope of Whom YAHSHUA was and what He could do. He wanted Martha to believe Him in spite of the reality of her brother’s death.

In The World You Will Have Tribulation

(John 16:33)

Just before His trials and ultimately death, YAHSHUA spent time alone with His disciples preparing them to face the world without Him and at the same time warning them of things to come, including persecution. After His last supper with them, He washed their feet with the purpose to teach them humility. In chapter 14 He promises to return to earth to gather His own for Himself and blessed them with His peace; He presented Himself as the only Way to the Father, the Truth that will set man free; and Life. He is the only source of life physical and eternal. In chapter 15 He emphasizes sanctification. Here, He presented Himself as the Vine and the believers as the branches.  Apart from the Vine there is no life. He calls their attention to love one another, for it is a commandment that summarizes the entire law – love for God and for others. in chapter 16 He promises the Holy Spirit; He details the nature of His ministry; and gives details concerning future persecution coming against them and encourages them to endure, for He had overcome all for them. He concludes it by saying:  In the world you will have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer! For I have overcome the world (vs. 33).

The tribulation YAHSHUA mentioned was not concerning the great tribulation, as many Christians think, but it referred to persecution from the world which embraces all those who are enemies of God. If you belonged to the world, YAHSHUA said, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember that I told you. A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you (John 15: 19-20a). Persecution is a sign that the believer is not of this world.