Before our Lord YAHSHUA went back to heaven He promised the disciples His presence to be with them always. So deep was His love for humankind. He said, I am with you all the days to the close and consummation of the age (Matt. 28: 20b). In His priestly prayer, He prayed His desire that those whom God had entrusted Him may be with Him where He is (John 17:24a). God the Son came into this world and physically displayed God’s love for men. When He had fulfilled all that He had come to do, He then sent His Holy Spirit to abide in those who would trust and receive His gift of salvation. One can never measure God’s gift toward men. It just grows beyond men’s life on earth. Amazing gift! For the disciples to receive the promised Holy Spirit, He instructed them where they should be in order to receive Him. He said, And behold, I will send forth upon you what My Father has promised: but remain in the city [Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). The upper room was the place where His Spirit was to descend upon them. A new chapter of God’s book was opened for men to know and follow His instructions. That was a new era, a new dispensation- the new covenant- the covenant of blood which included people from the entire world. Christendom was then born. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with pure gold of Uphaz. His body also was like beryl, His face had the appearance of lightening, His eyes were like flaming torches, His arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of His words like the sound of a tumult (vs. 5-6).
Now in the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, Daniel was visited by not just angels, but by the Lord Himself. The significance of this visitation from the Son of God before His incarnation is prophetic in meaning. Dressed in His complete outfit of a high priest, He is distinguished from all angels. He was taking His position of our high priest forever, and in time to come, He would offer Himself as the ultimate sacrifice to buy men for God and become the Author and the Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him (Heb. 5:9b). He came to Daniel when Daniel was in mourning for three whole weeks. Daniel ate no pleasant or desired food, nor did any meat or wine came into his mouth; and he did not anoint himself at all for the full three weeks (vs. 3). Earlier, in chapters eight and nine Daniel had visions related to the future events of the tribulation, which now caused him to mourn for three weeks, for he understood the word and had understanding of the vision (vs.1). In chapter nine he was given the time frame of when Messiah would come, die, the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple, and the prophecy of the antichrist in the period of seventy weeks of years given to Daniel’s people- the Jewish people. Now in chapter ten he takes to heart the reality of the visions he saw and the words he heard, although, the angel told him, The vision of the evening and the mornings which had been told him is true. But seal up the vision, for it has to do with and belongs to the distant future. And Daniel said, I, Daniel, fainted and was sick for [several] days (8:26-27a).
(Genesis 2:7; John 9)
Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life, and man became a living being (Gen. 2:7).
Man is not just clay formed from the dust of the earth, but he is water also, for it takes water for clay to be formed. God gathered the dust to form man in a perfect combination of clay chemistry. Because man is dust, minerals are part of him, too. In fact, he cannot survive without them. They are important to man, as they are to the constituents of soils. The Lord confirmed to him saying, “You are dust and to dust you will return.” The soil we step on, are buried in, the soil that is needed to germinate seeds for food, for construction of some sort is the same soil from where God formed man. But man would not have had life without breath having to be breathed into Him by God, the author of life itself. So man is dust, soul and life-his spirit within him. The reality of this truth is strong enough to humble man to his original state-dust. He can easily return to what he came from when his breath is taken away. The air that he breathes is but life given him by God.
(Genesis 7: 11-13, 23; Matthews 24: 37-39; I Thessalonians 5:3)
For just in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah went into the ark, and they did not know or understand until the flood came and swept them all away….(Matt. 24: 38-39)
They did not know, consequently, they suffered. The phrase, They did not know implies lack of knowledge about something. Or does it? One can hear something without giving heed, or paying attention to, or not believing it. YAHSHUA uses this as an illustration in Matthews 7: 24-27. He said, So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them will be like a sensible man who built his house upon the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them will be like a stupid man who built his house upon the sand. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house and it fell and great and complete was the fall of it. These two men heard the message. One acted upon it and was saved; the other ignored and suffered the consequences because his heart was hard. They both heard, they both had a choice to accept or not, and both made their decision.
The hour had come for our Savior YAHSHUA to be sacrificed on that Passover Day. Nothing more important was in His mind than that of fulfilling the purpose for which He had come to earth for thirty-three years. His ministry was coming to an end. It was going to be completed at His death and resurrection during the week He was arrested, or gave Himself up. After a time spent with His disciples instructing and comforting them, He proceeded to the Gethsemane Garden, the place where He would express the beginning of the anguish He was to experience for many hours before His ultimate death. In the midst of all the preparations for the coming Passover, people were indifferent to that particular One, not knowing that the true Passover Lamb- the One carrying the true meaning of that feast, was going to once and for all close that chapter of slaughtering animals for the forgiveness of men’s sins. When the time came, He headed for Jerusalem amidst the disciples not understanding the reason for Him wanting to go there. For a long time the Jewish authorities wanted to kill him; they tried several times, but He escaped every time for that hour had not yet come.
(Acts 1: 6-12)
The Mount of Olives is a very significant place in the prophetic pages of the Bible. Its past in the time of Solomon was used by him for idol worship. I Kings 11:7-8: Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abominable idol of Moab, on the hill opposite Jerusalem, and for Moloch the abominable idol of the Ammonites, and He did so for all of his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. From the distance we only see white sepulchers; nothing that shows life. Death is written all over it. We cannot understand why that mount was used for such a purpose, since it is located in a desirable area for all to see. In spite of this, Mount Olivet is also a place that speaks of the future pointing to the time of the end.
(I Samuel 17:40-49)
When we hear the name Goliath, immediately, we associate him with David and his sling in a battle between the two nations. The story here is one of a series of wars between the Philistines and Israel. The Philistines were descendants from Ham (one of Noah’s son). They were Canaanites whom God told Israel to destroy. They were the Jebusites, the Amorites, and the Girgashite, among others. Their territory extended from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; as you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Adamah and Zeboiim as far as Lasha (Gen.10). In their quest to keep their land and their people, they fought Israel. Because Israel did not rid themselves of their enemies entirely earlier, they had to face them through battles to preserve their lives. In this particular battle, the Philistines relied heavily on their champion by the name of Goliath of Gath. He was not an ordinary man for he was a giant. The Bible registers his height as being six cubits and a span [almost ten feet]. He wore a bronze helmet on his head and a coat of mail, and the coat weighed 5,000 shekels of bronze [about 125 pounds]. He had bronze shin armor on his legs and a bronze javelin across his shoulders, and the shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; his spear’s head weighed 600 shekels of iron [about 15 pounds]. And a shield bearer went before him (I Sam 17: 4-7).
Faith is a beautiful endowment to men. It is a spiritual gift enabling actions pleasing to our Lord YAHSHUA. In fact, the Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11: 6a). This gift is given to those who believe that YAHSHUA is the Son of God. It takes us places where we experience God and His presence in the midst of tribulation and hardship. There is nothing impossible to achieve when our faith is focused on the promises of God. “Though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling and tumult” (Psalm. 46:2-3), faith sustains and uplifts above all circumstances. However, the human tendency is to be fearful in hard times. YAHSHUA often dealt with the disciples for their lack of faith, for even when He was physically with them, they would fear the unknown. We are no different than they were. When the test of our faith arrives, we often fail, and like them, we become overwhelmed even when the Word of God says, Let be and be still and know that I am God (Psa. 46:10a).
And when they came near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, YAHSHUA sent two disciples on ahead, saying to them, Go into the village that is opposite you, and at once you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me.
The day that that colt was born, one more page was turned forward on YAHWEH’S book. In the obscurity of His plan to His disciples and everyone else, even though the prophets of old had mentioned the things they were experiencing, their eyes were closed and their understanding was dull to the Light that was shining prophecies being fulfilled right before their eyes. Heaven however, was connected with YAHSHUA, and so were Moses and Elisha when they appeared to Him at the Mount of Transfiguration and discussed His exodus from earth in that year of A.D. 33. Five days before the Jews’ Passover our Lord makes a royal entry into Jerusalem in fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, you King comes to you; He is just and having salvation, patient, meek lowly, and riding on a donkey, upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
(Deut. 2: 7, 36)
Life on earth is a wilderness filled with surprises at the moment our forefathers sinned. They had it so perfectly, but temptation took the best of them and life became what it is. They were thrown out of the garden, their comfortable and beautiful place to wander through the earth. Life became hard and challenging for them. They conceived the first murderer, who God marked with a sign, which no one knows what that was. Man’s blood line turned corrupted and iniquity traveled from generation to generation without end. So life here on earth is uncertain and full of surprises – good and bad. It is fast as a flower, springing in the morning and withering in the evening. In Psalm ninety Moses describes life in a nut shell: The days of our years are three-score years and ten or even, if by reason of strength, four score years; yet is their pride only labor and sorrow, for it is soon gone and we fly away. So teach us to number our days that we get us a heart of wisdom.