A Manger, a Crown of Thorns and a Cross

(Luke 2:7; Matt 27:29; John 19: 16-18)

But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, you are little to be among the clans of Judah; [yet] of you shall One come forth for Me Who is to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, from ancient days (Micah 5:2).

The Manger

Before his death, Jacob prophesied of the tribe of Judah: The scepter of leadership shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh [the Messiah, the Peaceful One] comes to Whom it belongs, and to Him shall be the obedience of the people (Gen. 49:10). This prophecy was fulfilled many years later in the birth of our Savior, YAHSHUA.  In those days it occurred that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole Roman empire should be registered; all the people were going to be registered, each to his own town; Joseph also went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David ( Luke 2:1-3). That happened close to the time for Mary’s delivery. And while they were there, the time came for her delivery, and she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn; and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room or place for them in the inn (Luke 2:6-7). Was YAHSHUA laid in a manger where all kinds of animals were feeding as tradition tells us? In Micah 4:8  the idea is refuted, for the prophet gives us the exact location where Messiah was to be born and the type of manger He would be laid on: And you, O Tower of the Flock, the hill and stronghold of the Daughter of Zion, unto you the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the Daughter of Jerusalem. Messiah was to be born at the “Tower of the Flock”. This was a watch tower used by the shepherds in ancient times for the protection of their flock from enemies and wild beasts. It was also the place where chosen ewes were brought to give birth to their young ones; after their babies were born, they were wrapped in swaddling clothes for their protection. These were special lambs, chosen for temple sacrifices. Only these lambs would be feeding in that place. It is without a doubt that God chose this place many years earlier for His Son to be born; a significant picture of what was to come in the person of His Son, the Lamb of God.

After His birth, the perfect Lamb of God was wrapped in swaddling clothes and was laid in a manger at the “Tower of the Flock.” John the Baptist declared:  There is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29).

Do You Love Me Peter, More Than These?

(John 21)

It was the third time that the Lord had appeared to the disciples after He arose from the dead. They were waiting for Him at the Sea of Galilee, as they were told, although not everyone was there. Only seven out of eleven disciples. We don’t know how long they had waited before Peter decided to go fishing and the rest with him. YAHSHUA came to them in the early hour of the morning, when they were exhausted, for not having caught anything all night. YAHSHUA stood at the beach, without them recognizing Him. His familiar voice called to them saying, Boys, You do not have any meat, do you? They answered Him, No! And He said to them, Cast the net on the right side of the boat and you will find, so they cast the net, and now they were not able to haul it in for such a big catch of fish (vs. 5,6). 153 large fish were caught that morning under the command of YAHSHUA, Whom they did not recognize at first. YAHSHUA had breakfast ready for them when they got to land. He invited them to eat. He took the bread and the fish and gave them to the disciples. After they had eaten, YAHSHUA directed a very important question to Peter. A question that would connect Peter once again with Lord, for saying, “I do not know the man,” he had left the Lord. A question that would challenge his love for YAHSHUA. Three times the same question was asked, measuring up to the three times he denied the Lord. Grieved that YAHSHUA should ask him the third time, Do you love Me? He said to Him, Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You (vs.17).

The first time YAHSHUA asked the question, Do you love Me, He added, more than these? Peter’s mind was on going back to his old life style. “I am going fishing.” With that, he disregarded YAHSUA’S calling of while back: “I will make you fisher of men” (Luke 5). The love that YAHSHUA was challenging Peter was not to the extent of the love the disciples had for Him. As you know, they too failed in their demonstration of their love for YAHSHUA. One betrayed Him, one doubted Him, and the rest forsook Him at the moment He needed them the most. It was not a question of comparison of his love with the other disciples’ love for YAHSHUA. No, this had to do with the love that Peter had for his fisherman’s business. Under the command of YAHSHUA, he had caught many fish. That was his livelihood, his money maker. Was Peter willing to leave all behind once again to serve the Lord, after the Lord had left the world? His past actions showed otherwise. YAHSHUA had to re-instate Peter with the question, Do you love Me more than these? In order for him to realize where he was and where he should have been. “I do not know the man” were the words Peter uttered to confirm he had forsaken the Lord. YAHSHUA was bringing him back to equip him for a task that required his complete surrender. A task that required the giving up his life to die for YAHSHUA, not only spiritually, but physically. It would be only through his genuine love for the Lord that he could accomplish the calling to be a martyr. Had not the Lord reinstated him, Peter would have gone his old way of living; but God had a purpose for him that only him would fulfill it: Feed “My lambs,” three times YAHSHUA challenged Peter’s love for Him. “Not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life that I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Gal. 2:20) Peter had to die to self to receive the supernatural strength that came from God for him to go through the hard road ahead of him, as the Lord told him in which manner he was going to die as a martyr.

The First Multiplication

(Mt. 14:15-23)

When evening came, the disciples came to Him and said, this is a remote and barren place, and the day is now over; send the throngs away into the villages to buy food for themselves. Jesus said they do not need to go away; you give them something to eat. They said to Him, We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish. He said, Bring them here to Me. Then He ordered the crowds to recline on the grass; and He took the five loaves and the two fish, and, looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and blessed and broke the loaves and handed the pieces to the disciples and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about 5,000 men, not including women and children. Then He directed the disciples to get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent away the crowds. And after He had dismissed the multitudes, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. When it was evening, He was still there alone.

“Send the throngs away into the villages to buy food for themselves,” said the disciples. Jesus however had another plan. He answered them; you give them something to eat. How? was the question in their minds. Five loaves and two fish was all that were available to feed thousands. But YAHSHUA only needed to have them to be given to Him for a miracle to happen. A need, much greater than the resource, cannot be met by the human standard, but in the hands of the Master, no resource is too small for Him to perform a miracle. Although the disciples puzzled over YAHSHUA’S command, “You give them some to eat” they brought Him the resources of five loaves and two fish. Something was happening at that time besides the physical need of the thousands of people. In God’s calendar He was expressing symbolism in these two numbers: five and two. What were these numbers speaking of at that point of time? They were expressing their meaning in prophecy. YAHSHUA said, For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son for whosoever believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16. That crowd represented by several nations, was the focus of the message hidden behind all that was happening: God loves the world. The two fish and the five loaves of bread did not happen by accident. No, through them God was lighting His love not only to the Jews, but to all the world. The message in the two fish is that the space of two thousand years He was going to give to the Gentile nations for their salvation under His grace which is symbolic by the number five in the five loaves of bread.

The World in Spiritual Chaos

Peace, peace is the cry of the world today as it faces turmoil of biblical proportion. What is really happening world widely that so many people are committing suicide in a hopeless state of mind? Can you separate what’s happening in these days from the prophecies written in the Bible? No, you cannot. YAHSHUA, when answering the disciples’ questions concerning the end of time, said this as a sign of His coming, among many other things: And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened or troubled, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, a d there will be famines and earthquakes in place after place; all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs (Matt. 24:6-8). There is a cry out there coming from the hearts of men for the normality of things, when there will no longer be as it was just two years ago. No one expected that a manmade virus would control the destiny of the world, much less that it would linger with vaccine, mandated vaccine and passport vaccine. When will it ever end? A question everyone asks anxiously wanting to see the end of the ordeal. One thing we did not realize was that what’s happening today is the result of many years the few who controls the world have been planning in the pursuit to depopulate the world from billions to five hundred million. An evil plan coming from Satan himself, performed by those who follow him. This is definitely a scary time for those who do not know God neither His word. The Bible is filled with fulfilled and unfulfilled prophecies in God’s watch. The prophets of old did not see what they prophesized; because although, some prophecies were to be fulfilled in a short time, others had a long span of weighting time for them to be fulfilled.

Nations are unsettled and will continue to be until God supernaturally intervenes their plan, and these people will be judged for the slaughter of many who took the vaccine. Used to be cradled in comfort and peace, nations are found shocked at what is happening. Why do the nations assemble with commotion, and why do the people imagine an empty scheme? (Psalm 2:1) For sure this verse describes the world’s situation of today. The chaos created by the few to bring about their “empty scheme” will not prevail, although it looks as though it has. Our God is not limited to impossibilities of problems. He shines then, because there is nothing impossible for Him. One of several examples concerning God’s unlimited power is found in II Kings in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah’s reign over Judah, when the king of Assyria came up against the cities of Judah and took them. All seemed to be impossible for King Hezekiah to overcome such power, as the king of Assyria defiantly challenged him. But King Hezekiah found a place of comfort in the presence of the Lord, when he went there to pray. The message came to him from the Prophet Isaiah saying, Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled and blasphemed Me. King Hezekiah prayed: O Lord our God, I beseech You, save us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know and understand that You, O Lord, are God alone (II kings19). The Lord heard King Hezekiah’s prayer and supernaturally delivered Judah from the hands of Assyria’s king.

I Sought a Man Who Should Build the Wall and Stand in the Gap

From the time that God created man, He has not ceased to seek that special person who will build walls and stand in the gap on behalf of a country or people so that He would not destroy them; a man who will stand in the gap for righteousness and justice. The Word of the Lord that came to the prophet Ezekiel while he and the nation of Israel were captives in Babylon were words of judgment against the sins of that nation. Israel laid bare before her Lord and her sins were exposed before Him. God’s love and patience over Israel and all other nations are evident in the length of time He waits before He sends judgment. Meanwhile He seeks intercessors who will stand in the gap in His presence for the land and for its people. He told Ezekiel that He had sought a man among Israel who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Him for the land, that he should not destroy it, but He found none. Therefore, He said, Have I poured out My indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their own way have I repaid upon their own heads, says the Lord God(Ezekiel 22: 30-31).

The Ultimate Gift

(Isaiah 53; Hebrews 10: 7,10)

Then YAHSHUA said, Behold, here I am, coming to do Your will, O God, what is written of Me in the volume of the Book; and in accordance with this will we have been made holy through the offering made once for all of the body of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10: 7, 10).

While He was carrying our grief and sorrow, while He was being wounded for our trespasses and transgressions, while He was being bruised for our guilt and iniquities, while He was taking our punishment and giving us His peace, we stood ignorant and considered Him to be under God’s judgment, rejecting Him to the point of hiding our faces from His appearance, which was marred beyond human form (Isaiah 52: 14). Why do think that was? The reason why, was that we could not stand to see our own sinful condition being put on Him. He didn’t fight back and we thought Him to be weak and marveled at His silence. He was taken away by oppression and falsehood and was led away to the slaughter with criminals, as if He were one of them. He was denied justice and a fair trial. We then, nailed His hands and feet to a tree for six hours when our guilt and iniquities were lighted on Him. With the intensity of His suffering, He cried, Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani? (My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me)? (Isaiah 53; Psalm 22)

Bruised, grieved and sickened, God made Him an offering for the sin of the world. Nailed to a tree, His face and body disfigured and poured out like water (in His blood), all His bones out of joint, His heart softened in anguish, no strength left in Him, thirst from dehydration, His tongue cleaved to His jaws, yet He endured the insults of men. “Come down from the tree, if You are the Son of God!” with many other insults they tormented Him. But again, they could never understand that the horror they had seen in YAHSHUA’S face body were indeed the reflection of their own sins He was taking upon Himself. They failed to accept that He was the perfect gift to them- the ultimate gift God was giving to the world– the gift of forgiveness.

Of Many Such Matters He Is Reminded

 (Job 23: 10,14)

Although I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me (Ps. 23:4). In life’s challenges there is the thought that we are in that situation alone. Everyone around us seem to be indifferent to our cry for help; our voice seemly muffled by their indifference. We pray, but help does not come fast enough for us. To the contrary, we feel that we were not heard, and life goes on in that mode for as long as our trouble lingers. Like Job, we cry, Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come even to His seat! I would lay my cause before Him and fill my mouth with arguments; I would learn what He would answer me, and understand what He would say to me (Job 23:3-5). In the pages of Psalm 139: 13,15-16 we have a beautiful, significant  and trustworthy statement from the Lord to us through David, to assure us of His involvement in our life from the beginning, when He was forming us in the womb of our mother: For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are your works, and that my inner knows well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret intricately and curiously wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.

Inside the Belly of a Fish

When we read such a tittle, Jonah’s experience comes to mind. Yes, and it is so this time. In his running away from answering the call to Nineveh, Jonah was swallowed up by a great fish, God had prepared to save him from death. For three days and three nights in the living room of the fish’s belly, Jonah had time to reflect on his foolish decision, that of running away from his calling. The fish not only provided safety for Jonah, but also a prayer room. In that uncomfortable environment, Jonah bent his heart toward God and said: I cried out of my distress to the Lord, and He heard me; out of the belly of Sheol cried I, and You heard my voice (Jonah 2:2). Imagine for a moment how awkward that must have been for him, and for the fish too, not being able to digest him for those three days. He could not burp him; neither release him. And Jonah? well, we can just imagine by placing ourselves in his place. He was probably in a fetus position, not being able to move freely. A nightmare that lasted him like forever, so we would express ourselves. This great fish provided Jonah the means of transportation, too. For God directed it to take Jonah where he was supposed to go. That must have been a bumpy ride for several miles to his destination. But in the darkness of that fish, Jonah learned to call on the Lord for his salvation.  The Lord, Who is compassionate and abundant in lovingkindness, heard Jonah’s cry for help. He commanded the fish to disgorge Jonah and it did. That must have caused Jonah to have a change of heart, and when the Lord coming to him a second time saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach and cry out to it the preaching that I will tell you. So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord (Jonah 3: 1-3a). Smelling like fish, Jonah sure had a story to tell others and encouraged all not to behave like him.

Eternity

How can it be defined?

Obscurity of the mind

No beginning, no end

Forever and ever

Grey cells wonder

This thing was, it is

And will always be

The song of eternity.


Like a sea roaring

In the tempest

In its immense power

Rocking the waters

With wrath at its best

Embracing the earth

As if one with it

Uniting it with the sky


In the horizon

Sea and earth meet

East the birth of a new day

West hello to the night

As eternity waves its banner

Existing in a forever span

A day, 1,000 years

A 1,000 years, a day.