(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).
(John 1:29; 12:1-7)
Six days before the Passover Feast, YAHSHUA made a trip to Bethany to the home of Lazarus; six days before His death a supper was prepared for Him; Lazarus was at the table with Him, Martha served and Mary anointed Him for His burial, setting Him apart for His death as He represented the Passover sacrificial Lamb and in essence He was the true Lamb of God that takes the sins of the world (John 1:29). He was set apart four days before His death as it was commanded that the lamb for the sacrifice would be set apart on the tenth of the month, and be killed on the fourteenth, (four days after being set apart) Exodus 12:3,6. YAHSHUA lived those last days focused on what was to happen in His Father’s plan to redeem mankind. Behold, the Lamb of God! John Baptist’s cry to call the nation of Israel to repentance and acceptance of the Lamb of God- YAHSHUA, Who had come to be the Passover Lamb. While many were busy getting ready for that very important Passover event, YAHSHUA was quietly fulfilling His role of Lamb of God, when Mary anointed Him, not knowing the meaning of her action. But He knew and defended her at the criticism of Judas, who later betrayed Him.
At the beginning of Israel as a nation, God established the law of two or three witnesses against the accused person. He said, One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity of any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established (Deut. 19:15). The importance of more than one witness in any case is necessary, for it provides protection for the innocent accused of things he has not done, especially in a court room when the accused faces the judge with his sentence: condemned or acquitted. If every court in this world would practice this law, there would be fewer innocent people sent to jail. A false witness, the Bible tells us, is an abomination to the Lord (Prov. 6:16-19).
A Bible story we read from the book of Esther, is more than a children’s story “They lived happily ever after” happy ending. Hard to understanding the culture of those days, we wonder why it had to be so. Reasoning the whys, we come to the understanding it was in the spiritual sphere, purposed by God Himself, for a reason or redemption of Israel as “For such a time as this.” Hadassah, Esther’s original name, was a young and beautiful maiden, who was chosen among many others to be Ahasuerus’ wife. This Persian king reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces (Esther 1:1). It all happened in a controversial and hard to understand way, when King Ahasuerus, being drunk, commanded his wife, Queen Vashti to be brought to him to show her off to the peoples there represented. But she refused to do so. For that, the king was enraged, embarrassed, and humiliated at that reaction, which lead him to divorce her. After a while, the king’s servants recommended to be sought beautiful virgins for him. That’s the background in which Hadassah- Esther came in this story of redemption of her people, Israel.
(Mark 10: 46-52)
Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside (Mark 10:46). It was a regular day for Bartimaeus that day when he, as his daily routine, sat by the road side to beg. His physical dark world impaired him to be part of society.
When he would have a job to provide for his family; it would have supported his social life with friends and family. It was a lonely life for Bartimaeus in his world, lacking the most basic thing of life- his eyesight. His song echoed in the ears of people a monotonous melody, which many had closed their ears to. In a repetitious melody and words, he would ask help for the poor blind man, using the pronoun on the third person. But that day his ears perked up when he heard noises from a crowd coming toward him. For a moment he stops his song, instead, he asked, what was happening? When he heard that it was YAHSHUA of Nazareth, he began to shout, saying, YAHSHUA, Son of David, have pity and mercy on me (Mark 10:47). Remarkably, this poor blind man had knowledge of Whom YAHSHUA was, while Israel as a nation was left in the dark of their spiritual understanding concerning YAHSHUA, for their hearts were callous toward Him. Bartimaeus, from the depth of his soul proclaimed YAHSHUA to be the Messiah- coming from the line of David, as it was prophesized. He must have learned from others about YAHSHUA’S work of miracles, miracles that marked and determined Him to be the promised Messiah. He did not have to see YAHSHUA to believe Him. That was the faith he had, that sprung a belief in his own healing. Nothing would stop him from shouting the prophetic words, “You, Son of David, have pity and mercy on me!”
Is there any truth left in this world one must follow? Or is it dead? What is really truth? Outside of its spiritual meaning, truth is conformity with facts and reality (Webster’s dictionary). Buy the truth and sell not; not only that, but also get discernment and judgment, instructions and understanding (Prov. 23:23). Where truth has fallen, falsehood, lies and dishonesty have taken its place. Paul warned us in II Thessalonians 2 that the coming of the lawless one is through the activity and working of Satan and will be attended by great power and with all sorts of miracles and signs and delusive marvels, and by unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they did not welcome the Truth but refused to love it that they might be saved. Therefore, God sends upon them a misleading influence, a working of error and a strong delusion to make them believe what is false (II Thess. 2:9-11). We live in the days of errors, misleading, lies and confusion. These are days precursor of the tribulation time, when the devil will take control of this world through the antichrist. What we are experiencing right now is the introduction of Satan’s way of governing the world. Evil, seduction, errors. Many are believing and following the delusion, by believing lies and fighting the truth. The Prophet Isaiah writes about Israel’s spiritual condition in chapter 59: 12-15 which is also a picture of today’s world’s spiritual condition: justice is turned away backward and righteousness stands far off; for truth has fallen in the street and uprightness cannot enter [the courts of justice]. Yes, truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. And the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice (Vs.14-15). The time will come when the Lord will not observe the growing evil in this world without judging it. He is longsuffering, not wanting that men should go to hell; He keeps waiting for them to have a change of heart. But it will not be forever. Right now, judgment is at the door.
You are the light of the world; a city situated on a hill cannot be hidden; no one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house; Let your light so shine, says the Lord, so that men may see your good works and glorify the heavenly Father; (Matt. 5:14-16).
YAHSHUA told the disciples, You are the light of the world. That means, live truthfully, speak truthfully, and act truthfully. In other words, live in such way that your light will point to God and men’s eyes will be opened to see God in you, and the glory will be given to Him, as a result. In our actions and words, the light in us must reflect the source, not our doings. The fact of the matter is in whatever we say and do there must be the reflection of the LIGHT of His Holy Spirit in us.
(I Thessalonians 5:1-11)
Children of light, children of the day, so are we who have been born again! Here, Paul opens our eyes to understand why we are not going to suffer Tribulation, the Great Tribulation, that is: We belong to the day…for God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord YAHSHUA the Messiah (vs. 8-9). Chosen to salvation, we are destined to share in God’s protection and deliverance from His wrath which is coming upon the wicked people. This is an uplifting hope we carry with us in the midst of a stormy world. God will regard those who love Him and reward them with deliverance from His wrath. In his Psalms David prayed asking God to make a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, at the time of His judgments: Gather me not with sinners, he prayed, and sweep me not away, nor my life with bloodthirsty men (Ps. 26:9); drag me not away with the wicked, with the workers of iniquity, who speak peace with their neighbors, but malice and mischief are in their hearts (28:3). God has a special place of refuge for His saints, for He is consistent in what He is and how he acts. Examples are seen in the lives of Noah and Lot in the times of God’s judgments that came to the earth. For those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High, they shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty (Ps. 91:1). There is no other more secure place than that of “under the shadow of the Almighty.” The Bible promises those who do so that no evil will befall them, nor any plague or calamity will come near their tent, for He will give His angels charge over them to accompany and defend and preserve them in all their ways; they shall bear them up on their hands, lest they dash their foot against a stone.. (Ps. 91:9-12). That’s a promise for God’s saints in His purpose and will for them.
The trumpet, an amazing instrument from all the other instruments, is of most significance in fulfilling God’s purposes in the past and in the future of the world. It was and will be used as a signaling instrument. The sound of a trumpet interprets meaning of hope of our salvation to be finalized at the time when God’s trumpet will be sounded. The word of God tells us that He will call us up to heaven through the sound of His trumpet. Through that sound I believe we will hear each our names being called. The dead in Christ will receive life at the moment they hear God calling their names, just as it was in the case of Lazarus. Had not YAHSHUA called Lazarus by name the entire graveyard would be filled with resurrected bodies. In Revelation four John hears a voice like a war trumpet calling him to go up to heaven. God’s judgment will be preceded by trumpets in Revelation 8. The seven trumpets will be used to announce certain God’s judgment upon the earth at the time of tribulation. Exodus nineteen expresses the picture of the rapture in relationship to Moses when God called him up to the top of Mount Sinai after loud blast of the trumpet (vs.19-20).
Truth can only be a deliverer of man’s chains when he/she
accepts it. Truth’s foundation is secured in true facts. It is a reality check
without blemishes. When it is embraced and accepted, freedom then takes its
wings. Years of being left in the darkness of lies, men have walked crookedly
and without direction, framed as preys of ignorance. YAHSHUA, the only true
God, without sin, is the root of the truth through Whom all who believe in Him
will be Enlighted. He Himself proclaimed to be not only Truth, but the Way, and
Life. Through Him, we can go to the heavenly Father. He is the ultimate Truth
that will set men free and lead them to heaven. When men reject Truth, they
will find themselves to be under the curse of sin. The curse from which YAHSHUA
died to set men free. Isaiah prophesized this many years before YAHSHUA came to
earth to accomplish the Father’s plan of salvation for men: “He was wounded for
our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the
chastisement [needed to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and
with the stripes [that wounded Him] we are healed and made whole” (Isaiah
53:5). Truth, in general, outside of the spiritual realm, is the breaker of
chains of blind ignorance. But sometimes, it should be confronted only at the
proper time. A man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the
right moment- how good it is! These are the Words of Solomon (Prov. 15:23).