God’s plan of salvation is according to His foreknowledge, the setting apart by the Holy Spirit for obedience and for the sprinkling with the blood of YAHSHUA MESSIAH, His Son (I Peter 1:1-3).
God’s plan of salvation was put in place at the time of the fall of men (Gen. 3:15): And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head under foot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel. Satan’s seed is the antichrist who will rise to be an absolute leader for a short period of time of seven years. The woman’s Offspring is YAHSHUA, Who came to die to save mankind from hell and the power of sin. He will come back and will reign over the entire world with power and majesty. God’s plan of salvation is a team effort: We read in I Peter 1:1-3 that God the Father chose and foreknew; the HOLY SPIRIT consecrated and sanctified for obedience to YAHSHUA; and YAHSHUA sprinkled us with His blood.
Behold the Lamb of God!
Carrying the sins of the world
Away, far away.
His body, Oh, His body!
Not a place found
Sound, but all marred
And without form.
Hundreds and hundreds
Of beatings on Him applied
His soul bowed down with
Not a word, not a cry
Bowed down to the beatings
Quietly, He sighed.
It was evening when the Lord YAHSHUA, went with His disciples as usual, to the Garden to pray. This was not His regular night in their day to day routine, but His last night as it was, with His disciples. Hours of teachings preceded this moment, when He comforted, warned and prayed for them. Although, the disciples were not with Him in their understanding of all that was happening. Often, He warned them of what was about to happen, but they either ignored or tried to fight the idea. The Jewish authorities however, were waiting for an opportunity when they could get hold of Him without the crowd to fight them. The hatred in their nostrils had to be satisfied if only by killing YAHSHUA. Nothing else would satisfy them. Three years of listening to YAHSHUA’S teachings in one way or another, they refused conviction and change of their ways, instead, they wanted to get rid of Him- the voice of truth, for they did not like what they saw of themselves. Much had happened that week and in the previous, when He raised Lazarus from the dead, when He rode on a colt expressing to the crowd His messiahship, when He was anointed by Mary at the time a special supper was given Him, when He cleaned out the temple by driving out those who were selling, telling them, It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer; but you have made it a cave of robbers. (Luke 19:45-46). It was the time when He called the nation to repentance, to a relationship with Him, and warned them of their impending future. His last days on earth were coming to a close with much yet to do as in preparing the disciples to take His place. From chapter 13-18 of John we have reports of the meaningful time He spent teaching His disciples after His last supper with them and before His trials.
YAHSHUA encouraged us to live a life of trust in God. The heart, the physical home of our emotion and feelings, can be hurt and damaged as a result of worries and anxieties. The emotion, the will and the intellect comprise the soul which, when not in complete trust and faith in God, is controlled by the spirit of fear. The apostle John wrote: There is no fear in love, but full-grown love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection], for fear brings with it the thought of punishment (I John 4:18). When the spirit of fear controls the mind, it controls it with torment, causing stresses the body cannot cope without getting sick. The emotion, for example, responds with panic attacks, worries, and anxieties.
The consequences of allowing the mind to be controlled by the spirit of fear are various and unsettled. YAHSHUA said, “Let not your heart be troubled”. This implies that we have the control of our emotion by controlling the thoughts of the mind before they reach to the heart. The Word of God says that we believe with the heart. If it does not believe the promises of God, then the result will be a troubled heart. The Scripture says, no man who believes in Him will be put to shame or be disappointed (Romans 10:10-11). Here we have the remedy for success in having a peaceful heart- believe in God, believe also in YAHSHUA (John 14:1)
YAHSHUA is the seed of eternal life that had to die in order for Him to see His spiritual offspring through the travail of His soul; He is the source of men’s eternal salvation and there is none other in heaven or earth that has been given the power to save. By one single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy. Therefore, there is no longer any offering made to atone for sin; now with purified hearts and sprinkled from a guilty conscience, let’s seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess our acknowledgement of it; for He Who promised is reliable and faithful to His word (Heb. 10). In His death, He carried our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses and distresses), He carried our sorrows and pains. His Father shone on Him our guilt and iniquity and considered Him the guilty one deserving of the cross in our instead. Yet we turned away from Him; we like sheep rejected His leading and followed our own way. But He took all upon Himself as if He deserved, in submission without a word coming from His mouth; just like a lamb led to the slaughter. He was taken away by oppression and unjustly judged; He was cut off out the land of the living, He was stricken to His death- yes for the transgressions of us all. He was assigned with the wicked, as if He were one of them, although He was innocent and pure of all sins; He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth (Isaiah 53). How can we escape the eternal punishment, if we continue rejecting Him? The Word of God says, If we go on deliberately and willing sinning after once acquiring the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice left to atone for sins; [there is nothing left for us then] but a kind of awful and fearful prospect and expectation of divine judgment and the fury of burning wrath and indignation which will consume those who put themselves in opposition [to God] (Heb. 10: 26, 27). The love of our YAHWEH extends to all men, apart from race and color. His love is unconditional and infinite; it is available at all times with opportunities for all to receive His Son. However, opportunity we have only now. Tomorrow it might not be available.
After the fall of men God’s plan of salvation surfaced when He told Adam and Eve that His Son was going to strike the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15). What does this mean to us? It means victory over Satan and over death, when YAHSHUA took upon Himself our sins and carried them to the cross and there God disarmed the principalities and power that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it (the cross) (Col. 2:15). We read in 1 Peter 1:1 the involvement of the trinity in the plan of men’s salvation in its several aspects: God the Father chose and foreknew us; the HOLY SPIRIT consecrated and sanctified us for obedience to YAHSHUA; and YAHSHUA sprinkled us with His blood. The meaning of His blood being sprinkled on us is the process of cleansing us from our sins followed by sanctification by the Holy Spirit. Glorification is the next step of the process at the consummation of our salvation. This proves that God is three in One taking individual part in our salvation. It is a beautiful picture of God’s harmonious and perfect salvation.
The death of John the Baptist, lead YAHSHUA to withdraw to a solitary place by Himself. It was a time of reflection; a time alone with the Father, not because He did not know John’s future, but to consider His position in the world without his forerunner, who openly declared that him to be the Messiah. The timing for all to happen was perfect, as His ministry reached out with healings to all who needed them; not only physical healing, but also spiritual. It was a busy time for YAHSHUA and His disciples. The news about Him had reached far into Israel, as well into other countries at the time of John’s death. It was a solemn hour for Him, nevertheless, enough to want to spend a time alone. YAHSHUA must have spent the entire night praying, as it was His custom to do. The crowds came in the morning and stayed with Him all day until the day was over. He satisfied them all with healings and with food in a miraculous way. They counted about 5,000 men without the women and children. That was the perfect timing, indeed for Him to manifest Himself as the Messiah through the supernatural happenings that only He as the Son of God could do. When the crowds heard where He had gone, they followed Him on foot. That in itself confirmed the importance of His ministry. He looked at the crowds with His heart and He was full of compassion. He saw the matter of the hearts of those who were there anxiously waiting for their healing.
(Mark 10: 13-16)
What was the reason for YAHSHUA’S indignation at that time? Why did He get so upset? What was so important to Him? It was against the disciples who were prohibiting the parents from bringing their children to be blessed by Him. It was in defense of the children’s right to be blessed, as it was the Jewish custom. We read in Mark ten that “they kept bringing young children to Him (YAHSHUA) that He might touch them (but) the disciples were reproving them [for it]. Although YAHSHUA was surrounded by so many people, by so much noise, even those interruptions did not keep Him from noticing the disciples’ reaction against the children’s coming to Him to be blessed. And when He saw what was happening, He took a stand against such behavior and said, Allow the children to come to Me – do not forbid or prevent or hinder them- for such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive and accept and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child positively does not enter it at all; and taking them [one by one] in His arms He invoked a blessing, placing His hands upon them(Mark 10:14-16). When YAHSHUA stood to defend the children, He valued them with the standard which an adult must take in order to enter the kingdom of God. The example of a child’s humbleness is essential for a person to receive salvation.
It is well known about weapons in the spiritual realm ready to be used against the believer. It is a reality we must realize every time we are struck by temptations. The armor of God is given us to put on and keep it on, for we are not wrestling with flesh and blood, but against the powers against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly sphere (Ephesians 6:12). That’s the only way we will be able to resist and stand our ground on the evil days. Wicked forces are real; and they are under the control of Satan. These are fallen angels called demons. Peter warns us to be well balanced, be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of ours the devil, roams around like a lion roaring, seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are appointed to our brotherhood throughout the world (I Peter 5:8-9). We can resist the weapon formed against us by prayer. Prayer is a very important part of God’s armor to fight Satan’s weapon coming against us. Praying at all times in the Spirit with all prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (Ephesians 6:18). Praying constantly in the language of the Spirit, imploring God with enduring faith and persistence, with intercession for those of the God’s family, until our prayers reach the throne of our Lord.
In the school of life, suffering is very much a part of it. Because we were born in sin and born of sinful parents, suffering will follow us until death, in one way or another. When sin entered the Garden of Eden, then the curse entered with it. Therefore, suffering, generally speaking, is a result of sin. David confessed it this way when he was found guilty of adultery and homicide: Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; my mother was sinful who conceived me (Psalm 51:5-6). The Apostle Paul confirms: therefore, as sin came into the world through one man and death as a result of sin, so death spread to all men, because all men sinned (Rom. 5:12). And we were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation (Eph. 2:3b). The Prophet Jeremiah puts all in perspective: Why does a living man sigh [ and why does] a man complain for the punishment of his sin? Let us test and examine our ways and let us return to the Lord; let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven (Lam. 3: 39-41).