Salvation – BT3
God’s Master Plan – the Messiah thru world history
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I have written here a big-picture historical overview of The Master Plan of God based on thorough study of the bible from the original languages and detailed historical research. I haven’t included the multitude of references for the sake of readability and length, but you can verify all this with www.net.bible.org, www.biblegateway.com, www.wikipedia.org, and many other online sources using Google – see Bible Info.
In order to understand the “smaller picture” of God’s plan for our life, to see where our jigsaw-puzzle piece fits, we have to first look at the “big picture” on the front of the puzzle’s box – the “big picture” of God working throughout human history. Otherwise, we’ll probably think our piece is bigger than it really is, shaped different than it really is, and try to force it into the puzzle where it doesn’t belong. We’ll frustrate the Puzzle-Maker’s plans for us, make it hard on ourselves and those pieces around us, and just end up wasting valuable time. It’s important to see God’s “Big Picture” before we get too busy doing our own thing!
God has only had 1 “Big Picture” – 1 Master Plan for displaying His magnificence or glory. There is no Plan B! God is all-knowing and perfect in all that He does, so He doesn’t need another plan. There really is only “The Master Plan.” Nothing has caught Him by surprise; nothing has caught Him off-guard. He didn’t have to scurry to come up with a solution to your or anybody else’s failures. He’s outside of time because He invented it. He’s 10 steps ahead of anybody’s moves, just like an expert chess player is. This is God’s sovereignty! He alone is on the throne, despite what His enemies think.
We’re the ones stuck in a timeline, so it behooves us to know The Master Plan He has been very careful to reveal to us piece by piece, as a Father would to a maturing child, in order that you can be sure to be working with Him instead of against Him, either by ignorance or self-centered preoccupation. You will not win the arm-wrestle – you’ll only end up hurting His feelings, hurting yourself, and most likely hurting those around you. You will only end up being mad at God, while He is busy trying to say and show you how glorious The Master Plan is of His unconditional Love. You’ll just be wasting your time and everybody else’s. So, let’s get started looking at this!
Before time even began, The Master Plan existed for mankind to have a loving relationship with Him through what Yeshua, Hebrew for the Anointed Messiah or Christ, revealed to the Apostle Paul as “the obedience of faith.” Yehowshuwa (“Yahweh saves”) is often shortened in Hebrew to Y’shua and pronounced Yeshua or Yesha but is the same as Joshua in Aramaic or Iesous in Greek or Jesus in English. Because God is outside of time, the Christ (Greek) or Messiah (Hebrew) – both of which mean “Anointed One” – before the world was born, became the flawless “Lamb of God” sacrifice for us in exchange for our failures. “Propitiation” means an atoning exchange of the innocent Lamb’s righteousness for each man’s unrighteousness, such that “one man’s obedience makes the many disobedient ones righteous.” This was already accomplished before time began for “the people” God would call to be His own. But later on, Christ’s death would occur within our timeline. Every man or woman of God there ever was before Yeshua looked forward in time to that “Day of God’s Salvation.” And every man or woman of God since Christ has looked back to this “Day of God’s Deliverance.” That’s why many historical calendars are no longer used. Only one calendar is used worldwide – every date was changed to what was Before Christ (B.C.) and what was After the Year of the Lord (Anno Domini, A.D.). Has any other figure in history changed a timeline for all humanity?
After the one day of Sabbath rest God took after He created all things, He immediately resumed working to prepare His people for The Master Plan, and God has never stopped working, just as Yeshua had to remind the Jewish leaders that judged Him for “working” on the Sabbath. God created millions of angels and man with free wills – the ability to choose. He could force their obedience, but then God wouldn’t be “Unconditional Love” (agape in Greek) itself, as revealed throughout the New Testament (NT). Love never forces another to reciprocate. God always leaves it up to us to take a “step of faith” – a certain or sure knowingness, despite the inability to physically “see it” in front of us, that simply trusts in, depends on, or leans against God’s character as revealed to us through the Old Testament (OT) scripture (graphe) and NT writings (gramma), but especially His Son (the living logos or Message of God) and direct prophetic words (rhema) to us through God’s Holy Spirit.
The bible makes it crystal clear that this “obedience of faith” is all that ever has, does, or will put us in a position to be “right with God” and enable us to “live rightly before God” – both of which are included in the NT’s definition of “righteousness.” There is no other plan for this – only The Master Plan. The NT surely continues Abraham’s “declared righteousness due to his faith in God” and Habakkuk’s prophecy that “the righteous shall live by faith,” but the NT further explains where this “righteousness” really comes from – not man’s obedience to commandments, but the Messiah’s obedience to His own Father-God! But let’s start from the beginning to get the “Big Picture.”
God created Lucifer as the most beautiful of all angels to lead millions of angels and all creation in loving adoration of and service to Almighty God. And Adam and Eve had it made! They could see God as He took physical form (there are many cases in the OT of the Messiah-Servant “Angel/Messenger of Yahweh” doing this) as He walked and talked with them in the Garden of Eden, just as loving friends would – this is the very reason God created mankind. They had everything they could ever want – all they had to do was ask. Endless creativity and provision were at the tip of their tongue. Life was perfect just the way God created it. God went to all this trouble, knowing full well that Lucifer would eventually decide to lure Adam and Eve to: 1) Question exactly what God had said for mankind to do and not do, 2) Question what God really meant by His spoken rhema words, and 3) Question God’s loving provision for them as their Creator and Father – that God must be holding something back that they should seek for themselves behind God’s back. Lucifer used deception to trap them, just as a hunter would! But God was not surprised – God was still in control of The Master Plan!
Lucifer didn’t appear to Adam and Eve as the glorious Angel of light he was created to be, but as an “innocent” little snake. What harm could that pose? He camouflaged His “killing teeth” – the hidden snare of his rebellious words – with pleasurable promises to wet their appetites. He got them confused with doubts about God’s Truth, Wisdom, and Love. Lucifer always tries to either have you ignore God’s “Word” so you won’t apply it or at least get you to misquote, misinterpret, and misapply it. Why? Because he knows that God’s perfect “Word” works perfectly every time, and he just can’t have that. So Lucifer got Adam and Eve to use their free will to do what he was going to do (or had already done) – lead 1/3 of the angels in a revolt against God. Satan sure did give them a taste of the “tree of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil,” didn’t he! God alone is the definition of “good,” for God alone is good – just as Yeshua reminded people when they called Him “Good Teacher.” Yeshua said “I am the Good Shepherd!” Well, it wasn’t long before their son Cain killed Abel and the first family “knew evil.” Since then, the individual, family, and society sure has “known evil,” hasn’t it? Just look around!
The root of all evil is pride that says: “I will . . ., I will . . . , I will . . ., I will . . ., I will . . .” Just see what God says of Lucifer: 12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13 You said in your heart: I will ascend to heaven; above the stars (angels) of God; I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” The Apostle John says all “sin” comes from the pride of life, then the cravings of the eyes and of the body that feeds our appetites! The bible defines “sin” as “falling short of [the target], transgression of God’s Law, rebellion against God’s ways, or downright wickedness.” What has driven your life?
All lying has come from Lucifer, because in him there is no truth at all. Yeshua said He alone was “The Truth” and said that everything out of Lucifer’s mouth was lies upon lies, deceptions built upon deceptions. The whole world system – the Book of Revelation calls “Babylon, the Whore” – is built upon these. These lies are trying to hide and destroy “The Truth.” However, Yeshua said, “The darkness will never overcome The Light of the world,” who He said was Himself. In the end, God will be proved right and many men and nations dead wrong!
Satan and millions of angels left God’s heavenly Kingdom to establish their own kingdoms on earth, where many of them took on human form and had sex with women. For Satan’s trickery of Adam and Eve, God cursed him to be ultimately destroyed. God could have done the same to Adam and Eve for their disobedience, but He didn’t. Instead God diverted the curse to the ground, that it would no longer be an effortless paradise for mankind, but would require “the sweat of the brow” to manage the resources of earth in order to survive and “be fruitful and multiply.” Then God spoke a prophetic rhema word of hope to man: “Although Satan will be at war against the woman’s offspring, there will be One – He will crush the head of the serpent, even though the serpent will strike His heel.” Man has never stopped striving and warring in its desire for more, more, and more. Yet, Yeshua said, “Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened from work, and I will give you rest.” The NT repeatedly says that Yeshua is now “The Sabbath Rest” for all those who have striven to please God! It’s time to rest!
There are plenty of Scriptural references to explain the Greek legends of gods coming from heaven, breeding with women, and demigods being their offspring – giants like Cyclops and mighty warriors like Hercules. Great wars resulted as they battled for supremacy, as with “The Clash of the Titans.” Even secular historians believe that behind the great myths of Greece there may indeed be elements of truth. Eight generations of wickedness resulted and so the world really did go to “hell in a hand basket.” After this, God gave the people of the earth 120 years to “repent” – to turn from their evil ways to God’s ways, as Noah spoke for God and built the ark for escape from God’s wrath to come. At the end, only 8 people got into the boat that floated them off to safety. Every ancient religion speaks of the “great deluge” and geology bears witness to it. Satellites and hikers have located Noah’s ark in a glacier 16,945 feet at the top of Mt. Ararat in Turkey, which the Muslims quickly sealed off to prevent the Jews and Christians from “desecrating their mountain.” Dating of the wood shows it to be 4,800 years old, in line with Scripture’s chronology.
Scripture says God bound these angels who interacted with humans in chains in a place in call Hades (Greek) or Sheol (Hebrew) which English translates as “Hell.” It is a place of “outer darkness and gnashing of teeth” as Yeshua repetitively warned, the place of the dead, where all those not part of The Master Plan go after they die while they await the final Day of Judgment. Many people have been resuscitated back to life after having gone there (and their stories are terrifying) and they’ve “run” in the opposite direction ever since! I’ve met a view pastors that regularly visit people in the hospital at their death bed and they’ve seen their eyes bulging out, their face horribly disfigured, and hear them screaming as they’ve entered into Hell as they “passed away.” That’s why the medical staff often asks only the chaplain to be present at a patient’s death, because these scenes are horribly unsettling to the family. Just ask some hospice pastors!
Some people have been shown Hell and reported that it exists in large underground caverns nearer the earth’s core where the rocks burn, a place of complete darkness except for the fires, the smell of burning sulfur and minerals, of rotting and burning flesh, non-stop screaming, and unbelievable suffering. And they have strongly warned their family, friends, and others to “run” in the opposite direction – toward the Lord! They make it clear that few people, from the sound of the screams, get second chances and advise strongly not to test God on this. When Satan tempted Yeshua, He quoted Scripture, “Thou shall not test the Lord thy God.” If you think you’ll be the exception to the rule, you’ll have to suffer your painful regrets forever – “the house always wins in the end!”
The other angels that left heaven and were restricted to the spiritual realm, along with mutant demons, found a way to enter into people’s spirits through possession to create “strongholds” (spiritual fortresses of residence) to carry out the commands of Lucifer. These fallen angels and mutant creations (demons) have showed many people how to open these “doors to the dead” and to the “realm of the spirits” through mediums, witchcraft (white and black), magic, sorcery, drugs, and other practices. According to Yeshua, Lucifer became the master of the fallen angels and demons and the ruler over all cities and kingdoms of the earth, the father of lies, the prince of darkness, the thief, the adversary, the evil one, Satan (Satanas: the Accuser), and the Devil (Diabolos: Slanderer, False Accuser). Regardless of his name, the Bible says “Submit yourselves to God and resist (stand your ground against) the Devil!” Who you going to believe?
The conspiracy theory folks are almost right. There are many chess pieces of Satan on the world’s chessboard; he’s manipulating many pawns; and he is a master chess player! But Yeshua says to His own followers: “Greater is He (the Holy Spirit) that is within you than he (the Evil One) who is in the world.” Our God is 10 steps ahead of Satan! Satan can’t read minds like God can. Satan can’t see the unseen like God can. Satan is not all-knowing as God is. Satan can only react to his environment. Satan can only use the rules of nature. God is the Maker of the rules! And God can make up new rules “on the fly” to do the “impossible” or “supernatural.” So, who are you going to follow?
Yeshua said that Satan and his angels and demons’ sole purpose is to kill you. If not, then to steal, to spoil, to corrupt, and to pollute you – and all of God’s creation the same way! When mankind disobeyed God, this “sin” immediately swept throughout all creation. Everything has been falling apart, being polluted, spoiling, corroding, or dying ever since. The 2nd law of thermodynamics in physics regarding “entropy” states that “everything is decaying to a state of lesser form and order and to a lower level of energy.” The Bible makes it clear that a person’s “torn or worn-out pieces” are what we experience as mental, emotional, and physical sickness, disease, disability and the associated physical, emotional, and mental anguish from them, but the Messiah/Savior came back to start the restoration process! That’s the meaning of “salvation” – to be “delivered from sin and its consequences; to mend the torn pieces and thus be whole again.” Want to be part of this?
Scripture also makes it crystal clear that NONE of this “evil” comes from a perfect God that created all things perfect to last forever. After every “day of creation” God looked at what He created and said, “It is good” (Hebrew: perfect, not needing addition or correction). The “evil” (the word simply means “not good”) we see in our world has not come from God, but His enemies and the resulting effects of sin in creation. The Bible also says that creation is groaning as it awaits the completion of The Master Plan – the glorification of God’s people – that will then restore all creation to its original perfection. String theory and physical measurements have verified that every physical thing is broadcasting a unique frequency “sound” wave. Could this be the “grown” of all creation, whereas it was originally a melody? People who have been in heaven say they hear everything singing or playing a melody unto the Lord, all in harmony!
Ever since man’s fall, God has been busy revealing Himself and His Master Plan to us. Through the obvious wonder of the heavens and every created thing, the glory of God has so clearly been revealed to show us so much about His character, His power, His endless creativity, His provision, His balance, and His perfection. Just take a walk through the city some day and count all the plain-Jane, boring, and outright ugly things that man has made. Then compare it to all the unique, multi-colored, multi-textured things of art and beauty that God has created in the countryside. Go outside the “dirty glow of the city” some night and look up on a dark sky and see the vastness of the Milky Way – only one galaxy among millions, and our telescopes for finding more every year!
The microscopic world points to God also! Molecular microbiologists are finding that the human body consists of thousands of small “machines” operating by information technology (IT) just as a computer program operates a car factory. No mathematic-statistician will any longer believe that simple nucleotides coming together randomly would ever create a protein, let alone the simplest form of life. They gave up with that theory after they ran the numbers on a supercomputer. It does not compute! It’s worse than the idea of throwing a bomb in a machine shop and ever expecting a car to come out, or exploding a print shop and ever expecting a phone book to come out. They all admit now that such thinking about the origins of life is absurd! So, now the hardcore atheists have had to resort to believing that life on our planet came here from aliens or on the back of a comet long ago. This begs the question: “Where did that life come from?” They are hoping that you’ll buy their next book to find out! They’re hoping you’ll never really look into this question!
Yeshua revealed to the Apostle Paul: Instead of people considering it worthwhile to acknowledge and show gratitude to God for all that God has revealed; instead of seeking to understand Him; instead of worshipping (Hebrew: kissing toward) Him; instead of honoring Him in a reverential fear; and instead of desiring His righteousness . . . all people have turned away to their own selves, in one way or another uselessly seeking, honoring, serving, and worshiping created things rather than the Creator. What have you spent your time doing?
Deep within our inner beings, God created our conscience, where His gentle and quiet rhema words make known His unseen thoughts, though we can confuse this with our own reasoning or Satan’s accusations. Some will listen to the Spirit’s voice and obey the Father. Most don’t – they instead listen to their own appetites, to the counsel of others, to endless talk radio and music, and to a plethora of TV shows, movies, and internet commentary. The Bible says that the teachings of demons will tickle their ears. So much “fake news!”
After about 10 generations of the Lord working in people’s lives after Noah, around 2200 B.C. before the 11th Egyptian Dynasty in a place called Ur of the Chaldeans in Mesopotamia, God revealed Himself to a man full of idolatry and sin, just like all the people around him, named “Abram.” As Abram “walked and talked with God,” and as he became closer to God, he took a “step of faith” in believing God’s promise to him that he would have an heir from his own loins – even though both he and his wife were so old this seemed impossible. God rewarded his faith by changing his name to “Abraham” (meaning “father of a multitude”) and giving him a child “Isaac” so that through “The Seed” many nations would be blessed. Throughout the bible “The Seed” always refers to the Messiah who would come from the child of promise, Isaac, but also to all those who are “in Christ” – to those who by “the same faith as Abraham” have taken an “obedient step of faith” into “Yeshua as the Messiah and Lord/Master” and therefore inherit the blessings promised to Abraham. Are you part of “The Seed?”
God made a binding relational agreement or covenant with Abraham to bless Him. Abraham’s first son through Hagar was “Ishmael” but his wife’s plan to get an heir backfired horribly. He became the father of all the Arab nations and their religions, who have been warring against Isaac’s descendants ever since! However, through God’s promised “Isaac” came other great men who also “walked and talked with God” – Jacob (renamed by God as “Israel”) and his 12 sons that became the 12 tribes of Israel, including Judah, who Yeshua descended from. Do you see The Master Plan beginning to unfold?
By the beginning of the 18th Egyptian Dynasty after the Hittites sacked Babylon in 1595 B.C., the Israelites, like so many nations, had become enslaved by Egypt – for over 400 years! Around 1525 B.C., God intervened by raising up Moses, a Prince of Egypt (unbeknownst to him an Israelite) to speak to him directly on Mt. Sinai. God told Moses that the “I AM that I AM” would deliver His people and take them to their own land, a land promised to Abraham. “YHWH” is how the Israelites wrote God’s name in Hebrew. God’s name was so holy that the vowels weren’t preserved in writing but orally passed down. Many of our modern Bibles just print this as “The LORD.” By the 6th century B.C., scholars believe YHWH was pronounced “Yahweh.” The pronunciation “Jehovah” didn’t come into being until the 12th century A.D. when the Roman Catholic church used the vowels of “Adonai” (a Hebrew name for God) to vocalize their own Latin “JHVH” translations. So are the “Jehovah Witness” anywhere close to being right?
The Exodus happened at the beginning of the Chinese Shang Dynasty around 1450 B.C. You know the story: One of the 10 plagues sent by Yahweh to Egypt to force Pharaoh’s release of Israel was the Angel/Messenger of death who visited the 1st born of everyone in the land, unless you had the blood of a lamb painted on the doorposts of your house. This was the Passover the Israelites were to forever celebrate – the night death passed over them because of the blood of a lamb. This, too, was to prepare God’s people for a time in the future when Yeshua would become “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” When death comes, will it pass over you because of the Lamb’s Blood?
Egypt’s army was destroyed in the Red Sea and Yahweh led His people to the Promised Land. On Mt. Sinai, Yahweh gave the 10 commandments to His people, and shortly after that the Torah or Law (the detailed do’s and don’ts instruction lists) that would separate Yahweh’s people from the nations around them. Careful reading of the account shows that God’s original intent was to speak to the people directly and thus directly make them holy, but their refusal resulted in Moses meeting God and relaying this to the people. The New Covenant through Yeshua restores God’s original intent to change people from within by His Holy Spirit instead of words on a page.
Because of Yahweh’s covenant with Abraham, Yahweh now entered into a covenant relationship with Israel through Moses called “the Old Covenant or Law”: Yahweh would be their God if they would follow His ways. Yahweh physically manifested Himself as a bright cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night and dwelled at the center of their camp in the Tabernacle. Those were glorious days! You would think it would be easy to have faith and be obedient with such an obvious presence of God, right? Many did, but there were still those who refused to obey because of “I did it my way” thinking – Frank Sinatra will regret singing those words!
We know from archeology that the Gentile nations routinely practiced detestable, perverse, and grossly violent acts that not only exterminated other civilizations but eroded their own genes pools through sexual incest, resulting in widespread disease and ultimate extinction. Yahweh’s Law was advanced in preventative medicine and societal order. That could be one of the reasons why the Jews are one of the only remaining peoples of antiquity.
In the Law, we see the holiness of God and the un-holiness of men. The Law was given to expose sin for what it actually is – utterly destructive and so detestable in the sight of God, being the exact opposite of His character or nature. The Law shows the justice of a Just God and the wrathful judgment “sin” deserves. The Law actually multiplies a man’s sinfulness, because sin – through the weakness of the flesh – seizes the opportunity of the Law to produce all kinds of sin in man. Those who try to live by the Law see even more need for the Messiah’s “Amazing Grace” (undeserved favor), who was promised to save God’s people from their sin. Do you really think you’ll be “good enough” on the Day of Judgment? Do you really want to test that theory?
The Law acted like a strict school master or as a watchful prison guard to keep Yahweh’s people closely together and shut away from outside influences that would lure them away from the one true, living God. It also kept the inmates from killing each other. From the outside, the walls of the Law were very high, higher than any prison wall of its day. It kept people in and it kept people out. Only Christ’s “Amazing Grace” can let you out of such a prison!
We also know that much of what was shown to the men of God in the OT were simply models or miniatures, object lessons, types or figures, and shadows cast from much larger realities shown to them from heaven or from what was to come on earth. These were all designed to take Yahweh’s children by the hand and step them through the dangers of life, but also to prepare them for their Messiah to come, His teaching, and His way. The NT book of “Hebrews” is chalk full of these examples fulfilled in Christ. It’s a rich explanation written to Jewish Christians being tempted to go back to the Law’s “obedience through commandments.”
Yahweh knew His people would fail in their attempts at such obedience. So, through Moses’ brother Aaron and his sons, God established the priesthood to offer sacrifices for the sins of His people. God used these purification rituals to remind God’s people of the deadly seriousness of sin, their own weaknesses, and the holiness of the God they represented and served. Every time they made a sacrifice, they had to take a “step of faith” that Yahweh would exchange the life of the unblemished animal, the life that was in its blood, for their sinful life. It made no sense to them, but that’s what Yahweh asked them to do.
Thus, even under the Law, the “righteous lived by their faith, from [the] first [step] to [the] last,” as the prophet Habakkuk was told. This is how they would stay in loving relationship with God in their daily lives, by staying in His mercy and loving kindness. You see, the certainty and sureness of faith is not in a “what” (a list of do’s and don’ts, or even writings about God) but in a “Who” – the person of God – to rely on, to trust in, and to lean against His “Amazing Grace!” Will you take that “step of faith?”
Moses was the first to speak about the “The Prophet” who would come after him, who would be an Israelite, and be like himself in mediating a covenant with Yahweh’s people. God said prophetically, “I will put My words in His mouth, and He will tell them (the Israelites) everything I order Him.” The other prophets of Yahweh after Moses spoke of “The Prophet” as the Messiah or Christ (“The Anointed One of God”) and as Yahweh’s Servant, the Son of Man, the Son of God, and The Lord (Hebrew: Ynda ‘adown or Nda ‘adon or Greek: Kurios for Supreme Master). As I mentioned, before this Person came in the flesh, He appeared as the “Angle/Messenger of Yahweh.” Throughout the OT, Yahweh also gave various compound names or titles of Himself for His people to better understand His power, holiness, character, and provision, such as: Yahweh-Jireh (I AM your Provider), Yahweh-Shalom (I AM your Peace), Yahweh-Rophe (I AM your Healer). Yeshua means “Yahweh-shua” (I AM your Savior). Do you want to have a relationship with this God who reaches out to His people?
Meanwhile, starting in 1350 B.C., Yahweh established 15 Judges over the next 300 years to carry out His justice according to the Law, in order to mature and rule His people. During this time, the Hittite Empire also falls and the beginning of the Iron Age starts in 1200 B.C. with the Grecian Trojan War. The only book of the OT named after a Gentile is Ruth, who lived about 1300 B.C. and is in the lineage of Yeshua, meaning that Yeshua had Gentile blood in Him! Because Ruth gathered grain left by the reapers, it’s the book read during the Pentecost harvest. After the Holy Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost, Yeshua became “The Bread of Life,” which brought an abundant harvest of Gentiles into God’s Kingdom. Thank God that The Master Plan wasn’t just for Jews!
Yahweh’s Judges were “as gods” to His people, including Gideon, Samson, Eli (the high priest in Shiloh – the city of the Tabernacle, and the name of the street I live on), and Samuel (meaning “heard of God”) who was the first of several OT prophets. Many scholars see glaring parallels between the birth and life of Samuel and Yeshua. Prophets were given supernatural powers like: calling down fire from heaven, bringing drought and rain, bringing about a birth, raising the dead, multiplying food, healing diseases, and dividing rivers or seas so people could cross on dry ground. Samuel’s mother Hannah prophesied about Christ’s judgment of the nations at His Second Coming: “The adversaries of Yahweh shall be broken to pieces; against them He will thunder in heaven. Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth; He will give strength to His King and exalt the horn (rule) of His Anointed One” (Christ or Messiah).
About 1000 B.C., Yahweh spoken through Nathan the prophet to King David concerning the Messiah: “And when your days have been fulfilled, you will sleep with your fathers, and I will set up your Seed after you, which shall proceed out of your loins, and I will establish His Kingdom. He shall build a house (the Church) for My Name, and I will establish the throne of His Kingdom forever. I will be to him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son.”
Around 900 B.C., the Assyrian Empire begins, Egypt begins to decline around 1100 B.C., the Chinese Chou Dynasty begins around 1150 B.C., and the Mayan Empire begins around 1000 B.C. The Israelites insisted that they should have a king like the other nations around them, despite the firm warnings of Yahweh through the prophets. So, the Israelites choose King Saul around 1050 B.C., who turned out to be a terrible king and displeased Yahweh greatly. So around 1010 B.C, Yahweh replaces him with “a man after God’s own heart” – King David – through the anointing of Samuel the prophet. However, like all humans, David fell into sin – even adultery, and having his mistress’s husband killed in battle. However, as a true man of God, David cast himself upon the mercies of God and turned (repented) from his ways. Yeshua referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd of Psalms 23 that David, by the Holy Spirit, wrote [Amplified Bible notes added from original languages]:
Yahweh is my Shepherd; I shall not lack. He makes me to lie down in pastures of tender green grass [for food, comfort, and rest]. He leads me beside still and restful waters [for drink and to calm me]. He restores [and refreshes] my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness [right-standing and right-living] for His Name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [that protects the sheep from snakes and animals] and your staff [that guides the sheep], they comfort me.
A classic case of how Satan tries to get you to misapply Scripture is the one above. It’s rarely ever read except at funerals when you can feel the “valley of the shadow of death.” But that’s not why King David wrote this! He wrote it for everyday life, to keep him up on the “mountain tops” with the Lord. But when he had to go through the “valley,” the Lord was there also to get him through it without fear and doubt. Death would always cast its “shadow” on us if it were up to Satan – that’s his first order of business! If it were only up to Satan, he’d keep us in this “valley” under his “shadow of death” forever. This is where he would like to kill you dead in your tracks – even from the anxiety or depression over a simple cut in your skin, just thinking about all the germs and disease and illness and disability and death that could come from it! And he’ll have a 100 doctors and commercials tell you that “germs are out to kill you.” David, like us, had many troubles and struggles – many enemies within and without – that would keep him “down in the valley” of doubt, anxiety, fear, and panic.
Will you let the Good Shepherd lead you through your valley? I personally can testify how many times the Lord has reminded me of this verse as I tossed and turned at night, and He gave me rest every time I surrendered to it. The Truth will set you free – if you get it in you and stay connected to the Author of Truth, Yeshua!
King David’s hands were stained with the blood of many enemies that sought to destroy him and Israel, so Yahweh said his son Solomon would build the Temple of God that King David insisted on, despite Yahweh’s protests that the Tabernacle was sufficient. Around 970 B.C., Yahweh gave King Solomon more wisdom than any man before or after him, because when asked by Yahweh what he wanted, he did not ask for power or wealth like most men, but wisdom to rule God’s people by God’s ways. Yahweh then gave Solomon more wealth than any king before him and very likely after him – estimated to be $126 billion income over 40 years. He established a long-reigning trade empire with the known world and never had to fight a single battle. Kings and queens came from the farthest reaches to hear Solomon’s wisdom (Proverbs) and to see the 1st Temple of God that today would have costed $56 billion.
Around 870 B.C., about the time the city and kingdom of Samaria began, God spoke through His prophet Elijah (Elias or Eliyahu, meaning “Yahweh is my God”) and his successor Elisha (“My God is Salvation”, cf. Yeshua = “Yahweh is your Savior”), telling them to write His spoken rhema words down so that generations after them would seek to have the same kind of relationship with Yahweh that these men and women of God had, and to walk in His ways or be prepared for the God’s judgment. The names of God often started with E- or El-, like El-shaddai, or El-ohim. Prophets affected a lot of people and did not go unnoticed by the surrounding nations. For example, “Elijah the Thunderer” is mentioned throughout the folklore of early Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania. He’s also mentioned in the Islamic Quran. Elisha healed the Syrian general Naaman from his leprosy, causing this enemy of Israel to declare, “There is no other God in all the earth, but only in Israel.” There were many lepers then, but little faith – something that Yeshua pointed out was the reason why He didn’t do many miracles in some cities, i.e., Israel’s stubborn unbelief. God does miracles for one reason – to draw people back to Himself through “the obedience of faith,” not for your or anybody else’s entertainment!
Well, Israel had many kings, some good that followed Yahweh, but many bad. God never chose another king. But Yahweh promised to David that someone from his own lineage would one day be the “King of Kings and the Lord of Lords” – the promised Messiah to Israel, the Deliverer of His people. But when He came, they ignored, despised, and rejected Him. Yahweh tried everything to bring His people back in line with His Will. Will you listen to Him?
In fact, 80% of the 1817 detailed predictions of OT Scripture have already been fulfilled by God exactly as specified during each prophet’s lifetime or those of their children. Statisticians say there’s only a 1 in 10 with 2000 zeroes-after-it chance this could ever happen. Generations of Israelites saw Yahweh back up His spoken rhema word time and time again. Thus, some people (not all) learned to trust and really “fear (Hebrew: respectfully be in awe with) the Lord.” Yahweh sent every generation at least one prophet, but each of these prophets was eventually killed because the Jewish people just didn’t wanted to hear such “negativity,” and thus refused to change their ways. What would you have done with the voice of the prophets?
What has happened to the other 20% of prophetic prediction? Are you saying: “A Ha! That proves the Bible can’t be true, that nothing will happen to me if I ignore it.” Wrong! Scholars have determined that the remaining 500 predictions are concerning the “last days” before the coming of the Messiah to establish His earthly Kingdom. Many scholars are seeing that many of these prophesies are starting to be fulfilled in our lifetimes. Many believe we are now near the end of the “last days” and in the “latter rain” of the Holy Spirit’s outpouring to bring in the “fullness of the Gentiles” harvest before the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, i.e., the Great Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ as the Lion of Judah (not the passive “Aslan” in the C.S. Lewis’s “Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe”), to carry out God’s judgment upon all those who have rejected His message of “Amazing Grace” for the last 2000 years.
Back to history: Israel, Tyre, Moab, Syria, Egypt, and Assyria battle it out. Around 900 B.C., Assyria wins out and reigns for 300 years. Around 750 B.C., near the time the first Greek Olympic games, the writing of Homer’s Iliad, and the founding of Rome in Italy, Yahweh speaks through a major prophet Isaiah: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a Son, and they will salute Him Emmanouhl (pronounced Emmanuel or Immanuel)” – which is a title in Hebrew meaning “God with us.” Yahweh then sent other prophets like Jonah – Yeshua said he would be in the “heart of the earth 3 days like Jonah was in the belly of the whale” and that this would be God’s “sign” to the Jews. Micah wrote: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of you shall one come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days.” Remember how Joseph and Mary hid Yeshua in Egypt so King Herod wouldn’t kill Him like he did all the other 2-year old children in Bethlehem? Hosea prophesied this: “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my Son.” The Son of God was often referred to as true Israel (the name given to Jacob, the direct forefather of Yeshua). Amos spoke of the day of Christ’s crucifixion when history reported a violent earthquake and noonday darkness for 3 hours:
Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who dwells in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt? I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation . . . I will make it like the mourning of an only Son and the end of it like a bitter day.
Then around 670 B.C., Assyria takes over Egypt and Yahweh speaks through Jeremiah the prophet to promise a New Covenant with Israel, completely unlike the Old Covenant (“New” in Greek and Hebrew means “radically different as with a patented invention”), a covenant that Israel had “broken,” like a woman leaving her husband. The Law would no longer just be on stone tablets or scrolls, it would be “written by God Himself into the hearts of His [New Covenant] people. God will be their only Teacher and He will remember their sins no more.” This and other prophecies predicted the coming of the Holy Spirit of Jesus, “The One Teacher,” and that the Church (“called-out assembly”) would be created from all nations, so that God’s promise to Abraham to bless all nations from Him would come true.
Jeremiah also prophesied that the rule of Babylon would only last 70 years (509 – 539 B.C.), and that Solomon’s Temple and Jerusalem would remain destroyed (586 B.C.) and desolate during this time. And sure enough after 70 years, Cyrus II of Persia issued the decree for the people of Judah to return to Jerusalem! They built the 2nd Temple of God in 536 B.C. and completed it in 516 B.C. God’s timing is perfect!
Then around 600 B.C., the Medes and a resurgence of the Babylonians split the rule of Assyria. In 620 B.C., God gave His prophet Daniel a clear interpretation of a horrifying, recurring dream Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar was having. God clearly names and describes all the major kingdoms of the earth that would affect Israel – Egypt replaced with Assyria, replaced with Babylon, replaced with the Medes and Persians, replaced by Greece, and then replaced by the Romans. All this happened exactly as predicted to the amazement of modern day historians, because some of these countries didn’t even exist at the time of Daniel! God’s prophecies will happen whether your believe them or not.
As predicted by Daniel, the Roman Empire has come back together in our “last days” as a confederacy of nations no longer by the “power of iron” (the sword), but by the power of their banking system! I remember reading a well-documented article on Wikipedia a couple of years ago about the sealed-membership of a 10 nation-banking system called the Western European Economic Community (WEEC) that consisted of the 10 oldest, central banks. Now, I find it odd that it’s very difficult to find any information about this. They reportedly controlled the money of Europe and most of the world’s smaller banks. This would indeed be a fulfillment of many Biblical prophecies concerning the “last days.” According to Scripture the 10 central banks will whittle down to 7 “horns” (bank rulers), because the 3 will have merged due to financial crisis and the necessity to conglomerate, and the ruler (1 horn) that emerges of this is the Antichrist. Most people won’t even make the Scriptural connection when it happens! The Bank of England that controls the government of England is the first to go, which many prophets saw long before the announcement of Brexit!
It’s interesting that George Soros has single-handedly destroyed 3 currencies just for the “fun and profit” of it. He is “the man who broke the Bank of England in 1992 on Black Wednesday.” In 1997, he became “the Jew who triggered the Thai currency plunge” in the Asian financial crisis. Many financial analysts believe Soros has the U.S. dollar as his next target and consider him “public enemy #1,” saying “there really are investors who not only move money in anticipation of a currency crisis, but actually do their best to trigger that crisis for fun and profit. These new actors on the scene do not yet have a standard name; my proposed term is ‘Soroi’.” He has funded many rebellions and wars for profit. He has been manipulating one of the Central Banks – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – to his advantage. He has funded many leftist riot in the U.S. He has a huge ego and has made some very grandiose, boastful claims about his power over the world. Some think he, or someone like him with his influence in the financial markets, will rise as the Antichrist. Everything about him sure fits the bill. Many countries are quite nervous about him, including the United States. Keep an eye on this guy – he’s truly evil!
Daniel also predicted the coming of the Messiah, His death, and the destruction of the 2nd Temple to the exact year, according to many Biblical scholars – years are based on the Jewish calendar, but dates are based on our calendar:
70 weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness . . . and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment (Ezra 7:7-8) to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem (458/457 B.C.) unto the Messiah the Prince shall be 7 weeks (49 years to 410/409 B.C., when the last prophet Nehemiah ends his governing of Judah and is taken captive to Babylon – a key turning point of Israel), and threescore (60) and 2 weeks (62 weeks or 434 years to 25/26 A.D. when Yeshua started his public ministry at age 30): . . . And after threescore (60) and 2 weeks shall Messiah be cut off (3.5 years, Yeshua was crucified at 33 on April 3, 30 A.D.), but not for Himself (the prophet Isaiah also said Yeshua wouldn’t be killed because of His own sin but because of our own sins): and the people of the prince (Emperor Titus) shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary (this happened in 70 A.D. – exactly 70 years after Yeshua was born).
Habakkuk, the prophet of God in 600 B.C., clearly portrays the “Great Tribulation of the last days” being fueled by nations being indebted to large lenders, the latter attempting to collect on the nation’s bad debt, and the populace rising up in revolt because of the seizure of a nation’s assets. These revolts are what fuel the many wars that will break out again and again, which the Antichrist will use to his advantage to assume control of the world. The Antichrist is one of the rulers (“horns”) of this 10-nation bank confederacy! Revelation’s “mark of the beast” is the key encrypted identification code for a buyer/seller’s secure access to the Antichrist’s new-world currency system instituted to stabilize the markets, eliminate currency manipulation and black markets of terrorist groups and nations, and “it would take a wise-man to calculate this number” (indeed, since it’s a non-hackable security algorithm – Google “China’s Quantum telecommunications – the first non-hackable communications”). If you take this “mark of the beast,” you have chosen sides!
Obadiah, the prophet of God in 590 B.C. speaks of the future total destruction of Edom (modern Jordan) and the Palestinian people (descendants of Ishmael and Esau) for their treatment against Israel (Esau tried to kill Jacob, who was later called “Israel” by God) and the God of the Jews. This destruction happens on the Day of Yeshua’s arrival! We know from many other prophesies that there will be a future time when many nations will attack Israel from every side, including Russia, China, Europe and possibly even the U.S. (since we really are just an extension of Europe and the old Roman Empire). God says: “For the Day of Yahweh is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. For as you have drunk on My holy mountain (Jerusalem), so all the nations shall drink continually; they shall drink and swallow, and shall be as though they had never been.” The United Nations have become increasingly hostile toward Israel.
After existing 410 years, Solomon’s 1st Temple was destroyed in 586 B.C. by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II. The prophet Ezekiel predicted “the old stone heart of the Israelites” (i.e., obedience to the Mosaic stone tablets) “would be replaced with a heart of soft-flesh,” clearly predicting that God would walk among them as a human being and give His commandments in person. He also predicted the coming of the Holy Spirit of God that would “write the Law of God on their hearts,” as Jeremiah also predicted. Will you soften your heart to hear the spoken rhema words of God?
Now the Jews were exiled to Babylon for their unfaithfulness to Yahweh – even after so many warnings! Then about 560 B.C., Persia reigns for the next 200 years and Israel is released from Babylonian captivity and then builds the 2nd Temple by 516 B.C. About 550 B.C., Buddha spreads his teaching throughout India and Confucius throughout China. Around 500 B.C., Greece’s “Republic” philosophy of politics begins to shape the world. While, the world was striving to make sense of itself, God sent His last prophets to Israel: Esther, Malachi, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Joel. They spoke intensely about the Messiah and God’s judgment to come – not only to Israel for their future rejection of the Christ, but also to the other nations who splintered off from Abraham (the Arabs and other Gentiles). Then the world starts falling apart again: Around 430 B.C., Athens and Sparta started the Peloponnesian wars in Greece, the Gauls sack Rome in 390 B.C., and Egypt pulls away from Persia. Will you be able to listen to God when the world again explodes into war?
Ezra spoke of a great Jewish leader who was involved in the building of the 2nd Temple. His name was also Yeshua or Joshua (Aramaic). Do you think it was coincidence that Jesus (Yeshua) referred to Himself repetitively as the “Temple of God that He would raise up in 3 days after it was destroyed?” Is it any wonder that God named His Son, Yeshua? Not many would dare to have such a name! It’s like walking around with the name “Christian” – boy, wouldn’t that put pressure on you be named “Anointed Messiah!”
Nehemiah also lists a man named Yeshua as first of the 13 men and the priests of Levi who read the Law and helped the Israelites understand it, upon the rededication of the 2nd Temple. Do you think it’s a coincidence that at age 14, Jesus (Yeshua) was in the Temple teaching the Law and astounding all who heard Him with His great understanding and wisdom?
Joel predicted the Day of Pentecost that started the Church when the Holy Spirit was poured out by Yeshua after He sat down at the right hand of the Father with all authority, as referred to by the apostle Peter:
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh – your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. . . [and now about the end of these “last days”]: And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the Great and Awesome Day of Yahweh comes.
Then about 336 B.C., Alexander the Great, the star pupil of Aristotle, conquers the known world in record time, just as predicted by the prophet Daniel. Wisely, he creates a dumbed-down Classical Greek language called Common (Koine) Greek so he can establish trade with the known world very quickly and spread the Greek culture (i.e., Hellenization). In 225 B.C., the famed Alexandrian Library had the OT translated by 70 of the top Greek scholars, and so is called the Septuagint (LXX in Roman Numerals). Sadly at 32, after Alexandria bemoaned that there was nothing left to do after only reigning for 13 years, many believe he died of alcohol poisoning from his excessive partying.
Alexander’s vast empire is split for the next 200 years between the Ptolemy’s of Egypt controlling Palestine from 331 B.C., the Seleucus’s and Demetrius’s of Persia and Syria controlling Palestine from 200 B.C., and the Antiochus’s of Macedonia and Greece from 175 B.C. The 2nd Temple of God is desecrated. The Jewish Maccabeus Revolt against Seleucus’s reign occurs to regain control of the 2nd Temple in 165 B.C. and Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights is first celebrated. Then about 150 B.C., the Romans cease Greece in the 3rd Punic War. The Maccabeus revolt continues to regain control of Judea by 142 B.C. In 73 B.C, Spartacus led a slave revolt against the Grecian Roman Republic. But by 60 B.C., Greece and the rest of the world had been conquered by Julius Caesar, with Pompey conquering Jerusalem, and Crassus crucifying Spartacus and all his followers – the three rulers creating the First Triumvirate allegiance. But by 27 B.C., Caesar takes complete control. Later around 37 A.D., they gave the Jewish King Herod rule over Judea and he starts refurbishing the 2nd Temple by 20 B.C. Around 31 A.D., Rome takes over Cleopatra’s rule of Egypt.
As you can see, the period from 400 B.C when God stopped speaking to Israel through the prophets until the time of Christ was a real worldwide mess! That’s what happens when we stop listening to God! Scholars agree that it was an unprecedented period of oppression and turmoil! Everybody was vying for power and many peoples and their religious practices were run rough-shod over. The digital Dead Sea Scrolls are all available now online at http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/. They are a large collection of writings from this period of time, especially from 200 B.C. until about 100 A.D., when “The Way” of Christ had spread to the known world, mainly due to the Koine Greek language in which the teaching of Yeshua and the Apostles were all written. The Dead Sea Scrolls validate the care in which the OT had been copied, and also support the NT accounts of Yeshua and that region’s events. They also help us see the turmoil leading up to and after Yeshua’s arrival.
Although the people of the Middle East spoke Aramaic and some Hebrew (if you were educated), the Koine Greek language was the written language of the common people, like our English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) or International English (IE) is considered. Within 30 years, “The Faith” of Christians had left the Middle East, and within 60 years had spread to the furthest reaches of the Roman Empire because of Koine Greek and the Great Diaspora, which was the persecution of the Jews after the 2nd Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed by Emperor Titus in 70 A.D. Remember how Yeshua wept bitterly at the Temple, saying every stone would be toppled within His generation, because the Jews had killed their last prophet John (the Baptist) and “The Prophet” (Jesus, Yeshua) predicted by Moses, having “despised the time of their visitation” by their own Messiah. How terribly destructive it is to reject the Master Plan of God!
By the time Yeshua was born, there had been 400 years of silence from Yahweh. Is it any wonder? Israel had killed all their prophets and they refused to change despite all of God’s efforts! They were called to be a “light on a hill” for the Gentiles to glorify God. Instead the name of God had become a byword and a curse word, like the exclamatory remarks: “O My God (OMG), Jesus, Jesus Christ, or Christ” have become today! The prophet Daniel predicted that Rome would be the “massive iron legs” that pounded the people into submission. Yahweh used it as a final judgment to bring the Israelites to a place of utter desperation. Those who “walked and talked with God” were far out-numbered by the hypocritical Pharisees and Sadducees who ruled over the Israelites under Roman rule. The vacillating crowd exclaimed of Yeshua “Hosanna in the Highest, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” but then just days later yelled, “Crucify Him! May His blood be on us and on our children!” What crowd would you have been in? Would you have bowed to mob rule and cursed the Christ?
The Bible says that at “just the right time” in our human history, Yahweh came as Yeshua – “The Prophet” Moses had promised in 1525 B.C. had finally come to God’s people! It turns out to be during a relatively small sliver of time (430 years) when the entire world had a common language and a common empire to use it, after 400 years of silence from God’s prophets, after many wars with Egypt, Syria, and the Maccabees. Then with a common Koine Greek language, the Romans unite the world in 60 B.C, with one Emperor Julius Caesar by 27 B.C, and by 30 A.D. Yeshua is preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to man! Within another 30 years, the Gospel has spread to the ends of the earth through the Koine Greek language. This is a very thin window of opportunity for God to speak to the entire civilized world and He did it! Can you see what God has done so that you could hear The Truth as a Gentile? It’s really amazing how fast God works once He goes to the next step in the Master Plan!
Scholars have calculated that between 351 and 365 OT prophecies about the Messiah have all came true when Yeshua walked on this earth. Statisticians have calculated the odds of Yeshua fulfilling 8 key prophecies as 1 in 10 with 17 zeroes after it. Fulfilling 48 prophecies would be 1 in 10 with 157 zeroes after it. Can you imagine the odds of Yeshua fulfilling all the prophecies? God is in complete control of human history when it comes to The Master Plan! Isaiah’s prophecy about the Messiah was fulfilled 700 years later exactly as God said it would:
In the former time He brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time He has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations (i.e., where Yeshua started preaching). 2The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has the Light shone. 3 You have multiplied the nation (i.e., people streamed in from surrounding countries to hear Yeshua); You have increased its joy; they rejoice before You as with joy at the harvest (multitudes followed Yeshua) . . . For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of Yahweh of [angelic] hosts will do this.
The Jews were meticulous about the keeping of their family trees, because the Law prohibited incest, which we know would have degraded the gene pool and made them susceptible to diseases that had wiped out many other civilizations. According to Luke, Yeshua is the 77th generation of men (6 x 7 = 42 generations from Abraham, according to Matthew), 77 being a super-complete, absolutely, “over-the-top” number, here representing the historical lineage of men to the birth of the God-Man. The super-Menorah of Zechariah’s vision of God’s perfect Spirit was seven 7’s of wicks burning bright with never-ending oil from two olive trees! Yeshua said to Peter that God’s way was to not only forgive your brother one time or even 7 times, but seven 7’s (whether interpreted either as 77 times or 70 times 7, it means “over the top”). Lamech, a descendant of Cain, said that his murder of another would be avenged 77 times, i.e., absolutely – thus the “legend of the sword,” that all those who pick it up will die from it, just as Yeshua said. Yeshua’s coming was the epitome of The Master Plan’s completion. That’s why Yeshua said on the cross “It is finished” (the rarer “perfect tense” in Greek means “completed” with the effects of the action still ongoing). The coming of Yeshua after 77 generations was perfect timing! The Master Plan had arrived right on time.
God sent one last human prophet to herald the Messiah’s coming – John the Baptist. The prophet Isaiah had spoken of him 700 years before as: A voice cries in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Yahweh; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of Yahweh shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.’ Yeshua said that John was the greatest man ever born.
According to the prophet Malachi in 465 B.C. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.” Yeshua said that John was “Elijah to come” and so this prophecy was fulfilled long before Christ’s return. However, John being Elijah is not supporting the non-Biblical idea of reincarnation, i.e., Greek and Indian philosophical ideas from the Iron Age around 1200 B.C. that a dead person’s spirit could return as another person. Elijah had never died, but was transfigured into a spiritual being and ascended into heaven in a whirlwind of fire, directly into the presence of God. After John the Baptist was beheaded, he again was seen as Elijah when he visited Yeshua along with Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration where Yeshua’s skin shone like the sun and His clothes as white as the light. Many believe that Elijah is also one of the two witnesses (Moses being the other, just as on the Mount of Transfiguration) that will proclaim Yeshua to Israel during the Great Tribulation – but this time immediately “before the coming of Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.”
The living Message (logos: communicated content) of God lived among us as Jesus (Yeshua), and people touched Him, listened to Him, and watched Him heal everybody He touched. His arrival was in a little country in a big world, but was not unnoticed. In 93-94 A.D., Titus Flavius Josephus, as a traitor to his own Jewish people and certainly not a Christian, was hired by Emperor Flavius Domitian to give a detailed history of the priestly and royal ancestry of the Jews, but especially the 1st century A.D. with the destruction of Jerusalem and the 2nd Temple in 70 A.D. Scholars have combined the surviving Greek, Arabic, and Syrian texts of Josephus. The most critical of skeptics have all agreed on the bolded text below. This makes it abundantly clear Yeshua was not an ordinary man in history:
Now there was about this time Yeshua, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews [and many of the Gentiles]. He was [called] the Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
From 98–117 A.D., Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (Pliny the Younger) as imperial magistrate under Emperor Trajan, was a respected, honest, and moderate lawyer who consistently persecuted Christians. He would be very careful to have firsthand sources to back up his actions against the Christians. Here he says:
They were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and bound themselves to a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft, adultery, never to falsify their word, not to deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of a meal – but ordinary and innocent food.
The Roman Senator and historian for the empire, Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus wrote in 116 A.D. concerning the events leading up to Nero’s burning down of Rome in 64 A.D., with customary disdain of the Christians: “Their most mischievous superstition…the first source of the evil” coming from “Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.”
The elite, royal Roman historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus wrote around 120 A.D. official historical documents based on earlier official documents, concerning Claudius Caesar’s expulsion of the Jews from Rome in 49 A.D. citing that the Jews were “constantly making disturbances about the trouble-making of Christ.” Another Roman historian, Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus wrote in 215 A.D. to confirm that the Jews were ordered to “no longer hold meetings” because of these disturbances by the Jews concerning Christ.
From these and many other historical documents, it boggles my mind that there are people who still don’t think Yeshua actually existed, that He was someone that the Catholic Church made up. Don’t these people even do their homework? Yeshua left a huge footprint on the world He stepped into. The throngs of people who followed Him didn’t keep it a secret. His enemies were numerous and they never stopped deriding Him. He was no secret! Many atheists have come to faith after they started really digging into the documents about Yeshua (read Lee Strobel’s “Case for Christ” or Josh McDowell’s “Evidence that Demands a Verdict”). Will you do your homework or write Christ off?
Out of the 300-plus prophesies regarding Christ as God’s “Master Plan,” this one written 700 B.C. by the prophet Isaiah (Chapter 53) predicts very well what Christ would do to bring each one of us to Him, if we’ll but take a hold of this through a “step of faith,” which is our simple “obedience of faith”:
The people reply: Who would have believed what we now report? Who could have seen the Lord’s hand in this? It was the will of the Lord that His Servant grow like a plant taking root in dry ground (Israel was as spiritually “dry” as you could get by Christ’s birth). He had no dignity or beauty to make us take notice of Him. There was nothing attractive about Him, nothing that would draw us to Him. We despised Him and rejected Him; He endured suffering and pain. No one would even look at Him – we ignored Him as if He were nothing. But He endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain that we should have borne. All the while we thought that His suffering was punishment sent by God. But because of our sins He was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed (cured, all the “worn pieces” mended back together) by the punishment He suffered, made whole (a key meaning of the word “saved”, reconciled back to God) by the blows He received. All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the Lord made the punishment fall on Him, the punishment all of us deserved. He was treated harshly, but endured it humbly; He never said a word (at Yeshua’s sham trial, He never defended himself to any of the rulers). Like a lamb about to be slaughtered, like a sheep about to be sheared, He never said a word. He was arrested and sentenced and led off to die, and no one cared about His fate. He was put to death (literally “lifted up” on a cross) for the sins of our people. He was placed in a grave with those who are evil (certainly not holy men), He was buried with the rich (Yeshua was put in the new tomb of the rich man Joseph of Arimathea), even though He had never committed a crime or ever told a lie. The Lord says, “It was My will that He should suffer; His death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness. And so He will see His descendants (i.e., the true Israel, the Bride of Christ, those who have faith in The Promise, the faith of their Father Abraham); He will live a long life (the Bible is full of dramatic understatements – Yeshua will live forever!), and through Him My purpose (The Master Plan) will succeed. After a life of suffering, He will again have joy (Yeshua “endured the cross for the joy set before Him,” the joy that He had from eternity past); He will know that He did not suffer in vain. My devoted Servant, with whom I am pleased, will bear the punishment of many and for His sake I will forgive them. And so I will give Him a place of honor, a place among the great and powerful. (The NT says He has been declared “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” and given all authority over heaven and earth). He willingly gave His life and shared the fate of evil men (killed next to 2 criminals, cursed by the Law by being hung on a tree). He took the place of many sinners and prayed that they might be forgiven.”
Yeshua “came to destroy the works of the Devil” and restore creation back to God. He came to His own people, who had butchered “the Law and Prophets” writings with their rabbinical traditions. He spent a lot of time explaining how they did this, what the correct interpretations were, and how to apply them. He showed that the spiritual implications of the Law make it even more difficult to reach God through the Jew’s mechanical “going-through-the-motions” rituals, the Catholic’s futile “Hail-Mary” mantras and Rosary repetition of prayers, and the “strain-out-a-gnat-but-swallow-a camel” good works of all religions. Jesus boiled the entire OT down to a matter of what we put our focus on – ourselves, pleasures, appetites, success, and treasures, or on giving precedence to loving God and others – and of the latter He said you really can’t do one without the other. He told people to leave criticism and condemnation to God for the Day of Judgment, so as to not to let the Accuser (Satan) or Slanderer (Devil) do this through them meanwhile. He taught in many ways about how to enter into the Kingdom of God (i.e., trusting in the Messiah as a little child would) and what was to come after He returned to rescue Israel from the Antichrist’s nations.
Of course, many Jews believed, like the Zealots, that the Messiah should liberate them from Roman oppression right away. But this was not God’s Master Plan. How would the Gentiles have been included in The Master Plan? Yeshua’s teaching made many of the Israelites hungrier for their Messiah, making them even more desperate for The Way of salvation. Yeshua even taught Greeks! This made the all-for-show religious leaders very jealous of Christ’s authoritative teaching and widespread following, and so they plotted to kill Him. They conspired with the Jewish King and Roman Governor Pontius Pilate to have Him crucified as a common criminal for blasphemy – claiming to be the Messiah but particularly for saying on many occasions that as the Son of God He and the Father were One, making Himself actually equal to God!
Everybody Yeshua touched was healed from every kind of physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual disease or disability. He raised the dead. He cast every kind of demon out of people to free them from every kind of sickness and bondage to sin. He came to stitch back together the torn, ripped, cut, and split fabric of our lives, our relationship with God, and our relationships to others. He is the divine Healer! The Cure! The Answer! Our Salvation! By His death on the cross, He has lifted up off us the burden of all our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational sicknesses and all their associated pain. He was “torn apart” so that our “torn parts” could be put back together – the real meaning of “salvation.” His ministry on earth was just the beginning of this. He said “greater works you shall do, because I go to the Father, and it glorifies My Father in heaven to give you such things in My name.” So, “In Christ” we can start “walking with God” in realizing this in our lives and those around us, for Christ name’s sake! Do you want to keep paying for your medications ad nauseum?
There’s nothing Yeshua can’t or won’t do to undo what Satan has done – to reconcile us back to the Father and “set the captives free.” He gave everything He had to make sure this could happen – He substituted His righteous life for our ungodly lives, taking our sin and judgment on Himself, buying us back from slavery (i.e., “redeeming” us) so that we could be declared not guilty (i.e., justified) and receive His very nature – the Holy Spirit. By this we become ceremonially “clean” and separated unto God for sacred purposes (i.e., made “holy” or sanctified). He is our Savior, our Deliverer, our Rescuer! He is the Life Raft, the Life Preserver, the End of our rope! In the Temple’s Holy of Holies, Yeshua is the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant and also the High Priest who sprinkles the blood of His own sacrifice upon it for the Atonement or payment for the sins of His people. He is our Propitiation! Like Moses did on the tablets and Books of the Law, Yeshua is the blood sprinkled on the New Covenant with mankind, a Covenant based on “Amazing Grace” (our undeserved favor)!
Yeshua made it clear that now “with God all things are possible,” and the only thing keeping it from happening is our fear or stubborn unbelief – our refusal to “earnestly and consistently ask, seek, and knock for the door to be opened” as Yeshua taught. The Holy Spirit of God delights to work powerfully in our lives for one reason – to bring glory to the name of Yeshua and His Father, to lift His name up among all people. He’ll do anything to build His Kingdom! He has even given up His own life to save our lives. Once we become His children, He will do everything He can to spoil us with His unconditional love and to insure that we remain His spotless bride, the bride who awaits the Bridegroom to return and take her to His home forever! This is at the Resurrection of the Dead, when He puts the wedding clothes on us, transforming our mortal bodies into immortality, so our purification is made complete – our “blessed hope.” The desires of our bodies that war against our soul will no longer be an issue. Hallelujah! We are now glorified – made like Him in all respects. This is the fulfillment of The Master Plan!
God has been on one side of a huge wall that goes up to the heavens – His holiness! He is the Author of Life, the Creator of all that is Good: light, truth, faith, hope, love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, long-suffering, self-control, and every good and perfect gift. However, mankind lives on the other side of another huge wall that goes to the depths of Hell – our depravity! We live in darkness, lies, deception, fear, doubt, pessimism, cynicism, self-centered desire, “falling-short” sinfulness, outright rebellion, and wickedness. Our sins are so many:
Sexually degrading passions, immorality, sensuality (including sex with things, with the same sex, with animals, and those that we’re not married to – called fornication, promiscuity, and adultery – or even the lustful fantasy for such, according to Yeshua), lewdness, evil, inventors of evil, greed or stingy, wickedness, not peaceful with men, murder, envy, covetousness, jealousy, speaking words that kill others from the inside-out or lead to destruction (strife, quarrels, deceit, speaking malice, gossip, slander, cursing, vulgarity, bitterness, impatience, dissensions or discord), hating God, arrogant, proud, wise in your own opinion, boastful, hypocritical (saying one thing and doing another, all for show), disobedience to parents and governmental and employer authorities, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unkind and unloving (lovers of self instead lovers of God and others, causing harm to either – not bearing other’s burdens for the sake of your own), inhospitable, unforgiving, cold-hearted or unmerciful, retaliatory, vengeful, cliquish or showing favoritism, judgmental separation or contempt from our brothers, slothful or lazy, drunkenness and riotous revelry, carousing, causing another to violate their conscience, tax fraud, being financial indebted to another and so enslaved, theft, lying or any other false testimony.
We have reaped what we have sown – “broken and torn” minds, bodies, relationships, and a planet we were charged to take care of like a garden. We have all sped past the same “speed limit signs” over and over, but eventually we will get pulled over and the Law Enforcement Officer asks, “Did you see that sign you blew by?” If we lie or say “No, I was looking at my cell phone,” there still will be no excuse acceptable on that Last Day. The Judge of the Court will declare you “guilty,” because whether you like it or not, you did break the Law. He represents Justice – He can do no other. To do anything else would make Him corrupt and thus unjust. God cannot deviate from His very character or nature. God is Just and Perfect, so that would be impossible. And why would He do this for you and not everybody else that has violated any of His Laws? If He made one exception to the rule, He would have to ultimately let Hitler in. Everybody would be appealing! This violates everything He is about. No, there is no doubt about it – on the Day of Judgment every one of us will be found dead guilty, deserving separation from God. God is pure light and there is no shadow in or around Him. Our darkness will exclude us. We could not be in His Presence without Yeshua, “the Light of the world,” replacing our darkness with His blinding light!
We have tried everything in religion and good works to scale our wall to even get to God’s wall, and then to scale God’s wall to get even a glimpse of God – to no avail! Most people didn’t listen to God’s prophets on how to meet God and “walk and talk with God” – we would have ignored or killed every one of them, too. Yeshua said he alone was the “Sabbath Rest” so that man could cease their endless “good work” attempts at reaching God. There’s been so many “teachers of the world” who have led people – usually for a price to become rich and influential – to where they thought God was or could be, to where they thought happiness would or should be. They have led them to the same place every one of these so-called “teachers” ended up – to the grave, and their bones are still there! And when they awake at the Resurrection of the Dead, they will face eternal punishment for their deception and their foolish rebellion against The Master Plan of Yeshua. Many deceiving spirits (demons and fallen angels) have gone into the world, even as angels of light, to deceive many into believing that they have found a way other than the promised Messiah, Yeshua. They have preached “another gospel” that the apostle Paul says is not even “a gospel” for there is only One “Great News” that will save us. The apostle Paul under the power of the Holy Spirit says twice of these false preachers: “May they be eternally damned!”
Yeshua came to become “The Cornerstone” that connects the two walls together, so instead of us trying to scale the walls, the two walls can come together through Him. The cornerstone or capstone was the biggest, most solid piece of uncut stone in a building, for which the entire physics of the building depended. Yeshua didn’t come to destroy the “wall” of the Law but to fulfill it. He didn’t come to bring the “wall” of God’s Holiness down, so that with some “magic wand” the “righteous requirements of the Law” are somehow swept under the rug as the Father looks the other way for the sake of His Son, or His love for us. No, Yeshua as God, is “The Wall” for us, so that when we are adopted “into Christ” we become “in God” and thus “in His holiness.” Thus we no longer have to scale this wall! We don’t have to climb our “wall of sin and death” either – this alone would take forever! No, Christ has become sin itself, taking upon Himself the sins of us all, and taking all the punishment and death deserving it. He has completely “crushed the head of the serpent” through the “bite in His heel” – the dominion of sin and the fear of death has been destroyed forever. Have you built your life on “the solid rock” foundation of Yeshua, or on a foundation of sand that could wash away with the first really big storm of life?
“In Christ” we can finally be free from the old man’s slavery to sinfulness and the fear of certain judgment and eternal separation from Yahweh. We are also finally free to live rightly before Yahweh. Yeshua has promised that with His life, the Father would supply everything we need to live a life pleasing to Him – that He would complete what He started. The Spirit of God even intercedes for those who are His. Yeshua said, “If, as a branch, you remain connected to Me as the true Vine, and you remain in my [gospel] Message, then you will know The Truth, and The Truth will set you free. If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” I personally can testify to how Yeshua has freed me from one addiction and one character flaw after another – and I’m looking forward to His workmanship continuing and one day soon being completed on the Resurrection Day of Transformation – when this caterpillar-turned-butterfly gets to really soar!
Yeshua said: “I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life – nobody comes to the Father except by Me. Broad is the way and wide is the gate that leads to destruction and many travel it, but narrow is The Way and small is The Door that leads to life and few find it.” The apostle Peter declared on the day the Kingdom of God came to earth during Pentecost: “Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Yeshua, the Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead . . . This Yeshua is The Stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become The Cornerstone. And “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Until about 45 A.D., the Jewish followers of Christ called themselves “The Way.” The term “Christians” was first used by Gentile unbelievers derogatorily, but by 60 A.D. was adapted by the Church since it had become largely Gentile by then. The term “Christianity” didn’t even exist before the 14th century. It means the “state, character, or condition of being a Christian” and has been used to lump “The Faith” alongside every other religion. The world will find out later that it’s not even a religion but a relationship, but the surprise won’t be pleasant. Will you be surprised?
Yeshua said through the apostle Peter during the first sermon at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out to the Jews to fulfill the prophecy of Joel concerning the beginning of the Kingdom of God, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Yeshua for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the Promised Gift of the Holy Spirit.”
We’re told by Peter that baptism (Greek for water emersion) is the antitype (i.e., fulfillment that pointed backwards) of Noah’s flood that washed away the sins of the world. So, like so many events in the OT, the waters that carried the boat to safety are a type or figure of the greater future reality of baptism. Similarly, God instituted Jewish marriage according to the Law as another type or picture pointing forward to a greater future reality – our being united with Christ in baptism.
As we confess before God and man as witnesses of our “pledge of a good conscience toward God” (as Peter says), this is just like the Jewish Betrothal-Marriage vows of the espoused Bridegroom, whom the Bride sincerely responds to with the words “I do.” This is also when the Bridegroom promised to “prepare a home” for her and declare His obligations toward her – exactly what Yeshua did at the Last Supper. Although the Bride and Bridegroom were then legally married and viewed as such by the public, they couldn’t “be together” until the Bridegroom had completed His part of the marriage vows and come back to take her to their new home. This is when the public would celebrate their Wedding with a big feast! If either of them had any “relations” during this Betrothal period, it was a grievous sin and broke their sacred contract before God. This was considered adultery and punishable by death – that’s how serious this was! That’s why Yeshua pours out His Spirit into the Body of Christ – to keep themselves pure, and so the Spirit can minister through each member of the Body/Church to encourage one another to grow in their holiness (sanctification, separation to God). Where are you?
Baptism was just like the Betrothal-Marriage Contract. It was God’s way of ritually purifying an “unclean person” (for sure Gentiles, as they weren’t chosen by God as the “clean” Jews were) to be separate (holy) unto God for sacred purposes. Baptism was routinely practiced for Gentile proselytes to Judaism. The first thing John the Baptist did to prepare people for the coming of Yeshua was have them confess their sins, repent (turn away from their life to the Lord’s way), and be baptized. It was the first thing Yeshua’s disciples did as Yeshua preached that the Kingdom of God was near. And we’ve seen it was the first thing that the apostle Peter said to do when the Kingdom of God had finally come by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is your “pledge” of repentance (“change of attitude direction”) not only regarding Christ as your Savior, but Christ as the Lord (Hebrew: Ynda ‘adown or Nda ‘adon or Grk: Kurios), the Supreme Master of your life, whom you have “pledged your good conscience” to remain pure for, “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part” – just like the traditional marriage vows say. Baptism isn’t a “good work” to add to your list of “saving works,” nor is it an optional (nonessential) “believers baptism” or “first act of obedience” for an “already saved believer” to do. These teachings arose in the Church around the 17th century with the Baptists as a reaction to the non-Scriptural teaching of “infant baptism” that slipped into the Catholic Church about 150 A.D. Although many Protestants have jumped on the bandwagon since, many churches still correctly teach baptism as an integral part of salvation. My detailed study of Scripture and Church history (especially before 130 A.D.) also bears witness to adult baptism of an unbeliever as being a simple step of a person’s “obedience of faith” to publicly confess their sinfulness and repentance before God and man as witnesses, just as a Betrothal vow was done. Since it was practiced by the Jews, John the Baptist, the disciples of Yeshua, is a key part of the Great Commission, is a key part of the first sermon, is taught elsewhere throughout the NT, and practiced in the earliest Church, I would feel pretty confident in answering the question, “Should I get baptized when I come to the Lord?” with a definite “Yes!” Let the theologians continue debating and just do it – take the “step of faith – the obedience of faith!”
So, what will you do with The Master Plan of Yeshua? Will you come to God through Him and thus become “in Christ”? Will you ask Him to come into your life by the power of the Holy Spirit? Yeshua said, “Unless you are born again from above by the Spirit, you shall not see the Kingdom of God.” He is a Living God, not just a God of the bible buried in some pages of antiquity. He wants to live in your life, too, so your name can also be “written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” Yeshua said “I stand at the door [of your life] and knock. If you answer, I will come in and dine with you and you with Me.” And He says “I will separate you from your sin as far as the east is from the west.” Yeshua then promises “I will never leave nor forsake you.”
Will you “walk and talk with God” just as all the men and women of God throughout time have, you have looked forward to the Messiah? Will you be counted “in such a great cloud of witnesses” on that awesome Day of Judgment? Will you take the same “step of faith” – “the obedience of faith” that all the righteous men and women have ever taken? Yeshua suffers long, waiting for you to turn to Him. He shows Himself to you in so many ways, day after day, and week after week. He longs for you with all His unconditional, no-strings-attached loving acceptance, but He will not force you. He does everything else He can to help you move that direction – until you take your last breath. Then, your fate is sealed. Then you wait for the Resurrection of the dead and the Day of Judgment. God bless you!
Make sure to read the 5 simple steps to salvation in the previous Salvation – BT1 BLOG.
As Christian musicians, don’t we want to personally yada/ginosko know Jesus more than just this gnosis informational-knowledge about Him? But everybody has to start somewhere! Let’s go deeper!
Lord, thank You for coming to us just at the right time in your Master Plan to save us and have a personal relationship with You!