Tuesday, November 17, 2009

13. "They would not have crucified the Lord of glory"

1 Corinthians 2:8 ~

"Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." (King James Version)

INTERPRETATION: After reading this topic, you will understand why St. Paul stated above that had people known and understood God's will for Jesus, they would not have crucified him. It was a grievous error to crucify Jesus Christ!


As discussed in topic 12. "Your father the devil" , God blessed Adam to be the Lord of all creation in the heavenly order, including dominion over the angels, as diagrammed vividly below:

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As explained in Topic 6. "Multiply", Adam and his wife, Eve, were intended to grow to full emotional, intellectual and spiritual maturity by "being fruitful"; and, on that basis to "multiply" a family that would fully embody and express God's love and family values.

God's will was not for Adam and Eve to commit the original sin and "grieve Him to His heart" (Genesis 6:6), but was for them to become the well-spring of His love for larger communities - the society, nation and world, in fulfillment of the blessings outlined in Genesis 1:28.

As diagrammed below, God's will, according to the bible, was a world without sin with humanity as His seed and children, springing from a sinless Adam and Eve as the first parents, multiplying through God-centered, "sinless sex":

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However, as explained in topic 12. "Your father the devil", by disobeying God's word and acting upon the serpent's word, committing the original sin, the heavenly order was reversed placing a fallen angel, meant to be a servant, above Adam and putting self-centered, God-less love at the core beginning of history, causing all humanity to inherit and pass on family values of finger-pointing, rooted in the deprivation of God's love.

The original sin seeded a kingdom of hell on earth and in the spiritual world from "the father of lies;" "your father the devil;" (John 8:44) as, "the God of this world;" (2 Corinthians 4:4) and, thwarted the realization of the Kingdom of God, giving rise to the tremendous pain and suffering that comprises the record of human history.

Satan's version of topic 5. "be fruitful" is a sinful world of liars, mistrust, broken hearts and killing, perpetuated and topic 6. "multiplied" through sinful, self-centered, God-less love and sinful sex between masses of spiritually dead men and women entered into by Satan and driven by their fleshly desire to hunt for sex as a sport to "get my orgasm" [I got mine, you need to get yours mentality] in an environment of rampant greed, devoid of topic 7. "replenishing the Earth," where money is their God and how to get money is their religion, surrounded by racial hatred and prejudice, wrapped in petty, jingoistic nationalism with rates of divorce skyrocketing, where the slang phrase "broker than the 10 commandments" is truly the behavioral norm, baking in an oven of global warming and climate change as our version of topic 8. "subdue it: and have dominion," where the phrase "what do you expect, I'm only human" should be changed to "what do you expect, I'm only a sinful, contaminated human choosing to act on the inherited nature of "my father the devil"; and, where occasionally we obey snippets of the original nature of God within us speaking to us through our consciences so that we occasionally toss in a few good deeds to alleviate our guilt in a cut-throat, dog-eat-dog world of selfishness that is, as Jesus called it in Matthew 23:23, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"; as shown below:

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Satan's spiritual grip on humanity's mind is similar to the Matrix described by clicking on the video below:

I. What is Salvation?

Salvation is restoration - to save a dying, sick person is to restore him to his normal, healthy state, in which case, you need a doctor; to save a drowning person is to rescue him and restore him to the state he was in before he began drowning, in which case, you need a lifeguard.

Hence, God's salvation of humanity means God's restoration of fallen, sinful people to their original sinless state of being "very good" and in position to fulfill the purpose of creation, not just in the afterlife, but physically "on earth as it is in heaven", as stated in Genesis 1:28, "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." Hence, the savior or sinless messiah's purpose is similar to a spiritual doctor or lifeguard to rescue or restore man's position to fulfill the blessings stated in Genesis 1:28. The sinless messiah is the third human being free of the original sin, since Adam and Eve - prior to their committing the original sin and contaminating all of their descendants. Below, the blessings of Genesis 1:28 are examined in relation to their need for the sinless messiah:

A. The blessing to "Be fruitful" and the sinless Messiah

As explained in Topic 5. "Be fruitful", to see a perfected individual is to see the masculine or feminine attribute of God fully expressed in the flesh, as stated by Jesus in Matthew 5:48, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Just as those who are not drowning have no need of a rescuer, perfected individuals, who are sinless, have no need of a savior. However, as stated in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"; and, in Romans 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." 1 John 1:10 expresses it as, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." St. Paul expressed our inherent conflicting natures in Romans 7:22-24 as, "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Hence, the blessing to "be fruitful" (i.e. individual perfection) is sick and drowning in sinful humanity contaminated with Satanic nature and needs restoration by a savior or sinless messiah!

B. The blessing to "Multiply" and the sinless Messiah

As explained in Topic 6. "Multiply", if Adam and Eve had achieved the blessing to "be fruitful", they would have embodied goodness in their hearts and grown into marriage partners who reflected God's love, and led by God they would have raised their children in this spirit becoming the origin of an enlightened and God-hearted clan, society, nation and world. Over time, the original family values, reflective of God's heart, would have gradually expanded, ultimately developing into a global, world family. At the core of this global family would have been one set of God-centered parents, Adam and Eve, representing God's parental love and values as traditions to all their descendants. Hence, the blessing to "multiply" is sick and drowning in sinful humanity's false, Satan-inspired traditions of God-less sport and predator sex and needs restoration by a savior or sinless messiah, who brings heavenly knowledge of "sinless sex!"

C. The blessings to "Replenish the earth" and to "Subdue it: and have dominion" and the sinless Messiah

As explained in Topic 7. "Replenish the earth" and Topic 8. "Subdue it: and have dominion", centered on the global family traditions of a perfected Adam and Eve, as described above, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth would have emerged with God's love and values flowing through humanity to all creation, including the angelic world. Yet, as expressed in Romans 8:19-22, "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." Hence, the blessings to "replenish the earth" and to "subdue it: and have dominion" are sick and drowning in sinful humanity's false, Satan-inspired traditions that are raping and destroying planet earth and needs restoration by a savior or sinless messiah!

D. What would a "saved" world be like?

If we think of what a "saved" world would be like, we must think of a world free from the common enemies of man - tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself. We can envision a world where the strong are generous and the weak secure, where as stated in Amos 5:24, "But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream." It would be a world in which humanity's ancient hope for peace was realized, and our desire for material well-being met. It would be, in effect, a Garden of Eden that had been restored on a global scale. It would literally be the sinless, Kingdom of God on the earth and in the spirit world, with all the angels working joyfully as the servants of humanity.

Of course one may wonder if such a world could actually be realized. The record of human history is not promising. Nevertheless, the bible points out that such a vision relies not primarily on man, although man has his responsibility and role to play, but on God, His angels and spiritual capabilities. And for God to be God, He must one day realize his original ideal. Those who have followed God have on occasion been blessed with insights about His will and ultimate purposes. For example, the prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 2:4, "And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more;" and, he wrote in Isaiah 46:11, "...I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it." Hence, in the fullness of time, God will surely accomplish His purpose. As the God of love, He could never leave us in this current state, for we were created as His child and He will continue to educate and guide us into lives of love, justice and brotherhood.

To realize this state, prophets and holy men have appeared, directed by God, at various points in history. However, the central manifestation of God's redemptive work was the advent of Jesus of Nazareth, the savior and sinless messiah.

II. The Purpose of the Sinless Messiah

It is for the purpose of salvation, as explained above, that the bible records God as working with Adam and Eve's descendants to lay the groundwork for the birth of a baby free of the original sin named Jesus, as savior and sinless messiah to this world. As expressed in 1 Corinthians 15:22, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." The purpose of the sinless messiah is to restore the heavenly order, whereby all creation receives God's love through humanity, as shown below:

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Hence, the purpose of the messiah is to stand before God as a perfected human being who has achieved the blessing to "be fruitful", thus restoring the individual failures of Adam and Eve and their descendants and piercing the matrix of satanic domination and accusation by subjugating the fallen angel back to a subservient position, destroying his "iniquity" once and for all with God's justice and righteousness.

By subjugating Satan, the messiah will stand in the position of Adam, prior to the original sin, at the moment Eve came to him to tempt him to follow her in "eating the fruit." At that moment, had Adam kept his faith in God's word, God could have directed him in a manner to restore and provide salvation to Eve; in other words, Adam could have been the sinless messiah to Eve. However, Adam also abandoned God's word and united with Eve, who was listening to the serpent, and he too fell into spiritual death.

Hence, as the 2nd Adam, the sinless messiah must choose a sinful woman of faith, as the representation of Eve at the moment she tempted Adam to eat of the fruit, and restore her as Adam failed to do, by working with God to forgive her of her sins, guide her, educate her in the ways to "be fruitful", take her as his bride and restore the blessing to "multiply" with her in the flesh, through "sinless, god-centered sex" as intended and designed by God. Together, they must establish a sinless family which embodies and expresses God's love. Jesus expressed this concept in Matthew 22:2 as, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son..."

On the foundation of his bride and their children as role models, the sinless messiah is to build an ideal nation and world through gradually forgiving, guiding and educating the rest of humanity by adopting us into his sinless family, as expressed in Romans 8:23, "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."

As shown vividly below, through establishing his sinless family, the messiah begins the process of providing complete salvation to mankind; that is, the complete restoration of the blessings of Genesis 1:28. The process will start very small, from one sinless man looking in the mirror, but with the help of God and His angels, will grow to cover the world, as Jesus described in Mark 4:30-32, "And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it:"

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III. If the Purpose of the Sinless Messiah is to Restore the Blessings of Genesis 1:28, then Why was Jesus Crucified?

Similar to the way organized crime, or an illegal drug cartel will use all of its capabilities to fight and kill law enforcement officials to maintain its illegal empire, Satan will use all of his capabilities and followers to kill the sinless messiah. Do not think for one moment that Satan will sit idly by and watch the messiah "take root like a mustard seed," grow, and bring his devilish reign to an end.

Just as Satan knew God's will well enough to tempt Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to commit the original sin, he knows that in order for the sinless messiah to succeed in restoring the blessings of Genesis 1:28 the messiah must "take root" by capturing the hearts, minds and institutions of the people. Satan knows well that God loves the whole world and wants much more than just one "saved" person, the sinless messiah, on earth and in the spirit world.

Hence, Satan knew well that he would have only 2 methods to kill Jesus:

Method #1-The direct Method: Attack Jesus directly, fallen angel talking straight to sinless man, and tempt him to forsake God's word for his satanic, substitute word, the same tactic he used and that worked on Adam and Eve (i.e. - TRUST ME, God does not have your best interest at heart like I do), thus killing Jesus spiritually if Jesus falls for his temptation; or,

Method #2-The indirect Method: Attack Jesus indirectly through the people around him, hoping that they will fall into the faithlessness necessary for Satan to enter them and manipulate them to kill the sinless messiah. Satan knew well that at some point, Jesus would have to begin a "public ministry" to take root capturing the hearts, minds and institutions of the people. Keep in mind that as long as people are faithful and cling to God's word, Satan's power is useless, just as it would have been useless had Adam and Eve kept faith in God's commandment to Adam in the Garden of Eden (See Topic 12. "Your father the devil").

A. Satan's first attempt at killing Jesus (utilize method #2 - The indirect method)

Satan's first effort to kill Jesus was to work through Herod, as stated in Matthew 2:11-21, "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, in Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel."

Hence, Satan failed in his first attempt to kill Jesus because Jesus was surrounded by very, very faithful parents in Joseph and Mary, who believed and heeded God's word immediately. They did not vacillate, second-guess, hee-haw around, seek second opinions, or roll over and go to sleep on the message God gave them. They demonstrated unyielding, untiring, undying, unwavering, absolute faith by clinging to and acting upon, with all their being over many years, God's message from a mere dream. As a child, as long as Jesus was surrounded by people of strong, unwavering faith like Joseph and Mary, Satan had no basis to attack Jesus. Of course, if Joseph and Mary had been faithless and not heeded God's word, Jesus would have been killed by Satan then and there. Joseph and Mary set the example for the type of faith in Jesus required to defeat Satan. Hence, Satan had to wait for another chance.

B. Satan's second attempt at killing Jesus (utilize method #1 - The direct method)

After Jesus had matured into a man and left his parents, Matthew 4:1-4 states, "
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The stones with which Satan tempted Jesus symbolized Jesus himself as the true rock (1 Corinthians 10:4) and the bread symbolized Jesus as the bread of life (John 6:35). Jesus' answer to Satan's first temptation meant that even if he were at the point of starvation, bread for the physical body is not the real issue. Jesus had to triumph over Satan's temptation and become the living bread of God's word, the bread capable of giving life to all mankind. In essence, Jesus overcame Satan's grip on the blessing to "be fruitful."

Matthew 4:5-7 states, "Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Jesus was the sinless, living temple in which the spirit of God was dwelling, so, Satan's urging him to throw himself down from the pinnacle of the temple was symbolic of Jesus yielding his rights as the living temple, meaning Satan would continue as false master of the temple. Jesus' answer to Satan's second temptation meant that Satan should leave him and stop tempting God's representative and true son. Jesus had to triumph over Satan's temptation and become the main temple and the true father of mankind. In essence, Jesus overcame Satan's grip on the blessing to "multiply."

Matthew 4:8-10 states, "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Because of his original sin, Adam had lost his authority as Lord of the creation and became dominated by Satan, so, Satan wanted the 2nd Adam to yield to him just as the 1st Adam had done in the Garden of Eden. Jesus' answer tells Satan that angels are under his dominion, not the other way around. Although Jesus might have gained all of the kingdoms of the world and their glory if he had yielded to Satan, his purpose as the sinless messiah would have been lost. In essence, Jesus overcame Satan's grip on the blessings to "replenish the earth" and to "subdue it: and have dominion."

Luke 4:13 states, "And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season." Hence, Satan knew that he had failed in killing Jesus spiritually and that he was no match for Jesus on an individual basis, so he departed from him for a season, meaning until the opportunity would arise where he could attack him through faithless people.

C. Satan's third attempt at killing Jesus (utilize method #2 - The indirect method, again)

The bible is very clear that FAITHLESSNESS is never God's will! Indeed, the bible is a clear record that faithlessness results in negative consequences.

For example, as a result of his faithlessness in God's word, Genesis 3:17 records the negative consequence for Adam as, "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life."

To have faith or faithlessness is a free-will choice! Accordingly, there were only 2 possible responses to the sinless messiah - either he could be received and supported by the people through faith in him, or, he could be rejected by the people through faithlessness. It is God's responsibility to send the sinless messiah, but it is man's responsibility to believe and have faith in him. In line with these 2 possibilities, the bible clearly reflects the alternative paths A vs. B of history in Isaiah's Old Testament prophecies, as shown below:

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Path A - Faith; Jewish People fulfill Responsibility and unite with Jesus (King of Kings alternative):

Isaiah 9:6-7 states, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."

Isaiah 11:6-9 states, "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."

Isaiah 60:17-22 states, "For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time."

Luke 1:31-33 also expressed the outcome of faith as, "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."

Had the Jewish people had the same type of faith as Joseph and Mary had, the above prophecies would have come true 2,000 years ago, centering around Jesus and his bride and the restoration of the blessings of Genesis 1:28 would have occurred beginning the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Unfortunately, by rejecting Jesus, the Israelites failed their responsibility resulting in alternative path B occurring, discussed below. It is important to understand that, as stated in Matthew 11:12-13, "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John." Hence, the above "king of kings" prophecies were indeed projected to occur, assuming FAITH by the people, at the time of John the Baptist; that is, during the time Jesus walked the earth 2,000 years ago!

Path B - Faithlessness; Jewish People fail Responsibility and reject Jesus (Suffering Servant alternative):

Indeed, when Jesus as the long-awaited sinless messiah finally came to the people, he was most sadly treated, particularly by the religious leaders. Some of the people listened to Jesus and often marveled at him, but their response was often focused on his miracles and healing rather than the truth he brought. A few came to recognize him by the truth of his words, but the priests, scribes and Pharisees, perhaps threatened by Jesus' works, consistently criticized his teachings as being contrary to the law of Moses. They viewed his miracles as coming from Beelzebub, the devil (Matthew 12:24). They denied his messiahship by saying that he blasphemed in referring to himself as having the power to forgive sins while he walked the earth in Mark 2:5-10, "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)." IMPORTANT NOTE: Jesus did not have to die or shed blood as many wrongly believe, in order to forgive humanity's sins, he could do it and was doing it while he walked the earth! If only they had faith in him and believed in him.

By their frequent condemnation of Jesus, the Jewish institutional leadership alienated the people from him. Ultimately, they bribed one of his disciples to betray him. In this hostile context, Jesus was clearly not able to disclose all that he wanted to disclose. For example, John 3:12 states, "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" We can only imagine the heavenly things concerning the Kingdom that Jesus wished to share.

The Gospel record indicates that Jesus did everything possible to persuade people to recognize and believe in him. He had preached about the Kingdom of Heaven he had come to establish. He frequently performed miraculous works in the hope that the people might see who he was. He had loved them with his whole being. Nevertheless, critical elements of Hebrew society failed to accept him as the sinless messiah, and repudiated his words and works. Matthew reported a frustrated Jesus rebuking them for their faithlessness in 11:21, "Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes."

Jerusalem, the city of the Temple, had rejected Jesus, the true temple. To them Jesus stated in Matthew 23:37-38, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."

In Luke 19:42-44, Jesus stated, "Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."

With the slowly developing conviction that his primary (path A) task of Kingdom-building was becoming less and less possible, due to FAITHLESSNESS by the people, Jesus was forced to change his course. A critical event in this transformation was Jesus' experience on the Mount of Transfiguration. Luke reports that at one point Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, with Peter, John and James accompanying him. During his prayer Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus, and his inevitable suffering, due to FAITHLESSNESS by the people, was revealed to him as stated in Luke 9:30-31, "And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem."

The Gospels indicate that Jesus began to intimate to his disciples that he would have to go to Jerusalem and be killed. Significantly, the disciples are shocked. Matthew tells us that Jesus' chief disciple Peter was so alarmed as to exclaim in Matthew 16:22, "Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee." The obvious implication is that Jesus' remarks concerning his suffering were upsetting because such statements were in complete contrast to everything Jesus had taught up until then.

Jesus had endeavored to make his fellow countrymen recognize him by his words, his works, and his prayers, but it was all in vain. It was in this context that Jesus began to speak of the return of the "son of man." Jesus did not mention a Second Advent from the beginning of his ministry. He did so only after it became apparent that the FAITHLESSNESS of the people was so hardened that his primary intention (path A) - that of inspiring and leading the construction of a physical and spiritual Kingdom of God on earth - could not be realized 2,000 years ago.

Jesus had been rejected by God's chosen people, the very people who had fasted, prayed, offered tithes, prophesied, served God, and longed for the sinless messiah throughout their suffering.

Hence, the prophecy of Isaiah 53 came true, which states, "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

IV. Why was John the Baptist's Faithlessness and Failure so Critical?

A. Elijah, John the Baptist and the sinless messiah - Jesus

As discussed in Topic 9. "Sown a natural body;Raised a spiritual body", in paragraph "3. Saints (spirit bodies) awake and actively completing their life's mission through another living person!", it was explained that Jesus rested his ministry on his claim that John was the 2nd coming of Elijah the prophet.

Elijah was a great prophet of Israel who lived 900 years before Jesus. There is record of his having ascended into heaven on a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:11), as pictured below:

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The Old Testament did not clearly foretell when the sinless messiah would come, but clearly indicated in Malachi 4:5-6 that Elijah would come first, "before the great and dreadful day of the Lord." In the Hebrew mind, Elijah had always been expected as a forerunner to the sinless messiah. To this day, at Jewish Passover seders, a cup of wine is provided for Elijah in the anticipation of his arrival prior to that of the sinless messiah. Elijah is famed for his dramatic victory over 450 prophets of Baal on Israel's Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:20-40). However, due to the subsequent spiritual lapses and faithlessness of the people, his work had to be redone. Only after this task was accomplished could the sinless messiah come; thus, as Malachi prophesied in 4:5, Elijah had to return first.

It was under this mindset of the times, with many looking to the sky expecting Elijah to literally return from the clouds of heaven, that Jesus appeared on the scene proclaiming himself to be the sinless messiah. Hence, when Jesus disciples went out among the people of Israel, testifying to Jesus, the doubtful scribes challenged the disciples by asking where was Elijah, since Elijah must precede the sinless messiah. Naturally, the disciples turned around and asked Jesus, as stated in Matthew 17:10, "And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?" [Note: In the new testament, Elijah is translated as Elias.] Jesus replied to them in Matthew 17:11-12, "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them." Matthew 17:13 states, "Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist."

Although Jesus' own disciples could accept Jesus' explanation as believable, the religious establishment of Israel and the scribes had trouble believing it. In their minds, John the Baptist did not come down directly from heaven; yet, to be sure, they put the question directly to John as stated in John 1:19-21, "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No."

Jesus understood the serious meaning of the scribes' important question and sensing their trouble in believing his explanation, stated in Matthew 11:14-15, "And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." Yet, since John emphatically contradicted Jesus and denied it, it opened a tiny window of doubt through which Satan could slip in and begin working his will in the minds of the people, nudging them more and more towards faithlessness in Jesus. After all, Malachi 4:5 was the last major prophecy in the last book of the Old Testament, written 400 years before the birth of Jesus. The religious power brokers of the times were quite familiar with its significance. Hence, the credibility of Jesus' assertion rested to a large extent on the reputations and manner in which Jesus and John were viewed. Who are you going to believe, Jesus or John the Baptist?

First, let's remember how Jesus appeared to the Israelites of the time? Jesus was an obscure young man raised in a humble carpenter's home and was not known to be experienced in spiritual disciplines. Yet, Jesus proclaimed himself "Lord of the Sabbath" (Matthew 12:8), was rumored to be one who was destroying the law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17), was the friend of tax collectors and sinners and rumored to be a glutton and drunkard (Matthew 11:19). He put himself on equal footing with God, the father (John 14:9-11) and told the people that they had to love him more than their own mother or father, or even son or daughter, as stated in Matthew 10:37, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." It became easy for the Jewish leaders, in their increasing faithlessness, to begin a smear campaign against Jesus and even go so far as to claim Jesus was working by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons (Matthew 12:24).

John the Baptist, on the other hand, displayed much more impressive qualifications. He was the son of a priest and prominent family, and, the miracles surrounding his conception and birth were known throughout the country (Luke 1:5-66). Living on locusts and wild honey in the wilderness, he was regarded by many as leading an exemplary life of faith. In fact, John was held in such high esteem that high priests, as well as the common people, asked if he were the sinless messiah, as stated in Luke 3:15, "And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not."

Under these circumstances, the people of Israel viewed John as more credible in his emphatic denial that he was not Elijah than Jesus who told them that John the Baptist was Elijah, "if they were willing to accept it." Ultimately, they decided that Jesus' view of John as Elijah was not credible, thinking that Jesus conveniently made such a statement merely to make his claims about himself believable. Even today, many Jews still look for the coming of Elijah, as prophesied by Malachi 4:5, and reject Jesus as the sinless Messiah for this reason.

B. John the Baptist's critical mission and how he failed it through faithlessness

According to the New Testament, Jesus regarded John the Baptist as the anticipated Elijah. In Matthew 11:13-14, Jesus states, "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come." The people of Israel, believing the words of the Old Testament literally, assumed that the original Elijah would actually come down from heaven. Instead, God chose John and sent him with the mission of Elijah.

The New Testament states that John had been chosen even in the womb. Luke tells us that the angel Gabriel had announced to Zechariah that his wife, Elizabeth, would bear a son who would prepare his people for the Anointed One, as stated in Luke 1:11-22, "And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless."

The entire course of John's life was subsequently a preparation for his later task of witnessing to the sinless messiah: his lonely period in the desert, his time of meditation and study and his exercise in ascetic piety.

According to Mark and Matthew, John modeled his life style - including his clothing - after Elijah. He adopted as his own the rough camel hair garb and leather belt which were the marks of the prophetic office ever since ancient times. Like Elijah, the Baptist poured fiery judgment on the society around him. Everyone felt the effect of his withering denunciations.

In addition to all this, John was apparently aware that he was a forerunner of a greater one yet to come (John 3:28), to "make straight the way of the Lord" (John 1:23). Being a man with such a unique and important mission, John, by his own wisdom, should have known that he himself was Elijah, and not contradicted the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Many of the chief priests as well as the people of Israel respected John to the extent that some thought he might even be the sinless messiah; yet, John corrected them in Luke 3:15-16, "And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." Hence, if John had supported Jesus' testimony by proclaiming that he was Elijah in lock-step with Jesus' assertion about him, then Jesus' family background and seeming lack of experience in spiritual disciplines would not have mattered. Yet, John's purpose was to be more than a character reference for Jesus. All four Gospels agree that John attracted large crowds and had a substantial following of his own disciples, as shown in the picture below:

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In John 1:29-34, John the Baptist stated, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God." Hence, God gave John the Baptist a direct revelation that Jesus was indeed the Son of God so that John knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was the sinless messiah. This was no mere dream, like Joseph and Mary had unyielding faith in, but a message from God given directly to John, awake and in broad daylight! Yet, although John did initially testify during that moment with his words to Jesus Christ, regretfully, he did not testify with his actions throughout his life with faith in Jesus of the caliber of Joseph and Mary!

After meeting the sinless messiah, as expressed by Jesus, we must love him with all our mind and actions even more than our own mothers and fathers and sons and daughters, throughout our entire lives. This was especially true for John the Baptist, who really was the first person to know beyond a shadow of a doubt who Jesus really was. Hence, John should have immediately began serving and attending to Jesus as one of Jesus' most supportive disciples and should have yielded all of his followers to Jesus by his own example.

Yet, John began vacillating in his behavior toward Jesus. For example, even though Jesus was eagerly searching for followers, as stated in Luke 10:2, "Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest," John the Baptist and his followers remained separate and apart from Jesus. Matthew even reports a dispute arose between the disciples of Christ and those of the Baptist in Matthew 9:14, "Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?" As another example of John not following Jesus, John 3:22-26 states, "After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him." John's response to his disciples in John 3:30, "He must increase, but I must decrease," clearly showed his misunderstanding of his role in relation to the sinless messiah. As Jesus stated in Matthew 10:37, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;" hence, loving the messiah in the manner Jesus described is not a "he must increase, but I must decrease" situation. It is not a "he wins/I lose" scenario, but rather, "he must increase, and I will be right there helping him to increase," which is a "he wins/I win" scenario; that is, "win/win" for all. The bottom line is that John, due to his own attitude problem, refused to be a follower of his younger cousin, Jesus!

John was arrested and put into prison, not for witnessing, serving, attending or testifying about Jesus as the sinless messiah, but for his own message that had nothing to do with the activities of Jesus - the greatest activities in the history of mankind! Why many Christians convince themselves that John had some mission more important than directly helping the sinless Son of God is beyond comprehension.

As stated in Matthew 3:11-14, "For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her. And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother." Ultimately, as shown below, John was beheaded over an issue that had nothing to do with helping the sinless messiah who was walking in his midst:

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Just before he was beheaded, while waiting in prison, having lived his life without fulfilling his mission to serve Jesus, John began to have doubts concerning his life and sent his disciples to Jesus to ask, as stated in Matthew 11:3, "And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" This scripture proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that John had fallen into utter faithlessness toward Jesus! John was given a crystal clear, daytime vision from God that absolutely answered this question when he baptized Jesus. From a mere nighttime dream, Joseph and Mary clung to God's message and unwaveringly acted upon it for years; yet, John has completely forgotten his awake, day-time vision from God whereby the dove descended; and worse, pesters Jesus with such a ridiculous, FAITHLESS question about that which God had long ago, clearly answered for him.

Jesus was indignant at such faithlessness by John and answered in Matthew 11:4-6, "Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me."

Hence, the great John the Baptist, the prophet living at the time the sinless messiah walked the earth, who had a direct revelation as to who he was, who was literally in a position to give Jesus the keys to the city, so to speak, ended his life beheaded as a wager for a dance, questioning and doubting who Jesus really was, clearly lost in faithlessness! Common sense tells us that if John had served Jesus well, fulfilling his responsibility, he would have become Jesus' chief disciple and that his life would not have ended in such a meaningless fashion. Truly, there are negative consequences for FAITHLESSNESS! John the Baptist, who's life was prepared by God to have the faith toward Jesus similar to that of Joseph and Mary, instead became the very faithless linchpin that Satan was looking for to knock the wheels off the bandwagon of the sinless messiah.

C. Jesus' assessment of John the Baptist

While John was in prison, the bible records Jesus as assessing John's role in a very negative light. Many have tried to spin Jesus' assessment of John into something positive; yet, it is very clear that Jesus was very disappointed in John's faithlessness and his failure to unite with him. For example, in Matthew 11:11, Jesus stated, "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Clearly, Jesus said this because, John was born at the most important time in human history and had the unique privilege to serve Jesus directly in the flesh. Common sense tells us that John should have brought everything he had - his experience, his knowledge, his large following - and offered them to Jesus, the sinless messiah. Because of his great influence and popularity - an influence that extended to the religious establishment, God could have truly used John as a catalyst to lead many influential people to Jesus. It is clear from the biblical record that being such a catalyst is the very reason why God had blessed John to become a great prophet. Hence, Jesus described John as "the greatest born of women" because the opportunity before him was such a great one. But the sad fact is that John failed to seize the moment and grasp the opportunity; hence, John became "less than the least in the Kingdom of heaven." Spin it all you want to make this a positive, but, it is not a complement at all by Jesus. Actually, Jesus defined what "least in the kingdom of heaven" meant in Matthew 5:19, which states, "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Sadly, John "knewest not the time of thy visitation."

In another example of Jesus' disappointment with John, he stated in Matthew 11:12, "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Once again, you can spin it all you want; yet, there is nothing positive that Jesus is saying about John. As expressed earlier, common sense as well as all of the biblical evidence tells us that if John had served Jesus well, fulfilling his responsibility, he would have become Jesus' chief disciple; but, because he failed, Peter, a humble Galilean fisherman of no political or religious influence became the leader of the Twelve. Even without any prior contact or knowledge of Jesus, Matthew 4:18-20 states, "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him." Because John failed to fulfill his critical mission, he unknowingly relinquished his glorious place in the Kingdom to the most humble believer; and, was subsequently beheaded, as vividly shown above.

D. The motive for John the Baptist's failure

It appears that John's pride and ego blinded his better judgment and caused him to forget and lose faith in the very vision that God gave him in John 1:29-34, "And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." Although John testified that day that he saw the spirit, like a dove, descend and remain on Jesus, over time he vascillated back to his original perspective of "I knew him not."

Possibly John let doubts about some of the things Jesus was saying get the best of him; after all, Jesus' teachings were quite out of the ordinary, such that he was accused of undermining conventional Hebrew morality and Mosaic teachings. Observing Jesus' background and achievement, John may have gathered that the long-awaited sinless messiah could not be as commonly human as was Jesus - of questionable birth by Mary (who was the cousin of John's mother, Elisabeth, making Jesus John's younger 2nd cousin by 6 months or so), dubious education, a mere carpenter, and without a well-developed following. In addition, John may have compared himself to Jesus and found the comparison quite unflattering to this alleged, sinless messiah. While John was the son of a Temple priest, Jesus was formally uneducated and frequently seemed to contradict the Hebrew scriptures. Also, the followers around Jesus were men of little education and competence. John lived a very ascetic life while Jesus ate, drank and stayed with tax collectors, prostitutes and others considered undesirable by society.

Possibly John may have been too influenced by the prevailing conception of the messiah-to-come that permeated Jewish thinking at the time of Jesus. Generally speaking, the expectation was an apocalyptic one. It was a period of eager anticipation of imminent dramatic events, both a sense of despair about history and yet a hope that God would act dramatically to change things utterly and forever. Influence by the Book of Daniel, many sincere believers of that day literally expected the sinless messiah to come on the clouds of heaven, as written in Daniel 7:13-14, "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."

Finally, short of such a cataclysmic event as the sinless messiah coming on the clouds of heaven, other Israelites strongly believed that the messiah would come as a forceful, violent, warring, mighty, military deliverer who would raise the standard of national freedom and would lead a revolt to defeat and drive out the Romans. For those who held this view, a "prince of peace" messiah made no sense.

Whatever the reasons, John the Baptist failed because of his own disbelief, ignorance and FAITHLESSNESS toward Jesus. Moreover, his personal FAITHLESSNESS led not only to his individual loss and beheading, but also opened the window Satan had long been waiting for to enter the people's minds and hearts so that he could manipulate them to do his will, which was to kill the sinless messiah and prevent him from "taking root like a mustard seed." Hence, Satan's efforts at utilizing his indirect method #2 on the 3rd try proved successful for him.

V. Due to Faithlessness, a Ransom must be paid to Satan

God truly loved his chosen people, the Israelites, who were to be the foundation of faith on a national level like Joseph and Mary were to Jesus on a personal level; that is, to protect the messiah and provide a fertile environment where he could "take root" and grow like a mustard seed. Many times God prophesied the coming of the messiah, and He even warned the people to remain alert and to wait for him. God even prepared a great witness, John the Baptist, to testify to him when he arrived on the scene. In fact, the nation of Israel was passionately longing for the messiah to arrive. Tragically, even with all of that preparation, they "knewest not the time of thy visitation." (Luke 19:44)

Jesus described the situation in John 3:14 as, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up." It is important to note that Moses had to lift up the serpent in the wilderness because of faithlessness, which was not God's will; so, similarly, Jesus would have to be lifted up because of faithlessness, which once again, was not God's will. If the Jews had not fallen into faithlessness in the wilderness, Moses never would have had to go through the exercise of lifting up the serpent to save them.

Christians have traditionally believed that Jesus' death on the cross was predestined as the original plan of God. No, it was not! It was a grievous error to crucify Jesus Christ. The crucifixion of Jesus was the consequence of the sheer ignorance of the people of Israel concerning God's dispensation. God's will was clearly for the chosen people to accept, have faith, and believe in Jesus and to receive Complete Salvation as described above. Clearly, the Kingdom of Heaven could have begun 2000 years ago with the restoration of the blessings of Genesis 1:28 beginning with Jesus as the sinless messiah, if only the people had not been FAITHLESS!

In Matthew 21:33-43, Jesus stated the following parable descriptive of the situation, "Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."

However, once it was clear that the chosen people had rejected the sinless messiah, Satan had claimed them and thus could do as he pleased with the world. Hence, as stated in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." God wants all mankind, not just one son, Jesus!

Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus wept and prayed three times the cup of suffering might pass from him, not because he was a weak human as many Christians wrongly teach! The first martyr, Stephen, who died by stoning, went to his death with a joyful heart. Likewise, it is said that Peter, faced as Jesus was by crucifixion, reacted simply by requesting he be allowed to be crucified upside down. Even beyond the religious sphere, the revolutionary war patriot Nathan Hale was sorry he could "die only once for his country." How dare some Christians portray Jesus as less heroic and brave than even these individuals. Jesus prayed so desperately, even three times, because he knew his death on the cross was not God's primary will, as expressed above as "path - A" of Isaiah's prophesies, which was to become the King of Kings beginning 2000 years ago, thus beginning the Kingdom of Heaven on earth at that time.

We may also note that if Jesus' crucifixion had been God's predetermined plan, the role of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus, should have been a heroic act in God's sight. Yet, Luke 22:3 clearly states that, "Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve." Matthew 27:3-5 states, "Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself." Clearly, Judas was not doing the will of God to betray Jesus. In Matthew 26:24, Jesus stated, "The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born."

Clearly, the cross was not the primary intention of Jesus nor the will of God; yet, it became necessary because of the faithlessness of the Jews. Jesus came to restore and fulfill God's original ideal, as expressed in Genesis 1:28.

Through the cross, Satan was finally able to do to Jesus what he had wanted to do to him even as a baby, he just had to wait until the window of faithlessness came open, which was cracked by John the Baptist's faithlessness that let the devil's winds blow in.

John 18:38-40 states, "Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber." Mark 15:7 states that, "And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection." John 19:1-3 states, "Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands." These verses of the bible are enacted in the video below:

2. John 19:4-22 states, "Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written." These verses from the bible are enacted in the video below:

It should be noted that Pilate's wife said in Matthew 27:19, "When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him."

VI. The Victory of the Resurrection

Had John the Baptist fulfilled his mission by uniting with Jesus through faith, and had the Jewish people done the will of God and "believed in him whom He had sent" through faith, Jesus would not have been crucified and world history would have unfolded along very different lines. Isaiah's prophesies of Jesus as a "King of Kings" would have become true 2,000 years ago.

Following Jesus as the sinless messiah, along with his bride, the people of Israel would have become the enlightened center of a glorious new world. The pain and conflict that humanity has faced over the past 2,000 years would have been avoided. Also, since the sinless messiah would have been able to deliver COMPLETE SALVATION as defined above, there would be no need for the prophesied Second Coming of Christ. Yet, as a result of the crucifixion, the physical selves of mankind are still subject to satanic invasion, as St. Paul expressed in Romans 7:14-23, "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."

However, because Jesus never lost his faith in God, even during his crucifixion, God was able to resurrect him. The resurrection gave new religious life to those who unite with Jesus in spirit. Because God sacrificed the son He loved the most for the sake of those who rejected him, Satan no longer had a base from which to accuse God. The cross was Satan's victory, but the resurrection was God's. Through the resurrection, based on Jesus' unyielding and undying faith, God could begin a "spiritual salvation" through the resurrected Jesus. Even though a physical hell remains on earth, still under the yoke of Satan, Jesus was able to "prepare a place for us" in the spiritual world. (See Topic 9. "Sown a natural body;Raised a spiritual body")

To inherit God's love and grace, we need parents who can represent God to us as we are growing and maturing. Adam and Eve should have been the first parents to provide such guidance; however, as has been discussed, they passed on values of selfishness and finger pointing, devoid of God's love due to their original sin. In this sense, Jesus came as the "everlasting father" (Isaiah 9:6) in place of Adam; and, he is able to provide this role spiritually because of the victory of the resurrection.

Just as for physical birth, for spiritual birth to occur the comforting love of a father and mother is needed. Consequently, after the crucifixion and resurrection, God sent the holy spirit to inspire and comfort the human heart, leading us back to God. The Holy Spirit is traditionally known as the comforter. Through give and take of the love of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, spiritual rebirth out of the spiritual lineage of Adam and Eve into the spiritual lineage of Jesus and the Holy Spirit is available to all who love the Lord, Jesus. As expressed in 1 Peter 1:17-25, "And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."

Jesus expressed the necessity of re-birth in John 3:3 as, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Hence, through the victory of the resurrection, partial salvation, which is only spiritual, is available to believers, as diagrammed below:

click to enlarge

VII. The Second Coming of Christ

Although much more will be discussed concerning the Second Coming of Christ in future topics on this blogsite, Complete Restoration or Complete Salvation as defined above requires more than just spiritual rebirth. The division between spirit and body so poignantly described by Paul (Romans 7) needs to be completely healed. This further dimension of rebirth will take place through the Second Coming.

Furthermore, the Second Coming of Christ will restore the blessings of Genesis 1:28 on earth as it is in heaven, as expressed in Revelations 19:7, "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready."

VIII. Historical Notes

During the forty years from Jesus' death to the destruction of the temple (70 C.E.) the Jews were divided over whether to humbly submit to Roman rule or rebel and throw off the Roman yoke. Many Pharisees preferred a peaceful course, but the Zealot party grew in strength, until ultimately they convinced the people to revolt.

During this time, Jewish-Christians of Jerusalem preached Jesus' peaceful message of the Sermon on the Mount. They taught non-resistance to Roman rule. One of the Romans' most irksome practices was to force Jewish men to carry their equipment. To this Jesus said, "If anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile." (Matthew 5:41) Jesus refused to resist paying taxes, saying, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:21) It is conceivable that the Jewish-Christians represented a genuine peace movement, vying for the hearts and minds of the Jerusalemites to steer them away from a tragic war with Rome.

During this period Judaism had many diverse streams, and the Jewish-Christians under James the brother of Jesus were tolerated and even respected by many Jews. But in time the Jewish leadership hardened against them and the Jewish-Christians became isolated, their message of peace ignored. The Jews revolted against Rome, and they were crushed, with Jerusalem reduced to ruins. The Romans put down the Jewish Revolt with great cruelty, destroying Jerusalem, killing over a million people, and deporting hundreds of thousands as slaves. Due to the faithlessness of the Jews, destruction came as Jesus predicted in Luke 19:42-44, "Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."

Sadly, we can only imagine the different courses history could have taken had the Jewish-Christians, lead by James the brother of Jesus, prevailed with their message of peace rather than the forceful, violent strategy of the zealots. Even more so, we can only dream of the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus and his bride could have begun and led, had John the Baptist and the Jews united with and supported Jesus, the sinless messiah rather than having him crucified through their faithlessness.

Our early Christian brethren were persecuted by the Romans for nearly 400 years, being fed to lions in the coliseums and enduring other atrocities against them. Eusebius of Caesarea states that Paul was beheaded in the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero; this event has been dated to the year 64 C.E., when Rome was devastated by a fire. Tradition holds that the Roman authorities sentenced Peter to death by crucifixion. According to a story in the apocryphal Acts of Peter, he was crucified head down. The Roman Martyrology assigns June 29 as the feast day of both Peter and Paul.

By their strong faith, without using violence or weapons, Christianity conquered the Roman Empire and became its official religion.

Galerius issued an edict permitting the practice of the Christian religion under his rule in April 311. In 313 Constantine I and Licinius announced toleration of Christianity in the Edict of Milan. Constantine would become the first Christian emperor. By 391, under the reign of Theodosius I, Christianity had become the state religion. Constantine I, the first emperor to embrace Christianity, was also the first emperor to openly promote the newly legalized religion.

In the end, it was the fervent faith of the early Christians, who were persecuted and fed to lions, that allowed God and His angels to change the hearts of the Roman Empire. They understood that faith is the key to unlocking the spiritual power that God and His angels could unleash on the Romans to change their hearts, not physical force and violence, as the zealots thought. If only the Jews could have had such fervent faith in Jesus, as was clearly God's will for them to have done. Even more spiritual power would have been unleashed, changing the hearts of the Roman Empire within Jesus' lifetime. Today, 2,000 years later, we would be living in the restored, global Garden of Eden, called the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Instead, we now look forward to and await the 2nd coming of Christ, blessed through his undying, unyielding faith even hanging on the cross, victoriously resurrected by God and gaining spiritual salvation through re-birth for all who believe in, follow and have faith in him until he comes again, as he has promised.