Good Morning from England! This is the largest digestible I've written. It came into being after many hours in prayer. And it's for each and every one of you.
bite size chunks of the Word
Beg To Differ
The teachings and preaching of Jesus and the continued teachings by the Apostles and the early church did not contradict the Word of God. Rather, they said the same thing as God. They proved the Word of God to be true, and God backed up His Word with signs and wonders and miracles. And the world was set alight, burning brightly with the light of the gospel of Christ crucified, a fire which continued to smoulder and burst forth in new flames each time satan has tried to put it out. It was set alight by teaching the same words Jesus taught, by preaching the same words Jesus preached. So whose words did Jesus preach and teach? Whose words contained this kind of raw power?
Jesus often confirmed that He always spoke the Word of God, the Father’s words, not His own, as
He prayed here in the garden of Gethsamene on the night of His arrest,
“I have given them Thy Word : and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” John 17:43.
Jesus, followed by the Apostles and the early church, preached and taught what God says, and this gospel was against the traditions of men, the traditions shaped through time, based on mental reasonings, concepts and philosophies. The Jews embraced these teachings and traditions instead of the truth, and as we are told in the Bible, their foolish hearts were darkened.
Their hearts were so darkened, and their minds so far removed from God, that they chose to believe a lie, and they did not recognise their Messiah, the Holy One of Israel. They put Him to death on a tree, and laid Him in a tomb, fulfilling all the prophecies about Him.
“And though they found no cause of death in Him, yet desired they Pilate that He should be slain.
And when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulchre.” Acts 13:29.
But as we know, Jesus did not stay dead. God raised Him up from the dead in a show of great power.
Yet, He remained in the bowels of the earth for a full three days and three nights. The Bible is adamant about this. It tells us Jesus was dead the same amount of time Jonas was in the fish, and we know that Jonas was in the fish for three full days and three full nights. Here is the prophecy of Jesus,
“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the fish’s belly(sea monster); so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40.
Jesus is specific here. He makes no bones about it. He was to remain dead for three days and three nights, and after this amount of time had passed, then He would be raised from the dead, not one moment before, not even one second before. And He is saying even more than that. Jesus is saying that this is a main sign that He was who He claimed to be. It was a very important sign to the Jews, and still will be. It should be the same to us, as it is proof that God does things exactly according to His Word, that God speaks only truth not lies. In verse 39 Jesus tells us,
“…and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.” Matthew 12:39.
What does the Bible show us about this prophecy? First, it shows us that the Jews were afraid Jesus would fulfill this prophecy, and acted in order to prevent it from happening. Matthew 27:64 tells this story,
“Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day…”
To accomplish this, a huge stone was rolled over(by many men, as it was very heavy), and placed in front of the entrance. The entrance was then sealed with the official seal, and guards were placed on either side of it. Yet, nothing man can do can stop the power of God. That stone was easily rolled away when Jesus was resurrected, and those guards, seeing the Angel of the Lord, became as dead men. When the guards revived, they made a beeline for the Elders and chief priests, telling them the incredible things that had happened. This even included a second big earthquake. But did the Jewish leaders choose to believe that Jesus was the Messiah then? No. They stayed with the lie, and bribed these men with massive amounts of money to change their original story, and to say the same thing they, the leaders, said. According to scripture, this lie based on lies is the story still believed in Israel to this day.
When the women(who walked with Jesus) came to the tomb in the pre-dawn darkness on that Sunday morning, we see that Jesus was already raised, as the angel in the tomb testifies,
“He is not here, but risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
And they remembered his words.” Luke 24:6-8.
What did the women do? They remembered Jesus’ words. What isn’t said is that they believed, but this is what is stressed by the power of these five words: “And they remembered his words.” They remembered, and they believed.
But, what do our traditions teach us? That Jesus died on a Friday and was raised early Sunday morning. But this tradtion creates a bit of a problem, because any way we count those days and nights, we cannot make them three and three,
because they are not three. Now, if I went around telling people that three plus one is five, I would soon be corrected, yet not many of us have ever questioned the Friday to Sunday teaching.
The Bible is firm about the three day, three night period. Since this is a fact, what day do we determine Jesus died? It was not Friday, the day before the regular weekly Sabbath. But, the Jewish religion has more than one Sabbath. There are Special Sabbaths. This one, the Feast of the unleavened Bread, falls on different days each year, but that year, it fell on Thursday, which was from Wednesday sunset to Thursday sunset. After it ended, then the weekly Sabbath took place, so there were two Sabbaths celebrated the week of Jesus’ crucifixion. He was crucified on Wednesday, died at 3 pm, and was hurriedly wrapped in linen, along with some spices, and placed in the tomb before sunset that night.
The whole of the church has believed and celebrates that Jesus died on a Friday, which is called “Good Friday”, and this would only make Him dead for one and a half days and one and a half nights. Some may say, “One and a half is not three on my fingers, either. But, so? What’s the difference? It’s a trivial point.”
Some may find it trivial, yet, it makes a difference to God because it differs from the Word of God; it contradicts it. And God does not lie. It is impossible for Him to lie. Jesus said it, and it is prophecy which has been fulfilled. Those of us who have ever studied Bible prophecy know that each one, every single prediction, is always fulfilled 100% with no errors. Therefore, this teaching of man is not true. What are we told to do? The book of 2 Corinthians gives us excellent advice on this. We must cast it forth like the evil it is, for any piece of untruth, no matter how small or large our minds tell us it is must be cast down. Untruth is a high thing that exhalts itself against God, as we are told here,
“Casting down imaginations(reasonings, traditions, doctrines, philosophies)that exhalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5.
That the three day, three night truth be re-established in the body of Christ is important, as the three days
and three nights sign makes a difference to someone else as well. It makes a difference to the Jews, and if we hold to the “Good Friday” tradition, it has the power of sending some Jews to Hell who may have otherwise believed. Why? Because it is
the fulfilment of prophecy, which mirrors the Last Days prophecy about Israel coming to the Lord, found in Hosea 6:1-2. This is also three days, same as Jonas was in the fish, same as Jesus was in the bowels of the earth.
God even tells us how He will bring the Jews to Himself. He will use us, the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy-- us, the people who were not a people, according to Romans 10:19,
“But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that
are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.”
I never understood how God intended to do this, as I have never seen the Jews provoked to jealousy by the Christian church as we have always known it to be. Not once, not in the slightest way. Have you? But I understand this fact perfectly now. Still, how will God accomplish this? He doesn’t give us every detail of His plan. Through prophecy that also demonstrates the first gift of the Spirit, as listed in 1 Corinthians, chapter 12, He normally only reveals a word of His wisdom, a small portion. Yet, He does give us enough wisdom to know the how, and that “how” is amazing, triggering great excitement in my heart. He will use us to provoke them. This has not happened yet. But it is on the very brink of happening. We will not provoke them to jealousy if our teachings are based on heresies, but only by teaching and preaching the entire gospel of Christ crucified, down to the letter. The gospel of Christ crucified is exactly what was preached in Bible days, and we see that God backed up their preaching with signs and wonders and miracles. What does the book of Acts say was the results? Repeatedly we are told,
“Then the high priest and all his associates…were filled
with jealousy.” Acts 5:17.
Picture the scene. These leaders were the same ones who were envious of Jesus, whom they saw as their rival. They thought they had managed to do away with him, yet here were his disciples preaching Him, and performing signs, wonders and miracles, drawing all the eyes of the city of Jerusalem away from the Jewish faith to the crucified Jesus. Before their very eyes, these lowly, unlearned fishermen from Galilee were performing even greater works than Jesus. And not only that, they were contending it was Jesus, the same Jesus they killed, who was doing the works!
And we are to do the same. This is how God will do what He says He will do. God is raising us up to be one glorious body without spot or blemish, in these Last Days. And He’s doing it right now! We are seeing a great Jesus explosion spreading across the earth, gaining in momentum and power. The last and greatest move of God has begun. And you and I will take part in it. We are chosen by Him, same as the Jews, thanks to Jesus. As is spoken on the witness stand in courts throughout the land, “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
God has given us His truth: His Word is this truth. Also important, He has given us spiritual discernment so we can tell the difference between what is His truth, and what is not, and do away with the “not”.
“and this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in (full, complete) knowledge and in all judgement(spiritual discernment), that we may approve(prove) things that are excellent(differing)…” Philippians 1:9b-10a.
I like that. So we may prove the things differing. We are to “discern”, to perceive, to know. These words speak of knowing or perceiving the truth in our hearts or spirits, not our in our heads, or with mental reasonings as with world-knowledge. The same word, discern, as we know is used of the Holy Spirit and His teaching us. For the truth, the Word of God is only spiritually discerned. We cannot grasp hold of it with our minds.
We are to discern so we may prove, or show the Word of God is true by our words, our lives, our deeds. By throwing aside the weights, or the traditions of men that don’t speak the same thing as God, we can see we are in preparation. As God said to me, “Your testimony will show them”, I say to you, “YOUR testimony will show them.” Who will it show? Many people in the world, of all ethnic groups, because every ethnic group will be represented in heaven, though many have never even heard about Christ yet. But they soon will! By way of us, the body of Christ. And so will Israel. They gave us the gospel of Christ crucified, and we will give it back to them. The gospel will have come full circle.
See the beauty of this? God’s plan is so very beautiful, and He is fulfilling it through us.
Our testimony shows that God is God. He is the same God, the great I AM, YHWH, Abraham worshipped and made Covenant with; the same God, I AM, who brought the Jews out of bondage in Egypt. And He is the same God, I AM, YHWH, who brought us out of spiritual bondage to satan.
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death, he might destroy(bring to nothing, cancel out, make void) him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage(slavery).” Hebrews 2:14-15.
He is Jesus, our Savior. He is YHWH. He is the great I AM.
I’m aware that the teaching of three full days and three full nights may not be a popular one, as it goes against the teachings and traditions of man. There is comfort in familiarity. But, didn’t I tell you some of God’s teachings are not comfortable? Feathers will be ruffled, and eyebrows raised. Yet, I’m hearing(in my spirit), “Didn’t Jesus teach peace? Doesn’t the entire theme of the Bible teach peace?” Yes, but not the same peace we know peace to be. The peace Jesus taught was not simply defined as peace, the absence of war, which is the one the world teaches. He taught “Shalom”, and it is rich and multiple in definition:
Contentment. Completeness. Wholeness. Well-being. Fullness. Harmony. Perfectness. Rest.
Jesus is Shar Shalom, our Prince of Peace. The peace He taught and preached matches easily that of the zoe life He died to give us, which is ours IN HIM, as He is life, and He is our life. Compare the meaning of Shalom, Yeshua(Jesus), and the Hebrew and Greek words for Salvation, “Yasha”, “Sozo” and “Soteria”, and we discover that they all mesh together perfectly. Their meaning is one and the same. In reality, this is true,
“…Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12.
As for peace not war, Jesus warned that His words, His teachings, will bring division, a sword.
"Think not that I am to send peace on earth; but a sword.
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Mark 10:34-36.
A sword? Jesus’ teachings are a sword? What a revelation. The Word of God is a sword!
“For the Word of God is quick(alive, lively), and powerful(mighty), and sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing unto the division of the soul(mind) and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.
The sword of the Spirit, the Word
of God, brings division between us, His church, and what? The world, which is the enemy of God, as is clear throughout the teachings of Jesus and the Epistles(letters) to us. But I’ll only give you one verse, James 4:4.
“Know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity( enemies against) with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world(goes by its ways, speaks its words) is the enemy of God.”
Jesus brought division when he was here on earth. He set the then known
world on its ear. He turned it upside down, and wrong-side out by His teachings, His preaching, and by the miracles worked by His hands. He continues to do this through us, His body. Now, in this last moment of time, BEFORE the Rapture, when He comes in the
clouds, gives a shout, and we, His church, are instantly removed from the earth to heaven to be with Him forever. Until the Rapture, we herald [we proclaim] His second coming. We introduce it, the same way John the Baptist introduced him the first time.
We speak the same thing as God. We speak the truth with salt, in meekness and in love.
But, don’t take my word for it. Don’t take any man’s word for gospel truth. Take only God’s Word, and believe it. No matter what. Don’t take our word for it, go instead to the Word of God. Warning! There are many deceivers and false teachers, teachings, and traditions out there. Yes, even in the church, especially in the church! We must be as gentle as doves, and as wary as serpents. Be gentle, be cautious, stay alert and watchful, and more so as the Day of Christ Jesus draws closer and closer, for this is not a test run, this race we run to heaven, this is the real thing. And heaven is much nearer to us than when we first believed. Heaven is even at the door.
Soon after God told me “Your testimony will show them”, I asked Him what He wanted me to do. He gave me this verse from 2 Timothy.
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15.
I say the same to you-- study and meditate upon the Word of God, the Word of truth. Take small portions at a time—no more quests to read the entire Bible through in a year. Study, God
tells us, not scan. And prove, prove, prove! Not by mental reasonings of man, but by the Holy Spirit who dwells within you. Go to the Holy Spirit, our teacher. He is the one who gives us discernment. The Bible says that no man need teach us. This doesn’t
mean we don’t need Evangelists, preachers and teachers. This means we need to check everything out in these Last Days, and prove the things that differ, asking ourselves, ” Is this true? Does the Bible teach this? If so, where is it?” Then
open the eyes and ears of your spirit, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you confirm what you have heard with the Word of God. If God says it, then believe it, over anything else, and anyone else. Once you know the truth, share it with others.
Prove the things that differ. Let’s separate the teachings of man from the teachings of God. Let’s separate the traditions of man from the traditions of God. Let’s divide the powerless gospel from the power-filled gospel of Christ crucified.
In meekness and in love, let’s “beg to differ” with the world. Bring on that sword of division. Trust in its sureness; feel the sharpness of its blade. Then whet this mighty sword, and thrust it into every person you know. Aw, go on, take a stab, and pierce through that division between soul(mind) and spirit. Beg to differ. Say the same thing as God. We will preach Christ crucified, we will live it and breathe it, and God will back up His Word with signs, wonders and miracles, just as He always has. We do our part, and let God do His, through us. We tell; He does. I will show them by my testimony and you will show them by your testimony that the Word of God is true. You and I will prove that God IS God.