THE UNVEILING OF ABRAHAM’S CONCEALED COVENANT BEGINS
OBJECTIVE: #1) To explore the timeline of man. #2) To explore how Jesus fulfilled prophesy. #3) (Luke 1:35) To explore how the prophesy (to foretell events) hidden in the word overshadow took thirty years to complete. #4) To explain why the four Gospel books differ but arrive at the same conclusion. #5) To explore Jesus’ ministry.
NOTE 1: The words mystery or mysteries are used twenty seven times in the New Testament. (Greek definition of mystery: a secret of which initiation is necessary.) (English definition: Initiation is defined as a rite of passage marking entrance or acceptance into a group or society, sometimes to the point one is considered born again when joining because they are considered a new person by their acceptance.) The words mystery or mysteries are not used in the Old Testament.
The words secret, secrets and secretly are used throughout both Testaments and have various applications and definitions too numerous to explore here.
(Rom. 16:25) “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.”
(Col. 1:16-17) God created all things and He has all power and authority over all things. Sometimes God chooses to use mysteries concerning the accomplishment of His plans. It is obvious God is not so weak He must hide things from devil, angel or man. God is all-powerful and He does things the way He wants too and it is foolish to question His intellect, will, purpose, method or style. (2Pet. 1:1-10 keyword: knowledge- used 5 times) But by study, prayer, dedication, effort and obedience we can seek the knowledge of God.
Remember that the New Testament had not yet been written. BUT (2Tim. 3:16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God. There is much controversy and hullabaloo by non-believers about the truth of scripture SO (read this-> Isa. 59:1-4) Is the Lord’s hand so short He cannot get His word to His people? Your eternal destination is based upon your decision.
(Gen. 2:1 thru 3:24) Adam and Eve had it all in the garden in Eden, they threw it away by choice. (Gen. 4:4-5) God had respect to Able’s offering of blood. The website: centenary1806.com/timeline/Biblical_Timeline gives these dates. In 1,656 years mankind had thrown it all away again and God rescued eight people with Noah’s ark (Gen. 6:8 & 8:20-21) because Noah was righteous.
Mankind started over. AND: In 2,107 years from year one after Eden God made a covenant with Abraham that started a particular race of people.
Between the years of 2,433 (Moses’ birth) to 2,553 (Moses’ death) Judaism was founded. Jesus Christ is born 4,005 years after Eden. End of website info. It is 2016 Anno Domini, 4005 + 2016 = 6,021. BUT: According to the Jewish reckoning of time as of this date on the Gregorian calendar, Sat. Dec. 31, 2016, it is year 5,777 on the Jewish calendar. The Jews have their own method of reckoning time. It is on the internet.
The point being made is that God takes hundreds and even thousands of years to develop whatever He is accomplishing with mankind. In the above timeframe you can see God is steadily making a way for mankind to approach closer and closer to Him and He is proving that mankind cannot approach Him by man’s own devices.
God does not take advise or orders from mankind He is God and He can do anything He so desires to accomplish His purpose. That is why only God can give mankind a way to develop a relationship with Him. Mankind then has the freedom to choose to come to God through God’s way or to shun God, (John 8:42-47 & 14:30, 2Cor. 4:3-4 & 11:13-15 and Rev. 12:9) go his own way and accept Satan the Devil. Death makes sure there is no third choice. END OF NOTE.
JESUS IN PROPHESY
Please read Matt. 5:17. This one special baby, JESUS, who is the Son of God, has fulfilled all the Old Testament prophesies that:
(Isa. 7:14) a Virgin would conceive and bear a Son they would call Immanuel (with us is God) and (Isaiah 9:6) His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. (Mic. 5:1-2) The Ruler of Israel would come from Bethlehem, (Genesis 3:15) from the promised seed, and (Job 19:25-27 & Isa. 35:10) He would be called the Redeemer (Job 33:24) who is a Ransom for many.
(Luke 3:23-31) King David lived thirty-three generations before Jesus and wrote (Psalms Ch. 22) the prophecy of (V.1) the exact words Jesus would speak while He was on the cross, (V.7) they would laugh and mock Jesus, (V.14-16) what Jesus would feel during His crucifixion (V.18) and they would gamble for His clothes. These seven prophesies and dozens and dozens more were given hundreds and even thousands of years before the birth of the Christ Child in Bethlehem.
There are dozens and dozens of physical (objective) prophecies in the Old Testament in which Jesus Christ is typified by objects such as these seven:
(Gen. 7:7) the ark of salvation that Noah built, (Gen. 22:13) the substitute sacrifice, (Ex. 16:4-15) manna, the bread of life that came from Heaven (Ex. 17:1-6) the rock of Meribah from which flowed the water of life when Moses the Jew smote it, (Ex. 25:22) the mercy seat in the tabernacle, (Num. 21:8) the serpent on the pole (Judg.14:8 & Rev. 5:5-14 esp. V.5, 6 and 9) and the Judean lion in whose body was found honey (salvation) after it was slain by Sampson the Jew.
The Jews had sacrificed “by bringing forth blood by cutting, by passing between flesh”, millions upon millions of animals on their alters throughout the centuries to atone for their sins, were still doing it and each one of those animals typified the coming sacrifice of Jesus, (John 1: 29-36 and Rev. 21:27 & 22:3) the Lamb of God, the promised Savior, on the cross at Calvary.
In the Old Testament physical (living) prophesies Jesus is portrayed by dozens of men who delivered Israel from the hands of oppressors and these seven deliverers are examples:
(Judg. 3:9-10) Othniel delivered Israel from Chushan-rish-a-thaim, king of Mesopotamia; (Judg. 3:15-30) Ehud delivered Israel from Eglon, king of Moab; (Judg. 4:6 & 24) Barak delivered Israel from Jaban, king of Canaan; (Judg. 7:1-25) Gideon delivered Israel from Oreb and Zeeb, the princes of Midian; (Judg. 11:29-33) Jephthah delivered Israel from Ammon; (Judg. 20:28-48) Phinehas delivered Israel from the Belial worshipping, rebellious tribe of Benjamin; AND:
In the below prophesy is hidden what the complete unveiling of God’s covenant with Abraham will reveal and accomplish except how far in time the covenant extends.
(Ruth 2:1 thru 4:15) Boaz (a type of Christ) purchased Ruth the Gentile Moabitess (a type of church) by purchasing a parcel of land (a type of grave) and with that act Boaz raised up the name of the dead (a type that the Gentiles had no way to obtain salvation until Jesus bought the parcel of ground) so the name of the dead would not be cut off from among the brethren (a type that the Gentiles would have the opportunity to be saved). As proved by:
(Eph. 2:11-22 esp. V.12) And the Gentiles, (V.12) who had no covenant nor hope and without God in the world, would be (V.18 keywords: both have access by one Spirit unto the Father) spiritual grace covenant brethren (V.16) to racial Jews who have spiritually accepted Jesus as Saviour (V.19) and they will be fellowcitizens of the household of God. And:
(Ruth 4:15-17) With that act Boaz also restored Naomi the Jew (a type that the Jews will be (Rom. 11:24) graffed (ingrafted) back into God’s grace). The story of Ruth is an exact physical prophecy of the relationship between Jesus, the Gentile Church and the Jews. If you want to read about this please read (Rom. 11:11-26).
There are so many prophesies, atoning blood sacrifices, names, signs, types and exact quotes from so many different people, in so many different locations, at so many different times in history it is impossible for the circumstances, location, time and names involved in Jesus’ birth to have been coincidence.
The Old Testament written prophesies concerning the promised seed had been studied, discussed and preached about by every generation of Jews. The Jews intimately knew the situations in which the physical prophesies typified the Redeemer.
The Jews deeply admired their Jewish hero deliverers whose lives prophesied a Saviour was coming. The Jews had all these events, miracles, history, prophesies and the law from God for hundreds and even thousands of years (Gen. 3:15) even from the beginning of time and YET, except for just a few individuals, they as a nation missed the birth of their promised seed, the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Saviour, the Son of the living God, Jesus the Christ (Messiah).
(Matt. 2:11) The gifts brought to Jesus by the wise men are a prophecy in themselves because (Rev. 9:13) gold denotes kinghood and (John 12:12-16) Jesus is a *King; (Lev. 1:14 thru 2:1) frankincense denotes priesthood and (Heb.4:14) Jesus is our great *High Priest; (John 19:38-40) myrrh is a spice used to pack around a dead body when it is wrapped in grave clothes and (1Cor. 15:3) Jesus, our redeemer, died for our sins.
Please remember these 2 days because they will be repeated. (Luke 2:21) Jesus is circumcised and officially given His name on the eighth day (Lev. 12:3) according to Jewish Law it is the day of naming. (Lev. 12:1-4: V.2--> 7 days & V.4--> shall continue 33 days so 7+33= 40 days) According to Jewish Law Mary's purification takes 40 days and on the fortieth day (Luke 2:22) Jesus is brought to Jerusalem, shown to the priests and presented to God by His parents according to Jewish Law: it is the day of showing and presentation.
(Matt. 2:1-23) This particular King Herod (heroic, and is the name of 4 separate Jewish kings, this one was known as King Herod the Great or King Herod the First and he was a political appointee king by the Roman Empire.) heard about the coming King of the Jews. He was not about to let anyone "take" his crown and he made every effort to kill Jesus.
Through Herod’s actions at least 4 prophesies were fulfilled. #1) (Micah 5:2 & Matt. 2:6) "Out of Bethlehem shall come a Ruler in Israel." #2) (Hosea 11:1 & Matt. 2:13-15) "I called my son out of Egypt." #3) (Jer. 31:15 & Matt. 2:16-18) "Rachel (representing the Jews) weeping for her children." #4) (Zech. 9:9 & John 12:12-16) "shout, O daughter of Jerusalem thy king cometh unto thee---lowly and riding upon a colt the foal of an ass." END OF PROPHESIES SECTION.
God had said to Abraham; "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed in their generations for an everlasting (defined as: #1 eternal, always, perpetual and #2 concealed, to veil) covenant to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee.”
THE UNVEILING BEGINS
(Luke 1:5-13 esp. V.13) The angel Gabriel told a Levitical priest named Zacharias, from the tribe of Levi, that his wife would bear a son and instructed him to name the child John. (Luke 1:19-20) Zacharias, the priest, didn’t believe Gabriel and the angel struck Zacharias dumb.
(Luke 1:26) When Zacharias’ wife Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant (Luke 1:26-27 & 35) the angel Gabriel brought a prophesy to a virgin named Mary that the Holy Ghost would come upon her and the power of the Highest would overshadow her and “that holy (pure, blameless) thing (a word or saying, a promise) which shall be born of thee will be called the Son of God”.
The three definitions, that are actually parts of OVERSHADOW in order of their happening are by a supernatural influence (#1) to envelop in a haze of brilliancy or in shadow in a manner beyond the normal course of nature that is beyond human knowledge or experience; (#2) to endow with authority; and (#3) to install in office. It will take about 30 years for the three parts to be completed.
(Luke 1:26-38) And the angel Gabriel told her (V.31) she would conceive a child in her womb and she was to name him JESUS (V.35) and he shall be called the Son of God. He said (Matt. 1:23) she would remain a virgin through the conception. (Matt. 1:18) When Mary missed her menstrual cycle (monthly period) she was found with child.
Mary or a member of her family must have told Joseph her betrothed. Joseph knew the child was not his and he was wondering whether to put her away privily (break off their betrothal privately). OR:
(John 8:4-5) Joseph could have had Mary stoned but he was obviously a kind man because he wanted to spare Mary. (Matt. 1:20-25) The angel of the Lord (V.24) visited Joseph in his sleep and informed him (V.23) Mary was still a virgin (V.20) because the seed had been implanted in Mary by the Holy Spirit supernaturally; (#1) The first definition of overshadow had been completed.
(Matt. 1:20-25) Gabriel told Joseph Mary was still a virgin and he instructed Joseph to marry her but to not have sexual relations (knew her not) until after Jesus was born. And that is exactly what Joseph did.
(Luke 1:57-80) (V.59) When Zacharias (John’s father) and Elizabeth’s son was 8 days old, the day of circumcising and naming, (V.68-70) Zacharias prophesied the time of the Lord God’s visitation was at hand (Gen. 3:15 keyword: seed) as had been prophesied “since the world began”,
(69-75) he repeated the reason for God’s covenant with Abraham (76-79) and he prophesied that John (the baby) will be called the prophet of the Highest, he would go before the Lord’s face to prepare his ways and John would “give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness, pardon,) of their sins”.
Salvation? This was something different, the official Jewish priesthood and their duties of offering animal sacrifice for Jewish sin had not been mentioned!
(Luke 1:65-66) When Zacharias prophesied (V.65) the people were afraid and rumors of the event went through the hills and they wondered; (V.66) “What manner of child shall this be?” Then there was nothing! The child simply grew and he seemed to prefer his own company in the desert as he grew older. They forgot about him. They missed that too.
(Luke 2:1-52) Joseph and Mary, near her birth term, went from Nazareth to Bethlehem of Judaea, the city of David, to pay their taxes. Joseph was from the tribe of Judaea (Judah) as was David. It was crowded due to the gathering of the tax payers, they were forced to stay in a stable (V.7) and there, without fanfare, Jesus was born.
(#1) The first definition of overshadow had been fulfilled. But the nation of Israel had missed ANNO DOMINI!
(V.8) In the same country shepherds were tending their flock by night. (V.9) An angel (messenger) of the Lord came upon them, the glory of the Lord shone (to illuminate) round about them and they were afraid. (V.10-20) The angel said a strange thing; “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David (Bethlehem) (V.11) a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
The angel told the shepherds where to find the baby and a great heavenly host burst forth with praise for God and they said; “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
(21-40) On the eighth day, the day of his circumcision and naming He was named JESUS. They brought Jesus to Jerusalem for His presentation to God in the temple on the fortieth day. (V.32) Simeon prophesied the child Jesus would be a light to lighten the Gentiles and that a sword would pierce Mary’s soul also.
Anna prophesied redemption had come to Jerusalem. Then there was nothing! The child named Jesus grew strong in spirit, was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon him.
(V.41-52 esp. V.49) When Jesus was 12 years old they went to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration and Jesus (V.47) astonished the Jews with His understanding and answers to their questions. Then there was nothing specific (V.51) except that Jesus went back home to Nazareth, was subject to His family, he increased in wisdom and stature (size) and favor with God and man. As far as man was concerned Jesus was just a “nice guy”. Then nothing!
(Lev. 16:4 keyword: wash) Aaron had to wash his flesh before he could begin the duties of high priest. (Matt. 3:1-17 esp. V.15) Jesus told John, to baptize Him to fulfill all righteousness (Lev. 16:4) because that act (the washing of Jesus) completed the law of preparation (Heb. 4:14) for when the great High Priest would be installed in His office.
The Spirit of God descends upon Jesus and the promised seed is endowed with authority. (#2) to endow with authority; (Matt. 3:16-17) The second definition of overshadow had been fulfilled!
(Luke 4:1-13) After His baptism Jesus is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness and fasts forty days while He is tempted by the devil. Then on the 40th day they had the final confrontation which Jesus won by using God's word (V.13 keywords: for a season) and Satan departed for a season at the end of the 40th day. Forty is a time of teaching and testing (example: Israel wandering in the wilderness forty years).
(Luke 4:16) Upon His return from Galilee to His hometown of Nazareth Jesus stood up in the synagogue (Jewish Temple) on the Sabbath day to read. (V.17) The book of the prophet Esaias (Isaiah) is delivered to him, he thumbs through and finds the place to read prophesy in (Isa. 61:1-2).
(Luke 4:18-30) Jesus said; (V.18) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, (V.19) To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
(V.21) This day is the scripture fulfilled in your ears.” With that announcement Jesus fulfills Jewish Law (Numbers 4:2, 23, 30, 35, 39, 43, & 47 then Luke 3:23) because a priest must be thirty years old before he can serve.
(Luke 4:20-24) Jesus hands the book back to the synagogue minister, sits down to preach as is the custom, prophesies they will mock him and tells them they will not accept His words.
(Luke 4:25-26) Jesus then preached His first sermon by referring to a time when the Nation of Israel was so immersed in sin under the rule of Ahab and Jezebel God withheld the rain for three and one-half years and, of course, there was famine and death. (1Kings 17:9-24) During that time God sent Elias (Elijah) to a Jewish woman; who was a nameless widow living in Sarepta a city in Sidon. That woman ate well and when her son died Elijah prayed and God restored him back to life.
(Luke 4:27) In His sermon Jesus refers to another time (2Kings 5:1-19) when Naaman, a Syrian who was a Gentile, had the FAITH to obey God and humble himself before men. God healed Naaman of leprosy through Elisha the prophet but God refused to heal the lepers in Israel!
The Jews Jesus was preaching to in the synagogue understand Jesus is comparing their present generation of Israelites, Roman subjected because of sin, with past generations of Israelites who were proud, filled with disbelief and had sinned to such a magnitude God had turned His back on them.
One half of Jesus’ sermon is about an obedient Jew and the other half is about an obedient Gentile and they both received God’s blessing which signifies (Rom. 11:11-26) the Gentiles and the Jews will have an equal share of salvation.
(Luke 4:28-30) The Jews in the synagogue are filled with wrath, they reject Jesus’ preaching and attempt to kill Him by throwing Him off a cliff but He walks through the middle of them and goes His way. (#3) to install in office. The third definition of overshadow is fulfilled and the promised seed, Jesus, (Luke 4:18 keyword: preach) is installed in office. It had taken 30 years to fulfill the definition of overshadow!
(Luke 4:16) Jesus can read but there is no evidence He wrote anything with His own hand. His teachings are verbal and His disciples write down His words and present them in the four gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Why are there four gospels? Matthew is filled with records, facts, genealogy, names and times and is a book that appeals to the scholarly type. Mark is a short, blunt, hard hitting book that gets right to the heart of events and appeals to the impatient, no frills, blunt type.
Luke is a loving, scholarly, poetic, gracefully worded book of promise that appeals to the poetic type. John is an emotional, fiery, spiritual book that pinpoints those who disputed Jesus and appeals to the emotional type who live on the high sharp edge of spirituality. One or the other of these four gospels will be the “favorite” and another will be the “least favorite” of every individual who reads them.
Think about this for a minute before you continue. Every individual testimony you hear in this age about Christian salvation is different yet they are always the same. That is because the same thing happened to different people of different intellectual prowess, different upbringing and teaching, different emotional makeup and their different lived lives.
Consider the “witness” aspect of the four gospels. Suppose you are serving on a jury and four witnesses tell the same, word for word, exact story? Of course, you would be suspicious that it was choreographed and you would doubt its truthfulness.
But if four witnesses tell the same basic story but are four individuals, just like us, whose testimony, even though empowered by the Holy Spirit, is according to the intellectual and emotional type of person they are, their individual power of observation and what events, statements, times and actions attract them, you would be convinced by their testimony.
What one leaves out, one of the other three records, (John 21:25) and even then the writers of the four gospels feel their ability to record Jesus’ works is insignificant because of the sheer variety, shock, excitement and magnitude of Jesus’ works in different situations with different people in His short ministry.
There is no Biblical evidence Jesus ever leaves the borders of Israel during His ministry. (Matt. 13:55-56) Jesus has several half-brothers and half-sisters. His brothers are named James, Joses, Simon, and Judas but His sister’s names are not recorded. (Matt. 8:20) Jesus owns no possessions except the clothes on His back and He owns no property.
There is no mention that Jesus is handsome, exceptionally strong or well-built (John 7:46) but He is an extraordinary speaker (Luke 4:32) who speaks with power (Matt. 7:29) and with authority.
Jesus always speaks against pride, arrogance, self-righteousness, selfishness and man judging man. Jesus has a profound effect on everyone He encounters. There is no place in the four gospels where people ignore Jesus; they are either drawn to Him or repelled by Him and many people either love Him or hate Him.
(Luke 12:51) Jesus says He has not come to give peace on earth but to bring division. (Matt. 12:30) There can be no neutral posture concerning Jesus because each person is either for Him or against Him.
(John 5:26-30 esp. V.27) Jesus states all judgment belongs to Him (Matt. 12:36-37) and each person will give an account for even their words which makes perfect sense because selfishness, man judging man, pride, arrogance and self-righteousness are always expressed in words and acts that bring pain to other people. Of course many other things besides these five will be judged.
(Matt.10:1-4) Jesus chooses an inner circle of twelve disciples (pupils). (Acts 2:37) After the Holy Spirit is given they will be called apostles (sent ones). (Luke 6:17-49) Jesus teaches life is more than riches or accomplishments; (Matt. Ch. 5, 6, & 7) that men should be kind, merciful and love each other; men should judge themselves first instead of others; and those who obey Jesus will reign with Him.
Jesus also instructs His chosen twelve in private (Matt. 13:10-36, 15:15-20 & 16:1-28) concerning what will become Church doctrine though they do not understand its purpose at the time.
Jesus defines the Royal Law with blinding clarity when He sums up (Ex. 20:1-17) the Ten Commandments (Matt. 22:34-40) into two simple love commandments; “to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, and mind and thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” SEE: (Luke 10:25-37) for the definition of neighbor.
Jesus taught these two commandments clarify God’s intention that the Ten Commandments direct a person to a kind, understanding, loving way of life based on an emotional and intellectual relationship between God and man AND between man and man instead of being ten cold do’s and don'ts based on fear and intimidation.
(Matt.15:21-28) Jesus states he is sent only to the Israelites in Israel but does not refuse a Gentile (a non-Jew) when she comes into Israel from a gentile country to ask Jesus for a miracle the proper way. (Matt. 23:1-39) Jesus exposes the Jewish concept of religion as a failure (John 8:2) and teaches in the main temple in Jerusalem (John 8:24) that the Jews who won’t accept him will die in their sins.
(John 8:39-47) Jesus tells them their father is the devil, they are liars and murderers just like the devil and that is prophetic (Matt. 26:59-68) because the Jews will lie so they can force the Romans to murder Jesus.
(Luke 17:25) Jesus tells the disciples the Jews will reject Him; (Luke 18:31-34) the Jews will deliver him to the Romans to be killed; and he will rise again the third day. (John 10:17-18) Then Jesus states no one has the power to kill Him but (John 10:11 & 17-18) he will give (voluntarily, unresisting) his life, not only for Israel, but for the whole world.
(Matt. 20:28) He states his life is a ransom for many, (John 10:18) that only he has the power to lay his life down and the power to take it up again. (John 11:25-26) Jesus states he, and only he, JESUS, is the resurrection.
(Matt. 4:23-25) Jesus heals the sick of all types of diseases, torments, (Matt. 12:22) demon possession, the blind, the mute, (Matt. 4:23-24) lunacy, sickness (John 9:1-7 esp. V.2) and birth defects. (Matt. 8:28-32 esp. V.29 keywords: Jesus, thou Son of God) Even the devils recognized Jesus and they besought (implore, beseech) a favor. (John 11:21) No one dies in his presence and (John 12:1-2) Jesus ate supper with Lazarus after he raised Lazarus from the dead.
It seems insane (John 9:18-34; 11:43-46; & 12:37) but in many instances those who witness Jesus’ miracles refuse to accept what they see and the Jewish leaders are so jealous and filled with hatred, (John 12:10-11) they even plot to kill Lazarus because they despise the fact Lazarus is a living testimony to Jesus’ power.
(Isa. 11:10) Isaiah prophesied the Gentiles (non-Jewish races) would seek Jesus; (Luke 2:32) Simeon prophesies Jesus will be a light to lighten the Gentiles; and (Matt. 12:21) Matthew states the Gentiles will trust Jesus.
(John 10:16) Jesus says he has other people (the Gentiles), not of Israel, he will bring into his kingdom (Matt. 16:13-19) and he tells the disciples (V.18) he will build his *church* on the rock (V.16) ***of what Simon Peter said;*** “thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
There are several definitions of the word *church*- ekklesia- pronounced ek-klay-see-ah in the anglicized Greek- which is defined- a calling out, a popular meeting, a religious congregation, Jewish synagogue, community of members, assembly. They must have wondered; “What does Jesus mean, we’ve already got synagogues in every town and we’ve got the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus is constantly in arguments with the Jewish hierarchy about their conduct. Is Jesus actually going to take over the temple in his own name?”
A DEEPER UNVEILING OF ABRAHAM’S COVENANT
(Matt. 13:1-23 esp. V.10-17) It must have been maddening for the disciples to try to figure out what Jesus meant when he hinted at various changes that were coming sometime in the future, uttered statements that appeared to have different levels of meanings, talked in riddles and circles, talked in the third person reference as if he was talking about someone else, talked in negatives and he always left veiled the vague things that appeared to be of the greatest importance.
Jesus talked in allegories and synonyms (parables) that were nearly incomprehensible. The disciples had the feeling Jesus’ words were building up to something in which they would receive understanding later but it was really, really hard to understand right then.
It was as if Jesus’ words were somehow veiled because all the disciples really had were the miracles, the healings, Jesus had even raised the dead, his war of words with the Jewish religious hierarchy (Matt. 7:29) and the authority with which he spoke. It was breathless, exciting and confusing to be with Jesus. It was enough.
(John 3:1-13) Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, who came to Jesus by night obviously because he was afraid of the Pharisees and what they would say and do to him if they discovered he was being friendly to a man (John 8:1-59 esp. V.13 keyword: Pharisees) the Pharisees considered a renegade. But Nicodemus knew and said Jesus was “a teacher sent from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”
Then Jesus revealed to Nicodemus that, through Jesus, God was starting a revealing of something new; (V.3) “Verily, verily, (truly, truly) I say unto thee, Except a man be born (to regenerate, to beget) again (another time), he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (V.4) Nicodemus asked Jesus; “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Nicodemus thought Jesus was referring to some type of miraculous physical rebirth.
Then Jesus made a fantastic statement. (V.5) “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water (Jesus was referring to His words) and of the Spirit, (Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost, Spirit of God, Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of Truth, Spirit of Christ, Spirit of adoption, Spirit of the living God, Spirit of his Son, Spirit of promise, Spirit of Jesus Christ, Spirit of grace, spirit of glory and Spirit of life; just to avoid any confusion) he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
(John 4:9-14 keyword: water) Human life is impossible without water and eternal life is impossible without Jesus’ words. (V.6) Jesus skipped His reference to water and continued; “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
(V.7) “Marvel (wonder) not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (V.8) “The wind bloweth where it listeth (inclined to), and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, or whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.”
Jesus had said; You can see and hear the effect of the wind but you can’t tell where it came from and that’s the way of the works of the Spirit. (V.9) Nicodemus was astonished and confused; “How can these things be?” Surely he must have been wondering; “Is my Jewish religion (Judaism) insufficient?”
Nicodemus was a Pharisee and, as the Pharisees do, he expended all his energy, effort and thought toward keeping the Mosaic Law and the tradition of the elders (Matt. 15:3-11 & 23:23-39) and he had missed the fact the Law, the judges, the kings, the prophesies, the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant and Abraham’s covenant all of it had pointed to the fact God was building toward something that was veiled.
(V.10) Jesus chastised Nicodemus; “Art thou a master (instructor, teacher) of Israel, and knowest not these things?” (V.11-12) Jesus continued and spoke in the plural, we, but Nicodemus knew he was not part of the we because he had seen none of the things Jesus had said and it confused him. (13) Then Jesus spoke in the third person and said the Son of man had brought these things down from heaven. Jesus spoke again;
(V.14) “The Son of man must be lifted up like the serpent Moses lifted up in the wilderness.” Nicodemus must have immediately thought about (Num. 21:4-9) when the Israelites were dying from the serpent’s poison and they could look upon the brass serpent and live but Jesus was referring to His being lifted up on the cross.
(V.15) “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (V.16) “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten (special, unique) Son (kinship, child), that whoever believeth on him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
(V.17-21) Jesus made some other vague claims in the third person that God’s Son would save the world if they believed on him and those who did not believe would be condemned. Jesus said a light had come into the world and evil people preferred darkness instead of the light of the truth. As Jesus walked away surely Nicodemus stared after him and just shook his head. Nicodemus had a lot to think about, to wonder about and to look for in the Jewish writings of prophesy.
After Jesus’ discussion with Nicodemus He continued on with his ministry. (John 4:1-43) (V.6-19) Jesus asked a Samaritan woman at a well to give him a drink. She pointed out the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans so why was he talking to her. Jesus told her if she knew the gift of God and who she was talking to she could have asked him for living water (John 6:63 “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” like He did Nicodemus Jesus was referring to His words).
Then Jesus said the water he gave would be a well springing up into everlasting life. Jesus revealed that He knew her life and she perceived He was a prophet.
(V.21-24) Jesus told her the Samaritan’s and the Jew’s type of worship was insufficient but that “salvation is of the Jews” (Jesus was a Jew) and that “True worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth”. (V.25) The woman told Jesus: “I know that Messias (Messiah) cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.” (V.26) And Jesus told her plainly that He is the Messiah.
(V.28-29) Jesus’ disciples came with food and the Samaritan woman left to tell her people about Jesus. (V.31-38) Jesus told the disciples his food was to do the will of him that sent him and to finish his work. Then Jesus spoke more veiled, vague words about sowing, reaping and harvesting and that the disciples were going to be responsible participants in it.
(V.39-42) The Samaritans arrived and after the Samaritans heard Jesus’ words they said they knew Jesus was the Christ (Messiah), the Saviour of the world. (Psa. 22:16, Matt. 15:26-27 & Mark 7:26-29 keyword in all: dogs) But the Samaritans were Gentiles, just dogs, what did they know?
(Mark 12:12) Jesus insulted the Pharisees so badly they wanted arrest him and take him to their religious court and try him in front of the Priests (Mark 12:1-11) because Jesus spoke an easily discernable parable that God had planted Israel like a vineyard. God had sent His prophets to Israel and they had abused them, killed some of them, they refused God’s way and made their own Jewish Religion into a type of god.
(Mark 12:6-11 esp. V.10 keywords: stone & the builders) Then Jesus said God will send his one Son, His Well-beloved, and the Jews will not reverence him but will kill him and take the vineyard for themselves (keep worshipping Judaism). God will destroy Israel and give the vineyard to others (the church) (V.10 & Psa. 118:22) then the stone they rejected will become the head of the corner as had been prophesied.
The Jews understood the stone the builders rejected is the head of the corner which is the foundation anchor, the center of level and the guide that establishes the square of the walls. The Jews must have wondered; “But of what building? We already have the temple.
In the first Passover in Egypt (Ex. 12:6-8) a male lamb without blemish was killed (Ex. 12:3) for each Jewish house in Egypt and its blood was placed on the doorposts (each side) and lintel (the overhead door beam) of the Israelite homes in Egypt. THEN:
(Exodus 12:23-33) The Lord passed over those protected by the blood of the lamb and they all lived but when the destroyer passed through Egypt the first-born male of every other man and beast died. At that time (Ex. 12:14) God ordained that the Passover date was to be a memorial feast that is to be kept on that exact date forever because it commemorates God’s delivery of the Children of Israel from bondage in Egypt.
(Matt. 26:2) Jesus tells His disciples that at the next Passover feast in two days he will be betrayed at that time and crucified. (Matt. 26:3-4) The chief priests, scribes and elders gather at the palace of Caiaphas the high priest and make plans how they might take Jesus and kill him. (John 13:2) The devil inspired Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus (John 13:26) and Jesus knew!
Judas Iscariot, who is one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, (John 12:6) his heart filled with greed because he was a thief, left to go to the chief priests (Matt. 26:14-16) to make his betrayers agreement to reveal Jesus to them for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave.
AN EVEN FURTHER UNVEILING OF ABRAHAM’S COVENANT
(Luke 22:14-20) After their Passover meal Jesus broke bread and told his disciples “this is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” then he gave them the after supper cup of wine and said “This cup is the new testament in my blood which is shed for you.”
(John 13:4-17) (V.4 keywords: riseth from supper) Jesus got up from the supper, (V.5) then girded himself with a towel and washed their feet (V.14 keyword: ought- defined as- must) “ye also ought (must) to wash one another’s feet”. (V.15) “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”
Surely at least one of the disciples remembered that in (Prov. 6:16-19 & 8:13) is written that God hates pride and by his example Jesus was warning them against pride.
After Judas left (John 13:31-38) Jesus started telling the rest of his disciples he was leaving, (John 14:1-4) that he would prepare a special place for them and they would know the way there. That galvanized the disciples. (Matt. 19:27) If Jesus went away what would they do since they had left all they had and followed him?
(John 14:5) Thomas said; We don’t know where you are going so how can we know the way? (John 14:6-7 a great unveiling) Jesus answered; “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”