He is risen from the grave! Look, He is alive! This excellent news is much more welcome and reassuring than ever before after a year defined by so much agony and suffering. The tale of Passover begins with a subject that has recently affected many of us: death. And dying by crucifixion at Calvary, where Jesus compassionately made penance for our transgressions, allowing us to experience a new and genuinely abundant life in Christ.
Jesus shocked his followers by returning from the dead 3 days following his mortality, defeating death and spreading the great news of salvation to the entire world. The gospel has become the good news of this passion, burial, and resurrection, which we honor and proclaim throughout the world. We have indeed been freed from the bonds of sin, therefore we eagerly and joyfully join Jesus Christ in his mission of creating disciples of all nations.
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. – Matthew 28:5-9.
Within the simplicity of a single moment, our eyes can be opened. “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” – Ezekiel 36:24-27.
Let us take a moment to consider, if the LORD is the one true God, who are all of the other gods? Are they all of the things that we physically make with our hands? Is it our televisions, computers, and the stuff that many of us “worship?” Or, is it something far more simple, something easier to comprehend? Yet, in a way, it is the hardest thing to believe. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 10:38, “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
What does it mean to draw back from something or someone? Is it a refusal to believe or do what we are seeing or hearing? Could it be being told an idea with truth to back it up, yet, we still refuse to accept it? How about knowing to do something and just not doing it? In my own Christian walk of faith, I have stalled out many times in my own spiritual growth. I have fell over in disbelief, pain, and agony. Yet, I never fled from the truth. In the Book of Zechariah, we are told about the coming calamity that the world is facing in chapter 13. Let us look at a few of these verses. “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” What does it mean to be brought through the fire? Consider the words of Paul once again, “But if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
What is it about fire that can make it somewhat unpleasant? Well, it burns, quite literally. Most of us know of the story of Jacob and how he wrestled with the LORD, the one true God. At the end of it all, he came out with a limp. He is one, who pushed into the fire and didn’t draw back. In this world of around 8 billion people, picture the suffering of those in a third world country. Picture the suffering of those in Ukraine. Consider those in Russia who have no part or interest in what the government is doing. All of these levels of suffering are common to every man. Our gas prices have risen, the cost of most things have significantly increased these last couple of years. Is any of this similar to wrestling with GOD? It appears to me that it is not.
The problems that we see in this world leaves us with a choice to make. We can begin to get angry, bitter, or discontent over it all. Or, we can begin to ask questions such as, “None of this is making any sense?” “Why is all of this even happening?” “Why is GOD allowing this to take place?” In order for the LORD to receive us, we need to become as a little child. We need to seek Him, intimately. We need to know Him. And, it comes at a cost. We, as Jacob, will end up coming out even similar. As we push into the truth, many things that we may see or hear may be hard to believe. At those moments our response should not be such as, “no it couldn’t be.” It needs to be similar to, “Father, I trust you, lead me through this.” A little child is humble and they are ready to learn and listen. They typically don’t get angry when being taught or disciplined by their parents.
When being instructed, a child may at times stand there in fear, trembling. Why do you think that the Bible says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom?” At this point in time, seeing all that is happening, I don’t want to be a part of the two thirds that gets cut off and dies, I would rather be a part of the one third that continues to be tried and purified in the furnace of affliction. I will now backtrack to Zachariah:1-3. “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.”
What are the idols and why do they have names? “But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men. But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.” – Jeremiah 10:8-11.
May the LORD, the only true GOD, bless you and keep you as one tried and purified through the furnace of affliction. “Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken? Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up; To make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head. I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.”
There are numbers of Scriptures on Lift Up A Banner that tie the way, the truth, and the life, together in an easy to follow format. Please take a moment to go over each lesson one by one. Return to the first post by going all the way back, to the beginning. Speaking on complete abstinence, there are more teachings on this site than any other. And the Scriptures back up this claim, if you only take the time to seek it out with a prayerful heart. Become as a child. Literally. Look over the homepage’s lessons and go through the Bible study. It starts with the truth as a foundation and afterwards, moves on to the way and the life. Take a look at the ten free Christian eBooks available. Take the time to study every one of the videos. Take a look at the other videos on the YouTube channel that aren’t available on this website. Your faith will grow, your eyes will be opened, and your hearing will be restored.
As much as I want you to believe everything you see and hear, we must each do our part with the Lord and the Spirit. You will see that what I have been saying is correct if you do so. The entirety of the Church is constructed on the words of Jesus Christ. We may not ever find everlasting life if we do not comprehend Jesus’ teachings, even all of them. How can we claim to know Him if we don’t abide in them?
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.” – Luke 14:28-30.
“Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” Are you able to receive it, brothers and sisters? The Spirit is speaking to you. “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” – John 6:63.
The Bible tells us in 1 John, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” The Bible is a genuinely extraordinary book. It’s breathtaking. It completely changes you from within. Years ago, when I first began my quest to grasp God’s Word, I felt like I was continually falling short. I visited a number of different churches, as well as teachers and ministers. One thing, though, kept resonating throughout my soul, to the core of my being. “This is not the way.” As a result, I was continuously falling short. I was constantly let down. I never had the inner peace that the Bible speaks about. Was there something I was overlooking? What exactly could it be that I wasn’t getting right? What blunders did I make? I ended up putting my confidence and belief in people rather than the Lord and His truths.
I had a brother, whom I still love, explain a lot of realities about the Bible to me. Even so, the Spirit continued to prompt me and left things to question. So here I was, with more Biblical insight and spiritual understanding than I could have ever imagined. Yet, I never stopped listening to that still small voice within. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” – Psalm 23:1-5
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” – Psalm 119:105. Here is the continuation of my testimony from August 2021, with more internal links for better understanding. Read more here, Lie Down In Green Pasture. Ye need not any man teach you, my friends.
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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. – John 3. What are your deeds, my friends?
In the Gospel Of Matthew, we learn of the 40 day fast and temptations of Jesus Christ. Were you aware of the spiritual significance behind these verses and how they apply to us? Let’s begin with Chapter 4:1. “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.”
We will begin with the foundation, the only One, the Chief Cornerstone. The Messiah came preaching, “He is the way, the truth and the life. And no man comes to the Father but by Him.” The first word that we can gain an understanding of is “life.” While Jesus was being tempted by the devil, He was told to turn the stones into bread. We learn in 1 Peter 2, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” Here, we have gained the understanding that our bodies represent living stones. Let us now apply it, with simplicity, to the first temptation of Christ during His 40 day fast.
We, as a believer in Jesus Christ, aren’t able to gain eternal life without knowing and understanding the Word. It’s not possible to base all of our faith in a single verse. We need every word of the LORD God to live. Otherwise, we fall short in our understanding. One verse can be misinterpreted and, without reading our Bibles and comparing what we see with other teachings, we cannot understand what is being said. We cannot understand the Epistles without knowing what Jesus was telling us. As living stones, being built up, Christ is the cornerstone of our faith. Everything needs to be built off of His Words.
During His 40 day fast, Christ is once again tempted by Satan. “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.” We are told in Deuteronomy 6, “Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.”
What if we have all already done this? Why did Jesus tell us our father here is the devil? Why did he call Peter Satan in Matthew 16:22-24? What if, just by being here, we are worshipping Satan? Have you looked around you or looked at the world today? Nearly everyone is focused on self, other than the LORD God. Also, during the time of His temptation, the Bible says, “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.”
We will now look at the original in Deuteronomy, “Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee. And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore unto thy fathers, To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.”
Jesus tells us He is the way, the truth, and the life. What we just looked at were these biblical principles in reverse. The life comes by knowing and understanding the Word. The truth is who we are, what we are guilty of, repentance, and conversion. To understand the way is to keep the commandments of the LORD God, and to walk in all His ways. What is the way? This is the way, walk in it.
When Jesus Christ came preaching to the world, He came with something other than what the world teaches us. He told a group of religious zealots, “Ye are of your father the devil and the lusts of your father ye will do… And because I tell you to the truth, ye believe me not.” After Peter tried rebuking the LORD, He stated, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”
Man, that sounds pretty scary, being called Satan and that your father is the devil. Although, let’s take a moment and consider something. Why, in fact, did He say it to Peter? Why in the other verse that we looked at did He say, “Because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not?” What was it that the Messiah was telling them. Or, specifically, what was He trying to tell us? Paul also teaches in 2 Corinthians, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Wait just a minute. Hold on. What is it that Paul was teaching us? Who is the god of this world? Why did Jesus say what He did?
During Christ’s ministry, he was hated. He was mocked. He was beaten. He was crucified. What if today was no different? “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.”
Are you a Christian? Do you claim to know the LORD? Why does the Bible say that when we shall see him, that we will not desire what and who He is? Why is He despised and rejected of men? There are over two billion people who profess to be Christians. What if The Bible is 100% true, and our father is the devil? What if, just as he told Peter, we are all quite similar to Satan? If He was our father and we are his offspring, it most certainly makes sense. What if he is the god of this world? What if we are all blind, deaf, dumb, and captives just as the Bible tells us? What if the world is wrong? Would you put all your faith and eternal life on those who are teaching you? Or, will you seek out the answers for yourselves? If Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, do you know what any of these mean? Jesus came to free the captives and restore sight to the blind. This applies to each and everyone of us, or it wouldn’t be in the Bible. Wake up my friends. You are sleeping.
We learn in Acts 2, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Living in the world as it is today, do you understand the Biblical definition of repentance? What if we didn’t understand it or commit to it? Why did Jesus say, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head?” If the Bible is true, and it still applies to us today, this verse does as well. We learn that the LORD God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So, it has to be the same now, even as when it was spoken.
We learn from Jesus in John 14, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.”
Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. – Proverbs 8:1-7
Throughout the Bible, we are told things similar to, “if any man hath an ear, let him hear.” In the opening of Proverbs 1, we begin with the foundation of understanding Wisdom. “To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.” – Proverbs 1:2-9.
Do you fear the LORD God? Most people will give the same answer, “Why do I need to fear GOD? He came here and paid the penalty, so I am redeemed. I believe on the name of Jesus, so I’m going Home.” Tell me, please, where does it say that in the Bible? Even the devils believe, and they tremble. In previous posts, we have touched upon the three angels who fly in the midst of Heaven. The first angel came with the everlasting Gospel to preach to them that dwell upon the earth. Let’s consider this. Do you believe that some mysterious “being” will be flying around the world and visit billions of people individually, coming down your chimney, eating milk and cookies? Or, could it be something far simpler?
Paul tells us in Hebrews 13, “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” Why would he say that some of us have entertained angels unawares? What if this were true? What if all of us have entertained angels unawares? Doth not Wisdom cry?
Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God. The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; And forgot his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them. – Psalms 78:1-11.
All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge. Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. – Proverbs 8:8-13.
Fear GOD, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Doth not Wisdom cry? He that hath an ear, let him hear.