Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. — Philippians 4:8 L

The shield of his mighty men is red; his soldiers are clothed in scarlet. The chariots come with flashing metal on the day he musters them; the cypress spears are brandished. – Nahum 2:3 L

F.E.R.N. A Comprehensive Statement of Faith


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Author’s Note: It is common for most statements of faith to enumerate a simple outline of beliefs. While this is nice and short and ever so tidy, it leaves the reader to tease apart the words and make sense of what the author is really saying. This statement of faith is different. While I’m not a Calvinist, I will use the basic yet well-known tenets of both extreme and moderate Calvinism to show you what I believe and why.

 F.E.R.N but not T.U.L.I.P.

Faithful
Exegesis
Reasoned
Now
Not Total Depravity
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints

There is much talk about and confusion from the acronym TULIP these days. This acronym seems to have been fully birthed from Calvinism. There are extreme and moderate doctrinal versions. The acronym itself stands for Total depravity or Total inability, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints. TULIP seems to be derived by someone who has totally overthought the term. I will do my best to share what my understanding of the term is and what I believe scripture actually says.

Total Depravity or Total Inability. The term original sin is often thrown about and it has different meanings to different groups of believers. Some groups believe, through various scriptures such as Hebrews 7:4-10, that because we were in Adam’s loins, we are each guilty of Adam’s sin. I think Adam’s first sin is just the first bookmark to mankind’s legacy of sin. I do not think that each of us is individually responsible for that first sin which the original sin that I’m referring to here.

In my book A Mere Christian I use the term black mark to represent sin. There are two kinds of black marks. There are the black marks of sin that beset us daily and that require daily washing in the water of God’s Word. Then there is the big black mark.

The big black mark is the result of Adam’s first sin by which we all will see death. Genesis clearly states that God explained the consequences of eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. That consequence was death. In Adam we all die but notice that he did not die immediately. Why is that?

Clearly something more than just physical death happened to Adam and Eve as a result of sin. They died spiritually. Spiritual and physical death are passed to all their children. As Adam is separated from God so are all we who are Adam’s seed.

This harkens back to the term begat. C. S. Lewis is very clear about this term. Man begats man which means that we carry in us his nature. Jesus Christ is described as the only begotten Son of God. The term begat really implies much more that Adam knowing Eve physically to bear children. Her children are the seed of Adam, i.e., the seed of man.

Jesus Christ in his physical presence is described however as the seed of woman. Nowhere does a woman have a seed except for Mary, Jesus’ mother. As the seed of woman, God begats Jesus, one who’s nature is like God and not like man. Because he is the Son of God he has no beginning and no end.

The Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit are uniquely contrasted to the gods of other religions. They are eternally coexistent and equal in all ways. How can that be?

The Trinity is described the way it is because it is the only way that we could begin to comprehend it. The persons of God are not in competition nor are they subservient one over another. They exist in perichoresis, a state where each person gives and receives love from each of the other persons. God’s love is the only true love as it is clearly described in 1 Corinthians 13.

What was man left with after his disobedience? His nature became sinful and that sinful nature is passed on to and through every child. It is this sinful nature that God must change as he states in 1 Corinthians 15:51-57, and it is only through Jesus Christ that perishable and mortality becomes imperishable and immortal. This is a great mystery, but just because we don’t know how that will happen does not in any way lessen its certainty.

All men die physically. While separation from God is spiritual death it does not imply that man’s spirit will cease to exist. Our physical state follows our spiritual state. Those who choose not to follow Christ will remain separated spiritually and physically. Their choice is a barrier which God will not violate. As C. S. Lewis states in The Chronicles of Narnia, “All get what they want. They do not always like it.”

Unconditional Election or the Chosen of God. The extreme Calvinist view of the term election is described only from the viewpoint of mankind and not from God’s. The Westminster Confession of Faith says that, “By the decree of God {…} some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.”

The term election has come to mean to some that God before creating each person has made the choice to accept or reject God for them. Predestination or predetermination means that God chooses one’s fate before that person is ever created.. This clearly means then that God is love to some, and not to others, or good to some, and evil to others.

Prescience, the state of all-knowing, is not the same as predetermination. Just because God knows after the moment we are each created whether we will accept him or not is not the same as predetermined salvation or damnation.

How can God be love and hate, good and evil? Clearly this is not what scripture teaches or what plain logic implies. God is love all the time! God is good all the time? This is without question in scripture as you can see.


James 1 KJV
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James 1 ESV
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change (or turning in some manuscripts). 

Turning now to God’s viewpoint, does election really mean what we think it does? God is not just eternal in the sense that he has no beginning or end. He is timeless. When he sees you today you must remember that he sees you as though all your days past, present, and future are before him now. All days are now for him as C. S. Lewis states.

Why then wouldn’t he describe those who choose to accept him in their past, present, or future as his elect?

The error here is to think that God views history as something recorded on a stream of magnetic tape which he fast forwards or reverses to view our lives. That simply cannot be the case because God is not traveling through and within time as we do. He is outside of time. He timelessly views all the events in all of man’s time as though he looks at a compound picture made of translucent, individual images hung in a single frame.

His timeless prescience leads to the question “How did God create us to be autonomous so that he does not determine our fate?” When man creates something such as a robot, the robot must follow predetermined programming. Man is no such robotic creation of God.

To me this is one of the most fascinating things about God. Can he choose not to know something about that which he creates or does? The answer is yes, of course he can.

Let me give you two clear, unambiguous instances in scripture where God does just that. The first instance is when the triune God chooses to forget all our sin and sin nature. It is clear that he is not simply setting them aside. He makes himself forget them altogether.


Psalm 103 KJV 

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 
17 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

Isaiah 43 KJV
25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Jeremiah 31 KJV
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Hebrews 8 KJV
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

Hebrews 10 KJV
17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

The second instance goes even further than God and man. Jesus Christ, the Son of God chooses not to know when the God the Father will tell him to return. This statement is unparalleled in scripture. Not only is it extremely compelling evidence for the Trinity itself, it shows the power of the perichoretic love between separate entries of the all-powerful Triune God. Besides incomparable love within the Trinity, there is implicit trust.

Why would God the Father choose to know something and not share it with God the Son or God the Holy Spirit? It is a simple matter of eschewing even the appearance of evil. God the Son represents complete mercy while God the Father represents complete justice. Who could ever accuse Jesus Christ of not fairly offering them mercy because he colluded with God the Father, the judge of all the earth, in order to deny them eternal life?


Matthew 24 KJV
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Acts 1 KJV
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. n

Limited Atonement. If you understand that God does not determine your salvation or damnation before you are created, then it stands to reason that you comprehend why there is no such thing as atonement only for a subset of persons.

Jesus Christ’s blood sacrifice is fully required and capable of erasing the sins of anyone who will confess and repent. Any notion of a mechanical sufficiency and efficiency and whatever is meant by those Calvinistic terms, is nonsense in any form because they lay waste to the fact that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father where there is life. Everyone who “drinks his blood” and “partakes of his flesh” by acknowledging him as Lord and Savior will be saved because it makes the soul and body imperishable. All others who simply choose not to receive these will too be raised from the dead. Their unchanged and perverse soul will only invite the worm to an eternal feast.

There is nothing limited about atonement because no one will escape the consequences of its rejection.

Irresistible Grace. Extreme Calvinism believes strongly that God’s grace through unseen work of the Holy Spirit cannot, for those predestined to salvation, i.e., the elect, be rejected. On the other hand they also believe that no one can ever be completely sure of their salvation. This is no less than a doctrine of paranoia and confusion. Moderate Calvinists disagree and believe that no one is forced into salvation anymore than they are intentionally denied it by predestined election. I do not believe in predestination to election or damnation and the reader will understand why in the next section.

Perseverance of the Saints or Once Saved Always Saved. Just as God does not predestine us to choose or reject him, he will not prevent us, after having once accepted him, from walking away. The tenet here is the notion that once a person is saved they are always saved. While there is no doubt that no one can remove you from God’s hand, it is certain that you can remove yourself. The parable of the seed that falls on the four kinds of soil supports this conclusion.


John 10 KJV
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Hebrews 6 KJV
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Luke 8 KJV
4   And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

Any notion that we are ever good enough to get into God’s good graces by what we do are who we are should of course be dispelled already. Salvation is freely given and never earned. That is why we say Jesus Christ redeemed us from a debt we could never pay. While God is good and only good, man is bad and only bad simply because of the inherited sin nature even before there is a tally of black marks that result from that sinful nature.

Extreme Calvinists believe that that no one can really be guaranteed of salvation unless they are still saved at the end of their life. Indeed no one can be absolutely sure that they are truly saved at all. Moderate Calvinists believe that once you accept Christ you can never be ‘unsaved.’

This all essentially boils down to a never-ending struggle between works and faith. The extreme Calvinist who is fearful of being really saved would seem to be drawn to saving confirmation by good works. Moderate Calvinists rely on faith expressed in words to save them. Both works without faith and faith without works are equally problematic.

However, let me be very clear that it is probably not an easy thing to walk away from one’s salvation. Apostasy is more than simply failing spiritually and committing sin. But it can and does happen. The very fact that we are told what would happen if we did abandon our salvation is clearly written in Hebrews.


Hebrews 6 KJV
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

The apostate finds himself irretrievable. Apostasy is no small matter, does not happen without determined intention, and is no ordinary sin that daily besets all believers. I point to Charles Templeton, a long-time friend of Billy Graham, as a possible example, however no believer has the insight to judge the fate of another soul. Perhaps Mr. Templeton was never really saved in the first place. Only God knows in his case, just as each of us can only know our case.

While I do the works of my faith, I am not cleansed or forgiven by those works. I am forgiven because I ask for mercy and believe he is faithful to forgive me when I do. The works that I do are part of working out my salvation because I am forgiven. More precisely it is working through my salvation as my life goes on.


Philippians 2 KJV
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

That working relationship between our works through our faith is clearly consistent with 1 Corinthians 15:15-57. We are corrupted and perishable until the moment the last trumpet sounds. When that last trumpet sounds, faith allows God to complete his work in us. Our works then are simply proof of his seal on and in us.

I love the scene in C. S. Lewis’ The Silver Chair when Aslan raises Prince Caspian from the dead. Caspian has longed to see the world where the children have come from, but he wonders if wanting that is wrong. Aslan tells Caspian that he can no longer ever want wrong things again.

When we are changed, we too will never want wrong things or even think bad thoughts. Death’s sting will be cheated. Lewis got it right when he said, “All get what they want.” This change in our sinful selves is what we want and what we are getting. All desire to sin will be gone forever.


L

Passover Timeline The Day Jesus Died



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Introduction To Hebrew Times And Days

In order to understand the timeline of Passover, it is critical to understand some key differences between the Jewish and Gregorian calendar. A Jewish day begins at dusk, specifically around 6PM. So when I say April 14 and 6 Nisan, you must understand that 6 Nisan begins a 6PM on April 13 and ends at 6PM on April 14. Our day is from midnight to midnight. This hearkens to Genesis where God describes the evening and the morning as being a day. The evening then is after dusk.

Now another very important point is the difference between hours of the Jewish day and the Roman day. You will read that Jesus gave up the ghost at the ninth hour of the day. That is 3PM by our clock. By the Jewish measure the 9th hour is counted starting at 6AM, or the zero hour. The third hour would be our 9AM, the sixth hour would be noon.

It is essential to remember when you see the reference to hours that there can seem to be inconsistencies with the times between the synoptic Gospel. Why is that?

This verse in John is translated in some versions as the noon, but it is obviously not noon. In the King James version it is described as the sixth hour.

John 19: 13 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. 14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

John here is using sixth Roman and not Jewish hour so it is actually 6AM. Remember that Jesus has been up all night being shuffled from one place to another after his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. If this were the sixth Jewish hour it would be noon. However, Jesus would have to have been condemned at 12PM and crucified and dead by 3PM, the ninth Jewish hour. That would mean all that would have had to transpire in only three hours.

My Scofield Bible has a note for John 19:14 that explains that John was using the Roman hour here. Without the understanding of the difference between Romand and Jewish ‘hours’ this is confusing, but on the other hand, it clearly links the two reference frames of time.

The next important thing to note is where is Jesus on 6 Nisan? More specifically, where is he going?I want you to think about that question with the specific understanding that Jesus does NOTHING that he is not directed to do by the Father. His movements are not random as you will see as we follow them through the Passover where he is crucified and raised.

For now, I want you to focus on the details of the very first Passover below. The question you need to constantly keep in your head is this. Does the instruction of the original Passover follow the events that Jesus experienced in his Passover week crucifixion, or were the events of his Passover week dictated by the original Passover instruction as though it were a map?

Exodus 12 (KJV) 1  And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening3. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. 11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover.

The Original Passover in Relation To The Passover Week Of Jesus’ Cricifixion

Does the instruction of the original Passover follow the events that Jesus experienced in his Passover week crucifixion, or were the events of his Passover week dictated by the original Passover instruction as though it were a map?

I have an extensive discussion that pertains to this in my How God Makes Sense teaching series. Simply stated here though, you must understand that the timelessness of God makes the Passover crucifixion of Jesus appear the same as the instruction given for the original Passover in Exodus. In other words, all our times are ‘now’ for God, because he is timeless.

That makes the description of the Passover instruction in Exodus very important. It is why

 
8 Nisan & 9 Nisan

Now 8 Nisan is of particular mention here in John.

John 12 NIV 1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pinta of pure nard, an expensive perfume;a she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 

Now Mark 14 below is very interesting because it is describing the events just before 14 Nisan. However, there is a flashback that refers to the evening of 9 Nisan in Bethany that are recorded in John above.

Mark 14 NIV 3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. 4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume?  5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.  6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world,a what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

While the evening of 9 Nisan is the supper, day of 9 Nisan is described further in John below.

John 12 NIV 9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well,  11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.

The next scripture is key to identifying 10 Nisan and leads into the discussion of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

10 Nisan

Now let’s refresh what I’ve told you so far. Remember that 6PM is the end of one day and the beginning of the next.

8 Nisan (day, i.e. before twilight) – Jesus arrives in Bethany to stay with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. 9 Nisan (evening, i.e., after twilight) –  They all feast at Simon the Leper’s house, and Jesus is anointed with oil. 9 Nisan (day, before twilight) -A great crowd comes out to Bethany to see Jesus as well as Lazarus who Jesus had raised from the dead. 10 Nisan (evening, after twilight) – Jesus is back at the house of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha to sleep.

Our story picks up here on 10 Nisan (the day which is the next morning). This is what we call Palm Sunday.

John 12 NIV 12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!”   “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”   “Blessed is the king of Israel!”

This day is significant because 10 Nisan is when all of Israel is bringing their Passover lambs into their homes, and Jesus rides into Jerusalem. In Hebrew, Jerusalem is the ‘foundation of peace.’ It is nothing less than the House of God, and Jesus, the true Passover Lamb of God is in the house.

The fact that Jesus is recorded in multiple places to have ridden in on an ass is prophesied here.

Zechariah 9:9   Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Here is the descriptive scripture that is in Matthew. Notice something very interesting here. This seems to be a summary that covers Jesus’ short time in Bethany Wikipedia states the following.

Bethany has traditionally been identified with the present-day West Bank city of al-Eizariya (Arabic (العيزرية), meaning “Place of Lazarus”), site of the reputed Tomb of Lazarus, located about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the east of Jerusalem on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives.

Matthew 21 NIV 1   And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,   2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.  3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.  4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,   5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.   6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,   7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.   8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.   9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.   10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?   11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

Mark and John gives this more detailed account also. Now I’d like to draw your attention to the borrowed colt.

Mark 11 1   Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus* sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, mon which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4 And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it.  5 And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”  6 And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. 

Notice that Jesus rides in on the colt to the praise of the crowd, enters the temple, looks around, and the leaves. What is interesting is the further reading of the scripture here. Only in this account do you see that Jesus rides in on the donkey with praise and palm branches, enters the temple, which is essentially empty, then leaves and goes back to Bethany. It is actually the day after the prophetic entrance Jerusalem.

Mark 11 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it.  8 And many nspread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields.  9 And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, o“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  10 Blessed is qthe coming kingdom of sour father David! oHosanna in the highest!”

11   And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

12   On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry.  13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.  14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.

15   And they came to Jerusalem…

This very small, and almost hidden detail is of vital importance. Why didn’t Jesus wait until the following day to enter triumphantly when he chased the moneychangers or sellers of pigeons, etc.?

This is very key I think. Jesus was inspecting the temple, to be sure. But the shear act of entering the temple and not just Jerusalem itself is equivalent to the Passover lamb being taken into each family’s house four days before Passover as it describes in Exodus.

Once again, you can see that God is nothing in his Word if not very, very precise in details.

11 Nisan

Here are the details so far to bring our timeline up to date.

8 Nisan (day, i.e. before twilight) – Jesus arrives in Bethany to stay with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. 9 Nisan (evening, i.e., after twilight) –  They all feast at Simon the Leper’s house, and Jesus is anointed with oil. 9 Nisan (day, before twilight) -A great crowd comes out to Bethany to see Jesus as well as Lazarus who Jesus had raised from the dead. 10 Nisan (evening, after twilight) – Jesus is back at the house of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha to sleep. 10 Nisan (day,) – Jesus tells the disciples how to obtain the colt, and he rides into Jerusalem. The palms waved by the people were spontaneous as they heard that Jesus was coming. Nothing is scripted. Incredibly, the foretelling of this in Old Testament is highly accurate.

Now let’s pick up where we left off. It is now 11 Nisan (day).

Mark 11:12 ESV   On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry.  13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.  14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. 

Now this is a very notable scripture. I’ve pondered this many times. Now the fig tree is not a person, that could understand or comprehend what the Lord wanted, so this must be representative of something different.

Clearly the fig tree has a season for fruit, and when Jesus walked by, it is clear that he knew that. Why curse the tree then? I think that the subsequent scripture is directly related to the fig tree.

Mark 11:15   And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.  16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.  17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because gall the crowd was astonished at his teaching.  19 And when evening came they* went out of the city. 

The prophecy in Zechariah here is directly related to the fig tree that Jesus cursed. Remember that the evening before, Jesus had gone to the temple, inspected it, and then left. Today he comes back. The fig tree is deliberately mentioned here before he gets to the temple. It is a figura umbrae, or symbol, of all that is good. Goodness always bears fruit, and fruit is the sign of whose we are.

Zechariah 3:6 ESV  And the angel of the LORD solemnly assured Joshua,  7 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here.  8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch.  9 For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes,* I will engrave its inscription, declares the LORD of hosts, and dI will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day.  10 In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.”

Zech. 3 KJV 8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. 9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 10 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree. 

We should pay close attention to what Jesus said in Mathew below. It explains why and what he is doing in the temple. The fig tree represents Israel’s religious abrogation. He curses the fig tree and then cleans out the temple. This is in preparation for what Zechariah says that in one day, Jesus will remove the iniquity of the land.

Matthew 7:15   Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Matthew 7:21   Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I’ll conclude with the account of the withered fig tree on the morning of 12 Nisan, which I’ll pick up with tomorrow.

Mark 11:20   As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.  21 And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”  22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received* it, and it will be yours. 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, tif you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”*

12 Nisan. Jesus Teaches For The Last Time In the Temple

Here is the recap of the timeline. Again, remember that 6PM is the end of one day and the beginning of the next.

8 Nisan (day, i.e. before twilight) – Jesus arrives in Bethany to stay with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. 9 Nisan (evening, i.e., after twilight) –  They all feast at Simon the Leper’s house, and Jesus is anointed with oil. 9 Nisan (day, before twilight) -A great crowd comes out to Bethany to see Jesus as well as Lazarus who Jesus had raised from the dead. 10 Nisan (evening, after twilight) – Jesus is back at the house of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha to sleep. 10 Nisan (day,) – Jesus tells the disciples how to obtain the colt, and he rides into Jerusalem. The palms waved by the people were spontaneous as they heard that Jesus was coming. Nothing is scripted. Incredibly, the foretelling of this in Old Testament is highly accurate. 11 Nisan (evening, after twilight) – Jesus again is back at the house of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha to sleep 11 Nisan (day) – Jesus and the disciples pass the fig tree which has no fruit. He curses it, then moves on to the temple where he drives out the money changers and those selling the doves for purchase for sacrifice 12 Nisan (evening, after twilight) – Jesus is back in Bethany at the house of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha

It is now 12 Nisan in the morning, just two days, before Passover which start at the end of day, twilight or 6PM, on 14 Nisan. Just the day before, Jesus had cursed the fig tree. That figura umbrae is reflective of the cutting off of all that does not bear fruit in Israel. I see this as the end of Israel’s witness to the world as a nation, and the beginning of the tame and wild olive trees, representing the oil of the Holy Spirit applied to those who believe in Christ, Jew and Gentile. God is doing something new and doing away with the old which is no longer fruitful.

I really didn’t appreciate how bland and ‘saltless’ is Pasach (Passover) until I actually saw the Seder on a TV program recently. It is all about food and family and tradition. I did not hear one person say anything about the origin of Passover, and I didn’t see any roast lamb either. I thought these particulars would be very important to the Jews, but they didn’t seem to be in that TV program.

There are some very important points to make about this passage. First, Jesus is NOT saying that God is a genie and you rub his lamp when you want something. Remember, he’s talking about the fig tree, and he also does nothing that he does not see the Father do. In other, words, if the Father tells you to do something, go somewhere, etc., then when you believe as you have heard in your prayers, you can rest assured that faith will produce its fruit.

He further links prayer for these things with forgiveness for those who have trespassed against us.

Mark 11:20   As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.  21 And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”  22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, m‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received* it, and it will be yours. 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”*

At the temple, the scribes, Sadducees, and Pharisees all take their shots at tripping Jesus up. What is interesting of course is his answers, but more importantly the result of those answers. At the end of the day, the only thing left to do, is plot to kill Jesus in order to stop him from ‘infecting’ the people with him and his teaching.

Mark 11:27   And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him,  28 and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?”  29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” 31 And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’  32 But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was aa prophet.  33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Mark 12:1   And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a servant* to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again hhe sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. 6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read tthis Scripture:     “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;*   11  this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

Mark 12:12   And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away. 

Mark 12:13   And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk.  14 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances,* but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?”  15 But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius* and let me look at it.” 16 And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.”  17 Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him. 

Mark 12:18   And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying,  19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man* must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.  20 There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring.  21 And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise.  22 And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died.  23 In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” 

Mark 12:24   Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor pare given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, t‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”

Mark 12:28   And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”  29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him.  33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, cis much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. 

Jesus is convincing people that he is the Christ as you can see from that above. Now he teaches them what I teach about the timelessness of God. He can be both the Lord of David and David’s son in the flesh because he is timeless.

Mark 12:35   And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”’

Mark 12:37   David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.

No doubt the scribes and those that oppose Jesus are further incited by the following scripture. This day is like no other day in the Temple. Where Jesus has been more reserved previously because it was not his time, he is bold and brash and utterly right.

Mark 12:38   And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces 39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

Mark 12:41   And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums.  42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.* 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

He even prophesies the destruction of the Temple. The figura umbrae of the fig tree is this destruction.

Mark 13:1   And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”  2 And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

When he leaves the Temple, he goes to the Mount of Olives and there has further discussions with the disciples. He is very specific about what we are to look for as signs.

Mark 13:3   And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,  4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?”  5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.

Mark 13:9   “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

The abomination of desolation is a person that is standing where he should not be. That Antiochus was the figura umbrae of the antichrist here is known, because Antiochus sacrifice a pig in the Temple previously. The instructions given here are for those of our time who are present to see this abomination of desolation.

Mark 13:14   “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, 16 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 17 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; sI have told you all things beforehand.

This tribulation period will be followed by Christ’s return. It will also be shortened because God’s mercy is the only thing that will prevent us from destroying every living thing.

Mark 13:24   “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

Here is another figura umbrae using the fig tree. He is telling us to be watchful and contemplative. We don’t know the time of his return, but we can and should be able to identify the season, and being to anticipate it.

Mark 13:28   “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, eat the very gates. 30 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Mark 13:32   “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake.* For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants* in charge, peach with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, sin the evening, or sat midnight, or when the rooster crows,* or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”

And finally this verse confirms that the above scripture was two days before Passover. It also tells you that the result is that the chief priests were now convinced as a whole, that Jesus had to die to stop this threat to their way of life.

Mark 14:1   It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him,  2 for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.” 

13 Nisan. Preparing For The Lord’s Supper & Plot to Kill Jesus

Here is the recap of the timeline. Again, remember that 6PM is the end of one day and the beginning of the next.

8 Nisan (day, i.e. before twilight) – Jesus arrives in Bethany to stay with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. 9 Nisan (evening, i.e., after twilight) –  They all feast at Simon the Leper’s house, and Jesus is anointed with oil. 9 Nisan (day, before twilight) -A great crowd comes out to Bethany to see Jesus as well as Lazarus who Jesus had raised from the dead. 10 Nisan (evening, after twilight) – Jesus is back at the house of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha to sleep. 10 Nisan (day,) – Jesus tells the disciples how to obtain the colt, and he rides into Jerusalem. The palms waved by the people were spontaneous as they heard that Jesus was coming. Nothing is scripted. Incredibly, the foretelling of this in Old Testament is highly accurate. 11 Nisan (evening, after twilight) – Jesus again is back at the house of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha to sleep 11 Nisan (day) – Jesus and the disciples pass the fig tree which has no fruit. He curses it, then moves on to the temple where he drives out the money changers and those selling the doves for purchase for sacrifice 12 Nisan (evening, after twilight) – Jesus is back in Bethany at the house of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha 12 Nisan (day) – Jesus is back at the temple preaching. The chief priests are humiliated in their attempts to trip him up. They decide he must die and the scheming begins. 13 Nisan (evening, around twilight) – Jesus and his disciples are back in Bethany on 13 Nisan (evening), because it says in Mark 14:10 that he sent them back into the city the next day. 13 Nisan (day) – where we pick up today

There are two important things happening on 13 Nisan. The first thing is the arrangement for the Preparation of Passover which is 14 Nisan. You have to be careful when you read the passages not to confused the arrangements for where to do the Passover, with the Preparation of Passover which is 14 Nisan. The Preparation of Passover is that evening and day prior to twilight at the end of 14 Nisan (6PM) and the beginning of 15 Nisan which is Passover when each family is eating the roast lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs as described in Exodus.

13 Nisan is when the disciples are making the the arrangement for the evening of 14 Nisan which begins at 6PM, and is what we call The Lord’s Supper. Jesus instructs them either shortly before 6PM 13 Nisan or just after on 14 Nisan where to go and what to say to the person who already has a room prepared.

Bear in mind that what we call The Lord’s Supper is not a Passover meal. It is the night meal the day before the Passover.

Matthew 26:17   Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?  18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.

Mark 14:12   And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?  13 And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. 14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 15 And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. 16 And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

Luke 22:7   Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.  8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. 9 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?  10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. 11 And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. 13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

The second important thing that is in motion, is the conspiracy to capture and kill Jesus which began in the minds of the chief priests the day before, on 12 Nisan.  At the end of that long day of Jesus’ teaching in the temple, every challenge by the Pharisees and Sadducees has been dashed to pieces, and Jesus has preached and preached and the people are astonished and drawn to the Son of God. Defeated and humiliated, the Chief Priests begin to plan how to do it.

Mark 14:1   It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him,  2 for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”

Judas has been seeking a time to betray Jesus since he was anointed at Simon the Leper’s house. Here are the accounts of those.

Mark 14:10   Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them.  11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.

Matthew 26:14   Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,  15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.  16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

Luke 22:1   Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.  2 And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.  3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.  4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.  5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.  6 And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.

So now, the stage is set. The place of the Lord’s Supper is set. The betrayal is arranged and paid for with thirty pieces of silver. In just 24 more hours from after twilight on the end of 13 Nisan and the beginning of 14 Nisan, Jesus will already be dead and buried, and Passover, or Pasach, begins as twilight welcomes 15 Nisan.

14 Nisan. The Lord’s Supper, His Betrayal, Trial, Crucifixion, and Burial

Here is the recap of the timeline. Again, remember that 6PM is the end of one day and the beginning of the next.

8 Nisan (day, i.e. before twilight) – Jesus arrives in Bethany to stay with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. 9 Nisan (evening, i.e., after twilight) –  They all feast at Simon the Leper’s house, and Jesus is anointed with oil. 9 Nisan (day, before twilight) -A great crowd comes out to Bethany to see Jesus as well as Lazarus who Jesus had raised from the dead. 10 Nisan (evening, after twilight) – Jesus is back at the house of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha to sleep. 10 Nisan (day,) – Jesus tells the disciples how to obtain the colt, and he rides into Jerusalem. The palms waved by the people were spontaneous as they heard that Jesus was coming. Nothing is scripted. Incredibly, the foretelling of this in Old Testament is highly accurate. 11 Nisan (evening, after twilight) – Jesus again is back at the house of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha to sleep 11 Nisan (day) – Jesus and the disciples pass the fig tree which has no fruit. He curses it, then moves on to the temple where he drives out the money changers and those selling the doves for purchase for sacrifice 12 Nisan (evening, after twilight) – Jesus is back in Bethany at the house of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha 12 Nisan (day) – Jesus is back at the temple preaching. The chief priests are humiliated in their attempts to trip him up. They decide he must die and the scheming begins. 13 Nisan (evening, around twilight) – Jesus and his disciples are back in Bethany on 13 Nisan (evening), because it says in Mark 14:10 that he sent them back into the city the next day. 13 Nisan (day) – The disciples are in Jerusalem where Jesus sent them to make the arrangements for the upper room. The chief priests have paid Judas thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus. 14 Nisan (evening) – our story continues today

Now there is a very important issue to address in the following scripture in the NIV because there are some inconsistencies with the KJV that apparently led to assumptions here which cause confusion as to whether this is Passover that begins at twilight on the end of 14 Nisan (daytime) or Preparation for Passover that begins at twilight the end of 13 Nisan and the beginning of 14 Nisan.

Mark 14:12 NIV    On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb,a Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 

Mark 14:12 KJV   And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? 

Notice that the NIV apparent assumes that what the KJV states is the first day of unleavened bread is the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread. In both verses though, the disciples are asking where they will go to ‘prepare’ to eat the Passover. You see the day of preparation of Passover is 14 Nisan (daytime) and at twilight between the end of 14 Nisan and the beginning of 15 Nisan, the lamb is killed and roasted. You don’t prepare for Passover after you have killed the lamb at twilight. You prepare that day before.

In my opinion, the NIV mistakenly assumed that the first day of unleavened bread in the KJV was the same as the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread. Look at these two texts in Exodus and you will see that. The Passover you see isn’t eaten until the evening, but in Exodus, it says that even the first day there is to be no leaven, as well as 14 Nisan. So you see the scripture above in Mark cannot mean the 15 Nisan (day), but the 14 Nisan day which is the day of Preparation for Passover.

Exodus 12:15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

Exodus 12: 18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.

Further details of that evening also provoke support that The Lord’s Supper is not the same as the Passover. In the scripture below, you will see that Jesus arrives in the evening.

Mark 14 KJV 13And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. 14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 15 And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. 16 And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. 17 And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. 

Jesus is clearly arriving the evening before Passover which is 14 Nisan, not 15 Nisan, and 14 Nisan is Preparation for Passover. They are eating, but this is what we call The Lord’s Supper, and it is not the same as Passover. Additionally, the scriptures only mention bread and wine and something that the bread was dipped in. While Jewish tradition today is varied and has through Rabbinical fiat changed and been interpreted in slightly different ways, Exodus is very clear. There were only three things eaten in the Exodus Passover: roast lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. Now one could make the case that these bitter herbs were a dip, but I remain a bit skeptical even after a brief search on the web for how these herbs are prepared.

I want to turn to Matthew 26 and look at the section of scripture here where Jesus tells Judas that he knows that he has betrayed him. Visualize the scene where Jesus has just announced that one of the disciples has already betrayed him. All of them as a group must have been dumbfounded. Then individually and quietly each disciple approaches Jesus in the course of the meal and ask if they are the one.

Matthew 26 KJV 17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? 18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. 20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. 21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? 23 And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. 24 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. 25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.

I very much suppose that the disciples understood that Jesus knows the future. He has demonstrated his prescience as one of the persons of God already. When Judas asks him, he is not asking as a disciple that believes. He knows what he has already done that day. He is asking to see if Jesus might really know. Once Jesus tells him that he knows, then Judas heart is hardened further. No doubt, he doesn’t slip away until they are headed to the Garden of Gethsemane, then he brings back the guards with him. You see, since it is Wednesday 14 Nisan, and the the new crescent moon won’t be visible until Friday 16 Nisan of the year 30 (http://www.judaismvschristianity.com/passover_dates.htm and http://aa.usno.navy.mil/faq/docs/SpringPhenom.php), it is dark. As easily as Judas slithers away on the way to Gethsemane, he slips back into the group. The guards cannot identify Jesus because of the darkness, so Judas kisses Jesus and thus points them to arrest the correct person, Jesus.

Judas really didn’t know or understand that Jesus wouldn’t flee. He didn’t understand that Jesus was freely welcoming his sacrifice. It sounds so terrible to say that, but our Lord was looking ahead beyond that despite his agony in the garden. You see I think that his agony her is the separation from the Father and the Holy Ghost, and not the suffering he anticipate. Hebrews clearly states that he was joyful about saving us. It makes his love for us in this verse in Hebrews so much more real.

Hebrews 12 KJV 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Here now is the account of Jesus’ taking which clearly speaks for itself. The interesting thing here is that the young man who ran away naked, after his loin cloth was snatched as they attempted to arrest him, is not named. It suggests to me that Mark was the one and including that detail is confessional on his part as one who abandoned Jesus.

Mark 14 KJV    43 And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.   44 And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.   45 And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.   46 And they laid their hands on him, and took him.   47 And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.   48 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me?  49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.  50 And they all forsook him, and fled.   51 And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:   52 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked. 

And so it is about midnight as best we can assume. Jesus is shifted back and forth from the chief priests to Pilate, until finally he is sentenced to death by crucifixion. He is nailed to the cross at the third hour which is 9AM. Darkness engulfs Jerusalem at the sixth hour which is noon. Jesus dies at the ninth hour which is 3PM.

Mark 15 KJV  25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. 

Mark 15 KJV 33   And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. 36 And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. 37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

By the ninth hour, or 3PM, Jesus has declared it is finished. The significance of this statement cannot be underscored. Remember that Jesus is the Word, the Creator. No man can take his life. He alone as one of the persons of God can will himself to die. The cross was the method, but until he says the words ‘It is finished’ he will hang there and suffer. I believe with all my heart that he stayed on the cross suffering until his Father told him that enough was enough. He loves his Father more than we can understand, even beyond the torture that he voluntarily endures. This is confirmed here in John.

John 19 KJV  28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.  29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.   30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Now the Passover lambs are not slain until twilight (6PM) 14 Nisan. Why did Jesus choose 3PM to die?

Technically there are several good reasons for his plan. First, Joseph of Arimathea needs time to get his body off the cross, prepared and draped for burial, and transported to the tomb before Passover.

You see Passover is a High Holy Day, just like Sabbath. That is one of the reasons that scripture has been misinterpreted to describe Jesus dying on Good Friday. He had to have died on Wednesday to fulfill the three days and nights of which he himself prophesied.

Remember, Jesus enters Jerusalem on what we call ‘Palm Sunday,’ which was actually the Sabbath day, or our Saturday. He can do this without violating the Sabbath, because Bethany, where he is staying, is less than two miles walk into Jerusalem. Wednesday evening, twilight 14 Nisan, begins Passover, itself a Sabbath or High Holy Day. Friday evening at twilight 17 Nisan is when the next Sabbath starts. Thus you can see how the confusion of Good Friday came about.

The grave, or sheol, is Jesus’ tomb. It is the moment that the stone covers his body, that the sign of Jonah begins. Just as Jonah’s tomb was the belly of the whale, Jesus’ tomb is the belly of the Earth. He will be there from twilight 14 Nisan to twilight 17 Nisan, exactly three days. The disciples are scattered in the meantime.

Is everything over? Not even hardly! Watch for my next installment on 17 Nisan, our April 25th this year of 2016. I’ll leave you with one interesting question to ponder in the meantime.

Was Jesus raised on Sunday, the morning of 18 Nisan or Saturday, the evening of 18 Nisan (twilight 17 Nisan, the end of the three days)?

18 Nisan. The Risen Lord

It will be important to review the final details of Jesus’ death on the cross in order to understand the particulars of his resurrection. Here is the account in Mark that links those two events.

Mark 15 KJV  42  And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,   43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.   44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.  45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.   46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.   47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid. 

Mark 16 KJV  1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

At 3PM Jesus has surrendered his life when he says that ‘It is finished.’ This is one of the most important details in all of the Bible, because while he was tortured and hung on the cross, because he is the giver of all life, it is only he that give it up. It sounds even macabre to think that Jesus could have and would have hung on that cross without dying until he uttered those words. I am persuaded, even with chills as I write, in that conclusion by this scripture.

John 10 KJV 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.  16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.  17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Had Jesus not given his life freely, then Psalm 85:10 would not be true: mercy and justice have met and kissed. While some may point the finger at the Romans or even the Jews as Jesus’ murderers, this is just not scriptural. It is true that the chief priests schemed with the complicity of Pilate to put him to death, but remember that we are talking about God the Son, the third person of the timeless trinity. We offer with great arrogance the idea that we actually could kill him, our maker.

With Jesus’ death, absolute justice and absolute mercy are provided for us in a single, simple act of God’s love.

Now let’s turn to some particulars in Mark 15/16 above. Remember that Jesus dies at 3PM so that Joseph of Arimathea can claim his body, remove it from the cross, cover it in the shroud, and transport it to his burial tomb. Why 3PM? Because Passover officially starts at 6PM, twilight, the end of 14 Nisan and the beginning of 15 Nisan.

According to this scripture, Passover is treated just like Sabbath. All the Jews would be at home, not working, and preparing to eat the unleavened bread and bitter herbs that were made 14 Nisan, the Preparation for Passover. The will have killed the lambs that twilight and will be roasting it on the fire. As soon as it is roasted, these three things will be consumed together entirely, with all the remains of the lamb burned by the fire before the the morning of 15 Nisan.

In Mark 16:1 above though, Mary and Martha come to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body after the Sabbath. But this is not the Passover Sabbath, because it clearly says in verse 2 that they came to the tomb on the morning of the first day of the week, which is Sunday morning, 18 Nisan. That is also the Feast of Firstfruits.

Mary and Martha find the tomb with Jesus’ body gone and a young man in white raiment tells them that he has risen. In point of fact, Jesus resurrection would have been at twilight, the end of 17 Nisan and the beginning of 18 Nisan because this would be the three days. He has been alive for about 12 hours before Mary and Martha drive at the tomb and has gone on to Galilee.

The young man in white is there to give them that message, and to make sure the tomb is open so that they can get inside. Jesus doesn’t need the stone removed to let him out you see. The fact that the guards have vanished, the huge stone is rolled away, and there is an empty grave shroud clothe are Jesus’ statement to the world. He is who is says he is.

It is important to understand that the instructions given to Jesus’ messenger in the tomb are specific. He told them that Jesus had gone on to Galilee. And this is precisely what Jesus told them at The Last Supper the evening before the Passover.

Mark 14 KJV  22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.  23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.   24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.  25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.  26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.   27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. 28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. 

This is very remarkable because no one knew this person. Had he been a disciple of Jesus rather than an angel, they would have known. The only way that he would have known Jesus was raised would be that he indeed was an angel, and Jesus was truly raised instead of his body simply being snatched away to promote a hoax. Indeed, it is totally illogical for Jesus to have given the specific instructions to the disciples to go to Galilee, then simply die for such fakery.

It is also of note, that there are multiple accounts that Jesus was seen alive to many, many people. Here is the final account in Luke.

Mark 16 KJV 9  Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.  10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.   11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.   12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.   13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.  14   Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.   15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;  18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Easter & Passover. The Day Jesus Died

For Christians, the traditionally hallowed day of the death of Jesus is Good Friday. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Sunday, at which many a Christian congregation holds a memorial sunrise service. What has always puzzled me is that there are only 36 hours between Friday at 6 PM, when Jesus was in the grave, and Sunday, at 6 AM when he was raised. This is because Jesus, in his own words, clearly stated that the Son of man would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Matthew 12 (KJV)
40
 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

It seems important to distinguish that this is a sign as opposed to a miracle. Miracles are events where something that happens normally in nature is sped up, slowed down, or reversed. When Jesus turned the water into wine, we see the natural fermentation process accelerated. Miracles are very significant, to be sure, but Jesus so emphasized this sign about himself as to harshly warn a wicked and perverse generation who would seek one. The only sign they would be given would be the sign of Jonah. 1

The Passover lamb is a figura umbrae, 2 or shadow, of Jesus Christ’s death, and it is described with great detail in Exodus 12:1.

Exodus 12 (KJV)
1  And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 
2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 
3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 
4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 
6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening 3
7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 
8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 
9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 
10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. 
11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover.

 The month that is described in this passage is Nisan. 4 As you see, God changed it to be the first month in the Hebrew calendar.

There also are very specific instructions about the Passover lamb. It was to be brought into the house with the family on 10 Nisan. On Nisan 14, at the end of day, the lamb is sacrificed. This is necessarily before dusk, because 15 Nisan begins at 6 PM, and not six hours later at 12 AM. 14 Nisan is known as the Preparation of Passover, and 15 Nisan is Passover.

In Egypt, God passed through slaying all the first born. Only the occupants of the houses where the blood of the Passover lamb had been applied to the door posts and lintel of the house were spared grievous judgment. The Passover lamb is the figura umbrae 5 of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for us. His blood marks the posts and lintel of our hearts.

The weekly Sabbath, 6 or day of rest, starts at dusk, i.e. 6 PM, on Friday and ends at 6 PM on Saturday. It is also noteworthy that Passover is called a special, or high, Sabbath, and in addition to the meal of bitter herbs, unleavened bread, and roast lamb, it carries the same work restrictions as the weekly Sabbath.

Now it is also important to understand that the Hebrew calendar is lunisolar. 7 Our calendar today is the Gregorian solar calendar, named for Pope Gregory. It replaced the Julian solar calendar, which was named for Julius Ceasar. The Julian calendar is based on a 365.25-day year, which is a few minutes longer one solar revolution. The Julian calendar has gradually advanced over the centuries, and today is more than two weeks ahead of the Gregorian calendar which replaced it precisely to correct this problem. 8

In the Hebrew calendar, 14 Nisan is the day of Preparation of Passover. It is also called the Fast of the Firstborn. 9 It is always on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday, but never a Tuesday or Thursday.

Let’s summarize the most important things to glean from the above discussion. Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb, was killed on 14 Nisan at the end of the day of Preparation of Passover, the same time as all the other passover lambs were being slaughtered. He died at 3 PM, sooner than was expected. His body was taken down off the cross, and given to Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. They prepared it for burial with some 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes, and transported it to a nearby newly hewn, and as yet unused, tomb. Both these men were working against the 6 PM deadline in time for Passover.

Looking ahead to Sunday morning, the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb. The angel she encounters tells her that Jesus Christ has risen, and is not there. Remember that 15 Nisan begins at dusk, and Jesus is in grave, and literally in Sheol. From 15 Nisan  to the first day of the week, there must be three days and three nights.

If 14 Nisan falls on Friday, as is church tradition, then between dusk Friday and sunrise Sunday, Jesus could have only been in Sheol from the night of 15 Nisan to sunrise 16 Nisan which is only a day and a half.  If 14 Nisan falls on Saturday, then he could have been in Sheol only the night of 15 Nisan, or just 12 hours. If 14 Nisan was on a Monday, then counting to sunrise Sunday results in six days and seven nights. These are all untenable if we are to believe that Jesus Christ meant what he said about three days and three nights.

The only viable option left for when Jesus died is where 14 Nisan fell on a Wednesday. Counting from sunset on Wednesday 14 Nisan to sunrise on Sunday 18 Nisan there are three days and four nights. This doesn’t seem to work at first either though. However, there is something quite assumed in the scripture about Sunday 18 Nisan. Here are the two harmonic accounts in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark of the tomb that Feast of Firstfruits morning.

Matthew 28 (NIV-1984)
1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stonec and sat on it. 
3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 
4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. 
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 
6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 
7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Mark 16 (NIV-1984)
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 
2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 
3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 
4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 
5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 
6  “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 
7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”

There is one detail that is stunningly absent.  There is nothing said about exactly when Jesus arose! The best that we have assumed till now, is that the women arrived immediately after Jesus was raised and the stone rolled away. But the scripture says nothing that indicates that Jesus had risen even shortly before , or sometime during the night. It simply doesn’t say when he was raised. There is little reason to think even, that the presence of the angel rolling away the stone had anything specifically to do with Jesus being raised from the dead. If Jesus didn’t need any help coming back from Sheol, it’s certain that the stone walls of the tomb had no strength to confine him.

This highlights the notable contrast in how Lazarus appeared after Jesus raised him from the dead. Lazarus was wrapped in his burial linens, and had to hobble out to have them removed. Jesus’ body was translated straight through the burial linens and out of the tomb. That’s why the grave clothes were left neatly folded with the head covering separate but nearby.

John 20 (NIV-1984)
3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 
4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 
5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 
6 Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 
7 as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 
8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 
9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 

Without any other scripture to consider, the only thing we can do is to take Jesus at his word about three days and three nights at face value. If his death and burial occurred just before sunset on Wednesday 14 Nisan, then he rose again on Saturday 17 Nisan, at the end of the third day. The presence of the angel the next morning was necessary for the sake of the women, but was not required for Jesus to escape death or the tomb.

If Jesus’ resurrection occurred at sunset on Saturday the end of 17 Nisan, why did the women not show up at the tomb until sunrise on Sunday 18 Nisan? They were observing the Sabbath rest until 6 PM Saturday. By that time, it was getting dark. The lack of light caused them to put off their visit to the grave until daylight the next morning.

Passover Week 2

Learning the true day of Jesus’ death is highly significant because it confirms to us the accuracy of scriptural prophecy as well as absolute authority of Jesus’ own words. It also reveals something most equally amazing. Look here at the list of weekdays by year in which Preparation for Passover falls on Wednesday.

Day of the Week 
for 14 Nisan
Preparation of Passover
 The Shepherd’s Page, http://www.abdicate.net/cal.aspx'>10
Age of Jesus 
for 
Variously Proposed Nativity Years
 11
Hebrew
Year
Gregorian / Julian Day 
of 
Week
12 B.C. 12 7-5 B.C. 13 3-2 B.C. 14
Mon Day Year
3770  April 14/16 10  Wed  21 14-16  11-12
3771  April 4/6 11  Mon  22  15-17  12-13
3772  Mar 23/25  12  Fri  23  16-18  13-14
3773  Apr 12/14  13  Fri  24  17-19  14-15
3774  Mar 31/Apr 2  14  Mon  25  18-20  15-16
3775  Mar 20/22  15  Fri  26  19-21  16-17
3776  Apr 8/10  16  Fri  27  20-22  17-18
3777  Mar 29/31  17  Wed  28  21-23  18-19
3778  Mar 17/19  18  Sat  29  22-24  19-20
 3779  Apr 5/7  19  Fri  30  23-25  20-21
 3780  Mar 25/27  20  Wed  31  24-26  21-22
 3781  Apr 12/14  21  Mon  32  25-27  22-23
 3782  Apr 2/4  22  Sat  33  26-28  23-24
 3783  Mar 22/24  23  Wed  34  27-29  24-25
 3784  Apr 10/12  24  Wed  35  28-30  25-26
 3785  Mar 31/Apr 2  25*  Mon  36  29-31  26-27
 3786  Mar 20/26  26*  Fri  37  30-32  27-28
 3787  Apr 7/9  27*  Wed  38  31-33  28-29
3788  Mar 27/29 28*  Mon  39  32-34  29-30
3789  Apr 14/16 29*  Sat  40  33-35  30-31
3790  Apr 3/5 30*  Wed  41  34-36  31-32
3791  Mar 24/26 31  Mon  42  35-37  32-33
3792  Apr 12/14 32  Mon  43  36-38  33-34
3793  Apr 1/3 33  Fri  44  37-39  34-35
3794  Mar 20/22 34  Mon  45  38-40  35-36
3795  Apr 9/11 35  Mon  46  39-41  36-37
3796  Mar 28/30 36  Fri  47  40-42  37-38
3797  Mar 18/20 37  Wed  48  41-43  38-39
3798  Apr 5/7 38  Mon  49  42-44  39-40
3799  Mar 25/27 39  Fri  50  43-45  40-41
3800  Apr 13/15 40  Fri  51  44-46  41-42

So which Wednesday 14 Nisan is the Preparation of Passover in which Jesus Christ was crucified? Let’s take a look at this scripture in Luke.

Luke 3 (NIV-1984)
1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— 
2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. 
3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 
4 As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. 
5 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. 
6 And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’” 
7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 
8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 
9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” 
10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked. 
11 John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.” 
12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” 
13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them. 
14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.” 
15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. 
16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 
17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 
18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them. 
19 But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, 
20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison. 
21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 
22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” 
23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli,

The first verse very specifically ties the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry to the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Ceasar. He ruled as emporer from A.D. 14-37, which would mean that, at first glance, John the Baptist begins preparing the way of the Lord in the year 29.

The date of his ascension as Roman emporer in A.D. 14 however does not probably correspond to his first year of reign as verse 1 might suggest, because of the practice of antedating. 15 While Tiberius actually ascended in A.D. 14 when Augustus Ceasr died, he would have antedated the year of his reign from as far back to the point at which Augustus appointed him as heir, which was A.D. 4. 16

More importantly though, there is a descrepancy in date of Augustus Ceasar’s death as indicated by astonomical evidence which places his demise at A.D. 10 instead of A.D. 14. 17 Also the first year of a reign does not count the actual year of ascencion usually, because the first year must be a whole, and not a partial, year. Therefore, rather than appointing Tiberius as his heir in A.D. 4, he did so in A.D. 1.

As a combination of at least the error of Augustus Ceasar’s death and when Tiberius Ceasar antedated his reign, we can see that the fifteenth year of his reign does not likely point to year A.D. 29, but sometime earlier, perhaps A.D. 25-26. The significance of course is that if A.D. 29 is correct, then there is not enough time for John to have been ministering, and Jesus to have been baptized and start his ministy, and also to have observed the three documented Passovers in scripture before the Wednesday Preparation of Passover in A.D. 30.

That particular Wednesday occurrence of Preparation of Passover of A.D. 30 does not occur again until A.D. 37 which seems far too long. This is especially more significant when you see that the beginning of Jesus’ ministry at about age thirty is noted in Like 3:23 of the scripture above.

In conclusion, it appears to me that Jesus’ ministry started circa A.D. 29-30 which is when John baptized him. The first Preparation of Passover was on a Wednesday A.D 30 with two subsequent occurrences on Monday and Saturday. His final Preparation of Passover where he was crucified was again on a Wednesday A.D. 30. This three and a half years of Messiah where he is cut off, is also mentioned in the following prophetic scripture, with which I’ll close and leave you the reader to ponder.

Dan. 9 (KJV)
20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; 
21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 
22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 
23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. 
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Even so Lord Jesus, come and redeem our selves as you have redeemed our souls. -Amen

 

L

The Story of Passover The Most Important Figura Umbrae Ever

Over the years, I’ve seen many various lists of propheices that Jesus fulfilled in scripture. These are highly worthy reads. The story of Passover in the Old Testament, the single most important figura umbrae 1 in scripture, is the portense of the events of Passover week when Jesus died and was raised again.


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God is nothing if not very precise. That’s one of the reasons, that my favorite question for him is ‘Why’ as I read scripture or ponder something he’s teaching me. I know how it feels when my grandsons toss out their own stream of ‘why’s’ in my direction. Children do that whether they are posing them to their parents, grandparents, or to their Almighty God.

We call it Good Friday because we say that Jesus died and was buried then before the start of the Saturday Sabbath. There is just one problem. There are only one and a half days from 6PM on Good Friday to sunrise on Sunday, the traditional day of Jesus’ resurrection.

Jesus was very specific when he quoted the sign of Jonah. Signs and miracles are not the same thing. Since God never fudges, I believe Jesus was God the Son, I think he meant what he said.

Matthew 12 (KJV)
40
 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

While the precise day of Jesus’ death is not a point that draws people to come to faith in God, it is nevertheless quite important. God was very precise is moving me to write Forever And A Day For Laura Michelle 2 exactly twenty years to the day she died, I know that a timeless God never fudges with time. He never needs to. When it comes to time, God has unequaled perspective, because he is outside of time.

The Command of God Concerning Passover Observance

Exodus 12 (KJV)
1  And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 
2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 
3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 
4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 
6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening 3
7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 
8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 
9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 
10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. 
11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover.

On the tenth day of Nisan 4 , a spotless lamb was to be brought into the house by the father. It remained there for four days being cared for, and no doubt, integrating into the family. Hebrew days start six hours earlier than Gregorian days, so that these four days start at 6PM on 10 Nisan and end at 6PM on Nisan 14.

Precisely at sunset, just before twilight, this lamb was sacrificed and its blood sprinkled on the door posts and lintel. Its flesh was roasted whole over a fire without breaking or separating the bones. It was eaten with bread containing no leaven and seasoned with bitter herbs. The remaining uneaten carcase was burned entirely without breaking or separating bone..

Passover Week

Two days before Sabbath, Jesus’ arrives near the evening at Mary, Martha, and Lazarus’ house. 5

Yes, this is the same Lazarus that Jesus raised from the dead! 6

Passover Week

Passover Week. Hebrew calendar days begin at 6PM while Gregorian calendar days begin at 12 midnight. For example, 14 Nisan in the Hebrew calendar begins Tuesday at 6PM on the Gregorian calenda.

Mary, Martha, and Lazarus live in Bethany, about two miles or less from Jerusalem. 7

Jesus stays there the next day and again the night which is the Sabbath evening of 10 Nisan. The following Sabbath morning of 10 Nisan, Jesus rides those two miles on a donkey. Because it is two miles or less, this journey from Bethany to Jerusalem is not consider work. Jesus is keeping every detail of Sabbath law.

Jerusalem, the House of God, also the House of Restitution. 8 9 10 Jesus, the sacrificial Passover lamb has just now ridden in on a donkey and is ‘in the house.’

From 10 Nisan, Jesus is with his disciples, until the evening of 14 Nisan he is taken by the Sanhedrin. He has just given his disciples a new covenant in his blood to replace the Passover lamb forever. By 9AM he is nailed and hanging on the cross. Just before he dies at 3PM, he forgives all mankind, cries out ‘It is finished,’ and our creator surrenders his life. Before twilight at 6PM 14 Nisan, Jesus is entombed behind a great stone. 11

Three days and nights (or nights and days), from evening of 15 Nisan to evening of 18 Nisan, Jesus was dead in Sheol. No one came to check the grave after twilight end of Sabbath 17 Nisan, because it would have been the evening of 18 Nisan, and it would have been dark.

But Jesus is alive no doubt, and the sign of Jonah has been completed.

The stone was rolled away the next morning not to let Jesus out, but let his disciples in to see he was no longer dead. That day of 18 Nisan is the Feast of the Firstfruits which continues for a total of fifty days. On that fiftieth day, Pentecost happened and the Holy Spirit came to dwell within all who were willing. 12

Conclusion

I want to retierate, that the event sequence of Passoever week, is not critical to anyone’s faith. As I read scripture and repeatedly find God using types and shadows, their importance in our faith stands out. The Passover is the greatest of all the figura umbrae.

Note: You can read in much more detail about my impression of when Jesus actually died here.


L

How God Makes Sense A Poem by Ron Smith, MD

Some very smart men have said,
“God is not with us… God is dead!”
Is that possibly true?
    If we think we know our ‘how,’ then how can there not be a ‘who?’


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My heart feels something warm and pleasing,
    While my head screams ‘Listen to sound reasoning!”
Maybe God’s not dead, but only sleeping?
    But why would he, when all mankind is weeping?

Could that God, who holds all power,
    Not reach down in our desperate hour?
If there is a God who cares,
    Can’t he stop the suffering that mankind shares?

If God is real, then is he good,
    when he doesn’t give us what we think he should?
Can he possibly see,
    That all we really want is a lamp and a genie?

Who is this God anyway?
    Why does he just seem to keep us at bay?
Does he think he really cares?
    Why does it feel like all we get is his blank stares?

But then every time we get what we desire,
    Why does it feel like its not really ours?
There is this void inside our heart,
    For which nothing seems to fit the part.

All men come to their own end,
    Empty, wasted, with nothing left to spend.
Rest assured that God we will not mock,
    Steady is the ticking of our clock.

For us God does hear and rightly provide,
    Justice and mercy as Christ Jesus died.
We don’t need a genie or a lamp,
    No self-approved label or stamp.

He is ours, and his are we,
    And only our rejection can make that not be,
The solution for all life,
    The end of our strife.

Patient is our creator,
    Who bests that enemy, our hater.
He fills our void deep within our soul,
    He alone can make us whole.

But when us he completes,
    Do we just keep to our seats
Because we stopped right there,
    Timid and afraid about how to share?

Just people-watching we stare and never flinch
    From a comfortable sidewalk bench.
They walk right by,
    While we never think they might really die!

It is for lack of knowledge-
    (And no I don’t mean college)-
Both theirs and ours,
    That eternal death devours.

If we and they had a clue,
    What God did and will do,
Couldn’t we–wouldn’t we tell both friend and foe,
    Really all those we know.

Just how God makes sense,
    How his love is so intense.
His plan for us suddenly so clear
    Speaks life, and not death to all he holds dear.

L


Evolution The Reason Not To Believe It


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cover170x170This video highlights the first chapter in a new book that I’m currently writing. Many may be interested in how I came up with the numbers. When I first started researching this, I found no where on the web that the claims of evolution had been put to the statistical test. The numbers are real and detailed in the fully completed chapter of that book.

The music clip used in my video comes from the Overture entitled I Am (Creation) in the album Music Inspired By The Story. The composer is Bernie Herms under the label 2011 EMI Christian Music Group, Inc., Word Entertainment LLC, Provident Label Group.

I love this great inspirational album and you can buy it on iTunes here. I encourage you that if you haven’t been to a production of The Story, you need to go! (This is not a solicited plug, either, by the way.)

The website is http://www.thestorycd.com also with great content.

L

The Case Against Evolution Staggering Statistical Impossibilities

Preface. To many who believe in evolution, the basis for their stance is really a belief that somehow, if enough people voice support for this theory, that it must be fact. The following treatise is not only my argument against evolution as a legitimate possibility, but proof that a creator is the only first cause for the universe and all that exists. What follows is a biostatistical look at DNA and Polymerase which must exist simulaneously for life to begin. I’m working under the assumption that if these two molecules could ever exist in close molecular proximity, then life would spring into being. I sought to answer the question for myself as to whether there could have been any statistical truth for the theory of evolution. What I found in my treatise below, I was unable to find anywhere on the net in my search prior to its recent writing.


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Primordial Soup. As I was growing up in the Bible belt in Arkansas, we were just starting to get some science classes introducing the theory of evolution. It was properly taught as a theory then, and not yet with any weight of fact. Those first lessons seemed to be carefully crafted so as not to step beyond the boundary of theory. Whether or not the teachers themselves believed in evolution was inapparent, unimportant, and mostly assumed at the time.

Evolution, however small its initial support, was already becoming a serious undercurrent threat to faith-based Christianity. Bible-believing Christians hold that God created all things in six days and rested on the seventh. As time went on, of course, there was a serious shift in the numbers from those who believed in God’s creation toward proponents of evolution.

Today, there has been a sharp reversal between creationism and evolutionism. Any serious academic scientist risks career and reputation if they openly reject evolution. It is also more socially acceptable—perhaps even a social requirement in certain circles—to stand with the evolutionary crowd.

While these changes were occurring during my primary and secondary education, the basic idea of life’s beginning in a primordial soup has remained mostly unchanged. What is this primordial soup anyway, and what does this have to do with evolution?

The primordial soup, as I was taught then, was first coined by Soviet biologist Alexander Oparin in 1924, 1 was considered the evolutionary beginning of all life. Chance occurrence of a single-celled organism is its foundational truth. It other words, there is no primary cause of life. The necessary chemical processes of life just happened all by themselves in a process called abiogenesis. 2

During the early phase of the Earth’s formation from a congealed mass of solar dust swirling around our Sun, there were massive amounts of heat generated by the gravitational forces within its matrix. Molten rock was spewed from the warm crust through a pock-marked surface as a result of volcanoes and lava streams. Muddy water puddles collected in surface depressions. The air was a warm, moist incubator for these ‘birth pools.’ Somehow, the necessary nucleic and amino acid components for DNA and Polymerase came to be present in these primordial incubators.

Lightning strikes, as I was originatlly taught, into or near these pools provided a source of high energy that caused these acid components to assemble into two essential molecules, DNA and Polymerase, in the precisely correct order. The interaction of DNA and Polymerase spontaneously generated the first one-celled organism. This organism then began to grow and multiply in these warm birth pools.

The generation of each of these one-celled organisms from base components is what I call primary evolution. More recently, evolutionists have begun to deny that evoluation as proposed by Charles Darwin in his original Origin of Species even so much as hinted that evolution theory had anything to say about the origin of life. I’m fairly certain that Darwin’s comments of the origin outside of the Christian idea of creation was greatly influenced his early upbringing. 3 He studied medicine initially but was then sent to become an Anglican parson. He was Unitarian by upbringing. It is clear that he is the major source for the idea that life arose spontaneously.

In the primordial soup theory, these one-celled organisms began to replicate themselves. At first, the replicated descendants were identical clones of the parent organisms. One-celled organisms then became larger and larger groups of coherent cells. As time went on, the process resulted in subtle ongoing changes. Organisms like the simple pond Amoeba eventually began to contain more highly specialized cell groups called tissues such as nerves, cardiac and skeletal muscle, and so on.

From simple organisms like the Amoeba began the process of what I term secondary evolution which is the same as transmutation of species. (Evolutionists today seem to prefer to separate out primary evolution and secondary evoluttion as something different, probably within the last twenty years. It certainly was not the case for sure some fifty years ago in my public school education.)

All along the evolutionary train of history, the surface of the earth became littered with the remnants of animals and plants that had been ‘born’ and died along the way. Embedded within the earth and preserved by local weather conditions, they became the fossils we dig up today.

As the primordial soup bowls cooled and the earth became less volcanic at the surface, the window for primary evolution subsided. Secondary evolution took center stage. Animals and plants not only became increasingly complex, they could slowly change and branch into different and more advanced animal and plant species altogether.

The similarities between those branching species are still apparent today. Sparrows nest and have little sparrows. They are similar to other birds because they have feathers and beaks and lay eggs, but in our world now a sparrow’s egg only produces sparrow chicks. As each complex species branches, it cuts the cords of its evolutionary path so as to proceed on to a higher order. These are not smooth shifts though, but sudden, brief interruptions of the evolutionary process that abruptly propel the change of one species into another, higher order species.

In the caboose of the evolutionary train is man who is evolution’s highest developed creature. He is the descendant of apes who were in turn descendants of their less advanced ancestors. Thus the evolutionary train spanned from mankind all the way back to the first one-celled, primordial-soup organisms.

Man’s brain has some two trillion connections between four billion neurons. While he has much greater thinking power, he is also more physically fragile than less evolutionarily developed organisms that preceded him. He thrives best in social groups. He needs to create clothing and dwellings for protection from the same environmental conditions that spawned him in the primordial soup. His life depends on killing and consuming other less developed creatures.

From these social groups then, springs the process of social evolution. Man created the family structure, local tribal architecture, government systems, as well his religious social structure. He began to ask himself “How did I come to be?” For some reason he carried a burning inner desire to know the purpose for his being.

As mankind gained more knowledge, men conclude that mankind is nothing special. Mankind relinquishes the pursuit of why and how and why of existence. There is no real why or how. Mankind is purely evolutionary chance—just a fly in the primordial soup. Or is he?

j

Statistical Improbability. The process of primary evolution is by no means as simple as it may seem. Early research into DNA, by Watson, Crick, and others, confirmed in 1953 confirmed the amazing structure of DNA. Further research since then has shown DNA as the primary map of all the proteins required for life. It has only been since then that mathematical analysis and probability could even be applied to this molecule. The question is this: could DNA, the abolutely essential part of life, ever occur by chance? Let me present a mathematical thought experiment.

In my description of the primordial soup, I made several assumptions. The most critical one is that the twenty-one amino acids required as the building blocks of proteins like Polymerase, and the four nucleic acids required for DNA, are present in abundance throughout a myriad of primordial soup bowls scattered over the earth. I will also accept as given that the precise temperature, moisture, oxygen, and all other vital environmental conditions were not only favorable, but exactly as required. I chose the simple pond amoeba with the most DNA links to give an advantage to evolutionists. To go from RNA (maps of single proteins) to DNA (a map of all the proteins), or from a much simpler and shorter DNA, to this monstrous 670 billion base pairs of the one-celled Amoeba would increase the improbably of spontaneous life by unimaginable orders of magnitude. The shortest route to life would be an Amoeba with a full complement DNA from the start. These are broad, unrealistic assumptions, but ones which will give the advantage to the proponents of evolution.

Some life is extremely tough and thrives in even difficult environments, but even so, within a narrow range of extremes. I once tried to raise salt water fish in my own aquarium. The key to success is in the quality of the water. The vastness of the ocean makes for a stable metabolic environment. Ocean creatures often can only tolerate narrow ranges of salinity and low levels of their own metabolic waste. Most of my fish died—some very quickly—as the conditions deteriorated in the small tank.

While I will make the greatest assumption that new life in the primordial soup was hardy, I must also conclude that the primordial soup bowl was at least somewhat conducive and stable enough for the creation of DNA and also Polymerase, the protein that replicates DNA. Again to give the proponent of evolution the advantage, I will assume that soup bowl chemical makeup is entirely safe and poses no risk like poor water quality does for most salt water fish.

I would like to focus your attention only on the creation of DNA and this one protein called Polymerase. DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is an encoded map which Protein Polymerase uses to make all of the necessary protein in an organism. Because Polymerases are enzyme proteins, one single Polymerase molecule can perform its specific chemical manufacturing functions over and over again hundreds or thousands of times. Without enzyme engines, life is simply not possible.

One single copy of the enzyme DNA Polymerase can make hundreds and hundreds of copies of DNA. One single copy of Protein Polymerase can produce hundreds upon hundreds of proteins from the multiple maps encoded in a strand of DNA. Both types of Polymerase are necessary for cellular replication and reproduction.

The nucleic acid components of DNA must be in a very precise order so that its protein maps produce a functioning protein molecule. If there is an extra nucleic acid in the link or if one is missing, then any protein made from that defective DNA map, will also be defective.

Let me review this again. DNA is strictly a map for making all proteins in the body. Copies of DNA can only be made with a special protein enzyme called DNA Polymerase. Proteins can only be made by reading the encoded DNA map. DNA alone can make nothing. DNA Polymerase alone cannot make DNA. It can only copy an existing DNA molecule. The map for making DNA Polymerase is also encoded in the DNA! Protein Polymerase must use the DNA map to make new copies of DNA Polymerase.

So what are the chances of the spontaneous formation of DNA or Polymerase in the primordial soup if we assume that all we need to do is get the right sequence of amino acids in Polymerase, or nucleic acids in DNA?

Since man is in the evolutionary caboose, let’s not take human DNA or Polymerase into consideration for my example. No one could seriously think that a full-fledged human body would rise complete out of the muddy primordial, evolutionary soup. I will start instead with the simple amoeba, a one-celled pond water organism. It is precisely such a one-celled organism that evolution proposes to be the precursor to all living organisms.

You would be mistaken if you thought that an amoeba was really simple just because it is only a one-celled organism, however. The length of the amoeba DNA chain is 670 billion nucleic acid links. Human DNA has only 2.9 billion nucleic acids in its chain. Human Polymerase has greater than 1500 amino acids. Amoeba Polymerase only has around 150 amino acids or more. Again I’m giving evolutionists the advantage by using a smaller Polymerase molecule since human polymerase has chains of around 1500 to 2000 amino acids.

What would be the chances that a strike of lightning in the primordial soup created either the exact combination of molecules to form the 670 billion nucleic base pairs of an amoeba DNA, or the smaller 150 amino acid links of its Polymerase? I’m assuming, quite unrealistically, that each strike would produce the exact molecular length required. It is also important to assume that the entire length of the DNA and Polymerase is formed at once, rather than being added to over time. I am assuming also that both correct combinations of DNA and polymerase their creation must be simultaneous. These are again all advantages to the evolutionist’s argument.

On average, lightning reportedly strikes the Earth fifty times every second. We need to know how long it would take at a rate of fifty tries per second to get the exact combination of molecules in the proper order to produce a functional DNA or Polymerase chain. In order to give the advantage to the evolutionist, I will increase the possible lightning strikes to 50,000 per second. I will further assume that each lightning strike creates a complete chain with an order of molecule links which is never repeated in any previous or future lightning strikes.

For skeptics, it must be remembered, that I’m using the lightning strikes here to frame the idea that there is one chance in so many chances of DNA being created in the correct spontaneous order. Opposition would probably arise with the idea that there might have been 100,000,000 possible variations of DNA that would be compatible with life. Perhaps so, but you will soon see that even if that is the case, it doesn’t change anything in my argument.

While the universe is not more than 16 billion years old, it is 45 billion light years from the edge to edge due to the expansion of the universe since the Big Bang. Let me assume that age of the universe is 45 billion years, increasing the time and thus the number of chances possible for the spontaneous creation of these molecules. Again I am giving all the advantages to the evolutionist.

So here is a summary of what I’ve said above.

Hypothesis: All life arose by chance and without outside intervention within the life of the current universe.

Assumptions:

1. The working age of our universe will be 45 billion years, not 13 to 16 billion years or the 4.5 billion years of Earth’s estimated age. I use this because the currently expanded universe would take light some 45 billion years to cross from one edge to the other. This also gives the advantage to proponents of creation by chance.

2. Lightning strikes the earth 50,000 times a second, not 50 times per second. This also gives the advantage to proponents of creation by chance.

3. All necessary amino and nucleic acids are readily present in unlimited quantities in all the primordial pools. The also gives the advantage to proponents of creation by chance.

4. Each time lightning strikes a pool it produces the exact 670 billion nucleic acid base pairs of the Amoeba DNA or the minimum 150 amino acid DNA Polymerase protein necessary for replication of that DNA. This also gives the advantage to proponents of creation by chance.

5. Each time a complete combination of nucleic acids or amino acids creates a DNA strand or Polymerase protein, that sequence is never repeated. This also gives the advantage to proponents of creation by chance.

6. Once a single DNA strand and a single Polymerase protein are created in this primary evolution, then it is assumed that life takes off into secondary evolution to create all known species of life on earth. The also gives the advantage to proponents of creation by chance.

Let me summarize now what we are going to look at. We want to know what the separate chances are at any one point when a lightning strike would produce a correctly ordered DNA or Polymerase molecule which will never be repeated, and from which life springs into existence as a one-celled organism like the Amoeba. How long would it take for this to happen?

The answer to this question is cold, hard math. I suggest you follow along at the same math at Wolfram Alpha 4 where I ran these calculations using these calculators shown here. I have no relationship with the creators of this web site and simply found it by doing an internet search.

So lets have a brief lesson in how these statistics work. What we are looking at is the order of the molecules in DNA or Polymerase. This is called a combination, but more specifically, since the order of the molecules matters, it is called a permutation. DNA and Polymerase functionality is absolutely dependent on the correct order of their respective components. Another important point is that the nucleic acids in DNA can be repeated just as the amino acids in Polymerase can be repeated.

This differs from how the Powerball lottery works, because the order of the numbers you select do not matter. You simply have to get all the numbers correct in order to win. DNA however, must be in the correct sequence of nucleic acids. This difference is what makes the permuations of DNA different from the combinations of a lottery.

The mathematics is really not complicated for DNA and are given by the following equation.

N R which in English is N raised to the power of R

N is the number of options to choose from; there are 4 different nucleic acids which can occupy any link in DNA
R is the number of times you have to choose; this is the length of DNA, i.e. the number of nucleic acid links in the chain

Example: Lets say that in order to win the DNA “lottery” you were using coins, and N is 2 because coins have only 2 sides. You have five chances to toss the coin, but the order of that it comes up heads or tails matters (which it doesn’t in a Powerball lottery). The chances of getting the right combination would be the following.

5 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2

2 5 = 32

The chances of winning a coin toss, then with the correct order of heads and tails is 1 in 32 tries. For DNA with a ‘four-sided’ coin and five nucleic acids links, it would be the following. Notice how much larger the number is simply by going from a two-sided coin to a ‘four-sided’ coin with the same number of tries. Doubling from 2 to 4 results in a number that is 32 times larger! Getting the right combination in this case happens in 1 try out of 1024.

5 = 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4

5 = 1024

Here is what makes the numbers for DNA so much bigger than those for the lottery. There is a staggering difference between possible lottery number choices and the Powerball lottery, which doesn’t have to be ordered correctly, and which has no number repetition. 5

2,900,000,000 = the number of tries for an ordered human DNA

670,000,000,000 = the number of tries for an ordered Amoeba DNA

For DNA, we are going to calculate the permutations for 670 billion nucleic acid bases linked in the chain. Each position can be one of only four specific nucleic acids. Polymerase will only have 150 amino acid positions, but there are 21 possible amino acid possible for each. Here are the calculations and the results.

Permutations of Nucleic Acids in Amoeba DNA

Types: 4 different nucleic acids

Number: 670 000 000 000 nucleic acids in the DNA chain

Ordered: Yes

Repetition: Yes

Short Answer: >3.999 × 10403,319,988,190 possible unique nucleic acid permutations, i.e., one chance in this many tries

Full Answer:

( ( 4 2,900,000,000 ) 231 ) ≅

4 670,000,000,000 ≅

39 994 967 421 848 910 515 830 891 485 929 873 539 200 859 478 110 890 046 870 902 973 811 397 920 013 154 264 044 806 966 368 766 890 560 334 898 057 354 957 460 991 513 009 979 218 569 129 129 153 483 557 828 349 006 800 907 063 281 876 506 271 581 554 720 007 349 513 619 281 699 834 915 654 215 605 813 999 586 134 578 638 487 562 271 060 398 541 468 204 808 466 449 370 220 154 689 313 785 035 081 434 537 109 678 931 650 139 920 672 226 961 937 056 370 747 827 436 399 579 577 781 894 369 126 135 235 359 981 612 583 174 092 148 572 812 451 396 985 949 322 349 982 431 102 855 445 850 644 170 231 780 263 633 773 563 838 153 350 354 671 412 015 814 688 687 757 112 841 366 058 246 513 133 149 198 310 558 695 664 549 451 809 175 129 782 380 919 010 406 793 851 191 468 769 106 636 250 539 681 518 630 619 043 314 949 500 544 367 822 279 572 636 349 791 238 595 690 784 888 003 137 361 102 179 098 490 441 663 804 960 541 478 602 696 942 715 681 369 118 620 958 194 379 850 952 001 014 269 432 698 697 003 874 158 995 944 986 700 364 628 432 578 820 520 177 129 985 885 387 365 616 434 349 366 446 933 301 873 657 503 190 681 971 557 734 329 146 263 760 242 892 262 023 603 324 535 364 050 902 887 137 448 125 229 547 998 486 942 139 172 417 409 720 398 399 068 282 603 135 163 …

followed by 403,319,987,229 more digits ~

possible unique nucleic acid permutations, i.e., one chance in that many tries

Permutations of Amino Acids in Amoeba Polymerase

Types: 21 different amino acids

Number: 150 amino acids in the protein chain

Ordered: Yes

Repetition: Yes

Short Answer: >2 x 10198 possible unique amino acid permutations, i.e., one chance in this many tries

Full Answer:

2 152 257 401 894 210 849 885 399 868 533 172 047 094 163 420 920 727 026 962 278 759 017 034 895 319 568 745 161 079 062 558 145 992 014 802 928 189 547 119 043 302 873 473 685 146 590 883 138 249 855 396 449 099 342 449 700 439 725 977 978 670 553 308 554 873 001

possible unique amino acid permutations, i.e., one chance in that many tries

So how many tries would there be in the lifetime of a 45 billion year old universe at a rate of 50,000 tries per second, so that each try was successful and all molecule order combinations were unrepeated? If we use the working age for the universe as 45 billion years, there have only been this many chances to get the correct combination of either DNA or Polymerase.

Seconds in 45 billion years:

1 419 120 000 000 000 000

[60 secs X 60 min X 24 hrs X 365 days X 45 000 000 000 years]

Lightning strikes at 50/second:

70 956 000 000 000 000 000 secs per 45 billion years

[1 419 120 000 000 000 000 sec X 50 strikes/sec]

Lightning strikes at 50,000/second:

70 956 000 000 000 000 000 000 secs per 45 billion years 

[1 419 120 000 000 000 000 sec X 50,000 strikes/sec]

So for one Amoeba-sized Polymerase molecule to occur by chance it would take far greater than 30e+174 universes that were 45 billion year old to get the correct combination just once at 50,000 tries a second, with the given that no combination was ever repeated and that the Polymerase molecule would also be the exact same length each time. The exact number is shown here rounded to one decimal place.

[Polymerase permutations / 70 956 000 000 000 000 000 000 secs = Polymerase chances] ;

( 21 150 ) / ( 45,000,000,000 x 365 x 24 x 60 x 60 x 50,000 ) ≅

30 332 282 004 259 130 304 490 104 692 107 391 159 227 738 611 544 154 503 668 171 247 210 030 093 573 041 675 983 413 137 129 291 279 311 163 653 384 451 195 717 104 592 616 341 769 418 838 974 150 958 290 336 255 460 421 957 829 161.4

sequential universes, each of which is 45 billion years old

For one Amoeba-sized DNA molecule to occur by chance, the number would be greater than 5.636 x 10403,319,988,167, an enormously larger figure shown here.

[DNA permutations / 70 956 000 000 000 000 000 000 secs = DNA chances] ;

( ( 4 2900000000 ) 231 ) / ( 45,000,000,000 x 365 x 24 x 60 x 60 x 50,000) ≅

563 658 709 930 786 832 908 152 819 859 206 741 349 580 859 661 070 100 440 708 368 197 353 260 048 666 134 844 760 231 218 907 025 347 544 039 941 052 975 892 961 715 894 497 705 882 083 673 391 305 647 976 610 138 773 337 097 120 495 469 111 443 451 642 144 531 111 021 186 111 108 784 537 660 178 220 502 841 001 953 022 133 259 516 757 714 619 503 187 958 854 310 408 848 020 670 405 797 748 394 518 216 036 835 206 771 099 553 535 602 725 096 356 282 354 527 135 638 981 616 463 468 830 953 353 278 586 165 815 612 255 117 145 112 080 901 564 307 260 123 489 908 991 926 022 541 375 650 320 906 361 410 784 623 901 626 897 702 102 072 712 836 346 675 245 049 849 383 299 031 205 909 480 990 320 738 352 763 623 436 347 198 393 020 037 521 575 610 383 995 628 998 132 205 438 675 182 515 075 279 308 735 259 080 485 786 974 242 739 476 289 145 898 159 299 264 272 095 170 077 275 175 617 314 661 177 214 635 320 550 207 755 208 899 838 529 732 247 718 566 730 906 398 047 394 892 623 798 825 084 541 081 851 769 533 174 713 719 775 137 105 143 734 434 299 807 345 198 226 892 237 674 535 618 784 132 889 422 651 467 151 342 831 776 843 879 716 250 405 325 030 896 076 774 385 880 480 354 739 597 597 630 195 124 155 082 001 338 042 437 178 214 805 237 025 749 313 413 990 855 79 …

~ followed by 403,319,987,206 more digits ~

sequential universes, each of which is 45 billion years each

But that is not all. Remember that both DNA and Polymerase must occur simultaneously just once in the same primordial soup bowl. The probability of both those molecules occurring simultaneously anywhere in the universe is these two numbers multiplied together. That number is greater than 1.213 x 10403,319,988,366 and is shown below (full precision calculation from previous unrounded full precision divisions).

[Polymerase chances x DNA chances = Chance of DNA & Polymerase together] ≅

( ( 4 2900000000 ) 231 ) x ( 21 150 ) / ( 45,000,000,000 x 365 x 24 x 60 x 60x 50,000) ≅

1 213 138 630 590 677 892 932 439 232 544 113 978 356 042 893 310 515 470 587 354 884 785 190 946 663 886 454 877 947 136 820 150 012 849 616 484 277 489 993 587 557 735 752 822 103 372 435 009 930 486 200 930 686 398 780 792 892 871 323 435 996 165 686 511 170 252 372 627 388 106 076 186 198 592 680 061 056 402 848 366 364 861 920 134 363 381 851 269 684 489 377 847 834 219 285 617 382 296 577 332 488 647 841 225 953 762 909 530 734 531 692 364 073 980 176 573 965 966 984 768 220 139 064 428 815 093 824 283 460 948 118 787 098 141 157 456 365 514 426 707 324 122 895 952 651 809 414 822 138 652 828 987 080 579 854 529 453 887 967 928 943 486 803 719 535 225 122 340 732 074 749 450 955 137 497 562 427 439 506 807 065 963 811 548 165 437 990 127 167 939 388 030 197 369 494 305 177 823 044 300 185 031 942 772 630 104 828 338 026 882 230 046 522 628 841 084 885 648 125 259 534 255 339 689 076 973 658 575 033 315 745 016 512 997 042 890 694 321 091 998 434 283 456 844 937 908 979 042 073 409 996 882 550 883 931 538 433 209 310 533 809 355 808 910 990 743 257 343 964 149 628 210 782 576 987 759 202 451 017 378 747 983 291 078 304 706 967 688 721 746 177 323 999 556 077 259 292 000 587 097 633 502 985 949 847 128 818 899 799 260 070 328 913 424 728 511 749 213 826 424 5 …

~ followed by 403,319,987,405 more digits ~

sequential universes, each of which is 45 billion years, would have to have occurred in time for DNA and Polymerase to be present simultaneously just once

One other concession makes the math even more stunning. I have assumed that both DNA and Polymerase must also be in immediate and close molecular proximity in order for them to interact and life to begin. The chances of spontaneous and simultaneous DNA and Polymerase creation coupled with the chances of their close molecular proximity  within one primordial soup bowl across the vastness of a universe that is 45 billion light years across, are not only beyond incalculable—they are unimaginable.

Addendum, October 22, 2015. I’ve had a few people try to compare these numbers the chance of winning the lottery. So I though I would present you with the math for that comparison. The Powerball lottery allows you to choose five numbers, each from 1 to 69 and a sixth number that can range from 1 to 26. You are not required to match a particular number in any particular order. Here’s the way this stacks up. 6

Types: 69 different numbers for the first five numbers chosen and 26 different numbers for the sixth number chosen

Number: 6 numbers, the first five from 1 to 69 and the sixth from 1 to 26

Ordered: No

Repetition: No

Short Answer: 1 in 292,201,338

Full Answer:

Odds for the first five numbers are 1 in 11238513
Odds for the sixth number are 1 in 26
Odds for both are 292,201,338
[11238513 X 26 = 292201338]

By comparison, a person is this many more times likely to win the Powerball lottery than for DNA and Polymerase to occur together just once by chance:

[ (DNA Chances X Polymerase Chances) / (Chances of Winning the Powerball Lottery) ] ≅

4 151 721 682 365 047 530 796 861 828 689 210 103 329 653 108 263 711 888 230 145 218 517 756 912 748 587 259 644 742 409 838 486 136 054 642 173 738 061 369 135 680 466 161 390 757 808 354 080 604 812 976 354 976 166 402 061 077 733 064 439 274 284 522 650 509 739 871 989 867 842 686 559 493 415 735 355 244 686 964 323 088 972 029 739 177 244 463 095 800 366 861 591 284 771 206 685 515 918 401 894 821 740 485 069 078 509 522 535 911 631 220 402 125 537 757 030 961 873 914 376 874 410 699 751 193 794 411 316 011 660 832 254 978 042 425 857 630 790 269 370 101 662 217 414 801 192 371 070 315 402 967 070 193 839 613 867 387 177 973 596 217 710 692 753 690 351 419 064 111 454 374 828 889 857 778 688 294 163 481 233 155 625 767 696 400 616 721 772 738 560 793 414 975 291 777 429 088 374 141 189 541 821 820 037 764 867 552 858 457 076 024 910 339 831 644 045 673 904 906 142 265 013 651 953 493 018 086 642 140 275 706 117 789 909 103 327 563 548 295 588 004 061 284 773 918 143 314 737 571 153 753 178 744 458 492 309 960 638 546 199 296 855 406 291 776 608 009 043 285 591 074 914 183 236 860 329 511 738 982 450 340 399 505 899 266 987 503 283 512 501 155 364 317 859 753 466 604 593 669 237 864 691 043 782 445 406 936 842 292 146 076 103 571 520 019 910 891 762 673 668 9…

~ followed by 403,319,987,396 more digits ~

j

Conclusion. For those who want to argue specific points about the theory of evolution in my discussion, please refrain yourself from arguments and focus on the mathematical calculations. You must be very clear that I am mocking the theory of evolution as educated idiocy. My 30+ years in medicine caring for many children with genetic aberrations, that tinkering with, or changes to DNA are wholly detrimental. They never go from worse to better as you can see in Sickle Cell Disease where the subsition of one incorrect base pair results in devastating disease. 7

There is only one mathematical conclusion. There is, and was, a creative force before all that we know and see and experience, that is responsible for everything. No part of creation happened by chance.

This creative force is not some ethereal power ‘rolling on through time.’ The stream of the cold numbers in my calculations burns with the hot blood of true life. His life, this creative one, is himself, and he requires no sustenance for his existence. He is not dead, and he never will be.

He must be far beyond everything that we know, see, touch, imagine, or perceive. Our life is totally dependent on him. He has personality, heart, and emotion, and he must be far more intelligent than we could ever grasp. He has purpose in his creative act, and he has plans for us.

What is his goal for us? A more critical question though, is why he should have any goal for us to begin with? Why do we savor creativeness, and why do we yearn to create? Why do we long for personal fulfillment?

We are like our creator, and yet we are also different from him. He needs nothing and we everything. We will find our answers only in him.

IMPORTANT ADDENDUM: Careful review of the statistics reported in both the first iteration of the Evolution video and in this original article revealed that there was a fault in the calculation from the Math Is Fun website where I had done my previous calculations. The number of unique combinations of the four nucleic acids in any particular DNA is given by the following.

number of unique combinations of nucleic acids in a strand of DNA = NR

where N is 4 (there are only four different nucleic acids in DNA), and R is the number of nucleic acid links in the DNA strand

I discovered that the Math is Fun website correctly gives the following answer for a DNA of 6700 links, as verified by Mathematica by Wolfram here. Notice the solution that Math is Fun webite gives for a DNA with 670,000,000,000 links, as in the Amoeba DNA, is significantly stunningly smaller! 

46700 = 6.3 X 104033

4670,000,000,000 = 3 X 10616

The newer calculations in this revised article represent, barring any non-mathematical typographical error, the corrected calculations based on WolframAlpha. I highly accurate web implementation of Mathematica and they represent a solid, well-respected, and advanced mathematical tool.


L


No Lesser Love The Nature Of Sin and Rightstanding

Recently, I became aware of Adam Hamilton’s book Confronting the Controveries1 and after reading the chapter on homosexuality was moved to speak on the topic of the nature of sin. From the start, let me say that homosexuality is, and always will be, a sin, grievous to the heart of God and unacceptable to the perfecting of his children.

The Sin From Whence We All Come

It will be important to understand a broader frame of reference, I think, for this very important topic. Whether or not we are raised in a Christian environment, God draws us first.

 John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Read more...

The term draw comes from the Greek word helkuo as you can see in this excerpt from Strong’s Concordance. It literally means to drag.

1670. ἑλκύω helkuo, hel-koo´-o; or helko hel’-ko; probably akin to 138; to drag (literally or figuratively): — draw.

We all start from same point. No son of Adam is privileged at birth. We are all estranged from our maker from the moment we are conceived.

Isaiah 53:6 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.

In this same passage God convicts us all. He then declares his intention to redeem us by taking our black mark of sin, and its consequences, onto himself. Even before he spread out time and space and matter from between his hands, he knew that we would fail. This plan was not a contingency in case we failed. It was intended all along because he knew we would fail.

The same love which creates us, refuses to enslave us. But love must also allow us to create the mess we’ve made for ourselves. Jonah 2 declares that God descended even to the pit of hell, into the cesspool of our depravity to retrieve us.

 Jonah 2:1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said: “In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. 3 You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. 4 I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ 5 The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. 6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, LORD my God, brought my life up from the pit. 7 “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. 8 “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. 9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’ ”

God is love, to be sure, but sometimes that sounds like a 60s flower child, and not like a child snatched back as it lurches dangerously close to a hot, roaring fire. Here is 1Corinthians 13 read with the mathematical equivalency of God relative to love and perfection.

 1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not God, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not God, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not God, I gain nothing. 4 God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, God does not boast, God is not proud. 5 God is not rude, God is not self-seeking, God is not easily angered, God keeps no record of wrongs. 6 God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 God never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when God (perfection) comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see [God] face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know [God] fully, even as I am fully known [by God]. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and God. But the greatest of these is God.

God’s intentions are, and always have been, to love us and redeem us. He is both fully just and fully merciful. Mercy kisses justice in the person of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God.

Our prison cell of sin is locked from within. We hold the key in our own hand. Friends and family that are imprisoned cannot hold any of heaven’s citizens hostage. God alone will bear the heartache of their eternal separation.

No Special Sin

Social pressures today prod Christians to accept a sinner’s sin as normal and OK. Hate towards homosexuals must certainly not be allowed. Even to deplore homosexuality will bring you scorn. Every aspect of homosexuality is declared off limits. Hate for others is only allowed by self-named, hate-despising proctors who define who is or is not a hater. These anti-haters are then consumed by their own hate for those who don’t think like they do. Yet there is nothing especially more sinful or corrupting about homosexuality than any other sin.

The church is bound to seek holiness and abandon all sin. We tend to think less of lying, stealing, cheating, and such, as though they are lesser sins. Homosexual behavior is, however, viewed by many as worse, even to the point that heterosexuals sometimes fear touching or interacting with homosexuals lest they be infected by their sin. This is a terrible tragedy.

I’ll never forget how the Lord showed me my own bias through my wife, Stacy. We had an acquaintance who was at the time a practicing homosexual. While Stacy acted kindly, and with Godly love, I had a very hard time  feeling respect for that person. Inside I felt contempt and disgust because of their lifestyle.

One day, she said, “You know they know how you feel about them when you shun them.”

I was cut to the heart, because she was right. I was throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I had fallen into the trap of hating the sinner along with the sin. We can wink at the sin in our own life, but when we see it in others, we are drawn to condemn it. To this day, I treat homosexuals and heterosexuals the same. We are all in the same sinful boat.

Let me again repeat that there is no sin that is especially worse, for we must be free from all sin. As Laura Story so aptly says in her song Blessings 2, “Love is not content to give us lesser things!”  We are made in the image of a perfect and loving God who intends and requires us to be clean. He will make his children clean. He loves the homosexual just as much as the heterosexual. He wants all to be clean and whole!

Sin Is Not Congenital

Pastor Hamilton attempts to pigeonhole homosexuality into different categories. He thinks some are necessarily born to be homosexual as though it is a congenital physical anomaly. These persons make no conscious choice of homosexuality. They are just the way they are from the time they are conceived.

Another subset is not exactly born homosexual, but has homosexual tendencies. These persons are shaped by circumstances such as poor or sexually abusive relationships with other males. Being either swayed or swept away, this group is poorly defined by Hamilton.

The last group are persons with no homosexual tendencies at birth, but for whatever reason make a conscious choice to persue homosexuality despite normal heterosexual desires.

Hamilton presents the argument that a large number of homosexuals cannot somehow help themselves. In other words, they can be no more responsible for choosing homosexuality than a the child with Down’s syndrome would choose to be born with that condition.

Homosexuality is thus transformed from sin to a medical condition or congenital birth defect. It is not a choice, but an inevitability in those born with the condition. Once the sin of homosexuality is denied, then everything about their lifestyle, particularly gay marriage, is allowed.

“Based upon my conversations with homosexuals, I believe that some may, in fact, be born with a tendency toward homosexuality.”3 

My question then is, if there are different categories of homosexuality, who decides which homosexuals are in which category? If we are allowed to so redefine the sin of homosexuality, then what about the other sins? Are some who lie, also congental liars? Do some alduters, also commit adultery because they are born to be adulterers?

Giving a pass to homosexuality or any other sin because you feel that these people are born that way, smacks not of love and concern, but of consigned injustice and wanton denial. Will we use that as an excuse to give the homosexual lesser things?

Hamilton does clearly state what God calls sin as you can see in this quote. He is prepared, however, to carve out a niche for those ‘born’ homosexual. What right does anyone have to redefine sin just because they feel badly for a particular class of sinner?

“This brings me to our Scripture passage in Romans 1 once again. At first glance this is a passage about homosexuality, but only at first glance. After Paul speaks about homosexuality, he speaks about all of our sin—yes, our sin. Did you notice the list in verses 29–31? “Wickedness,” “evil,” “envy,” “deceit,” “gossips,” “slanderers.” And then we have the adjectives: “insolent,” “haughty,” “boastful,” “rebellious toward parents”; and the list goes on. So I must say to the heterosexuals who think they are off the hook, whatever your personal areas of struggle—your egos, your love of wealth and riches, your anger, your prejudices, your lust, your sexual struggles, your secret thought life, your self–centeredness—all have found a place in Paul’s list of behavior that can dishonor God.”4 

There is no such thing as a congenital sin. That term is merely a rationalized excuse. God is not satisfied to leave us in our sins. His love will not permit us to be any less than whole. To consign homosexuals or any other class of sinner to the depravity of their sin is cruel and hateful.

 Only Good Things

When God created everything, he never called man, or even human life, sacred. Only God is sacred. He called us good. He is intent on giving that abandoned goodness back to us. He even assumed a human body in the person of Jesus Christ, so that he himself would suffer the penalty of the justice that his own nature and character requires. Only God can do this for us.

We must never excuse or condone sin with a ridiculous and illogical argument about being born a homosexual, a lier, an adulterer, or other such thing, against our will. We are beset by sins, because we have a depraved human nature. We choose to sin because of that depravity.

Courage Calls For True Love

I now behave much differently toward that homosexual acquaintance I mentioned. I confessed to Stacy that she was right and repented. I do not shun that person, nor do I condemn that person. I pray for them. I take particular care to speak and interact with them as with anyone else. I know that God loves them just as much as he loves me. I know that God wants only good things for that person just as he does for me. I want the best for them.

To patronize any sinners by mere excuse instead of repentance is, at the very least, to cowardly shrink back from having true love for that person. At the very worst, it steals from them an opportunity for the relationship with God that he desires. Those who reject the sinner will be held just as accountable as those who make excuses for them.

L

 


  1. Adam Hamilton. “Confronting the Controversies.” iBooks. 

  2. Blessings 

  3. Adam Hamilton. “Confronting the Controversies.” iBooks. 

  4. Adam Hamilton. “Confronting the Controversies.” iBooks. 

The Scarlet Thread A Sad Day for Christian Marriage & Christianity

The Scarlet Thread in support of Christian Marriage between a man and woman.

The Scarlet Thread in support of Christian Marriage between a man and woman.

Nahum 2:3 The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.

 

When Did Jesus Die? Hint: It Wasn't On A Friday!

For Christians, the traditionally hallowed day of the death of Jesus is Good Friday. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Sunday, at which many a Christian congregation holds a memorial sunrise service. What has always puzzled me is that there are only 36 hours between Friday at 6 PM, when Jesus was in the grave, and Sunday, at 6 AM when he was raised. This is because Jesus, in his own words, clearly stated that the Son of man would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Matthew 12 (KJV)
40
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

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It seems important to distinguish that this is a sign as opposed to a miracle. Miracles are events where something that happens normally in nature is sped up, slowed down, or reversed. When Jesus turned the water into wine, we see the natural fermentation process accelerated. Miracles are very significant, to be sure, but Jesus so emphasized this sign about himself as to harshly warn a wicked and perverse generation who would seek one. The only sign they would be given would be the sign of Jonah. 1

The Passover lamb is a figura umbrae, 2 or shadow, of Jesus Christ’s death, and it is described with great detail in Exodus 12:1.

Exodus 12 (KJV)
1  And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 
2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 
3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 
4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 
6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening 3
7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 
8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 
9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 
10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. 
11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover.

 The month that is described in this passage is Nisan. 4 As you see, God changed it to be the first month in the Hebrew calendar.

There also are very specific instructions about the Passover lamb. It was to be brought into the house with the family on 10 Nisan. On Nisan 14, at the end of day, the lamb is sacrificed. This is necessarily before dusk, because 15 Nisan begins at 6 PM, and not six hours later at 12 AM. 14 Nisan is known as the Preparation of Passover, and 15 Nisan is Passover.

In Egypt, God passed through slaying all the first born. Only the occupants of the houses where the blood of the Passover lamb had been applied to the door posts and lintel of the house were spared grievous judgment. The Passover lamb is the figura umbrae 5 of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for us. His blood marks the posts and lintel of our hearts.

The weekly Sabbath, 6 or day of rest, starts at dusk, i.e. 6 PM, on Friday and ends at 6 PM on Saturday. It is also noteworthy that Passover is called a special, or high, Sabbath, and in addition to the meal of bitter herbs, unleavened bread, and roast lamb, it carries the same work restrictions as the weekly Sabbath.

Now it is also important to understand that the Hebrew calendar is lunisolar. 7 Our calendar today is the Gregorian solar calendar, named for Pope Gregory. It replaced the Julian solar calendar, which was named for Julius Ceasar. The Julian calendar is based on a 365.25-day year, which is a few minutes longer one solar revolution. The Julian calendar has gradually advanced over the centuries, and today is more than two weeks ahead of the Gregorian calendar which replaced it precisely to correct this problem. 8

In the Hebrew calendar, 14 Nisan is the day of Preparation of Passover. It is also called the Fast of the Firstborn. 9 It is always on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday, but never a Tuesday or Thursday.

Let’s summarize the most important things to glean from the above discussion. Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb, was killed on 14 Nisan at the end of the day of Preparation of Passover, the same time as all the other passover lambs were being slaughtered. He died at 3 PM, sooner than was expected. His body was taken down off the cross, and given to Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. They prepared it for burial with some 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes, and transported it to a nearby newly hewn, and as yet unused, tomb. Both these men were working against the 6 PM deadline in time for Passover.

Looking ahead to Sunday morning, the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb. The angel she encounters tells her that Jesus Christ has risen, and is not there. Remember that 15 Nisan begins at dusk, and Jesus is in grave, and literally in Sheol. From 15 Nisan  to the first day of the week, there must be three days and three nights.

If 14 Nisan falls on Friday, as is church tradition, then between dusk Friday and sunrise Sunday, Jesus could have only been in Sheol from the night of 15 Nisan to sunrise 16 Nisan which is only a day and a half.  If 14 Nisan falls on Saturday, then he could have been in Sheol only the night of 15 Nisan, or just 12 hours. If 14 Nisan was on a Monday, then counting to sunrise Sunday results in six days and seven nights. These are all untenable if we are to believe that Jesus Christ meant what he said about three days and three nights.

The only viable option left for when Jesus died is where 14 Nisan fell on a Wednesday. Counting from sunset on Wednesday 14 Nisan to sunrise on Sunday 18 Nisan there are three days and four nights. This doesn’t seem to work at first either though. However, there is something quite assumed in the scripture about Sunday 18 Nisan. Here are the two harmonic accounts in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark of the tomb that Feast of Firstfruits morning.

Matthew 28 (NIV-1984)
1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stonec and sat on it.
3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.
4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Mark 16 (NIV-1984)
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.
2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb
3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.
5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6  “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.
7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”

There is one detail that is stunningly absent.  There is nothing said about exactly when Jesus arose! The best that we have assumed till now, is that the women arrived immediately after Jesus was raised and the stone rolled away. But the scripture says nothing that indicates that Jesus had risen even shortly before , or sometime during the night. It simply doesn’t say when he was raised. There is little reason to think even, that the presence of the angel rolling away the stone had anything specifically to do with Jesus being raised from the dead. If Jesus didn’t need any help coming back from Sheol, it’s certain that the stone walls of the tomb had no strength to confine him.

This highlights the notable contrast in how Lazarus appeared after Jesus raised him from the dead. Lazarus was wrapped in his burial linens, and had to hobble out to have them removed. Jesus’ body was translated straight through the burial linens and out of the tomb. That’s why the grave clothes were left neatly folded with the head covering separate but nearby.

John 20 (NIV-1984)
3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.
4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.
6 Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there,
7 as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.
8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.
9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

Without any other scripture to consider, the only thing we can do is to take Jesus at his word about three days and three nights at face value. If his death and burial occurred just before sunset on Wednesday 14 Nisan, then he rose again on Saturday 17 Nisan, at the end of the third day. The presence of the angel the next morning was necessary for the sake of the women, but was not required for Jesus to escape death or the tomb.

If Jesus’ resurrection occurred at sunset on Saturday the end of 17 Nisan, why did the women not show up at the tomb until sunrise on Sunday 18 Nisan? They were observing the Sabbath rest until 6 PM Saturday. By that time, it was getting dark. The lack of light caused them to put off their visit to the grave until daylight the next morning.


Passover Week 2

 

Learning the true day of Jesus’ death is highly significant because it confirms to us the accuracy of scriptural prophecy as well as absolute authority of Jesus’ own words. It also reveals something most equally amazing. Look here at the list of weekdays by year in which Preparation for Passover falls on Wednesday.

 

Day of the Week
for 14 Nisan
Preparation of Passover
10
Age of Jesus
for
Variously Proposed Nativity Years
 11
Hebrew

Year
Gregorian / Julian
Day
of
Week
12 B.C. 12 7-5 B.C. 13 3-2 B.C. 14
Mon Day Year
3770  April 14/16 10  Wed  21 14-16  11-12
3771  April 4/6 11  Mon  22  15-17  12-13
3772  Mar 23/25  12  Fri  23  16-18  13-14
3773  Apr 12/14  13  Fri  24  17-19  14-15
3774  Mar 31/Apr 2  14  Mon  25  18-20  15-16
3775  Mar 20/22  15  Fri  26  19-21  16-17
3776  Apr 8/10  16  Fri  27  20-22  17-18
3777  Mar 29/31  17  Wed  28  21-23  18-19
3778  Mar 17/19  18  Sat  29  22-24  19-20
 3779  Apr 5/7  19  Fri  30  23-25  20-21
 3780  Mar 25/27  20  Wed  31  24-26  21-22
 3781  Apr 12/14  21  Mon  32  25-27  22-23
 3782  Apr 2/4  22  Sat  33  26-28  23-24
 3783  Mar 22/24  23  Wed  34  27-29  24-25
 3784  Apr 10/12  24  Wed  35  28-30  25-26
 3785  Mar 31/Apr 2  25*  Mon  36  29-31  26-27
 3786  Mar 20/26  26*  Fri  37  30-32  27-28
 3787  Apr 7/9  27*  Wed  38  31-33  28-29
3788  Mar 27/29 28*  Mon  39  32-34  29-30
3789  Apr 14/16 29*  Sat  40  33-35  30-31
3790  Apr 3/5 30*  Wed  41  34-36  31-32
3791  Mar 24/26 31  Mon  42  35-37  32-33
3792  Apr 12/14 32  Mon  43  36-38  33-34
3793  Apr 1/3 33  Fri  44  37-39  34-35
3794  Mar 20/22 34  Mon  45  38-40  35-36
3795  Apr 9/11 35  Mon  46  39-41  36-37
3796  Mar 28/30 36  Fri  47  40-42  37-38
3797  Mar 18/20 37  Wed  48  41-43  38-39
3798  Apr 5/7 38  Mon  49  42-44  39-40
3799  Mar 25/27 39  Fri  50  43-45  40-41
3800  Apr 13/15 40  Fri  51  44-46  41-42

So which Wednesday 14 Nisan is the Preparation of Passover in which Jesus Christ was crucified? Let’s take a look at this scripture in Luke.

Luke 3 (NIV-1984)
1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—
2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert.
3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
4 As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.
5 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.
6 And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’”
7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
11 John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”
12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”
13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ.
16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.
19 But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done,
20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.
21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened
22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli,

The first verse very specifically ties the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry to the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Ceasar. He ruled as emporer from A.D. 14-37, which would mean that, at first glance, John the Baptist begins preparing the way of the Lord in the year 29.

The date of his ascension as Roman emporer in A.D. 14 however does not probably correspond to his first year of reign as verse 1 might suggest, because of the practice of antedating. 15 While Tiberius actually ascended in A.D. 14 when Augustus Ceasr died, he would have antedated the year of his reign from as far back to the point at which Augustus appointed him as heir, which was A.D. 4. 16

More importantly though, there is a descrepancy in date of Augustus Ceasar’s death as indicated by astonomical evidence which places his demise at A.D. 10 instead of A.D. 14. 17 Also the first year of a reign does not count the actual year of ascencion usually, because the first year must be a whole, and not a partial, year. Therefore, rather than appointing Tiberius as his heir in A.D. 4, he did so in A.D. 1.

As a combination of at least the error of Augustus Ceasar’s death and when Tiberius Ceasar antedated his reign, we can see that the fifteenth year of his reign does not likely point to year A.D. 29, but sometime earlier, perhaps A.D. 25-26. The significance of course is that if A.D. 29 is correct, then there is not enough time for John to have been ministering, and Jesus to have been baptized and start his ministy, and also to have observed the three documented Passovers in scripture before the Wednesday Preparation of Passover in A.D. 30.

That particular Wednesday occurrence of Preparation of Passover of A.D. 30 does not occur again until A.D. 37 which seems far too long. This is especially more significant when you see that the beginning of Jesus’ ministry at about age thirty is noted in Like 3:23 of the scripture above.

In conclusion, it appears to me that Jesus’ ministry started circa A.D. 29-30 which is when John baptized him. The first Preparation of Passover was on a Wednesday A.D 30 with two subsequent occurrences on Monday and Saturday. His final Preparation of Passover where he was crucified was again on a Wednesday A.D. 30. This three and a half years of Messiah where he is cut off, is also mentioned in the following prophetic scripture, with which I’ll close and leave you the reader to ponder.

Dan. 9 (KJV)
20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

 

Even so Lord Jesus, come and redeem our selves as you have redeemed our souls. -Amen

L

 

How Much Do You Know About Evolution Take The Test

 

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L

Amazing Grace, The Lyrics by John Newton


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1. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

2. T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

3. Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

4. The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

5. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

6. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be for ever mine.

7. When we’ve been there ten thousand years 1
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.


L


Arise My Love by The Akins. Displayed here with permission.

Amazing Grace by John Newton (1725-1807. Performed by Violinist Jenny Oaks Baker and Pianist Condoleezza Rice. Courtesy of Shadow Mountain Records. Displayed here with permission.

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