Monthly Archives: March 2016


colorful sunset

Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up … When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. (John 2:20, 22)

Christians today, especially in the Middle East, suffer martyrdom by the hundreds at the hands of brutal ISIS executioners. These undergo a gruesome and horrific death by beheadings or being burned alive. Yet, as ghastly as we may perceive such brutality, the pain and suffering of these victims is short-lived, unlike that experienced by our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.[1]

On the Lord’s Feast of Passover,[2] Jesus, already physically drained from lack of sleep[3] and subjected to a sham of a trial by the Jewish religious leaders, was brutally beaten and scourged at hands of Roman soldiers, experts at inflicting pain without killing the victim. Then in that depleted condition, He was forced to carry His own cross to the place of execution, and whether it was a fully assembled cross or just the cross beam, for a man in Jesus’ condition at that time was next to impossible – but He did it. Under the weight of that burden, determined to complete His mission, He faced the horror of the cross. God, wrapped up in human flesh, with His host of angelic armies standing at the ready awaiting the command to rain down vengeance upon His tormentors. At the time of His arrest, Peter pulled his sword in His defense, but Jesus stopped him. “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53).  Nothing would deter Him from His mission. “[He] made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:7-8).

Determined to give to the very last, He carried Himself up Calvary’s hill, laid Himself down upon the timbers and spread His arms out to receive the nails – our pain, our guilt, our sins. “For [God the Father] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). At the last, He gave His life. He did not die. Jesus said, “… I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 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” (John 10:17-18, emphasis mine). He was not killed. “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost” (Matthew 27:50, emphasis mine). He was not the victim. He was in full control until the very last. John, the beloved disciple, and the only one of the twelve to witness the event said, “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost” (John 19:30, emphasis mine). Finished! Paid in full!

That was not the end. On the first day of the week, on that spring Sunday morning, He broke the chains of death and brought sheol’s captives with Him. Matthew records, “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Matthew 27:52-53).[4]

His resurrection is key! Had Jesus died and remained in the tomb, we would venerate a martyr, nothing more. His bones would be marked by an ornate shrine. Perhaps followers would make faithful pilgrimages to the site to stand in awe and wonder. If that was the case, our faith’s reward would be death and eternal separation from our Creator with no hope of redemption. “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).  Because of His resurrection, “Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54). “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Romans 6:5). So now we can say, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55).

Before going to the cross, Jesus left us with this promise: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3). His resurrection guarantees the promise. On that day, “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world are brutally killed daily by the enemy of God. We can thank God that for many, death is swift; it is nothing like what their Lord and our Lord endured for our sakes. But the guaranteed promise of the resurrection assures us that one day soon, we will be together with Him in His house.



[1]  It is said that victims could linger on the cross up to three days until succumbing to dehydration and asphyxia.

[2]  Despite conventional tradition, this even could not have taken place on Friday. Jesus said He would rise in “three days,” not three partial days. Jesus specified “three days and three nights” (Matthew 12:39-40). No matter how one may try to convolute the time to fit a “Good Friday” scenario, one cannot get “three days and three nights” from Friday evening to Sunday morning. Jesus said, “three days and three nights” – 72 hours, nothing less will do!

[3]  Jesus had spent the night in prayer while His disciples slept (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46) before being betrayed by Judas, arrested and tried.

[4]  Matthew’s recording of this event that seems to coincide with Jesus’ death and the renting of the veil to the Holy of Holies, but a close inspection of the text reveals that this event occurred after the resurrection. See again Matthew 27:52-53.


Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Easter, Evangelism, Gospel, Religion, Resurrection, Salvation, Theology

Easter’s Wrong!


And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. (Acts 12:4)

The two highest church attendance days are Christmas and Easter. Easter probably wins the high attendance day of the two since it always falls on a Sunday. Neither day is historically accurate, but Easter typically comes nearer being right than does Christmas. Both holidays (holy days) come to us thanks to the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) in its attempt to “Christianize” the pagan celebrations of Saturnalia, which celebrated the return of the sun, i.e. the days getting longer, and Ishtar, whose origin is rather convoluted but basically has its source in the ancient fertility goddess of Babylon from whence come the icons of Easter eggs and bunnies.[1]

The pagans celebrated their “Queen of Heaven” on the first day of the week (Sunday) following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Some form of this religious practice was observed by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. By the time the RCC came into power, pagans continued the practice, so, in order to accommodate the pagan population, the Church put a Christian spin on the celebration. There are several parallels that can be made between that pagan religion and what we believe as Christians.[2] Jesus was born of a virgin, He died, He was buried, and He rose again. Superficially, the pagan story sounds familiar, but this should not be surprising since Satan is the ultimate counterfeiter. Jesus said, “He [Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).  Since the celebration of Ishtar fell around the time as the Jewish Passover, and considering the parallels, it was not difficult to remake the pagan celebration into a Christian one. (Oh! Don’t be so shocked! We still do that today. In order to attract the “world” we adopt worldly practices, bring them into the church, and put a Christian face on them. Sometimes “Christian” events look no different than rock concerts. The only differences, if you can hear them, are the words of the songs. And for those of us who love the “old hymns” many of the tunes of those good old hymns originated in pubs and saloons. So, this is not unique to the RCC.)

Despite the title I chose for this article, my purpose here is not necessarily to bash our observance of Easter. (I prefer to call it “Resurrection Day” or “Resurrection Sunday.”) I believe that it is right and proper that we celebrate the Advent of our Lord and His death, burial and resurrection – the resurrection being key. They are highly significant events that altered the course of history and the destiny of man. But if we are going to celebrate these very special days, we should at least try to be “biblical” about it rather than “traditional.” Arguably, Christmas could remain as December 25th. While widely accepted by biblical scholars that the birth of Jesus probably took place around mid-September (more likely around the celebration of the Jewish Feast of Booths or Sukkot), counting back nine months would bring one to around December 25th as the time of conception, which would also be the actual “incarnation” when God came to be “with us” (Emmanuel) as a human embryo.

Easter, however, does not always line up exactly with Passover as is the case this year. Jesus was crucified on Passover. Jesus said, “Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified” (Matthew 26:2, emphasis mine). The Jewish day began at sundown, around 6:00 PM, unlike our western day which begins at midnight. On the afternoon before the Passover, Jesus sent His disciples to make arrangements to celebrate the Passover Seder (Matthew 26:18-19). “Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve” (Matthew 26:20, emphasis mine). “When the evening was come,” Passover had begun. After they had  finished the meal, Jesus went with His disciples to the Mount of Olives where He was arrested in the middle of the night – it was still Passover – and illegally tried and sentenced to death by crucifixion (Matthew 26-27, Mark 14-15, Luke 22-23, John 18-19). Jesus died at the ninth hour, 3:00 PM (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34; Luke 23:44-46), at the same time that the Passover lamb was being sacrificed at the Temple. It had to be this way in order to fulfill the Law of God given to Moses (Deuteronomy 16:1-6).

So, Jesus died on Passover, at precisely the right time in order to fulfill the Law of God and make a once for all atonement – a covering – for our sins. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11, emphasis mine). “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission [of sins]” (Hebrews 11:28, emphasis mine).

Biblically, then, Easter (Resurrection Day) should be celebrated in association with and very closely linked to the Jewish Passover. “Easter” is nowhere found in the Bible except as mistranslated in our beginning verse above (Acts 12:4). The Greek word translated “Easter” in this verse is pascha, the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew pesach or Passover. Evidently the translators of the King James Bible were taken in by centuries of RCC tradition.

“Easter” is not biblical, and it becomes painfully obvious especially this year. As noted above, Easter is the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the vernal equinox. This year, the vernal equinox took place on March 19. The first full moon after that will be on March 23, making the 27th Easter Sunday. The problem is that the Jewish calendar is lunar, not solar. Nissan (Abib in the OT) is the first month of the Jewish religious calendar, and Passover is celebrated on Nissan 15. This year, 2016, Nissan 15, Passover, begins on Friday, April 22 at 6:00 PM and goes to 6:00 PM Saturday, April 23. We are celebrating Resurrection Day nearly one month before Passover, and that, to me, just seems wrong. You cannot have “resurrection” before the Passover sacrifice! If we were being biblical instead of traditional, we should be celebrating Resurrection Day on Sunday, April 24. Instead, we will just go with the flow and celebrate it according to the Roman Catholic tradition. This is why, especially this year, Easter’s Wrong.


[1]  See “The Pagan Origin of Easter”

[2]  Ibid.



Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Easter, Evangelism, Gospel, Religion, Resurrection, Salvation, Satan



Are you ready question - vintage wooden letterpress printing blocks, stained by color inks, isolated on white

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night … But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 4)

What kind of future events fill you with anticipation? You know the feeling. Like the first time that most beautiful, unattainable girl agreed to go out with you. That was one time you took extra time to make sure you smelled good, had every hair in place (I remember I used to have hair!) and your duds were in keeping with the latest style. Remember the feeling in the pit of your stomach, the sweaty palms, and the dry mouth? Remember how you rehearsed in your mind the lines you would say and your concern over making a good impression? How about the time you bought your very first new car? You spent weeks researching all the specifications, options, and colors until you found exactly the one that was perfect for you. You couldn’t wait for the day to go down to the dealer and pick out your baby. Then you sat for hours in the salesman’s office fighting to get the best deal while the salesman ran back and forth to the manager’s office doing the deal dance. Finally you had an agreement, but then you had to qualify for credit. Remember the agony? Would your credit pass? Would that shiny new baby ever be yours?

That is kind of how I feel about the imminent return of Christ. I am sure some of you feel the same way. What is He waiting for? What is taking Him so long? What has to happen before the time is right? The answer to that last question is “nothing.”  Nothing needs to happen next for the Lord Jesus Christ to return for His Bride the, the Church, i.e. the body of true believers in Christ. That is what makes His return “imminent;” it could happen at any moment.

The stage is set. Israel is back in her land (Isaiah 51:11; Jeremiah 30:9-10; Jeremiah 31:7-13; Ezekiel 31:1-14; Zephaniah 3:20). There are wars and rumors of wars in the Middle East (Matthew 24:6). Jerusalem has become “a burdensome stone for all people” (Zechariah 12:3). The depravity of mankind is rapidly increasing. Iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxes cold (Matthew 24:12). The world is “filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Back[stabbers], haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:29-32). People are “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:2-4).

Jesus said that the days before His return would be like the days of Noah. So what was going on in the days of Noah? Although Genesis 6:1-5 gives us pause to scratch our heads, it portrays some very unnatural activity taking place. The “sons of God” (bene Elohim) are understood to be angelic beings in other places in the Bible, particularly in the Book of Job. They “came into the daughters of men” (Genesis 6:4). The phrase “came into” implies a sexual union. The objection to this comes from the words of Jesus who said that in heaven we neither “marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God” (Matthew 22:30). So, does that mean that angels cannot procreate or that procreation won’t be going on in heaven? Whatever was going on between the “sons of God” and human women was creating a creating a race of giants. The Hebrew word for “giants” there is nephalim, meaning “fallen ones.” God found Noah to be “perfect in his generations” (Genesis 6:9). The Hebrew word translated “perfect” is tâmı̂ym, meaning “entire, without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sound, without spot, undefiled, whole.” In other words, Noah’s generations, i.e. he and his family, had not been contaminated by this mingling by the “sons of God” with the “daughters of men.” Whether by copulation or by some other means, the human genome was compromised. Jesus said the days before His return would be like that. You might ask, how can that be? I don’t want to chase this rabbit right now, but you may want to watch these two online videos to gain some insight: and But in short, there are well meaning scientists that are working on human DNA manipulation to “improve” the human race. To hear them talk about it, their goal seams quite noble – engineer humans that require less food to eliminate hunger. But this is very real, and it is taking place right now. Naturally, this kind of thing is always kept from the general public for obvious reasons. So when Jesus said “as the days of Noah” I do not believe He meant things were just going on as normal – marrying and giving in marriage. No, I think He meant more than that.

So, the time is near. Christians do not have to look for the Antichrist to come on the scene because we will not be around when he shows up. In fact, our presence here in the world is the only think keeping him at bay (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8). So Christians should be looking for the Christ not the Antichrist.

I am ready. Are you? Those who love His appearing are promised a special reward – “a crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8). Of course, being ready does not mean packing your bags and waiting for your ride. Jesus left us work to do (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) and He instructed us to “Occupy til I come” (Luke 19:13) especially “as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). Still, I wish He would come already. I am ready!


Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Evolution, Religion, Science, Second Coming of Christ