“Most assuredly, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:58
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God: that ye may know that ye have eternal life and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God,” (1 John 5:13)
Jesus Is God In The Flesh
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14
His birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2); His sacrificial death (Isaiah 53:5); His crucifixion (Psalm 22:14-118); His bodily resurrection (Psalm 16:10); and many others. All of these unite in their witness that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31). Mary: (Isaiah 7:14).
The book of Isaiah, Chapter 53 tells the story of the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Isaiah foretold how the Messiah would die. He prophesied that the Messiah would be spit on, mocked, and beaten. Then he would be pierced and hung on a tree where he would die. The amazing thing about this is that the book was written approx. 700 years BEFORE Jesus walked the dusty streets of Jerusalem.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
Meditate on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His Father starting here,following the visual milestones in Jesus’ life as He fulfils scripture on His predestined mission to Calvary. Ask yourself, would YOU do it?
The next step is Road to Calvary 2, “Mary at the temple with Jesus .” God Bless, Harry
Jesus picked the twelve disciples and commissioned them to go and tell the greatest story ever told, how Jesus Christ died a cruel death on Calvary for the sins of the world. What might appear remarkable to some is that there was no ‘big budget’ plan, no private jets, no T.V. stations to promote the events, no traditional or digital media, no T.V. Specials. In the natural world we would say about all of this, that it’s a recipe for disaster. It couldn’t possibly work.
But these men, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, wrote the four gospels. John wrote Revelation and Paul wrote two thirds of the New Testament. All of this is still being read today by Christians in the Christian church worldwide. So what do these men have that we don’t have in the Christian world now? The answer is quite simply…. the anointing and dedication to the Love of Jesus Christ ….. and it works, obviously.
The problem in the church today is that the belief is that they must have large auditoriums, packed to bursting, with attendees praying for revival for the world. The point that is clearly being missed at these convivial gatherings of church Pastors, Assistant Pastors and Christian leaders is… God Has already sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on Calvary…. and He is NOT going to do anything else.
It has not yet dawned on the church that they need first a revival of the heart and not of the head for His harvest to be brought in.
We pray about the harvest. We talk about the harvest. We sing and dance about the harvest… but though the fields are ripe there is still no harvest.
So what do we do? Certainly, we do not need bigger and bigger supersonic jets. We don’t need big budget plans. We just need the anointing of God and the dedication that these disciples manifested because they DID bring in the harvest – with nothing.
It is time to stop singing and go out and preach the true Gospel and that is Christ and Him Crucified, in your own church and your own town. Bring to your church, for a change, the people who do NOT know Jesus and this could include your brothers and sisters in your own home.
Stop getting fat on Pastor’s teachings which in many cases are not based on the Word of God but on the precepts of mens teachings about the acquisition of material gain.
We must stop talking endlessly about these prosperity gospels. We are not against them but they are saturating the airwaves, on radio, T.V., the Internet, all media – continuously begging for donations – apparently for revival. How come the disciples never had any personal wealth? They brought in one of the greatest harvests ever and one that still reverberates ‘till this very day.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 28:19
Perhaps you don’t yet read the bible? Or perhaps you just occasionally ‘dip in’?
Or you are a fastidious daily student of the scriptures? Either way, I believe you’ll enjoy Maureen’s new board on Pinterest which gives you the entire bible story in colourful photos, “from beginning to end’. New bible readers will find it easy to view/read and get a feeling for the greatest story ever told. Have a look now.
Irish breakthrough is transforming the lives of students with disabilities.
Derry-born,Dr Denise White,a multi-award-winning special needs educator and Sean Healy, a young student with an intellectual impairment are pioneering this month a musical concept that will positively impact the lives of people with disabilities the world over, all ages, all cultures, all languages. It’s happening at Creative Ireland funded Le Chéile Project on 29th September ‘19, in Athlone. (UPDATE: The event was an astounding success…. visit www.conductology.ie to read about the life-changing concept.)
In layman’s terms… in a similar way that ‘sign language’ enables deaf/mute persons to communicate with others… this new ‘gesture language,’ “Conductology,” enables any person with any disability, to create and play music and musical instruments.
The concept has been extensively researched and meticulously developed over five years. Results have been recognised and validated by musicians and creativity academics from prestigious institutions such as the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Ulster University, Trinity College, Cork Institute of Technology, DCU, Athlone I.T., Share Music in Sweden and several universities abroad.
It is accessible to everyone from pre-schoolers to collegians to those with special needs. Enhances quality music-making, builds social inclusion, breaks down barriers, develops creative thinking and confidence and raises musical aptitude. Impact results indicate increased cognition, communication and social skills and enhanced confidence, self-efficacy, self-determination, and emotional wellbeing, as well as a significant advancement in music skills and advancement. This empowering concept has not been available world-wide until now and has been recognised by musical celebrities as a tremendous advance in music.
Sean cannot read or write, he has an ‘intellectual impairment,’ but the Royal Irish Academy of Music in conjunction with Conductology Ltd., plan to have Sean play and teach ‘Conductology,’ at music academies around the world. Denise and Sean have received the Northern Ireland people of the year award 2018 for their contribution to the Arts. Their small team of unique musicians, ‘Acoustronic,’ have been appointed as ‘Ensemble in Residence’ at the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM).
This bold and visionary appointment by RIAM is another world first. Acoustronic is the first inclusive ensemble to be appointed as ‘ensemble in residence’ at a national music conservatory anywhere in the world. They will also be the lead ensemble in the Le Chéile Project which will culminate in the founding of the Open Youth Orchestra of Ireland, the EU’s first national youth orchestra for disabled musicians.
Minister for Culture, Josepha Madigan, “At present, opportunities for persons with disabilities to access active ensemble playing is limited, so the Le Cheile project is a major step towards addressing this inequality.”
Dr Denise’s book ‘The Music Doctor’s Music Improvisation Model for Children’: A Learning and Skills Accelerator for school and home is also being launched in September. Imelda May, Nik Kershaw and Ed Asner have agreed to endorse it!
Denise’s vision of a world-first, scientifically proven, music improvisation system that will transform the lives of vulnerable children around the globe is coming into reality. Creating a world where EVERY child can create and perform high-quality music. Enabling them to be the very best that they can be in a happy, fun-filled environment.
While I’m on, may I recommend an amazing, anointed but straight-forward video. It’s a must-see for all those who know Jesus and for those who only know about Him. It’s worth making time to see! In fact I’ll add it here too, incase there is someone you feel should see it. You can send them a link!
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is Born Again he cannot see the kingdom of God” Yes Jesus said it and I believe Him! This explains what it means and entails: http://bcove.me/mojnj28k
Jeranjie Kamfose is a humble, caring and exemplary woman of God whom we are proud to say, is a valued member of our small but greatly blessed outreach team. She has been studying in Dublin for the last two years and from the first time we met Jeranjie more than a year ago, we could see the presence of Jesus Christ in her. At that time Paul had prophesied that God has a really tremendous future for her at home in Malawi, Africa even though she had just migrated to Ireland. She would have a chain of orphanages providing help to thousands of children, by the Grace of God be a hugely successful evangelist and would be a catalyst for good, making a difference not just in her home country but right across the continent of Africa.
Remember Jeranjie’s name because in years to come, you will hear a lot more about this dedicated young woman and her anointed work in reaching the sick, the hungry, the lost, those in need. This is the story of the beginning of God’s plan for her and for Africa.
“I have a passion for helping people, especially the less privileged. Despite their trials, I find them happy and genuine. Anything to do with changing the community for the better and helping the needy are things that I actually love doing”,
It was this passion for helping others, especially children that led to an orphanage in Africa being named the Jeranjie Kamfose Orphanage. The story how this came about is fascinating.
“One of the pastors from Lilongwe knew my name and the local pastor who later named the orphanage, revealed to the first pastor that He had had a Word of Knowledge from God. He had had a dream about someone in Dublin, Ireland. I was the only person the first pastor knew who was living in Dublin. So the prophetically-named orphanage was named on the basis of a dream of the local pastor about someone living in Dublin, Ireland. As I was the only person that anyone knew living in Dublin, I was asked if my name could be used. Of course I agreed. I was honoured”.
The orphanage had existed for a few years but the name of the orphanage was only assigned by the pastor recently. Jeranjie visited in 2013. The orphanage in Ntcheu is named after Jeranjie while a second orphanage that Jeranjie supports also in Mzuzu is called Kabu.
The Ntcheu orphanage in the central region of Malawi has eighty-five children, the one in Mzuzu- in the far North of Malawi, has almost thirty. The children, between 0-16 years get their basic childcare needs met and go to local primary schools. She is also now associated with three other orphanages. There is the Taonga club which is in Mzimba district and has 48 children, another one is the Tafika club in Nkhatabay district which has 60 children and the last one is Kongwe Hills youth organisation which is in Dowa district and has about 180 children and youth.
“I send letters of encouragement to the orphanages to let the kids know that they are not alone and they pray for me all the time. Most of their parents are deceased. Some of them would have been living with their grandparents who because of their old age, can’t take care of them properly. The orphanages are there to provide meals for them and to ensure that they are involved in some of the village activities, to encourage them to attend church and to give them something to look forward to beyond going out looking for food. The orphanage acts as a safe meeting place for the kids. They organise sports events and play-time around the orphanage.
We are trying to start farming to grow maize, rice and vegetables and pig-raising so that they can do this and sell the crops. They’ll then be able to earn their own money rather than subsiding on hand-outs. One of the plans is to build accommodation for the orphans with a kitchen and dining hall and to employ a full-time officer who can oversee the children and cook the meals”.
Jeranjie’s family has a background in such local services as her mother was a district health officer during her career in nursing.
The Five Fold Ministry Ireland do not seek donations, charge fees, admission charges or make collections etc but we do wholeheartedly encourage all who would like to financially support Jeranjie’s endeavours which not only improve the quality of life for African children, in some cases may even mean the difference between life and death. We totally support and recommend Jeranjie and all her Christian work.
By coincidence (God-incidence?) Jeranjie must return to live in Africa in October. Busy and all as she is we know the best by far is yet to come. Before she returns, we hope to make a special announcement regarding another exciting project that as well as providing physical needs, this time will make an eternal difference in Ireland and Africa. More soon… meantime you’ll find Jeranjie on Facebook
Update NOV.2020 : Read all about Jeranjie’s amazing success as an Ambassador for Dyslexia in Africa. : Jeranjie Kamfose
Judas walked with, and was even chosen by Jesus, the greatest teacher and healer of all time and the omniscient Son of God. Judas personally witnessed Jesus heal the sick. The blind saw. The lame walked. The deaf heard. Jesus walked on water and even raised the dead back to life.
After seeing with his own eyes, the phenomenal miracles worked by Jesus, why did Judas betray the greatest man who ever lived? The answer is simple – greed – money. The same scourge which we can see all over the world today.
Jesus was betrayed with a kiss from Judas, the kiss of death. If we asked today, “Does this world want Jesus?”, the answer is No. No because they see in their own selfish hearts the unwillingness to give anything to anyone unless they have a promise that they will get more back. Never mind Christ going to Calvary to give everything for us, to die for the sins of the world.
The world cannot understand Christ’s agonising sacrifice because the world is dark with its all-consuming avarice and specifically, greed for money. To freely give something precious away, solely for the good of others, is far from their hearts. If Jesus thought the same way, the world would end up in hell.
We Christians are supposed to be the Light of this world. I myself do not see this. They have become similar to the world and extremely difficult to tell the difference between them and unbelievers. They have forgotten about preaching Christ and Him crucified on Calvary. Instead the main preaching in many churches today, is compromise and the tickling of ears with the prosperity gospel. This I do not have anything against except when it is continuously, aggressively advanced whilst Calvary is not mentioned at all.
Make no mistake. God WILL hold you accountable when you meet Him face-to-face. What is He going to say to YOU? “Well done good and faithful servant” or “Go away from Me. I do not know you”. You choose. Life… or death?
There are too many people out there who do not know the loving Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Each Christian should be in his own right, a revivalist because this was not a request but a command, to preach the Gospel to your family, relatives and your local community. We know at this moment that God’s people like to go and enjoy conferences and enjoy each others company. This is good but we also have to keep in mind all the people who are out there that do not know Him. There is a season for everything and we believe that each person that is called to ministry in his own right is a revivalist whether he/she likes it or not.
Each of us is a light in this darkened world and when we come together as a body united, the light becomes brighter. You can become that light, even individual light to your local community. It would be an impossible task to leave it all just to the evangelists because without your help we cannot reach the entire world.
So rather than us spending our time being constantly fed at conferences, get-togethers, picnics, and whatever, I think is it not time now for us when we do get together, to plan campaigns for outreaches? One cannot say, “It’s not our job”. It is all of our jobs because that’s why Jesus Christ came on Earth, to save souls!
Now the Great Commission is given to each and every born-again, spirit-filled Christian in the world. It is not good enough to hide your lamp under a bushel and keep it the best-kept secret in town. You must put it where it is seen. It is not good enough anymore to sing happy songs and pretend that all is well when that is far from the truth. I am challenging each and every brother and sister of Christ to become an individual revivalist because the world needs you. It doesn’t need a sermon but it does need Christ.
Salvation is now says the Lord. Don’t wait for revival to come. Revival is NOW and it is YOU!
A question that each born-again Christian should ask them selves every day is:
Am I putting God first in my life or myself? The answer is quite simple. Just look at your own website and see whose picture is looking back out at you? Is it Jesus, the Son of God who it should be or is it you?
By doing this you will see for your self, if it is yourself, that you are now building up your own kingdom which has nothing to do with God whatsoever. This letter is to Pastors and to all born-again Christians; to ask themselves whose kingdom they are building?
We looked at numerous Christian websites and believe it or not, the Name of Jesus was extremely difficult and rare to find. However the name of the Pastor, his or her ministry and photographs were plastered prominently all over the sites.
When I saw this, I asked myself, ‘did they die for themselves or did Jesus die for them’?
If they are working for the kingdom of God their ministry should be involved in OUTreaches and that does not mean INreaches. The sinners are outside the church doors, doing what they do best, sinning. They are not looking at the God Channel or listening to Christian music. They are in pubs and clubs and places of ill-repute. Listen to me Pastors while I tell you gently, this is what Jesus died for.
He didn’t go for the Holy Huddles and Cuddles, the get-togethers of Christian churches who enjoy each other’s company. This is good but not all the time and on it’s own won’t reach anyone. You are a vessel of the Most High God. You are supposed to be about your Father’s business, that is, saving the lost, the sick and the lonely.
For all those other Pastors whose theme is to build bigger churches – is this God’s will for you? They bring their own problems in themselves. In more cases than not, it keeps you there sorting out the problems rather than be able to go out and reach the lost which is God’s plan.
When you appear before Him, will He say, “Well done good and faithful servant” or “Go away from me, I do not know you?”
Servant of God
“Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that!” Charles H. Spurgeon
“Go for souls. Go for souls, and go for the worst.” William Booth.
“I will not believe that thou hast tasted of the honey of the gospel if thou can eat it all to thyself.” Spurgeon
God has NO interest in how big your church is. None in how popular you are. Nor in how many speaking engagements you have or conferences that you attend. Even if you are a famous TV evangelist, God still has NO interest in any of these things.
Not unless you are doing the work i.e. His work and not your own. He is only interested in how many lost souls you are reaching for Him with the real gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
YOU are not the one that went to Calvary. You are not the one whose back was beaten with whips until there was no skin to be seen. You were not nailed to a rugged cross, not had a crown of thorns pushed into your head. Only He was the one who was beaten, whipped and humiliated by the very ones whom He had created. He was the one who bought us our salvation with His own flowing, redemptive Blood.
So it is only fitting for each and every Christian in the world to testify of the true gospel. The gospel of Christ and Him being crucified to save the world from going to hell. This is the only gospel worth preaching about. To talk does not save souls. To sing nice songs does not save souls. To have conferences with lots of Christians listening to YOUR every word about prosperity gospels… still does not save souls.
The reason I write this, is because I believe strongly that we have a world that is now almost in total darkness, where the light is growing dimmer, particularly when it comes to preaching Christ and Him crucified. Today in the Christian church, we believe there is a lack of commitment to what God Has done by sending His Son to die a horrific death at Calvary. Not only do we believe there is a lack of commitment, we have experienced it.
Let me ask you this question. Would you send your son to do the same? I don’t believe you would. God however is loving, everlastingly faithful and out of His own great mercy chose to send His Son, Jesus Christ to save us all from hell. He was not the one who needed saving.
This is why I write this letter with repeated emphasis, that the church might awaken from it’s cosy slumber and come alive to the truth. That the ubiquitous begging for money that does not come, might stop. If God wants you to have large outreaches He will provide. He’s not short of money. He will give it to you. There is no need to continuously send out grasping letters. He didn’t do it.
At no time did Jesus say, “Go ye therefore and build me mega-size church buildings so that you can fill them with people”. I am not against this, ifthere are lost people being saved in the church every week. But He didn’t do it. So why are we?
When you do appear before God, and you will appear before Him face to face, that’s a guarantee, will He say to you, “Well done good and faithful servant” or will He say, “Go away from Me. I do not know you?”
If you are thinking of judging us on what we do, after more than 100 God-ordained outreaches, be very sure that your fruit exceeds ours.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.
Sunday and still feeling a little tired after our London outreach. Time to reflect on God’s Love, mercy and compassion. I didn’t know where to start with this report so checked my emails first. There in my inbox I was surprised and delighted to find most encouraging emails. Testimonies of three people who are “very grateful for what God has done for us” (them). They were “blessed, humbled and so very appreciative”. “A Life-changing experience”.
So uplifted with the glowing testimonials to God’s Grace and Love, I shall begin at the beginning. As Paul, John and I arrived at the new terminal 2 in the Dublin airport departures area on Tuesday, we were in good spirits and filled with anticipation of what God would do at the London meeting.
The tickets were pre-paid weeks ago so we could go to the computerised check-in. I remembered that after the flights were selected and paid for online (at the best price-God provides) , Aer Lingus the Irish national carrier, had sent me an automated email. This offered us the facility of choosing our seats together for an extra fee of €15 euro each as opposed to each receiving a randomly allocated seat anywhere on the plane. Extra costs options were also available for the extra leg-length rows at the emergency exits. However we had declined the extra charges as God had promised we would have adjacent seats. At the check-in, I clicked in the reference code and presto, of course the computer spat out boarding passes with three side by side seats and in the extra space rows.
Onboard, John sat down first. As Paul and I began to enter our seats, a slightly agitated male attendant moved quickly towards us wagging his forefinger. “No, no, you cannot sit there sirs. I do not have you registered here”, glancing at some records. Without answering, I smiled and presented our boarding cards. “Oh” he said, stopping abruptly and looking puzzled, “Oh, sorry, you’d better sit there then”. As usual what God ordains happens.
After a flawless flight we arrived at the Premier Inn London Heathrow (Bath Road) hotel, only five minutes from arrivals. There we met our New York based, intercessor and prayer manager Mel. who had earlier flown in from the U.S.A. All our small team were immediately struck by the great sense of peace permeating the Premier Inn when we arrived at the venue. The presence of God was obvious not just in the meeting rooms but throughout the hotel complex.
As the time approached to begin in the meeting room we were a little uneasy as the usual crowds were not flocking in. Then we remembered that Jesus had told us it would begin as a trickle, then a stream then an ocean. We determined that whether one or one thousand attended, we would give Jesus no less than 100% of our best to the last minute.
On the first night people (all Christians) were ‘slain in the spirit’. All were prophesied over and received the desires of their heart. It’s actually almost unique for Christians to attend our meetings as our outreaches are usually filled with people who do not know Jesus or sometimes those who know about Him but don’t know Him. Most of the Christians were not seeking His Hand but His Heart and though it was a blessing to witness God’s children experience a deeper relationship with Him there were no broken limbs or visible / physical afflictions.
A Bishop, having worked for many years for God and endured many trials was greatly touched and restored by God. He gave me a touching testimony of how God had commanded him to attend the meeting.
God revealed to the Bishop his way forward and how to overcome present challenges in expanding the Bishop’s church. It is our intention also to work with this man of God to introduce more people to Jesus on subsequent trips.
A Christian lady told Paul she had been diagnosed as progressively ‘going blind’. After prayer she was ‘slain in the spirit’ and told not only that she was healed but that other issues in her life would now be resolved. She has a doctors appointment this weekend.
Other christians rededicated their lives to Christ and some had minor healings (though they may not have been minor to them). We were puzzled by the lack of what we would describe as “visibly spectacular” demonstrations of power as we had expected and are very well used to, even though we know that the greatest miracle is the transformation of ones heart and life when one chooses Jesus. He had told us not to look at what we see but what we don’t see…. the eternal difference. And yet there was an almost indescribable peace and holiness about the whole event. Gentle Five Fold Ministry Ireland music played softly in the background as frankincense and myrrh incense wafted through the air-conditioned function room.
“Joshua” and his sister “Ashley” were ‘slain in the spirit’ the moment Paul laid hands on them and were tremendously and visibly touched by God. Both were prophesied over as to becoming world evangelists and the answers to all problems and burdens in their lives was provided by Jesus. These two Godly young people have a tremendous hunger for the Word and Anointing of God. We believe this is exactly what they got. God would not have brought them across the Atlantic solely for this one meeting if it were not important. They were called to be trained, blessed and anointed for a huge work. They will be tremendously used by God, initially in a small meeting they attend called “Crossroads”. The name will change as hundreds and hundreds of young people convert to Jesus and join their ministry. The potential of these two young but ‘mature’ Christians is extraordinary. ‘Maturity in Christ’ of course being measured not in years but in obedience and depth.
As the first nights meeting closed we were wondering though, what was God doing but not for a moment doubting that God had a plan to bring a light like a flaming torch through the darkened city of London, the U.K. and further afield and also that this meeting would herald the beginning of the greatest revival ever. We have learned to ‘wait on and trust God’, although He sometimes seems slow in coming, He is never ever late.
Next morning we enjoyed the Premier Inn hotel complex that God had picked. It was part of a budget hotel chain of 650 hotels and offered tremendous value, facilities and service. It was by far the most enjoyable, blessed hotel we have ever stayed in, at any price regardless of “star ratings”. During a special time of prayer prior to the second meeting we learned that part of God’s plan was to first break spiritual forces over Londonand dispel the enveloping darkness there prior to a much bigger outreach later; to anoint and equip two young people to launch a youth ministry under the Five Fold Ministry Ireland umbrella in New York; to launch a team of powerful, highly anointed world evangelists, a new generation of ‘Generals” in His army who will carry forth His Light; to heal a number of Christians, equip others and lead some people who did not know Jesus to accepting Him as their Lord and Saviour.
We were encouraged when Christians were healed and blessed and came to know Jesus with their heart and not just their head and when some non-christians repented and accepted Jesus however in our hearts we wondered when Jesus would demonstrate hIs awesome power as promised? Amongst the last people to respond was a Godly Christian lady of Asian extraction. She had brought her son and daughter who both accepted Jesus. The mother and children were slain in the spirit and healed and the son promised to attend church with his parents from then on. The dad was prayed over for an illness, in his seat.
To anyone who has not witnessed or does not understand the phenomena of being “slain in the spirit”, to the non-believer onlooker it can at first appear scary. To the person slain, it is usually a wonderful sense of peace and calmness and of closeness to God. Physically the person appears to gently faint as they collapse on the ground without ever hurting themselves. On the contrary, they later ‘come to’ feeling refreshed and renewed and with a new awareness of and sensitivity to, the presence and holiness of our loving God Jesus Christ. For ourselves we have witnessed this tens of thousands of times, so unfortunately we can sometimes gloss over what for the person, can be an astonishing and life-changing experience.
When Paul had finished praying over some individual Christians he formally thanked those who had come and officially closed the meeting, earlier than planned. All who came to the meeting were happy, blessed and content. All were impressed by the instant power of God that flowed through His servant Paul. Many were surprised to notice that no one had asked for money, there were no collections, no charges or cries for donations, nothing sold. After the team had privately given thanks to God we knew that He too was happy but we each asked each other, what else is going to happen?
We were preparing to pack up for the night and have a hot chocolate or coffee in the Costa Cafe in the complex when we were surprised to receive some late visitors. Pastor Paul Naughton of the Internationally-known, Harvest Church and Leadership Training Centre at Wembley, Middlesex swept into the room with an entourage of his top church leadership.
Pastor Paul apologised for his lateness but explained how they were “up to their eyes in it” at Harvest Church, having recently returned from the U.S.A. and having recently hosted Apostle Maldonado and other hi-profile Christian leaders. Friendly banter was exchanged as the two Pauls recounted stories of power-packed Five Fold meetings in the USA decades ago. In the very early days of the Five Fold Ministry Ireland, Pastor Paul was a backing musician in the team when the Five Fold did its first American tour. To this day, many churches established then, continue to thrive and prosper, with an unquenchable thirst for souls which of course is the reason, the only reason, Jesus came on Earth.
Pastor Paul and his wife Pastor Jo had invited the Five Fold Ministry Ireland to pray at their original venue, a hired school/church hall in Edgware. In the earlier venue, (Our) Paul had prayed with Pastor Paul and Pastor Jo that God would provide them with their own larger church and of course He later did in the shape of the large, modern and well-appointed Wembley church known to many Londoners and foreign visitors alike. Each of the two exciting events in the old premises were nights of great blessings with Pastor Paul and Pastor Jo and their children all being ‘slain in the spirit’ and blessed by God when (our) Paul prayed over them.
In the midst of the conversation Pastor Paul unselfishly asked (Our) Paul for prayer for everyone else. For his Chief prayer manager, his assistant pastor and other Harvest Church leaders. At this point I had noticed (our) Paul’s face had changed in to a glowing, deep oak tan and was growing deeper and deeper by the minute. This is always a sign to the team that something awesome is about to happen as the Glory of God descends. At the same time I also noticed that other visitors were coming into the room.
It was easy to discern that they were Christian leaders as the Hand of God could be seen all over them. I went down and had a blessed time talking with Pastor Andrew and Kevin. Andrew pastors the successful London, Revival Church. In the midst of our fellowship I saw Paul form a circle for prayer with the Harvest Church delegation. Quickly Andrew, Kevin and I went to the front and joined in the holding of hands and praying and worshipping God. Paul asked that we sing “Oh the Blood of Jesus” three times, an anointed hymn which ‘seals’ the prayer room.
All experienced the presence of God in a tangible powerful way as we joyously sang together. Pastor Paul asked (our) Paul for a special prayer for the chief prayer manager. Paul stepped forward, and asked the man, “Would you like to experience the Glory of God?” The church leader nodded and replied “Yes”. I was quite a way behind the man, praying. Paul cautioned the man, “Are you ready, you will feel this?”
“In the Name of Jesus” prayed Paul and the man hurtledbackwards with a force the like of which I’ve never seen before. So fast that, as he collapsed, he knocked me to the ground also and scattered all around. As I dragged myself out from under, Paul was already praying phenomenal gifts into the ‘slain’ man. Tongues, Interpretation of tongues, healing, the list went on. Paul prophesied that the man would “Go forth” as a “World Evangelist” and inputted other blessings from God which I didn’t clearly hear due to the excitement at what was unfolding.
Eyes closed, in a cataleptic ecstatic state on the floor, the man’s body began to vigorously tremble from top to toe. We all gasped as his body appeared to levitate in the horizontal position inches from the floor, at first at an even angle, then with his head higher and legs lower and alternating vice versa.
(Our) Paul spun round and asked, “Who else wants something from God. Ask now”. A tall, heavy-set man stepped forward. (Afraid I’ve forgotten the titles). After prayer (Our) Paul asked would you like to see how sensitive you have now become to the Holy Spirit? As soon as the man had nodded, Paul without further ado, merely “blew” on the big man and he was instantly pushed back by the awesome Power of the Holy Spirit..
Dramatic prophecies followed that God’s plan for this man was that he too will be a World Evangelist and there and then God was equipping him to carry out His appointed and now anointed mission. Similar and equally dramatic ‘slayings’ and prophecies followed one after another not just to Pastor Paul’s entire team but to the two other amazed leaders, Andrew and Kevin.
Pastor Andrew later invited us to London to hold a major Five Fold Ministry Ireland outreach this year. (Dates and Details to be finalised and confirmed). All of Pastor Pauls leadership team were given specific missions by God and empowered to carry them out as were Andrew and Kevin, the Bishop and several Christians from the UK and USA. It was clear God was creating a foundation to build upon for what is to come.
The last night was quieter but with further evangelists being raised up. We had never experienced this before, God raising up so many evangelists (and He did say that even more would be raised up). This is obviously part of His plan to take back London to the Glory of God. London is due for a tremendous blessing and you will be the first to know as we will announce the exact dates here soon and further events as they unfold. God bless, Harry
Some years later, Paul and his friend Silas went to the town of Philippi, proclaiming the Good News about Jesus. They met a woman named Lydia who sold purple cloth. She loved and worshipped God
God opened her heartto understand the message of Jesus, and she and her family were baptised. She invited Paul and Silas to stay at her house, so they did.
Paul and Silas often went to pray while they were in Philippi. Every day as they walked to the place of prayer, a slave girl possessed by a demon followed them. She was a fortune-teller, and she made a lot of money for her masters.
God’s Word takes a clear position on this subject of fortune-telling, strongly denouncing this and similar practices. Divination, fortune-telling, mediums, spiritualism, necromancy, familiar spirits, wizardry, seances, channeling, clairvoyance, spirit-guides.
“Our fight in this world is not against flesh and blood (human beings), but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual powers in heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
“When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire [an ancient occult practice], or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritualist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination [detestable] to the LORD…” —Deuteronomy 18:9-12
You can’t walk with God and hold hands with the devil at the same time.
She kept yelling, “These men are servants of the Most High God. They are telling you the way to be saved!” She did this so often that Paul became annoyed.
One day, Paul turned to her and said to the demon, “In the name of Jesus, come out of her.” Right away the demon left her. As usual the demons where the first to recognise Jesus in a situation.However note the demon referred to the ‘Most High God’. Demons fear the Name of Jesus and the Blood of Christ. There is Power in the Name and in the Blood. Today the enemy tries to have the Name of Jesus removed from everyday life.
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth,
and things under the earth; Phil 2:10
The men who owned the slave girl became very angry when they found out what had happened, because she could no longer make money for them.
So they had Paul and Silas arrested, beaten, and thrown into jail.
Paul and Silas were put in the most secure part of the prison with their feet locked up. In the middle of the night, they were singing songs of praise to God.
Pray, and Praise God if you are in your “prison”. It’s one way to get freedom and deliverance.
Suddenly, the earth shook and the prison doors flew open. All the prisoners’ chains fell off.
When the jailer saw that the doors were open, he planned to kill himself, thinking that all the prisoners had escaped. (He knew he would be killed for letting the prisoners escape.) Paul saw him and yelled, “Stop! Do not hurt yourself. We are all here.”
The jailer was terrified! He took Paul and Silas home, gave them some food, and washed their wounds. Then he said, “What must I do to be saved?”
Paul answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you and your family will be saved.” Then Paul baptised the jailer and his whole family, and they celebrated together.
The next day the leaders of the city freed Paul and Silas and asked them to leave Philippi. Paul and Silas visited Lydia and some other friends and then left the city. The Good News of Jesus Christ kept spreading, and the Church kept growing.
Paul and other Christian leaders traveled to many cities, preaching and teaching about Jesus. They also wrote many letters to the churches to encourage and teach them about God’s New Covenant. These writings are called the New Testament.
After Stephen was martyred the persecution of Christians arose. Those who were scattered travelled as far as Phenice, Cyprus and Antioch preaching the Word of God to the Jews only. The Hand of the Lord was with them and great numbers believed and turned unto the Lord.
News reached Jerusalem and Barnabas was sent to Antioch. He met with Saul and for a year they assembled with the church there and they taught many. It was here in Antioch that the disciples were first called ‘Christians’. Agabus, a Christian from Jerusalem, prophesied the coming famine which later came to pass. The small group of Christians gathered what money they could between them and sent it to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Saul.
King Herod at that time attacked the church seeing that it pleased the Jews to do so. He killed James the brother of John and imprisoned Peter. The church prayed continuously for Peter and he was miraculously delivered from prison by an angel. King Herod was later struck dead by God. The Word grew and multiplied and Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem to Antioch.
It was here we believe that Saul made a very serious mistake that was to affect his ministry for the rest of his life. Certain prophets and teachers were with Barnabas, Saul and others as they worshipped and fasted when the Holy Ghost said ‘separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them‘. The Holy Spirit had made known His will.
When the church had fasted, prayed and laid hands on them, Barnabas and Saul set off with John Mark on the first missionary journey. Soon after preaching in Paphos John Mark left Paul and Barnabas without giving them a reason or seeking their consent. This had repercussions later when Paul and Barnabas were about to leave Antioch on their second missionary journey.
Having returned to Antioch from their first mission, Paul suggested to Barnabas that they travel around the churches again. Barnabas wanted to bring John Mark but Paul would have none of it after his behaviour last time. They argued so strongly about this that they split the ministry; Barnabas took John Mark and sailed to Cyprus. Paul chose Silas and departed going through Syria and Cilica.
In our opinion, in doing this Paul was in serious error. In splitting the ministry, directly against the explicit instructions of the Holy Spirit, Paul was also splitting the anointing. This led to a lot of hardship in his ministry as the enemy (satan) was able to influence the situation because of this division.
Stephen was a leader in the early Church. He had a good reputation and was full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom. Stephen did many miracles and argued strongly that people should believe in Jesus.
One day, Stephen was arguing with some Jews about Jesus. They became very angry and lied about Stephen, saying, “We heard him speak evil things about Moses and God!” So they arrested Stephen and brought him before the high priest and leaders of the Jews.
The high priest asked Stephen, “Are these things true?” Stephen replied, “You stubborn and rebellious people always reject the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors always rejected God and killed His prophets. You have even killed the Messiah whom God sent!”
When the people heard this, they covered their ears and yelled loudly. They threw Stephen out of the city and stoned him to death.
As he was dying Stephen cried out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell to his knees and cried out again, “Lord, do not count this sin against them.” Then he died.
A man named Saul approved of Stephen’s execution and guarded the belongings of those who stoned Stephen. That day many people attacked the Christians, and they were scattered through that region.
Saul continued to attack the Christians going from house to house, arresting men and women, and putting them in prison. Saul received permission from the high priest to go to the city of Damascus to arrest Christians there and bring them back to Jerusalem.
As Saul was on his way to Damascus, Jesus appeared to him in a bright light and said, “Saul! Why do you persecute me?” He said, “Who are you, Master?” Jesus replied, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
When Saul got up, he could not see and had to be led into Damascus. Saul ate and drank nothing for three days.
This experience on this road to Damascus was to change Saul forever. He had met with the Glorified Christ. Anointed and touched by God this led to him having a deeper revelation and understanding of who Jesus is, when he did receive his eyesight.
Then God appeared to a Christian named Ananias and said, “Go to the house where Saul is staying. Lay your hands on him so that he can see again. I have chosen him to declare My name to the unsaved. I will show him how much he must suffer for My sake.” So Ananias prayed for Saul, and he regained his sight.
Immediately, Saul was baptized and began preaching to the Jews, saying, “Jesus is the Son of God!” The Jews were amazed that the man who had tried to destroy the Christians was now a Christian. Saul argued with the Jews, proving that Jesus was the Messiah. Saul became known as Paul.
After many days, the Jews made a plan to kill Paul. They placed people at the city gates to kill him. But Paul heard about the plan, and his friends helped him escape. One night they lowered him over the city wall in a basket. Paul ran away and continued preaching about Jesus.
One day, an angel of the Lord told Philip, one of Jesus’ disciples, to go to the desert on the road to Gaza. As he walked along the road, Philip saw an important official from Ethiopia sitting in his chariot. The Holy Spirit told Philip to go up and talk to this man.
When he came near the chariot, he heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah, “He was led like a lamb to be killed, and did not say a word. He was treated unfairly and without respect. His life was taken away from him.”
Philip asked the Ethiopian, “Do you understand what you are reading?” He said, “No. Is Isaiah talking about himself or someone else?”
Philip showed him that Isaiah was talking about Jesus. Philip also used many other Scriptures to tell him the Good News of Jesus.
As they passed by some water, the Ethiopian said, “Look! There is some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” And he ordered the chariot to stop.
So they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. After Philip baptized the Ethiopian, the Holy Spirit carried Philip awayto another place where he continued telling people about Jesus.
The Ethiopian went on his way, happy to know Jesus.
One day Peter and John went to the Temple. On their way, they saw a crippled man begging for money
Peter looked at him and said, “I do not have any money to give you. But what I have I will give you.In the name of Jesus Christ, get up and walk!”
Peter “appeared” to be poor but easily was the wealthiest person there. He had the riches of Jesus Christ in his heart. Today, some people are so poor, all they have is money.
The man was immediately healed, and he began walking and jumping around, praising God. The people in the Temple were amazed.
A crowd quickly formed. Peter said to them, “Why are you amazed that this man is healed? It was not through our own power or goodness that he was healed, but by the power of Jesus Christ.”
Today many people still think that healings and miracles were for 2,000 years ago. Nottrue.If it were so, if miracles were not possible, the bible would be false.Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and forever. Heb.13:8. Today,the Lame walk, the deaf hear and the blind see (literally) by the Grace and Power of our miracle-working God, Jesus Christ.
“You asked that Jesus be killed. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. This is how God fulfilled the prophecies that the Messiah would suffer and die. But now, repent and turn to God so that your sins will be washed away.”
The leaders of the Temple were greatly annoyed at what Peter and John were saying. So they arrested them and threw them into prison. But many of the people believed what they had seen and heard and the Church grew to 5,000 men, plus women and children.
Jesus had reserved His harshest words for these church leaders. He called them hypocrites, vipers, white-washed sepulchers, bright and clean on the outside, rotten on the inside. The theologians could quote any passage and knew the law by rote… but they didn’t know Jesus. They crucified Him. Thankfully, He said, “Follow Me”, not ‘follow them’. Regarding them, He said, “Do as they say, not as they do”.
The next day, the Jewish leaders brought Peter and John before the high priest* and his family. They asked them, “By what power did you do this?”
Peter responded, “It is by the name of Jesus the Messiah. You crucified him, but God raised him to life again! You rejected him, but there is no other way to be saved except through the name of Jesus!”
*High Priest: Jesus had ascended to sit down at the right hand of His Father. For a priest (Jesus is our “High Priest”) to “sit down” was to symbolise “It is finished” as Jesus said on the cross. The Holy place where the High Priest went to worship, where the Ark of the Tabernacle was, had NO seats. They always stood because they were always worshiping God, always presenting sacrifices for the atonement of sins. But in Hebrews 9.25 – 10.11, you can see thatJesus atoned for all sin “Once and for all time”. In those days if the High Priest was not holy and went into Gods presence, God struck him dead, that’s why the priest had bells on his garments and a rope around his waist. The bells tinkled while he walked and prayed. If they stopped, his congregation knew to pull him out by the rope. Perhaps that’s where the saying “Hes a bit ropey” came from! :- )
Psalm 118:8It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
The leaders were shocked because they could see that these men were common men who were not well-educated. They also realized that these men had been with Jesus. After they had threatened Peter and John, they let them go.
After Jesus returned to heaven, the disciples stayed in Jerusalem as Jesus had commanded. The followers of Jesus gathered together and were praying constantly.
At that time a Jewish feast called Pentecost was happening. Pentecost was a celebration of thanksgiving. Jews from all over the world would come to Jerusalem to celebrate together.
While the believers were all together, suddenly, they heard a sound like a strong wind that filled the house. Then something like tongues of fire appeared over the heads of all the believers.Those that received the fire, received the fullness of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Filled with the Holy Spirit, they began to speak in other languages.
The day of Pentecost, fifty days after the Passover, marks the beginning of the Christian church.
When the people in Jerusalem heard about this, a crowd gathered, wondering what was happening. The people were astonished when they heard the believers speaking in their own native languages, proclaiming the wonderful works of God.
Some accused the disciples of being drunk, but Peter stood up and said, “Listen to me! These people are not drunk! This is a fulfillment of the prophecy made by Joel which says, ‘In the last days, I will pour out My Spirit.’
“Men of Israel, Jesus was a man who did many mighty signs and wonders by the power of God, as you have seen and already know. You crucified him!”
“But God raised him to life again to fulfill the prophecy which says, ‘You will not let Your Holy One rot in the grave.’ God raised this Jesus from the dead. We are witnesses.”
“Jesus is now exalted to the right hand of God the Father. And the Father has sent the promised Holy Spirit which you are seeing and hearing.”
“Know for certain that God has made this Jesus, the one you crucified, both Master and Messiah!”
It is interesting to note that here, the same men who had been cowering in the upper room, the men who had run away from Jesus at the cross, were now running to Him and boldly and fearlessly proclaiming the Good News of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This should give us cause to ponder on the proof of the resurrection – not on what the witnesses saw but in how they responded to what they saw. For indeed, in years to come, not once did a single disciple or witness to Jesus’ resurrection change their story. In fact, many died a brutal death for the truth they witnessed personally. (People will die for something they believe to be true, but no one will ever die for something they know is a lie.)
Transformed by the Holy Spirit, the weak disciples were now courageous Apostles of God.
The people listening to Peter were deeply moved and asked, “Brothers, what should we do?”
Peter said, “Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
About 3,000 people believed what Peter said. They were baptized and were added to the people of God, which is the Church. The “greater works” of the disciples, prophecised and promised by Jesus Christ in John 14:12, is now fulfilled. Peter, empowered by the Holy Spirit, sees three thousand people respond to the gospel invitation.
And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. The believers devoted themselves to the disciples’ teaching, fellowship, eating together, and prayer. They all met together and shared everything they had. They praised God and were well received by those who were not Christians.
Jesus. The Old Testament points forward to Him. The New Testament points back to Him. But ALL Scripture points to Him, as Jesus said in John 5:39: “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about Me.”
I’d like to thank all those who have subscribed to the ‘Road to Calvary‘ story board on Pinterest and also here. It was a pleasant surprise to see the number of ‘pinners’ who are following and also those following this WordPress blog or who emailed kind messages even when the story appeared to end at Calvary.
However as you know, the story never ends, not even when we reach our destination. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, because He defeated death and paid for our sins with His precious blood, we know that the end of this life as we know it is just the beginning of a new and glorious life with Him. The only end is that of pain, suffering and death…. for ever, for all eternity.
So next week we’ll continue on with this blog and resume with Pentecost and the beginning of the “Church”, (the One church…. His Church). Of course God did not create Religion. God created man. Man created Religion. Christianity is not about religion. It’s about a relationship.
Our hope is that through this blog you will know that the risen Christ of the Bible is the only solution to all the problems of the world. Our prayer is that by the Grace and Power of the Holy Spirit, you will be led into a deeper personal relationship with Jesus and realise, just how much, Jesus Loves You.
Ponder on the proof of the resurrection – not on what the witnesses saw but in how they responded to what they saw. Not once did a single disciple or witness to Jesus’ resurrection change their story. In fact, many died a brutal death for the truth they witnessed personally. People will die for something they believe to be true, but no one will ever die for something they know is a lie
The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is so solid that if it were taken to a court of law today, the judge and jury would be forced to admit it’s true…based on the indisputable facts: • The tomb was (and still is) empty. • Early resurrection testimony: 540+ eyewitnesses to Jesus. • Enemy testimony: Roman guards, James & Saul. • Multiple, independent, eyewitness sources (8-9). • Extra-biblical references (10 ancient sources*). • Early church explosion (no other explanation). • Transformed lives of disciples + conversion of Paul & James. • 456 prophecies fulfilled perfectly: Jesus’ birth, death & resurrection.
* Note: The Roman Empire was one of the most powerful of all time, yet the emperor during the time that Jesus lived is mentioned in only 8 sources. Jesus? 10.His existence and accomplishments are historical facts that can’t be denied.
Easter for born-again Christians is a time for great rejoicing because of the resurrection of Jesus. It is also a time of great sadness because of the Crucifixion of Our Lord on Good Friday.
Now is the time for each of us to reflect on our own lives as followers of Jesus. Each of us has to ask ourselves “Have I been effective in promoting the Gospel in my life? Could I have done more to promote the Gospel of Jesus?” Our redemption has come with such a great price. Even though there was a resurrection there had to be a crucifixion. No cross – No crown.
Therefore our own life in promoting the Gospel should always be active. May I be bold and say, let each Christian reading this bring to his/her service on Easter Sunday, at least one or two people who do not know Jesus. I am not asking you to preach to them. Just to bring them along for I am sure that the Pastor will be preaching a message of resurrection that Sunday. Let the Holy Ghost touch these new people.
Wouldn’t this be a wonderful revival if thousands of God’s children brought along at least one or two people who do not know Jesus to their Easter service? I believe that this would please you, your pastor and God.
May I take this opportunity of asking God to Bless you and your families this Easter.
Later that day, two of Jesus’ followers were going to a nearby town. As they walked, they talked about the death of Jesus and how the women said he was alive again. They wondered if Jesus really was the Messiah.
Jesus came up and started walking with them, but they did not recognize him. He asked what they were talking about, and they told him about all the terrible things that had happened during the last few days. They thought he was a stranger who had not heard about it.
Let us not be diverted from the path by the cares and distractions of this world but allow God to reveal Himself however He wants to, lest we miss Him in our midst.
Then Jesus explained to them what God’s Word says about the Messiah. He reminded them that the prophets said the Messiah would suffer and be killed, but would rise again on the third day. When they arrived at the town where they were going, it was almost night.
Luke 24:28-29: “And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them”. Salvation is now. Don’t miss your opportunity. Jesus would have passed on only they invited Him to stay. Jesus is a gentleman. He will not force Himself in where He is not wanted.
The two men invited Jesus to stay with them, so he did. Before they ate, Jesus picked up a loaf of bread, thanked God for it, then broke it. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized that he was Jesus. At that moment, he disappeared.
The two men said to each other, “Our hearts were burning when he explained God’s Word to us!” Immediately, they returned to Jerusalem and told the disciples, “Jesus is alive! We have seen him!”
The disciples were still gathered, hiding in the room. Suddenly, Jesus appeared! The disciples thought he was a ghost, but Jesus said, “Peace to you! Why are you afraid and doubting? Look at my hands and feet. Ghosts do not have bodies like I do.” To show he was not a ghost, he asked for a piece of cooked fish and ate it.
“I told you that everything written about me in God’s Word must be fulfilled,” Jesus said. Then he opened their minds so they could understand God’s Word. He said, “It was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer, die, and rise from the dead on the third day.”
The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ was necessary in order to 1) make the forgiveness of sins possible 2) fulfill the biblical prophecies of the resurrection (Luke 24:45,46) 3) make justification of sinners possible (Rom. 4:25; 8:34) 4) lay a solid foundation for the Christian’s hope (1 Cor 15:19). Christ’s resurrection was wrought by the power of God (Acts 2:24; Rom. 8:11; Eph.1:19, 20) and by Christ Himself (John 2:19, 10:18).
“It was also written that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed to all people groups, starting in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
During the next forty days, Jesus appeared to his disciples and followers many times. Once, he even appeared to more than 500 people at the same time! He proved to his disciples in many ways that he was alive, and he taught them about the Kingdom of God.
At the end of the forty days, Jesus said to his disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So GO, make disciples of all people groups by baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and by teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Mark 16:15-18.“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;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”.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matt. 7:20 (KJV)
“Remember, I will be with you always. Stay in Jerusalem until you receive power from above.” Then Jesus was taken up to heaven, and a cloud hid him from their sight. Jesus sat down at the right hand of God to rule over all things.
The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is so solid that if it were taken to a court of law today, the judge and jury would be forced to admit it’s true…based on the indisputable facts:
• The tomb was (and still is) empty.
• Early resurrection testimony: 540+ eyewitnesses to Jesus.
• Enemy testimony: Roman guards, James & Saul.
• Multiple, independent, eyewitness sources (8-9).
• Extra-biblical references (10 ancient sources*).
• Early church explosion (no other explanation).
• Transformed lives of disciples + conversion of Paul & James.
• 456 prophecies fulfilled perfectly: Jesus’ birth, death & resurrection.
* Note: The Roman Empire was one of the most powerful of all time, yet the emperor during the time that Jesus lived is mentioned in only 8 sources. Jesus? 10.
His existence and accomplishments are historical facts that can’t be denied.
After Jesus was crucified, the unbelieving Jewish leaders said to Pilate, “That liar, Jesus, said he would rise from the dead after three days. The tomb must be guarded so that his disciples do not steal the body and then say he has risen from the dead.”
Pilate said, “Make the tomb as secure as you can.” So they sealed the stone at the entrance of the tomb and put soldiers there to make sure no one could steal the body.
The day after Jesus was buried was a Sabbath, a day of rest. Very early on the morning after the Sabbath, several women including Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to Jesus’ tomb to put more burial spices on his body.
Full credit must be given to these brave and dedicated vessels.It was women who stood at the cross (plus John) while the rest of the disciples scattered to save themselves. It was women who went to the tomb even though it was sealed and barred with a huge stone. They went anyway. It was women who went to the tomb even though it was guarded by soldiers of the Roman Army who had just demonstrated their sadistic brutality. They went anyway.
Where were the brave men who had loudly talked about their loyalty to Jesus? Hiding. Cowering behind the locked door of the upper room. And when the women revealed their joyous news, did they believe? No, they ran to check. After all, how could Jesus reveal His resurrection from the dead to a woman, first? They forget it was a woman who had the most important job in scriptures (after Jesus), the birth of the Messiah.
Now to be fair to the men…… AFTER they had received power from on high, after they had received the Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus.. they were transformed into real men of God. Indeed we should ponder on the proof of the resurrection – not on what the witnesses saw but in how they responded to what they saw. Not once did a single disciple or witness to Jesus’ resurrection change their story. In fact, many died a brutal death for the truth they witnessed personally. People will die for something they believe to be true, but no one will ever die for something they know is a lie. So the disciples by the Grace and Power of the Holy Spirit, bravely went out and turned the world upside down. A thought! If they had not gone out… where would you and I be today?
There was a great earthquake. An angel of the Lord appeared from heaven, as bright as lightning. He rolled away the stone that was covering the entrance to the tomb and sat on it. The soldiers guarding the tomb were terrified and fell to the ground like dead men.
In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again”. Then they remembered His words.Luke 24: 5-8 kjv.
The angel told the women, “Do not be afraid. Jesus is not here. He has risen from the dead, just like he said he would! Look in the tomb and see.” The women looked into the tomb and saw where Jesus had been lying. His body was not there!
Then the angel told the women, “Tell the disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead and is going before you into Galilee.”
The women were full of fear and great joy. They ran to tell the disciples the good news.
On the way, Jesus appeared to them, and they worshiped him. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my disciples that I will see them in Galilee.
He suffered and He died for you,
An agonising death on a rugged cross
Tortured and crucified for you,
To save the sick, the lonely and the lost
Black hearted Pilate washed his hands in a dish of delph
It could have been in blood as much as in water
For he may as well have nailed Jesus to the cross himself
It was he who gave the fatal order
They surrounded Him in the dark of night
Armed guards with torches aglow
The crowds milled expecting a fight
But Jesus said, “It is I you seek, let the others go”.
On His Head a crown of black thorns they did add,
Their tips dipped in a deadly poison
A practice that could drive ordinary men mad,
As the Blood of Christ turned those tips to crimson
The mass of bleeding tissue was revealed
As ruthless Romans scourged again and again
Strips of skin were torn and peeled;
But not even once did Jesus complain
They mocked and insulted
They ripped the cloak from blood congealed
They pierced His Hands and His feet
His back was like a furrowed field,
When they nailed Him to that cross,
They nailed our sickness and our sin
They nailed your pain and your loss
So you would learn the Kingdom of God is within
His friends who loved Him looked up and cried
The sky darkened and clouds gathered as if nightfall
When Jesus looked down at the mob, just before He died
His Heart of Love still forgave them all
He had created the very wood and also the nails
And even the merciless men who drove them through
Despite the leather whip with it’s leaded tails
He pleaded, “Forgive them Father; they know not what they do”.
They took Him from the cross and gave Him to His Mother,
She cradled and she held this Blessed Fruit of her womb
She cried for her baby that once she lay in a manger
But now she prepared to lay her baby in a tomb.
However three days later the impossible happened
And Mary’s pierced heart was healed
She screamed with Joy as the tomb was opened
Jesus had defeated death, to all it was revealed.
He had endured and He had triumphed, this story is true
How He dispelled darkness with the light of love that day
And He would suffer it all over again, even if for only you
So that you too can live again in a most abundant way
Who is this faithful man who now holds out His Hand?
This man who is always honest, always true
Who speaks to pain and misery and it’s forever banned,
He is the one who will never leave or forsake you
You may not know Him yet but He knew you before you were born,
He knows everything about you, your strength and your frailties
He loved you in the womb, before you were even formed
And He will love you forever, and through all eternities
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Jesus had endured the agony of the scourging. He was stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. The Roman Legionnaire then stepped forward with the flagrum in his hand. This was a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached to the ends of each . The heavy whip was brought down with full force, again and again on the torn and bloody back of Jesus.
When the centurion determined that Jesus was near death, the beating stopped. The half-fainting Jesus was then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood. Thinking it a great joke they continued to mock and abuse Him until they tired of their sadistic sport.
Isaiah the prophet who lived many hundreds of years before Jesus walked the dusty streets of Jerusalem prophecised: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed”. Isaiah 53:5
Jesus is led away to be crucified, making him carry his own cross.
The heavy beam of the cross was then tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves and the execution detail, began its slow journey. The weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious blood loss, was too much. He stumbled and fell. The rough wood of the beam gouged into the lacerated skin and muscles of His shoulders. He tried to rise, but human muscles had been pushed beyond their endurance.
And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. Matt 27:32. Ironically Simon was made to bear the cross of Jesus when Jesus was actually bearing Simon’s cross by dying in his place.
They came to a place called Golgotha (in Aramaic) , meaning “The Skull”. ‘Calvary’ comes from the Latin.
Here, the beam is placed on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The Legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep in the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexing and movement.
The beam is then lifted in place at the top of the posts and the title reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed in place. The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each.
Despite the agonising pain that seared through his body, Jesus looked down on His jeering tormentors and said,
The soldiers gambled for Jesus’ clothing. When they did this, they fulfilled a prophecy which said, “They divided my garments among them, and gambled for my clothing.”
Psalm 22:14-18: I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
Jesus was crucified between two robbers. One of them mocked Jesus, but the other said, “Don’t you fear God? We are guilty, but this man is innocent. Jesus, please remember me in your Kingdom.” Jesus said to him, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise. No pomp or ceremony, no long-winded prayers, just a repentant sinner receiving forgiveness from His compassionate father.
His last commands to His apostles was the Great Commission, to go out into the world and preach His Gospel that men might be saved and here, even here on the cross He reached out once again for one more soul.
If you take Calvary out of the Gospel, you have no Gospel to preach because it is Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary that redeems us all from sin.
Paul… Five Fold ministry ireland
The crowd and the Jewish leaders mocked Jesus, saying, “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him”. Matt 27:42 kjv. “He saved others..” Ironic again that little did they realise they were actually testifying to the Glory of God that Jesus healed and saved others.
It was the middle of the day, but darkness came over the whole land. It stayed dark from noon until 3:00 in the afternoon.
Many women were there including Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses and the mother of Zebedee’s children and others which followed Jesus from Galilee ministering unto Him.
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. John 19:26-27
Here Christ again demonstrates His compassion, love and humanity, this time concerned for the welfare of His mother. In the Ten Commandments, such was the importance of honouring our parents, that in this command He promised a reward. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Jesus cried out to His Father as for the first and only time the Godhead, the trinity are separated as Jesus bears the sins of the world…. for you and I. Jesus fulfilled the prophecy Psalm 69:21 by saying, “I thirst”.
Then He cried out, “It is finished! Father, I give my spirit into your hands.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. In John 10:18 regarding His life Jesus said, “No one taketh it away 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 received I from my Father“.
When he died, there was an earthquake and the large curtain in the Temple that separated the presence of God from the people was torn in two, from the top to the bottom.
From the writings of Josephus, a famous first century Jewish historian, this veil was somewhere near 60 feet high. Josephus also tells us that the veil was four inches thick and that horses tied to each side could not pull the veil apart. The tearing of the veil dramatically symbolised that the shedding of His own blood, was sufficient atonement for sins. The way into the Holy of Holies was open for all people, for all time.
Through his death, Jesus opened a new and living way for people to come to God.
Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me”.
When the soldier guarding Jesus saw everything that happened, he said,
“Certainly, this man was innocent. He must have been the Son of God.”
Then Joseph and Nicodemus, two Jewish leaders who believed Jesus was the Messiah, asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. They wrapped his body in cloth and buried it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then they rolled a large stone over the opening.
Jesus has Paid in Full the price of our salvation, to be reconciled with God. He offers you this free gift now.
Although the offer doesn’t expire until you do, many who plan to seek God at the eleventh hour, die at 10.30.
It was the middle of the night. The soldiers led Jesus to the house of the high priest to be questioned. Peter followed far behind. When Jesus was taken into the house, Peter stayed outside and warmed himself by a fire.
Whether the trial was even legal was doubtful. It took place at Caiaphas’ home. Decisions of the “Great Sanhedrin” were binding but were supposed to be made when the court met in the chambers of the Hall of Hewn Stone in Jerusalem. The trial took place at night. A capital trial was supposed to take place during the day; and only after a full day had intervened could the Sanhedrin render a verdict. It was obvious by the way the trial was handled that the Jewish leaders wanted Jesus dead at any cost.
Inside the house, the Jewish leaders put Jesus on trial. They brought many witnesses who lied about him. However, their statements did not agree with each other, so they could not prove he was guilty. Jesus did not say anything.
The judges did everything they could to manufacture testimony that would convict Jesus.They didn’t care whether it was true or not. They just wanted to kill Jesus.
Finally, the high priest looked directly at Jesus and said, “Tell us, are you the Messiah, the Son of the living God?”
Jesus said, “I am, and you will see me seated with God and coming in power from heaven.” The high priest tore his clothes in anger and shouted, “We do not need any more witnesses. You have heard him say that he is the Son of God. What is your judgment?”
Unable to convict Jesus by the testimony of liars, Caiaphas now accuses Jesus of blasphemy. It was the practice then when someone heard blasphemy against the divine he was instructed to tear his garments
They all answered, “He deserves to die!” Then they blindfolded him, spit on him, hit him, and mocked him.
Jewish law permitted public flogging however striking, spitting on and taunting – was prohibited by the law.
Outside the house, a girl saw Peter and said, “You also were with Jesus!” Peter denied it. Later, another girl said the same thing, and Peter denied it again. Finally, the people said, “You were with Jesus because you both are from Galilee.”
Peter swore, saying, “May God curse me if I know this man!” Immediately, a rooster crowed, and Jesus turned and looked at Peter.
Peter went outside and cried bitterly. Meanwhile, when Judas, the betrayer, saw that Jesus had been condemned, he became full of sorrow and went away and killed himself.
Early the next morning, the Jewish leaders brought Jesus to the Roman governor, Pilate, hoping to have Jesus killed. Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “You have said so, but my Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it was, my servants would fight for me. But I have come to earth to tell the truth about God. Everyone who loves the truth listens to me.” Pilate said, “What is truth?
(for the answer to “What is truth”, including ‘Spiritual truth‘ click here)
After speaking with Jesus, Pilate went out to the crowd and said, “I find no guilt in this man.” But the Jewish leaders and the crowd shouted, “Crucify him!” Pilate replied, “He is not guilty.” But they shouted even louder. Then Pilate said a third time, “He is not guilty!”
But Pilate became afraid that a riot would start, so he handed Jesus over to them to be crucified. The soldiers whipped Jesus, put a royal robe and a crown made of thorns on him, and they mocked him, saying, “Look, the King of the Jews!
After the meal, Jesus and his disciples walked to the Mount of Olives. Jesus said, “All of you will all abandon me tonight. It is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd and all the sheep will be scattered.”
Peter replied, “Even if all the others leave you, I will not!” Then Jesus said to Peter, “Satan wants to have all of you, but I have prayed for you, Peter, that your faith will not fail. Even so, tonight, before the rooster crows, three times you will deny that you even know me.”
“Even so, tonight, before the rooster crows, three times you will deny that you even know me.”
Peter then said to Jesus, “Even if I must die, I will never disown you!” All the other disciples said the same thing.
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. Jesus told his disciples to pray that they would not fall into temptation. Then Jesus went to pray by himself.
Jesus prayed three times, “My Father, if there is no other way for people’s sins to be forgiven, Your will be done.” Jesus was very troubled and his sweat was like drops of blood. God sent an angel to strengthen him.
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus was sweating blood and in a very stressful state. The disciples were possibly wondering what was wrong with Jesus. He was taking on, as we know now, the sins of the world. They were coming on His body and draining Him from all His power but how could Jesus explain this to His disciples who were not at a place of receiving this insight into the Holiness of Christ our King. Jesus is the Son of God, Holy in every way, unmistakably the purest vessel that ever lived or will ever live, on the face of this earth but you see Jesus had to face this on His own, and no one knew, except His Father in Heaven. And there was no release for Him until after Calvary, and after that, the resurrection. But if Jesus had told them the truth of His mission, what would the disciples say? They would have run away.
‘In the natural’, the physical trauma of Christ began in Gethsemane with this one of the initial aspects of His suffering… the bloody sweat. It is interesting that the physician of the group, St. Luke, is the only one to mention this. He says, “And being in agony, He prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground. Though very rare, the phenomenon of hemathidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process alone could have produced marked weakness and possible shock.
After each time of prayer, Jesus came back to his disciples, but they were asleep. After the third time, Jesus said, “Wake up! My betrayer is here.”
Judas came with the Jewish leaders, soldiers, and a large crowd carrying swords and clubs. He came to Jesus and said, “Greetings, teacher,” and kissed him. This was the sign for the Jewish leaders to know whom to arrest. Then Jesus said, “Judas, do you betray me with a kiss?”
As the soldiers arrested Jesus, Peter pulled out his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Jesus said, “Put the sword away! I could ask the Father for an army of angels to defend me. But I must obey my Father.” Then Jesus healed the man’s ear, and all the disciples ran away.
Jesus had been preaching for about three years. It was the time of the Passover Feast when the Jews remembered how God had saved them from slavery in Egypt many years earlier. Jesus knew what would happen to him and told his disciples he was going to Jerusalem where he would be killed.
The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem had rejected Jesus as the Messiah and were plotting to kill him. Judas was one of Jesus’ disciples. He was in charge of the disciples’ money, but he was dishonest and often stole from it. Judas went to the Jewish leaders and offered to betray Jesus to them.
(Jesus had reserved His harshest words for the religious leaders. He called them hypocrites and vipers. Interestingly, as theologians they were expert. They knew the law, word by word (literally as the law was originally passed by word of mouth). They knew the law but they didn’t know Jesus, they crucified Him. Thankfully Jesus never said, “Follow them”, He said, “Follow Me”).
The Jewish leaders, led by the high priest, paid Judas thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus. This happened just as the prophets had predicted. Judas agreed, took the money, and went away, looking for a chance to help them arrest Jesus.
Jesus celebrated the Passover Feast with his disciples. During the meal Jesus took bread and broke it, saying, “Take and eat this. It is my body, which is broken for you. Do this to remember me.” In this way, Jesus said that his body would be sacrificed for them.
Then he took a cup of wine and said, “Drink this. It is my blood of the New Covenant shed for the forgiveness of sins. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” In this way, Jesus said that his blood would be poured out to forgive their sins.
Jesus twice said, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Do this to remember me). He repeated to stress the point that the Lord’s supper is to focus attention on the Lord. Some talk about the “free gift of salvation” almost without considering that it wasn’t free for Jesus. In fact it cost Him everything.
Sin is so serious that we need to remember the terrible sacrifice that Jesus paid to pay in full, in our place, for OUR sins. And also remember the immense Love of God, our Father who gave His only begotten Son that you and I would be saved from hell. (John 3:16).
The question is: “Would YOU do it?”
Then Jesus said to the disciples, “One of you will betray me.” The disciples were surprised and did not know who would do such a thing. Jesus said, “The person to whom I give this piece of bread is the betrayer.” Then he gave the bread to Judas.
After Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. Judas left to help the Jewish leaders arrest Jesus. It was night.
One day, Jesus received a message that Lazarus was very sick. Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha, were good friends of Jesus. When Jesus heard this news, he said, “This sickness will not end in death, but it will bring glory to God.” Jesus loved his friends, so he waited where he was for two days.
Then he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.” “But Teacher,” the disciples answered, “Just a short time ago the people there wanted to kill you!” Jesus said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, and I must wake him.”
His disciples replied, “Lord, if Lazarus is sleeping, he will get better on his own.” Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. I am glad we were not there when he died, for now you will see amazing things so that you may believe.”
When Jesus got there, Lazarus had already been dead for four days. Martha went out to meet Jesus and said, “Master, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I believe God will give you whatever you ask from Him.”
Jesus replied, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though he dies. Everyone who believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Master!” Martha answered. “I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
Then Mary arrived. She fell at the feet of Jesus and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
“Where have you put Lazarus?” he asked them. They told him, “In the tomb. Come and see.”
The tomb was a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. When Jesus arrived at the tomb, he told them, “Roll the stone away.” But Martha said, “He has been dead for four days. There will be a bad smell.”
Jesus responded, “Did I not tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” So they rolled the stone away
Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank You for hearing me. I know You always listen to me, but I say this for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe You sent me.” Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”
And Lazarus did! He was still wrapped up in grave-clothes. Jesus told them, “Help him get out of those grave-clothes and release him!” Many of the Jews believed in Jesus because of this miracle.
note:Again Jesus demonstrated His power over death. This is central to the Christian faith. As in His own case,as He had promised, He conquered death and rose three days later. You can be certain that you too will have eternal life because of His power over death.God is a God who keeps His promises.Believers need fear death no longer. It is not the end of the road but a wonderful new beginning, a life without pain or sorrow, with Jesus. There is hope in Jesus.
One day, Jesus took three of his disciples, Peter, James, and John with him. (This John was not the same person who baptized Jesus.) They went up on a high mountain by themselves.
All of a sudden, Jesus’ face became as bright as the sun and his clothes became as white as light, whiter than anyone on earth could make them.
Then Moses and Elijah, who had both lived hundreds of years earlier, appeared. They talked with Jesus about his death which would soon happen in Jerusalem.
As Moses and Elijah were talking with Jesus, Peter said, “Jesus, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Peter did not know what he was saying.
As Peter was talking, a bright cloud came down on top of them and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My Son whom I love. I am pleased with him. Listen to him.” The three disciples were terrified and fell on the ground.
Then Jesus touched them and said, “Do not be afraid. Get up.” When they looked around they saw no one but Jesus
As they went back down the mountain, Jesus said, “Do not tell anyone about what happened here until after I have been raised from the dead.”
note:Moses and Elijah’s sudden disappearance left only Jesus confirming that in Him Old testament prophecy and law were fulfilled. Peter never forgot that moment. In 2Peter.1:16-18 he stated that he was an eyewitness of Christ’s splendour and glory.
One day, Jesus was teaching many tax collectors and sinners who were with him.
The religious leaders were grumbling because Jesus was treating these people as friends. So Jesus told this story
“There was a man who had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘Father, I want my inheritance now!’ So the father divided his property between the two sons.”
“Soon the younger son gathered all that he had and went far away and wasted his money in sinful living.”
“At that time a severe famine came on the land, and he had no money to buy food. So he took the only job he could find, feeding pigs. He was so miserable and hungry that he wanted to eat the pigs’ food.”
“Finally, the younger son said to himself, ‘What am I doing? All my father’s servants have plenty to eat, and yet here I am starving. I will go back to my father and ask to be one of his servants.’”
“While the younger son was still far away, his father saw him and felt compassion for him. He ran to his son and hugged him and kissed him.”
“The son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am not worthy to be your son. Let me be your servant instead.’”
“But his father told one of his servants, ‘Go quickly! Bring the best clothes and put them on my son! Put a ring on his finger and put sandals on his feet. Then kill the best calf so we can have a feast, because my son was dead, but now he is alive! He was lost, but now he is found!’”
“And they began to celebrate. Before long, the older son came home from working in the field. He heard the music and dancing and wondered what was happening.”
“When he found out that there was a party because his brother had come home, he was very angry and would not go into the house. His father came out and begged him to join the party, but he refused.”
“He said, ‘All these years I’ve worked so faithfully for you! I never disobeyed you, and still you did not even give me one small goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours wastes your money on sinful behavior, you kill the best calf for him!’”
“The father answered, ‘My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But it is right for us to celebrate, because your brother was dead, but now is alive. He was lost, but now is found!’”
Jesus told many other stories about the Kingdom of God. He said, “The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that a man planted in his field. When it is a seed, it is the smallest seed of all.”
“But when it has grown, it is the largest of all garden plants, big enough that even the birds come and make nests in its branches.”
Jesus told another story, “The Kingdom of God is like yeast that a woman mixed into some bread dough until it spread all the way through.”
“The Kingdom of God is also like hidden treasure in a field, which a man found and then buried again. In his joy, he went and sold everything he had and bought that field.”
“The Kingdom of God is also like a pearl merchant who was looking for perfect pearls. When he found one of great price, he sold all that he had and bought it.”
Then Jesus told a story about people who trust in their own good deeds and despise other people. “Two men went up to the Temple to pray. One of them was a tax collector, and the other a religious leader.”
“The religious leader prayed like this, ‘Thank you God that I am not like other men—robbers, unjust men, adulterers, or even like that tax collector.” “‘I fast two times every week and I give you ten percent of everything I get.’”
“But the tax collector stood far away, did not even lift his eyes up to heaven, but beat his chest and prayed, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’”
Then Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, the tax collector went home forgiven, and not the religious leader. Everyone who is proud will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be lifted up.”
One day, Jesus and his disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee to the country of the Gerasenes.
When they reached the other side, a man with an evil spirit came running up to Jesus.
This man was so strong that nobody could hold him down. People had even used chains to lock him up, but he kept breaking them.
He lived among the tombs in the area. Day and night this man would scream. He wore no clothes and cut himself repeatedly with stones. When the man came to Jesus, he fell on his knees in front of him. Jesus said, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit!”
The man with the evil spirit cried out in a loud voice and said, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please do not torture me!” Then Jesus asked the man, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” (A legion was a group of up to 6,000 soldiers.) It is interesting that the evil spirits knew who Jesus was but the people didn’t.
The evil spirits begged Jesus, “Please do not send us out of this area!” There was a herd of pigs feeding on a nearby hill. So, the evil spirits begged Jesus, “Please send us into the pigs instead!” Jesus said, “Go!”
The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs. The pigs ran down a steep bank into the sea and drowned. There were about 2,000 pigs in the herd. (It’s not stated if the owners of the unclean animals were Jewish). When the people taking care of the pigs saw what happened, they ran and told everyone what Jesus had done. All the people came from the town and saw the man who used to have the evil spirits. He was sitting down, wearing clothes, and acting like a normal person.
The people were very afraid and asked Jesus to leave. So Jesus got into the boat and prepared to leave. The man who had been healed begged to go along with Jesus.
But Jesus said to him, “Go home and tell your friends and family how much God has done for you and how He has had mercy on you.”
So the man went away and told everyone about what Jesus had done for him. Everyone who heard his story was filled with wonder and amazement.
Jesus returned to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd gathered around him and pressed in on him. In the crowd was a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. She had spent all her money on doctors trying to get better, but she only got worse.
She heard how Jesus had healed many sick people and thought to herself, “If I only touch Jesus’ clothes, then I, too, will be healed!” She came up behind Jesus and touched his clothes. As soon as she touched Jesus, the bleeding stopped!
Immediately Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. So he turned around and asked, “Who touched me?” The disciples replied, “Jesus, there are many people crowding around you and bumping into you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
The woman fell on her knees before Jesus, shaking and very afraid. Then she told the whole truth. Jesus said to her, “Your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be healed of your sickness.”
One day, a lawyer came to Jesus to test him, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered, “What is written in God’s law?
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself,” the lawyer said. Jesus answered, “You are correct! Do this and you will live.” But the lawyer wanted to prove that he was right, so he asked, “Who is my neighbour?“
Jesus answered with a story. “There was a Jewish man who was traveling along the road from Jerusalem to Jericho.”
“While he was traveling, he was attacked by a group of robbers. They took everything he had and beat him until he was almost dead. Then they went away.”
“Soon after that, a Jewish priest happened to walk down that same road. When this religious leader saw the man who had been robbed and beaten, he moved to the other side of the road, ignored the man in need, and kept on going.”
“Not long after that, a Levite came down the road. (Levites were a tribe of Jews who helped the priests at the Temple.) The Levite also crossed over to the other side of the road and ignored the man who had been robbed and beaten.”
“The next person to walk down that road was a Samaritan. (Samaritans were the descendants of Jews and people from other nations. Samaritans and Jews hated each other.) When the Samaritan saw the man, he was filled with compassion. He cared for him and bandaged his wounds.”
“The Samaritan then lifted the man onto his own donkey and took him to a hotel where he took care of him.”
“The next day, the Samaritan needed to continue his journey. He gave the person in charge of the hotel some money and said, ‘Take care of him, and if any extra money is spent, I will repay those expenses when I return.”
Then Jesus asked the lawyer, “Which one of the three men do you think was a neighbour to the man who was robbed and beaten?” The lawyer replied, “The one who showed mercy.”
Jesus told the lawyer, “You go and do the same thing.
One day a rich young ruler came up to Jesus and asked him, “Good teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? There is only One who is good, and that is God. But if you want to have eternal life, obey God’s laws.”
“Which ones?” he asked. Jesus replied, “Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not lie. Honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
The young man, trying to prove that he was right, said, “I have obeyed all these laws ever since I was a boy. What do I still need to do?” Jesus looked at him and loved him. Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, then go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure waiting for you in heaven. Then come and follow me.”
When the young man heard this, he became very sad, because he was very rich. He turned and went away from Jesus, unwilling to give up his wealth.
Then Jesus said to his disciples,“How hard it is for rich people to enter into the Kingdom of God! Yes, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this they were shocked and said, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With people this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.” Peter said to Jesus, “We have left everything and followed you. What will be our reward?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or property for my name’s sake, will inherit 100 times more in the next world and also eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and those who are last will be first.”
Because you say,“ I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. Rev. 3:17
One day, Jesus was down by the sea, teaching great crowds of people. The crowd got so big that Jesus got into a boat and began speaking from there.
Jesus told this story. “A farmer went out to plant some grain. As he was spreading the seeds by hand, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it all.”
“Other seeds fell on a rocky place, where there was not much soil. The seeds in the rocky soil sprouted quickly. But when the sun came up and it got hot, the plants withered and died since their roots did not go deep.”
“Still other seeds fell among thorny bushes. Those seeds were choked by the thorns and did not produce any grain.”
“Other seeds fell into good soil. These seeds grew up and produced 30, 60, or even 100 times as much grain as had been planted. He who has ears, let him hear!”
And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?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.
Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.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. Luke.9:12 kjv
“The seeds on the rocky soil are like people who hear God’s Word and accept it with joy. But in times of hardship or persecution, they fall away because they have no maturity.”
“The seeds in the thorns are like people who hear God’s Word and believe it. But as time passes, their love for God is choked out by the cares, riches, and pleasures of life. The teaching they heard does not produce fruit.”
“But the seeds that fall on good soil represent people who hear the Word of God, believe it, and produce spiritual fruit.”
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matt. 7:20 (KJV)
Then Jesus told the disciples to get into a boat and sail to the other side of the lake while he dismissed the crowd. After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he went up on a mountain to pray. Jesus was there all alone, and he prayed long into the evening.
Meanwhile, the disciples’ boat was a long way from land. They were in danger, because a storm had come up and the boat was being tossed around by the waves and the wind.
Mark 6: 48-49: “And seeing them distressed in rowing, for the wind was contrary unto them, about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking on the sea; and he would have passed by them: 49 but they, when they saw him walking on the sea, supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out”
The disciples were very afraid when they saw Jesus, because they thought they were seeing a ghost. Jesus knew that they were afraid, so he called out to them and said, “Do not be afraid. It is I!”
Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
Note: Peter didn’t have to give Jesus deep, long, boring prayers. He just had to step out of the boat and keep his eyes on Jesus. Does the same not apply to everyone reading this and to every born-again person in the world. So step out of your comfort zone, keep your eyes on Jesus and then you will learn to walk on water.
Then Jesus replied: “Come”.
Note: He did not go into any long explanations and He still does not today. Heb. 13:8: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever.
So, Peter got out of the boat and started walking to Jesus on the surface of the water. But after a short distance, he turned his eyes away from Jesus and began to look at the strong wind and waves.
Then Peter became afraid and began to sink. He cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus reached out right away and grabbed him. Then he said to Peter, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
When Peter and Jesus got into the boat, the wind immediately stopped. The disciples were amazed. They worshiped Jesus, saying to him, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”
Jesus sent his disciples to preach and teach. When they returned, they told Jesus what they had taught and done. Then Jesus invited them to come with him to a quiet place to rest for a while. So, they got into a boat and left. But there were many people who saw Jesus and the disciples leave. They ran along the shore of the lake to get to the other side ahead of them. When Jesus and the disciples arrived, they were greeted by great crowds of people.
The crowd had over 5,000 men in it, not counting the women and children. Jesus felt great kindness towards the people. To Jesus, these people were like sheep without a shepherd. So He taught them and healed their sick. As it got later in the evening, the disciples told Jesus, “It is late and there are no towns nearby. Send the people away so they can go get something to eat, for two hundred shillings worth of bread is not sufficient for them that every one may take a little”.
But Jesus said to them, “You give them something to eat!” The disciples replied, “There is a lad here, who hath five barley loaves, and two fishes: but what are these among so many?”
Jesus called the crowd to him and told them to sit down in groups on the grass. Then he took the five loaves of bread and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and blessed the food.
Jesus then started breaking the bread and fish. He gave the pieces to his disciples to give to the people. The disciples kept passing out the food, and it never ran out! All the people ate and were satisfied. The disciples even picked up twelve baskets full of leftover food that had not been eaten. All the food came from the five loaves of bread and two fish.
Note that the lad who gave a little (but it was ALL he had), got a LOT back. Is it not the same today when we give to God?
After overcoming Satan’s temptations, Jesus returned in the power of the Holy Spirit to the region of Galilee where he lived. Jesus went from place to place teaching. Everyone spoke well of him.
Jesus went to the town of Nazareth where he had grown up. On the Sabbath, he went to the place of worship. He was given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus opened up the scroll and read from it. “God has poured His Spirit on me to proclaim good news to the poor, freedom to captives, recovery of sight for the blind, and release to prisoners. This is the year of the Lord’s favour.”
Then Jesus sat down. Everybody watched him closely. They knew this passage was talking about the Messiah. Jesus said, “Today these words have been fulfilled in your hearing.” All the people were amazed. “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?” they said.
Then Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown. When the prophet Elijah was alive there were many widows in Israel. But when it did not rain for three and a half years, God did not send Elijah to help a widow from Israel but a widow from a different nation.” “And when the prophet Elisha was alive, there were many people in Israel with skin diseases. But Elisha did not heal any of them, he only healed Naaman, a commander of Israel’s enemies.” When the people heard this, they were furious.
They dragged Jesus out of the place of worship and brought him to the edge of a cliff to throw him off. But Jesus walked through the crowd and left the town of Nazareth. Then Jesus went through that area, and great crowds came to him. They brought all the sick people, including those who could not see, walk, hear, or speak, and Jesus healed them.
Many people with demons were brought to Jesus. The demons came out, often shouting, “You are the Son of God!” The crowds were amazed and worshiped God. It’s interesting that the demons recognised Jesus and the self-righteous church leaders did not.
Then Jesus chose twelve men who were called his disciples. The disciples were Jesus’ students. They traveled with him and learned from him
Immediately after Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit led him out into the desert, where he fasted for forty days and forty nights. During that time he was tempted by Satan.
Satan said, “If you are the Son of God, turn these rocks into bread so you can eat! Jesus replied, “It is written in God’s Word, ‘Man does not live only on bread, but on every word that God speaks!“
Then Satan took Jesus to the highest point on the Temple and said, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command His angels to catch you so your foot does not hit the ground. But Jesus replied, “It is also written in God’s Word, ‘Do not test God.”
Then Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and all their glory and said, “I will give you all this if you bow down and worship me. Jesus replied, “Get away from me, Satan! It is written in God’s Word, ‘Worship only the Lord your God.”
Then Satan left him to wait for a better time. Angels came and took care of Jesus.
Satan was so foolish to offer Jesus, something that He already owned. Rather than sending him to Hell where he belonged, Jesus simply defeated Satan by quoting the Word of God.
When John grew up, he became a prophet. He lived in the wilderness, ate wild honey and locusts, and wore clothes made from camel-hair.
Many people came to listen to John. He preached to them, saying, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near. Some people repented and were baptized when they heard John’s message, but there were many religious leaders who came to be baptized without repenting and confessing their sins.
John said to the religious leaders, “You bunch of snakes! Repent and change your behavior. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” This fulfilled what the prophet Isaiah said,
“Behold, I send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way.” (Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. ) Matt. 7:20(KJV)
Some Jews asked John if he was the Messiah. John replied, “I am not the Messiah, but there is someone coming after me who is much greater than I am. I am not even worthy to untie his sandals.
The next day, Jesus came to be baptized by John. When John saw him, he said,
John said to Jesus, “I am not worthy to baptize you. You should baptize me instead.” But Jesus said, “You should baptize me, because it is the right thing to do.” So John baptized him, but not because Jesus had sinned—he never sinned.
When Jesus came out of the water, the Spirit of God took the appearance of a dove and landed on him. At the same time a voice from heaven said, “You are My beloved Son, and with you I am well pleased.”
Later when Jesus went into Caesarea, Philipippi He asked His disciples, “Who do men say I am?” They replied, some say John the Baptist, some say a prophet. This was we believe, plain silly. Although John was a great man He was no comparison to Jesus. He never worked a miracle in his life, never healed anyone. His job was to proclaim the first coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Above, God the Father didn’t mention John, only His Son.
God had told John, “The Holy Spirit will land on someone you baptise. He is the Son of God.” There is only one God. But God is three persons, the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
God had stated who Jesus was. John saw and bore record that this was the Son of God. Then, in our opinion, this is where John erred. He pointed to Jesus, others began to follow Jesus. Yet why did he not? What was wrong with him? He continued in dead works. And this is what many churches do, continue in works that produce No fruit. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matt. 7:20(KJV)
In John’s case, this is why the enemy was able to move so quickly. After many years preaching without hindrance, now he was promptly arrested and beheaded. He was continuing in a work that was already finished.
More than 400 years after the last prophet spoke to the Jews, an angel appeared to an old priest named Zechariah. He was a godly man, but his wife, Elizabeth, could not have any children.
The angel said to Zechariah, “Your wife will have a son. You will name him John.He will be the great prophet that comes before the Messiah!” Zechariah responded, “My wife and I are too old to have children! How will I know this will happen?” The angel answered, “I was sent by God to bring you this good news. Because you did not believe me, you will not be able to speak until the child is born.” Immediately, Zechariah was unable to speak. Then the angel left. Zechariah returned home, and his wife became pregnant.
When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, the same angel appeared to Elizabeth’s relative, whose name was Mary. She was a virgin and was betrothed to a man named Joseph. The angel said, “You will become pregnant and give birth to a son.” The angel continued, “You are to name him Jesus. He will be the Messiah!” Mary replied, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel explained, “The Holy Spirit will come over you, and you will conceive. So your son will be called the Son of the Most High God.”
Not long after this, Mary went and visited Elizabeth. As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s baby jumped inside her. The women rejoiced together about what God had done for them. After visiting for three months, Mary returned home.
After Elizabeth gave birth to her baby boy, they named him John as the angel commanded. Then God allowed Zechariah to speak again. He said, “Praise God, because He has remembered His people! You, my son, will be called the prophet of the Most High God! You will prepare the way for the Messiah!”
The prophets also prophesied about the Messiah’s ministry. Isaiah said he would live in Galilee, comfort the broken-hearted, proclaim freedom to captives, and release to prisoners. He also predicted that the Messiah would heal sick people, including those who could not hear, see, speak, or walk.
Did you think this healing only occurred 2,000 years ago? The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available TODAY.
Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be hated without reason and rejected. The Psalms foretold the Messiah, that people would gamble for his clothes and he would be betrayed by a friend. (Psalms are Jewish worship songs in the Scriptures.) Zechariah foretold that the friend would be paid thirty pieces of silver for betraying him
But Jesus, said unto them, a prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. Mark 6:4
The prophets also told about how the Messiah would die. Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be spit on, mocked, and beaten. Then he would be pierced and hung on a tree where he would die. The Messiah would be perfect, having no sin. He would die to receive the punishment for other people’s sin. His punishment would bring peace between God and people. For this reason, it pleased God to crush the Messiah.
Sin has a cost. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us.
Not only would the Messiah die, but the prophets foretold that God would raise him from the dead. Through the Messiah’s death and resurrection, God would complete His plan of salvation and start the New Covenant.
God showed the prophets many things about the coming Messiah, but the Messiah had not come yet. More than 400 years after the last of these prophecies was given, when the time was perfect, God sent the Messiah into the world.
Jesus, Paul, Peter, the apostles and prophets testified to the accuracy and truthfulness of the scriptures. Here are some of the scriptural prophecies relating to Jesus, the promised Messiah.
The first promise of the coming Messiah came to Adam and Eve. God promised that a descendant of Eve would be born who would crush the snake’s head. The snake who deceived Eve is Satan. The promise means the coming Messiah would defeat Satan completely.
God promised Moses that He would raise up another prophet like Moses. This was another reference to the coming Messiah.
God promised David that the Messiah would be one of David’s own descendants. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God promised that He would make a New Covenant, but not like God’s Covenant with Israel. In the New Covenant, God would write His law on the people’s hearts, the people would know God, they would be His people, and God would forgive their sins. The Messiah would start the New Covenant.
The prophets also predicted the birth of the coming Messiah. Malachi foretold that a great prophet would come before the Messiah came. Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be born from a virgin. Micah said that he would be born in the town of Bethlehem. ………. more next post.
God promised Abraham that through him all people groups of the world would be blessed. This blessing was the coming Messiah who would one day provide the way of salvation for all people groups.
God’s covenant with Abraham, “I will make of thee a great nation,” was fulfilled in three ways.
(a) In a natural posterity – “as the dust of the earth,” Gen. 13:16; John 8:37 namely the Hebrew people.
(b) In a spiritual posterity – “look now toward heaven… so shall the seed be” (John 8:39); (Rom 4:16-17); (Rom 9:7-8); (Gal 3:6); (Gal 3:7); (Gal 3:29), namely all men of faith, whether jew or gentile.
(c) fulfilled also through Ishmael (Gen 17:18-20).
Our God is a faithful God. He would not let his just and righteous servant die until as promised he saw the salvation of the world.
25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. 36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. 40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.