The unveiling of the Sixth Trumpet judgment seems, on the surface, to threaten mankind with a great war involving 200 million mounted warriors, the largest military force to ever terrorize the world. The combined military forces of the Allies and the Axis powers of World War II was only 70 million, a terribly destructive force, indeed, but it had only one-third of the destructive power of that of the Sixth Trumpet, if taken literally. Of course, today’s political climate is not without its newspaper exegetes, who are ready to proclaim this trumpet is about to sound. They point to the current political climate surrounding the area of the Euphrates river, which begins in northern Turkey, then flows through Syria and Iraq on its way to empty into the Persian Gulf. The fact that this same area is also the stronghold of ISIS only adds to the explosive climate, and, of course, this is used to stir the apocalyptic pot enough to legitimize the opinions of the prophet wanabes who claim the end is near. Does this interpretation have any Biblical merit? In a word—No! Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: prayer
After the Angel (High Priest) had cast the Golden Censor to the earth (Revelation 8:5), John noticed that the seven angels with the seven trumpets were preparing themselves to sound out (Revelation 8:6). It seems awfully unnecessary to say “the seven angels… prepared themselves to sound,” if all they had to do was draw a breath. No preparations were necessary for the Four Horsemen in Revelation 6:1-8, nor were any preparations necessary for the first four angels who poured out their vials of judgment upon Babylon in Revelation 16:1-9. Yet, concerning the angels who would blow the trumpets, it was said they “…prepared themselves to sound” (Revelation 8:6). What can we say of this? Read the rest of this entry »
Some believe toward the end of Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus began to buckle under the wrath of God. They conclude that his humanity cried out, as he felt so utterly alone, believing that even his Father had abandoned him. Others conclude that the Father did actually abandon Jesus, his Son, as the full weight of humanity’s sin was placed upon him on the cross. They say, “Separation from the Father must have been the worst part of the Cross for Jesus who had never before experienced anything but intimate fellowship with his Father.” Read the rest of this entry »
Jesus was led to a place called Calvary, with two others who were condemned to be crucified (Luke 23:32-33). The word Calvary actually comes to us from the Vulgate translation of the Greek, kranion (G2898), at Luke 23:33. The verse should read “the Scull” or “the Head” as Young’s Literal Version and our modern translations do. Calvary is the English translation of the Latin calvariae, which means head or skull. Read the rest of this entry »
Luke’s account of Jesus’ prayers in Gethsemane is the shortest of the three Synoptics. According to the other two, Jesus prayed three times (Matthew 26:39-44; Mark 14:35-41). He prayed, because he was overwhelmed with sorrow and felt he was at the point of death (Matthew 26:38). Nevertheless, he interrupted that prayer for short discussions with Peter, James and John asking them to keep awake and pray with him. Why was it so important that these three stay awake? Read the rest of this entry »
After his final meal, which he shared with his disciples, and when he had finished speaking, Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives (Luke 22:39). Many of the things that were recorded to have been done by Jesus recently were planned ahead of time and kept secret, no doubt, to avoid any prior knowledge on the part of Judas and the authorities who wished to arrest him. However, this was not so for Jesus’ choice of where to go on the Mount of Olives to spend the night, and Judas knew of this place on the mount. A way had to be made for Jesus’ arrest, but that event couldn’t happen until the prophesied time—the day the Passover lamb was slain.
In Luke 18:9 Jesus began speaking another parable, but this time it seems he was talking to the Pharisees, because the reason for the parable is that “some trusted in themselves and despised others.” The main characters in this parable are a Pharisee and a publican (Luke 18:10). No doubt Jesus chose these two groups, because, not only were they natural enemies, but the one group did trust they were righteous, while the second knew they were not. The one group was readily received into Jewish society, but the other was looked upon with suspicion and hate.
Jesus said that the many (the nation) who come and knock claim that they have eaten and drunk in his presence, i.e. in the presence of the master of the house, and he had taught in their streets (Luke 13:26). However, the context of the parable shows they were praying to God to act on their behalf. They still didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah, and they didn’t realize the very God whom they claimed to worship was the very one who visited them in the person of Jesus 40 years prior to their request at the time of the Jewish war with Rome. They claimed they had “eaten and drunk in his presence” i.e. they worshiped him in the language of the Temple sacrifices. They claimed he (God) taught in their streets – i.e. the Torah was read in the synagogues each Sabbath and Holy Day. They claimed they worshiped him and listened to and obeyed his words, and on this basis they made their request: “open to us” i.e. act on our behalf. Read the rest of this entry »
I wonder if Jesus could have been crucified one year earlier than when that event actually took place, which, according to my understanding, took place in 31 AD. Could God have permitted the event to occur one year earlier, and would this have made a difference afterward, as far as the preaching of the Gospel was concerned? The fact is, that Jesus does seem to indicate that the crucifixion could have occurred one year prior to when it actually took place. Nevertheless, it was delayed because Jesus prayed to his Father. I was surprised to see this possible eventuality and almost missed it. Would it have changed anything, if Jesus was crucified at another time? Perhaps matters such as this can never be known with certainty, but it is encouraging to understand that Jesus prays for us, and our heavenly Father listens to Jesus and always answers his prayers (John 11:41; cf. 1John 5:15). Read the rest of this entry »
Jesus is at prayer in a certain place (Luke 11:1). We know that he was journeying toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:51), and this was by far not a secret journey (cf. John 7:10), as when he journeyed to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (cf. Luke 10:1). We also know from John’s record that the next time Jesus is said to be in Jerusalem was during the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22). We know, as well, that the certain village mentioned in Luke 10:38 is Bethany, which is 15 furlongs (or less than two miles) from Jerusalem (John 11:18). There is therefore little doubt that this certain place of prayer is the Mount of Olives, which is the place to which Jesus often resorted with his disciples while at Jerusalem, when he desired privacy (Luke 21:37; 22:39; John 18:1-2). Read the rest of this entry »
In Luke 10:9-10 Jesus tells his disciples to ask, seek and knock. The verbs are in the present tense and in the imperative mood, which indicates that Jesus was telling his disciples to begin asking, seeking and knocking and continue doing so. Some scholars believe Jesus means for the disciples to be persistent when an answer is not forthcoming, but I wonder if this is true. Rather than approaching God who is unwilling, I wonder if Jesus is telling us God is willing, but we need to get rid of the baggage we have that God is not willing. In other words, not only don’t we know how to pray (Luke 11:1), but we have the wrong picture of God, and we need to work this out in our experience in order to understand God properly. Read the rest of this entry »
In another parable Jesus tells of a friend who comes to another friend at midnight with a request. The friend who disturbs the other has no regard for himself, i.e. how he might appear to his friend, and he has little or no regard for his neighbor’s comfort (Luke 11:5-8). What seems to be all important is that he has a guest in his home, but he has nothing to set before him to express his hospitality. On the other hand the friend in bed has absolutely no desire to get out of bed. He has no interest in helping his friend. He just wants him to go away. Read the rest of this entry »
While Jesus was in Jerusalem for his third Passover of his public ministry, he taught his disciples how to pray for the Kingdom of God. What we sometimes call the Our Father is that prayer, and we have come to its final four clauses, which probably should be taken together. In Luke 11:4 Jesus tells us to pray for the Father’s forgiveness over the sins that we have committed. At first this appears like a contradiction with respect to what Christ intends to do later. Aren’t our sins once and for all forgiven when we receive Christ as our Savior? Why, then, do we need to pray for forgiveness of our sins (Luke 11:4) whenever we pray to our Father (cf. Luke 11:2)? Read the rest of this entry »