We love to hear that all our sins have been wiped away by Christ. If that is the case why did Jesus talk about keeping a ledger in heaven (Rev.20: 12)? It is true that the Psalmist, Paul or any other contributor to producing the Scriptures believed that God could and would deal with our transgressions in a forgiving and merciful way. There is no doubt that God is able, but is man able to maintain a covenant with God that would entitle him to be exempt from deeds that have to be settled? Is the cross the only settlement God shall require? Why then does heaven have a court where the books are opened (Da.7: 10)? And why will every one give an account of every careless word spoken (Mt.12: 36)?
He was a contemporary of Jeremiah, the weeping prophet (Jer.28). The king, the leaders and the people loved Hananiah. He had a positive message that all was well, God was with them and Babylon would be crashed. When Jeremiah was told to hang a wooden yoke around his neck to demonstrate that a Babylonian captivity was inevitable, Hananiah broke the yoke and told the people that is how God would break Babylon. Jeremiah countered with an iron yoke and predicted that Hananiah would die within the year for lying about what God would do and not do. The Babylonians did take over and the false prophet Hananiah died.
Attempts have and still are being made to drag Daniel's visions into our time. There are similarities like the Son of Man and the kingdom of the saints that are relevant to every age (Da.7: 13-18). The cutting off of the Anointed One (Da.9: 26) and the reference to the suffering and the resurrection of the saints (Da.12: 1-4) has commenced with Jesus the Christ. The actual outcome of the end itself, Daniel was not allowed to disclose (Da.12: 9). This is consistent with Jesus' statement that all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John the Baptist and from then on the kingdom of heaven would be assaulted (Mt.11: 12-13). According to Jesus all the predictions ended with John and His own coming ushered in a new era, namely the forming of the Church or the Body of Christ.
Jesus asked, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these" (Jn.21: 15)? What was it all about? It was about leadership. Jesus was drilling the man who was to lead His disciples. This kind of leader required much more than average love or friendship. Jesus was very deliberate that Peter showed before the others that they could depend on him. Jesus could not depend on Peter, how could the others? Yes, he had denied the Lord, but he also followed and repented. Where were the others? Then, what was hindering Peter from giving Jesus a straight answer when Jesus wanted to know twice whether he loved (agape) Him? Instead, Peter mumbled about being Jesus' friend (phileo). The third time, Jesus accepted Peter's offer of being a true friend and capable of leading the small group.
The "She is a He" is to get your attention because the woman is not a person but a system that is defiling everything that is holy and sacred. Her scarlet beast is symbolic of the abominable power she has had over Christians and their blood she continues to shed. Her name is Babylon or confusion. It is not a place but masses of people from all cultures and languages that share in her prostitution and abomination. What is very troubling is that the beast partnered with the woman. These two are like oil and water; yet they have joined to fight the Lamb and His followers. That is not going to happen for the beast shall turn on the woman. God has numbered her days and put her on the chopping block to be punished by the same cruel methods and merciless people she had used on the followers of Jesus (Rev.17: 16-17).
The first Easter day was not as cheerful as we have come to believe. Actually, Jesus' followers were disillusioned over the outcome of their leader's demise. Their hope was that Jesus would deliver Israel (Lk.24: 21). After they had been with Jesus for three years, they failed to recognize Him and completely misconstrued His mission. Jesus' idea of a kingdom, they expected to be a revival of Jewish nationalism (Ac.1: 6). According to the witnesses, the Risen Christ had to spent forty days to correct their misconception regarding the kingdom (Ac.1: 3).
Jesus told His disciples, "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God" (Mt.5: 8). The Apostle John wrote, "Beloved, if our heart condemns us not, then we have confidence toward God," (I Jn.3: 21). Jeremiah was troubled and said, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and is desperately wicked; who can understand it?" (Jer.17: 9). Jesus added this thought, "Out of the heart come evil thoughts; and they defile the person" (Mt.15: 18-19).
It was a command that Jesus gave to Lazarus (Jn.11: 43). He also said, "It is finished," but that was in reference to the completion of His work (Jn.19: 30). The command, "Lazarus, come forth" is a reference for us, for you and for me. It demonstrates God's power over our death. Death cannot hold us against God's orders. Easter without Lazarus could keep us stranded in the place of the dead. The return of Lazarus to the living is proof that death cannot separate us from the love God has for us in Christ.
Try to reason with Jesus who said, "If I had not come and spoken to them (us), they (we) would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they (we) have no excuse for their (our) sin" (Jn.15: 22).
A leader in a difficult situation, prayed in his native tongue, "Come Ye-self Lod, dis ain't no time for boys." It is painful for me to watch a huge ship run aground by leaders that act like boys, some even like children. I have lived under three such leaders that wrecked their ships and many drowned along with some relatives of mine. Many of the leaders, however, bailed out before we crashed. We were left standing like little dogs barking uselessly at the moon. Reality had checked in.