biblioklepts beware!

 

bib·li·o·klept

[bib-lee-uh-klept]- noun ; a person who steals books. 

Origin:
1880–85; biblio- + Greek kléptēs thief

 

biblio-a combining form occurring in loan words from Greek ( bibliography  );on this

model, used in the formation of compound words with the meaning “book” ( bibliophile  ), and sometimes with the meaning“Bible” ( bibliolatry, on the model of idolatry  ).

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English bible, bibel  < Old French bible  < Medieval Latinbiblia (feminine singular) < Greek, in tà biblía tà hagía (Septuagint) theholy books; biblíon, byblíon papyrus roll, strip of papyrus, equivalent tobýbl ( os ) papyrus (after Býblos, a Phoenician port where papyrus wasprepared and exported) + -ion noun suffix

 


It came to pass in the fourth year (604BC; for historical context cf: Jeremiah 36) of Jehoiakim, King of Judah, that God commanded Jeremiah to write a catalog of all the messages that God had given him to dispense to His people since the days of Josiah, Jehoiakim’s father. This spanned a period of approximately 23 years. The accounts of these audible sermons can be found scattered throughout Jeremiah chapters 1 – 36.

What had been only spoken previously, must now be written, so that it might be prayerfully considered, and that it might spread the further and last the longer, so that WE might learn from the same admonition.

The purpose of recalling the earlier sermons, was that God desired that the house of Judah would hear all the evil which He purposed to do unto them; that they may return every man from their evil way, and that God could forgive their iniquity and their sin.

So Jeremiah summoned Baruch the son of Neriah, and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD which He had spoken unto him upon a scroll of a book. 

With the Word of God in written format, Jeremiah had been forbidden from attending the services at the temple (sounds like many churches across America, that would really rather not hear the unadulterated word of God), so in instructed Baruch to take the written scroll and present it in the ears of the LORD’s people when they came to the temple for the day of fasting. Baruch did all that Jeremiah had instructed him to do.

Eventually the Holy Writ was heard by all the people, the scribes, the princes and eventually the King himself. As Jehudi read the contents of the scroll to the king, he would take a pen-knife and cut the pages and burn them in the fire on the hearth until the entire scroll had been consumed.

So how was the word of God received by His people? The word of God tells us “yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king nor any of his servants that heard the words of the scroll”.

 


A little over 2,600 years later…… modern day if you please.

US: Words ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ axed from marriage certificates christian.org.uk – The Christian Institute Posted 28-November-2012

The article from The Christian Institute is posted in its entirety.

The health department in the US state of Washington is to remove the words “husband” and “wife” from marriage and divorce certificates, after same-sex marriage was approved in a recent referendum.

The state began changing the legal document wording before the public vote even happened, according to a spokesman.

Tim Church, from the health department, said spaces once reserved for a “bride” and “groom” will become more gender-neutral.

 

’Spouse A & B’- He said: “We are proposing a change where it will say something like ‘Spouse A’ and ‘Spouse B’.”

The law comes into effect on 6 December, 2012.

Over 30 states have voted against redefining marriage, just three have voted in favour.

 

Removed- The UK Government has said the words “husband” and “wife” will have to be removed from official documents if marriage is redefined.

And in France, the words “mother” and “father” are set to be stripped from official documents, under its plans to redefine marriage.

The move would see the word “parents” used in identical marriage ceremonies for both heterosexual and homosexual weddings.

 

Pledge- François Hollande, the French President, pledged to introduce same-sex marriage in his manifesto.

In Spain, terms such as “mother” and “father” have become “Progenitor A” and “Progenitor B” on birth certificates.

 


Now what we see taking place in Washington state, the UK, France and Spain can be likened to what we saw when Jehudi read the contents of the scroll to the king,  and then took a pen-knife and cut the pages and burn them in the fire on the hearth until the entire scroll had been consumed.

Understanding that marriage was ordained of God and established upon the principles of His word, and the family is the fruit of this institution, it should not alarm us that  man has chosen to put his hand to His word in an attempt to steal it away or in essence making it void and null.

For the record, the story did not end with Jehudi burning the pages of the scroll in the fire. We are told in Jeremiah 36:27 & 28 that the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah saying, “take thee again another roll and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.” Man in all his wisdom and intellect can not thwart the word of God.

Now for the Word of God to meet such opposition from the world should not be counted a strange thing, but when the church(the seeming people of God) takes a pen-knife and begins to cut and paste to make the word palatable to the flesh is most dangerous at best.

At the conclusion of the book of the Revelation, God warns “that if any man shall add to the words of the prophecy of this book, that God will add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. If one takes away from the word of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city and from the things which are written in this book”.  For man to edit what God’s word clearly states is a very dangerous thing, if not in this life, most assuredly in the one to come.

My friend, don’t participate in the likes of Jehudi and Jehoiakim, even if it is what the church endorses.

His word will not return void. It will accomplish all that He sends it to do.

brother malachi

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something that is etched in stone can not be redefined

 

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redefine [ˌriːdɪˈfaɪn] verb (tr)

to define (something) again or differently

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

 

Have you ever heard the idiom ‘etched in stone” or ‘cast in stone’?

The meaning of the idiom speaks to something that is definite and fixed.  Both expressions allude to the work in sculpture, with the first, from the early 1500s, using the verb cast in the sense of pouring and hardening some material into a final form, and the second cutting or corroding a permanent design. Hence something that is ‘etched in stone’ is permanent and cannot be changed.

 

In this ever changing day we are living in, it seems NOTHING is ‘etched in stone’. The morals of a society that have endured for nearly 237 years is no longer profitable. As this same morally eroding society seeks to satisfy the lust of the flesh, the dictates of one’s mind is subject to the same whimsical spirit.

I have listed some evidence of this spirit.

 

Article posted, Wed- 22 Aug.2012 on the Christian Institute ‘Boris Johnson backs redefining marriage’.

 

The article states the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has recorded a video for a homosexual marriage campaign group saying he supports a redefinition of the institution.

In previous years Boris Johnson has warned of potential negative impacts of same-sex marriage and criticized the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

In 2001, Mr. Johnson wrote that “if gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog”.[1]


Some years back Mayor Johnson had some pretty strong convictions about what constituted marriage as well as the negative impacts of homosexuality upon a society, but has since recanted his stand, and now endorses the idea that marriage needs to be “redefined”.

The second article was posted on The Prison Planet entitled ‘Canadian Medical Association Redefines Human Life’ The Canadian Medical Association, the largest association of doctors in Canada, has redefined human life. On August 15, as reported by LifeNews, delegates to the CMA’s general council voted to pass “a resolution supporting the current wording of the Criminal Code which states that a child ‘becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother.’ ” The CMA resolution is intended to support the nation’s criminal code, which defines an infant as a human being only after the infant is born.

Canadian Physicians for Life decried the action, calling it shameful and unethical. Dr. Will Johnston, president of that organization, said that “every Canadian doctor knows that the unborn child is a live human being…. CMA delegates worry about children not exercising enough or not wearing bicycle helmets, while over one hundred thousand children go missing from our playgrounds every year because they were killed by abortion.” [2]


If God has possessed our reins and covered us in our mother’s womb and set us apart for His own purpose, it must be the inhabitant of the womb IS a human being.

It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant an educated society can be!

The next is an email from the Christian Anti Defamation Commission I received on March 21, 2013. It seems the ‘delusional spirit is alive and well in the States. The article is testimony of a prominent conservative Republican leader and controversial pastor who have both come out in support of homosexual marriage. Both men used the teachings of Christ as a reason to affirm these “marriages.”

Senator Rob Portman from Ohio released a statement announcing his changed view on homosexual “marriage” after learning that his son was living a homosexual lifestyle. In it, he claims the shift was in part because of his faith and what he reads in the Bible.

"I wrestled with how to reconcile my Christian faith with my desire for [my son] to have the same opportunities to pursue happiness and fulfillment as his brother and sister," he continued. "Ultimately, it came down to the Bible’s overarching themes of love and compassion and my belief that we are all children of God …We conservatives believe in personal liberty and minimal government interference in people’s lives. We also consider the family unit to be the fundamental building block of society. We should encourage people to make long-term commitments to each other and build families, so as to foster strong, stable communities and promote personal responsibility."

 

In another announcement, Pastor Rob Bell, founder and former pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church located in Grandville, Michigan, stated that he supports homosexual marriage. “I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man.” [3]


In a March 2013 Christian Post interview with Rob Bell, the former mega church pastor said at Vanderbilt University that he doesn’t believe God is some far away notion that people in the real world need to always be reaching out to, but that the whole world is filled with God’s presence.

"God is with us. God is for us. God is ahead of us," the author said.

During his speech, Bell shared of AA meetings he attended as a young pastor that greatly affected him.

"While he is not an alcoholic, he said that in those meetings he was able to stop pretending that he had life figured out. Instead he could simply accept that God cared for him with all his flaws,". [4]

Read more at http://global.christianpost.com/news/rob-bell-talking-about-god-can-get-ugly-91969/#1fh4coeCoM8fvX85.99


The third principle of the Alcoholic Anonymous 12-Step program is that one (the alcoholic) must step out in faith. It is only a matter of being willing to believe. Through the process of the 12 steps, AA states that belief turns into faith. We carry this faith into the rest of the steps by being willing to believe. We must begin to have faith it will work.

So what does AA say the alcoholic must believe in? The alcoholic must make a decision to turn his/her will and lives over to the care of God as they understand Him.

This is a very dangerous principle. God is not a lump of clay that an individual can flop on a potters wheel and fashion Him into whatever we want Him to be. A thought process whereby we can make God whatever our mind desires to conjure up, no matter what good we think may come from it, is not the work of the Spirit of Truth.

Consider the events following God’s deliverance of the nation Israel from Egypt. Moses was on Mount Horeb for 40 days receiving the words of God. The people had become discouraged and requested that Aaron would make them a god, which would go before them. Exodus 32

Aaron took of their golden earrings and melted them down and fashioned a molten calf of gold, to which they bowed down and worshipped and said “these be thy gods, O Israel which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt”. One’s mind does not make God what we want Him to be, He is what He is and He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and cannot change.

While Bell was speaking at the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco about his new book ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About God’, he made this comment…

“I would say that the powerful, revolutionary thing about Jesus’ message is that he says, ‘What do you do with the people that aren’t like you? What do you do with the other? What do you do with the person that’s hardest to love?’” he replied. “That’s the measure of a good religion, is you can love the people who are just like you; that’s kind of easy. So what Jesus does is takes the question and talks about fruit. He’s interested in what you actually produce. And that’s a different discussion. How do we love the people in the world that are least like us?”

 

[1] http://www.christian.org.uk/news/boris-johnson-backs-redefining-marriage/

[2] http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/canadian-medical-association-babies-not-human-till-after-birth

[3] http://defendchristians.org/commentary/the-times-they-are-a-changin/

[4] http://global.christianpost.com/news/rob-bell-talking-about-god-can-get-ugly-91969/#1fh4coeCoM8fvX85.99

‘no God….. no heaven’

saint francis

Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven

Repost from The Independent.co.uk  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/pope-francis-assures-atheists-you-dont-have-to-believe-in-god-to-go-to-heaven-8810062.html

In comments likely to enhance his progressive reputation, Pope Francis has written a long, open letter to the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, stating that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences.

Responding to a list of questions published in the paper by Mr Scalfari, who is not a Roman Catholic, Francis wrote: “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.

“Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”

Robert Mickens, the Vatican correspondent for the Catholic journal The Tablet, said the pontiff’s comments were further evidence of his attempts to shake off the Catholic Church’s fusty image, reinforced by his extremely conservative predecessor Benedict XVI. “Francis is a still a conservative,” said Mr Mickens. “But what this is all about is him seeking to have a more meaningful dialogue with the world.”

In a welcoming response to the letter, Mr Scalfari said the Pope’s comments were “further evidence of his ability and desire to overcome barriers in dialogue with all”.

In July, Francis signalled a more progressive attitude on sexuality, asking: “If someone is gay and is looking for the Lord, who am I to judge him?”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/pope-francis-assures-atheists-you-dont-have-to-believe-in-god-to-go-to-heaven-8810062.html


Could we liken this nonsense to the following spiritual rhetoric…

You can be a faithful participant in good standing with the Catholic Church without believing in the Pope?


Jhn 12:42

Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

Jhn 12:43

For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Jhn 12:44

Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.

Jhn 12:45

And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

Jhn 12:46

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Jhn 12:47

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

Jhn 12:48

He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Scripture – blue letter bible.org

 

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. So it is senseless to pay tuition to educate a fool who has no heart for wisdom.

The fool hath said in his heart there is NO God

brother malachi

merry Christmas ‘a word from malachi’

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For over sixteen-hundred years the birth of Christ has been celebrated on December 25th, even though  for the church’s first three centuries, Christmas wasn’t in December, or on the calendar at all.

There has been much time and attention given to searching the scriptures n an attempt to find ‘the date’ in which Jesus was actually born. One in depth study even places the birth of The Christ Child around September 3BC. The September –3 BC comes from a study "The Birth of Christ Recalculated". The author, Dr. Ernest L. Martin, claims to have calculated the exact date of Jesus Christ’s birth based on the celestial charts for that era. The date of Christ’s birth, based on the famous Star of Bethlehem, is calculated to be September 11, 3 B.C..

 

Many biblical scholars, theologians, historians, and astronomers say that the Star of Bethlehem, signifying the birth of Jesus Christ, can be calculated to within a few hours of September 11, 3 B.C., based on celestial charts and alignments for that time. Historian Dr. Ernest L. Martin first article on the subject appeared in 1976, and in 1981 he published his research in "The Birth of Christ Recalculated". In 1991, the book was re-released as "The Star that Astonished the World." Dr. Martin revealed in his book, that the signs in the sky on the night of Jesus’ birth occurred on only one day in 3 B.C., and they occurred exactly on September 11, 3 B.C. between 6:15 pm and 7:49 pm EST.

One of the scriptural links to Ernest Martin’s study is found in the book of the Revelation 12:1-2

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. “ Revelation 12:1-2

The astronomical synchronism of this sign by supposition occurred in the year of Christ’s birth in 3 BC.

  • Virgo occupies, in body form, a space of about 50 degrees along the ecliptic (The head of the Woman actually bridges some 10 degrees into the previous sign of Leo and her feet overlap about 10 degrees into the following sign of Libra the Scales].

  • In the year of Christ’s birth, the Sun entered the head-position of the Woman about August 13, and exited her feet about October 2.

  • But the apostle John saw the scene when the Sun "clothed" the Woman" (to be mid-bodied], and this happens between about 150 and 170 degrees along the ecliptic, which occurs over about a 20-day period each year, which in 3 BC was from about 27 August and 15 September.

  • If John in the Book of Revelation were associating the birth of Christ with the period when the Sun is mid-bodied to the Woman, then Christ would have been born within this 20 day period. From the point of view of the Magi back in their homes in Babylon, this would have been the only logical sign under which the Jewish Messiah might be born. Especially if He were to be born of a virgin [Even today, astrologers recognize that the sign of Virgo is the one which has reference to a messianic world ruler to be born of a virgin. Devore, Ency. of Astrology, p. 366]. http://www.versebyverse.org/doctrine/birthofchrist.html


Now to be sure the spiritual air is relatively clear, there is nothing in the ‘Holy Scriptures’,  at least considered black & white, that would validate this September 11, 3 B.C. date, so one can only base these findings on supposition at best.

So if December 25th is NOT the actual day of Jesus’ birth, where did that date come from?

 

“In 274 A.D., the Romans designated December 25 as the birthday of the unconquered sun, being the time when the sun begins noticeably to show an increase in light, resulting in longer daylight hours. By 336 A.D., the church in Rome was adapting this festival, spiritualizing its significance as a reference to Jesus Christ and calling it the ‘Feast of the Nativity of the Sun of Righteousness.’ Attempting to Christianize and incorporate the pagan traditions of antiquity, the church in Rome adopted this midwinter holiday celebrating the birth of the sun god as one of its own observances, somewhat changing its significance, but retaining many customs of the pagan festival. As the Roman church spread its influence religiously and militarily, this holiday of December 25 became the most popular date in Christendom to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. A special mass was established for Christ, hence, the name, ‘Christmass,’ abbreviated ‘Christmas.’” Promised Seed of Christ

The pagan origins of the December 25th Christmas date, as well as  many of the customs associated with our modern day celebration (feasting, partying, gift giving, etc.…) of Christmas, were also  associated with the Roman Saturnalia to honor the god Saturn.

Many of the decorations characteristic of the Saturnalia celebration involved greenery – swathes, garlands, wreaths, etc… and were hung over doorways and windows, and adorned  stair-ways. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia

Ornaments in the trees included various articles of decorations, sun symbols, stars, and faces of the god Janus (the god of gates and door, beginnings and endings). Trees were not brought indoors (indoor Christmas trees began as a German tradition), but decorated where they grew. Even the hanging of mistletoe and burning of the Yule logs, were part of the pagan holiday. http://www.novaroma.org/religio_romana/saturnalia.html

When one considers the origin and celebrations associated with the Roman Saturnalia, it is pretty obvious that “Christmas”, and thereby its seeming association to the birth of Jesus Christ, is nothing more than "paganism wrapped with a Christian bow" or “the mixing of oil and water” the naysayers argue. The sad truth is, that the pagan aspect, (fleshly and selfish appetites) have become the reason for the season instead of the worthy recognition of the fact that God became a man.

So what are we to do?

Was the church for the first three centuries correct?

Due to the fact that God in His word, has not given us the exact date of Jesus’ birth, should the body of Christ abstain from any type of  Christmas celebration?

 

“The life of man is a continual death, unless it be that Christ lives in him.”

—Ignatius

It is paramount for one to understand that Jesus Christ was born to die. The Creator taking on Himself flesh and blood that He might die for the  SIN of His creation. Could this be the reason He confirmed, to the exact date, His death and not His birth?

As Ignatius is alluding to, it is the same for the creation… we are born to die.

“It is appointed unto men once, to die, then the judgment of God”.

If a man trust in this Christ he shall never die… believeth thou this?

We might do well to consider this as we go about our celebration of Christmas. It is more about one’s attitude than all the decorations or even the celebration itself, as God looks not on the outward appearance but at the content of the heart.

My only thoughts on this is “let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy-day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” So whatever you do, do it for the honor of Christ.

 

"Hear the angels, as they’re singing

On the morning of His birth!

But how much greater will our song be

When He comes again to earth!"

 

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MERRY CHRISTMAS

Brother Malachi

so great a love for God and His word

holybiblewarning

vom groups extreme devotion

“Take her furniture, and search the house for Bibles!” said the commanding guard. Tears filled Mrs. Lu Ying’s eyes as she watched four Communist guards ransack her home.

    “I found it!” yelled the guard. But just as the guard held out the Bible to give it to his commanding officer, Mrs. Lu Ying bravely grabbed it back from him.
    “This book contains all I need to know about my dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I do not want to part with it,” she said passionately while holding her Bible close to her chest.
    “Take her outside,” yelled the commander. “We’ll see how long she wants to hold on to her book about Jesus.”
    The four Communist guards took Mrs. Ying into the street, mocked her, spat on her, and beat her until she could no longer stand. “Do you still believe in your book of myths?” laughed the guards.
    Through a swollen, bleeding mouth, still holding her Bible, Lu Ying repeated her statement of faith.
    The guards grabbed an iron bar and smashed the bones in her hands, causing her now crippled hands to lose their grip. The Bible fell to the street and was confiscated.
    Nearly twenty years later, a mission courier delivered Mrs. Ling a Bible. Her eyes filled with tears. She clutched it with her deformed hands and whispered, “This time I’m not letting go.”

It makes me wonder what fuels Mrs. Lu Ying’s desire to hold to God’s word with such great intensity while immersed in such persecution?

In America there is so little commitment to the Word of God and yet we can freely carry it, at least today, without government opposition. One has got to wonder what fuels this spirit as well.

After careful consideration, I strongly believe this is what Mrs. Lu Ying understood.

Heb 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall no we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

Heb 12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

Heb 12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

He 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

I would to God, this same spirit would be found among the people of God in America.

Prayerfully consider helping place bibles in the hands of people that are hungry for God’s word.

 

biblesunbound

 

Voice of the Martyrs through Bibles Unbound places Bibles in the hands of people like Lu Ying. Please consider supporting them financially… that is the easy part. To get the bible into the hands of people like Mrs. Ying is not as easy. For people like Lu Ying to possess it, can cost them everything, even there very life.

In the rich blessing of Christ-

brother malachi

even Jesus had a bucket list

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The Bucket List is a 2007 American dramedy film directed by Rob Reiner, written by Justin Zackham, and starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. The main plot follows two terminally ill men (portrayed by Nicholson and Freeman) on their road trip with a wish list of things to do before they "kick the bucket". Wikipedia

It is my hope that after you have read this post, you will find that even Jesus has a bucket list.

Please prayerfully consider the gospels of Luke 18:3119:10; Matthew 20:29-34 and Mark 10: 46-52 before continuing in this article.

While studying in the gospel of Luke, I ran across the events that took place in Jericho while Jesus was in route to Jerusalem to be offered a sacrifice for the sin of the world. It became apparent to me that even Jesus had a ‘bucket list’.

In the gospel of Luke [18:31], Jesus tells His disciples “behold we go up to Jerusalem and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the son of man shall be accomplished”.

This was not a new message. On more than one occasion, Jesus had made His disciples aware of the fact that He was born to die, and the purpose of His life was “not to be ministered to, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many”, but His disciples did not understand the things which were spoken. This was a hard saying so they could not understand it.

When one studies the life and ministry of Jesus, it would be so easy to only hear His teaching and see the results of His miracles. When we see the events that transpired in route to Jerusalem we realize that the steps of Jesus are not coincidental and haphazard. but rather methodical in His promise to “seek and save that which is lost”. The events of Jericho reveal a personal agenda that Jesus was fulfilling as He would never pass this way again. Hence Bartimaeus and Zacchaeus become items on Jesus’ bucket list.

Jesus’ encounter with three blind men while passing through Jericho in route to Jerusalem are recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Luke is the only gospel that mention His meeting with Zacchaeus. There are a few things to consider.

1. Matthew’s gospel mentions that there are two blind men sitting by the wayside as Jesus exits Jericho and that Jesus had compassion on both, and touched their eyes and immediately their eyes received sight.

2. Mark and Luke only mention one blind man and only one blind man healed.

3. The blind man in Mark’s gospel (like Matthew’s) states that the blind man is begging as Jesus exits Jericho while Luke’s gospel states the blind man is outside the city as they (Jesus and His disciples) drew nigh to Jericho.

Now there are skeptics out there that would attempt to discredit the validity of God’s word just because different details are presented in the different gospels. We could liken these same men those that have blinded eyes and harden hearts, so they cannot see with their eyes nor understand with their hearts and be converted. It is my hope that they will see Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God,  as they consider the truths ever before them.

Now back to the subject… it is only in the gospel of Mark that the blind man outside of Jericho is ascribed with the title Bartimaeus (by interpretation is the son of Timaeus), No mention of, or who the second man was who sat begging with him and there is no name attached to the blind man who sat begging on the other side (entrance) of Jericho.

 

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Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus, by Johann Heinrich Stöver, 1861.
The only thing we know about all three men along the wayside, is that they were blind, poor and sat begging outside of Jericho. We learn from the gospel records that Jesus had compassion on all of them and all of them received their sight.

I wondered what if Jesus would have only healed Bartimaeus and not the other two blind men?

I also wondered why the Word of God would distinguish the person of Bartimaeus and not the other two blind men?

I think the answer is recorded in Mark’s account where we find the personal link to Bartimaeus. This gospel account says that Jesus made this statement to Bartimaeus… “Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole”. There is no record in any of the other gospels that Jesus made a similar statement to the ‘other blind men’… names unknown.

One might contend that all three that were blind and begging  believed that Jesus was the Christ, after all  they ALL cried out “thou son of David, have mercy on us”, and that this testimony of faith was confirmed in the restoration of their sight.

Just because someone is the recipient of a miraculous work does not guarantee that the same believed that Jesus was who He said He was. Were there not ten lepers that were healed but ONLY ONE returned to give glory to God. All ten lepers said “Jesus, Master have mercy on us”, and He did. In the case of these lepers, all ten were the recipients of the miraculous work, but a mighty work of God is not contingent, nor does it always validate the belief of the individual’s heart.

It the case of the blind men, they all cried “thou Son of David, have mercy” but only the words  of Bartimaeus were confirmed with the content of his heart… that Jesus was who He said He was… Jesus the Messiah.

So what can we glean from this story? Jesus was not just looking for some blind men to heal, but that He was “seeking to save that which was lost”… He was looking for Batimaeus. He was not just walking along the highways of Jericho and said oh, here are some blind men, I think I will heal them. No, He was specifically looking for Bartimaeus. It was the same scenario with Zacchaeus.

 

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Zacchaeus
by Niels Larsen Stevns
The gospel of Luke is the only record of Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus and takes place while Jesus and the disciples are passing through Jericho.

As we have already seen, He healed one blind man while drawing nigh unto Jericho and will heal two blind men, one being Bartimaeus, while exiting the city.

There is a similarity between Zacchaeus and Bartimaeus in that Zacchaeus could not see Jesus. It was not that Zacchaeus was blind he was short in stature and could not see for the throng of people that followed the Christ.

In order to overcome his physical limitations, he climbed a sycamore tree so he could see as The Christ passed through Jericho. Now there is nothing of value for an individual to see Jesus pass through the city while perched atop a tree. For many stood before the Christ and died not knowing any different. I am of the opinion that what gives power to this story, is not that Zacchaeus was looking for Jesus, but that Jesus was looking for him, because Zacchaeus was on His bucket list.

You’re probably saying, but it was Zacchaeus who ran ahead to climb a tree so that he could SEE Jesus as he passed by! But to remain true to His mission; “to seek and save the lost”, it was no coincidence my friend that Jesus looked up and SAW Zacchaeus and summoned him down that He might abide with him. 

In His final return to Jerusalem He opened the eyes of two men, Zacchaeus and Batimaeus. Bartimaeus had a physical and spiritual enlightening and  Zacchaeus the latter, but they both saw Him as “the Son of David”, and would never be the same again. When a man comes face to face with his sin he can but make one cry…

 “thou Son of David, have mercy on me!”

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying “if any man thirst let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified). Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying said, “of a truth this is the Prophet”.

Jesus Christ has the terminally ill (spiritually) at heart. He’s looking for them. The question is, has the terminally ill (one that is dead in  trespasses and sin) seen Him?

The bucket list of Christ is filled with water… life giving water… and if any man drink of this water, he shall never thirst again.

malachi

the word of a wise man in foolish hands

“The Church is the totality of those who are predestined to blessedness. It includes the Church triumphant in heaven… and the Church militant or men on earth. No one who is eternally lost has part in it. There is one universal Church, and outside of it there is no salvation. Its head is Christ. No pope may say that he is the head, for he can not say that he is elect or even a member of the Church.”  – John Wycliffe

John Wycliffe was an English Scholastic philosopher, theologian, lay preacher, translator, reformer and university teacher at Oxford in England, who was known as an early dissident in the Roman Catholic Church during the 14th century. Wikipedia

Born: 1328, Hipswell

Died: December 31, 1384, Lutterworth

Education: The Queen’s College, Oxford

John Wycliffe is called “The Morning Star of the Reformation”. He was the first person to translate the Bible into the English language in the 1380’s. Consider the fact that he lived nearly a century before Gutenberg invented the printing press, his New Testaments and Bibles were of course, hand-written manuscripts. In his day, Wycliffe was given more attention as a controversialist than a translator.

Wycliffe, was well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teaching of the organized Church, which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. As a church militant of sorts, his writings propagated the idea that the “Holy Scripture contains all truth and, being from God, is the only authority”.

Other comments taken from his writing “dominion founded by grace”“it is not necessary to go either to Rome or to Avignon in order to seek a decision from the pope, since the triune God is everywhere. Our pope is Christ.”… gives the impression that he was anti-church. In all of his controversies, he was a loyal churchman. Historical renderings of Wycliffe’s life reveals his problem was with religion, not the church.

One would think that the church would welcome and embrace the word of God, certainly not oppose it, but that is not historically been the case.

It can be seen the very first time God gave His word to the nation of Israel. It was met with a rebellious and stubborn spirit. The people of God not only opposed  His word, they supplanted it with a religious doctrine that would satisfy nothing more than their own, vain, religious spirit.  This is the same spirit that was evident in the day of Wycliffe, and we see that same spirit is alive and well in this dispensation we are living in.

vom extreme devotion – ‘Satan Tried to Get Rid of John Wycliffe’s Message’

On a cold English morning in 1428, men traipsed irreverently through the graveyard. One of them, finely dressed in religious robes, said, “Here it is. Dig it up. Let’s get this over with.”

When the shovels finally hit something solid, the man in fine clothes stood by, idly watching, and said, “Open it.”
“But, sir, he’s been in there fifty years!” replied one of the diggers. “There can’t be much left!”
The religious leader shuddered and then shrugged off his irritation. “Then pull the whole thing out. We’ll burn it all.”
What could have angered this man so much? Why dig up the man’s body fifty years after his death to ceremoniously burn him as a heretic? Around 1376, John Wycliffe had published the doctrine of “dominion as founded in grace.” This highly controversial message states, “The gospel alone is sufficient to rule the lives of Christians everywhere.”
Wycliffe had also begun translating the Latin Vulgate Bible into English and distributing it secretly in pamphlets and books. He continued this work until his death in 1384, one hundred thirty-three years before the Reformation.
“Dump the ashes in the river,” the man ordered as the fire died down. “That should be the last we hear of John Wycliffe and his teachings.” One hundred more years would pass before it was legal to read an English Bible.

Opposition to Wycliffe had nothing to do with the man, but his message…The religious folk of Wycliffe’s day were nothing less than pawns in the hand of the devil. The lust of their father, they were doing. Their vitriolic hatred for Wycliffe and the word of God did not only burn hot while he was alive, standing before their councils, but was just as vehement forty-four years after his death.

Words from the Psalmist… “from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me. They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance. They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.”

“Dump the ashes in the river… that should be the last we hear of John Wycliffe and his teaching”, conversely, the world is still hearing from John Wycliffe and his teachings.

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. So it is senseless to pay tuition to educate a fool who has no heart for wisdom.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith!

brother malachi

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    "Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me." Martin Niemoller

    Who will speak for those who can't speak for themselves?

    “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this’, does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will not He repay each one according to what he has done?” Proverbs 24:11-12