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Beginning in the New Testament we move from the realm of shadow, type, and prophecy, into the full sunshine of the presentation of the Son of God. The Old Testament speaks of him on every page, but speaks in shadows, in types, in symbols, and in prophecies -- all looking forward to the coming of Someone. You cannot read the Old Testament without being aware of that constant promise running through every page -- Someone is coming! Someone is coming! Now, when we open the Gospels, that Someone steps forth in the fullness of his glory. As John says, "We have beheld his glory...as of the only Son from the Father," (John 1:14 (RSV). I love the Gospels. They are to me one of the most perennially fascinating sections of the Bible. There you see Christ as He is. Remember that what He was is what He is; and what He is is what you have, if you are a Christian. All the fullness of His character and being and life is available to us, and we only learn what those resources are as we see Him as He was and is. That is why the Gospel records are so important to us. People often wonder why we have four Gospels. There is a very good reason for this. It is interesting to note that each of these Gospels is a development of an exclamatory statement that is found in the Old Testament. Four different times -- and only four times -- in the Old Testament there was an exclamatory statement made concerning the Messiah, introduced always by the word behold. In one of the prophets we read, "Behold thy king, O Israel!" In another place we read, "Behold the man!" In a third place we read, "Behold my servant!" In still a fourth place we read, "Behold thy God!" These four statements are amplified and developed in the four Gospels -- Matthew, the Gospel of the King; Mark, the Gospel of the Servant; Luke, the Gospel of the Son of man; and John, the Gospel of God, the presentation of the Son of God. These four Gospels give us four aspects of our Lord's character and person. They are not, strictly speaking, biographies. They are really sketches about the Person of Christ -- eyewitness accounts by those who knew him personally, or those immediately associated with them. Therefore, they have the ring of authenticity, and they carry to our hearts that first and marvelous impression that our Lord made upon his own disciples, and then upon the multitudes that followed him. No more amazing character has ever walked among men. As you read the Gospel accounts, I hope something of this fascination breaks upon your own heart as you see him stepping forth from these pages, revealed to you by the Spirit, when you see Him as He is. The first book of the New Testament is Matthew, and this is the place where most people start reading the Bible. I think more people begin reading in the New Testament than the Old, therefore, that would make Matthew the most widely read book in all the world. In fact, Renan, the French skeptic, said of this book, "This is the most important book of all Christendom." He also said, "The most important book that has ever been written is the Gospel of Matthew." But it has its critics, too. There are those who claim that this book contains nothing but the early legends of the church which grew up around Jesus, that these accounts are not historical, and that this book was not actually written until the fourth century A.D. Therefore, they say, we are uncertain as to how much is really true. Other critics make the claim that this is only one of many gospels that were circulated. Now, it is true that there are other gospels besides the four in the New Testament. There is the Gospel of Barnabas, for instance, and the Gospel of Peter, and yet other gospels. They can be found in a book called "The New Testament Apocrypha" if you would like to read them. The critics say that it is mere chance that these four Gospels survived. There is a legend that began with a German theologian named Pappas in about the 16th century who said that the Gospels were selected at the Council of Nice in 325 A.D. by gathering together all the many gospels that were circulating at that time, throwing them all under a table, and then reaching in and pulling out four which happened to be Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The foolishness of such a claim is evident to anyone who reads the Gospels with thoughtfulness. They are stamped with the fingerprints of God. The very pattern of these books reflects the divine imprint, and you cannot read them or compare them with the Old Testament without seeing that they come from an inspired source. Furthermore, you have merely to compare them with the Apocryphal gospels to see how foolish such a claim is. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Matthew 2 - The birth of Jesus - The arrival of the Messiah (Christ) - Balaam's prophesied Christmas Star appears - Wise Men from the East journey to Jerusalem - King Herod the area's Roman appointed gentile King then also inquires about the newborn King - Herod a builder of stone and a destroyer of men sought the death of the newborn King - Joseph, Mary and Jesus flee Israel to live in Egypt until the death of Herod when they can safely return to Israel -- 'Matthew 2:1-2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea [Judah] in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him [the Messiah]'

Three Wise Gifts: Wise Men of the East journeyed a long distance to find the newborn King of the Jews and to 'Worship Him' upon being led to the young Jesus [about one year old by the time the Wise Men arrived] the Wise Men presented Jesus with three Worship gifts to honor His unique standing among mankind. 1. Gold - the gift and possession for a King and the covering on the Ark of the Covenant [Exodus 25:11] for the Tabernacle and the Temple. 2. Frankincense - the gift of the Priesthood used by priests in an aroma sacrifice offering to God and as an incense [Exodus 31:34] in offering a sweet smoke aroma to God within the Holy place of both the Tabernacle and later the Temple. 3. Myrrh - the gift of an anointing oil for anointing a Prophet [particularly the 'man of sorrows,' 'acquainted with grief' Prophet [Isaiah 53:3] - 'the oil of joy for mourning' Isaiah 61:3] and as oil to anoint the Holy objects of the Tabernacle and later also for the Temple 'oil of holy ointment ' [Exodus 30:25]. - 'Matthew 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.' [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Matthew 3-4 - Jesus begins His earthly ministry by being baptized [washed - public testimony] by John the Baptist - Jesus was Baptized not unto repentance but as a Testimony [Exodus 29:4] to the people that His ministry had begun - Jesus is then led by the Holy Spirit into the desert for forty days of fasting and to be tempted by Satan - 'Matthew 3:16-17 And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him (John the Baptist), and he saw [Testimony] the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I Am well pleased'

Matthew 4:1-3 Then was Jesus led up of the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter (Devil) came to Him, he said, If [Since, lit. Greek] thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.' - Satan unsuccessfully tempted Jesus three times and all three times Jesus replied to Satan with a quote from the Bible. 1. Turning stones to bread: Satan encourages Jesus to immediately satisfy His hunger by turning rocks to bread. Jesus had been led by the Holy Spirit to go into the desert to fast [and pray] - this was simply who is Jesus going to follow God for eternity or Satan for a moment. [Deut 8:3] Jesus did not even hesitate and would not even consider the suggestion of the Devil. 2. Satan wanted Jesus to test God's loyalty to Jesus by having Jesus jump from the top of the Temple building forcing God to react to the situation in saving Jesus from bodily harm. Jesus said "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord they God" [Deut 6:16]. Again Jesus did not even consider Satan's proposal. Finally Satan told Jesus that if Jesus would "fall down" and worship Satan that Satan would give Jesus all the Kingdoms of the world. Note: 'Revelation 17:10 And there are seven kings [kingdoms of the world]: five are fallen [Nimrod, Egypt, Babylon (Iraq), Persia (Iran), Greece], and one is [Rome], and the other [Antichrist] is not yet come; and when he [Antichrist] cometh, he must continue a short space [3 ½ years].' Jesus again [Deut 6:13] declined to submit to Satan and Satan immediately departed from the presence of Jesus. - 'Matthew 4:11 Then the Devil (Satan) leaveth Him (Jesus), and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.' [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Matthew 5 - Jesus begins His 'Sermon on the Mount' teachings - it's been about one year since the baptism of Jesus the Gospel of John covers the first year's events with Jesus more fully than the other three Gospels - The 'Sermon on the Mount' teachings are to orientate mankind away from human induced customs, rituals and fables and into a meaningful relationship with God in Jesus Christ -- 'Matthew 5:2-12 And He (Jesus) opened His mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you'

'Matthew 5:17-19 Think not that I (Jesus) am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle [strokes of the pen] shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.' - The law has been compared to a blueprint that you have to follow in order to build a life pleasing to God. However the law is more of a painting and an illustration (drawing) than a blueprint. The Laws of God and the Prophecies of God are the Image [painting] of the true God that has always existed [John 1:14 And the Word [Law and the Prophets] 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] not a blueprint or a ritual that Jesus needed to conform Himself into. The Law [Leviticus 19:34] says to 'Love your neighbor' "and thou shalt love him (neighbor/stranger) as thyself" because God is Love. Jesus didn't come to learn how to love one another Jesus came to teach us how to love one another. Also Note: Jesus then instructs that the law is external that it is words and ideas written down on paper and that what mankind needs is both the living example in Jesus Himself and mankind also needs a step further than the example of Jesus Christ mankind needs to be enabled internally, in the human spirit, to be like Jesus has always been and for mankind to become the Law unto themselves [obeying and following the law on their own] to actually become in the image, the ability, of God in Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit newly residing inside of the regenerated individual human enabling a human to now become pleasing to God and capable of having an intimate individual relationship with the Holy God. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} John 7 - Jesus continues to teach and to make that point that what mankind has is temporary and is passing away but what He has to offer is eternal -- 'John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast [Feast of Tabernacles, shelters - temporary homes], 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 [inner-life] shall flow rivers of living water [eternal Tabernacle]. But this spake He of the [Holy] Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet Glorified [Resurrection].' - 'John 7:52-53 They [Pharisees] answered and said unto Him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no Prophet. And every man went unto his own [tabernacle] house.'

'John 7:2-10 Now the Jews' Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brethren (brothers; James, Jude, etc.) therefore said unto Him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. *For neither did his brethren believe in him [James and Jude are known to have become believers after His resurrection]. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: *I go not up yet unto this feast; *for My time is not yet full come. When He had said these words unto them, He abode still in Galilee. But when His brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret [in Resurrection Spirit].' - The time of Jesus to fulfill the Feast of Tabernacles has not yet com in full that is why Jesus went in part in secret. The Feast of Tabernacles is a 'Fall feast' a 'Second Coming' Feast that has begun now with the giving of the Holy Spirit but we do not yet have our permanent bodies we still 'tabernacle' in our physical bodies while on earth. Jesus went to the Feast of Tabernacles 'secretly' to give the Living Water to those who would believe in Him and receive it but the rest of the Feast the tabernacle becoming a temple will be completed at the Second Coming of Jesus. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Matthew 24 - Jesus having just permanently departed from the Temple and after telling of the coming destruction of the Temple to His Disciples - Jesus then went and sat by Himself at His favorite location a hillside of olive orchards called the Mount of Olives (Mt. Olivet) - The Disciples having just seen Jesus depart from the Temple [His Father's House] for the last time and having just heard Jesus tell them of the coming destruction of the Temple came to Jesus and asked Him when and where He intended to rule His Kingdom from since the Temple was going to be destroyed - Jesus told His Disciples to be careful that no one deceived them about His Kingdom - That initially His Kingdom is not of this world but that after a long time and a long series of events many of them supernatural that His Kingdom would then be ushered into this world

The coming Generation and the fulfillment of all the events of the Book of Revelation: 'Matthew 24:34 Verily I (Jesus) say unto you, This [End Time] generation shall not pass, till all these things [mainly the book of Revelation] be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.' - Jesus has already said that the Temple was to be destroyed "There shall not be left here one (Temple) stone upon another" and that later the Antichrist (abomination of desolation) was to sit in the Temple "holy place" [rebuilt Temple] 'Matthew 24:15 When ye {presumably the End Time readers} therefore shall *see the abomination of desolation (Antichrist), spoken of by Daniel the prophet [Daniel 9:27], stand in the holy place [inside the 3rd veil in the rebuilt Temple], whoso *readeth, let him understand' Note: The event of the Antichrist is possibly going to be a televised type of event 'When ye therefore shall *see the abomination.' Events inside the Temple were not to be seen by the outside world and are enclosed y walls and curtains however Jesus seems to be alluding that this Temple event will be seen by everyone either in some televised format or possibly even in some demonic projection capabilities or possibly some massive demonic telepathic hallucinogenic type of event. Jesus began His discussion with His Disciples in warning them to not be deceived and Jesus reiterated several times that deception and demonic activity would increase around the time of the Antichrist. - The majority of the last generation End Time events of the book of Revelation are to be centered around the Jews and in the city of Jerusalem including a rebuilt Temple. 'Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people [Jews] and upon thy holy city (Jerusalem) …' It seems that Jesus is summarizing all of the Jerusalem End Time Antichrist events into a Parable about a Fig Tree [Matthew 24:32-35]. The original Fig Tree was in Genesis 3:7 and was used by Adam and Eve in an attempt to cover their own sin. The Fig Tree in the Parable of Jesus is most probably the rebuilding of the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem because the type of Temple worship that is trying to be recreate has become obsolete by the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ so in a sense the 3rd Temple is a recreation of the Fig Tree because like the Fig Tree of Genesis the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem is going to be stitched together by human hands and it will absolutely not cover or remove any sin. However the Antichrist will invade the 3rd Temple and enter into the holy place and attempt to proclaim himself to be God from within the Temple as everyone alive and on the earth at that time will probably witness and *see somehow either by televised technology or a type of demonically spiritual activity. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Matthew 24 - Jesus continues His Mount Olivet discussion "Mount Olivet discourse" End Time teachings with His Disciples -- 'Matthew 24:3-6 And as He (Jesus) sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming [Kingdom reign], and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My Name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet'

The Elect of God: All the people throughout time who like Abraham have answered the call of God become the elect of God. 'Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those [End Time - war and famine - seven seal judgments - the book of Revelation] days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven [seven trumpet judgments - the book of Revelation], and the [Satanic] powers of the heavens shall be shaken [seven bowl judgments - the book of Revelation]: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming [Second Coming] in the clouds of heaven with Power and Great Glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His *elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.' --- There are actually two groups of *elect people and this stems from the 'Firstborn' inheritance that Jesus Christ is to receive. - 'Deuteronomy 21:17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated {divorced wife} for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; *the right of the firstborn is his.' - 'Colossians 1:18 And He (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the *firstborn [Resurrection] from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.' The Biblical inheritance of the firstborn is a double portion and as an inheritance Jesus is to receive both the Jews and the Nations (Gentiles) two inheritances and therefore two groups of called and two groups of those who answer the call of God and become the chosen, elect, justified, predestined and glorified by God. Note: Jesus is to inherit the Jews and the Gentiles this does include all of those who have ever existed it includes the Righteous Gentiles of Lot's day before Abraham, all the time up until the Christian [mostly Gentile] Church and the future Gentile Martyred Saints of Revelation. Also Note: The inheritance of Jesus does include the earth, all creation and all possessions, the earth will pass away and there will be a new earth so primarily The Kingdom of Jesus is uniquely about people and about God's love for people. Jesus came to save the people and His plan for eternity is centered and oriented only around the people of His creation. --- Israel is one portion of inheritance for the firstborn Jesus Christ: 'Isaiah 19:25.. and Israel my Inheritance.' - 'Zechariah 2:12 And the LORD shall inherit Judah (Jewish nation) His portion in the holy land and shall choose [to reign from] Jerusalem again.' - 'Psalms 78:70-71 He chose David (king David) also His servant and took him from the sheepfolds [David was a shepherd]: From following the ewes (female sheep) great with young he brought him to feed Jacob His people [Jews] and Israel His (God's) inheritance. {Jacob and Israel are both mentioned both referring to the Jewish nation, this is a poetic way of emphasizing the Jewish nation.} --- Israel is the Elect of God: 'Isaiah 45:4 For Jacob My servant's sake, and Israel Mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known Me.' --- The Gentiles are the second [double portion] of inheritance for the firstborn Jesus Christ: 'Psalms 82:8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.' - 'Psalms 2:7,8 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto Me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee [both physical birth of Jesus in the manger and Resurrection day of Jesus] Ask of Me (Father) and I shall give thee the heathen (Gentiles) for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.' - 'Isaiah 54:3 For thou shall break forth on the right hand and on the left [the Jewish nation is not going to get wiped out but is going have a great population]; And thy seed (Jesus) shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate to be inhabited.' --- The [Gentile in nature] Christian Church is also the elect of God: 'Titus 1:1-2 [Apostle] Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began ...' [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Matthew 24 (Part 2) - Jesus concludes His "Mount Olivet discourse" by telling His Disciples some more parables about the End Times and about His eternal Kingdom - Jesus began His Mount Olivet discourse talking about deception and the End Times and Jesus ends His final Mount Olivet words by talking about eternal judgment and eternal life -- 'Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal'

The Second Coming of the Lord: Matthew 24:44-51 Therefore be ye [Disciples] also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh [Second Coming]. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom His Lord hath made ruler over His household [Church], to give them meat [Bible study] in due season [every day]? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That He shall make him ruler over all His [Heavenly] goods. But and if that evil servant [backslider] shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth His [2nd] coming; And shall begin to smite [abuse] his fellowservants [Disciples], and to eat and drink with the drunken; The Lord of that servant shall come [Second Coming] in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion [eternal damnation] with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. - The teaching of Jesus Christ is about Heaven and the open opportunity for people to spend eternity in heaven and His teaching is also about hell and the very real possibility of people spending eternity in hell. God created mankind for a purpose and God came to a separated mankind with His purpose to reunite mankind back together with Himself in Heaven where it has always been intended for mankind to be in fellowship and in communion with the Holy God. [article link]

{Basic Christian: blog Bible Study} Matthew 25-26 - Jesus has concluded His Mount Olivet teachings and discourse with His Disciples - Jesus now completely sets His mind on the events of the coming Feasts of the Passover Week - Events that will include initiating and instituting the New Testament with His Communion Bread and Wine offering to the Disciples - His self sacrifice on the cross and three days later His Glorious Eternal Life Resurrection

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