Part Three: John the Baptist Prepares the Way



By Craig Bluemel



This series is about the true identity of the man, Jesus of Nazareth: of his human weakness, temptations, and obedience to Yahweh his Father, as he was perfected through suffering.



If you are willing to receive it, John the Baptist is Elijah who was about to come…he who is having ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 11:14-15


Be a voice in the desert churches and cry out in a loud voice, and say, “Make the paths straight again, prepare the way for the Lord’s parousia”.




Yahweh’s message right now is beckoning to those with a willing heart, a discerning mind, and prayerful, diligence to move beyond shallow, lukewarm wading ponds.  The shallow waters are found everywhere and anywhere amid churches of Laodicea.  Many are called, but few are chosen.  Joshua of the new covenant has already drawn a line in the desert sands of charismania and churchdom.  When the shallow ponds evaporate and your life is over, what will you have to show for the time that was apportioned to you from the Father of spirits?


·         Matthew 16:24-27 Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul ?   27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.  New King James Version


Will you be one of the wise stewards who, out of loving obedience to a firm but fair Master multiplied the talent that He gifted to your capable and worthy stewardship?  Or will you be as the servant that made excuses for his own laziness, apathy, and indifference toward spiritual things?  Will you say to Jesus, ‘Master, I knew you to be a harsh and hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you had not winnowed, so instead of taking any unnecessary risks with the talent You gave to me, I hid it, and buried it here in the earthen flesh, just beneath the surface of my carnal life’? (Matthew 25:24-30)


I strongly feel in my spirit of late (February 2007) that Jesus is speaking to His older children in the family of God (I mean those older in both years and maturity).  By now, many of them ought to have become teachers of others.  Many, if not most of them are living a Christian life plagued with self-doubt and regrets about their indecision.


If you the reader are implicated, then, guilt hangs over you like a dark cloud.  As you now prepare to move into your ‘golden years,’ you’ve begun to seriously question the substance of the relationship you’ve had with God thru Jesus Christ the past three decades.  Thankfully, our Father God is not a God of the past or for that matter, in relationship to you and me, He is not a God of tomorrow either.


God’s word to us says, “Today, if you will hear My voice and obey, I will lead you in the paths of righteousness for My name’s sake.”  Yes, of course you have heard His voice calling before and now past failures are being used as an excuse not to step off of your cushy-comfort zone ledge of self into the deeper pools of His Presence.  Jesus is calling you just the same, tugging your spirit to be part of his church in Philadelphia, the church born out of brotherly love, not carnal works of the flesh or new church programs or accountability groups.


If God is speaking to you thru these words, and you are finally saying, “Here am I Lord!’ then be prepared for some pruning.  Jesus teaches us not to nitpick each other’s faults and judge one another because of the shortcomings we behold in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.  He exhorted his disciples not to go about scrutinizing each other’s weaknesses or to fancy themselves as the ‘greatest’ (i.e. ‘holier than you’ type attitude). 


We are no different from the first apostles; they too were just human beings, not extraordinary, or supernatural phenomena of one period unique to mankind.  While scripture holds that we need not fret about our forgiven past, we are admonished to call to mind what manner of person we used to be, lest we become conceited and delusional about the nature of our true innate, spiritual ‘goodness.’


Even the man Jesus did not claim inherent goodness, but gave that credit only to God.  The rich Jewish ruler that called him ‘good Teacher’ received a very strong rebuke from Jesus of Nazareth:


·         Luke 18:18-19 Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good (agathé) Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 19 So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good (agathón)?’  No one is good (agathón) but One, that is, God.  New King James Version


Luke 18:18-19 proves Jesus is neither ‘God’ nor inherently ‘good.’  Those are his words, not mine.  Jesus is certainly a lot more ‘good’ than me; that’s for sure.  The point he is making to this Jewish ruler is that no human being, whether it is God’s only begotten son, or someone else, deserves to be put on the same status level of moral ‘goodness’ as God the Father.  This statement by Jesus may help explain why he needed water baptism.  To affirm this use of the Greek, Jesus’ own flesh and blood brother James, uses the term to depict God the Father just as his sibling Jesus does in Luke 8:19 (see James below):


·         James 1:17 Every good (agatheé) and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  New International Version


The apostle Peter uses the same Greek word as Jesus used in his rebuke to the rich man for ‘good’ (meaning literally ‘morally good’).


·         1 Peter 3: 16, 21-22 and keep a good (agatheén) conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good (agatheén) behavior in Christ will be put to shame…21 There is also an antitype which now saves us — baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good (agatheés) conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him. New King James Version


The apostle Paul also uses agathón; the Greek word typically rendered as ‘good’ in the New Testament, to described the nature of Yahweh God’s commandments and the embodiment of the law as ‘good.’


·         Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good (agatheé). New King James Version


·         Romans 7:18-19 For I know that in me; that is, in my flesh, nothing good (agathón) dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good (agathón) I do not find.  19 For the good (agatheé) that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. New King James Version


I’ll leave you to make your own conclusions, but to me it is clear that if Jesus had a body of flesh, and learned obedience in things he suffered in order to be ‘made perfect’ there is some degree of moral flaw, which makes him unable to compare his moral quality to that of God.  If we don’t deify Jesus Christ, and see him as a man, then we are not forced to wiggle our way out of difficult passages such as these. 


·           Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good (agatheé) heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.  King James Version


Besides, a moral flaw does not take away from Jesus’ unblemished moral character, part of which was necessary to make his willing sacrifice a propitiation for our sins.  The real test for Jesus took place in two primary fronts; the first was when God the Father allowed Satan himself to push and impel Jesus into the desert, where he was tempted and tested 40 days and nights without any food. 


His final major testing time was of course at Gethsemane and Golgotha, and his obedience was tested and proven blameless when Jesus of Nazareth gave his own soul as an offering for sin (Read Isaiah 53:1-11). 


One of the best examples in the New Testament of Jesus passing his test to offer himself for our transgressions without himself sinning in the process, and for which God the Father (i.e. Yahweh Elohiym) validated his sacrificial gift as full payment for the sting of death is in 1 Peter 2:20-25 (below).  The same Greek word cognate rendered ‘good’ (agathos) is used by the apostle Peter in his description of Jesus’ offering his life on the cross.  He describes Jesus as a man that was willing to ‘do good’ and bear up under its horrific weight of suffering. 


It was THIS act of ‘good’ that Jesus did that ultimately made his propitiation pleasing and acceptable to God.  His obedience was reckoned by the Father as worthy to cancel the debt owed by mankind for for sin.  Thus, thru one man’s disobedience (Adam) sin entered the world, thru one man’s OBEDIENCE, sin was paid for to those who believe in God thru that sacrifice and mediator, the man Christ Jesus.


·         1 Peter 2:20-25 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 "Who committed no sin , Nor was deceit found in His mouth"; 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. New King James Version


THANK YOU Jesus!  In Luke 8:15 and elsewhere, Jesus also uses this same Greek word agathón whenever he teaches in parables, such as the illustration of ‘good soil’ that bears ‘good fruit’ coming from a ‘good and honest heart.’  There is no implication here that bearing ‘good’ fruit is the equivalent of sinlessness.


The scripture never uses the word ‘sinless’ and the concept of ‘sinlessness’ did not exist in Old Testament Hebrew mind or new covenant, first century church.  The notion that Jesus Christ had to be ‘Deity’ (i.e. ‘God’) in order for his ‘divine blood’ made a ‘worthy’ sacrifice is derived from Greco-Roman paganism, which can be traced back in time to the most ancient peoples known to man.  The to be efficacious


I realize there are many other problematic verses, and I do not claim to have all the answers, but I am willing to examine and all that are brought to my attention with a willing, pliable, and discerning heart and mind.  Throughout this series, we will tackle interpreting some of the toughest verses in the Bible, and hopefully gain some much needed insights to help us with future studies


God’s standard for holiness is not generated from a life of blaming others or trying to play Holy Spirit while looking for the speck in our brother’s eye.  In the process, we fail to notice the ophthalmologic irritation bulging out of our own eye socket, a spiritual annoyance comparable to a good-size 4X4 wooden fence post! 


If you want just another anointed goose bump to make you feel spiritually secure, this message is not for you.  If you want real relationship with the Father, as YOUR ‘Abba’ Father, then you must be led of the spirit.  Prayer and fasting is a good place to begin, but not the end all.  Yes, by all means, crack open you Strong's Exhaustive Concordance and your Vine’s and study the Scripture; it’s your plum line source for truth.  However, all of the vigilance in prayer and study means little unless you’re willing to share it with others, especially those who need your years of wisdom and experience.  If you have the Amplified Bible, read Isaiah 58:4-14 concerning the true ‘fasting’ that Yahweh requires; below are a few highlights from this text:


Yahweh says, “The fast that I have chosen is…


  You must loose the bonds of wickedness

  You must undo the bands of the yoke

  You must let the oppressed go free

  You must break every enslaving yoke  

  You must divide your bread with the hungry

  You must bring the homeless poor into your house

  When you see the naked, that you shall cover him

  You must not hide yourself from the needs of your own flesh & blood

  Then shall your light break forth like the morning

  Then your healing restoration will come

  Then the power of a new life shall spring forth speedily for you

  Your justice & your right relationship with God shall go before you

  Then the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard

  Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer

  Then you shall cry, and He will say ‘Here I am’

  If you take away from your midst yokes of oppression

  If you take away your finger pointed in scorn toward the oppressed or the godly

  If you take away from every form of false, harsh, unjust & wicked speaking

  Then shall your light rise in darkness

  Your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday

  Then the Lord shall guide you continually & satisfy you in drought

  Then in dry places the Lord make strong your bones

  Then you shall be like a watered garden

  Then you shall be like a spring of water whose waters fail not


Just speak the truth in love, and let God do whatever it is HE wants done.  Set the time aside for God, don’t fret about what you should do, but simply obey whatever he directs you to do or say.  He’s God, He can do it if you let Him.


Jesus replied to a question that his disciples asked about the Prophet, who said Elijah must come first before Messiah; he said to the disciples, ‘“Elijah was indeed to come," Jesus replied, "and would reform everything because all the Prophets and Law prophesied up until John and if you are willing to accept it, John is Elijah who was to come before the kingdom & has come already and they did not know or recognize him, but did to him as they liked, and the Son of Man will also suffer at their hands.”  Then the disciples realized that he had been referring to John the Baptist.  (A loose knit combination of Matthew 11:13-14; 17:10-13)


The name of Elijah is a much misunderstood and distorted topic; many Dispensationalist proponents of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture claim that Elijah is ‘one of the Two Witnesses in the Book of Revelation, which is absurd.   Old time Pentecostal preachers that grew up in Neo-Pentecostal revivals are still clinging to the last relics of hope that they are the embodiment of the ‘spirit and power of Elijah’ and that the ‘latter rain’ revival is yet to occur.  They live in the ‘good old days’ or what they call ‘the glory days.’  It is not from wisdom that they make such boastful claims, according to the Scriptures.


·         Ecclesiastes 7:10 Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?" For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.”  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition


Before John the Baptist was even born, the angel of Yahweh visited his father Zacharias, a priest of the Levites who was ministering at the altar of incense in prayer at the temple in Jerusalem.  The angel foretold of the birth of the child as the one prophesied in the Old Testament Book of Isaiah and Malachi.  He would grow up to become the ‘messenger; of Yahweh, sent before God’s Anointed (Messiah) to prepare the way (Read Luke 1:11-23).


HUMILITY,  PRAYER , birth of Elijah church in Philadelphia


The angel’s message has some interesting implications for the church today, and for believers whose ministry is tantamount in nature to what John the Baptist did the first time messiah came to his people Israel.  The angel instructed Zacharias about the child saying in Luke 1:15-17, ‘For he {John the Baptist} will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”


It is interesting to note that John was forbidden wine and strong drink (which was like a very strong, malt liquor, often made from the fruit of date palms.  Why do you think Yahweh God forbid John from indulging in ‘an occasional beer’ or ‘wine with dinner?’  After all, it’s common knowledge that most all of the people in those days drank some form of diluted wine, oftentimes because the water supplies were tainted and the sourness and acidity of the grape skin contained sufficient antioxidant properties to kill the larvae of harmful critters in their H2o.  The apostle Paul told his young disciple Timothy, whose constitution was weak and vulnerable to bad drinking water ‘take a little wine for your stomach’s sake.’


It is obvious that Yahweh did not want His prophet-messenger vulnerable to the likes of what alcohol can do.  What kind of credibility would John the Baptist have if he’s drunk and out in the middle of the Jordan River baptizing?  Actually, he is believed to have baptized in an area of the Jordan that had shallow a sand bar protruding enough to enable people to wade in without drowning.


You may take offense at this, but if you are called and chosen of the Lord to be His ambassador, there’s no reason why you should be consuming alcohol.  What possible justification do you have these days?  Bad drinking water?  Unlikely, and even so, boiling is an option to kill any parasites.  The fact is, too many Christians have made a compromise in this area, and quite frankly, they like to catch a buzz from the booze.  At least be honest about it, and quit your smugness and condescending attitude or accusations toward others that don’t as being ‘legalistic.’  Isn’t it entirely possible you are the one defending your own self-righteous stand for beer or wine?


Enough said on that.  The other thing that I find interesting about John the Baptist and his calling from Yahweh, is that he is to come in the ‘spirit and power of Elijah.’  When we reflect upon the ministry of the prophet Elijah, the first thought that comes to mind is his amazing bravery in the face of overwhelming antagonistic odds in 1 Kings 18:19ff, as he challenges all Israel at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the goddess Asherah, who ate at Queen Jezebel's table.   It was 850 false prophets being challenged to a sort of ‘My God versus your gods’ dual at the altars of sacrifice.  I mean, it’s a sure thing Elijah’s gonna get chopped to pieces if he loses this contest, and Yahweh doesn’t come thru for him, especially if he was doing this dual out of sheer human bravado (Read the story and what happens afterward in 1 Kings 18-19).


After Yahweh not only consumes Elijah’s sacrifice, but His heavenly fire also eats up the stone altar and the gallons of water poured over it to insure that Elijah’s God is the only true God of Israel, the false prophets are slain.  You’d think Elijah would be BMOC now, but when wicked queen Jezebel threatens his life, he cowers and hides in a cave for 40 days.  And unlike his protégé Elisha, whom he gave his prophet’s mantle to as the chariots and horses of Yahweh took him skyward to heaven, Elijah did not really do the same amount of miracles as Elisha.


In this, the apostle and brother of our Lord Jesus named James discusses in his epistle to the churches.  In this letter we find some key aspects of Elijah’s character that illustrate he was a humble, tender, and broken vessel, which is why Yahweh was able to use him, and not worry that he would abuse the power and authority granted for self-interests.


·         James 5:15-20 the prayer that is of faith will save him who is sick, and the Lord will restore him; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.  16 Confess to one another therefore your faults, your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins and pray also for one another, that you may be healed and restored to a spiritual tone of mind and heart. The earnest, heartfelt, continued prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available dynamic in its working.  17 Elijah was a human being with a nature such as we have [with feelings, affections, and a constitution like ours]; and he prayed earnestly for it not to rain, and no rain fell on the earth for three years and six months. {Read 1 Kings 17:1ff}  18 And then he prayed again and the heavens supplied rain and the land produced its crops as usual. {Read 1 Kings 18:42-45}  19 My brethren, if anyone among you strays from the truth and falls into error and another person brings him back to God, 20 let the latter one be sure that whoever turns a sinner from his evil course will save that one's soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins and procure the pardon of the many sins committed.  Amplified Bible


The last day church is going to be one without walls and without any particular denomination.  They will be like John the Baptist, in that their goal individually is to decrease, that Jesus corporeal in the body of Christ might increase.  Charismania would have us believe that the last day church will be one of many wonder-working miracles, but we find that Jesus teaches about this in an unfavorable light.  He says that many will say on the final judgment, on the Day of Yahweh ‘Lord, Lord, open up us!  Did we not do many miracles in YOUR name?  Did we not heal the sick, and cast out demons in YOUR name?’  And the Lord will turn to them, and he will say ‘Depart from ME, you workers of iniquity, I NEVER KNEW you.’


Is God against working miracles?  No, of course not!  However, even though he does still do miracles, miracles themselves are not a sign of a person’s godly character.  The fact is, when God does a miracle thru the hands or words of His anointed vessels, He is not doing so for their benefit, but for the benefit of the gospel message, to confirm and bear witness to others, that they might believe.  God never intended miracle working to be an everyday affairs and/or entitlement just because we profess the Name of Jesus.


The name of Elijah is derived from two root words ‘el’ and jah.’  In the Hebrew, Elijah has several variations in use, application, origin and meaning.  The root meaning of ‘el’ is literally ‘strength’ or ‘might.’  This Hebrew term ‘el’ is the singular form of another Hebrew word rendered ‘God’ in the Old Testament ‘elohiym.’ 


The other half of Elijah from the word ‘jah’ is the Anglicized enunciation of ‘Yah,’ which is a shortened form of YHWH, known as the Tetragrammaton, which is God’s covenant Name ‘Yahweh’ in the old and new covenant.  This term ‘yah’ is derived from a Hebrew verb hāyāh meaning ‘to be; to exist,’ and joined in construction with certain Hebrew noun and pronoun forms, both ‘el’ and ‘yah’ are used in words and names to make association (or affiliation) with Yahweh and Elohiym apparent, such as ‘Bethel’ (house of God or House of Strength’) and Ishmaiah, (Yah is hearing’ or ‘hearing of Yah’).


Elijah in its literal form and use means ‘He is strength,’ and from each person that has come to know, trust, and rely upon Him as their Father in heaven, ‘He is my strength.’  The misuse and mischaracterization by charismania of the Greek word in the New Testament for ‘power’ (dunamis) has robbed many of an important truth.  I mention dunamis in light of Elijah’s name definition because we need to find pragmatic applications for teaching so that it is more than mere information.


Charismania is a name I coined (one of many Craigo-ism’s) for the hyper-zealous and misguided concepts that are being promoted within the worldwide Pentecostal/Charismatic churches.  These churches embrace and are supposed to be using prayer in tongues to build up and strengthen the body of Christ.  Instead, they have allowed themselves to be invaded and taken over by ‘name-it-and-claim-it’ false teachings and false teachers acting as wolves in sheep’s clothing.  They have promoted the 'blessings-and-financial-prosperity-doctrine' that originates from the devil himself, and made the gifts of the spirit into a money-making machine that requires its adherents to routinely ‘plant money seeds’ to purchase the next formula, gimmick, or snake oil in the form of ‘anointed oil, anointed water, anointed prayer cloths, anointed this and that… gag.’


The dunamis or power of God is more correctly translated as capability or ability; dunamis from Yahweh is simply the ability and spiritual and/or physical strength needed to do the will of God.  Like its plural form elohiym, the Hebrew word ‘el’ in the name Elijah is also used of mighty men of valor, men of rank, judges, magistrates, princes, etc, depending upon the context.  Therefore, the Hebrew word ‘el’ for strength and the Greek word dunamis are intended, for the most part, to convey the same idea.


When the angel of Yahweh came to Zacharias and said that John the Baptist would come to Israel in the ‘spirit and power of Elijah,’ we now understand what it means.  This refers to the same anointing and humility that Elijah was using to bring truth and engender repentance from God’s people.  Times have changed since that ancient prophet Elijah ascended Mount Carmel to challenged the false prophets, but the carnal and spiritual nature and condition of human kind has not changed.  If anything, it may have worsened.


In his message, which Yahweh God sent via His son, (Revelation 1:1-2) and He delivered thru a messenger sent by His son to the apostle John on the isle of Patmos, Jesus is revealed (unveiled).  John the apostle, (not the same as John the Baptist), is enabled to see and hear in vision form the spirit of Jesus speaking and working to and within each one of seven churches that are in Asia. 


One of these churches is called Philadelphia, and is it only one of two of the seven churches total that does not also receive a stinging rebuke along with commands and admonitions.  The other church that receives no rebuke is Smyrna, meaning ‘myrrh’ because Jesus simply tells these faithful martyred believers, ‘Be faithful unto death, and you will receive a crown of life.’


The reason I mention Philadelphia in this context is because in Revelation 3:10, Jesus tells these type of believers why he is so pleased with their works and hearts.  He says to them ‘you have but a little strength, and have not denied my Name (see verses below please):


·         Revelation 3:8-9 Jesus says to Philadelphia church, ‘I know your works.  See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength (Greek for ‘little strength = micron dunamis), have kept my word, and have not denied my name.  9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. “  New King James Version


Notice in the red highlights added to make the text stand out that the Greek words ‘micron dunamis’ are rendered ‘little strength.’  The text specifies the reason or purpose (aim) that Philadelphia believers use their God-given microscopic amounts of divine ability for… to have ‘kept my word and not denied my name.’  They do not boast and brag that they are able to work miracles and/or cast out demons, which they likely are anointed by God to do from time to time.  The point made in the text is illustrated by the comparison to Christian church believers symbolized as ‘those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie.’


The Word ‘Jews’ is from a Hebrew root that in both Hebrew and Aramaic means literally ‘the praise of Yah.’  These are phony, by name only professing ‘Christians’ that claim they ‘praise the Lord’ and their big, fancy church and charismatic pastor is proof of their spirituality.  However, God says that they are liars, and that He will make them come and bow before the feet of the Philadelphian believers, and ‘worship’ them. 


I mention this not because these false Christians will actually ‘worship‘ Philadelphia believers the same way they worship God the Father, but to demonstrate the Greek word proskuneo, rendered ‘worship’ here is used for human recognition of one’s rank or superior, such as bowing before a king.  Christians have tried to use portions of the Book of Revelation that depict Jesus receiving ‘worship’ (same Greek word) and alleging this is ‘proof’ that he is ‘God.’  I beg to differ on this conclusion, based upon the text in Revelation 3:10, where you have people falling prostrate before Philadelphia.


Enough on that topic.  To summarize this section, I find it compelling that we have two significant men in the church of Jesus Christ that are named ‘John.’  The name John means ‘beloved’ or ‘loving’ and John the Baptist demonstrated his love for Yahweh God the Father by his obedience, humility, and courage to speak the truth in love impartially.  John the Baptist came to Israel as a messenger and a voice in the wilderness to prepare the way for Messiah’s coming.


Like the church in Philadelphia, his message of truth was uncompromising, yet delivered in the same ‘spirit and power’ as Elijah’s message.  This means humility, willingness to confess one’s faults to the brethren, that they might pray for him or her and restore, not condemn, gossip about and judge.  These are the characteristics of the last day church preparing for the great and terrible Day of Yahweh, just ahead.  Below are some highlighted in colored fonts scripture passages that make mention of Elijah.  These provide an in-depth overview for those believers looking for the Father to deepen their roots, and console them in their alone-ness.  If you have come from a church background that believes ‘Jesus is God’ doctrines or the Trinity, it’s probable that finding meaningful Christian fellowship with others is difficult, at best.  In this way, you share the hearty of Elijah, Jesus, and John the Baptist.


John the Baptist – What He Said about Himself


·         John 1:19-28 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”  20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ {meaning, I am not the ‘anointed’}.” 21 And they asked him, “What then?  Are you Elijah ?”  He said, “I am not.”  Are you the Prophet?”  And he answered, “No.”  22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us?  What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness; make straight the way of Yahweh,’  as the prophet Isaiah said.”  24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees.  25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah , nor the Prophet?”  26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know.  27 It is he who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”  28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.  New King James Version


John the Baptist – What Paul Said about him


·         Romans 11:2-4 Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “Yahweh, they have murdered Your prophets; they have destroyed Your altars, and I alone remain and now they hunt for my life.  But what is the Mighty One’s reply to him?  I have set aside for Myself seven thousand men who have not bent the knee to Baal!  (See 1 Kings 19:18- 19:1 with Psalms 94:14) 


Elijah felt alone and even had himself a pity party.  I cannot blame him; I’ve had several myself.  Just be assured my sister or brother, that God is gathering to Himself a great body of believers that no longer hold to the traditions and creeds or men in unrighteousness.  The Internet has afforded God the means of communication that allows the necessary degree of anonymity one needs to search topics such as the Deity of Christ doctrine without facing the glaring looks of disenchantment from fellow church members.


·         Psalms 94:10-13 He Who disciplines and instructs the nations, shall He not punish, He Who teaches man knowledge?  11 Yahweh knows the thoughts of man, that they are vain, empty, and futile — only a breath.  12 Blessed, happy, fortunate, and to be envied is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law, 13 That You may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity.  Amplified Bible


·         1 Corinthians 3:16-23 Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.  18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"; 20 and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile."   21 So then, no more boasting about men!  All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future — all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. New International Version


John the Baptist – What Jesus Said about him


·         Luke 4:16-30 So he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.  17 And he was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah.  And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18The Spirit of {Yahweh} is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives  and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 to proclaim the acceptable year of {Yahweh}.”  20 Then he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down.  And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on him.  21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”  22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph's son?”  23 He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to me, ‘Physician, heal yourself!’  Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’”  24 Then he said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.  25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.   27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”  28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.  30 Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.  New King James Version + Author’s notes inserted in scripture text in {bracketed} words for clarification of identity & continuity


Jesus sympathizes


The goal of Part 4 study is for you the reader to personally know and comprehend (i.e. understand) how and why Jesus is sympathetic to your pain, to your hurt, to your sickness, to your feelings & emotions, to your struggles, and to your many types of other weaknesses, which are what we all encounter as we work our way thru this mortal existence.  If Jesus is Deity in human form, as alleged by the vast majority of Christendom today (2007), how is he able to truly sympathize with our weaknesses and struggles with temptation?  God cannot be tempted by evil and neither does he tempt anyone.


Jesus was sent to the poor in spirit by his Father God, who is the same as Yahweh Elohiym; in most English Bible versions of the Old Testament, Yahweh is mistranslated as ‘LORD’ (all capital letters) and Elohiym is improperly rendered as simply ‘God’ in the Old Testament.  The English words ‘LORD God’ in the Old Testament are usually representative of the Hebrew ‘Yahweh Elohiym.’  Yahweh defined literally means ‘He who exists, is,’ and Elohiym means ‘Strongest strength.’  Yahweh Elohiym (or LORD God) combined means literally, ‘He who exists as {our} strength, is Strongest,’ or ‘He whose existence is strong, is {the} Strongest.’  There are other acceptable variations, and mine is not necessarily the most accurate, but does convey the sense of Yahweh’s identity to the believer.


I prefer to make frequent use of Yahweh whenever possible in an effort to familiarize Christians with the Hebrew Old Testament.  In the Hebrew Old Testament, Yahweh is God’s covenant-keeping Name.  What is of importance is the meaning behind the Name of the Eternal Creator, whose existence and relationship with His new creation are founded in the truth.  The truth about Yahweh is revealed thru Jesus his son, not in eloquent word games or one’s ability to enunciate Hebrew or Aramaic words.


·         Malachi 4:5-6Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. 6 And he shall turn and reconcile the hearts of the estranged fathers to the ungodly children, and the hearts of the rebellious children to the piety of their fathers a reconciliation produced by repentance of the ungodly, lest I come and smite the land with a curse and a ban of utter destruction,” (Recommended additional reading = Matthew 11:14; 17:10-13 & Luke 1:17).  Amplified Bible


The Old Testament prophet Malachi foretold that the ‘messenger of Yahweh’ (i.e. John the Baptist) would come to pull down the Levitical priesthood in the power and spirit of ‘Elijah.’  In the ancient Semitic world, names have important prophetic (revelatory) significance, such as the name of the prophet ‘Elijah.’  Elijah is a Hebrew surname derived as a compounded word form of two root cognates, ‘El’ (strength) and shortened form of Yahweh that is spelled ‘Yah’ meaning ‘he is; he will be; he will become.’ 


Hence, the full name literal meaning of ‘Elijah’ is ‘strength, he is,’ or ‘he will become strength’ or ‘He {who} exists, will become his strength.’  A few other possibilities that are less literal word meanings for Elijah are, ‘strength of Yah’ or ‘mighty {one} is he’ or even ‘his strength is {in} Yah,’ or ‘Yah has become his strength,’ (which is my favorite).


Our study begins with some background concerning the ministry and life of John the Baptist.  Jesus’ ministry did not actually start until after he had been water baptized by John the Baptist, whose baptism was a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins (more on this later).  Immediately after Jesus was water baptized, as he began seeking God in prayer, the spirit of consecration (Yahweh’s anointing) descended upon him and inside of him. 


John the Baptist was able to visually witness this consecrated spirit descending upon Jesus because the spirit was manifested in the form of a turtledove, which came upon Jesus, and was remaining there (abiding on him; see John 1:31-32).  This was in accord with what had previously been revealed to John the Baptist by Yahweh, concerning the unveiling of the man in Israel that He had chosen as His Anointed servant (or Messiah).


The ministry of John the Baptist as the ‘messenger of Yahweh’ fulfills the prophetic forth telling of two of Israel’s greatest prophets; Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 40:3-12) and the prophet Malachi (Malachi 3:1-10).  When the right time was right, a man named Zacharias was in the temple ministering as a Levitical priest at the altar of incense (Luke 1:5-7).  It was there that Yahweh sent Zacharias a message thru the angel Gabriel, who appeared to him inside the temple in the holiest place.  As the smoke of the incense of his prayers went up to Yahweh, inside the temple it was revealed to Zacharias, that God was going to miraculously open the barren womb of his aged wife Elizabeth. 


The angel Gabriel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias…your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John…and he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God…. he will go as a forerunner before Messiah as he beholds the face of Yahweh, coming {to Israel} as one in the spirit and power of Elijah (i.e. in the anointing & spiritual strength Yahweh gives), to turn the hearts of… the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord…I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.”  (Luke 1:13-19).


Interestingly, as a side note, the name of the angel ‘Gabriel’ is a compounded surname from two roots (gabar = man, person, or prevailer + el = strength, might’); Gabriel can be literally defined as meaning ‘man of strength, person of strength,’ or less literally as ‘man or person of God.’  The verb meaning of gabar is ‘to be strong, to prevail.’  It may refer to human effort or physical strength (Ecclesiastes 10:10), and is used in scripture to indicate superior strength or success over someone else or something, (e.g. as when Israel prevailed over Amalek in Exodus 17:11).  Gabar is also used figuratively to describe the unity and strength of friendship (1 Samuel 1:23), such as David and Jonathan's.  The godly prevail or are successful because the Lord strengthens them (1 Samuel 2:9; Zechariah 10:6).


Both Zacharias and Elizabeth were advanced in age, with Elizabeth being well beyond menopause; therefore, we can truly say that the angelic visitation brought news of Yahweh’s miracle confirming the time she became pregnant.  You rascal Zacharias!  It’s kinda cool that they were still fooling around at their age.  C’mon now, even though the pregnancy is miraculous, the human reproductive process requires copulation.  Even Zacharias producing healthy male spermatozoa is a miracle in itself, given at his age, the prostate isn’t in the best of shape.


After receiving his vision from the angel Gabriel, the mouth of Zacharias was unable to speak until his infant son John was born.  The reason for this was his doubting the word of Yahweh, when the angel Gabriel told him about the future birth of a male child named John that would be given to him.  Imagine the looks on people’s faces when poor old Zach couldn’t mumble a peep!


Once the child was born, Zacharias was imbued with a sacred (consecrated) breath (most Bible versions mistranslate the Greek here and render it as ‘the Holy Spirit’) and immediately he spoke under divine inspiration.  Zacharias’ first utterance after nine plus months as a mute were confirmation that his baby boy named John would indeed be Israel’s long-awaited ‘voice’ crying in the wilderness as the ‘the messenger’ that Isaiah and Malachi prophesied concerning (Luke 1:67ff).


Not long after the birth of John the Baptist, we find the birth of Jesus the Messiah mentioned in the gospel accounts of the New Testament.  Eight days after his birth, when it was time for Jesus to be circumcised, Joseph and Mary journeyed to Jerusalem from Bethlehem, when she had given birth.  Nazareth was their hometown, but they were in Bethlehem because Joseph’s family name was from Judah, and his lineage from the city of David (Bethlehem). 


Mary gave birth in Bethlehem, where the shepherds were led to witness Jesus as Israel’s future Messiah.  From Bethlehem they journeyed to Jerusalem, had Jesus circumcised at eight days old, then Mary had to wait another 33 ½ days, according to the law of purification for a birthing Israelite woman that has a male child (the length of a woman’s ritual purification after birth was longer if she gave birth to a girl infant). 


When Mary had completed her purification days, in conformity to the Law (Luke 2:22 with Leviticus 12:1-4), Joseph her husband went with his wife and the infant man-child Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem (they probably stayed in Jerusalem after Jesus’ circumcision, rather than travel back and forth between Nazareth).  The second temple visit was required in the Law of Moses, in order to present the child with mother and her offering (two turtledoves) before the priest to Yahweh (See Luke 2:23 with Exodus 13:1,2,12; Numbers 8:17). 


At this time, according to the manner of the Law’s requirement, Mary as Jesus’ mother presented two turtledoves to the priest to give to Yahweh as an offering.  This meager offering reveals to us the financial status of Joseph and Mary, which was the statute that requires two turtledoves or else two pigeons as a gift offering for ‘every firstborn male that opens the womb in Israel,’ (Leviticus 12:6-8).  The Law required her to offer to the priest for a whole burnt offering sacrifice a one-year old lamb, and then for a purification offering a young pigeon or turtledove.  Offering two turtledoves as substitutionary for the former was allowed if the parents were too poor.


The dove would eventually come to represent the time of Jesus’ anointing.  John the Baptist witnessed the spirit of Yahweh descending and remaining upon him at Jesus’ water baptism.  Two doves also symbolize the minimum requirement for witnesses to any significant spiritual event; one witness, (one turtledove), thru John the Baptist, and one dove as the greater witness thru Jesus the Messiah.  John’s whole life was burnt up as preparation for Jesus’ sacrifice, which would be efficacious for the purification of sins.  Of course, this imagery is typological, but mentioning it shows how thorough Yahweh is when He made His plan known from the foundations of the earth in Genesis chapters 1 thru 3 (more on this amazing prophecy in Genesis later in the series; it will blow your mind!).


John the Baptist marks the beginning (dawning) of the final fulfillment of two of Israel’s major covenants, which find their mark in and thru Jesus of Nazareth (as Messiah).  First, John the Baptist’s life marks the start of the fulfillment of Yahweh’s oath of promise in His covenant with Abraham.  Secondly, John the Baptist birth starts the clock of Yahweh’s timetable to fulfill his promise of a ruler on the throne of David.  All of Israel’s other covenants with God that occur before, during the time of, or after these two covenants of Abraham and David are based upon them.  For example, Yahweh’s covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (whose named was changed to Israel) are merely extensions of Abram’s initial covenant.


Regarding the meaning of Yahweh’s covenant promise to Abraham, Zacharias describes it in Luke 1:72-75 as, ‘… to perform the mercy promised to our fathers… to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to our father Abraham; to grant us that we might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.’


Regarding Yahweh’s oath of promise to king David, Zacharias describes as fulfilled in Luke 1:68-70, ‘Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began…’  The words ‘since the world began’ mean ‘since the inhabitants of the world began.’  When he describes what John the Baptist’s ministry will be to God’s people, Zacharias concludes his prophecy in Luke 1:76-80 below.


·         Luke 1:76-80 “And you, child {John the Baptist}, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, 77 to give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins, 78 through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  80 So, the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel. New King James Version


John the Baptist is called ‘the prophet of the Highest,’ (Luke 1:76), who will ‘give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins,’ (Luke 1:77).  Amongst believers in the Christian church today, pitifully little is ever mentioned concerning the importance of the brief but potent ministry of the man in the wilderness, whom Jesus describes as ‘among those born to women, there is none greater than John,’ (Read Luke 7:25-36).


·         Luke 7:28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; but he that is inferior [to the other citizens] in the kingdom of God is greater [in incomparable privilege] than he. Amplified Bible


·         Luke 7:26-30 What then did you go out to see?  A prophet (a forth teller)?  Yes, I tell you, and far more than a prophet.  27 This is the one of whom it is written, Behold, I {Yahweh} send My messenger before your {Messiah’s} face, who shall make ready your way before you.  28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; but he that is inferior [to the other citizens] in the kingdom of God is greater [in incomparable privilege] than he. 29 And all the people who heard Him, even the tax collectors, acknowledged the justice of God in calling them to repentance and in pronouncing future wrath on the impenitent, being baptized with the baptism of John.  30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers of the Mosaic Law annulled and rejected and brought to nothing God's purpose concerning themselves, by refusing and not being baptized by John.  (Read also Malachi 3:1ff).  Amplified Bible with author’s notes inserted in brackets {} for clarification of identity.


John’s baptism is effectual for two fundamental purposes as it prepares the way for Messiah to come.  First, his message acknowledges the justice of God in calling the people to repentance by offering them the remission of sins and in pronouncing future wrath on the ones who remain impenitent.  Second, John’s baptism was considered effectual for the interim forgiveness of sins, because when he appears for public ministry, Yahweh no longer recognizes the sacrifice and offering of the Levitical priesthood.  John’s baptism offered temporary means for believers to have sins remitted, but John also made it clear they were to look for the Messiah who comes after him, who baptizes with a consecrated life and fire.


·         Mark 1:4- 13 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  2 As it is written in the Prophets:  “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.   3 ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD {Yahweh}; make His {i.e. Yahweh’s Anointed one Jesus} paths straight.’”’  4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.  5 Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.  6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.  7 And he preached, saying, "There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose.  8 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."  9 It came to pass, in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.  11 Then a voice came from heaven, "YOU are MY beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."  12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.  13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted y Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.  New King James Version with author’s notes inserted in brackets {}.


NOTE: For additional reading about John the Baptist preparing the Way read Matthew 3:1-12; Luke 3:1-20; John 1:19-28.  For more on Jesus’ baptism and temptation, read also Matthew 3:13-17; 4:1-11; Luke 3:21,22; 4:1-13; John 1:29-34


In reference to John’s baptism, the Greek New Testament uses the words that mean ‘the remission (forgiveness; pardon) of sin (hamartia).’  This Greek word terminology is identical to the words used of forgiveness thru Jesus Christ.  (For additional reading about John’s baptism remitting sin, see Mark 1:4; Luke 1:77; Luke 3:3 – For additional reading about Jesus’ atonement & forgiveness of sin see Luke 4:18; Luke 24:47; Matthew 26:28; Acts 2:38; Acts 5:31; Acts 10:43; Acts 13:38; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 10:18). 


Hebrews 9:22 tells us that by Law, almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.  So, this begs the question, what is the meaning of forgiveness of sins, which was done legally thru John the Baptist? 


A big part of the answer to this question relies upon the reader’s knowledge of Israel’s history and the legal terms of the Law of Moses.  By ‘legal’, we mean legal in the eyes of Yahweh God, which is synonymous in time to when the old covenant ends officially, and when the new covenant’s earliest inception (dawning) begins.  Also, because John’s is a baptism to remit and forgive even ‘hamartia’ (missing the mark) types of sins, therefore, its remittance of offenses covers the gamut. 


In other words, under the statutes of the Law of Moses, which John the Baptist followed to the letter,John’s baptism brought the individual forgiveness from Yahweh (i.e. on Yahweh’s behalf).  The forgiveness provided thru his water baptism includes the types of iniquities that are done unintentionally and intentionally.  The categories of sins range in variety, from those sins that are considered by God as being ‘not unto death’ (such as mere childish irresponsibility), to those sins that an individual commits that DO ‘lead to death,’ which an adult commits with full understanding.  Below is an excerpt from the Law in Leviticus 5:14-19 that spells out sins not leading to death, but still requiring the need for remittance (i.e. forgiveness) and requiring an offering of sacrifice to Yahweh by the Levitical priests.


·         Leviticus 5:14-19 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 15 "If a person (nephesh = a soul) acts unfaithfully and sins unintentionally against Yahweh’s holy things, then he shall bring his guilt offering to Yahweh: a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation in silver by shekels, in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering. 16 He shall make restitution for that which he has sinned against the holy thing, and shall add to it a fifth part of it and give it to the priest.  The priest shall then make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and it will be forgiven him.  17 "Now if a person (nephesh = a soul) sins and does any of the things which Yahweh has commanded not to be done, though he was unaware, still he is guilty and shall bear his punishment.  18 He is then to bring to the priest a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation, for a guilt offering.  So, the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his error in which he sinned unintentionally and did not know it, and it will be forgiven him.  19 It is a guilt offering; he was certainly guilty before Yahweh."  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition NOTE: ‘Yahweh’ added for ‘the LORD’ in NASU text by author


When a ‘soul’ sins whether intentional or unintentional, under the terms of the Law given by God to Moses, he must present a ram without defect, so the priest can make it an offering for sin.  The ram must be given according to the valuation of the silver shekel in the temple treasury.  This typifies what would happen to Jesus, when Judas Iscariot betrayed him.  At this time, Jesus became as the ram (male sheep or goat) without blemish (i.e. – blameless) and his valuation (blood money) was paid by the chief priests (to Judas) according to the value of what his life was worth (to them), in thirty-pieces of silver.


In Part 4, we will look closely at a new translations of

Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 53) about Jesus, his devaluation by the Jews, his grief stricken heart when betrayed by his own, and most important of all, what he paid when he willingly sacrificed his blood.  Because the church misidentifies Jesus thru corrupted Trinitarian and dual nature of Christ dogma, he is deified as the Christian ‘God-Man’ (NOTE: Hindu’s in India today call on their local ‘guru,’ which means literally ‘god-man’).  Roman Catholic Church fathers and creeds have been wrongly embraced by Christian church pastors and teachers. 


Instead of using only the scriptures to identify Jesus of Nazareth as a man, they use antiquated Neo-Platonic language borrowed from the Greco-Roman pantheon.  I have read reams of printed material written by theologians that use Hellenized philosophic language to describe the nature of ‘God the son’ instead of the ‘son of God.’  When backed into a corner with clear truth from scripture, they fall back upon and rely on terms, such as the ‘hypostasis of human flesh & divine ousia.’  Viewing Jesus as anything other than a man, conceived by God in the womb of a human female virgin named Mary, born of a woman, made under the Law, we can never fully appreciate the price that man of Nazareth paid for our transgressions.


Jesus GAVE His Human Soul as an Offering for Guilt


ISAIAH 53:1-3, 10 The Appropriate Translation 

·         Isaiah 53:1 Who will believe a rumor, let alone trust in (i.e. rely on) and depend upon it for spiritual support and strength; when this same rumor-report that we have heard, and {now} make known to you, has altogether stupefied our {own Jewish} minds and {besides this, it} has devastated us {so utterly, that it has also} crushed our {messianic} hope?  Would the outstretched arm of Yahweh {really be} extended forth {in divine revelation}, just to reach the ears of a people whose pitiful spiritual condition is such that they have been humiliated at the hands of their captors, who have stripped them of all their clothing, in order to reveal the shame & disgrace of their {spiritual, sinful} nakedness? The Appropriate Translation


·         Isaiah 53:2 His {Messiah’s} growth {from an infant to an adolescent} was like a young sapling tree that grows upward out of the face of dry, parched earth, ascending to maturity, as a twig from a tree {once} felled {cut down}.  Compared to the great tree {Israel} from which the lone sapling protruded, there was no majesty or dignity about him to behold and outwardly, his appearance and masculine features were nothing worth a woman’s passionate (lustful) desire.  The Appropriate Translation


·         Isaiah 53:3 He was distained, disrespected, held in contempt and rejected by men as a worthless transient passing thru life, with no calculable value in his state of transitory existence.  He was a man whose discernment, familiarity, knowledge, and relationships with people {on every level of good & evil), caused his acquaintance with hurt to be a life of experiential physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional distress and psychological pain and suffering.  Sorrow was his personally on the deepest, most-inner part of his being and we actually turned our faces away whenever we saw him approaching, desiring not to look at him, because of his pathetic situation.  The Appropriate Translation


·          Isaiah 53:10 Yahweh {did} bend down, {looking with keen intent upon} him, and {He} was deeply moved {at what was} crushing him, as he grew weak and terminally sick with bodily illness; physical pain, mental torment, and suffering, {that it} finally caused his human anatomy to spoil.(i.e. waste away) If and when you set yourself, to extend compassion by allowing your soul to be put in {their} place of guilt, as the compensation for offense, you determine to be the trespass offering (i.e. a guilt offering), then your perception will not be ascertained by what the eyes in your head see; rather, you will ‘see’ that which is ‘unseen’ and discern with vision a spiritual seed being generated from you.


ISAIAH 53:10 The Appropriate Translation WITH COMMENTARY 

·         Isaiah 53:10 Yahweh {did} bend down, {looking with keen intent upon} him, and {He} was deeply moved {at what was} crushing him {His only begotten son}, as he grew weak and terminally sick with bodily illness; {blood loss, massive infection, & vomiting secondary to the human-induced trauma caused him such}, physical pain, mental torment, and suffering, {that it} finally caused his human anatomy to spoil.(i.e. waste away) from the wounds that were inflicted upon him by others} {Then Yahweh said to His son} If and when you set yourself, to extend compassion {to the guilty & undeserving} by allowing your soul to be put in {their} place of guilt {though you are guiltless},as the compensation for {their} offense, you determine to be the trespass offering (i.e. a guilt offering), then your perception will not be ascertained by what the eyes in your head see; rather, you willsee’ that which isunseen’ and discern with vision a spiritual seed being generated from you.



SELAH…Pause and reflect



Continued in Part Four



Craig Bluemel

The Bible Answer Stand Ministry

1 Peter 3:15 Always be ready to give reasonable justification to anyone who asks you for an explanation of the hope that is within you,  but do it considerately and courteously.




Go directly to these parts of the “Jesus…Our Sympathetic High Priest” Study:

Part 1: Jesus the Anointed One

Part 2: Deity of Christ Doctrine Refuted

Part 3: John the Baptist Prepares the Way

Part 4: Jesus GAVE His Human Soul as an Offering for Guilt

Part 5: The Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness

Part 6: Was it "Divine Blood" that Jesus Offered in Sacrifice on the Cross?




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