Chapter 10 of Revelation: Seven Thunders & Little Book

The last book of the Bible - RevelationsWoe, woe, woe (Revelation 8:13b)! Chapter10 begins the introduction to the 3rd woe. Like the 7th seal introduces the 7 trumpets, the third woe introduces the 7 vial (bowls) judgment; plagues or curses on those who have taken the 666 seal of the anti-Christ. We already have credit cards with embedded chips. We have computer programs and televisions that are voice sensitive. There are also control words that search or key in or when we type on line, send e-mails, or do web searches.

More Than A Data Center

More Than A Data Center

None of the network or cable news programs will report on such. Conspiracy? You decide as you continue to read these articles on Revelation. Perhaps it is prophecy being completed in clear sight, but no one is looking. This is all for national security… right?

Comparing this angel in chapter 10 verse 1 to the angel in Isaiah 14:12 and Revelation 9:1, this mighty angel in 10:1 “came down from heaven.” He was not cast from or fallen from heaven. This messenger is from God and comes with His blessing. As majestic as this angel is described, it is not likely it is Jesus as some commentaries suggest. Verse 6 in chapter 10 makes this abundantly clear. Recall some of the descriptions of Satan as an angel; Ezekiel 28:13. We also find two other strong angels mentioned in Revelation. They are found in Revelation 5:2 and 18:21. Each Revelation angel is identified as “another strong angel.” This means each is separate from the other two strong angels. One might make a connection with these angels and The Book of Daniel angels found in *10:5-6 and 12:5-7.

*this passage discusses the destiny of Jerusalem, the Jews and Israelites; Tribes of Israel [O.T]. These are God’s chosen. Gentiles [N.T.] are destined by his or her choice of accept or reject (staying neutral) of Jesus Christ.

The mighty angel in 10:1 has a “little book” in hand. He is so powerful that when he speaks, it is like seven thunders of voices. In verse 4 John is told to “seal up the message” but only after John hears each of the seven different messages from the 7 thunders. The reader must be cautioned at this point in Revelation. Things on earth are about to be totally altered at the hand of God the Father, Son [and Holy Spirit]. God made man and woman (Adam and Eve) to fellowship with him. Satan now knows his destruction is at hand. He pulls out all stops to help destroy man’s trust in God. His attitude is altered. He now wants to not only keep people from believing in Christ, but destroy what he can’t rule over. One might suggest Satan wishes to take to hell any he can keep from the Kingdom of God on earth… “…thy kingdom come, they will be done on EARTH as it is in heaven.”

John is the last of the disciples (Apostles). His revelation of Revelations is the final message of the Holy Word of God to us. The next step in God’s design is his kingdom on earth. No more revelations; no more sightings; no more written visitations; no more Bible. Read the last few verses in Revelation 22 and we see the seal of God’s hand on such events. Next stop? Jesus returns to earth to claim the Kingdom of God from all nations eventuating Millennial Reign.

Revelation Commentary puts it this way: (

“The single most important point of chapter 10 seems to be the angelic announcement that “in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound [the 7th trumpet], then the mystery of God is finished.” Now that we know this fact, there will be no need for the strong angel to descend from heaven to report a fact already known by the reader of the Revelation. “ [emphasis mine]

Much is ventured as to what this little book is and to its content. To hazard another guess serves little purpose. We understand according to scripture that it is “sweet to the taste but bitter to the stomach.” Ezekiel had the same or similar experience. In the Book of Ezekiel 2:9, 10 to 3:3 it reads in summary: “There were all kinds of sad songs, sad stories, and warnings.” Ezekiel is specific to Israel and a caution of worldly events to come. PS: this is also where one finds the proverbial Ezekiel’s Wheel passage.

The reason we won’t discuss or venture a specific guess to the contents of this little book in Revelation 10 is found in verse 10:4; the book is sealed up.” That which the Lord God orders sealed is SEALED. Mankind does not know what is in it until God reveals it. Any one claiming to know is speaking in scriptural ignorance or a deceiver. When the contents of this book is revealed, all will know.

What draws or should demand our attention is found in the next couple of verses. In short, it states… “there is no longer any delay. When this 7th trumpet begins to sound the mystery of God will be finished.” [Paraphrased from the KJV). There will no longer be any purpose to delay the understanding of God’s Mystery. It is again venturing a guess, but this could not only be the End of Time as created in Genesis 1:4, but as to whom and what is God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It may be a description of the Millennial Kingdom. It could be the nations of the world uniting against Christ’s arrival in Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives. Your education idea is or may be a solid as anyone’s. It is a mystery. The book was sealed up in John’s heart. No one knows until we all know.

Eine Frau sagt als Zeuge bei Gericht in einem Gerichtsverfahren aus. Wird vereidigt und schwört auf die Bibel.

We have a practice in our judicial system of lifting a hand and swearing to tell the truth. This is, was and continues to be a practice throughout the world. Even a salute is similar to showing one has taken an oath. The angel in verses 5 and 6 reflect this practice. So help me God…! This angel swears that esomai (should be) no time anymore. It is a futuristic but eminent event. Time will be no more. Just as we are promised a new heaven and a new earth, time will be senseless. This is the essence of eternity. It is not measured in time since time is no longer. This too may be what John read in the little book. Any church or gospel song proclaiming a number of years after this point, as well meaning as they are, are based upon bog thinking; i.e. dangerous grounds.

From this point forward in chapter 10 things move fast. John is told to take the little book from the hand of the great angel and eat it. It initially is sweet to the tongue. It might be similar to one eating something that is good, but later it is tough on the stomach; i.e. indigestion. John had a severe case of indigestion after eat the book. Again, to venture guesses at this cause and effect is at best speculation. However, we do know the result of this bad taste after-affect. John is told, this is why that which caused the indigestion is the reason he (verse 11) MUST prophecy again (palin) with a renewed spirit. He is exiled to the Island of Patmos when he writes Revelation. This tells him that he will soon be released and must continue doing what it was that got him exiled in the first place.

In chapter 11 of Revelation, there is a significant shift in time and events. We now find ourselves studying the events of the Tribulation. This is the two witnesses. I will speculate at their identity in the next article in our Revelation Study. It will be nothing upon which to build doctrine but it will be supported by other scripture.

Dr. jStarkRev. Dr. James Stark

December 2015

Salvation and the Baptism… (discussion of Acts 2)

American Civil war 1861-1865We have within this topic a North vs. South, almost civil war divide in denominational theologies; the same God, the same Holy Spirit, the same Savior in Jesus Christ (similar to one nation), but civil war differences. This article is not intended nor is it an attempt to sway one’s opinion, but is determined to provide a challenge to study for one’s self. It is also not an exhaustive commentary on this subject. Many will finish reading the following and not be swayed. However, that is the role of the Holy Spirit, not this author.

Comments made in this article are referenced by supporting scripture. Knowledge is powerful. Seek it not to find only what supports a preconceived position, but to be in tune with what the Word of God says and does not say.

On one side of this Mason-Dixon theology line are those who think salvation MUST include some type of baptism in the Holy Spirit as stated to occur in Acts 2:4

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

However, beware of the “taken out of context” caution in study of anything. It is the “THEY/ALL” here that is so important to understand.

On the other hand[s], and there is more than one “other hand”, there are those who are followers of Christ, born again believers, who do not subscribe to “speaking in tongues as [the] evidence of his or her salvation.” To some major denominations it is the act of baptism, submersion in water that is the demonstration, public notice, and evidence of one’s decision to follow Christ. This is the starting point in the Book of James when ‘works’ becomes the proof in the pudding, so to say. However baptism in water is not the salvation. One must become a believer (change in a way of life) first then be baptized (Acts 2:38).

In the Book of Acts the disciples were gathered in a room shortly after the crucifixion of Jesus. This moment in history is identified as Pentecost. An honest reader must not isolate this verse in Acts 2:4, as in to take out of context from the rest of this text.

In verse 5 (Acts 2) the scenario moves outside the gathering room shifting to the gathering of people not in the room but in Jerusalem; “..devout (Jews) men from every nation under heaven.” The word devout is eulabēs in Greek. It means to be circumspect, pious, careful and sure in religious practices (Thayer; G2126).

This verse also says, “..out of every nation under heaven.” Taking this for what it literally says, we have many good men in Jerusalem who are deeply religious in life affairs. There could easily be dozens of different languages present all in Jerusalem at this time. It was not uncommon during these times in history for people to be fluent in more than their native tongue. This is contrary to the USA today. Most Americans speak one language – English. SAD!

People With Speech Bubble And Cloudy SkyHowever, to suggest that the 11 disciples mingled with this diverse crowd or stood on a given platform to speak addressing only 11 different tongues at the same time simply ignores verse 6. This verse reads (ESV):

And at this *sound the multitude(s) came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them (disciples) speak in his own language [emphasis mine].

In a literal take on this verse, they were gathered together and hearing the disciples [speak] in his own language. Now jump to verse 8… (ESV) and how hear we everyman in his own tongue? The emphasis is on their hearing the words in their own language, not that 11 disciples were preaching simultaneously in multiple languages. This is not the work of man, but of the Holy Spirit addressing each person with the message (legō) in his/her language. The Greek emphasis is not on the speaking but the hearing.

We must keep in mind that in verse 6 of Acts 2, the people in Jerusalem also heard the noise (phōnē). Either they too heard the same burst of wind as did the disciples back in 2:2 or, they heard that the same disciples were speaking but it was being understood in every listener’s language. There was a large gathering of men hearing a common message but in his or her tongue. It makes no sense that chaos existed. The crowd was together, but each HEARD in his own language. They didn’t have United Nation headphones to distinguish between multiple languages being spoken at the same time.

I Corinthians 12:10 might be a word of caution for those of *us who think that without the ‘evidence’ of speaking in tongues one cannot be saved.

*Us: This is inclusive of Christians called the church and not meant to be exclusive of a segment or denomination within the church.

But, let’s not dismiss tongues altogether. Read on.

I Corinthians 12:10 states… “to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits (Satanic or Holy Spirit), to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues” [not inclusive to all but exclusive H.S. gifts].

This passage lists the gifts of the Holy Spirit. All gifts are not bestowed upon one. There simply is no scripture to support this thought. Anything that cannot be supported by scripture is, even though well meaning, an opinion; speculation. This is a dangerous path that can only serve self interests and divide the church. The gifts of the Holy Spirit blessed upon individuals are purposeful. The church needs each and every member of its Christian membership. Gifts are sent to individuals but they must be used to benefit the body of Jesus Christ on earth. To think that every born again believer has all of the gifts is ignorance of full disclosure. “To another the gift of tongues” is not universal. It is but ONE of the spiritual gifts.

However, one must also consider Romans 8:26, 27… “…but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings (unknown language) too deep for words (ESV). This is prayer in a language that we do not understand but the Holy Spirit intercedes to convey our deepest of thoughts, requests, and that which we do not understand but for which we pray. We are told in John 4:24 that God is Spirit so we must also pray in spirit. This is sometimes an unknown or unfamiliar tongue.

Before one buttress the denominational Mason-Dixon and people run to their defensive personal corner, lets return to the opening passage; Acts 2. Those who were outside the meeting room of the disciples also heard the commotion be it either the talk on the street or the rushing wind. If speaking in tongues is meant to be universal to all Christians, why did all of these other (pious) men outside the meeting room not also share in this one gift of the Holy Spirit?

The mixed crowd was stunned to hear “the message of Jesus” in their preferred native tongue. Yes, I am quite aware that there are about 35 references in scripture per tongues. In I Corinthians Paul states that an interpreter is required as “most cannot understand” what is being said. He also identifies tongues as a gift that is useless if others cannot grasp what is being said. But each HEARD in his own native language. No interpreter was needed.

The PTL is found in Acts 2:41. 3,000 New Christians were baptized that day. The word baptized as used in this passage is baptizō. This word in the Greek means: “to be submersed or overwhelmed as in fully wet” (Strong #907). These new believers did not begin to speak in a langue that they did not understand or know. Nothing is recorded in scripture to indicate this. They were baptized as a public sign of their conversion to Christianity from Judaism. However, once they began their personal prayer lives, the Holy *SPIRIT, was now available to interpret the wonting of each personal or God-petitioning prayer heart.

* God is spirit (John 4:24) so we must pray in spirit (I Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 6:18 and Jude 20). This means to let the Holy Spirit move us to conviction and desire to be in a deep relationship with the God-head.

This issue is one of the great divides that split the Church of Jesus Christ. Study the Word of God to personally become more than simply aware; to grasp at a minimal understanding of what is said. Seek to develop one’s relationship with other believers and God the father. Study content and context then decide if the Gift of Tongues is central to worship or is it a harbinger that some are given and some are given other spiritual gifts to support the church body.

Rev. Dr. James StarkDr. jStark

December 22, 2015

Revelation 9

(Plus a quick review)

The last book of the Bible - Revelations

In our study of Revelation, chapter nine is about the 5th and 6th angel and what happens when their trumpets sound. We recently completed our discussion of the 4 Apocalyptic Horsemen via the first 4 seals of the scroll being opened. As dangerous and attention getting as they are, things are about to get more difficult for mankind, earth and any of its inhabitation. The pre-event of chapter 9 is what John heard as he recorded in the last verse of chapter 8:

(8:13b) “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded (in chapter 9 & 10) by the other three angels!” (NIV; emphasis mine)

Paul Benware wrote in Understanding End Time…, the first four of the seven seals are known as the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The first seal introduces the Antichrist (Revelation 6:1-2). The second seal causes great warfare (Revelation 6:3-4). The third of the seven seals causes famine (Revelation 6:5-6). The fourth seal brings about plague, further famine, and further warfare (Revelation 6:7-8) and the dividing of ¼ of the earth to death, famine, reduction, enslavement, . The fifth seal tells us of those who will be martyred for their faith in Christ during the end times (Revelation 6:9-11). When the sixth of the seven seals is broken, a devastating earthquake occurs, causing massive upheaval and terrible devastation—along with unusual astronomical phenomena (Revelation 6:12-14) [emphasis mine]

A series of 7 trumpets begin to call out their judgments at the opening of the 7th seal. Then, “ALL OF HEAVEN FALLS SILENT FOR THE SPACE OF A HALF AN HOUR” (8:1). This silence in heaven sends awesome chills as heaven has never been totally silent per anything mentioned in scripture. It is much like walking into a room or into the woods and everything is suddenly too quiet. We KNOW (YADDA) something is amiss or about to happen; it is not usually a good feeling of confidence on earth but all beings in heaven see God’s judgment will no longer be delayed. Satan’s time has run out and he knows it.

  1. Trumpet #1: (8:7) …hail, fire mingled with blood with a third part of the trees burned and all green grass burned.
  2. Trumpet #2: (8:8) …great volcano and mountain cast into the sea with a third part of the sea turning to blood. This is death to the sea creatures and ships in that part of the seas.
  3. Trumpet #3: (8:10) …’death star’ (possibly a huge meteorite) is cast to earth from the heavens. Now a third part of the rivers and spring water sources become wormwood (apsinthos: in a metaphorical sense, to be made bitter). Many (polos/polus) die due to the bitter or deadly water likely infected or made bitter by the shattering of this meteor into dust.
  4. Trumpet #4: (8:12) … Now the third part of our know universe that is stricken is the sun, moon and stars. This darkness makes night even darker and daylight less illuminant.
  5. Trumpets 5, 6, & 7 are God’s judgments on man.

This takes us to chapter 9 in Revelation; the 5th angel and trumpet. All the damage to this point by the blowing of the first four trumpets is upon physical surroundings. One-third of everything we know of and see is struck. The woe, woe, woe, in 8:13b is a change in venue. It is now mankind that is directly punished for rejecting warnings and pleadings to accept and follow Jesus Christ (New Testament) and God (Elohim) of Israel (Old Testament).

We read in Revelation 9:1, as found in a previous article in this website, about a falling star. The verse reads “…to him was given the key to the bottomless pit.” Since this star (as-stare’ in the Greek) is identified as “him,” we likely have either a fallen or falling angel; suggestion: Satan himself is finally removed from approaching the Throne of God in Heaven. [Revelation 12:10: This verse points to the already given fact that Satan “…has been hurled down” from heaven]. He uses the key he is given to open the bottomless pit. From it belches smoke; locusts emerge from the smoke to cause severe pain to man; to all who “do not have the Seal of God in their foreheads.” They are not *given the power to inflict death even though later in chapter nine we read that mankind call for death and can’t get it.

*given the power: Note that these locusts do not possess the power in or of on their own, but are given it with **limitations. This is God’s hand at work as the final hours of the earth as we know it closes.

**Limited to causing pain on man for 5 months, but not the remaining greenery of earth as is the usual target of locust.

Verse 6 is very clear. “…man shall seek death and shall not find it.” Verses 7-10 describe these creatures of torment. Interestingly, in verse 10 of chapter 9… “they have a king over them.” When Satan rebelled against God and took 1/3 of the angels with him, for he was a mighty angel (angel of the morning light and beautiful), he became the lord and king over the fallen angels. They obey him for he is powerful, persuasive, and dangerous to oppose. One might speculate that the locust might be the hoard of fallen angel-locusts who emerge from the smoke. Satan knows by now that his time of roaming to and fro on and over earth (his kingdom) is over. 1 Peter 5:8; Job 1:7) tell us that Satan has been at work since the creation of earth; seeking who he may… bring joy??? Not a chance. He is seeking who he may devour: inflict pain, sickness, disease, casualty, conflict, stress, confusion, disjointedness, mistrust, the road to destruction! (James 1:17; Acts 10:38; John 9:2-3))

The locust is the first of the three woes that John heard from an angel in heaven (8:13). I must hasten to point out Greek grammar. In 9:1 it is too often concluded that the “bottomless pit” in this particular scenario is hell itself. This does not fit well considering the final judgment, Lake of Fire and the locations of Hades or Sheol. The word used here is Phrear. It is an old word for cistern or well; something with a small mouth; narrow. The path to hell is a wide road. This misunderstanding simply does not fit. It is not Hell that this “fallen angel” opens the gate with a key. It is more closely related to Hades or Sheol; a holding tank of sorts for the dead yet to be judged. Hell and the Lake of Fire come into play after the Great White Throne Judgment. This is found at the end of the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth.

The second woe, beginning at verse 13, comes when the sixth angel blows his trumpet. This releases the four angels assigned and created solely for this purpose (v15); the second woe. One third of mankind is slain; those without the Seal of God in their forehead. It is a massive army of (evil forces) 200,000,000 strong. Fire, smoke (as in choking gases; chemical warfare?), and brimstone are the weapons of death in these few verses. This is not the massive army of mankind who assemble at Har Mageddo (Valley of Jezreel; Armageddon) to battle Jesus in Jerusalem after the 7th Trumpet is sounded.

In the closing two verses of chapter 9, we discover that even after all of this, men do not repent of their selfish and self-seeking gains (idols). In short, their continued rejection of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit is finally judged. This continual rejection of God/Christ is amazing. The people who continue to reject Christ see that those with the Seal of God are not touched by these plagues. Such being so seems to anger mankind all the more to fully realize their pain is not shared with followers of the Almighty.

Next article begins with…”And I saw another mighty angel…” (Chapter 10 and in my opinion should not have a chapter break for number 11. Of course, these are man-made markers in the Bible as the author of Revelation, John, did not mark out chapter and verse.)


The Value of YOU

by McKee

Many people think Christmas is about Santa and pretty lighted trees and getting gifts.  Most people think Christmas is about giving to others. One Person gave His All as Christmas is really about  the value of YOU.

into the room

We live in a world that no longer values human life. It grieves my heart. How many precious souls with potentials as great doctors, leaders, researchers for medical cures and valued human lives are murdered?  – 

Many countries and even in some states in America now allow people the right to die. Canada recently joined up giving those who are sick and even those who don’t want to go on living the right to end their life.  Canadians have right to doctor-assisted suicide

Back in the 1980’s a guy by the name of Jack Kevorkian -aka Dr. Death or Jack the Dripper, “helped” 130 people die. Yes, these people were suffering and many had Multiple Sclerosis. I am not belittling suffering. I experience it on a daily basis.  So what is missing in the world today where we causally allow the killing of humans beings without regard to the Great Creator and His plans for these precious lives? If we simply acknowledge the LORD and His purposes for our lives rather than dwell on life from the secular view point perhaps we wouldn’t be hasty to take the gift of life God has given us and take it without regard or fear/respect for our Creator or His plans for us. Regardless, how we think our lives should be; ultimately God has a good plan for our life, one with a future and a hope. We have lost the fear of Almighty God when we don’t value life He has given us or the lives of others.

Multiple Sclerosis along with many other physical challenges remind me every day that I must choose life. Choosing life means purposely living the best day possible. Yes, I am in chronic pain that limits me. I have been paralyzed and blind and didn’t think I would see the age of 30 as the disease progressed quickly early on.  It was when M.S. hit me in my early 20’s I knew I had to find Hope. I found my Prevailing Hope in Jesus Christ.  I came to the point that I knew even IF things got real bad and I was bedridden and could only open my eyes and smile; I would do that for the glory of God. The Word of God gives us a choice and it is this verse in Deut. 30:19  that became real to me:

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life

Besides the many examples in the Bible of those who went through difficult struggles, some to the point of death; I have been inspired by many who live today who face insurmountable odds yet choose life and live for the glory of God purposely with passion.  No life is not easy for them but they recognize life as being the gift it is from our Great Creator. He is the Potter and we are the clay. The following are just a few who have inspired and touched my life by their lives.

Choosing life is no matter how hard life gets is the choice I will make. It is always easy? NO. But God gives us the grace we need as we seek Him. He has put great value on not just my life, but yours. YOU (we) are ultimately the reason Christ came to this earth. He came to redeem us from our sin (for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God) as we needed a Savior.  God made The Way, gave us The Answer and gave us The Life all bundled up in a manger. His Name is Jesus.

For God So Loved the World (YOU)

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

The bottom line is no matter what you face, no matter the trials, no matter the deep hurts or daily chronic pain you may experience your life has great worth and value. So much that God gives YOU the choice of choosing life  everlasting or refusing it. The Word of God even tells us it is His will that we choose life…but He will allow us to choose death.  Dear One, keep in mind the wages of sin is death and it is not simply not existing anymore, it is a place of torment.  I urge you to make the choice for ( Christ) – Life during this Christmas season when God gave His Son as evidence of His great love and value for YOU.

For more information please email me or click on:

And Merry Christmas to YOU and those you love! –

Christ is The Way. He is The Prevailing Hope we have. Jesus

Christ Jesus is The Only Way.
He is The Prevailing Hope we have.

Why does Jesus call God “Father?”

In the synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, this identity of Jesus addressing God as father is given well over 100 times. In the Book of John, also synoptic, it is used 60 plus times. We are taught in the Lord’s Prayer to use this identity of father in “Our Father…” But why? We often hear of the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If Jesus and the Holy Spirit is in fact a part of a triune God, meaning three-in-one, then how can Jesus become the son of God? How could God create himself? Why would Jesus consistently call him Abba-father?

Many people, including seminarians ever think upon these things. JIV Note: Don’t confuse assumption with faith or doctrine. God is Spirit (John 4:24) and we must worship him in spirit. In a previous post we discussed “Our Father” and the fact that God created man with body, mind, spirit and soul. Click here to read this article. If God is spirit and created mankind with spirit, he metaphorically or literally fathered all. (You decide if it is metaphor or literal; circle your choice)

Let’s take a brief look at this. If something is an unknown biblical factor, it cannot add to our confidence in Jesus Christ. Understanding is at the lower end of the human Learning Pyramid; i.e. Awareness – Understanding – Convinced – Conviction – Desire – Action. This is a study in and of itself but here is the very short version and explanation.

The greater one’s understanding of something the more likely s/he will be convinced of its actuality instead on one’s perception or their personal reality. (This too is an article discussed in another article in this website) Once convinced of possibilities we have but three choices. Two of them are excuses, not reasons once there is a personal understanding. One can opt to Ignore, reject, or accept. It is at this point humans will DESIRE to either move on, the first two options, or take the third option desiring to do something with this gained knowledge. This takes us to the action level. We take a given learning situation and apply it to our life.

In the Old Testament the use of the word “father” is remarkably missing, Where it is found it is usually within a context or single scenario. This is how Robert Stein puts it:

“Throughout the Bible we find God portrayed as a Father. This portrayal, however, is surprisingly rare in the Old Testament. There God is specifically called the Father of the nation of Israel ( Deut 32:6 ; Isa 63:16 ; [twice] 64:8 ; Jeremiah 3:4 Jeremiah 3:19 ; 31:9 ; Mal 1:6 ; 2:10 ) or the (metaphorical) Father of certain individuals ( 2 Sam 7:14 ; 1 Chron 17:13 ; 22:10 ; 28:6 ; Psalm 68:5 ; 89:26 ) only fifteen times.” (emphasis mine) Robert H. Stein; Fatherhood of God

Other than in the Lord’s Prayer where Jesus answers a disciple’s question, “teach us how to pray,” Jesus identifies God as his FATHER, not our father. This is a very personal identity. So how, when or where did this identity originate? Go to the Bethlehem record found in Luke 1 and Matthew 1.

This article is not intended to tell the Christmas narrative. We are researching and discussing the term “father” in its relationship to God the “father.” We read in Matthew 11:18… (ESV)

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

So much content is skipped in this verse. First, Matthew is looking back at the birth of Jesus; “when his (Jesus’) mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph.” Matthew is looking back at this event in history. He is actually explaining to the Jews that Jesus is within the bloodline and DNA of King David and that HE is the promised Messiah of Isaiah prophecy. Both Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus, and Mary, his earthly mother, are from the Tribe of Judah and a blood-relative of King David. This is important to the Jewish leadership of that day as this is the birth-line from which they expect their Messiah. Matthew targets Jews.

In the Book of Luke, a book targeted to the Gentiles, he does not attempt to make this connection. He makes the connection with Adam, the first human. Luke begins with current names and genealogically lists names from current to back Adam; i.e. son to father DNA. Matthew does just the opposite, he begins with King David and shows that Jesus has a legal right to the throne of King David; i.e. father to son DNA. Matthew targets the message to the Jews and Luke targets his message to the Gentiles; same message but different beginning points.

Matthew 11:18 also points out that Joseph refrained from, as this verse states (ESV) “before they came together.” That means, before they consummated their marriage. Why? Mary was already pregnant via God the Holy Spirit… “…she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit” (ESV). This is the reason Jesus always identified himself as the Son of God. Mary conceived through God the Holy Spirit. This is why he always called God, ‘Father.’ He was actually his “only begotten son.” John 3:16.

Now that you know the rest of the Bible Story (history), and evidence has been provided not through an opinion but through the Bible itself, this puts all of us in the Learning Pyramid at “desire.” Each one of us is left with Ignore – Reject – Accept; our only three choices. If one ops for either of the first two, s/he puts destiny (not eternity however) in human hands. If one opts for the third choice, accept, then destiny and eternity is put into Gods hands. Are you in good hands?

Action is the top level of the Learning Pyramid. After learning facts we still have the options of ignore, reject, or accept, that is, to remain ignorant via denial; say it means nothing to you by rejection of facts; Accept Jesus Christ for who he is! Of course, this is a choice. Exactly the way God intended it to be. It is called a Free Will (Romans 9:16).

Using cellphone outdoors while crossing the street.As a friend once commented in a home Bible study, we can opt to ignore the oncoming traffic, reject the fact that crossing the street at this time is deadly, or, accept the facts and use one’s choice to act(ion) accordingly.

Merry Christmas.

jStark3Rev. Dr. Jstark
December, 2015