Astrape in Luke 17:24; Matthew 24:27 -r

Please note that in this study, the scriptural references to “the Son of Man” should actually read, “Son of the Man.” In Greek, the indefinite “son of man” does not mean the same thing as the definite “Son of the Man”. See our study: “Son of Man and Son of God

While we are not with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, one of the books many cite related to our Biblical studies is Jehovah of the Watchtower“, by Walter Martin and Norman Klann. Our references to this work are to the Ninth Printing, dated 1981 (Copyright 1953, 1974). On page 88 of that book, we read: “In Luke 17:20-21, the Lord reveals the kingdom of heaven as within the believer in one aspect but clearly states that the heavenly aspect will be visible and observable at His return (vv. 23-26).” Actually, we find nothing in Luke 17:20-21 that says that kingdom of heaven is “within the believer”. Jesus was not speaking to believers, but unbelievers, the Pharisees. Was Jesus saying that the kingdom of heaven is “within” the Pharisees? Was Jesus’ illustration as presented in Luke 17:23-26 meant to say that the kingdom “will be visible and observable at His return”?

Before answering those questions, we first want to note what Martin and Klann next stated: “In Matthew 13, the Lord Jesus portrays the kingdom of heaven symbolically in parables, yet it is always pictured as a reality, not invisible phantom government.” We agree that the parables present the kingdom of heaven symbolically, and that it is always pictured as a reality. Martin and Klann seem to be under the false assumption, however, that an invisible presence means that it is not a real presence. This kind of reasoning, if applied to some scriptures, would mean that God is not real, since he is the invisible God. (Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 6:15) God is a reality, however, even though we cannot physically see Him. Likewise, initially, when Jesus returns in his parousia, we believe that his parousia is unnoticed by the world, as we will show from the scriptures.

In the context, Jesus had stated:

Matthew 24:23 Then if any man will tell you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There,’ don’t believe it.
Matthew 24:24 For there will arise false Christs, and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Matthew 24:25 Behold, I have told you beforehand.
Matthew 24:26 If therefore they tell you, ‘Behold, he is in the wilderness!’ don’t go out; ‘Behold, he is in the inner chambers,’ don’t believe it.

Jesus here warns against expecting to see him return in the flesh. As he stated elsewhere, however, “the world will see me no more.” (John 14:19) Jesus knew that the world would not see him when he returned because he knew that he was to sacrifice that flesh for all time. (Luke 22:19; John 6:51; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; Hebrews 10:10) He knew that he would not return in the flesh, and yet he also knew that many would be claiming that he had returned in the flesh, and, in effect saying, “Here he is,” and “there he is.” And there have been many false prophets claiming such. Additionally, there have been many false prophets claiming that they have the authority of the Kingdom, and thus the sole right to speak for Jesus, such as the claims for the Papacy and that of the leadership of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and many other religious sects and leaderships.

See our related studies:
The World Will See Me Know More
Jesus Died a Human Being – Raised a Spirit Being

Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God doesn’t come with observation.” (Luke 17:20, World English Bible translation) “nor will they say, `Look, here it is!’ or, `There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” And He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, `Look there! Look here!’ Do not go away, and do not run after them.” — Luke 17:21-23 NASB translation.

And there have been many, from the first century to this very day, who have proclaimed this or that outward organization to be God’s Kingdom on earth; likewise, there have been many who have claimed to be Jesus, or in some way to exclusively represent Jesus. Nevertheless, because Jesus has sacrificed his flesh for sin (Luke 22:19; John 6:51; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; Hebrews 10:10), one cannot point to any human being and claim that this or that human being is Jesus, as many have done are are still doing; when Jesus comes in his kingdom, one will not “see” Jesus’ body of flesh, since Jesus is no longer flesh, and since there is to be no more sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:26), he has no reason to come back in a body of flesh.
See our study: “Jesus Died a Human Being – Raised a Spirit Being

Then Jesus states, as rendered by the New American Standard version of the Bible in Matthew 24:27:

“For just as the lightning (Greek, astrape: light, bright shining) comes from the east and flashes [Greek, phaino: shines] even to the west, so will the coming [Greek, Parousia: presence] of the Son of Man be. (NAS)

Westcott & Hort Interlinear
hwsper gar hee astrapee exerchetai apo
AS EVEN FOR THE LIGHTNING IS COMING OUT FROM
5618 1063 3588 0796 1831 0575
anatolwn kai phainetai hews dusmwn houtws
EASTERN [PARTS] AND IS SHINING UNTIL WESTERN [PARTS], THUS
0395 2532 5316 2193_5 1424 3779
estai hee parousia tou huiou tou anthrwpou
WILL BE THE PRESENCE OF THE SON OF THE MAN;
1511_4 3588 3952 3588 5207 3588 0444

Astrape means:

lightning; light, ray of light

http://biblestudydata.com/moodle/mod/data/view.php?d=2&rid=845

The old English word “lightning” is a variant of “lightening”:
lightning. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lightning.

This word does not necessarily mean lightning in the sky as is often associated with thunderstorms.

Jesus’ words in Luke 17:24 read as:

“For just like the lightning, when it flashes [shines] out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day.”

Jesus, in answering the Pharisees, first lets them know that when the kingdom comes it will not be with observation, something that will be observed as such. No one will be able to legitimately say that the kingdom is ruling here, or it is ruling there, as though it will be actually seen, but that it is to be in their midst. He then explains to his disciples — not the Pharisees — that there will be those however, that will claim that God’s kingdom is ruling and can be seen, and warns not to follow these. Such claims have been made by Rome and many other church-state systems, including, I believe, the JW leadership. These proclamations of God’s kingdom, being seen amongst men, Jesus said, are not the real kingdom, and he tells his followers not to recognize them as such.

Then Jesus tells how God’s kingdom will come upon the world, by describing the light, that progresses from east to west in the sky. Many translations present this light as lightning and use the word “flash” rather than simply shines, but we believe that this leaves one with the wrong idea, as we will present below.

Electrical lightning associated with thunderstorms does not generally come from the east and shine even to the west, but the sun does. The word “lightning”, in the context given, is a poor choice to represent the Greek word “astrape,” which signifies “bright shining” (as given in Luke 11:36 in the KJV), or simply “the light”. The bright “light” actually being described here and applied figuratively to the parousia of the son of the man, as the context indicates, to the sunlight which shines always from the east even to the west, while on the other hand, lightning flashes in a variety of directions, wherever the electrical forces producing it may be discharged. A flash of lightning would only luminate the sky for a split second, which also is not a good illustration of Jesus’ return. When the the Greek word often transliterated as “parousia” is understood and “presence” rather simply as “coming” (in a split second?), the statement is seen to declare that the presence of Christ will be like the sunlight, gradually illuminating the world. It is not a split second of time, in which all the world sees and recognizes Jesus in the instant that he returns, as some have assumed.

Those who are awake and watching, the children of the light, are the first to discern and rejoice in His presence. The children of the night and of the darkness will awake when the Sun of Righteousness will arise in His full glory, and all the sin-sick will rejoice in the healing to be gained through the influence of His rays. Therefore, Jesus uses here the illustration of how the sun brings light as it comes up the east and goes to the west. This well depicts the sun of righteousness who arises with healing in his wings. (Malachi 4:2) The shining is not confined to any one place, but its effect is different in different places. The bright shining (verse 27) means truths and knowledge greatly increases, especially during the time that Christ is returns and is present. That this shining is visible from the east to the west, refers to the fact that our Lord’s presence reveals truth that not only is seen now, but even unto the west, the end of the Millennium, even as the sun gradually moves across the sky from east to west. (Revelation 21:23-24). When the sun first rises in the east, it is not especially bright, but the rays of light can be seen gleaming through the sky. As it continues its journey, the shining gets brighter and brighter.

The sun shine of this new day, however, is different from a normal day, for the prophecy says that the bright shining is darkened by the clouds. (Isaiah 5:30; Joel 2:2; Zephaniah 1:15) The clouds, in this instance, we understand to mean obscurity — darkness and trouble on earth. (Isaiah 8:22) It is a unique day, different from what we have known before, for we are told that at evening time, rather than darkness coming, there will be light. (Zechariah 14:7) Thus seen, we can see that this day endures on into the millennial rule, when the world will be instructed in the ways of Yahweh, and the knowledge of Yahweh will fill the earth. — Isaiah 2:2-4; 6:11.

At first, only those who are spiritually awake recognize this presence, (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6) but after Satan is abyssed, all men will become aware of his presence, including those who pierced (who have to first be raised from the dead) him. (Revelation 20:3; Isaiah 25:7; Revelation 1:7) To many of the watchers who compare spiritual revealing with spiritual revealing in order to “see” spiritually, this light is now seen in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies, as well as a flood of knowledge that causes understanding of many spiritual truths that were hidden in the darkness of the wilderness for over a thousand years. Thus to them it has a special meaning. But to the world the light first brings a time of trouble, as never seen before in history, for poor humanity, still being out of harmony with God and truth, cannot properly control the increase of knowledge that has so gradually filled the world since 1799. (Daniel 12:1,4) Yet they are still ever learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7) God’s kingdom is in their midst, but they do not recognize it. — Luke 17:21

Thus seen, in agreement with other scriptures, Christ’s parousia, covers a period of time, in which many things occur. Yes, Jesus does arrive at the beginning of his parousia, his presence as King, and thus remains present. His presence is not just a split second event. The Greek word parousia means more than just his arrival, but it also includes the many events prophesied concerning his coming.

W. E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words: Parousia, literally, a presence, para, with, and ousia, being: denotes both an arrival and a consequent presence with. Robert Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible: Parousia, a being alongside, presence.

Moulton and Milligan’s Vocabulary of the Greek Testament Foreword: “Parousia, as applied to the return of the Lord, is simply the anglicizing of the Greek word which literally means ‘presence.’

One way of showing that the parousia is a period of time can be seen by comparing two scritpures:

Matthew 24:37-39 – As the days of Noah, so will be the coming [parousia — kingly presence] of the Son of Man. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they didn’t know until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the coming [parousia – Kingly presence] of the Son of Man

Luke 17:26 – As it happened in the days of Noah, even so will it be also in the days [parallels with “parousia” of Matthew 24:37] of the Son of Man.

Thus the world in general is carrying on these affairs in the days of Jesus’ parousia, that is, his parousia is not known to them, as testified by the fact that they don’t know, or understand. When this present evil world is destroyed, then the sunlight of the kingdom and the righteous will be revealed — the revealing of the saints. Then will follow the resurrection of the world. It is not until after the world’s resurrection, that even those who pierced him will be brought back to life so that they may “see” him, and thus “They also who err in spirit shall come to understanding, and those who murmur shall receive instruction.” — Revelation 1:7; Isaiah 29:24.

Someone has objected that lightning does go from east to west. This may be true in some cases, but such lightning is between clouds and still only lasts for a split second. Cloud-to-cloud lightning is said to occur more often than cloud to ground strikes, but such cloud-to-cloud lightning may or may not be seen from the ground, and is more often seen as light behind the shadows of the clouds. While it is very doubtful that this is what Jesus had in mind when he spoke his words, nevertheless, this could describe the conditions set forth in Isaiah 5:30; Joel 2:2; Zephaniah 1:15.

The National Lightning Saftey Institute states: “Lightning’s behavior is random and unpredictable.”
http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_pls/lsvl_plans.html

Lightning, as seen from earth in the sky in Israel, usually is seen as going downward, not from east to west. This is in agreement with Luke 10:18, in which Jesus may have used astrape to describe lightning as falling from the sky in the land of Israel, although more than likely Jesus was referring to Satan figuratively as what we often call a “falling star” which falls from the sky.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/top-25-photos-year-gallery-1.1229140?pmSlide=17

http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/Pszb-cX0I6q/Lightning+Storm+Brings+Much+Needed+Rain+Holy

http://www.flickr.com/photos/45712602@N07/8125253395/

He said to them, “I saw Satan having fallen like lightning [astrape] from heaven.”

True, Jesus is speaking figuratively, but, as it reads in most translations, the figure be using natural lightning to depict what happened when Satan disobeyed and fell out harmony with God.

However, as stated before, we tend to believe that astrape in Luke 10:18 refers to a falling star, not lightning, which would tend to support the idea that Matthew 24:27 refers, not to lightning, but to the sun traveling from east to west. This view is supported by the fact that astrape is derived from the Greek word *aster* which does mean “star.” Nevertheless, we should not expect that the Bible would use the words for “star” with the same classifications that modern scientists have developed.

Additionally, the Hebrew word often transliterated as ‘owr (Strong’s Hebrew #216) is used similarly, sometimes meaning lightning, sometimes meaning sunlight, light of a lamp, etc.
http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Hebrew/heb.cgi?number=0216

Lightning travels in both directions, upward and downward, but that which is usually seen from the earth is the shining which extends downward, not east to west.

http://thunder.msfc.nasa.gov/primer/primer2.html

Someone argues: “The point of Matthew 24:27 is to try to convey a understanding that when Jesus returns ‘every eye shall see him,’ just as every eye (person) sees the sun as it appears to go from east to west.” Yes, “every eye” will see Jesus, but Revelation 1:7 refers to a later stage of his return, not to the first appearance as likened to the sun. Those who pierced Jesus hve to be raised from the dead before they “see” Jesus in glory coming in the coulds. Thus, it is one of the events to take place sometime after the initial return of Jesus. After the sun has arisen, and Satan has been abyssed, all will be enabled to “see” the sun; this will be the time when he comes with all his saints to judge the world, that the world may be delivered (saved) from the bondage of corruption when the saints are revealed. (1 Thessalonians 3:13; Isaiah 2:2-4; Romans 8:19-21) However, Jesus first comes as a thief to harvest the earth, in which the tares are bound in bundles and symbolically cast into the symbolic furnace of fire, after which the sons of God are manifested; when the sons of God are finally made manifest Jesus comes with all his saints, and every eye shall see him, after the harvest is ended, and after Satan has been abyssed.

See the study:
The Parousia, Seventh Trumpet, and the Harvest

But what did Jesus mean when he said, “the kingdom is your midst”? (Luke 17:21) In the King James, and many other translations, this reads: “the kingdom is within you.” This leads to the false reasoning that the kingdom is within a person. Directly, however, Jesus was speaking to the unbelieving Jews; was he saying to those unbelieving Jews that the kingdom was within them? In the first century, the kingdom was in their midst in that the king of the kingdom was standing their in their midst, but they did not recognize him; they could “see” his body of flesh, but did not “see” him for who he was. (Matthew 13:13-17; John 1:10) Although more than likely Jesus was speaking prophetically of the future time when he would return in his kingdom, the circumstances of his first appearance in the first century do provide an illustration of this second appearance. At his second appearance, however, he does not come in the flesh, for he does not come again to sacrifice his flesh, since that flesh was sacrificed at his first appearing, and offered to God after Jesus ascended into heaven. — Hebrews 9:28; 10:10; 26; 1 Peter 3:18.

Addendum One:

Quote from Adam Rutherford:

The translation of the Greek word astrape by “lightning” in Matthew 24:27, Luke 17:24 in our English Bibles is misleading and is partly responsible for wrong conclusions regarding the manner of the Second Advent. It is true that astrape means “lightning” but it also has a wider meaning. Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon gives the meaning of astrape in New Testament Greek as “any bright light”. Jesus Himself, as recorded in Luke 11:36 speaks of “the bright shining (astrape) of a lamp”. The same Greek word is used again in Our Lord’s Great Prophecy of Matthew 24, where in verse 27 He speaks of a bright light “coming forth from the east and shining even unto the west”. There is only one bright light that does this, namely the sun (moonlight is faint and the starlight is small). So the correct translation of Matthew 24:27 is “For as the sunlight (astrape) cometh forth from the east and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the presence (parousia) of the Son of man be.” Only those who are awake and watching see the first gleams of light and watch the increasing light and dawn, whilst later when the sun rises in the sky and moves over to the west, it is observed by all. So likewise, only those awake to the signs of the times and watching discern the Lord’s presence in the early days of the Second Advent, whilst later, when He manifests Himself, “every eye shall see Him”, for His parousia, i.e. His presence continues throughout the Millennium. (Pyramidology, Book IV, 1972, page 1487)

Related Pages Online
We do not necessarily agree with all statements made.

Signs of Christ’s Presence: Bright Shining Sun
http://www.biblestudents.org/presence/signs_sun.htm

As The Lightning Cometh
http://www.heraldmag.org/archives/1956_12.htm#_Toc36375045
Herald of Christ’s Kingdom, December 1956.

The Appearing and Revealment of Jesus Christ
http://www.dawnbible.com/2006/0605cl-1.htm

The Promise of His Presence
http://www.heraldmag.org/bookstore/booklet_promise.htm
Herald of Christ’s Presence (booklet)

Messiah’s Kingdom To Be Invisible
http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbv5/r5455.htm
Zion’s Watch Tower, Reprints 5455.

Sign’s of Christ’s Presence
http://www.beautiesofthetruth.org/Archive/Library/Doctrine/Mags/Bot/90s/BOTFEB92.PDF
Beauties of the Truth, February 1992

Parousia (Discourse by Home Montague, Agawam Convention, 2009 – MP3)

Christ’s Second Coming – Its Manner and Purpose
http://www.dawnbible.com/2013/1302-hl.htm
The Manner of His Presence
http://www.dawnbible.com/1963/6302-hl.htm

Luke 1:1-20 – Shepherds Glorify Jehovah


[Bibles, Bible-Related Books and Other Items]
[The Interlinear Bible: Hebrew-Greek-English]
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(The World English version of the Bible is used throughout unless otherwise stated, with the holy name supplied in appropriate places. Tags are linked to the American Standard Version)

Luke 2:20 – The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising Jehovah for all that they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken to them. — Restoration Light Improved Version

The story of Jesus’ birth is often repeated during the days approaching the holiday known as Christmas, due to the traditional celebration of birth of Jesus on December 25. We believe very few, however, ever fully comprehend the meaning of the words spoken. Although we do not agree that Jesus was born on December 25, and although Jesus never told us to celebrate his birthday, the attention that traditional Christianity gives to that event at this time of year certainly provokes thought concerning that wonderful event, and affords opportunity to tell others of the meanings behind the powerful words spoken on the day of his birth.

The angels announced to shepherds in the field that the news of Jesus’ birth is gospel, “good news”, “glad tidings” of great joy to all people. In this connection, they said: “there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Jehovah’s Anointed One.” (Luke 1:8) The shepherds, being of part of the Jewish people, would have understood the greatness of this announcement. They probably knew of the prophecies that speak of this one who as to come, who was be anointed by Jehovah (Psalm 2:2; 45:7; Isaiah 6:1), and probably were greatly overwhelmed by such announcement. They must have been humble shepherds who loved Jehovah their God in order to have been chosen out of all the people in and around Bethlehem to receive this grand announcement by the angel of Jehovah.

The angel said that this baby was to be a savior. The shepherds probably did not know the fullness of the word “savior” as applied to Jesus. As we learn from the rest of the New Testament, Jesus was the savior, not just of Israel, but the whole world. In order to be such a savior, the birth of Jesus had to be very special. Why? The Scriptures are most careful to point out to us that he was not begotten after the usual manner — that he had no earthly father, but was begotten by the holy spirit. (Matthew 1:20 — the Greek word for “begotten” is often rendered as “conceived” in many translations in this verse.) The necessity for this is manifest. The father is the life-giver, the mother is the nourisher of the offspring. If Jesus had received His life from a human father it would have been tainted, impaired, under condemnation of death, as is that of all others. This would have frustrated any work on his part as the world’s Redeemer, because no man born under the condemnation in Adam could have redeemed another, much less the whole human race, as the Psalmist declares. — Psalm 49:7.

God’s wisdom and love, however, is displayed in the method of redemption that He chose. He condemned all in one, so that only one sinless person would be need to redeem mankind. (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22) In order for Jesus to be able to give his life as a redemption price for Adam’s life (and for the life of his race, forfeited by disobedience), it was necessary that Jesus be incorrupt, sinless; as we read, He was “holy, guiltless, undefiled, separated from sinners.” (Hebrews 7:26) And again, we find that his body was prepared by Jehovah, so that when he became flesh (John 1:14), Jesus was not tainted by the sinful flesh as all mankind has received through Adam’s disobedience. — Hebrews 10:5.

It is not enough, then, that we only recognize Jesus as good, well-intentioned in mind. We must see in him human perfection, sufficient as a sacrifice to offset the forfeited life of the first perfect man, Adam. And we must see also that he was begotten from above — that his life as the babe was a transferred life-principle from a pre-human condition, mentioned by our Lord when He prayed to the only true God, “Glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed.” (John 17:1,3,5) The apostle Paul explains to us that “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich.” — 2 Corinthians 8:9.

FOR OUR SAKES HE BECAME POOR

Few babes in all Judea or in all the world were born in a more humble place than Jesus. Joseph and Mary had gone to their native city, Bethlehem, for tax registration, under the imperial edict. The little city was crowded with others on similar errand. And so it came that Jesus was born in a cattle stall, where Joseph and Mary had been compelled to lodge for the night. Ah! we cannot wonder that it is difficult for many to understand why our Heavenly Father sent forth His son for our redemption under such ignominious conditions! Those who have the spirit of God will certain seek to understand the deeper things of God as related to the Jesus’ purposes for coming into this world. — Psalm 92:5,6; 1 Corinthians 2:10

FEAR NOT!–GOOD TIDINGS–GREAT JOY–ALL PEOPLE

The Message of the angels was surely an inspired one, fully in harmony with God’s promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:3; 28:14; Acts 3:25) — only an enlarged statement of the same — the same “all people” to be blessed — and it was still good tidings and it still meant great joy; but then, two thousand years later, the message of the angels pointed out the very individual through whom the good tidings would have fulfillment — the babe of Bethlehem.

The angelic announcement, “Don’t be afraid,” is interesting. All humanity realize that they are sinners and naturally have forebodings. They find it difficult to believe that the true God is really gracious and loving. The gods of the heathen nations are ferocious, unloving and unlovable. But the “God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10), “the Father of mercies” (2 Corinthians 1:3), is a “God of love” (2 Corinthians 13:11), who delights to use His divine power for the blessing and uplifting of His erring creation. (Romans 8:20,21) Therefore He was peculiar in sending the message of “good news of great joy which will be to all the people,” as well as in sending His only begotten son at great cost to be man’s redeemer — that He might be just and still be the justifier of those who believe. — Romans 3:26.

The message declared that a Savior had been born — the Anointed One of Jehovah. He was to be the antitypical Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-22; Acts 3:17-26), the antitypical Aaron (Exodus 31:10; Hebrews 3:1), the antitypical Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:20; 7:15), the antitypical David who sits on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6,7; Luke 1:32; Acts 13:34). In addition to the qualities pictured in these various typical characters, he was, also, the Son of the Most High. (Isaiah 9:6,7; Luke 1:32,35) He was to be the promised Savior — the Deliverer — the mediator of the New Covenant, so long looked for, hoped for, prayed for. — Jeremiah 31:31; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 8:13; 9:15.

There is a special force or meaning in this word Savior as applied to the Jesus as the savior of the world; it signifies more than just saving one from one’s sins, but it also includes the thought of once having been delivered, such a person has been given new life, a life apart from the condemnation that mankind has been under through Adam — a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) As such, Jesus becomes the “last Adam” as the father of a regenerated, born-anew, human race, “the life-giving spirit.” (Matthew 19:28; John 3:3; 1 Corinthians 15:45) What had man lost and what would he wish to have back? The Scriptures answer that Adam lost life and came under the penalty, “dying you shall die.” (Genesis 2:17, J. P. Green’s Literal Translation) He did not lose heaven, for he never possessed it. He lost life on earth, an Eden home, life as a sinless human. He also lost the prospect of attaining incorruption so as that even the threat of death would no longer be a possibility. (1 Corinthians 15:54) Thus, Peter and Paul show that Jesus came to restore mankind back to what was lost by means of Adam’s disobedience. — Acts 3:21; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Peter 3:18.

Hence, as we have seen, Jesus was provided with a sinless human life, crowned with a glory a little lower than the angels, that he, by the grace of God, might taste death for every man (Hebrews 2:9), and that by thus suffering, the just for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18), paying the wages of sin (Romans 6:32; 1 Corinthians 15:3), he might become the redemption (Greek, apolutrosis, payment by ransom, Strong’s #629) of Adam and all his race, with a full right to restore to perfect life and to all that was lost as many as would receive it at his hand — thankfully. (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14) Throughout his entire messianic reign of a thousand years Jesus will be the world’s Life-Giver, opening the books of truth to them and raising the willing and obedient up out of sin and death conditions to perfection and everlasting life and terrestrial, human blessings. — Isaiah 2:2-4; 25:6-8; 29:18,24; 35:8; Revelation 20:3,12.

But Jesus also does a work for the church, the “elect,” a part of which becomes his bride and joint-heirs in the Kingdom, and this blessing to the church begins before the setting up of His Kingdom in all the earth. (Daniel 2:44) The church “are by nature children of wrath even as others,” (Ephesians 2:2,3) and they are indeed reckonedly restored to what was lost in Adam, being reckoned alive as was Adam before Adam sinned. This is the reckoning that is accounted to them by the blood of the new covenant. (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; 1 Corinthians 11:15; Ephesians 2:1; Hebrews 10:29; 13:21) Their being made alive as new creatures gives them the reckoned standing as though they were living on earth on the age to come, “sons of the day,” (1 Thessalonians 5:4,5), the day — the age to come — when old things will have passed away, and all things will have been made new. (2 Corinthians 5:17; Hebrews 6:5; Revelation 21:1-5) As such, those sanctified by the blood of the new covenant are reckoned as sons of God, equal to the sonship that Adam had before Adam sinned. (Luke 3:38; Romans 8:14; Galatians 3:26) Being sons, they are heirs of God (Romans 8:17), heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7), as Adam was an heir of God, with such a hope of eternal life, before he lost that heirship through disobedience. (Genesis 2:16,17; 3:17-19; Romans 8:17) Because the church is reckoned alive in this age, before the general blessings of the world take place in the age to come, they are thus spoken of as the church of the firstborn, the first fruits to God, having recieved the first fruits of the spirit. — Romans 8:23; Hebrews 12:23; James 1:18.

Nevertheless, the purpose of applying the restoration of the age to come in this present age, thus calling a few out of the world, is that they might join themselves with Jesus as joint-sacrificers, that they might be joint-heirs. (Romans 8:17) Thus, their calling is referred to as “high calling”, a calling of sacrifice in the present evil age (Galatians 1:4), a calling to become partakers of the divine nature (so as to perfect the god-like qualities of the fruit of the spirit — Galatians 5:22,23) while still in the midst of a world made corrupt though lust. (Philippians 3:14; 2 Peter 1:4-10) The offer to them is that they shall become copies of the Redeemer, if they complete their sacrifice by laying down their lives, walking in Christ’s footsteps, fully relying with perfection of faith in God and Jesus, by means of the holy spirit. The promise to them is that if they joint-suffer (as Christ suffered a sacrificial death), they will be joint-heirs, jointly-glorified and will jointly-reign with Jesus. (Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:11,12) This agrees with Revelation 3:21, where Jesus says: “He who overcomes, I will give to him to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father on his throne.”

THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS

In verse 14 we have a kind of “Hallelujah” (Praise Jehovah) chorus or angelic response to the message of the angel already given. A heavenly host sang, “Glory to Jehovah in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men.” How grand! How inspiring! But we have not yet seen this glorious condition achieved. The glory of Jehovah has not yet been seen by all flesh. (Isaiah 40:5) God’s will has not yet been fully accomplished on earth as it is heaven. (Matthew 6:10) Nor does peace yet wave her banner, even over so-called Christendom.

What is the matter? The apostle gives the answer that it is a secret, a mystery, hidden from past ages! (Ephesians 3:9) The mystery is that God not only intends to have Jesus for His Anointed One, to rule and bless the world, but He has foreordained also a company of footstep followers to be with Him and share His work, and this entire Gospel Age has been devoted to the work of selecting from amongst His church, all whom are espoused to Christ, an even smaller class, which eventually, at the Second Coming of Jesus, is to become “the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife” and joint-heirs, jointly ruling with Jesus. In the final end, although many will have been called, many will have been begotten as sons of God, only a few will have made their calling and election sure so as actually become joint-heirs with Christ. Very few are “sealed out” of the spiritual tribes of Israel so as stand jointly with Jesus on Mount Zion in heaven. (Matthew 20:16; 2 Peter 1:10; Revelation 7:4-8; 14:1) Thus, the vast majority of Christians who now expect to find themselves in heaven in the last day will be disappointed when they find themselves on earth, since they failed to make their calling and election sure! But they should soon find cause for rejoicing, since they will appreciate that they still had been brought from death in the resurrection of life, so that their “spirit may be saved [delivered] in the day of the Lord Jesus.” — 1 Corinthians 5:5.

It is regarding that coming age that the apostle Paul declares that the whole creation groans and travails in pain until now — waiting for the manifestation, the revealing, of the sons of God (Romans 8:19-22) — the coming revelation of Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:7) and all the seed of Abraham for the blessing of natural Israel and all the families of the earth with knowledge and assistance (Genesis 12:3; 22:18; 28:14; Isaiah 2:2-4; Galatians 3:18,26,29), that the willing and obedient may be recovered to the image and likeness of God and to everlasting life. What a wonderful reason for glorifying and praising God! “Therefore glorify Jehovah in the east, even the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel, in the isles of the sea!” (Isaiah 24:15) “Praise Jehovah, my soul! All that is within me, praise his holy name!” — Psalm 103:1.

Much of this lesson has been adapted from the following:

http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbv5/r4941.htm

Scripture Reading:

Luke 1:1-20 (World English translation, with holy name supplied)

1 Now it happened in those days, that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. 2 This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to enroll themselves, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; 5 to enroll himself with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him as wife, being great with child. 6 It happened, while they were there, that the day had come that she should give birth. 7 She brought forth her firstborn son, and she wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a feeding trough, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. 9 Behold, an angel of [Jehovah] stood by them, and the glory of [Jehovah] shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. 11 For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is [Jehovah’s Anointed One](y4). 12 This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough.” 13 Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising [Jehovah](y1), and saying, 14 “Glory to [Jehovah](y2) in the highest, On earth peace, good will toward men.” 15 It happened, when the angels went away from them into the sky, that the shepherds said one to another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which [Jehovah] has made known to us.” 16 They came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the feeding trough. 17 When they saw it, they publicized widely the saying which was spoken to them about this child. 18 All who heard it wondered at the things which were spoken to them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising [Jehovah](y3) for all the things that they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken to them.
========
(y1) = Greek, Theos, God; Jehovah is based on Psalm 103:21.
(y2) = Greek, Theos, God; Jehovah is based on Psalm 11:4; 103:19; Isaiah 42:12; Amos 9:6.
(y3) = Greek, Theos, God: Jehovah is based on Isaiah 42:12.
(y4) = Greek transliteration: “christos kurios” (both christos and kurios are anarthrous). In Luke 2:26 christon is definite, while Kuriou is anarthrous. In Romans 5:21; 7:25, we have “ieesou christou tou kuriou.” where “christou” is anarthrous and “kuriou” is definite. Luke 2:26 is rendered “the Lord’s Christ” in the World English, an obvious reference to Jehovah’s Anointed One; likewise, Luke 2:10 is also speaking of the anointed one of Jehovah, not of the Anointed One as being “lord”. — Psalm 2:2; 45:7; Isaiah 61:1.

Other studies related to these verses may be found at:

http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbv5/r5819.htm

http://dawnbible.com/2008/0812ib21.htm

The owner of this website may not agree with all conclusions reached by other authors.

Matthew 24:34 – This Generation

Matthew 24:34 Most assuredly I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all these things are accomplished.
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. — World English.
See also Mark 13:30,31; Luke 21:32,33.

There has been a lot of speculation amongst some as to what “this generation” means in Matthew 24:34. We believe that when Jesus said “this generation [genea]” he was referring to the corrupt Adamic generation that Paul spoke of in Philippians 2:15:

The Greek word for generation here most often refers to a specific generation of people living a specific time. Yet, it can also be applied in a broader sense to a generation suffering under a certain condemnation. In Philippians 2:14,15, we read:

Philippians 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and divisive reasonings,
Philippians 2:15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you are seen as lights in the world.

Here Paul speaks of a crooked and perverse generation, and associates this generation with “the world” in which the sons of God shine as lights. The word translated from the Greek as “world” here is the Greek word that is often transliterated as “kosmos”. This is the word that John used in John 1:10, when he spoke of the world that had been made through the Logos, the Word. This is the word that Jesus used in John 17:5, and it is the word that Paul used in Romans 5:12, when speaking of the world into which sin had come through one man. It is therefore speaking of the world of mankind, and it is this world and the present generation existing ever since Adam sinned that Paul is speaking of. It is this generation, this creation, that God has subjected to the sun of vanity and is under a bondage of corruption, made to be in a perverse and a crooked condition from which it cannot make itself straight (just, justified). — Ecclesiastes 1:2,13-15; 7:13; Romans 1:24,28; 3:9,10,23; 5:12-19; 8:20-22.

It is into this world of mankind that Jesus came, and it was while he was in the world that Jesus was its light. (John 3:10-12,19; 8:12; 9:5) It is then this world, this generation of Adam, that has become perverse and crooked that the sons of God are to serve as lights, and thus it is this generation that Jesus was speaking of in Matthew 24:34 as not passing away until all had been accomplished. This may be seen in the next verse:

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Thus, we believe that this generation of Matthew 24:34 pertains to the whole creation of Romans 8:22, which creation has been subjected to vanity, and is under bondage to corruption: the Adamic generation that is of the heaven and earth that is to pass away.

In speaking of this generation as passing away [Parerchomai], Jesus uses the same expression as he used when speaking of the present heavens and earth passing away. (Matthew 5:18; Mark 13:31) Thus, in the context of Jesus’ words concerning all these things as happening before “this generation” passes away, he parallels the passing away of “his generation” with the passing away of the heavens and earth.

Hebrews 1:10 speaks of the foundation of this heavens and earth as being laid down by Jesus, referring to the time of the creation of world of mankind, thus of the time spoken of in the six days of creation. (John 1:10) John uses a similar word in 1 John 2:17, where he speaks of the world passing away. Peter uses the same expression as Jesus in speaking of the present heavens as passing away, although he is referring to ‘heavens’ as having existed from the flood of Noah’s day, not as from the original creation. (2 Peter 3:10) However, Peter earlier speaks of the corruption that is in the world (kosmos) through lust (elevated desire). (2 Peter 1:4) That corruption that is in the world (kosmos) came through the sin of Adam and Eve: Eve’s desire for knowledge and to become like God, and Adam’s desire to please his wife rather than his Creator. Paul uses the word kosmos, saying that sin entered into the world (kosmos) through one man. (Romans 5:12-19) And Paul refers to this creation as the “whole creation” or “all creation” that has been subjected to vanity and that is in bondage to corruption. (Romans 8:20-22) Solomon wrote of this generation as being under the sun of vanity and crookedness. (Ecclesiastes 1:2,13-15; 7:13) Thus, it is this creation through Adam, this generation through Adam, this corrupt world/creation through Adam, this heavens and earth that “shall perish” (Hebrews 1:11), but shall not pass away until all thing are fulfilled. In becoming free from the bondage of corruption, the old passes away, present crooked creation will pass away so that a new creation, a new heavens and new earth, come into being, even as the believer in this age becomes reckoned as a new creation before the passing away of the world in general. — 2 Corinthians 5:17; Hebrews 1:12; Revelation 21:1-5.

Some have thought that “this generation” refers specifically to the Jewish people as a “race”. Others have thought it refers to the “new creation”, those regenerated through the holy spirit. Some have thought it applies to a specific people living during one generation, of say, 100 years or so. The thought in the Studies in the Scriptures, Volume 4, Study 12, “The Battle of Armageddon”, states:

Certain Christian writers have been led to claim that the words “this generation” really meant, this race, the Jews, shall not pass away until all these predictions have been fulfilled.

But we must dissent from this interpretation for several reasons:

(1) Although the words “generation” and “race” may be said to come from a common root or starting point, yet they are not the same; and in Scriptural usage the two words are quite distinct. [D603]

Notice that in the New Testament when the word generation is used in the sense of race or posterity, it is always from the Greek gennema (as in Matt. 3:7; 12:34; 23:33; Luke 3:7) or from genos (as in 1 Pet. 2:9). But in the three different records of this prophecy our Lord is credited with using a wholly different Greek word (genea) which does not mean race, but has the same significance as our English word generation. Other uses of this Greek word (genea) prove that it is not used with the significance of race, but in reference to people living contemporaneously. We cite in proof– Matt. 1:17; 11:16; 12:41; 23:36; Luke 11:50,51; 16:8; Acts 13:36; Col. 1:26; Heb. 3:10.

The author of the above would disagree with our conclusion presented earlier, but we believe that by looking at the context, and including Philippians 2:14,15, as well as many other scriptures as we have presented, that our conclusion is correct: the generation that is to pass away is the crooked and perverse generation that has extended all the way back to Adam.

See the following:
http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/genos.html
http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/genea.html

The common root of the above two words:
http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/ginomai.html

Titus 3:5 presents the form that is often rendered as “regeneration.”
http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/paliggenesia.html

Peter expresses the same thought of regeneration as recorded in 1 Peter 2:9 (see 1 Peter 2:2, where he speaks of the believers as newborn babes). In other words, Peter, although he used different words, was referring to the same thing that Paul referred to when Paul spoke of the new creation, and that as new creatures they were a chosen-out/picked out generation. (1 Corinthians 5:17). The word Eklektos, usually rendered “chosen” means more than just chosen, as part of the word is formed from “EK”, which means “out of”.
http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/eklektos.html

The “chosen” are picked out of the world by Jesus. — John 15:19.

Having become a new creation, as new-born babes, they are counted (reckoned/imputed/considered) as justified and alive — with the glory of terrestrial life (1 Corinthians 15:40; Romans 6:11), as though already in the age to come, when all things are made new. — 1 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 1:1-5.

They are indeed picked out of the world as a new generation, a generation not belonging to the wicked generation of Adam (Acts 2:40), called to become “children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.” — Philippians 2:15.

Nevertheless, when we look at gennema in Matthew 3:7; 12:34; 23:33; Luke 3:7, and in comparison with other scriptures, we should see that Jesus is not referring to “race” or “nationality” as such, as though to the Jewish nation, but rather to the standing of these Jews in relationship to God. As long as they continued in disobedience, they were children of disobedience, and thus offspring of vipers, as the rest of humanity condemned in Adam. (Ephesians 2:2,3) That they are considered a part of the “world” (kosmos) can be seen by Jesus’ words in John 12:47,48, where Jesus parallels the “world” with those who rejected him. At that time, Jesus had only gone to the house of Israel, and thus the words could only apply to Jews who had rejected him. Such Jews, instead of obtaining the righteousness offered through the Law to any who could obey that Law, the Law only actually showed up their disobedience, and thereby their continuance as offspring of vipers. (Romans 3:20; 5:20; 9:31) Israel was indeed the offspring of Abraham, who had been justified by means of his faith, and of his particular obedience in harmony with that faith. — Romans 4:3,13; 4:15.

We should remember that, as a nation, Israel was indeed called a ‘holy nation’ (Exodus 19:6; Isaiah 49:7), a nation set apart, chosen by God, out of the world. As individuals, however, they are not of a holy generation simply by being of that holy nation, or by having the law, since obedience, and not just hearing, was required. (Leviticus 18:5; Deuteronomy 31:12; Romans 2:12,13; 10:5; Galatians 3:12) Jesus did recognize (reckon) justified Abraham as the father of the disobedient Jews by physical ancestry, but he also said that Satan was their father. (John 8:38-56) We can thus assume that, as a race, as a nation, Jesus spoke of Abraham as the father of Israel, but as disobedient children who were not individually justified by faith, they continued to be children of wrath, a generation of vipers.

At any rate, our conclusion is that when Jesus said this “generation will not pass away” until all things are fulfilled (Matthew 24:34; Mark 13:30; Luke 21:32), he was saying that the offspring condemned in Adam will not pass away until all things had been fulfilled. This harmonizes with his following statement that “Heaven and earth will pass away.” (Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33) The present heaven and earth [the present ecclesiastical and social order that has been corrupted through lust — 1 Peter 1:4] is the “generation” that Jesus speaks of as passing away.

See our study:

Yahweh’s Plan of the Ages

Luke 1:41,42 – Elizabeth’s Devotion

Text: Luke 1:41,42: It happened, when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She called out with a loud voice, and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

The scripture says (Luke 1:6) that Elizabeth and Zechariah were both “righteous”, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and ordinances of Yahweh. We are not to think that they were justified, made righteous, by keeping the Law, for as Paul stated, “by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in [Yahweh’s] sight” (Romans 3:20), and “a man is not justified by the works of the law”. (Galatians 2:16) Thus, like Abraham, their being “righteous” would have to be by faith (Romans 4:1-14), faith in Yahweh and the promises of God, of which the Law is a shadow. (Colossians 2:16,17; Hebrews 8:4,5; 10:1,4,10) By means of their faith, as well as by a demonstration of that faith by their works, they were walking “blamelessly” in those commandments.

The couple were childless, and were evidently beyond the age of having children. (Luke 1:7) Zechariah was a priest of the the division of Abijah. Elizabeth was a daughter of the tribe of Aaron. As Zechariah went about his priestly duties, an angel of Yahweh appeared to him who told him that he and his wife, Elizabeth, were to have a son, whose name was to be “John”. (Luke 1:11-13) The name “John” (A common Anglization of the Hebrew form is “Yochanan”) means “Yah[weh] is gracious”. This name is in harmony with the message that John was to proclaim, as we will see later.

No doubt, the message to Zechariah from the angel Gabriel was meant to be a reward for the past faithfulness of Zechariah and Elizabeth, and this news was to meant bring joy to Zechariah and Elizabeth. (Luke 1:14) Nevertheless, Zechariah evidently forgot the power of Yahweh, as had been demonstrated in the scriptures (Genesis 18:9-14; 1 Samuel 1:5-27; 2 Kings 4:14-17), and thus expressed doubt concerning what the angel Gabriel had said to him. (Luke 1:18) Because of his disbelief, Gabriel said he would not be able to speak until the time when John was born, fulfilling the words that Gabriel had given to Zechariah. — Luke 1:19,20.

Elizabeth is described in the Bible as a relative of Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus. (Luke 1:36) Although we are not told in the Greek manuscripts exactly what this relationship was, the King James Version renders the word for “relative” (Strong’s #4773) as “cousin”.

Elizabeth, when she had conceived, immediately demonstrated her faith in Yahweh and devotion to Yahweh by saying: ‘Yahweh has done to me in the days in which he looked at me, to take away my reproach among men.’ This was certainly a demonstration of humility. Rather than saying, “How righteous I am that God would give me a son”, she spoke of the reproach that had come upon her through her husband’s disbelief.

Gabriel said concerning Elizabeth’s son: “He will be great in the sight of Yahweh, and he will drink no wine nor strong drink.” (Luke 1:15) This does not say that he would “great” in the eyes of men, but rather that he would be great in the sight of Yahweh. Except for his disciples, and those who became disciples of Jesus, during John obtained no great standing before men. Indeed, he was treated as criminal by Herod. Jesus, however, stated that there was no greater prophet than John the Baptist. — Matthew 11:11.

When Mary visited Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s faith and devotion was again shown in her attitude toward Mary. When she heard the greeting of Mary, we are told that her unborn child leaped in her womb, and Mary was filled with the holy spirit, the spirit of devotion, dedication. Again, she did not express any attitude of religious superiority, but said to Mary: “”Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:42,43) By her words, we know that there was some knowledge spread concerning the birth of the promised one, the one whom David referred to as “my lord.” (Psalm 110:1) Likewise, Elizabeth felt favored to have the mother of the one she called “my lord” to visit her. Rather than extolling herself, Elizabeth had the proper spirit within her, and spoke well of the blessing that Mary had, and at the same time showed her devotion to Yahweh and the one promised by Yahweh, saying: “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of the things which have been spoken to her from Yahweh!” (Luke 1:45) It has been suggested that Elizabeth was comparing Mary’ belief with Zechariah’s unbelief in this statement.

Gabriel, in his proclamation to Zechariah, made some reference to several prophecies, as well as a type, in the Old Testament that was to be be fulfilled in Zechariah’s and Elizabeth’s promised son. Gabriel stated concerning John: “He will turn many of the children of Israel to Yahweh, their God.” (Luke 1:16) Gabriel here refers to the prophecy of Malachi 4:5,6. In saying that John would go before the “face” of Yahweh in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17), Gabriel is saying that Elijah in some way serves as a type of the work that John did, in “spirit and power”. The work concerning the “face” of Yahweh is recorded in Malachi 3:1. Although most translations fail to use the word “face” in Malachi, the Hebrew word for “face”, often transliterated as “Paniym”, is in the Hebrew text. The prophecy in Malachi foretells that John the Baptist “would prepare the way before my face”, that is, before the face of Yahweh, and thus Gabriel speaks of John as going before, in the presence of, the “face” of Yahweh. The “face” of Yahweh represents the favor, the kindness, of Yahweh, which when his face is turned favorable, averts his wrath. (Numbers 6:25; 1 Kings 13:6; 2 Kings 13:4; 1 Chronicles 16:11; 2 Chronicles 33:12; Psalm 4:6; 13:1; 30:7; 80:19; 105:4; Isaiah 8:17; 54:8) This favor, grace, of Yahweh is represented in the name John, which means “Yah[weh] is gracious.” John prepared the way before Yahweh’s face, that is, he softened Yahweh’s face toward the people. This he did by proclaiming to the people a message of repentance toward Yahweh. To the extent that his message was received by those who had a heart of repentance, John the Baptist did make ready a people prepared, made ready, for Yahweh. (Luke 1:17) A people made ready before the face of Yahweh was needed as a people ready to receive the other “messenger” that Yahweh was sending, that is, our Lord Jesus, who was also foretold to as the “messenger of the covenant” in Malachi 3:1.

Background scripture from the World English Bible translation, with the Holy Name supplied.

Luke 1:5-24,39-45

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5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the priestly division of Abijah. He had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 They were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and ordinances of [Yahweh]. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they both were well advanced in years. 8 Now it happened, while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to enter into the temple of [Yahweh] and burn incense. 10 The whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 An angel of [Yahweh] appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell on him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Don’t be afraid, Zacharias, because your request has been heard, and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 You will have joy and gladness; and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of [Yahweh], and he will drink no wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 He will turn many of the children of Israel to [Yahweh], their God. 17 He will go before his face 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 [Yahweh].” 18 Zacharias said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” 19 The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God. I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. 20 Behold, you will be silent and not able to speak, until the day that these things will happen, because you didn’t believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.” 21 The people were waiting for Zacharias, and they marveled while he delayed in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple. He continued making signs to them, and remained mute. 23 It happened, when the days of his service were fulfilled, he departed to his house. 24 After these days Elizabeth, his wife, conceived, and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 “Thus has [Yahweh] done to me in the days in which he looked at me, to take away my reproach among men.” …

39 Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah, 40 and entered into the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 It happened, when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 She called out with a loud voice, and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy! 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of the things which have been spoken to her from [Yahweh]!”

Related studies by others (I do not necessarily agree with all conclusions presented by others):

The Dawn’s study on this can be found at:
http://dawnbible.com/2008/0812ib14.htm

Some related studies:

Preparing for a Kingdom

The Forerunner of Christ

Elias Shall First Come

Baptism of Jesus and Announcement of His Work

Luke 1:26-36,46-55 – Mary’s Commitment

Mary said, “My soul magnifies [Yahweh]. My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” — Luke 1:46,47.

How wonderfully happy Mary must have been to know that she had been chosen by the Most High of the universe to give birth to one who had so long promised! It was imperative that this promised one be born into this world, but not “of this world”, as is the case with the rest of mankind (John 8:23), if the promised one could be savior sent by Yahweh. None of Adam’s progeny could redeem himself or his brother from the crooked condition that God placed mankind under due to Adam’s sin. (Psalm 49:7; Ecclesiastes 1:15; 7:13; Romans 1:24,26; 3:9; 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22) There is no new creation (Ecclesiastes 1:9) that comes from the present source of Adam’s offspring, since all of Adam’s offspring, as such, cannot be made straight.  (Ecclesiastes 1:15) It is only by being reckonedly transferred from the offspring of Adam to being the offspring of God that those who were once offspring of Adam, who were once sons of disobedience and wrath, become “not of this world”, but “sons of God,” as was Adam before Adam sinned. — Ephesians 2:2,3; Luke 3:18; John 1:12; 17:14,16.

Mary correctly attributed salvation to Yahweh, her God. This is true because Yahweh is the author, the source, of the salvation that is provided by means of Jesus. Yahweh is the provider of salvation, since it was Yahweh who prepared the sinless body of Jesus. (Hebrews 10:5) Likewise, the very name of Jesus (Joshua, meaning “Yah is savior”) attributes salvation to Yahweh.

Jesus’ birth is emphasized as not being of the source of this world in the words of Luke 1:32: “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High.” He was the “seed of the woman” (Genesis 3:15), the seed of the promise made to Abraham by faith, and, by Jesus’ unswerving faithfulness to Yahweh (Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 3:2; 5:8,9; 13:8: Revelation 1:5), Jesus became that seed of Abraham, having the offsetting price necessary to redeem mankind (1 Timothy 2:5,6), and thus fulfill the promise that through the seed of Abraham all the nations would be blessed.– Genesis 28:14.

Mary proclaims the holiness of Yahweh’s name. (Luke 1:49) This is probably in reference to Psalm 111:9: “He has sent redemption to his people. He has ordained his covenant forever. His name is holy and awesome!” The covenant referred to is the Law Covenant through Moses. That covenant is forever. Nevertheless, that ordained covenant resulted not in redemption, but in a further condemnation of the people of Israel. Jesus, rather than setting aside that covenant, came for fulfill, establish, that covenant in accordance with holiness of the name of Yahweh. By his obedience, he not only established the justness of God’s law covenant, but also had the means by which he could offer a sacrifice to release those under the Law and its condemnation.

The Dawn’s treatment of this lesson:

http://dawnbible.com/2008/0812ib07.htm

A brief comment regarding Jesus as the “seed of the woman”:  We do not conclude that Jesus’ being the “seed of woman” is meant to say that Jesus was the actually the offspring of a woman as opposed to being the offspring of a man, at least not in the sense that Jesus had received the genes of a woman but not man, but rather it signifies that he was to become the offspring of the promise of God, especially as given through the covenant with Abraham, which covenant is symbolized by a woman. (Galatians 4:24,25) He was, however, the offspring of a woman in the sense that he came forth from the womb of Mary (Galatians 4:4), and thus was counted in the lineage of David.

See our study on the Seed of David

Scriptures from the World English with the holy name supplied:

Luke 1:26
Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
Luke 1:27
to a virgin pledged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
Luke 1:28
Having come in to her, the angel said, “Rejoice, you highly favored one! [Yahweh] is with you. Blessed are you among women!”
Luke 1:29
But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be.
Luke 1:30
The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Luke 1:31
Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and will call his name ‘Jesus.’
Luke 1:32
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. [Yahweh] God will give to him the throne of his father, David,
Luke 1:33
and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end of his kingdom.”
Luke 1:34
Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, seeing I am a virgin?”
Luke 1:35
The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one which is born from you will be called the Son of God.
Luke 1:36
Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
Luke 1:37
For no word from God will be void of power.”
Luke 1:38
Mary said, “Behold, the handmaid of [Yahweh]; be it to me according to your word.” The angel departed from her.

Luke 1:46
Mary said, “My soul magnifies [Yahweh].
Luke 1:47
My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
Luke 1:48
For he has looked at the humble state of his handmaid. For behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed.
Luke 1:49
For he who is mighty has done to me great things. Holy is his name.
Luke 1:50
His mercy is for generations of generations on those who fear him.
Luke 1:51
He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart.
Luke 1:52
He has put down princes from their thrones. And has exalted the lowly.
Luke 1:53
He has filled the hungry with good things. He has sent the rich away empty.
Luke 1:54
He has given help to Israel, his servant, that he might remember mercy
Luke 1:55
(As he spoke to our fathers) Toward Abraham and his seed forever.”

Will God Save the Earth (Christians Questions Radio)

Part One

Part Two

Answers questions: Is the earth doomed to destruction, by man’s own doing or by God’s will, or does God have other plans for it? Does God tell us what will happen to the Earth? What does God have in store for humanity?

We do not necessarily agree with all conclusions given in the radio show, but believe the information provided to be beneficial.

(We are presenting the scriptures from the World English, unless otherwise stated, that the Holy Name may be glorified. In the NT, we are restoring the Holy Name at appropriate places that, as best as we can determine, we should expect to find the Holy Name.)

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of [Yahweh] will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

Genesis 6:1 It happened, when men began to multiply on the surface of the ground, and daughters were born to them,
Genesis 6:2 that God’s sons saw that men’s daughters were beautiful, and they took for themselves wives of all that they chose.
Genesis 6:3 Yahweh said, “My spirit will not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; yet will his days be one hundred twenty years.”
Genesis 6:4 The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when God’s sons came to men’s daughters. They bore children to them: the same were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Genesis 6:5 Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Genesis 6:6 Yahweh was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him in his heart.
Genesis 6:7 Yahweh said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the surface of the ground; man, along with animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”
Genesis 6:8 But Noah found favor in Yahweh’s eyes. 9 This is the history of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time. Noah walked with God.
Genesis 6:10 Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Genesis 6:11 The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
Genesis 6:12 God saw the earth, and saw that it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
Genesis 6:13 God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Genesis 8:20 Noah built an altar to Yahweh, and took of every clean animal, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Genesis 8:21 Yahweh smelled the sweet savor. Yahweh said in his heart, “I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake, because the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again strike everything living, as I have done.
Genesis 8:22 While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

Genesis 9:8 God spoke to Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
Genesis 9:9 “As for me, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your offspring after you,
Genesis 9:10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every animal of the earth with you. Of all that go out of the ark, even every animal of the earth.
Genesis 9:11 I will establish my covenant with you; neither will all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood; neither will there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.”
Genesis 9:12 God said, “This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
Genesis 9:13 I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it will be for a sign of a covenant between me and the earth.
Genesis 9:14 It will happen, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow will be seen in the cloud,
Genesis 9:15 and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and the waters will no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Genesis 9:16 The rainbow will be in the cloud. I will look at it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
Genesis 9:17 God said to Noah, “This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Psalm 102:24 I said, “My God, don’t take me away in the midst of my days.” “Your years are throughout all generations.
Psalm 102:25 Of old, you laid the foundation of the earth. The heavens are the work of your hands.
Psalm 103:26 They will perish, but you will endure. Yes, all of them will wear out like a garment. You will change them like a cloak, and they will be changed. 27 But you are the same. Your years will have no end. 28 The children of your servants will continue. Their seed will be established before you.” — Quotes changed as they appear in the WEB to harmonize with Hebrews 1:10-12; see the following:
Does Yahweh Speak to Yahweh?
Did Paul Misquote?

Psalm 104:5 5 He laid the foundations of the earth, That it should not be moved forever.

Isaiah 24:1 Behold, Yahweh makes the earth empty, and makes it waste, and turns it upside down, and scatters abroad the inhabitants of it.
Isaiah 24:2 It shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the creditor, so with the debtor; as with the taker of interest, so with the giver of interest to him.
Isaiah 24:21 It shall happen in that day, that Yahweh will punish the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth on the earth.

Zephaniah 3:8 “Therefore wait for me,” says Yahweh, “until the day that I rise up to the prey, for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour on them my indignation, even all my fierce anger, for all the earth will be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
Zephaniah 3:20 At that time will I bring you in, and at that time will I gather you; for I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I bring back your captivity before your eyes, says Yahweh.

Isaiah 45:18 For thus says Yahweh who created the heavens, the God who formed the earth and made it, who established it and didn’t create it a waste, who formed it to be inhabited: I am Yahweh; and there is no one else.
Isaiah 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, in a place of the land of darkness; I didn’t say to the seed of Jacob, Seek you me in vain: I, Yahweh, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.

Matthew 5:18 For most assuredly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished.
See the study:
The Fulfilling of the Law

Other scriptures (full quotes may be provided later, Yahweh willing. Placing your cursor on the verses given however should display the verse from the American Standard Version, which presents the Holy Name in the OT as “Jehovah”.)

Isaiah 13:11
Isaiah 13:13
Haggai 2:6
Haggai 2:7
Ephesians 2:2
Revelation 21:1
Revelation 21:2
Revelation 21:3
Isaiah 51:4
Isaiah 51:5
Isaiah 51:6
1 Thessalonians 5:1
1 Thessalonians 5:2
1 Thessalonians 5:3
1 Thessalonians 5:4
1 Thessalonians 5:5
Matthew 24:32
Matthew 24:33
Matthew 24:34
Matthew 24:35
Matthew 24:36
Matthew 24:37
Matthew 24:38
Matthew 24:39
Luke 21:29
Luke 21:30
Luke 21:31
Luke 21:32
Hosea 9:10
Luke 13:6
Luke 13:7
Luke 13:8
Luke 13:9
Matthew 23:37
Matthew 23:38
Genesis 3:17
Revelation 22:3
Psalm 46:1
Psalm 46:2
Psalm 45:3
Isaiah 57:20
Micah 4:1
Micah 4:2
Psalm 46:4
Psalm 46:5
Psalm 46:6
Psalm 46:7
Matthew 24:21
Matthew 24:22
2 Peter 3:6
2 Peter 3:7
2 Peter 3:8
2 Peter 3:9
2 Peter 3:10
2 Peter 3:11
2 Peter 3:12
2 Peter 3:13
2 Peter 3:14
Psalm 46:8
Psalm 46:9
Psalm 46:10
Psalm 46:11

Luke 7:18-28 – The Disappointed Prophet’s Wise Course

LUKE 7:18-28
(World English used throughout, unless otherwise stated.)

“He has done all things well.” — Mark 7:37.

WHILE Jesus was performing many miracles, making numerous disciples, and meeting with comparatively little opposition, things were going very differently with his cousin, John the Baptizer. Yet this was only in accordance with what John himself had prophesied, saying, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) John was in prison, about 120 miles from where Jesus was laboring so successfully. (Matthew 14:7) To be shut up in a dark dungeon of the kind usual at that time, and to have our Lord proceeding with his work, and raising no voice of protest on his behalf, and exercising none of his mighty power for his deliverance, probably seemed very strange to John — especially in view of his expectations respecting the work of the Messiah — that he would be a great earthly general and king, in harmony with the general Jewish expectations.

Luke 7:19 John, calling to himself two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?”
Luke 7:20 When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptizer has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?'”

We see how readily John might have permitted doubts and fears to enter his mind. He evidently had become doubtful of God’s providential dealings in the past and felt disappointed in heart and hope for the present and for the future; but notwithstanding the great disappointment he felt, his faith continued its firm hold upon Yahweh. This is indicated in his sending of his disciples to Jesus, to make inquiry, and also in the character of the inquiry. He does not say, Is this whole matter a farce, and are we deluded? On the contrary, his question was a sound one, and expressed the conviction that thus far Yahweh had been leading, and yet, due to his circumstance, he may have had some doubts concerning himself as a prophet, and that his cousin was actually the promised Messiah. (Luke 7:19) There is no evidence that John the Baptizer understood that Jesus’ coming at that time was not to restore the kingdom to Israel, but rather to offer himself in sacrifice for the world of mankind.* Much concerning the kingdom was not revealed until after Jesus died, and the holy spirit was sent to the disciples as the spirit of truth. (John 7:39; 16:13) The spirit of truth led the apostles into all the truths concerning Christ and what he said, and thereby the faith was delivered to the saints. (John 14:26; 16:4-13; Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3:5; 2 Timothy 2:2; Jude 1:3) John would therefore not have understood that the restoration of all things would be some time in the future. (Acts 3:21-23) Thus, John’s expectations were probably similar those disciples as recorded in Acts 1:6. Seeing himself in prison, and not seeing Jesus restoring the kingdom as expected, John would surely be puzzled concerning this, and would begin to wonder if perhaps something was not wrong, and thus he would have felt the need of reassurance from Jesus.
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*See our study:
The Restoration of All Things

Luke 7:21 In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; and to many who were blind he gave sight.
Luke 7:22 Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John the things which you have seen and heard: that the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.
Luke 7:23 Blessed is he who is not offended by me.”
Luke 7:24 When John’s messengers had departed, he began to tell the multitudes about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
Luke 7:25 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are gorgeously dressed, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts.

Our Lord, it will be noticed, did not answer John’s question directly, but he did give John to understand distinctly that the work he was then doing was the very work which had been foretold in the prophets, and the proper thing to be done at that time. While John’s messengers were with Jesus a number of miracles were performed in their sight, and Jesus sent them back to John with instructions that they bear witness to him of the work of Yahweh progressing in his hands, and to say to John that while the opportunities to stumble at Jesus, his work and his words, were many, and while many would stumble at these, as the prophet had declared (Isaiah 8:14), yet a special blessing would rest upon all who would not stumble, but whose faith in the Messiah would continue, despite various disappointments of expectation respecting his work and their fulfillments — through misapprehension of the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the divine plan, which, as the heavens are higher than the earth, were higher than human conception could have foreseen. For instance, what Jew could have thought for a moment of the still higher than Jewish expectations of the Kingdom — of the spiritual Kingdom-class to be selected first before the establishment of the earthly kingdom, and to be sharers with Messiah in his glory, honor and immortality?

All of Yahweh’s faithful servants need to remember the same lessons which were thus forcefully impressed upon John: they need to remember that when sometimes matters turn out very differently with themselves than what they had expected, when they receive injuries, reproaches and oppression, as the rewards of faithfulness to duty and to truth, it does not mean that God has forgotten them, nor that they were misled in their previous service to Yahweh; nor does it mean that Yahweh has changed his plan; nor that he is careless or indifferent respecting their condition. True, their first thought should be whether or not present unfavorable conditions are in the nature of chastisements or the results of any misdoings on their part, or failures to serve Yahweh in his own way, but if they find their course to be harmonious with the divine will and Word they should at once rest their faith upon Yahweh, and conclude that God knows better than they how to manage his own work. Then while thankful to be used in that work for a time they should nevertheless be pleased, if it were Yahweh’s will, to be set aside for a time — perhaps for the good of others, or perhaps for their own training in the school of experience, and in the learning of lessons of patience and of faith.

But such a resting in Yahweh, such a centering of life in him, can be enjoyed only by those who have made considerable progress, who have run a considerable distance in the way of Yahweh, and who have already been exercised under Yahweh’s providences, and have learned many lessons in his school. This, however, is the condition which all of the Messiah’s true followers are to strive to attain, as the only one thoroughly pleasing to Yahweh. The proper course of all God’s servants when perplexed is the one followed by John, namely, to go to Yahweh through Jesus with the perplexity — not doubtingly, but inquiringly — and be set at rest by his Word. We may not be able to hear Yahweh’s words with our own ears, but we can receive it second hand as did John, — through the testimonies of the apostles and prophets, by whose writings God has provided in advance replies to all proper queries.

The question arises, was John imprisoned on account of officiousness — on account of trying to mind Herod’s business? Or was he imprisoned because of his faithfulness in the discharge of that duty? Was it right or was it wrong for him to reprove the king, and to say to him that it was not lawful for him to take as his wife his brother Philip’s wife? There is no question that Herod was in the wrong, and that John’s expression on the subject was a correct one, and that Herod was living in adultery, but the question is, Was this any of John’s business? Did he need to meddle with the king’s affairs, and thus get himself into trouble? And if it was John’s duty to reprove Herod on this subject, was it not the duty of our Lord Jesus to have done the same, and in addition to have uttered a protest against the imprisonment of John, and in general to have raised a great hubbub over the injustice being done by the wicked ruler? And if John was right in this matter was our Lord Jesus wrong in not following the same course? Or if Jesus was right in not following John’s course in reproving Herod, does it prove that John erred in giving the reproof?

We answer that our Lord’s conduct is certainly to be considered as above reproach, since in him was no sin (1 John 3:5), neither was lying deceit found in his mouth (1 Peter 2:22); but this does not prove sin on John’s part in following a different course. We are to remember that in many respects John and his ministry differed widely from our Lord and his ministry. For instance, the uncouth skin-girdle which John wore was very different from the seamless robe which the Lord wore; and the Scriptures call attention to the fact that John lived a very abstemious life, “neither eating nor drinking” (Luke 7:33) ordinary food, but practicing a continual fasting or self-denial as respects these comforts, while our Lord Jesus came “both eating and drinking” (Luke 7:34), and he attended wedding feasts, and banquets made in his honor. (Luke 5:29; 7:36; 11:37; 14:1; John 2:1,2) The lesson is that these grand characters each fulfilled his own mission, according to the divine arrangement, but that they had different missions. John’s mission was toward preaching repentance toward Yahweh respecting the Law Covenant given by Moses, for we read that the Law and the Prophets were until John the Baptizer. (Luke 16:16) Thus, he was pre-eminently that of a reprover and reformer, and we are to understand that as a prophet he was supernaturally guided in respect to the various features of the course which he took. Our Lord’s mission, on the contrary, was a different one; he was gathering to himself those whom John’s ministry served to arouse to righteousness and to zeal to know and do Yahweh’s will regarding the grace to be given through Jesus’ sacrifice. — John 1:17.

At the same, we should not overlook the preaching of repentance toward Yahweh (Acts 20:21; Hebrews 6:1), but not based on the Law as John preached, but on grace. This is another subject in itself, and we will leave this for another time.

JOHN MORE THAN A PROPHET

Luke 7:26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet.
Luke 7:27 This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, Who will prepare your way before you.’
Luke 7:28 “For I tell you, among those who are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptizer, yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

The multitude who stood about must have heard the message which John’s disciples brought to Jesus, and no doubt queried within themselves, if not audibly, Is John losing faith in Jesus as the Messiah? If John is a prophet himself, should he not be informed by God on this subject, without sending to inquire of Jesus? Does not this, in connection with the fact that John did no miracles, prove that John was not a prophet, but merely some sort of a reformer, possibly self-appointed? Our Lord seems to have detected such a questioning, and hence, after John’s disciples were gone, so that his words could not be construed as a sop of flattery to hold John’s confidence, he delivered quite a eulogy upon his faithful forerunner. What were they expect in John — a weak, pliable character, easily swayed by every wind of doctrine and fancy, as a reed is easily swayed by the wind? Those who get such an impression respecting his character are deceiving themselves. On the contrary, Jesus declared that he was a prophet, yes, and more than a prophet — he was a special ambassador and messenger of God at that present time, to do an introductory work related to the Kingdom which Jesus was then preaching. John the Baptizer is referred to by Malachi the prophet (Malach 3:1). Indeed, Jesus declared that there has never arisen a greater prophet than John, and yet Jesus said to his audience that the least one in the Kingdom-class is greater than he; since John the Baptist, belonging to the Law and Prophets, did not belong to the Kingdom-class that was being preached. “The law and the prophets were until John” (and thus John was the last of the prophets under the Law Covenant), and since then the Kingdom of heaven is preached, that now whosoever will of this divinely favored nation may press his way and gain an entrance into it, so as to become not only a son of God, but also with the prospect of being a joint-heir with Christ in the Kingdom. (Romans 8:17) Such a prospect was never offered to John the Baptizer, nor to any of the prophets or faithul ones of old. — Matthew 11:13; Luke 16:16; Romans 8:17.

Note in the text the clearness of our Lord’s words respecting the distinction between the new institution which he was founding and the old institution founded by Moses, and which was then coming to an end, giving place to the new. The apostle shows that the call of was extended to the Gentiles during this Gospel age to the prospect of becoming a joint heirship in the Kingdom as members of the Kingdom-class is because those of the Jews ready to receive the Kingdom favor upon Yahweh’s terms were fewer than the pre-determined number. The extension of this call to the Gentiles is to fill the places of those “natural branches” of the Abrahamic stock, by being grafted into and made partakers of the original root of divine favor — the Abrahamic promise — to be members of the seed of Abraham, by means of which all the families of earth shall be blessed with certain favors of knowledge and opportunity. Having this call in this age affords those of this class the opportunity to go one step further to become “joint-heirs” with Christ, and thus becoming not just servants/sons and princes in the Kingdom, but “kings”, and this is evidently what Jesus meant when said the least in the kingdom (those who rule as joint-heirs – kings) would be greater than John the Baptizer, since John was never offered that joint-heirship. — Matthew 11:11; Luke 7:28; compare Romans 11:1-33; Galatians 3:16,29; Revelation 7:1-8.

See our studies:
With What Body Will We Be Raised?
The Manner of the Resurrection

How highly we who belong to the new dispensation should value its privileges and opportunities, and seek to “be more diligent to make [our] calling and election sure.” (2 Peter 1:4-11) Our calling as sons of God does not guarantee one will actually attain a place in the Kingdom-class of joint-heirs, but as Paul stated concerning himself, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14) This goal he speaks of in connection with a certain perfection, a perfection that he did not at that time consider himself to have obtained, and thus he, at that time, felt he was still short of the goal of his high calling. (Philippians 3:12) Moses was was spoken of as faithful to God in all his house (Hebrews 3:5); Moses certainly rendered but a reasonable service when he engaged in Yahweh’s work zealously, as did John the Baptist, and both were found faithful; how much more zeal and energy ought we to put forth who have been favored so much more highly! “What manner of persons ought you to be in holy living and godliness!” (2 Peter 3:11) Let us remember that our calling to sonship in this age is for the purpose of attaining joint-heirship with our Lord in the Kingdom, is a very special and a very limited call, that it will soon end, and that so far as the divine revelation shows, it will never be repeated. In view of these things let us lay aside every weight, and run with patience the race set before us in the gospel, looking to Jesus, our pioneer in faith (he was the first human to put on incorruption, having proven himself incorruptible, thereby bringing life and incorruption to light — 1 Corinthians 15:54; 2 Timothy 1:10), until he shall have become the perfector, of our faith. — 2 Corinthians 13:9,11; 1 Thessalonians 3:10; Hebrews 6:1; 12:1.

Adapted from R2620

Christ’s Parousia – Presence or Arrival?

Some present the thought that the parousia of Jesus refers to his arrival, not “presence.” We present below our short study regarding this.

Initially, Christ comes as a thief in the night, “The kingdom of God doesn’t come with observation.” (Luke 17:20, World English Bible translation) “nor will they say, `Look, here it is!’ or, `There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:21, NASB translation) Then Jesus states, as recorded in Matthew 24:27:

Matt 24:27 “For just as the lightning (Greek, astrape: light, bright shining) comes from the east and flashes [Greek, phaino: shines] even to the west, so will the coming [Greek, Parousia: presence] of the Son of Man be. (NAS)

Lightning does not generally come from the east and shine even to the west, but the sun does. The word “lightning” is a poor translation of the Greek word “astrape,” which signifies “bright shining” (as given in Luke 11:36 in the KJV), and really refers here, as the context indicates, to the sunlight which shines always from the east even to the west, while on the other hand, lightning flashes in a variety of directions, wherever the electrical forces producing it may be discharged. A flash of lightning would only luminate the sky for a split second, which is not a good illustration of Jesus’ return.

When the word “presence” is substituted for “coming,” the statement is seen to declare that the presence of Christ will be like the sunlight, gradually illuminating the world. It is not split second of time, in which all the world sees and recognizes Jesus, as some have seemingly assumed.

Those who are awake and watching, the children of the light, are the first to discern and rejoice in His presence. The children of the night and of the darkness will awake when the Sun of Righteousness will arise in His full glory, and all the sin-sick will rejoice in the healing to be gained through the influence of His rays. Therefore, Jesus uses here the illustration of how the sun brings light as it comes up the east and goes to the west. This well depicts the sun of righteousness who arises with healing in his wings. (Malachi 4:2) The shining is not confined to any one place, but its effect is different in different places. The bright shining (verse 27) means truths and knowledge greatly increases, especially during the time that Christ is returning. That this shining is visible from the east to the west, refers to the fact that our Lord’s presence reveals truth that not only is seen now, but even unto the west, the end of the Millennium, even as the sun gradually moves across the sky from east to west. (Revelation 21:23-24). When the sun first rises in the east, it is not especially bright, but the rays of light can be seen gleaming through the sky. As it continues its journey, the shining gets brighter and brighter.

The sun shine of this new day, however, is different from a normal day, for the prophecy says that the bright shining is darkened by the clouds. (Isaiah 5:30; Joel 2:2; Zephaniah 1:15) The clouds we understand to mean obscurity — darkness and trouble on earth. (Isaiah 8:22) It is a unique day, different from what we have known before, for we are told that at evening time, rather than darkness coming, there will be light. (Zechariah 14:7) Thus seen, we can see that this day endures on into the millennial rule, when the world will be instructed in the ways of Yahweh, and the knowledge of Yahweh will fill the earth. — Isaiah 2:2-4; 6:11.

At first, only those who are spiritually awake recognize this presence, (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6) but after Satan is abyssed, all men will become aware of his presence. (Revelation 20:3; Isaiah 25:7; Revelation 1:7) To the watchers in Zion, this light is now seen in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies, as well as a flood of knowledge that causes understanding of many spiritual truths that were hidden in the darkness of the wilderness for over a thousand years. Thus to them it has a special meaning. But to the world the light first brings a time of trouble, as never seen before in history, for poor humanity, still being out of harmony with God and truth, cannot properly control the increase of knowledge that has so gradually filled the world since 1799. (Daniel 12:1,4) Yet they are ever learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7) God’s kingdom is in their midst, but they do not recognize it. — Luke 17:21.

Thus seen, in agreement with other scriptures, Christ’s parousia, covers a period of time, in which many things occur. Yes, Jesus does arrive at the beginning of his parousia, his presense as King, and thus remains present. The Greek word parousia means more than just his arrival, since it also includes the things prophesied to happen during his parousia.

W. E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words: Parousia, literally, a presence, para, with, and ousia, being.denotes both n arrival and a consequent presence with. Robert Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible: Parousia, a being alongside, presence.

Moulton and Milligan’s Vocabulary of the Greek Testament Foreword: “Parousia, as applied to the return of the Lord, is simply the anglicizing of the Greek word which literally means ‘presence.’

One way of showing that the parousia is a period of time can be seen by comparing two scritpures:

Matthew 24:37-39 – As the days of Noah, so will be the coming [parousia — kingly presence] of the Son of Man. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they didn’t know until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the coming [parousia – Kingly presence] of the Son of [the] Man

Luke 17:26 – As it happened in the days of Noah, even so will it be also in the days [parallels with “parousia” of Matthew 24:37] of the Son of Man.

Thus the world in general is carrying on these affairs in the days of Jesus’ parousia, that is, his parousia is not known to them. It is not until after the resurrection, that even those who pierced him will be brought back to life so that they may “see” him, and thus “They also who err in spirit shall come to understanding, and those who murmur shall receive instruction.” — Revelation 1:7; Isaiah 29:24.

For more on this, see:

Astrape in Luke 17:22; Matthew 24:27

Related:
Jesus Died a Human Being – Raised a Spirit Being
Did Jesus Raise Himself from the Dead?
Jesus’ Appearances in the Locked Room

For various viewpoints being presented on chronology, see:
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/bsllinks/Doctrine.htm

Works of the Second Advent (Links)

This page has links to articles that appeared in “The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom,” May/June 2009 issue; we do not necessarily agree with all conclusions given by the authors:

Theme: Works of the Second Advent


In the Beginning (Works of the Second Advent-Introduction)

Audio MP3

Completing the Church
Audio MP3

Jesus is like a bridegroom who comes to take his bride to her new home. Titus 2:13; Psalm 46; Matthew 25:1-13;  Luke 12:35-53;  Daniel 12:12; Revelation 3:20;

The Restoration of Israel
Audio MP3

Israel’s 1,845 years of disfavor ended in A.D. 1878.

Smiting the Nations
Audio MP3
It is not just the nations; the Dragon, Beast, and False Prophet are destroyed as well.

Three Angels
Audio MP3
Christendom is judged—the faithful leave her.

Alive and Remain
Audio MP3
Resurrecting the saints: a verse-by-verse study of 1 Thessalonians 4, verses 13 to 18.

The General Resurrection
Audio MP3
Everyone, both good and bad, will be resurrected.

The Ancient Worthies in the
Millennial Kingdom

Audio MP3
The faithful ones of old will become the kingdom’s visible representatives.

Highway of Holiness
Audio MP3
Isaiah chapter 35 describes a way by which all mankind will be able to reach perfection.

Poems and Short Features

A Canaan on Earth
Audio MP3

The Beginning
Audio MP3

Divine Revelation
Audio MP3

Forgiveness of Sins
Audio MP3

Spring—Life Anew
Audio MP3


Some Helpful Books:

The keys of Revelation: Jesus testimony — (By Frank Shallieu) We do not necessarily agree with all of the author’s conclusions, but we have found this work to be helpful in our studies of the book of Revelation.

The Emphasized Bible * Canada * United Kingdom – (by Joseph Bryant Rotherham) This Bible translation is acclaimed by many to be the best English translation available.

Luke 5:17-26 – Your Sins Are Forgiven

A Study Luke 5:17-26

Seeing their faith, he said to him, “Man, your sins are
forgiven you.”
Luke 5:20

Unless otherwise noted, all quotations from the Holy Bible are from the World English bible
translation
(divine name supplied in the New Testament where appropriate,
placed in brackets [ .. ]).


“It happened on one of those days, that he was teaching; and there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every village of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. The power of [Yahweh] was with him to heal them.” (Luke 5:17) The statement of verse 17 shows the rapidly growing influence of our Lord even at this early stage of his ministry. From the wilderness scene of temptation and victory he had gone into Galilee filled with the power of the holy spirit, and his fame had gone out through all that region. He had taught in their synagogues and been glorified of all. He had come down to Capernaum, and the people were astonished at his doctrine, for his word was with power. He had healed the sick and the lepers, and had cast out devils, and the multitudes thronged about him continually. And so great was the attention which his teaching and his works attracted that Pharisees and doctors of the law came out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem to hear and to see. — Luke 4:14-16,22.

We note also that Luke attributes the source of Jesus’ power to the God of Jesus. The power of the Yahweh was in him. This agrees with what Peter later stated, that “God anointed him with Holy Spirit and with power,” so that Jesus “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” (Acts 2:38) Thus these scriptures attribute the source of Jesus’ power to the God of Jesus, so that the multitudes “marveled and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.” — Matthew 9:8; see also Romans 15:6.

We next notice the great faith that so perseveringly brought the palsied patient to the attention of the Great Physician. Being unable to reach Jesus through the crowds that continually thronged about him, so great was their faith in his healing power that they removed a portion of the tiling from the roof, and, with his couch, let him down over the heads of the people. This persevering, trusting faith in Christ speedily received its reward — the forgiveness of sins and healing.

We notice that the forgiveness of sins was the first blessing — “Seeing their faith [the faith of the sick man and those interested in him], he said to him, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven you.'” This evidently was an unlooked for answer. The previous miracles of healing doubtless led all to expect a similar manifestation of healing power; but as yet it was not manifest.  There lay the sufferer before them all while the people pondered this claim of the man of Nazareth to have power on earth to forgive sins, probably while the Lord was proceeding with his discourse, not allowing this incident to interrupt it entirely. But there were some whisperings among the scribes and Pharisees present, who said, This is blasphemy. Who can forgive sins but God alone?  (Luke 5:21) Though their murmuring words did not reach the ear of the Lord, he perceived their thoughts. Our Lord did possess the power, as given to him by his God, to know what others were thinking. However, it is possible that their cynical faces doubtless told the tale of their scorn and unbelief; and their influence upon the people who looked to them as leaders and teachers was also manifest. Has this man indeed power to forgive sins? has he authority from God to this effect? is he indeed the Messiah, the sent of God? — these were the questions revolving in the minds of the people. And it was to awaken these thoughts that the Lord had said it. His words implied the claim of Messiahship.

In a sense it is true that none could forgive sins but God alone, except as his
anointed and authorized agent and representative, and in his appointed way.  The divinely appointed way for the cancellation of sins was by means of the ransom as the legal settlement of the penalty, and faith in Christ the Redeemer.  — Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6.

The faith of this man and his friends in the one sent by God and his claims had been put to the test and manifested, and though the ransom price had not yet been actually given, the Lamb for sacrifice had already been presented by our Lord at his baptism, and had been accepted of God and was considered as on the altar of sacrifice. And therefore, in view of the completion of consuming and acceptableness to God of that sacrifice, and its ultimate presentation by Jesus to God in heaven, Jesus, perceiving their faith, could then say, “Your sins are forgiven.” We observe that the healing did not follow as a result of the forgiveness of sins. The forgiveness of sins was one thing, and the healing was another; and Luke’s words as recorded in Luke 5:17 lets us know that the same divine authority that was necessary to the forgiveness of sins was also necessary to the healing; and that if the forgiveness of sins was blasphemy, so also was the healing. From what they had seen, they must all admit his power, and consequently also his authority, to heal, and that the authority and power must be from the God and Father of Jesus. And this power and authority they must therefore recognize as the divine testimony of his claims to be the Son of God and the Messiah of Israel. Thus, Jesus asked: “Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you;’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk?'” (Luke 5:23), for the same authority and power are necessary to both. “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (he said to the paralyzed man), ‘I tell you, arise, and take up your cot, and go to your house.’ Immediately he rose up before them, and took up that which he was laying on, and departed to his house, glorifying God.” (Luke 5:24,25) We note that the paralyzed man did not give the glory to Jesus, but rather to the God and Father of Jesus. The account continues: “Amazement took hold on all, and they glorified God. They were filled with fear, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.'” (Luke 5:26) Again, the glory was given to the God and Father of Jesus, not directly to Jesus, who was the instrument being used by Yahweh.

Thus our Lord called attention to his miracles of healing as the divine testimonials of his claims to be the Son of God and the long-looked-for Messiah of Israel — the Anointed of Yahweh, to whom was intrusted the great work of taking away the sin of the world, and subsequently of healing men of all their infirmities, these all being part of the wages of sin. “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” said John (John 1:29); and Jesus endorsed that statement by his subsequent claim to have power on earth to forgive sins. And the Father also endorsed his claim by granting him the power to do many wonderful works in the sight of all the people.

While the forgiveness of sins is an assurance that the healing, or removal of the penalty of sin, will surely follow, as the palsied man doubtless considered it and waited for the healing, it does not signify that the recovery from the penalty will immediately follow. The Gospel Church, for instance, receives the forgiveness of sins in this Gospel age; but not until the dawning of the Millennium will she be actually delivered from sickness in the flesh. If this were not so, then we should expect that the believer would be so completely healed in the flesh that the flesh would live forever. The development of the inward man however continues, however, while the outward man, the sinful flesh, continue to decay until it is dead. (2 Corinthians 4:16) Thus the believer should not expect full physical healing from sickness and death in this age. It is not God’s will for the church to fully healed physically, for the church is being called to suffer with Christ, not to be without sickness in the flesh. (Romans 8:17; Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 3:12) But in due time the power that accomplishes the one will accomplish the other also; and by and by those miracles of grace which brought health and gladness to so many in Israel, and which attracted the attention and were the astonishment of that whole nation, will be totally eclipsed by the wonder-working power and authority of this same Jesus exalted to power and dominion over the whole earth as the mighty Prince of peace, who, having in the days of his flesh redeemed the world by the sacrifice of himself, comes again to heal all their infirmities and to restore them to the fulness of divine favor in which is eternal life and peace.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus! (2 Corinthians 1:3) It is as easy to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” as to say, Rise up and walk, and vice versa; for both the authority and the power are committed unto Jehovah’s Anointed, in whom is all our hope and all our trust. It will be observed that all the healings performed by our Lord were both instantaneous and complete, showing the fullness of his authority and power, and they included the worst forms of disease — leprosy, paralysis, blindness from birth, and even awakenings from death. In all these respects they differed from the healings we hear of today, many of which are somewhat remarkable; and when the agents and agencies employed are not in opposition to Jehovah and his truth, we are justified in accepting them as slight intimations to men of the times of restoration, when all nations will be raised from the dead and healed, when no will say, I am sick, and there will be no more dying. — Isaiah 33:24; John 5:28,29; Revelation 21:1-4; 22:2.

Other manifestations of healing power through agencies in subtle opposition to Jehovah and his Word of truth, such, for instance, as Christian Science, so called, Scientology, and even many faith healers who perform miracles in Jesus’ name (Matthew 7:22), we can only regard as the efforts of Satan to offset the power of God, which is now occasionally and partially manifested as a mere intimation of coming blessings to lead men gradually to expect their fulness.

Some place scriptures such as Psalm 103:2,3 together with Luke 5:20, in an endeavor to prove that since Jesus forgives sins, then Jesus must be Yahweh.

Mark 2:7 shows that the Jewish leaders wanted to use Jesus’ statement to claim that he committed blasphemy, stating: “Why does this man speak blasphemies like that? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” However, what did Jesus say? Did he say, “Don’t you know that I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and thus I can forgive sins?” Did Jesus claim to be Jehovah (Yahweh)?

Here is what the scriptures say:

Mark 2:8 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you reason these things in your hearts?

Mark 2:99 Which is easier, to tell the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven;’ or to say, ‘Arise, and take up your bed, and walk?’

Mark 2:10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — he said to the paralytic –Jesus claimed “authority” on earth to forgive sins. He did not claim that he was his God, Jehovah, who sent him.

The only place in this narrative where one might read into the text that Jesus was claiming to be his God is the expression that only God can forgive sins , as in Mark 2:7 and Luke 5:21. But whose claim was this? Was this Jesus’ claim? No, rather it was the claim of  those who Jesus described as the offspring of vipers, lying, deceived and deceiving, hypocrites (Matthew 3:7; 6:2-8,16-18; 12:31; 15:1-9; 16:1-12; 21:33-46; 23:2-33; Luke 11:14-54; 12:1; 15:1-19; John 8:38,41,44), the Jewish religious leaders state. It was these proclaimed: “Why does this man speak blasphemies like that? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7) “Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” (Luke 5:21) By raising the question concerning blasphemy, these religious leaders were falsely claiming Jesus was guilty of blasphemy. Likewise, by raising the question that leaves the thought only God can forgive sins, it falsely leaves the impression that God could not give authority to His son to forgive sins.  Regardless, trying to  read into these two questions that Jesus is his God is basing such an idea on a false authority, that is, the lying Jewish leaders.  This is not a very good authority to base this idea on. Nevertheless, in a sense it is true,that only God can forgive sins, in that he forgive sins through any agency that he might desire to do so.  But Matthew records:

Matthew 9:3 Behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man blasphemes.”
Matthew 9:4 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?

Matthew 9:5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven;’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk?’
Matthew 9:6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” (then he said to the paralytic), “Get up, and take up your mat, and go up to your house.”
Matthew 9:7 He arose and departed to his house.
Matthew 9:8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such authority to men. — italics added for emphasis.

Matthew tells us plainly that it is God who had given such authority to men. Nothing in any of this suggests that Jesus was/is his God, Jehovah (Yahweh), who sent him.

“Praise Yahweh! Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, For his lovingkindness endures forever.” (Psalm 107:15, World English Bible translation) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” (2 Corinthians 1:3, World English Bible translation)

Much of the above has been adapted from R1921