Provocative thoughts: Who really has spiritual authority over Earth?

Provocative thoughts:  Who really has spiritual authority over Earth?

Scripture used: Col. 1: 13. 2: 15; Luke 10: 19 and I Peter 5: 8; Gen. 1: 26; Eph. 6: 16.

            There is confusion among some believers about the shift of authority over the dominion of Earth. Some erroneous believe that Satan is still in charge. Others believe that Jesus defeated Satan and all his power and evil works. Did He not deliver us from Satan’s power, they ask. The key to the answer is all about a power play for authority. It was a struggle for the Headship for all authority on Earth.

            Briefly stated, God, in the beginning, gave Adam all authority over the Earth (Gen. 1:26). And then Satan entered the Garden of Eden and persuaded Adam and Eve to disobey God. God evicted Adam and Eve from the garden for their sins and disobedience; the (authority) passed to Satan because he won this struggle. Satan held the authority and power until Jesus defeated him through His sacrifice on the cross.  Death was overcome and our sins were forgiven.

            However, Satan’s defeat was a matter of breaking his authority over domination of the Earth. Jesus delivered us from Satan’s power – meaning Satan lost his right to use his evil powers on us. Jesus took back the authority that was lost by Adam. Satan still has his powers and uses them to attack Believers. The Holy Spirit has equipped us with powers to withstand and defeat Satan’s attacks by clothing ourselves with the full armor of God. The Apostle Peter warns us that Satan “prowls about like a roaring lion.”

Copyright 2020 by Joan Berry

Jesus has given the authority He has on earth to us, His followers. Luke 9:1, 2 says, Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

Matthew 28:18-20 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mark 16:17-20 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19After the LORD Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the LORD worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

The Great “I AM”

The Great “I AM”

Copyright 2020 by Joan Berry

Exodus 3:13-15.Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” 15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations’ (NKJV 2007).

I AM, as translated from the ancient Koine Greek “Ego eim`e,” means I exist and It is. That is a powerful declaration. He is a living God who created the universe, what He is, and what He wills to be. He is omnipotent. He is everything to us. The I Am in the Old Testament declares God’s existence, His authority and proclaims His greatness (the Great I AM).  Jesus, in the New Testament, declares His identity to show who He is. He also is everything to mankind and the only way to God. Jesus proclaims His “I AMs” in the Book of John where he equates Himself with the Great I AM. The most important of all the statements are in John after Jesus tells them’ I am not of this world’ (NKJV 2007).

There are over 300 I AMs from Genesis to the Revelation that are connected to God and Jesus. In the Book of John alone, there are seven, plus Jesus’ admission that He is not of this world.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [a]comprehend it (John 1:1 NIV 2005).

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” (John 18: 36 NIV 2005).

But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world (John 8:23 NIV 2005).

Jesus’ I AM statements in the Book of John:  John 8: 12-13; 10: 1, 9: 10: 14; 11:2-5; 14:6; and 15:5.

I AM the bread of life.

I AM the light of the world.

I AM the door.

I AM the good shepherd.

I AM the resurrection and the life.

I AM the way, the truth and the life.

I AM the true vine.

Sources:

Life Application Study Bible. (2005). Grand Rapids MI: Tendale House Publishing, Carol Stream, IL, and Zondervan, Grand Rapids MI.

New King James Version Study Bible. (2007). Nashville TN: Thomas Nelson.

Trumpet this …

Trumpet this . . .

Copyright 2020 by Joan Berry

            Trumpets play an important role in the lives of Israelites. The instrument is prominent as Joshua conquers Jericho and in many other occasions. Silver trumpets are associated with redemption or war and used only by the priests; and the trumpets could sound 100 notes.  The shofar (ram’s horn) is also used in feasts and other special events. In some writings trumpet and shofar are used interchangeably; and in other writings, it is not clear what instrument is being used. However, both the trumpet and shofar remain important parts of Jewish lives as well as the Christian faith. Many Bible scholars believe the seven main feasts to be discussed are a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ and the rapture of the Church (Seventh trumpet in Revelation).

            Beginning in spring, on the New Moon, priests sound two silver trumpets to announce the New Year and the Feast of Passover, also known as the Feast of Weeks, representing the flight from Egypt with Moses and the sojourn in the wilderness. On that first Passover in Nissan, the Israelites were told to slay a lamb and place its blood on their doorframes. This was the night all the firstborn in Egypt were slain except for the Israelites who were protected by the blood of the lamb. Christ was crucified during the Passover and gave his blood to cover our sins. He is also the firstborn of His father, God.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread. During the Exodus, there was no time to wait for the leavening of bread, escaping Egypt was imminent.  During the Last Supper, unleavened bread was served. In the Bible, Leavening is a symbol of sin. The Feast of Unleavened bread represents sinless perfection. In remembrance of Jesus at the Last Supper, He broke the unleavened bread, to symbolize His sinlessness and that His body that would be broken on the cross. The wine represented the blood he would he would give. Now, when Jesus told the apostles to eat the bread (His body) and drink the wine (His Blood), He was not trying to get them or us to turn into cannibals. He was telling them to take this remembrance into their hearts and minds. The bread and wine are symbolic as well as the eating and drinking. The bread and wine do not miraculously turn into the body and blood of our Lord, they are symbolic. Regarding the precious blood of the Lord, He did not “spill” his blood for us, spilling something is accidental; He sacrificed his body and blood as planned by Almighty God to provide our salvation. Jesus was buried during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

The Feast of the First Fruits is observed on the day of the following Sabbath. Offerings of wheat are usually made for this feast due to the current harvest of this crop. This feast acknowledges the fertility of the land that God gave to them. No one could eat of the first harvest until the feast began. Jesus was resurrected during this event becoming the first fruit of those who had died.

The Feast of Pentecost occurs fifty days after the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when a new meat offering is offered to God. This event occurs in May or June (Christian calendar) marking the summer harvest.  This is an occasion for the people to give thanksgiving to the Lord being so merciful to them.  Pentecost is especially important to Christians because this is the event when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and other believers present. They became the first fruits of the Church. Two loaves of bread were waved at this feast and it is believed that they represent Israel and the Christian church. It was on this occasion that the Church  was born.

            The fall feasts begin with the Feast of the Trumpets. According to Leviticus, it was required by God that on the first day of the seventh month (September on Christian calendar), Israelites were to have a memorial of blowing the trumpets. No work is to be done during this feast and only burnt or sin offerings could be offered. Christians associate the trumpets with the trumpets of judgement in the Revelation. 

               Following the Feast of the Trumpets is the Day of Atonement, the holiest of the festivals. It occurs on the tenth day of the seventh month (Sept. on Christian calendar) when an offering is made by fire to God. It is a day of confessions and asking for forgiveness and as the feast comes to a close, there is a long and solemn blowing of the trumpets. It symbolizes the gates of Heaven closing – a warning to get right with God before it becomes too late.

            The seventh feast, The Feast of Tabernacles, also occurs in the the seventh month (Sept. on Christian Calendar) on the fifthteenth day. Israelites traveled to Jerusalem where they built temporary shelters and stayed there for a week. This occasion represented the sheltering of God’s people the wilderness. Currently, Israelites build little booths outside their residences to memorialize the tabernacles their ancestors built in their ancient sojourn.

Summary: Moses, at God’s command, instituted the first three feasts; and then came the Pentecost. These four feasts have been fulfilled. If you follow the idea of the seven feasts foreshadowing the life of Christ, then the other three are yet to be fulfilled. 

The trumpets will sound and the “Catching up” or Rapture will occur marking the return of Christ.

The Day of Atonement will become the Day of Judgement with Jesus being mediator and His blood our sacrifice.

Each year, the Israelites build little booths outside their residences to memorialize the tabernacles their ancestors built in the wilderness. Jesus told us that in his father’s house, there are many mansions (shelters, tabernacles).

Sources:

Holy Bible from the Ancient Eastern Aramaic of the Peshitta. 1957. G. Lamsa, translator. New York, NY. A. J.  Holman. Bible Publisher.

Life Application Study Bible NIV. (2005). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Carol Stream IL; Zondervan, Grand Rapids MI.

New King James Version Study Bible (2nd ed). 2007. Thomas Nelson, Nashville TN. Editors: E. D. Radmacher, R. A. Allen, and H. W. House.

The Apologetics Study Bible: Christian Standard Bible. (2017). T. Cabol, Ed. Nashville TN

The Jewish Nation, Containing an Account of Their Manners and Customs. (1848). London UK.

The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy. (2004). LaHaye. T. and Hinson, E. (Eds). Eugene OR; Harvest House Pub. .

Scripture references:

Numbers 10:10

I Cor. 5: 72, 5:7-8, 15: 20-23

Joel 2:28

Acts 2: 1-47

Matt 24: 21-23

John 7: 2, 37-39.