If I Be Lifted Up

If I Be Lifted Up

Passover is near (April 15, 2014), and it is a good time to familiarize ourselves with the most valuable events that followed that day. The signs that Christ gave his disciples to prove that he was the true manifestation of the God Yahweh were that he would be crucified, rise on the third day, return in them as their guide, comforter and teacher, and that they would possess supernatural powers. The proof that he was truly the Son of Yahweh—the one with the ability to bring all humankind into the image of his Father—depended upon his resurrection in the natural realm as well as him resurrecting in them and the evidence of the signs that were to follow.

But there was only one sign given to the unbelievers? (Matt. 12:39-40) Christ told the scribes and Pharisees that there would be no sign given to them except the sign of the prophet Jonas: for just as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so was the Son of man three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. It is very important that we understand the only sign given to the unbelievers so we are able to relay that understanding to the unbelievers of our day.

To see the sign given to the unbelievers of that day, we must go into the book of Exodus chapters 12 and 13. Here we learn that in the 1st moon (after the spring equinox), on the 14th day of that moon, which began at the end of the 12th hour of their day (6 p.m. our time), was Passover. The Passover lamb was chosen to represent our Savior, the one that was to come as a manifestation of the Father; he was the Spirit of Righteousness made manifest in flesh. It was prophesied that the people would kill that manifestation of Righteousness, for he was, and still is, an adversary of sin. But the outcome of that great manifestation only multiplied his righteous Spirit in the earth. (See Gen. 49:10, Isaiah 7:14-15, and Zechariah 9:9.)

In the minds of so many people, is the belief that our Savior died on Friday and rose on Sunday morning. But this cannot be true because it does away with the only sign given the unbeliever by the Savior himself. This way of thinking has the Savior in the heart of the earth for two nights and one day. By reviewing these events, I hope to clear up the confusion for those who dare to give up their Good Friday crucifixion.

First we need to understand that in the time of Christ their time was called first hour, second hour, third hour, etc. There were 12 hours in a day and 12 hours in a night (John 11:9). Their first hour of the day began at 6 p.m. our time (U.S. Central) and their day ended at 6 p.m. the next day our time.

In the New Testament, Christ and his disciples began Passover with the evening meal, which is now called the Last Supper. At this time, the day was the evening of Thursday—the beginning of a new day. We call it Wednesday 6 p.m. or after because we don’t start Thursday until 12 midnight. As the evening went into darkness, the soldiers came and took our Savior to be tried, but they did not put him on the cross until the 3rd hour of the day Thursday (9 a.m. our time). From the 6th hour (noon) until the 9th hour of their day (3 p.m. our time) the sun did not shine. Then at the 9th hour, our Savior, the flesh that had manifested all righteousness which the people so despised, left that body of flesh. That temple made of flesh became the last Passover Lamb.  See Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:25, and Luke 23:44-45.

The day after Passover (Thursday) was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The people were to eat unleavened bread throughout the 7 days of its celebration. Passover was the preparation day for the first day of this feast. On the first day and the seventh day of this feast, they were to have a solemn assembly unto the God Yahweh. The first day and the last day were special Sabbaths—High days. (Deut. 16:8, Ex. 12:18, Lev. 23:7.)

We read in John 19:31 that the Jews didn’t want the bodies of the two thieves and our Savior to remain upon the crosses throughout the special Sabbath day so they asked Pilate if they might take them down and bury them. That Wednesday was the day of preparation of the high day, the special Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and it was less than three hours before it was to begin. Christ had assured his disciples that he would be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth? So when was the resurrection of the Son of man?

Matthew (28:1) records, “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” Then he records, “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matt. 28:6).

American Standard Version of Matthew 28:1, says, “Now late on the Sabbath day, as it began to dawn toward the first [day] of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” So we must conclude that our Savior rose “on” the Sabbath day. But this Sabbath day was the 7th day and not the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

We can backtrack 3 days and 3 nights from the 9th hour (3 p.m. our time) of the 7th day Sabbath in which our Savior resurrected and determine the day of his death, or we can use our sense of reason and go forward from his death 3 days and nights to his resurrection.

Mark 15:25 tells us that the Son of man died the 9th hour (3 p.m. our time) and was buried before the High Sabbath began. If he died the 9th hour, then he had to resurrect the 9th hour 3 days and 3 nights later (being 72 hours) to fulfill the only sign given to the unbelievers of that day. He was crucified 3 p.m. our time on Wednesday, was in the heart of the earth through Thursday (High Sabbath), through Friday, and almost through Saturday (the 7th day Sabbath). He came out of that grave the 9th hour of their day on the Sabbath. That is why when the women came to his grave in the evening he had “already” risen. There were still three hours left of the Sabbath when he rose.

Just as sure as our Savior resurrected in the manner in which he said he would, he also resurrected in the spiritual, in us, in the manner in which he promised. His Holy Spirit dwells in us and moves upon us with gifts that stimulate thought and reasoning as he brings us into the image of the Father, the image of Righteousness. Without this experience one cannot know the principles, the knowledge, or the wisdom of the Father. We will never be sure of the line between good and evil. We cannot know the law of LOVE until the Holy Spirit reveals it to us, in us, and through us.

Bible history says that Yahweh sent his Son, a Savior, that manifested the righteousness of the Father, and if anyone followed him they, too, would be like that manifestation. The Father’s words are recorded in Proverbs 8:12, saying, “I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions [evil plans].” Proverbs 14:18, says, “The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.”

Prudence is the ability to “govern and discipline oneself” by the use of reason. Faith and reason go hand in hand; we cannot have one without the other. The way we arrive at the logic of right and wrong of moral and immoral is by prudence, by the use of reason, by learning information based on facts rather than feelings or opinions. It is by testing and proving; by learning the history of a matter, and by tracking its effect. It is by being objective. By expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without the distortion created by personal feelings, prejudices, or carnal interpretations. It is by limiting ourselves to choices of fixed alternatives, which, I’m persuaded the Ten Commandments are a good place to start.

How can we define good?” We might answer, “The “law” of Love.” But many people define Love as a negative force, saying, love hurts, destroys, is limited, always changing, and is prejudice. We might ask, “Who and what defines evil?” I say, “The “law” of the lower nature, the beastly nature, of mankind.” But who is to say what the beastly nature is? How can we know where the separation of good and evil lies? How can we know and define good and evil in our world today? We can be sure that the problem lies “in” mankind’s nature, his emotions, his moods, his temperament, in his mind, his needs and wants, for these are always changing at random. We were all created needing redemption—improvement, salvation, deliverance from our created condition. The Creator had, and still has, the solution for our improvement, but how can we be sure of what the Creator is saying the problem is and what the solution is?

So we look at the life of Christ to learn the character of his Father.  We can try his Word, test his Word, and see if the effects are as he said. Our way of life involves so much more than what the people of the Bible had to deal with. He never mentioned the issues that come with TV, internet, radio, etc., and how the righteous can take control of them.

Let’s look at the foundation of our salvation. What about the signs that were given to the believers to prove Christ is who he said he is? The signs that proves he is a Savior of sins, a deliverer of sins—one that will bring us into righteousness.

I have heard that Christianity is unique because it is the only religion that is based on the fact that forgiveness is a gift, which cannot be earned by some physical act on the person’s part. But it is even greater than that; it is the only doctrine that offers a born again experience that changes the nature of a person.

Christ promised the disciples (Acts 1:5), saying, “For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.” They were promised the guide and teacher that would change their way of thinking and their nature. Then he said, (Acts 1:8) “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you shall be ‘witnesses’ unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

The promise to the believers is revealed in John 14:17-18, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” Now along with the inspired writings in the Holy Bible we are given the Holy Spirit, our guide and teacher that inspires our sense of reason and develops prudence within us.

The Bible, the inspired writers of the past, is a witness of the reality of that Spirit that lives and dwells in us today. The Holy Spirit brings us into full maturity—he is the Savior of us all. We must learn to hear and adhere to him if we hope to know our Heavenly Father and enjoy the benefits of his presence. We must decide what we want to believe in, what we are interested in—the law of the Spirit of Righteousness that Christ introduced when he walked the earth or the law of carnality that the unconverted man introduces to the world today.

We need to know the promises given to us by the Father. We should search the scriptures to convince ourselves of his authenticity and his power. In Malachi 3:10, Yahweh told the people to “prove” him, to “try” him, and he would prove himself to them.

Christ, the Anointing, the power of the Father, is able, willing, patient, and determined to bring “all” into the image of Righteousness and Love. This Anointing is that force that motivates us to reason together, search the history of good and evil, see the evidence of both, to learn the power of words, the power of implication that is created through other gods and the power of implication that is created by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit reveals good and evil to us and through us in many ways: Through dreams, visions, our mind’s eye, sensations, convictions (feelings), enlightenment of the written Word, voices of others, attitudes and actions of others, lifestyles, persecutions, and blessings. Through these we can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit as he reveals unto us good and evil, through cause and effect.