John 18

John 18: Jesus is arrested

After Jesus had prayed to the Father, He and His Apostles went to the Brook of Cedron, which was near the Garden of Gethsemane. There, Judas knew he could find Jesus and brought with him an army of men to come and arrest Jesus. A sort of stand off first occurs between the Apostles of Jesus and the men of Judas, they ask for Jesus and Jesus immediately says; “…I am he…” (John 18:5&8) They ask Him twice, and He responds twice that He is the one they are seeking, and asks the rest to be let go. Peter, who was with Jesus drew his sword and cut off the right ear of one of the men with Judas, named Malchus. Jesus immediately tells Peter to put his sword away; “…put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hat given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11) Again, Peter was too anxious to protect Jesus, without realizing what must come forth for Jesus.

Jesus is taken to see Caiaphas before a council, which was basically an illegal trial of death. Peter follows Jesus to this trial and is asked if he was one of the disciples of Jesus, and he denied Jesus and said he was not one of His Apostles.

The High Priest then asked Jesus of His disciples/Apostles and His doctrine. Jesus answers simply; “…I spake openly to the world; I never taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret I have said nothing. Why askest thou me? As them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.” (John 18:20-21) This answer must have made some angry, because immediately one of the officers which stood by Jesus struck Him with the palm of his hand saying; “…Answerest thou the high priest so?” (John 18:22) Jesus was upset, but kept His cool and said; “…If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me? (John 18:23) This so called “trial” was a mockery of even ancient law.

Peter was still nearby when he was asked again, twice if he was an Apostle of Jesus Christ and he denied Jesus two more times. On the third time, the cock crew and he remembered what Jesus had said, that the he would deny him thrice before the cock crew. From here Jesus is taken to the Judgment Hall and brought before Pilate, where he asks Him; “…Art thou the King of the Jews?” (John 18:33) Jesus responds; “…Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? “(John 18:34) Pilate responds that His own nation brought Him to be judged; Pilate asks Jesus what he had done. Jesus responds; “…My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36) Pilate, out of curiosity and an attempt to understand the situation asks; “…Art thou a king then?” (John 18:37)

Jesus then answers and proclaims His divine mission as the Son of God; “…Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth, Every one that is of the truth heareth me voice.” (John 18:37)

Pilate then went out on the balcony and said to the group gathered below; “…I find not fault at all. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the Passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?” (John 18:38-39)  The crowd did not listen to reason and instead demanded that Barabbas, who was a thief, to be released. Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent, but did nothing. He let I happen, and let the people decide. What kind of trial was that? It certainly breaks laws today and certainly broke laws during the time of Jesus.

Jeremiah 35-36

Jeremiah 35-36

Chapter 35: Blessings for Obedience

The Lord commands Jeremiah to go and test the obedience of the Rechabites by essentially tempting them with wine. However after having wine placed before them they tell Jeremiah and those that are with him; “…We will drink no wine: for… our father commanded us… Ye shall drink no wine…” (Jeremiah 35:6) So even after being tempted they resisted and obeyed the commandment of the Lord. This is something we should learn from… even after temptation and perhaps peer pressure or pressure from the world to do something that goes against God’s commandments… WE CAN HAVE THE STRENGTH TO SAY NO!

The Lord commends and blesses the Rechabites, who obey the Lord by staying sober and not partaking of any wine.  Their obedience is contrasted with Judah and Jerusalem.

Chapter 36: Roll or Book

Word comes to Jeremiah in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim. Using Baruch as his scribe, Jeremiah writes down his prophecies. Baruch reads them publicly upon a fast day in the temple, where the princes hear him, and decide to tell the king of what they are preaching while at the same time advising both Jeremiah and Baruch to hide. Jehoiakim has the roll thrown into the fire, and orders Jeremiah and Baruch to be seized. The Lord conceals them and then later commands Jeremiah to rewrite the roll, and denounces the burning of the roll.

 

Jeremiah 13-14

Jeremiah 13-14

Chapter 13: Israel and Judah shall not

The Lord tells Jeremiah to place his girdle in the hole of a rock at the Euphrates. After a couple of days, it is marred. The Lord tells Jeremiah that after this manner will He mar the pride of Judah. The house of Israel and Judah cleaved unto me as a girdle cleaves unto a man, but is now good for nothing. The elite of Judah will destroy each other in drunkenness. Give glory to the Lord, before he changes light to darkness.

The Lord Counsels: “Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.” (Jeremiah 13:15) In other words… DON’T BE PRIDEFUL!

Chapter 14: The Lord will not hear thy prayers

Jeremiah surveys the famine, and admits iniquities on behalf of his people, providing a model of repentance. The Lord tells Jeremiah not to pray for his people. False prophets are rebuked. Jeremiah prays on behalf of the people once more.

Isaiah 57-58

Isaiah 57-58

Chapter 57: No peace for the wicked

The righteous are persecuted. God’s people have committed spiritual adultery. He who puts his trust in the Lord shall possess the land and inherit His holy mountain – in contrast to those who trust in idols. The stumbling block shall be removed. The Lord will restore, but there is no rest for the wicked.

Chapter 58: The Law of the Fast

God’s people ask why their prayers go unanswered. In fact, their ritual observance was shallow and did not proceed from the heart. God is more pleased to see people help the oppressed and poor.

“Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thous seest not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.“ (Isaiah 58:3) When we fast, we need to fast for a cause. While we fast we donate money/food that we would have consumed during the fast… this will then go to help the needy and in turn give blessings to both parties. The light of the true worshipper shall break forth like the morning; he shall be as a watered garden. Those who keep the Sabbath will ride on the high hills of the earth.

Ecclesiastes 7-8

Ecclesiastes 7-8

Chapter 7: Wisdom Goeth Life

In short… enjoy what you have while you can, but realize that adversity and hard times can strike at any moment. Because of this, life is short. Death is inevitable. We shouldn’t ignore it because it makes sense to plan ahead to experience God’s mercy rather than his justice. People who are too righteous and too wise are blind to their own faults. There will always be things that we don’t understand. Thinking that you have attained enough wisdom is a sure sign that you haven’t.

“Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” (Ecclesiastes 7:3)

                Sorrow can also bring some of the best knowledge, because by experience we learn.

                “For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.” (Ecclesiastes 7:12)

                You can have defence with money, but only with knowledge and wisdom can you have lasting defence from your enemies.

                “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)

                We all sin. Simple as that, don’t think you are better than others. It is like the phrase; ‘everyone sins differently’ so don’t go judging people.

                “I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness.” (Ecclesiastes 7:25)

                We need to ACTIVELY search to know the truth, don’t think you know everything. Always be open to learn. A wise man of 70 years old can still learn from a toddler, if that man wants to learn.

Chapter 8: None Have Power over Death

True wisdom comes from knowing and trusting God, not merely the way to find him. Knowing God will lead to understanding and then to sharing that knowledge with others. Even in a man could have all of the world’s wisdom, he would still know very little. No one can fully comprehend God.

“There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death; and there is no discharge in that war…” (Ecclesiastes 8:8)

If you ever think you are invincible or special, realize that we are nothing to God. We have no power over death; if it is our time… we will die.

“When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:) Then I beheld the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; thou a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.” (Ecclesiastes 8:16-17)

                God is always working, day and night! Those who seek to know God’s work will never be able to fully understand His work, and those who claim to know His work are fools.

Psalms 73-74

Psalms 73-74

Chapter 73: God is Good

A Psalm of Asaph.

                God is good to Israel, every one of them that has a clean heart. Those people who speak wickedly, set their mouths against heaven and are filled with pride, these same people are the ungodly. “…the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.” (Psalms 73:12)

                These people, who prosper in the world wickedly, will eventually be “…consumed with terrors.” (Psalms 73:19) Those who put their trust in the Lord however will be received up in glory.

Chapter 74: The Foolish Shall Say: No Prophets

Maschil of Asaph.

                The wicked will destroy the synagogues when “They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. We see not our signs: there is no more any prophets…” (Psalms 74:8-9)

                The author is singing/praying to God and asking God to remember that the wicked will always blaspheme his name (verse 18). The author continues to ask God to remember that and to not forget the poor and needy with whom have respect for His covenant.

 

Psalms 53-54

Psalms 53-54

Chapter 53: The Fools Say there is NO GOD!

To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David.

                David’s main point in this Psalm is to tell the reader that the only people who do not believe in God, and will openly say that there is NO God are FOOLS! Most of these fools are also corrupt and work iniquity and evil.

This reminds me of the same people who discredit and attack the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormon) because we believe;

  • God is our loving Heavenly Father.
  • Jesus Christ is his Son, our Brother and Savior
  • God spoke to Prophets of old and continues to speak to prophets TODAY.
  • God’s “Word” is NOT limited to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

As many of you who are reading this now, know that the “Mormons” or Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS for short) believe in the Book of Mormon. Many people in Christianity say that we cannot possibly be Christians because we believe in something more than the Bible. Does that mean we don’t credit the Bible as Word of God? Absolutely not, this blog should prove that! We love the Bible, but we know that God has spoken to His children throughout the world, not just to the children of the Middle East (The Bible), but the children of the Americas too (The Book of Mormon). To those people who believe that there cannot be more than just the Bible… Remember what the Book of Mormon says;

“And because my words [meaning the Book of Mormon] shall hiss forth–many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.

“But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them?…

“Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

“Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?” (2 Nephi 29:3-4, 6-7)

Chapter 54: David Pleads to God

To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us?

                This is a Psalm that was written while David was hiding from Saul in (1 Samuel 23). The Ziphites came to Saul in Gebeah asking if David was hiding in the hills of Hachilach. David prays to the Lord and asks for His help to overcome his enemies.

 

Exodus 33-34

Exodus 33-34

Chapter 33: Face to Face

The Lord promises to be with Israel and drive the people out of the land. The Tabernacle is moved from the camp.

Throughout much of the story of Moses we see him speaking with God and at times it appears as if he is speaking directly to God as if he would to another man. So the question is, Does Moses actually see God? Can any man see God for that matter?

Has anyone seen God? In John 1:18; it says: “No man hath seen God at any time…”

That seems pretty straightforward right? If this is true, why does it say in Exodus 33:11; “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto a friend…”

Doesn’t that clearly state that Moses did in fact see God? Well let’s examine a little further… in the same chapter of Exodus 33, we read: “…thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me and live.” (Exodus 33:20)      

That seems a bit contradictory, right? Because many people have seen God…

Acts 7:55-56: “But he (Stephen), being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and saw the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”

Numbers 11:8: “With him (Moses) I speak mouth to mouth…”

Genesis 32:30: “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seeen God face to face, and my life is preserved”

Isaiah 6: Isaiah sees God!

The above are just a few examples of people seeing God and speaking with him. So if this is true, why does John 1:18 say no man has seen God? -OR- Why does Exodus 33:20 say that no man can see God and live? Because Jacob/Israel saw God and his “life was preserved”, how is that possible?

The truth: Any person that God wants to speak with or permits to see him is his choice. After all God is all knowing and all power, why can we say that man can “not see him”, if we were to say that would we be speaking for God?  So the question remains, why does the Bible say that men can see him and then says that no one can see him, and no one can live after seeing him? Because the Bible is not perfect, face it. I love the Bible, I know that it was written by men, no doubt, inspired by God, but corrupted and changed over time.

Luckily we have modern prophets today! Joseph Smith translated parts of the King James Version to correct what was possibly mis-written, taken out or changed with time.

Here is Exodus 33:20, King James Version compared to the King James Version – Joseph Smith Translation:

KJV: “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.”

KJV-JST: “And he said unto Moses, Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger be kindled against thee also, and I destroy thee, and thy people; for there shall no man among them see me at this time, and live, for they are exceedingly sinful. And no sinful man hath at anytime, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time, that shall see my face and live”

That makes a lot more sense, no SINFUL man can see God and live. But for those who are righteous and chosen of God can see God, if he permits them. That explains why Jacob was preserved after seeing God “face to face”. In face the KJV-JST elaborates on John 1:18; “…no man hath seen God at any time, except he hath borne record of the Son…”

To me this is a very interesting subject, especially in today’s world where most people either do not believe in God or believe that he is a God of only wrath and destruction. God loves us so much that he calls Prophets, and through those prophets we can be guided, just like the Israelites were guided through Egypt by Moses. God does in fact speak with us, through is prophets, administering angels and through personal revelation.

Chapter 34: Moses in Mt. Sinai = Veil

Moses goes up Mt. Sinai to speak with the Lord. During his visit, the Lord reminded him that him and his congregation (the children of Israel) are to not make any graven image or worship other gods, because the Lord God of Israel is a “…jealous God:” (Exodus 34:14). He also reminds him about the Passover and the importance of the Sabbath day, to keep it as a holy day (Exodus 34:21).

Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights with God, where God also created new tablets containing the 10 commandments, because he had broken the other tablets. In this chapter, we may have learned how a normal person can see God without “perishing”. It says that when Moses spoke with God, the skin on his face “…shone while he talked to him” (Exodus 34:29). After Moses comes down from the Mount, “…all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone…” (Exodus 34:30).

“And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face. But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out…” (Exodus 34:33-34)

It is my personal opinion, based on the scriptures I have presented for chapters 33 and 34 of Exodus, that…

  • NO one can see God, unless they are righteous and chosen to be seen by him.
  • NO one can see God with their natural eyes, until the “veil” be taken from their eyes.
  • NO SINFUL man or woman can see God.