This post is going to serve two purposes.
1. To lift Jesus Christ as the risen Christ as the Easter season comes again-to put Him front and center of what Easter was supposed to mean for a long time in this country-even though it's roots are pagan; and flaunt Christ in the face of the pagan world, Satan and the devils-and proclaim-HE IS RISEN.
2. To make my own rebuttal to the blasphemous statements from Franklin Graham, telling pastors and their members to take the Covid vax-and that Jesus would have used them in his day if they had them.
The word of God will take care of this heresy.
In a nutshell, this is what Franklin Graham said in a public interview:
Franklin Graham, along with T.D. Jakes and other evangelicals urges pastors, and church attendants to support Covid vaccines, and says Jesus would have used them also. A quote from an interview with ABC News:
"I would hope that the pastors in the pulpit would tell people how they can be saved from God's judgment," Continuing he said-"There could be harmful consequences if they told their members to not take them, and the person got the virus and died-implying it would be their fault.
I have to admit, it took several days for this to sink into my mind and heart-it was almost unbelievable to hear this coming from this man. One of the most respected, and influential people in the evangelical world-advising and warning pastors to tell their members to "take the shot", and giving a veiled threat that they would be responsible if anybody didn't-and they got to virus. He was laying a guilt trip on pastors if they don't go along with this charade, and his statements clearly told me, he has done no real research on what is in these vaccines-or the many who have died from getting them, and other's who have now serious side affects. He revealed his ignorance of the science of this Covid issue by the choice of his words.
Now, I'm going to go into the scriptures and let the word of God speak truth, to override this blasphemy. I'll let Jesus speak for Himself.
Joh 8:57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
Joh 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
Excerpt from David Guzik comm.:
(Joh_8:51-59) Jesus’ unity with God the Father and Abraham’s witness of it.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Whom do You make Yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am.” Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
a. If anyone keeps My word he shall never see death: This is another remarkable claim that only makes sense if Jesus is God, and is one with God the Father. Jesus promises eternal life to those who keep His word.
b. Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead: This claim delights the Pharisees opposing Jesus; they believe they finally have Him! How can Jesus promise such life - shall never see death - when Abraham himself could never make such a promise! Does Jesus claim to be greater than Abraham was? Whom do You make Yourself out to be?
c. It is My Father who honors Me: Jesus does claim to be greater than Abraham - but it is not an honor He takes to Himself. Yet they do not recognize this honor, because they have not know Him.
d. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad: Not only is Jesus greater than Abraham, but Abraham himself acknowledged this! Jesus declaration of this brings back the accusation “How could you know Abraham rejoiced in You? Were You there?” To which Jesus replies, “Yes!”
e. Before Abraham was, I Am: this is the third time in this chapter Jesus uses the phrase I Am (Joh_8:24; Joh_8:28), and here in Joh_8:58.
i. I Am: The ancient Greek phrase is ego emi, which is the same term used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament in Jesus’ day to describe the Voice from the burning bush.
ii. In using the phrase I Am (Joh_8:24; Joh_8:58; Joh_13:19) Jesus used a clear divine title belonging to Yahweh alone (Exo_3:13-14, Deu_32:39, Isa_43:10) and was interpreted as such by Jesus’ listeners (Joh_8:58-59).
iii. “The phrase harbours within itself the most authentic, the most audacious, and the most profound affirmation by Jesus of who He was.” (Stauffer)
f. The best proof what Jesus meant by claiming to be the I Am is found by seeing the response of His listeners: They took up stones to throw at Him. They wanted to stone Him for blasphemy, for claiming to be God.
i. But it could not happen, even as it could not happen back at Joh_7:30, because His hour had not yet come.
g. The remarkable theme through this whole chapter is expressed strongly at the end: Jesus is in perfect unity with God the Father, because He Himself is God. Those who reject Jesus reject Him because their “spiritual parentage” is not of God.
i. Our spiritual parentage is of the utmost importance - and it is revealed by our response to Jesus. Who is your spiritual father? You prove it by your actions as well as claiming it by your words.
For further study:
Verily: Joh_8:34, Joh_8:51
Before: Joh_1:1-2, Joh_17:5, Joh_17:24; Pro_8:22-30; Isa_9:6; Mic_5:2; Col_1:17; Heb_1:10-12; Heb_13:8; Rev_1:11, Rev_1:17-18, Rev_2:8
From the JFB commentary:
I am: That our Lord by this expression asserted his divinity and eternal existence, as the great I AM, appears evident from the use of the present tense, instead of the past tense, from its being in answer to the Jews, who enquired whether he had seen Abraham, and from its being thus understood by the multitude, who were exasperated at it to such a degree that they took up stones to stone him. The ancient Jews not only believed that the Messiah was superior to and Lord of all the patriarchs, and even of angels, but that his celestial nature existed with God from whom it emanated, before the creation, and that the creation was effected by his ministry. Exo_3:14; Isa_43:13, Isa_44:6, Isa_44:8, Isa_46:9, Isa_48:12; Rev_1:8
In John ch. 17, as Jesus is in prayer, we hear him reveal his relationship with the Father, before he came into the world:
Joh 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
Joh 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
I have glorified thee on the earth — rather, “I glorified” (for the thing is conceived as now past).
I have finished — I finished.
the work which thou gavest me to do — It is very important to preserve in the translation the past tense, used in the original, otherwise it might be thought that the work already “finished” was only what He had done before uttering that prayer; whereas it will be observed that our Lord speaks throughout as already beyond this present scene (Joh_17:12, etc.), and so must be supposed to include in His “finished work” the “decease which He was to accomplish at Jerusalem.”
And now — in return.
glorify thou me — The “I Thee” and “Thou Me” are so placed in the original, each beside its fellow, as to show that A PERFECT RECIPROCITY OF SERVICES of the Son to the Father first, and then of the Father to the Son in return, is what our Lord means here to express.
with the glory which I had with thee before the world was — when “in the beginning the Word was with God” (Joh_1:1), “the only-begotten Son in the bosom of the Father” (Joh_1:18). With this pre-existent glory, which He veiled on earth, He asks to be reinvested, the design of the veiling being accomplished - not, however, simply as before, but now in our nature.
Now that we have learned who Jesus Christ is- the I AM who spoke with Abraham-lets take a look at Jesus in his ministry, as he went about healing all who were oppressed. I'll start at the beginning of his opening his ministry, and healing all who came to him, in great crowds:
Jesus Ministers to Great Crowds
Mat 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
Mat 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
Further we see again his miraculous power to heal:
Jesus Heals Many
Mat 8:14 And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.
Mat 8:15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
Mat 8:16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
Again, when he went into a desert place by ship, the people followed him from out of the cities, and he went to them and healed them:
Mat 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
See also: Mat_9:36, Mat_15:32-39; Mar_6:34, Mar_8:1-2, Mar_9:22; Luk_7:13, Luk_19:41; Joh_11:33-35; Heb_2:17, Heb_4:15, Heb_5:2
Mat_9:20-21, Mat_14:36; Mar_3:10, Mar_6:56, Mar_8:22; Joh_3:14-15; Act_5:15-16, Act_19:12
Sidenote: I've been criticized for using commentaries in my teachings and devotions-my answer to them is- any good teacher, whether grade school/high school/college/university level uses reputable books, and every tool they can get to teach. Why do you think it should be any different for a bible teacher? I use commentaries/books/videos/articles/anything I can, that proves to be reputable information-to teach truth.
Now, on to the all-important victory of Christ on the cross, and what it means in regards to all of this:
Joh 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
Joh 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
From these passages we learn:
1. His life was his own, to surrender it, or retain it at will.
2. We see the glory of his sacrifice, that it was purely voluntary.
3. He reveals the power he held to take up his life as soon as the purposes of His voluntary death were accomplished.
After the suffering and death of the cross, on the third day, the account of the resurrection in Matthew:
Mat 28:1 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.
Mat 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
Mat 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
Mat 28:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
Mat 28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
Mat 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Mat 28:7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
Mat 28:8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
Mat 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
Mat 28:10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
See also: Luke 24:36-38, John 6:20, Mark 16:7, John 20:17
At the end of chapter 28, Jesus gave all who stood and heard him, the great commission, and said this of himself:
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
After this, as the disciples and those standing there looked, he ascended into heaven. We get a graphic description in Acts chapter one.
Act 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Act 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
As I read and listened to Franklin Graham, and his statements about Jesus, I have to come to the conclusion-he doesn't believe what Jesus says about Himself.
In response to these scriptures, and the truth they reveal about Jesus Christ, I have a short statement for Mr. Graham:
Mr. Graham- You need to get saved, really saved. You do not truly know who Jesus Christ is, if you did, you'd never make such blasphemous statements. And, you need to take the time to do some real research on what is in these vaccines, and the physical dangers of taking them-then watch some testimonies and articles on the people who have died after taking these vaccines, especially the numbers of deaths in nursing homes. I'll turn your statement around and say-you and those you persuade to encourage to take them, will be responsible for countless deaths and people who end up with permanent disabilities from taking these "experimental" concoctions. And, do you not have any problem Mr. Graham with the fact that they contain aborted fetal tissue? You sir, are advising people to do something that has the same characteristics as the Frankenstein doctors of the Nazi regime.
We could go on in great length, the accounts of Jesus miracles, and the multitudes he healed, and his victory in rising from the dead. But, the point is-if Mr. Graham had any faith, or understanding of WHO Jesus Christ is, and if he had a solid foundation of faith in the I AM of whom I speak, he never would have made such a blasphemous statement. It reveals his unbelief.
Whatever the world or heretics choose to do-I choose Christ. I believe the testimonies and accounts of the eye-witnesses who put these accounts in the bible, for us to know. His life, death, and resurrection-is the foundation of my faith, and life.
This Easter season, may the Lord open the eyes of those who would choose to ask themselves about their eternal soul, and it's destination, and seek to know Him, and turn to Him for the assurance of heaven, when this life is done.
May you find a source of sound spiritual food for your soul and spirit here.
Jesus Christ is Lord
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
All the kings of the earth shall praise thee,
O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.
I had rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
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