It seems that either thru my own ignorance of other interference most
everyone missed last weeks miracles. The original which I wrote on my
laptop has disappeared and it bums me out, because when I am truly writing
inspired things seem to come out so easily. Those of you who know me know
that I can only really write anything worth reading when I am in the
Presence. At times I pressure MYSELF to make things/whatever flows thru my
fingers to this keyboard ends up unreal and not really exact. d of story.
……………….I have to be in His Presence to write . End of story.
No other way. But when something so magnificent happens and I write it,
it is to encourage my brethren and I feel ripped off that it disappeared
into cyber-space. Usually , I’ll just sadly just let it go. But this was so
bizarre that I feel the need to attempt to re-create what I wrote on
Monday…which no-one received….I hope I can. Here I go.
Last Sunday, we had several of the indigenous men come here to the mission
and help with heavy work. Landscaping, planting , mixing cement and
generally banging on things, too. Forget sleeping till 5:30am, Pas. Frank
wanted to be ready so I set to making food for the coming workers.
Around 12ish, the men we never see but know their children started arriving
from their own regular jobs, and they set to mixing cement and planting
(they are best at planting it seems). So by about 2pm , the women folk,
wives upon wives started showing up. We had a 25lb hunk of frozen chicken
legs that I had marinated my way, but I turned it over to them. They, the
women and girls started gathering firewood and got a good fire
going.offering. Then put on the pollo and so very much lovely asparagus.
If we had bought the asparagus it would have cost at least $50 dollars, but
they are cutting the first fields so it was an offering. By 4pm serious
workers were laid out under the few trees we have , and on picnic tables
and just having a siesta. The women were laughing and admiring their
offspring. Had to of been maybe 60 people hanging around……
Out of nowhere I thought it was either a dying cat or a kitty wishing for
death. I looked down by the new playground under the miracle tree and
there was an old fellow banging on an instrument that looked like a mix
between a guitar and a banjo and a bizarre looking harp. (When he first
started playing it sounded like Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody……….I know I
sound totally nuts, okay…)but it did.It was something I’ve not been able
to find on Google. But this guy was banging away an banging fiercely on
this odd instrument.
Honestly, at first I was just overcome with laughter. (I know it sounds
irreverent) But hey, the noise was wild. But suddenly I felt a burning
need to SING in the Spirit. An d I did. The women looked and laughed
shyly, the men seemed cool with it. The many kids , well they thought it
was better than the tortilla. They were watching me and this old guy (at
least like 70?) just in the Presence. Within a few minutes I guess, I do
not really know, I started gathering the kids and whichever mamas that
wanted to follow. I had them rounded up and started praying for each one,
and I was praying for the Infilling, because I knew who had recognized
Yeshua as King.
Within say 30 minutes I’d touched their throats and sang (accompanied by
this great instrument man) for all of the kids. Now about 16 children
were singing in tongues. Some mothers, too.
Realize this was OUTSIDE at the mission, people wandered about eating
chicken legs and getting ministry. The neighbors saw and heard it all.
By about 6pm, as twilight set and people began to go their ways, I asked
Theo who the guitar man was. She responded that she had assumed he was our
“Tio”, (which to Mixtecs,means any man who is not your father or
husband….. In Spanish it means “Uncle”). I told her he waS NOT my Tio)
she said it wasn’t hers either. I lit out after the old guy. WHO WAS HE? I
was thinking “dang we can use him every week for worship. But as I ran
from dish duty under the Pila(cistern) asking, “Hey where’s that guy??”
People looked at me like , “What guy?” Your Tio?” I’m like NO YOUR TIO!.
In the end he was never found. The people who got filled with the Holy
Ghost recall him, those who just came to eat do not. In all I think I had
16 total either saved, or filled. They all recall him. But even tonite, he
is fading from my memory. I can’t really tell you what he looked like, how
tall or short he was. I just know he was here. It was one of the most
awesome times in Yahweh’s Presence i have ever experienced. I was pain free
from my torturous bladder for a whole day. PAIN FREE. Had a bit of a a holy
Ghost hangover, but not suicidal pain. I find that only being in the
Presence His anointing is when I am free.
All week we’ve had those kids a lot of new ones returning to watch the
work and listen to stories we tell;some about Noah, some about the Son and
the Father and their Spirit.
I keep looking out for that old guy. But he hasn’t come back. BUT HE WAS
It was the best afternoon I have had in a long time. IT IS MOSTLY
INEXPLICABLE. I know if you only believe what you can see and touch you
won’t get it But I pray that whoever reads this WILL understand the
necessity of putting yourself in Yahweh’s Presence.
As you gather with the Ekleesia tomorrow or as you gather with your mate
or child at home, seek Him. He desires to be found.
The account I have now written is not close to the inspired Word I wrote
and lost, but you get the gist……………..
Love each other, in deed and word and appreciate the Presence, We love you
all so much in Christ,
Had no internet yesterday. The storms down in Los Cabos (#1 Odile and
now #2 Polo) are messing up my internet connection thru the Hughes
/Starband system I have.
It’s a mess down there. I mean a true cluster-mug. So far they have
tourists/foreigners……the Army is in charge and they have such
antiquated equipment it is not even believable. Cell towers are down
all over and no-one can call relatives to verify they are okay or
where they are. The refugees are being transported in troop carriers
on that long long 2 lane highway 1, so u can imagine. Hotels have
been commandeered in TJ , Rosarito and even some here in Ensenada.
I feel bad for the folks but it still concerns me that people don’t
really understand that Mexico is really not all that advanced and they
don’t seem to get why they cant just pick up a phone or email somebody
and they get all worked out, which gets the Mexicans all worked out
and well it does no good. I am just praying that people have patience
and get home safe. I am growing weary of hearing idgits on the telly,
in high-pitched voices with bad comb overs (which after 5 day trips in
troop carriers on Highway 1 look more like a porcupine than a comb
over and I am not sure which is worst.) But I am tired seeing them
filmed by news crews in those tinny fear laden voices how “they damn
well wont be treated like THIS! Why the Australian Consulate will have
In my experience threatening to call one’s Consulate (as if it is
their own mercenary group at beck and call 24/7) these threats really
piss Mexican authorities, especially the sort who carry guns,totally
off. Best just let it roll off your back like a duck or whatever rolls
off a duck . I forget.
So, Clinic went great. Dulce was out of town for like two weeks , so
I had another Doctora. come in. Her name is Delilah Kennedy Garcia
(and yes she is a Mexican) .
She is in her 50’s, not a
Christian (yet) and referred by Dr. Vasquez. It worked out well,
although it’ll be better when Dulce returns because the people really
have a relationship with her.
We had 10 patients. Two newborn (5 day old both) exams. Both were born
in a nearby camp, one I don’t think I’ve taken you to.it is down in
the riverbed and pretty big. 50 or so families. We’ve been reaching
out to them with food. and were blessed to give away 6 solar power
mp-3 New Testaments that we were given by a Wycliff Translation couple
who has been down in Guerrerro for 40 or so years. The mp-3’s are
neat because they require no batteries, and they can reach people in
their own dialect and no reading is required. They are also sturdy
little things that seem to resist water. I saw one lady listening to
hers as she washed clothes on her washboard yesterday. Water was
being flung willy-nilly and the guy just kept on doing his best “Paul the Apostle” which I must say, was pretty good. I need to procure some
these little jewels.
Back to Clinic…………we had those two new babies in great shape,
we had 5 ear infections a PID in a younger girl (13) and one child
that just comes every time , like clock work, for vitamins. He is only 5, but
quite consumed with those chewables, not those new fangled
gummi-vites either, he prefers the
old Flintstone kind. The ones that taste like a sugary dirt substance
and leave your chopppers orange, purple or green with no apparent
correlation to whatever the color was of the little figure that you
ingested. (I am not big on vitamins for myself but part of the job as
pharmacy director requires that I actually must consume at least one
of each thing prescribed to each patient, just so I can be POSITIVE
they “get it.” (I learned this the first time I ever gave out a bottle
of ear drops that the mama put in the childs mouth instead. She kept
coming back saying “It isn’t working. It isn’t working.” I finally
figured it out and there was born a new procedure. I guess there is in
fact a reason for every little annoying thing we must learn in
elementary school afterall.
Back to VIta-muchacho (as I call the vitamin boy) I have to
practically scare the beejeezis out of him to make sure he
doesn’t just eat them like candy as soon as he is out of my sight.
He’s cute as a button and healthy as a horse, but has a sneaky-gene.
Whenever we have leftover tortillas after mealtime, he’ll get me by
myself and ask me for exactly 8 of them .’ OCHO, Hermana. GRACIAS
HERMANA!GRACIAS YAHWEH!” (ALL RUN TOGETHER LIKE ONE BIG WORD.) Then if I don”t give him a bag fast enough, he’ll roll em up and place them in
a back pocket and off down the hill he goes, dragging a milk crate on
wheels with 5 2 liter plastic bottles of water and his little sister
who hangs on for dear life (she’s about 18 months and he watches her
everyday) anyway she hangs on tight because he likes to push the milk
crate down the hill and let go and it goes pretty quick for an 18
month old. Not to mention it at times fails to make that sharp turn at
the bottom and upends everything requiring him another gruelling trip
back up the hill for band aids (he likes those too, the more the
I’ll try to video it. It is really like something out of a
Peanuts cartoon, the brother with that Pig-pen aura and the baby
girls crooked and tangled pigtails flying out behind her. (I keep
expecting Snoopy too sweep down in his bi-plane and pluck her up but
it hasn’t happened thus far. And I probably never will video it. It’s
one of those things you would have to set yourself up in the brush,
pestered by scorpions and snakes for hours only to find out he isn’t
coming that day. So maybe best just imagine it. It would probably be
more entertaining for you that way. Bosh that, “I picture paints a
thousand words, I’ve learned what you can imagine paints a jillion
things that probably did not even happen.
Jose has a great new job now, praise God. They have a black and white
tv, too. WE miss his help but he needs to support his family and I
think Theo is on baby # four , not SURE, but time will tell.
The playground is almost ready for me to send pictures. We have the
welder making the last two toys, a merry-go-round and two big teeter
totters. Things are being delivered and the kids just think we can’t
move fast enough. The big metal stand for clubhouse One is in the
front yard and has been for a while. When delivered it came wrapped in
plastic, well, somehow someone took it off. So yesterday evening I see
Ivan, age 7, but tiny and
Pablito same age but bigger. They have absconded from downstairs my
huge roll of saran wrap and in 35 mile an hour hot sandy winds are
trying to wrap the stand back up. At first I was ticked off because
they had my saran wrap (of which I consume a lot of) and where
attempting to rewrap this 12 foot metal stand . It was hilarious. I
didn’t let on that I was watching but just left them to their
methods.Now , see I have a fairly good idea of who unwrapped it in the
first place. Anyway, they went round and round that things with a
COSCO sized box of Saran Wrap and by twilight Pablito had enrolled
some help from his little friends and I HAD to go down their because
all they succeeded in doing was wrapping up Ivan in quite a think
layer of plastic. NONE was stuck to the stand. I acted all mad, and
tried to simultaneously wave a broom around in a menacing manner
while tears of laughter oozed out of me– and put them on rock
gathering duty today.
Thankfully for them, it only took two hours of brutal rock-searching
for the wheelbarrow tire to pop and they got off easy for now
anyway. Till Frank gets back today anyway. Wheelbarrow tires are super
expensivo down here and also pretty sturdy and also pretty
necessary right about now.
I’m sure they’ll get the moral of some story when Frank arrives,
although they’ve been rather scarce since they turned in their busted
barrow and about 8 medium sized rocks,
What else? What else? Oh,tomorrow about 5 of the men who work just
till noon on Sundays are coming to help with landscaping the
playground perimeter. I am shocked and amazed by this. It will also
leave room for a message and prayer.
Carlos (guy with broken leg) is doing nicely. He’s coming to spend
the night tonight. He is returning to his home,, he still can’t work
and so has no place to live. He has to be at the bus depot at 5:15am
and Frank is taking him. Sad to see him go, but glad he got some of
the Eternal Seed really implanted in him. I’ve held back one mp-3 New
Testament as a going away gift and Theo will make him food for the
3 day trip (at least) home.
For now, I’d better go. I am amazed the internet has stayed working
this long because the winds are whipping up dust devils and one of
my wicker chairs just got whisked off of the
Love and Blessings to all,
THE BLOOD COVENANT
I n ancient times the blood covenant was common among
almost all of the people of the middle east. It was a way of
establishing a binding contract between two men. What we call the
Old and New Testaments could easily be called the Old and New
Covenants. The typical blood covenant contained nine parts, or steps.
These steps are as follows,
1) The two people exchange coats or robes. To a Hebrew, the
coat or robe represented the person himself; so when he offered the
other person his robe, he was offering himself; even his very life itself.
2) They take off their belt and offer it to the other person. The
belt, also called the girdle, was used to hold your sward, your knife,
and other fighting instruments. In this way you were saying to the
other person that you were offering him your protection. If someone
attacks you, they also have me to deal with. Your battles are my
3)”CUT THE COVENANT”. In this part, an animal is killed
and cut down the middle and the two halves are laid opposite each
other. The two parties to the covenant pass between the two halves
of the animal and are saying, “May God do so to me and more if I
break this covenant. This is a blood covenant, and can not be broken.
4) Raise the right arm and cut the palm of the hand and clasp
each other’s hand and mingle your blood. This is saying to the other
person, “We are becoming one with each other. To intermingle the
blood is to intermingle the very life of both people.
5) Exchange names. Each one takes part of the others name and
incorporates it into their own.
6) Make a scar or some identifying mark. The scar was the
outward evidence of the covenant that others could see and know
that the covenant was made. Some times they would rub the cut in
the hand to make the scar, then anyone who wanted to fight you
would know that he not only had to fight you but another as well.
7) Give terms of the covenant. Both parties to the covenant
stand before a witness and list all of their assets and liabilities, because
each one takes all of these upon the himself. You are saying, “Every
thing I have is yours and everything you have is mine. If something
happens to you, your covenant partner will see to it that your wife
and children are taken care of.
8) Eat the memorial meal. A loaf of bread is broken in half. Each feeds his half to the other saying, “This is my body, and I am now
giving it to you.” Then they take wine as a symbol of his blood and
says, “This is my blood which is now your blood.”
9) Plant a memorial tree. The two then plant a tree as a
memorial to the covenant and sprinkle it with the blood of the animal
that was killed for the covenant offering.
These nine steps do not have to take place in the same order
that they are listed here. There are a lot of covenants listed in the
Bible and there is not great detail about them because everyone is
familiar with the procedure and the writer assumes that we know
what was done.
In our Bible we have the old and new testament,(or covenant).
The old covenant was made with Abram and we have a record of it in
the Bible. We can look in on it starting in the fifteenth chapter of
Genesis. In verse one we read; “After these things the word of the
Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, `Do not fear, Abram, I
am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.’.” Here we
see God offering His robe and belt to Abram. He offers to be his shield
and His rewards. He cuts the covenant in Genesis 15:7-21 “And He
said to him, `I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the
Caldeans, to give you this land to possess it.’ So He said to him,
`Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old male
goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtle dove, and a young
pigeon.’ Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two,
and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the
birds. And the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses,
and Abram drove them away. Now when the sun was going
down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and
great darkness fell upon him.” And God said to Abram, `Know
for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land
that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed
four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they
will serve; and afterward they will come out with many
possessions. And as for you, you shall go to your fathers in
piece; you shall be buried at a good old age. Then in the fourth
generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the
Amorite is not yet complete.’ And it came about when the sun
had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a
smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between
these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with
Abram, saying, `To your descendants I have given this land,
from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river
Euphrates; the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite
and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the
Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the
Jebusite.’.” Here God is giving the terms of the covenant to Abram.
But who are the ones passing between the pieces while Abram is in
the deep sleep? I submit to you that it is the pre-incarnate Christ. In
the Revelation 1:14-15 we see a description of Christ as
follows, “And His head and His hair were white like wool, like
snow, and His eyes were like a flame of fire; and His feet were
like burnished bronze, when it has been caused to glow in a
furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters,”
Here we see Christ, a descendant of Abram, standing in for Abram in
the covenant procession. In Genesis 17:4-5+15 we see the exchange of
names as follows, “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you,
and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No
longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall
be Abraham; for I will make you the father of a multitude of
nations….Then God said to Abraham, as for Sarai your wife,
you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.”
In Hebrew, God was called YHWH. Here we see Him taking part of His
name and combining it with that of Abram and Sarai. From that time
on God was known as, “The God of Abraham”. Next we see the
making of a scar or symbol of the covenant. In Genesis 17:10-12 we
see, “This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me
and you and your descendants after you; every male among
you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised in the
flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be the sign of the covenant
between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight
days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a
servant who is born in the house or who is bought with
money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants.”
The scar of circumcision bears witness of the covenant. Abraham was
tested when God told him to sacrifice his only son Isaac on a small
mountain called mount Mariah near the town of Salem. Abraham
passed the test. Two thousand years ago, the other party to the
covenant was to sacrifice His only Son. The names had been changed
by then; Salem was then called Jerusalem, and Mariah had been
changed to Calvery, but the places were the same.
The new covenant took place in the same area of the world and
contained some of the same players. God was there, of course, and
Jesus; now incarnate, and the descendants of Abraham. This time
Jesus was not only the representative of Abraham’s descendants but
He was also the offering; the Lamb that was slain. This time it was
God’s only Son and not Abraham’s. Let us see how the new covenant
was completed in Christ.
1) EXCHANGE COATS OR ROBES. We come to this covenant
clothed in sin and unrighteousness. He comes clothed in holiness and
righteousness. We put on His righteousness. IICorinthians 5:21, “He
made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we
might become the righteousness of God in Him.” He takes our
sins upon Him and we take His holiness for ours. What an exchange!
2)TAKE OFF BELT: He protects us and provides us with
protection. Luke 10:19, “Behold, I have given you authority to
tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of
the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.” Ephesians 6:13-17
“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be
able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to
stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with
truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and
having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of
peace; in addition to all, take up the shield of faith with which
you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the
evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sward of
the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
3)CUT THE COVENANT: Hebrews 10:14-18, “For by one
offering He has perfected for all time those who are
sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for
after saying, `This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws upon their
heart, and upon their mind I will write them, And their sins
and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. Now where
there is forgiveness for these things, there is no longer any
offering for sin.” Jesus was not only the one making the covenant,
but he was also the sacrificial lamb.
4)RAISE RIGHT ARM & MIX BLOOD: Jesus was both man and
God. He was holy and also human. As we have the shed blood of
Jesus Christ applied to our hearts, His blood cleanses us from all sin
and we are also made holy. Our lives are forever intermingled with His. 5) EXCHANGE NAMES: Jesus took on the name, “Son of Man”
and we take on the name Christian. We are forever in the family of
6) MAKE A SCAR: Jesus has the scars of the nails in His hands
and the feet and the spear in His side. We have the circumcision of the
heart. Romans 2:29, “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and
circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by
the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.”
7) GIVE THE COVENANT TERMS: Jesus gives the terms of the
covenant in the whole Bible. It is our responsibility to know it so that
we can live by it.
8) EAT MEMORIAL MEAL: I Corinthians 11: 23-26, “For I
received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that
the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took
bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said,
`This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of
Me.’ In the same way He took the cup also, after supper,
saying, `This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as
often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as
you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”
9) PLANT A MEMORIAL TREE: The cross that Jesus died on was
the tree that the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled on and it still is a
memorial of His covenant with us to this day.
This is our covenant with the God of the universe. He will live up
to His end and He expects us to live up to ours.
We had a good Meeting today. (Friday) . We have been bringing in a few new people from a work camp in Maneadero. They met us thru the Clinics that we have This one man heard about free medical care from some relative who lives over here in the local Cuarteria.
> >> The poor guy had broken his leg when he fell somehow attempting to cross the US border. It happened days prior to finally getting to the Clinic…..he had been gimping along in unimaginable pain until he showed up at the last clinic.
> He didn’t know his leg was broken….. just knew it hurt really bad and he had no money.
> The *coyotes* stole what money he had (plus obviously kept the $4000 his family was extorted up front) and left him for dead in the desert. So, he and his family are having a very hard time. They were so happy to get the beans, rice and other foods we give out. He was so hungry he was eating raw oatmeal as we passed out food. I’ve seen quite a few people adults and children alike, do this over the years, but it is always unsettling.
> They were so broken by the whole experience which had engulfed them, that their hearts were totally open and receptive to the Word. FRANK had laid hands on him at the last Clinic, but today he heard the Gospel of Resurection and got saved along with his 12 year old son. My belief honestly, is that had we just preached salvation and.not focused on Resurrection, this man would not have responded. For I see now, that his concern; at that moment was; his age and the condition of his body and what, if anything, ( besides chubby little Raphael-esque Cherubim angels floating lazily on a sea of puffy clouds, some playing instruments in the nude) which to people who are actively suffering and reaping abuse) seems superfluous and even possibly painful…. No, this man was wondering what for him, lay beyond.
> This boy , Carlos’s son, had actually gotten placed in a different group than his dad, (it is common practice with coyotes to know in advance that they are going to place certain people in a ‘bait group ‘or a ‘diversion group’ and usually they use the older people or weaker individuals for this purpose. ) Carlos is a very old version of 65 and thus an easy target for mistreatment by hid fellow man.
> The sad part is that even knowing this is a very real possibility, ( being used and abused) people will continue to pay coyotes and try, time and time again, to cross illegally ….nevermind horrifically daunting obstacles, because the allure of the American Dream is so strong.
> >> So , his son, a 12 year old boy, DID make it across ; all the way in to the USA, to the rondevoux point in L.A.. . Upon finding that his father did not succeed, he panicked , THANKFULLY escaped his ‘guides’, and returned to distant relatives in Maneadero, where, as the Lord would have it, he was was reunited with his father eventually.
> >> So, all of this, plus the broken and now infected leg had put them in a place of such humility,such a state that their hearts were opened to the idea that “some god” (Carlos’s words) was at work….FRANK explained it was the Great I AM.
> >> For a guy who has been through such a bitter experience, Carlos holds absolutely no bitterness against anyone! (and this humble acceptance of failure I find as a common denominator smong the Indians here )
> The Lord told him, thru Frank, that this attitude of humility,(not acceptance), is going to cause a huge blessing to come upon his entire family in addition to being healed. It was magnificent to see and hear. Yahweh is great. I was so amazed to find Carlos touched that we, being strangers expecting no return would GIVE him food and care…..it was so heartbreaking to be appreciated so much….I dont know if I can get across how happy and at the same turn broken, i felt, being in the presence of this man’s gratitude….its has had me weeping on and off all day.
> >> And not that God caused any of these bad things to happen to the man, for He did not, but it was a great showing of the Lord working all these things together for the Good, you know?
> I mean he COULD have died alone in the desert. He COULD have been separated from his son forever, and likewise his son could of fallen into yhe hands of every type of evil awaiying the innocent in Los Angeles, alone. The coyotes could have killed the son to make an example of what happens when families don’t or can’t pay the extravagant fees that they charge. Apny number of horrible alter- endings could have come to pass……
> But even as horrifying as the situation was, Yahweh was mercifully working every circumstance together for His Good. And ours. He remains Ever Faithful, Ever Loving, no matter how grave our circumstances appear, He will work it all out for our good, At times we just need to rest in Him and allow that.
> love and blessings, sis dee
> ** people who make their livelihood charging huge sumd of cash to guide other individuals across the Mexico/ USA Border. Their services are wildly illegal and their motivation is greed. They are unequivocally dangerous and not to be trifled with & are usually affiliated with drug cartels.
God is Good and He Loves People
Psalms 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Psalms 100:5 for the LORD is good; his lovingkindness is everlasting and his faithfulness to all generations.
John 3:16 “for god so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 “for god did not send the son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
Luke 9:56 for the son of man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”]] and they went on to another village.
Acts 10:38 “you know of Jesus of Nazareth, how god anointed him with the holy spirit and with power, and how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for god was with him.
The death , the offering up of Himself on the cross for us is the ultimate expression of Yahweh’s love for mankind.
A man would scarcely die for a friend not any enemy.
Romans 5:7 for one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.
Yahweh’s love is demonstrated in while we were sinners Christ died.
Romans 5:8 but god demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
This act broke the pattern of death and destroyed its author, the devil,
Hebrews 2:14 ¶ therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death he might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
. The Man Yahshua faced the ultimate fear on our behalf in faith and destroyed its control releasing the power of Resurrection life into the earth.
the same power that raised Yahshua from the dead shall make us alive in our death doomed bodies
Philippians 2:8 being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 for this reason also, god highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is lord, to the glory of god the father.
Romans 8:11 but if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his spirit who dwells in you.
Evidence for the Resurrection
by Josh McDowell
For centuries many of the world’s distinguished philosophers have assaulted Christianity as being irrational, superstitious and absurd. Many have chosen simply to ignore the central issue of the resurrection. Others have tried to explain it away through various theories. But the historical evidence just can’t be discounted.
A student at the University of Uruguay said to me. “Professor McDowell, why can’t you refute Christianity?”
“For a very simple reason,” I answered. “I am not able to explain away an event in history–the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
How can we explain the empty tomb? Can it possibly be accounted for by any natural cause?
A QUESTION OF HISTORY
After more than 700 hours of studying this subject, I have come to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is either one of the most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted on the minds of human beings–or it is the most remarkable fact of history.
Here are some of the facts relevant to the resurrection: Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish prophet who claimed to be the Christ prophesied in the Jewish Scriptures, was arrested, was judged a political criminal, and was crucified. Three days after His death and burial, some women who went to His tomb found the body gone. In subsequent weeks, His disciples claimed that God had raised Him from the dead and that He appeared to them various times before ascending into heaven.
From that foundation, Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire and has continued to exert great influence down through the centuries.
The New Testament accounts of the resurrection were being circulated within the lifetimes of men and women alive at the time of the resurrection. Those people could certainly have confirmed or denied the accuracy of such accounts.
The writers of the four Gospels either had themselves been witnesses or else were relating the accounts of eyewitnesses of the actual events. In advocating their case for the gospel, a word that means “good news,” the apostles appealed (even when confronting their most severe opponents) to common knowledge concerning the facts of the resurrection.
F. F. Bruce, Rylands professor of biblical criticism and exegesis at the University of Manchester, says concerning the value of the New Testament records as primary sources: “Had there been any tendency to depart from the facts in any material respect, the possible presence of hostile witnesses in the audience would have served as a further corrective.”
IS THE NEW TESTAMENT RELIABLE?
Because the New Testament provides the primary historical source for information on the resurrection, many critics during the 19th century attacked the reliability of these biblical documents.
By the end of the 1 9th century, however, archaeological discoveries had confirmed the accuracy of the New Testament manuscripts. Discoveries of early papyri bridged the gap between the time of Christ and existing manuscripts from a later date.
Those findings increased scholarly confidence in the reliability of the Bible. William F. Albright, who in his day was the world’s foremost biblical archaeologist, said: “We can already say emphatically that there is no longer any solid basis for dating any book of the New Testament after about A.D. 80, two full generations before the date between 130 and 150 given by the more radical New Testament critics of today.”
Coinciding with the papyri discoveries, an abundance of other manuscripts came to light (over 24,000 copies of early New Testament manuscripts are known to be in existence today). The historian Luke wrote of “authentic evidence” concerning the resurrection. Sir William Ramsay, who spent 15 years attempting to undermine Luke credentials as a historian, and to refute the reliability of the New Testament, finally concluded: “Luke is a historian of the first rank . . . This author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians. ”
I claim to be an historian. My approach to Classics is historical. And I tell you that the evidence for the life, the death, and the resurrection of Christ is better authenticated than most of the facts of ancient history . . .
E. M. Blaiklock
Professor of Classics
The New Testament witnesses were fully aware of the background against which the resurrection took place. The body of Jesus, in accordance with Jewish burial custom, was wrapped in a linen cloth. About 100 pounds of aromatic spices, mixed together to form a gummy substance, were applied to the wrappings of cloth about the body. After the body was placed in a solid rock tomb, an extremely large stone was rolled against the entrance of the tomb. Large stones weighing approximately two tons were normally rolled (by means of levers) against a tomb entrance.
A Roman guard of strictly disciplined fighting men was stationed to guard the tomb. This guard affixed on the tomb the Roman seal, which was meant to “prevent any attempt at vandalizing the sepulcher. Anyone trying to move the stone from the tomb’s entrance would have broken the seal and thus incurred the wrath of Roman law.
But three days later the tomb was empty. The followers of Jesus said He had risen from the dead. They reported that He appeared to them during a period of 40 days, showing Himself to them by many “infallible proofs.” Paul the apostle recounted that Jesus appeared to more than 500 of His followers at one time, the majority of whom were still alive and who could confirm what Paul wrote. So many security precautions were taken with the trial, crucifixion, burial, entombment, sealing, and guarding of Christ’s tomb that it becomes very difficult for critics to defend their position that Christ did not rise from the dead. Consider these facts:
FACT #1: BROKEN ROMAN SEAL
As we have said, the first obvious fact was the breaking of the seal that stood for the power and authority of the Roman Empire. The consequences of breaking the seal were extremely severe. The FBI and CIA of the Roman Empire were called into action to find the man or men who were responsible. If they were apprehended, it meant automatic execution by crucifixion upside down. People feared the breaking of the seal. Jesus’ disciples displayed signs of cowardice when they hid themselves. Peter, one of these disciples, went out and denied Christ three times.
FACT #2: EMPTY TOMB
As we have already discussed, another obvious fact after the resurrection was the empty tomb. The disciples of Christ did not go off to Athens or Rome to preach that Christ was raised from the dead. Rather, they went right back to the city of Jerusalem, where, if what they were teaching was false, the falsity would be evident. The empty tomb was “too notorious to be denied.” Paul Althaus states that the resurrection “could have not been maintained in Jerusalem for a single day, for a single hour, if the emptiness of the tomb had not been established as a fact for all concerned.”
Both Jewish and Roman sources and traditions admit an empty tomb. Those resources range from Josephus to a compilation of fifth-century Jewish writings called the “Toledoth Jeshu.” Dr. Paul Maier calls this “positive evidence from a hostile source, which is the strongest kind of historical evidence. In essence, this means that if a source admits a fact decidedly not in its favor, then that fact is genuine.”
Gamaliel, who was a member of the Jewish high court, the Sanhedrin, put forth the suggestion that the rise of the Christian movement was God’s doing; he could not have done that if the tomb were still occupied, or if the Sanhedrin knew the whereabouts of Christ’s body.
Paul Maier observes that ” . . . if all the evidence is weighed carefully and fairly, it is indeed justifiable, according to the canons of historical research, to conclude that the sepulcher of Joseph of Arimathea, in which Jesus was buried, was actually empty on the morning of the first Easter. And no shred of evidence has yet been discovered in literary sources, epigraphy, or archaeology that would disprove this statement.”
FACT #3: LARGE STONE MOVED
On that Sunday morning the first thing that impressed the people who approached the tomb was the unusual position of the one and a half to two ton stone that had been lodged in front of the doorway. All the Gospel writers mention it.
There exists no document from the ancient world, witnessed by so excellent a set of textual and historical testimonies . . . Skepticism regarding the historical credentials of Christianity is based upon an irrational bias.
Those who observed the stone after the resurrection describe its position as having been rolled up a slope away not just from the entrance of the tomb, but from the entire massive sepulcher. It was in such a position that it looked as if it had been picked up and carried away. Now, I ask you, if the disciples had wanted to come in, tiptoe around the sleeping guards, and then roll the stone over and steal Jesus’ body, how could they have done that without the guards’ awareness?
FACT #4: ROMAN GUARD GOES AWOL
The Roman guards fled. They left their place of responsibility. How can their attrition he explained, when Roman military discipline was so exceptional? Justin, in Digest #49, mentions all the offenses that required the death penalty. The fear of their superiors’ wrath and the possibility of death meant that they paid close attention to the minutest details of their jobs. One way a guard was put to death was by being stripped of his clothes and then burned alive in a fire started with his garments. If it was not apparent which soldier had failed in his duty, then lots were drawn to see which one would be punished with death for the guard unit’s failure. Certainly the entire unit would not have fallen asleep with that kind of threat over their heads. Dr. George Currie, a student of Roman military discipline, wrote that fear of punishment “produced flawless attention to duty, especially in the night watches.”
FACT #5: GRAVECLOTHES TELL A TALE
In a literal sense, against all statements to the contrary, the tomb was not totally empty–because of an amazing phenomenon. John, a disciple of Jesus, looked over to the place where the body of Jesus had lain, and there were the grave clothes, in the form of the body, slightly caved in and empty–like the empty chrysalis of a caterpillar’s cocoon. That’s enough to make a believer out of anybody. John never did get over it. The first thing that stuck in the minds of the disciples was not the empty tomb, but rather the empty grave clothes–undisturbed in form and position.
FACT #6: JESUS’ APPEARANCES CONFIRMED
Christ appeared alive on several occasions after the cataclysmic events of that first Easter . When studying an event in history, it is important to know whether enough people who were participants or eyewitnesses to the event were alive when the facts about the event were published. To know this is obviously helpful in ascertaining the accuracy of the published report. If the number of eyewitnesses is substantial, the event can he regarded as fairly well established. For instance, if we all witness a murder, and a later police report turns out to he a fabrication of lies, we as eyewitnesses can refute it.
OVER 500 WITNESSES
Several very important factors arc often overlooked when considering Christ’s post-resurrection appearances to individuals. The first is the large number of witnesses of Christ after that resurrection morning. One of the earliest records of Christ’s appearing after the resurrection is by Paul. The apostle appealed to his audience’s knowledge of the fact that Christ had been seen by more than 500 people at one time. Paul reminded them that the majority of those people were still alive and could be questioned. Dr. Edwin M. Yamauchi, associate professor of history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, emphasizes: “What gives a special authority to the list (of witnesses) as historical evidence is the reference to most of the five hundred brethren being still alive. St. Paul says in effect, ‘If you do not believe me, you can ask them.’ Such a statement in an admittedly genuine letter written within thirty years of the event is almost as strong evidence as one could hope to get for something that happened nearly two thousand years ago.” Let’s take the more than 500 witnesses who saw Jesus alive after His death and burial, and place them in a courtroom. Do you realize that if each of those 500 people were to testify for only six minutes, including cross-examination, you would have an amazing 50 hours of firsthand testimony? Add to this the testimony of many other eyewitnesses and you would well have the largest and most lopsided trial in history.
Another factor crucial to interpreting Christ’s appearances is that He also appeared to those who were hostile or unconvinced.
Over and over again, I have read or heard people comment that Jesus was seen alive after His death and burial only by His friends and followers. Using that argument, they attempt to water down the overwhelming impact of the multiple eyewitness accounts. But that line of reasoning is so pathetic it hardly deserves comment. No author or informed individual would regard Saul of Tarsus as being a follower of Christ. The facts show the exact opposite. Saul despised Christ and persecuted Christ’s followers. It was a life-shattering experience when Christ appeared to him. Although he was at the time not a disciple, he later became the apostle Paul, one of the greatest witnesses for the truth of the resurrection.
If the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt.
F. F. Bruce
The argument that Christ’s appearances were only to followers is an argument for the most part from silence, and arguments from silence can be dangerous. It is equally possible that all to whom Jesus appeared became followers. No one acquainted with the facts can accurately say that Jesus appeared to just “an insignificant few.”
Christians believe that Jesus was bodily resurrected in time and space by the supernatural power of God. The difficulties of belief may be great, but the problems inherent in unbelief present even greater difficulties.
The theories advanced to explain the resurrection by “natural causes” are weak; they actually help to build confidence in the truth of the resurrection.
THE WRONG TOMB?
A theory propounded by Kirsopp Lake assumes that the women who reported that the body was missing had mistakenly gone to the wrong tomb. If so, then the disciples who went to check up on the women’s statement must have also gone to the wrong tomb. We may be certain, however, that Jewish authorities, who asked for a Roman guard to be stationed at the tomb to prevent Jesus’ body from being stolen, would not have been mistaken about the location. Nor would the Roman guards, for they were there!
If the resurrection-claim was merely because of a geographical mistake, the Jewish authorities would have lost no time in producing the body from the proper tomb, thus effectively quenching for all time any rumor resurrection.
Another attempted explanation claims that the appearances of Jesus after the resurrection were either illusions or hallucinations. Unsupported by the psychological principles governing the appearances of hallucinations, this theory also does not coincide with the historical situation. Again, where was the actual body, and why wasn’t it produced?
DID JESUS SWOON?
Another theory, popularized by Venturini several centuries ago, is often quoted today. This is the swoon theory, which says that Jesus didn’t die; he merely fainted from exhaustion and loss of blood. Everyone thought Him dead, but later He resuscitated and the disciples thought it to be a resurrection. Skeptic David Friedrich Strauss–certainly no believer in the resurrection–gave the deathblow to any thought that Jesus revived from a swoon: “It is impossible that a being who had stolen half-dead out of the sepulchre, who crept about weak and ill, wanting medical treatment, who required bandaging, strengthening and indulgence, and who still at last yielded to His sufferings, could have given to the disciples the impression that He was a Conqueror over death and the grave, the Prince of Life,
For the New Testament of Acts, the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming. Any attempt to reject its basic historicity, even in matters of detail, must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted.
A. N. Sherwin-White
Classical Roman Historian
an impression which lay at the bottom of their future ministry. Such a resuscitation could only have weakened the impression which He had made upon them in life and in death, at the most could only have given it an elegiac voice, but could by no possibility have changed their sorrow into enthusiasm, have elevated their reverence into worship.”
THE BODY STOLEN?
Then consider the theory that the body was stolen by the disciples while the guards slept. The depression and cowardice of the disciples provide a hard-hitting argument against their suddenly becoming so brave and daring as to face a detachment of soldiers at the tomb and steal the body. They were in no mood to attempt anything like that.
The theory that the Jewish or Roman authorities moved Christ’s body is no more reasonable an explanation for the empty tomb than theft by the disciples. If the authorities had the body in their possession or knew where it was, why, when the disciples were preaching the resurrection in Jerusalem, didn’t they explain: “Wait! We moved the body, see, He didn’t rise from the grave”?
And if such a rebuttal failed, why didn’t they explain exactly where Jesus’ body lay? If this failed, why didn’t they recover the corpse, put it on a cart, and wheel it through the center of Jerusalem? Such an action would have destroyed Christianity–not in the cradle, but in the womb!
THE RESURRECTION IS A FACT
Professor Thomas Arnold, for 14 years a headmaster of Rugby, author of the famous, History of Rome, and appointed to the chair of modern history at Oxford, was well acquainted with the value of evidence in determining historical facts. This great scholar said: “I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.” Brooke Foss Westcott, an English scholar, said: “raking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ. Nothing but the antecedent assumption that it must be false could have suggested the idea of deficiency in the proof of it.”
REAL PROOF: THE DISCIPLES’ LIVES
But the most telling testimony of all must be the lives of those early Christians. We must ask ourselves: What caused them to go everywhere telling the message of the risen Christ?
Had there been any visible benefits accrued to them from their efforts–prestige, wealth, increased social status or material benefits–we might logically attempt to account for their actions, for their whole-hearted and total allegiance to this “risen Christ .”
As a reward for their efforts, however, those early Christians were beaten, stoned to death, thrown to the lions, tortured and crucified. Every conceivable method was used to stop them from talking.
Yet, they laid down their lives as the ultimate proof of their complete confidence in the truth of their message.
WHERE DO YOU STAND?
How do you evaluate this overwhelming historical evidence? What is your decision about the fact of Christ’s empty tomb? What do you think of Christ?
When I was confronted with the overwhelming evidence for Christ’s resurrection, I had to ask the logical question: “What difference does all this evidence make to me? What difference does it make whether or not I believe Christ rose again and died on the cross for my sins!’ The answer is put best by something Jesus said to a man who doubted–Thomas. Jesus told him: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).
On the basis of all the evidence for Christ’s resurrection, and considering the fact that Jesus offers forgiveness of sin and an eternal relationship with God, who would be so foolhardy as to reject Him? Christ is alive! He is living today.
You can trust God right now by faith through prayer. Prayer is talking with God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. If you have never trusted Christ, you can do so right now.
The prayer I prayed is: “Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and trust You as my Savior. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Thank You that I can trust You.”
Josh McDowell, according to a recent survey, is one of the most popular speakers among university students today. He has spoken on more than 650 university and college campuses to more than seven million people in 74 countries during the last 21 years.
©1992 Josh McDowell Ministry