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How can we understand the following Scriptures – Matt: 27:45-46, Mark: 15:25, 33-34, and John 19:14?  

What time was Jesus Crucified? In the 3rd or in the 6th hour?

In order to place things chronologically, one must understand that not all the Gospel accounts are strictly chronological.  One must piece them together based on time clues provided in the verses. John was the last Gospel written and he is the most chronologically accurate, followed by Mark.  Matthew and Luke are more topical than chronologically accurate. John tends to cover mostly details that were not adequately addressed or were left out of the other Gospels. Some examples of this are the instances of Jesus going into the Temple, the cursing of the fig tree, and the anointing of Jesus by Mary.

On 31 March AD 33 (11 Nisan), Tuesday sometime in the morning, Jesus was going to the city of Jerusalem from Bethany. Mark tells us specifically of the time of the event (Mark 11:12-14) in the morning of Jesus’ triumphant entrance into the city, which happened on 10 Nisan. We assume that from the morning, Jesus spent considerable time in the temple this day teaching and healing. On the way from Bethany, Jesus curses the fig tree (Mark 11:12-14). It reminds him of the plight of Israel and he then weeps over the city (Luke 19:45-48).  He then goes on to cleanse the temple.  “When even was come, he went out of the city” (Mark 11:19).  Mark tells us, the next morning while on the way into the city from Bethany, Peter notices the cursed fig tree has withered (Mark 11:20-21). Mark provided chronological markers, whereas Matthew was merely recalling important events or concepts.

So why is all this discussion about days and times? Time markers in scripture are very important or you may just gloss over them and miss deep and profound truths. Also, to piece all the scriptural evidence together, you must have a basis. To understand all this, we have attached a timeline showing Jesus’ last day. The Hebrew day ran from 6 p.m. in the evening until 6 p.m. the next day. The beginning of the day was actually the night-time, with four watches of 3 hours each which took them from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The daylight hours were broken out into two mornings (6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.).  At noon, the sun would reach its apex and then begin to even or set in the second half of the daylight hours. That part of the day was called the evening and it was divided into two evenings (noon to 3 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.). Then at 6 p.m., at evening, when the sun evened with the horizon, the Hebrew day would change again, starting a new day.

So let us practice using this basis. On Friday, 8 Nisan, was the Sabbath and Jesus could not travel.  At 6 p.m. on Saturday, the Sabbath ended and it became 9 Nisan.  He could now travel without violating the Law, but it was dark now. Jesus spent the night-time hours of 9 Nisan (first half of the day) at the home of Zacchaeus near Jericho on the way to Bethany (Luke 19:1-9).   The next morning, during the daylight hours of 9 Nisan, Jesus traveled to Bethany where he went to Lazarus’ house (possibly also known as Simon the Leper’s home). This would line up with John’s statement “six days before Passover”.  Passover was to start just after evening

(6 p.m.) on 15 Nisan, (Lev. 23:6, Exodus 12:17). 14 Nisan is the day of preparation and it is also the day Jesus died.  After you have a solid understanding of the Hebrew day, it becomes easier to specifically answer your question.

Look at the attached Hebrew Day Jesus Last Day. Note that based upon the Jewish Law, there were two daily sacrifices of a lamb, one at the third hour, and one at the ninth hour.  “Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually. The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning [9 a.m.] ….” (Exodus 29:38-9) Scripture tells us exactly when he was put on the cross, “And it was the third hour [9 a.m.], and they crucified him.” (Mark 15:25).  So Jesus was hung on the cross at the same time as the sacrifice of the first Lamb of the daily sacrifice.  The third hour of the daylight hours.

“Now from the sixth hour (12 p.m.) there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour

(3 p.m.).  “Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually… the other lamb thou shalt offer at even (3 p.m.):” (Exodus 29:38-9)

At what time does Jesus say these words:  “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  Before 9th hour or after 9th hour?

To answer your question, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:45-46, Mark 15:33-41, Luke 23:44-49).  “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, ‘It is finished’: and he bowed his head, and gave up his spirit” (John 19:30, Matt. 27:50).  Scripture is specific here, Jesus hung on the cross for 6 hours. At the same time the Lamb of the second daily sacrifice was being killed at 3 p.m., Jesus also died, just at about 3 p.m. on 14 Nissan. Those are the facts we have. He as a perfect man, bore our sins in our place, he became the Lamb of God who died for the sins of the world, fulfilling the requirement of the sacrifice of the two lambs each day. But there is more.

Note that also between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on this day of preparation, 14 Nisan, the Jews would have also been killing a separate lamb, the Passover Lamb, to begin roasting it for Passover which would begin just after 6 p.m., the beginning of 15 Nisan. “In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S Passover” (Lev. 23:5),  “And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; with bitter herbs they shall eat it” (Exodus 12:8).  “That night”, would be 15 Nisan, which was also the beginning of the Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and also happened to be the start of a regular Jewish Sabbath day.

The Lamb of God, representing all three sacrifices of the lambs, were on one day.

 

What Does it Mean to Be a Sister In Christ?

Be a Sarah

Age does not matter

Trust and believe that all things are possible in God’s perfect timing and seasons.

Be a Rebekah

Never forget that the true beauty is within

Draw all your loved ones closer to God through your Christ-like character

Be a Rahab

Whatever the conditions or circumstances. Believe in the Power of God’s Word, give your best to Him and he will remember you and your household

Be a Ruth

Loyal in all your relationships, walk the extra mile, and don’t quit when it gets tough and someday you will see why it is worth the effort

Be a Hannah

Never cease to pray, it will never be in vain

Be a Abigail

Remember each decision can turn your life around for good or bad.  Be wise.

Be a Esther

Bold and courageous to stand for truth, voice your opinions, fight for the good of others even if it means to sacrifice yourself.  If God had put you in a position for a purpose. Never be afraid to heed your inner voice.

Be a Mary

Humble and submissive, you don’t have to do great things for God to use you.  You only need to obey.

Be an Elizabeth

Never doubt what God can do, He is the God of many miracles

Be a Mary Magdalene

Never let mistakes or judgment of other people stop you from experiencing the joy of God.

Be a Lydia

Let your homes be open, let your hands be generous, let your heart be big enough to help anyone in need.  Joy is the greatest when shared.

LIVING Hope and Joy

He is risen!

And he is satisfied, as he sees the unfolding of the Father’s plan, first in the development of the called-out ones, and then in the blessing of Israel and all the families of the earth.  Isaiah 53:11-12

Oh, what the faithfulness and resurrection of our Lord means to us and to every human life!

Our hope is LIVING, and the end result of our Blessing is sure!  This LIVING HOPE is similar to the joy set before him, Hebrews 12:2,  which is also the joy (and hope) set before us!  “…we may have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the HOPE SET BEFORE US.   This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”  Hebrews 6:18-20!!!

This LIVING HOPE will bear the fruit of the expectation, first in the heavenly inheritance according to His promise, part of the LIVING JOY set before us!

Until that final reward this LIVING HOPE is protected, by the process of our own protection through the power of God.  Another aspect of the LIVING JOY set before us is our present inheritance of protection and strength under Divine Loving Providence.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth (begettal) into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”  1 Peter 1:3-5

This LIVING HOPE provides the fiery trials that we experience for a short time, for the refinement of our faith.  The result will be glory to the Father and the Son. There is LIVING JOY in this process of refinement because it leads to our growth to their glory.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”  1 Peter 1:6-7

This LIVING HOPE gives us a great depth of joy, another part of the hope and joy set before us, with the ultimate result of the deliverance of all in Adam.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of souls.”  1 Peter 1:8-9

Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Is Joshua the high priest and Joshua who led the Israelites to subdue the promised land the same?

In  Zechariah 3:1:  (1)  Is Joshua the high priest and Joshua who led the Israelites to subdue the promised land the same?   (2)  How did the Joshua in Zechariah became the high priest to the Israelite people?  (3)  What is the name of the angel standing before the Lord in Zech 3:4?  (4)  So many years back Joshua (successor to Moses) died – how did Zechariah recognize Joshua?

The Joshua mentioned in Zechariah is not the Joshua, who led the Israelites into the promised land in the book of Joshua.  Joshua, the successor to Moses, was the son of Nun of the tribe of Ephraim (1 Chronicles 7:22, 26-27), grandson of Ammihud, great-grandson of Elishama.  As such, he was not a Levite and therefore could not have ever been a high priest.  Zechariah would have known Jewish history that would include Moses and Joshua.  However, recall from the Israelite leader Joshua to the time of Darius in which Zechariah wrote this (Zech. 1:1) was about 1000 years (from the division of the land, the time of the judges, the time of the Jewish kings, the 70 years of desolation after the Babylonian captivity, etc).  It would be utterly impossible for this to be that Joshua.

The verses in Zechariah Chapter 3 are meant to be an encouragement to Israel and are full of prophetic metaphor and symbolism and were evidently a vision. The name Joshua signifies “Savior” in Hebrew and in the Greek “Jesus.” Just as this Joshua is a high priest, he is a picture of the Church, the body of the spiritual high priest, Jesus. Thus the angel standing before the LORD is Jesus. Satan of course is the accuser, whereas Jesus is our advocate and is the head or high priest of the Church which is his body. Jerusalem in verse 2 is the Kingdom of God of fleshly Israel among mankind and specifically represents spiritual Israel, the Church (Rev 3:12, 21:2). Both God and Jesus has chosen it (the Church).

In this picture, Joshua represents the Church, the body of Christ. We know this because in the picture, God and Jesus (the angel) are present. The filthy rags show that Joshua represents a human class and is from the fallen race of Adam (Isaiah 64:6), whereas Jesus was not.  If Joshua represented only Jesus, he would not have worn rags as he was a perfect human (Psalms 37:37; Eph. 4:13), not of the seed of man, but blameless and without sin. Also, Satan would not be standing ready to accuse one who is without sin as he would have no basis in justice to do so.

In verse 4, the iniquity is taken away and the Church is clothed with new raiment, picturing the covering of our sins with the robe of Christ’s righteousness while in the flesh (Matt. 22:11).  It also reminds us that we will be given a resurrection to a new spirit nature. Joshua the high priest is also given a turban or mitre, like a crown representing victory, righteousness, and life

(1 Cor. 9:25, 2 Tim. 4:8, James 1:12, Rev. 2:10, Rev. 3:11).  If we are faithful as Joshua was told, we will judge angels and man (1 Cor. 6:2-3) as part of Christ’s body.

We are reminded that God has brought forth a branch from the line of David, our Lord and Savior Jesus (this part of the prophecy fulfilled).  Zechariah 3:9 reminds us that God lays a stone before us (Isa. 28:16).  Jesus is the stone the builders rejected (Matt. 21:42). The stone cut out without hands (Dan 2:34). This stone, Jesus, has seven eyes showing perfect divine wisdom and he shall oversee the engraving of his character and law upon the living stones of the Church, the Body of Christ in the Gospel age.  It will also be the case for all mankind in the one day (2 Pet. 3:8), the millennial day, the 1000 year Kingdom of God on earth.  In that day, everyone will be at peace and on earth they will be sustained by the restored and perfected Eden of earth (Micah 4:4).

As you can see, it is a prophecy and an encouragement to Israel, mankind, and the Church.

The Memorial 2020

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you
proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”
-1 Co. 11:26

The date of the memorial

TUESDAY 7th April 2020 (14th Nisan) after 7:30 pm.
For more details on locations where the memorial will be held please contact us at washingtonbiblestudents@gmail.com.

We suggest following study materials:

2020 Memorial Study Topics
2020 Memorial Last Week
Lord’s Last Week
Lord’s Last Days [R4212]

The Passover of the New Creation

Are there specific scriptures that lead a person to vote for conservative candidates?

Question: Are there specific scriptures that lead a person to vote for conservative candidates?

I believe God hates the shedding of innocent blood and is for traditional marriage, but I would like to get scriptures for proof that we will be held accountable for the people we put in office.

Answer:
Your question involves many intersecting scriptural principles. The examples you give of marriage and shedding of innocent blood are very good scriptural principles that apply to “God’s people” and you should certainly consider them in your decision-making. We will all be judged (Rom. 2:2, 2 Cor. 5:10, Rom. 14:10-12) at the appointed time in God’s plan. The world is not under judgment at this time in the Gospel age (John 3:17, 2 Pet. 3:7); it will be judged during the Millennial Kingdom of Christ (John 5:28-29 – “judgment,” not “damnation” – the King James Bible is a poor translation, John 9:39,10:16). We as consecrated Christians ARE under judgment in this Gospel age (1 Pet. 4:17) for we seek a heavenly calling now while in the world and therefore have placed ourselves under development and review. We have given up the world, the things of the world, and all that the world holds dear. We should be dead to the world. Therefore, we are no longer of the world (John 17:14-16, Phil. 3:20-21). We are strangers, pilgrims (Heb 11:13, 1 Pet. 2:11)  and ambassadors (Eph. 6:20), all of which should not get caught up in the affairs of a country or the world to which they no longer belong, nor would they bother voting in it.

It is clear, until Christ fully establishes his kingdom on earth (Matt. 6:10), it is under the influence and control of the “prince of this world” (John 14:30, Eph. 2:2). We have evidence of this in that Jesus, when he fasted in the wilderness after his baptism, was tempted by Satan to be given the kingdoms and glory of this world (Matt. 4:8-9). Jesus refused because he was on a mission from his Father, likewise, we are on a mission form Jesus. Jesus also said of this Gospel age, “… if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight…” (John 18:36).  God’s saints should rejoice in the promise that soon Christ will overthrow all present earthly governments, and on their ruins establish the long promised Kingdom of God (Dan. 2:44).” It is not for us to attempt to form what God has already begun in his work. We should not presume that our efforts will bring about God’s outcomes or his will (Isa 55:8-9). Nor should we unwittingly be voting for someone that God has not ordained or appointed lest we be fighting against God (Acts 5:38-39). God does not need our help.

On the contrary, it has been said, “He who votes in an election is morally bound to sustain the government he has participated in making — even to the giving of his life in its defense.”  If we vote, and the one we vote for were as you point out, shed innocent blood, will we not also be guilty of participating in the shedding of the blood?  Others have stated, “…soldiers of the cross are not to battle with carnal weapons, but have consecrated their lives even unto death in the service of another kingdom, whose interests are often against those of all the kingdoms of this world.”  When God ensures that the governments of the world are replaced by his kingdom, it will not be by a bloodless revolution at the ballot box, but by “…a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation…” (Dan. 12:1) in which the Lord will dash the kingdoms of this world to pieces, as “…pottery is shivered before the blows of an iron rod…” (Rev 2:26-27).

A pastor wrote, “A mistake is made by Christians in trying to apply to the world rules and laws given only to the saints.  Our earth life should, like Jesus’ life, be spent more for others than for self – doing good to all men, as we have opportunity, especially to the household of faith.”  Each one has opportunity to carry out this principle of self sacrifice in the everyday affairs of life.  In our judgment, the common habit of speaking and thinking of the new nature as being an engrafting of a spiritual element into a natural man and of the blending in us of the human and divine natures, are serious and hurtful errors.

Taking a case in point, after Jesus ascended to heaven, the 11 apostles took it upon themselves to vote Matthias to replace Judas (Acts 1:26). Later on the road to Damascus, the glorified Jesus chose Saul to become Paul and serve him. Which did God ordain to be the replacement for Judas and the 12 apostles? How many Christians consider Matthias an apostle to this day?

We are to abide while in this world and to obey our leaders (Heb. 13:17, Titus 3:1) but we must still keep God’s principles.  “Render to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matt. 22:21).  Though this may seem foreign to some, we are to be bond servants to Christ (1 Cor. 7:22).  In Christ, we have grace (John 1:17, Rom. 1:5), justification (Rom 3:24) and God sanctifies us and shapes us unto holiness if willing (John 17:16-17). Making decisions about worldly issues such as candidates for worldly office will not separate us from God (Rom 8:38-39).  At the same time, if a Christian chooses to get into the affairs of the world, we should make every decision striving to applying the principles of truth, where and when possible, as we will have to give an account of our actions (Rom 14:12).

If you let the world worry about its own affairs (Matt. 8:22) and focus your efforts on serving God, then you should not have any concerns. God will work out his will for us and for the world (2 Tim. 2:21, Rom. 8:28).

What happened to Dinah (Gen 30:21)?  

Question: What happened to Dinah (Gen 30:21)?  The last time we read about her is when Jacob and all his descendants enter Egypt, at the end of Genesis (Chapter 34).  When Exodus starts we just read about the 12 tribes of Israel.

Answer:  We are not told in the current accepted Christian texts of the Old Testament what became of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, except that she went down into the land of Egypt with Jacob and her extended family (Gen 46:6).  In Jewish rabbinic literature, there are various surmising and lore, however we cannot validate any of it by scripture, so we do not ascribe to any of the conclusions.  There is an interesting article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinah which may provide some insight.  We make no recommendations as we are not given that data in scripture.  What we do understand is the whole episode is a tarnish on righteousness and Godliness.  It shows events and outcomes that may occur when we allow worldly desires, corruption and political or economic gain to shape our ethics and principles.  One point is clear, Dinah and her family were more than likely absorbed into, and represented in one of the 12 tribes at the Exodus.

 

what about the people who get the mark and realize later that they made a mistake in getting the mark.

Question: In the book of Revelations we read about the people who get the “mark of the beast.” My question is what about the people who get the mark and realize later that they made a mistake in getting the mark.

Answer: Regarding your question on the Mark of the Beast. One must understand that the whole of the book of Revelations is symbolic or “signified” language (Rev 1:1) and all the elements depicted are representative or symbolic, not literal. For instance, in prophecy we know that places represent conditions or situations. Streams or fountains can represent Godly truth, whereas rivers represent sources of support and seas represent large masses of humanity. The heavens can represent organized religious systems, whereas earth or land can represent organized orderly society. Trees and mountains can represent nations, depending on context. In the case of beasts, they represent secular or pagan Government systems (Dan 7:17, 23; Rev 16:10, 17:12, 17). We know this since God first used beasts to show the prophet Daniel a series of political systems or nations that would come to pass before the end of the current evil world. Beasts were used because they had characteristic attributes that we are able to associated with the character and nature of the system being described. In some cases, history has even shown the symbols that these nations used on flags and coins were actually associated with characteristics of the beast portrayed by it.

Keep in mind also that the revelations provided are not meant for the world of mankind in general, they are specifically for Christendom. Within Christendom, there are various levels of faithfulness. Some are followers in name only to benefit from the system (Matt 13:32) . Some will fall away and miss out altogether the resurrection of the believers to spirit nature due to extreme unfaithfulness (Luke 8:5-7; 13). Some will be lukewarm and be rejected as members of the Church (Rev 3:16). Some will be spirit-begotten but will not develop to the level of the Church in character (Rev 7:9). Some are going to be members of the Church (Luke 8:8; Rev 7:4; 14:1) .

The Gospel age is for the judgment of the worthiness of the Church (John 12:48; 5:29). The Millennial Kingdom that follows the Gospel Age will be for the judgement of mankind (John 5:29; Matt 25:31-46). Those that do not commit themselves to Christ in the Gospel Age are not addressed in the admonitions of Revelations, other than they will experience the various events on earth. The mark of the beast is detrimental only to Christians, not the rest of mankind until God, through Jesus and his Church members, administer the final 1000 year kingdom for the development and testing of all resurrected mankind here on the earth (Rev 20:6) (Rev 20:5 is spurious – added, not original text).

The mark is symbolic of acceptance of and participation in the beast system, contrary to discernible scriptural truth.  The forehead represents the mind, perspective or knowledge (1 Cor 2:16, Matt 15:19-20; 1 Thess 4:11) and the right hand represents actions or behavior (Rev 9:20; Luke 21:12; John 13:6-9; Gal 2:9; 1 Thess 4:11).  The mark of those Christians who buy into and participate in the Beast system will have rejected truth available to them and therefore will be known by their participation in the Beast system. They symbolically take on the name or characteristics of the Beast system and are therefore said to have taken its name or mark (Rev 20:4).  Once the judgments against Christendom begin, their fate is sealed and those will have to experience the wrath of that judgment (Rev 14:9-10). That is why God’s people are admonished to come out of the system(s) (2 Cor 6:17; Rev 18:4) and to be a separate and peculiar people (Heb 7:26; 2 Cor 6:17). Those that take the symbolic mark may miss out on the high calling of the church unto resurrection to immortality. They will lose the opportunity to a resurrection to spirit being nature (Rev 14:12). Since all will be resurrected (Acts 24:15), they will possibly be judged with the rest of mankind as part of an earthly resurrection, but will miss out on the blessings reserved for God’s spirit begotten followers.

The fact that you are concerned indicates your heart’s desire. True Christians will not be tricked into the mark. Many have come to the understanding that the Papal System and much of its spin-off protestant systems are associated with the Beast discussed. This is due to the involvement of these religious systems in the affairs and power of earthly kingdoms and governments, in the commerce, wealth and power of the world. No ONE represents Christ on earth nor does any ONE denomination represents the Church. The way to avoid the mark is to study the scriptures proving every doctrine and teaching given you by any Christian group by scriptural witness (2 Tim 2:14-26; 2 Tim 2:15). ANY church, religion or Christian group that teaches anything that is not substantiated in scripture – beware (Eph 5:1-21). Jesus warned us that this would happen (Matt 24:4-5; 23-25). Study and prove every teaching in scripture, not by just one verse but by the complete record of an issue. (Acts 17:11; Matt 7:7).

The Apostle Paul said, “For the time will come when people will not tolerate healthy doctrine, but with itching ears will surround themselves with teachers who cater to their people’s own desires. They will refuse to listen to the truth and will turn to myth. But you must be clear-headed about everything….” (2 Tim 4:3-4). Christians have numerous beliefs based upon what they were told or taught, without proving everything in scripture. Just as a picture puzzle is not fully understood if it has large swatches of pieces missing, God’s word is to be understood in its totality. Scriptures define, establish, reinforce and build upon principles, types, pictures and examples; similarly, many pieces of a puzzle must come together to form meaningful interpretations or understandings of what is pictured. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isa 28:10). If you study scripture with this in mind, then there is no need to fear the Beast, its name or its mark.

God creates light on the first day of creation – what does that mean?

Thank you for your question. It is simple yet very profound. You ask about the first day so I assume you are referring to the reference to the first day account of creation as told in the first chapter of Genesis.

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Gen 1:2 And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

We do not know from this passage if there was light already emanating in the heavens (the universe) after Gen 1:1 and God just let it penetrate the earth’s atmosphere; or if God merely ignited the Sun in our own solar system which illuminated the earth, or if there was no light in all the universe and then he switched it on at that point by the power of his command. The possibilities are interesting.  However, the main point here is that God established a difference between light of day and darkness of night. He established for mankind, in the first day of creation, the basis for “time” as we know it. Time is important because He also set in motion a plan that would ultimately result in a finite number of his created human beings ultimately becoming divine creatures with his very nature and character of wisdom, love, power and justice. This plan had a definite timeline. In order for us to understand this plan as it unfolds, we needed a basis to measure it by. Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks ….etc. are all possible because God created light; He separated the evening and the morning into a unit of time called a “day”. God’s time line goes on to detail 6 days of creation and 1 day of rest which are all symbolic of his divine plan.

I would invite you to further investigate this plan. It is one of logic and hope. You can find it at electronically at http://www.biblestudents.com/htdbv5/indexa.htm. This provides you an overview of the Divine Plan of The Ages. From there you can delve into a more thorough explanation of each phase of the plan in plain logical sequence as revealed from God’s own word. There is a free online course you can learn more from at http://www.biblestudents.com/free_online_bible_study.cfm or you can receive a free copy of the overview in printed form at http://www.biblestudents.com/freebook.cfm.

Is There an Unpardonable Sin?

According to the scriptures, all sin and blasphemy will be forgive except one. There is a sin that is unpardonable and will require recompense from all.  “Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come.” (Mat 12:31-32)(Lk 12:10)(Mk3:28-29)
To fully understand what is being spoken here, one must understand what the Holy Spirit is; what the punishment is; and when is does the state of unforgiven occur.
First, the Holy Spirit is not an entity, personage, or separate sovereign. It is the power and character of God Almighty, Jehovah. Take the Sun for example, we know it exists, we feel its heat and see its light. But the heat and the light are not the Sun, only characteristics and manifestations of the Sun. Like the Sun, Jehovah has characteristics and manifestations that the scripture reveals to us as ultimate Love, Justice, Wisdom and Power, which emanate from Him. These attributes work together in harmony, not at their own accord, but by the will of Jehovah who possesses them and from whom they emanate. All creation is ordered by these characteristics which are the standard or touchstone of all love, justice, wisdom and power.
We too have a spirit. It too is not a separate entity within us but are those characteristics and manifestations that represent us and our thoughts, behaviors and actions. The spirit of man and his flesh is in a fallen state, separated from relationship with God. So, it is very rare that man’s spirit aligns with or is unison with God’s Spirit. Man’s spirit is deficient compared to God’s. Therefore he is not righteous nor can he be without God’s Spirit be in him.
 We know from scripture, the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). All have sinned and fall short of the glory (Holy Spirit) of God.(Rom 3:23, Rom 5:12). All die, and it is actually appointed to all men to die once.(Heb_9:27). We are told that all will be resurrected, some to life and some to judgement (not damnation, that is a faulty translation)(Jn 5:28-29). So, we know there will be 2 categories of people. One that is resurrected to life, and one that is resurrected to a time of judgement – that is teaching, development and testing. This time will be the millennial kingdom of Jesus.
We must understand God’s Justice. If someone creates a debt or obligation, they must usually repay that debt or obligation. If someone commits a sin or offense, they must usually be punished for that sin or offense. To forgive someone of something means that they are released from the debt or obligation. What Jesus was telling us is that anyone who speaks against God’s Holy Spirit, his character, his good intentions, or attributes God’s good actions toward evil, they will not have that offense forgiven them. They will have to be punished for that. We are not told what the punishment will be, merely that they will not escape having to make restitution.
Jesus speaks of this world, the present evil world, in the current Gospel Age. All people, Christians and non-Christians are under the same penalty regarding this one offense. In ignorance, one may violate the principle and will eventually have to resolve the offense. In the current Gospel age, when one consecrates oneself to God through Jesus Christ, their sins reckoned forgiven by grace due to the merit of Christ. For this sin, according to the scripture, one must still pay a price with some form of corrective punishment. As a Christian develops, they are a new creation and God shares his Spirit with those dedicated to him and over time he develops, shapes and polishes them like preparing jewels. These spirit-begotten ones most likely will go through trials, tribulations, teaching hardships for their developmental good. Some of these life experiences may involve strips, punishments or special trials. These might be part of the payment for offenses that are not congruent with our Christian walk, and like a loving Father, they are done for our good and development. With the true Christian, when much is given in the form of truth, light, knowledge, and forgiveness; much is also expected in obedience, development and righteousness. (Lk 12:47-48) In the resurrection, spirit-begotten will have lived a life under grace and experienced correction by sacrifice of one’s personal desires and ambitions in place of seeking to do God’s will. They will receive a resurrection unto life. Those that achieve the highest levels of Christ-likeness, the Church, resurrect to spirit nature, not one of flesh.
The rest of mankind will resurrect in the flesh on earth. They will be forgiven their sins due to the ransom paid by Christ, which will be applied to all. Then the kingdom will offer mankind a time of training in righteousness, free of evil. Mankind will still have to restitute for the sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit, however it will be just and under the loving supervision of Jesus. Like Christians in the Gospel Age, all the rest of mankind will be required to learn obedience and righteousness under the guidance of an intermediary, Jesus. At the end of that 1000 year kingdom, all hearts will be tested. Those who have forsaken evil and the spirit of the world and have embraced righteousness shall receive eternal life on earth. Those that have not will be judged unfavorably and will receive the wages of sin, a second death which is also eternal. Not life elsewhere under unfavorable conditions, but oblivion.
Regardless of the category one may fall under described in Jn 5:28-29, ALL are liable for the sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit. All who do will be judged justly and will be required to make whatever restitution for the offense that Jesus deems appropriate.