Monday, December 24, 2018

The Wedding at Cana

The Wedding at Cana
By Richard P. Joseph

Image result for pictures of the wedding at cana


Early in Jesus’ ministry when he was first gathering his disciples he and his
mother were attending a wedding, probably of a relative, in Cana. As the festivities
went on, they obviously ran out of wine, or did they?  Next, a weird conversation
between Mary and Jesus transpired in which I do not believe I have ever found
a satisfactory explanation for. I still think there is more to it than what I say here
but hopefully we can have some fun trying.  
First of all, remember that Jesus and his disciples were invited guests, they
were not the host.  Mary was probably helping the host herself but Jesus was
not. Mary then says to Jesus (a guest) that “they have no wine”.  She didn’t say
“they ran out of wine” she just said “they have no wine”. This could be pure
semantics but it might not be either.  If I threw a party and ran out of food or
beverages, I would not ask a guest to supply it, I would run to the store myself
and get it.  Do you see my point. Also, by her statement that “they have no
wine”, it is almost like saying that they are lacking in some vital thing that they
should know about.  Jesus picked up the “code” that Mary was talking in and
responded with “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour
has not yet come.”  
If you were asked to provide wine what would you do?  If someone asked me
that same question (or statement really) I would run to the corner store and buy
a couple bottles of wine; right?  Why didn’t Jesus do that? In other words he
understood this had nothing to do with natural wine, it had to do with a new
covenant approaching.  This theme about a new covenant approaching to
replace the old one started right off the bat with John the Baptist and continued
to the last word in our New Testament.  It is the idea that the old law was to be
replaced with a new “law”. The old covenant would be completed and a new
covenant would ensue. The new covenant would be superior to the old.  When
Jesus turned the water into wine the master of the wedding proclaimed  “Every
man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well
drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”  Jesus is that
new wine.  
In Matthew chapter 9 Jesus was questioned about “why he and his disciples
were not often fasting but the pharisees and John’s disciples fasted”.  Jesus
immediately compared his ministry to a wedding. Sound familiar? Jesus was
plainly proclaiming the arrival of the Messiah and comparing it to a marriage.  
The marriage to the church was upon them and they did not realize it. Jesus
then told them 17 “...Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the
wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put
new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
The old wineskins is the old covenant.  The old covenant can not contain the
New Covenant; it would burst.  The old covenant (old wineskins) would be
replaced with new wineskins (the church) and the church (the called out
assembly) would contain the new wine (Holy Spirit).  This New Covenant was
given at the Last Supper.
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it
to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink
from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for
many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of
the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s

kingdom.”
There are two parts to this statement.  First, they are to drink from it showing
they are entering into a new blood covenant and second, there appears to be a
transition period where he would not drink with them again until they are together
in his Father’s kingdom.  In other words there was going to be a period of time
to accomplish and consummate this covenant. Almost like God telling Noah to
build an ark but it took many years to build it and finally to enter into it. But
how long would it take?
Well, if you are a futurist then you are still waiting.  However, if you have a
thorough understanding of scripture and history then you would conclude that
the consummation occured  within 40 years of the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.
If we are still waiting then we are most miserable among people. That is why it
is vital to study biblical history as well as biblical teaching.  According to modern
futurist teaching, we are in a state of nothingness. Almost like nirvana. A place
that has no real description or borders. An undefined drifting toward nowhere.
God did not leave us in this state, it was invented by fault or by ignorance.  The
fall of Jerusalem was the time of consummation. The first Christians are at the
table of Christ in his eternal kingdom. Us on earth are spiritually connected with
that kingdom and will upon our leaving this earth be at his table also. If the
kingdom was not established in AD 70 then we would still be drifting aimlessly
amidst the waters of confusion.  This is not the case for those that understand
the historical timing of the parousia.

The wedding at Cana was just one part in a consistent theme that runs
through the entire New Testament.  It is one of transition from old to new,
from law to grace, from ineffective to effective from sin to glory, from
incomplete to completion.     

Monday, October 8, 2018

Why was a rapture necessary?

Why was a rapture necessary?
By Richard P. Joseph
Image result for pictures of angelic armies in the sky


There is an ongoing argument between some preterist groups concerning an
actual rapture event.  One camp takes the bible literally while the other attempts
to spiritualize the subject into fuzzy dogma that nobody can ever really figure
out.  In this article I am not going to analyze the whole rapture scenario but I am
only concerned of why it was a necessary event that had to occur at an exact
period of time and for an exact reason.  If you want to learn more about the
event I highly recommend getting a copy of “Expectations Demand a First
Century Rapture” by Ed Stevens at www.preterist.org .  
There are several places in scripture where a rapture is mentioned.  The
English word would be “caught up”, the Greek would be”harpazo” and the
Latin, “rapio”.   I only mention that because there is someone out there that is
going to say that the word “rapture” isn’t even in the bible.  Well, if you read it in
Latin then it is. It depends on which language you are reading it in. So, my
question is; “Why did there have to be a rapture anyhow?”   To answer that
question we need to delve into what was happening during the first century.
As we know, Jesus was crucified in the year AD 30.   After his personal
resurrection he returned for 40 days to instruct his disciples on their
personal mission which would last for almost 40 years.  In acts 1:8 Jesus
informed them that they will be receiving power to become His witnesses.
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
and you shall be [c]witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and
Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
This power, or “inspiration” set the apostles apart from all other human beings
as they had power to loose and bind and to produce scripture and miracles
such that no others had.  While others also received the Holy Spirit, they did not
have the power of inspiration that the apostles held.
Daniel predicted this very time and time limits were set on it.  
Daniel 9:24“Seventy [e]weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
[f]To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint [g]the Most Holy.
My focus is on the last sentence where Daniel is told that vision and prophecy
would be sealed up.  The true message of God was always a controlled
substance. As you make your way through the bible from beginning to end you
find that certain people called prophets were given special insight into the
spiritual realm.  That is why they were often called seers. This prevented “just
anyone” from speaking the word of the true God or from performing miracles.
Once Jesus arrived he was a prophet and of course more than a prophet.
Once the Messiah finally appeared and his message established there would
be no more reason for inspiration.  Jesus predicted an end to Judaism and gave
his disciples the power to be witnesses of Him until that mission was complete.
Jesus clearly told them that it would occur before that generation fully passed
away.

When the time came for Jesus to return in glory and put an end to his unfaithful
wife, Judaism, and to marry a faithful wife, the Christian Church, he created an
absolute delineation point by rapturing up his inspired apostles and Christians
of that period and at an exact point in time which we now know was in AD 66
(see my article “The Day and Hour Revealed”).  This put an end to inspiration
such that the apostles had. This is an important event because it now prevents
anyone else from adding or subtracting from scripture. For example,
Mohammed, Joseph Smith Jr., Charles Taze Russell
and anyone else has absolutely no right to claim prophet status. It puts them all
into the cult category. Because people do not understand this simple doctrine,
they fall for all sorts of false teachings.  They are still waiting for a future rapture
and end of the world event that isn’t going to happen. This ignorance opens
them up to be deceived by any smooth talking scam artist. However, once you
familiarize yourself with the truth of a first century rapture and close of the age
you will no longer be subject to liars.

Monday, August 13, 2018

"I'm Right and You're Wrong"

“I’m right and you’re wrong”
By Richard P. Joseph
Image result for pictures of people arguing


This is not a political article per se but by using this argument I am hoping to
make a greater point.  In America we have three major political parties; the
Republicans, the Democrats and the Libertarians.
The Democrats are basically our socialist party based on the rejection of
Jesus Christ and his ethics.  I am going to promptly dismiss them from
any further consideration in this article. The Republicans are the party
that had its roots in the abolition of slavery.    It was supposed to represent
those that had some morals and has an openness to Christians but don’t
take that to the bank. I happen to be a Republican because of it’s
supposed acceptance of Christian values but that of course would be
hard to find in most of its members.  
The Libertarians, on the other hand, are a group of people that seemingly
have conservative values similar to the Republican party but they add a
fatal caveat to their definition.  They claim to promote conservative values
while at the same time offers the same freedom to those that hold to
liberal immoral values. The basic difference between the Republican
ideology and the Libertarian is that the Republicans understand
(supposedly) that there just might be something called “absolute truth”
and that you can’t coexist with those of a perverted mindset.  For example
if a Republican had cancer he would seek to treat it with medicine in order
to kill it while the Libertarian would attempt to live with it (allegorically, of
course).
I happen to be one that believes in an absolute truth as given by the
creator of the universe which would allow me to say “I’m right and you’re
wrong” whenever I encounter those who reject Jesus Christ.  There is no
living with immorality or perversion in any way shape or form.


“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My
ways,” says the Lord.
It is obvious that God has full claim to truth and that humans have full
claim to nonsense.  The very essence of scripture from beginning to end
is that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the one and only true God
and there is no other.  That fact alone is the stand alone offense to all
liberals. That is why they continually invent schemes to undermine it.
Celebrate Diversity, Mean People Suck, Global Warming, and most of all,
Political Correctness are all mantras of the left invented by the
homosexual community to bash Christians with and that is why I am
writing this article.  
Jesus paid the price for our sin and abolished the old system of Jew only
and opened the gospel up through the church for the entire world.  Jesus
consummated the church as the only source of truth on this earth and that
is what really bothers the liberals. Political Correctness was invented for
this very reason.  Political Correctness gives liberals the false boldness to
say to Christians “what gives you the right to say who is right and who is
wrong?” Most Church goers and liberal pastors cower under the
accusation and actually apologize for something that is completely fake.  
This cowardness is what makes God want to spew us out of his mouth.
Jesus left the church in a victorious state. In other words, we should be
ruling the earth with the gospel and goodness but instead we are rejecting
our mission and allowing the Muslims and the homosexuals and the
liberals to rule in our stead.  It is high time that the true church stand up
and finally put the enemies of Christ back under his feet where he left
them. We are the victors, not them. We hold the truth, not them. We are
sons of the king, not them. We are right and they are wrong.

Revelation 21:7-9 New King James Version (NKJV)

7 He who overcomes [a]shall inherit all things, and I will be
his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly,
[b]unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral,
sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the
lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second
death.”

It is a shame to watch weak Christians getting trampled over rough
shod by the world.  If they only understood that Jesus Christ won the
victory for us at the cross and consummated it at his parousia, then
would they stand tall and proud in the face of evil.  It is a slap in the
face of Christ that we are so weak with his sword. This is your call to
arms and to duty and to victory. The war was won so why would you
just sit there and not revel in the win.  I am not ashamed of the
gospel for it is the power of God to salvation for all who believe.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Recurring Dream

The Recurring Dream
By Richard P. Joseph

Image result for recurring dream images


I used to have a recurring dream, but not so much lately, about high school.  I
dreamt that I was back in high school and I was looking for my classroom but
could not find it.  I was panicked because it was the end of the school year and I
just realized that I had forgotten to go to class all year long; and now I couldn’t
find it.  I would wake up in a sweat and finally be relieved that it was just a
dream.
Ironically I met several other people that had a similar dream. I am not going to
try and analyze the dream but what is more important is that most people have
real life experiences similar to this dreaded dream.
I once heard a businessman ask a group of people this question;
“What if you got to the end of your life and found out you got good at something
that doesn’t matter?”  His point was that many of us waste our lives on doing
meaningless tasks or things that just make us feel good for the moment but
never take the challenge of pursuing or conquering anything worth while.  He
was attempting to motivate the group to set goals to achieve something better
than what they believed they could do or in other words to make a better life and
income for themselves and their families.  I would like to borrow his statement
but modify it just a bit; “What would happen if you got to the end of your life and
you found out that you actually missed the very essence of life itself?”   I
actually knew a guy who was abused as a child which affected him his entire life.
He lived a selfish worldly life which prevented him from ever getting married.  He
met a lot of big wigs in his day and talked big but something was eating him up
inside. When he got older he began questioning his life and began asking a
friend if he wasted his life.  The friend began explaining things to him but
suddenly he died (this is a true story). He died with no wife, no kids, no money,
no “nuttin”. This story, I am finding out, is more common than I would like to
believe.  In fact, it is epidemic.
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only
true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.   
I am saddened to watch as many people focus on their flesh and this
world as if there is nothing outside of it.  I see many young people putting
off having children because they are taught that kids are simply an
inconvenience to their all important lives and careers.  I see young people
attempting to fill that empty void in them by constantly entertaining
themselves. Most of them never heard that there is actually a reason
they are on this earth.  There is a mission and a goal and a job for them to
do but they are oblivious to it. I challenge you to read the last few
chapters in John’s gospel. Jesus came to the end of his short life and his
only concern was that he did the father’s will and that he cared about his
disciples.  He imparted to them his peace and his desire that they should
know God personally through him. He didn’t say one thing about them
getting good at playing horseshoes or winning in beer pong or about
betting on who would win the superbowl. His concern was with their souls
and their eternal state of being.  He was preparing them for the fight they
had in front of the them during the transition period between AD 30-70 to
prepare for his parousia (second coming). Knowing Jesus Christ is the
very essence of life. How sad is it when we see people on their
deathbeds and most never even realize that they missed the very reason
that they were born?  They pass in confusion and emptiness. I had the
pleasure of sitting by my mother during her last few days on earth. She
knew her time was concluded and she said to me; “make sure all your
kids are baptized and know Jesus Christ”. She knew her mission and she
conveyed it even in her last breath. What a great witness. Let us not
forget what the real reason we are here for.  Let us not forget what Jesus
was really all about. Let us never come to the end of our lives and start
looking for that classroom that we forgot to go to the entire year long!