Did God Lie to Adam?

When the Lord put the first man upon the earth in the Garden of Eden, there was only one commandment with consequence for him to keep. This particular commandment concerns one particular tree in the Garden of Eden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Violation of this commandment carries a death penalty.

Genesis 2:15: And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

Genesis 2:16: And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

Genesis 2:17: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

With regards to dressing the garden and to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth, these works do not carry any adverse consequence. In the absence of death, those works only keep Adam meaningfully occupied. Adam has no expiry date on him.

However, concerning the death penalty to be meted out upon transgression of this commandment, it was very specific. Death would result in the day should Adam transgress.

Whether Adam fully understood the severity of the consequence of death, it is a subject of conjecture. No death has occurred on earth yet. So what does it mean to die and what pains and sufferings are involved regarding death in an environment absence of death are some thoughts to consider. For the scripture does record that even the Son of God has to taste death as a man.

Hebrews 2:9: But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

So the subject of death became a tool for Satan to exploit when trying to seduce Eve to transgress the only commandment with the death penalty. The devil was cunning indeed as he approached Eve instead of Adam who was the original recipient of the commandment not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:1: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Genesis 3:2: And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

Genesis 3:3: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

Eve’s reply to Satan’s crafty questioning was not accurate either. She added her own version of God’s commandment to include touching the forbidden tree.

In addition, God’s confirmed death penalty had been reduced to a punishment with a probable chance of mitigation with the introduction of the word “lest” added to her reply.

So the concept of death seems to be rather nebulous. With sufficient rewards, the punishment of death might appear to be a worthwhile gamble.

With Eve’s unscriptural response, this gave the devil room to enter for the final kill. It is noteworthy to know that Christians are commanded not to give place to the devil.

Ephesians 4:27: Neither give place to the devil.

Hence, Satan had gotten a foothold into this game of toying with Eve to succumb to his wiles.

Ephesians 6:11: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Genesis 3:4: And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

Firstly, Satan contradicted God’s commandment assuring Eve she would not die. He won’t have this chance if Eve had ignored him and not talked about death. How much did Eve know about death living in an environment where death was absent?

With Eve’s watered down view of death, this was an opportunity for the devil. To induce Eve to transgress, a reward was dangled before her to consider transgressing against God.

Genesis 3:5: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Genesis 3:6: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

So having done her cost and benefit analysis, the rest was history. Man fell into transgression and subsequently, everyone that comes into this world is born dead in trespasses and sins.

Ephesians 2:1: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

God’s pronouncement of judgment came quick and swift after this incident. The consequences that followed were anything but pretty. Man and woman though not cursed directly, have to suffer during their lifetime living on earth.

Genesis 3:16: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Genesis 3:17: And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Genesis 3:18: Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

Genesis 3:19: In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

However, the death penalty that was supposed to be meted out to Adam and Eve was withheld. Earth has not experienced death as yet but ironically, it was animals on earth that had to experience death first. The Lord had to make coats of skins to cover the nakedness of the fallen Adam and Even. Their homemade fig leaves cover just won’t do.

Genesis 3:21: Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

So what happened to God’s immutability with regards to His decreed promise of rewards and punishment? Adam and Eve deserved death but they were spared. Instead, innocent animals took their place.

Moreover, Adam and Eve were subsequently banned from having access to the tree of life. The reason being Adam and Eve after acquiring the knowledge of good and evil had become as god as far as God’s attributes are concerned.

Genesis 3:22: And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Genesis 3:23: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

Genesis 3:24: So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

This seems to make what Satan told Eve valid and true. God’s acknowledgement that man having acquired the knowledge of good and evil alluded to an upgrade to their status.

Furthermore, Adam and Eve did not die, which was what Satan told Eve. On the surface, what Satan told Eve was correct and they did not die after this transgression.

It was the poor animals that had to die.

Hence, Adam and Eve had to experience what death entailed. It was no longer a concept they hardly understood and fully grasped before their transgression.

So did God lie to Adam and Eve concerning the death penalty?

It appears that what Satan told Eve was more truthful.

Some suggested that Adam and Eve died spiritually immediately after their transgression. Death simply means separation from God. God can no longer fellowship with fallen men. This may sound logical but not entirely true and not according to scriptural fact.

The scripture shows that God did continue to interact with men and fellowship with them. Apart from Adam and Eve, God also dealt with their children Cain and Abel.

Genesis 4:3: And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

Genesis 4:4: And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

Genesis 4:5: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Here the Lord accepted Abel’s offering but Cain’s offering was not.

These two sons of Adam though born dead in trespasses and sins had not transgressed any of God’s commandment for there was none given to them.

However, they did approach God with their offerings voluntarily. No written commandments were given with regards to such offerings other than the pattern they received from their father Adam concerning coats of skins to cover their nakedness and not fig leaves.

Although the Lord did not accept Cain’s offering, he was not treated as an outcast. Cain was assured he could do better and would be accepted as well.

Genesis 4:6: And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

Genesis 4:7: If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Moreover, even after Cain murdered his brother Abel due to jealousy, the Lord continued to deal with Cain and even protected him from vengeance.

Genesis 4:14: Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

Genesis 4:15: And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

In addition, years later another of Adam’s descendant Enoch had such close fellowship with the Lord that he did not even experience death.

Genesis 5:24: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Prophet Elijah is another case in point where he was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire.

2 Kings 2:11: And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

So the Lord did and could fellowship with fallen men even though they are born dead in trespasses and sins. The question is whether God would accept fallen men and that is another subject altogether.

The problem is did God keep His promise to put Adam and Eve to death when they transgressed by partaking the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:17: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

It is pretty clear that God threatened Adam he would die in the day when he transgressed this particular commandment. But Adam and Eve did not die in the day of their transgression. They were allowed to live for many more years and Adam lived till ripe old age of 930 years.

Genesis 5:5: And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

This however, does not suggest God did not keep His promise to sentence Adam and Eve to death. The question has to do with when?

Execution was supposed to be on the day of their transgression. It seems to have been postponed till after 900 over years.

The contradiction concerns how man and God reckon time and day. Men living on earth consider a twenty-four hours day. But God who created heaven and earth is not restricted to earthly time and day measurement. Peter informed us one day with the Lord is as a thousand years.

2 Peter 3:8: But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

A day may be very short for the Lord but for mere human creatures residing on earth, a thousand years is a super long period of time.

So Adam who lived to 930 years actually died that same day as far as the Lord is concerned when he transgressed God’s commandment.

There is no contradiction of scriptures here with the Lord failing to keep His promise. In fact, no man ever lives past a thousand years before he dies. The oldest man ever lived was Methuselah.

Genesis 5:27: And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.

Other than Enoch and Elijah who did not experience death, all men born dead in trespasses and sins do not live past one day in the Lord’s reckoning of days.

The Psalmist also rightly concludes.

Psalms 90:4: For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

Psalms 84:10: For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

So the Lord indeed kept His promise to put Adam and Eve to death in the day of their transgression.

The Lord also promised eternal life to Adam’s lost and helpless race of fallen men.

Titus 1:2: In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

1 John 5:11: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

1 John 5:12: He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

1 John 5:13: These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

As such, you need not die just because of Adam’s transgression.

Come to the Lord and receive His Son as your eternal salvation today.


Fake News in the Bible

The recent US presidential election has brought the trouble with fake news to the fore front. Fake news are nothing new. Fake news have been used since time immemorial to cause a certain event to occur in favour to the predestined desired results by the issuer of the fake news. This has been employed during times of wars where accounts have been numerous.

Some years back the US justified their invasion with fake news that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. The whole world was taken in for a ride. When Iraq was finally destroyed and Saddam Hussein executed, no weapons of mass destruction were found.

In fact fake news are not alien to Biblical revelation as well. One prominent incident was the destruction of the wicked king Ahab. The plan to disseminate fake news took place in heaven. This piece of fake news sealed the doom of king Ahab.

1 Kings 22:19: And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.

1 Kings 22:20: And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.

1 Kings 22:21: And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.

1 Kings 22:22: And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

1 Kings 22:23: Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

During one of the wars between Israel and Syria where the children of Israel were under siege living in dire condition, a case of fake news helped to prevent the impending doom of the Israelites.

2 Kings 7:5: And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there.

2 Kings 7:6: For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.

2 Kings 7:7: Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life.

The source of this piece of fake news originated from none other than the Lord. Years later, the Lord again sent out fake news to deliver king Hezekiah and his people under siege by the Assyrians.

2 Kings 19:6: And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.

2 Kings 19:7: Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

2 Kings 19:8: So Rab-shakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish.

Fake news will become more prevalent during the last days in this digital age. The Lord Jesus Christ warned His people not to be taken in by fake news. There will be false Christs and false prophets who will deceive many.

Matthew 24:4: And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Matthew 24:5: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:11: And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:24: For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mark 13:21: And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:

Luke 21:8: And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

Prevailing fake news will cause many people to be troubled during the days prior to the return of Christ.

Matthew 24:6: And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

The Lord also condemned those unbelieving Jews they would rather believe fake news rather than the truth.

John 5:43: I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

This is sad but nevertheless true that many will be deceived. They would rather believe the devil than the Lord and hence nations of people are deceived and doomed.

Revelation 12:9: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 13:14: And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Revelation 20:3: And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Revelation 20:8: And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Revelation 20:10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

It is actually quite easy to deceive people who don’t like truths from the Bible. Just give them news that the people want to hear and they will swallow it. Manipulating people who reject the truth from the Bible is not very difficult.

So those who hate the Bible and the Lord and they think they can get away with it will be badly mistaken. The Lord will treat them the way they like to be treated.

2 Samuel 22:27: With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury.

Psalms 18:26: With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

Additionally, the Lord will even send them falsehoods and fake news will be one such weapon of choice.

Isaiah 66:4: I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

2 Thessalonians 2:8: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

2 Thessalonians 2:9: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

2 Thessalonians 2:10: And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2 Thessalonians 2:11: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

Don’t ever think you can beat the Lord in your own game. You will be deceived by fake news to your own confusion and destruction. It is not funny at all and it becomes funnier when you found the joke is on you.

Job 12:16: With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his.

So there are many weapons at the Lord’s disposal. One such weapon is fake news. Even the devil and his cohort are operating under the Lord’s permissive will to deal with wayward and froward sinners.

Now is the time to learn some truths. It is definitely possible to know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 8:24: I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

John 3:36: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Luke 12:5: But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Mark 9:47: And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

Mark 9:48: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Revelation 21:8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Believe the warnings from the Lord Jesus Christ.

You don’t have to be a victim of fake news.


Pontius Pilate – The Powerless Roman Governor

The trial of the Lord Jesus Christ was the most important trial in the whole world. While miscarriage of justice often happens in the world’s justice system, the miscarriage of justice of the trial of Jesus, the Son of God, was preordained of God. This case resulted in the crucifixion of Christ.

However, the execution order fell on the lap of Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor. The whole episode on the trial of Jesus turned out to be a kangaroo court situation based on public opinion. Unfortunately, the honourable Roman Governor had the dubious honour to become a rubber stamper instead of a righteous judge to put Jesus to death.

It wasn’t because Pilate was a useless, dumb and exceedingly corrupt trial judge. It was because the death of Jesus was prophesied of old not to be carried out by the usual Jewish execution by stoning. In fact, Pilate was a discerning and an intelligent man. He found Jesus innocent and proclaimed the verdict as such. But he was powerless to set Jesus free.

According to prophecy, the Lord Jesus Christ who knew no sin was made sin for sinners, the innocent dying for the guilty where the prophet Isaiah devoted an entire chapter on the suffering Messiah. This is also confirmed by the apostle Paul.

Isaiah 53:6: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

2 Corinthians 5:21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Like the serpent of brass lifted up on a pole in the wilderness where the rebellious children of Israel who looked at it were healed, the Lord Jesus was lifted up in death for sinners who look to Him for salvation.

Numbers 21:8: And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

Numbers 21:9: And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Isaiah 45:22: Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

The Lord also mentioned about His death of being lifted up upon the earth.

John 12:32: And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Moreover, the Son of God is the Passover Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and not one of His bones would be broken in death. So stoning would be out of the question.

Exodus 12:43: And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:

Exodus 12:46: In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.

Hence Roman crucifixion was the method of execution for the case of the Lord Jesus Christ. So Pilate happened to be the historical character in the trial of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalms 22:16: For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

However, Roman execution by crucifixion could involve breaking of the leg bones. This happened to the two thieves crucified with the Lord.

John 19:31: The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

John 19:32: Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.

But the Lord Jesus was the exception because He died on the cross. So not one bone of the Lord was broken according to prophecy.

John 19:33: But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:

John 19:36: For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

In addition, the Lord Jesus Christ would be pierced according to prophecy as well.

John 19:34: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

Zechariah 12:10: And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Revelation 1:7: Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

So Pilate the Roman Governor was the required state actor for the day. Pilate knew very well Jesus was innocent and he tried hard to push the ball back to the court of the Jewish religious establishment but to no avail.

John 18:31: Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:

He realized this whole event was a setup and he was being manipulated to do the bidding of the Jewish religious authorities.

Matthew 27:18: For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

When king Herod happened to be in town on the day of the trial, he pushed the court case over to him without hesitation having found out that Jesus was a Galilaean where Herod had jurisdiction over the accused criminal before him.

Luke 23:6: When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.

Luke 23:7: And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.

Unfortunately, Pilate could not escape this political hot potato. King Herod played ping pong diplomacy with Pilate and the case was back in his court. Being a political animal himself, at least he scored points with Herod and resolved the enmity between them.

Luke 23:11: And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

Luke 23:12: And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.

This did not stop Pilate from trying to release Jesus. This was especially the case when his wife warned him about Jesus, a just man in her own words.

Matthew 27:19: When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

Initially, when the Jewish religious authorities brought Jesus to Pilate to be judged, he had already concluded that the Lord was innocent. The crime laid against Jesus was that He is the King of the Jews.

John 18:33: Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?

John 18:35: Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?

John 18:37: Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

John 18:38: Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

Pilate unequivocally concluded that there was no fault in Jesus after direct examination. The only problem was when the Lord Jesus told Pilate He was bearing witness unto the truth, he adopted a cavalier attitude. He didn’t inquire about the truth. He wasn’t interested in the truth although he knew the truth about the whole setup by the Jews to get Jesus executed. Pilate simply said what is truth and then walked off to confront the Jews concerning his conclusion of the court case before him.

Luke 23:4: Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.

Luke 23:14: Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:

Luke 23:15: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.

Pilate thought he could offer the Jews a compromise under the prevailing custom during the Passover where he could release a prisoner to the Jews by offering up Jesus to be set free. Of course, this got him no where with the Jews. Instead, they demanded for the release of Barabbas a robber, a convicted criminal awaiting execution.

John 18:39: But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

John 18:40: Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

Pilate thought he could still get Jesus off the hook by torture hoping he could satisfy these Jews baying for His blood.

John 19:1: Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.

John 19:4: Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.

John 19:5: Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!

Upon presenting the severely tortured Jesus to the Jews, this might assuage their anger against Him. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. There was no compromise as far as the Jews were concerned. They would stop at nothing other than the death sentence for Jesus.

John 19:6: When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.

By now Pilate was obviously upset. Being a Roman Governor, having to come so low to appease these Jewish slaves was really embarrassing. Pilate concluded the second time he found no fault in Jesus. He challenged the Jews to crucify Jesus themselves.

So what when someone claim to be a king among his people! If there be any insurrection against the Roman empire, they would be brutally put down. Pilate had proved to be a ruthless and brutal ruler.

Luke 13:1: There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

Luke 13:2: And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

The Romans had no qualms not only in suppressing rebellion, if need be they could even desecrate religious practices. So the charge against Jesus as the King of the Jews was rather lame. There was no evidence to support Jesus leading a violent uprising against the Roman empire. Pilate knew full well the Jewish religious authorities envied Jesus and they were making use of him to execute Christ which he was not willing to comply.

Pilate definitely didn’t lose sleep over the charge that Jesus was the King of the Jews. However, the Jews upped the ante against Pilate when they realized this Governor was not willing to pass the death sentence on Jesus. They amended the charge that Jesus not only was the King of the Jews, he was the Son of God.

John 19:7: The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

This was new territory here for Pilate to consider. Being a King of the Jews wasn’t a problem. The moment anyone claiming to be a ring leader seeking to rebel against the Romans, Pilate could easily handle such rebellion. Military options were never off the table. But being charged as the Son of God, this was a completely different situation.

This had raised the earthly affairs to the next level of spiritual war beyond the realms of Pilate and the Roman empire. Upon hearing the new charges against Jesus, it was reported that Pilate was more afraid. So another round of direct examination was in order.

John 19:8: When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;

John 19:9: And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.

Since Pilate didn’t want to know the truth earlier but simply said what is truth and walked off, the Lord Jesus won’t entertain him anymore. He didn’t get any where with the Lord either with this new charge laid against Him. In order to coax the Lord to cooperate with this second direct examination, he issued threats to the Lord, which was quite laughable.

John 19:10: Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?

He didn’t even succeed earlier with power bestowed upon him by the Roman empire to release Jesus, he thought he could still exercise that power under him to get Jesus off the hook after this second inquiry. He simply thought too much of himself where he was merely a pawn in this whole affair.

John 19:11: Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

Right now, it wasn’t the Lord Jesus that was standing trial. It was Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor that was on trial. He knew Jesus was innocent but he could not release him. His wife warned him against passing sentence on Jesus and he had to factor in his wife’s concern into his calculation regarding what to do with Jesus. It was silly of him to still think that he had the power to kill and set free and he could exercise that power to do according to his wishes.

He was empowered by Rome to exercise lordship over these Jewish slaves but he found it hard to go against them. Military solution was a possible option to suppress rebellion if he did what was right but he wasn’t willing to go through such trouble. Dealing with an accused criminal not of this world was beyond him. His veiled threats against the Lord were useless. He realized the power bestowed upon him by the Roman empire was nothing if it were not firstly authorized from heaven.

So Pilate continued to belabour himself with this unwanted court case before him trying to secure the release of Jesus. Thinking out of the box was useless against the maddening Jewish crowd out there baying for the blood of Jesus. Pilate had already tried to soften the ground by scourging Jesus but to no avail.

The crowd now charged that Jesus was not just a human King of the Jews but the Son of God. He had no answer to this charge. Was it a crime against the Roman empire? Not necessarily. A crime against the Jewish law on blasphemy perhaps but what had this got to do with the Roman penal code? He couldn’t go back out to the crowd to offer a compromise.

Pilate didn’t choose to get himself into such a situation. His conclusion was right but he could not deal with the Jews now on the verge of rioting if he didn’t accede to their demands to put Jesus to death by crucifixion. Finally, the Jews checked mate Pilate by charging him instead of Jesus for trying to protect Jesus for His crime against their Jewish law.

John 19:12: And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.

The Jews now turned personal and were resorting to personal threats against Pilate, the honourable Roman Governor. How audacious were these Roman slaves! They charged Pilate for siding with Jesus and issuing threats against him close to treason against Caesar and of course the Roman empire. This got Pilate into a bind. He found himself caught between a rock and a hard place.

Being a political beast that he was, to save his own skin and not get himself into trouble jeopardizing his own political career, he made deals with the Jews. He asked the Jews whether he should crucify their King. Was he being sarcastic? This was ridiculous. Since when a Roman Governor needed to ask permission from those he lord over?

John 19:15: But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

The reply from these Jews was epic. They had soundly rejected their Messiah and claimed a Gentile ruler to be their own king. The moment these Jewish religious elites made that claim, they had rejected the Law of Moses.

Deuteronomy 17:14: When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;

Deuteronomy 17:15: Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

Being custodians of the Law, these religious Jewish elites were willing to transgress the Law of Moses just to get Jesus crucified. How blinded they were with hatred against the Rock of Israel, badly tortured standing before them who gave them the Law!

Matthew 27:22: Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

Matthew 27:23: And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

Pontius Pilate didn’t get it! He couldn’t figure out the crimes Jesus had committed against the Jews. Like king Herod, he had probably heard about the miracle worker Jesus going around healing the sick, restoring sights to the blind, casting out devils and even raising the dead. Were these crimes against the Jews? Definitely not crimes against the Roman empire. In fact, Jesus was an asset to the Roman empire for helping to reduce health care cost! Moreover, Jesus paid tax as well! Jesus was no trouble maker.

Matthew 17:24: And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?

Matthew 17:25: He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?

Matthew 17:26: Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

Matthew 17:27: Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

To issue death sentence on Jesus by crucifixion would go against his professionalism not to mention his conscience. He had already issued a verdict that Jesus was not guilty more than once. He was demanding to know what evil Jesus had done. This might offer him the justification to sentence Jesus to death. But he was given none other than Jesus was charged as a King of the Jews and the Son of God.

It was ridiculous to enter such crimes into record to put Jesus to death knowing full well there was no justification behind the sentence. The whole episode was political. If there were such a crime known as political crime where Pilate could agree to pass the death sentence, he would have done so.

The innocent Jesus, whom he had already scourged hoping this would assuage the Jews to set him free failed. When the Jews turned personal against him and in not so many words charged him for colluding with Jesus against Caesar and the Roman empire, it became too hot to handle. His own political career and even his life could be at stake.

Now with the Jews about to turn violent that day, trying all ways and means to set the guiltless Jesus free was hopeless. To extricate himself from passing the death sentence, he did what he had to do by washing hands before these raging mad Jewish crowd. The situation was red hot in Jerusalem while angels and devils watched this unfolding event with Jesus Christ, the Son of God subjected to abuse and judgment by mere sinful human creatures.

Matthew 27:24: When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

Pontius Pilate couldn’t bear to pass the death sentence on Jesus knowing too well He was innocent. But by virtue of the fact that he held the office as a Roman Governor, the power to pass this death sentence rested on him. Has was merely acting as a rubber stamper, rather embarrassing, that was all. He dissociated himself from this death sentence he had to pass which came to pass. Moreover, the Jews were willing to cover for Pilate on this crime against the innocent Jesus when he went along with them to act according to their wishes.

Matthew 27:25: Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

Those chilling words uttered two thousand years ago still ring loud and clear till this day. The Jews have been paying the price since for going against the Law of Moses to accept a Gentle king over them as well as rejecting their Messiah and had Him crucified.

All these happened according to the foreknowledge of God to bring salvation to the world through Christ. While the raging madness of the Jews witnessed against Jesus that day and the lame compromising Roman Governor who couldn’t perform his duty with dignity resulting in the crucifixion of Christ, the apostle explained about wisdom beyond this world.

1 Corinthians 2:6: Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

1 Corinthians 2:7: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

1 Corinthians 2:8: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The Creator God in eternity past knew every heart of man before they come into this world. God allows event to unfold to fulfill His will to redeem Adam’s lost and helpless race, yet still holding those actors accountable for their actions that revealed their wicked hearts in this whole episode on the miscarriage of justice in human affair.

Acts 3:13: The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.

Acts 13:28: And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.

Pontius Pilate was the state actor for the day, completely humiliated to act against his own will and judgment. To say he had a bad day that day would be an understatement of galactic proportion. He failed to heed his wife’s warning. He failed in his own professionalism. He failed to uphold the high and lofty dignity of the Roman empire before these Jewish slaves. It was not as though he had no physical military means to back up his own verdict. Being a political animal, he was a wimp acting on self-preservation mode.

So he passed the death sentence on Jesus and crucified Christ, the King of the Jews. To get back at the Jews, he deliberately wrote the inscription the crime the Jews originally brought against Jesus, their King and Messiah. Pilate was acting on the power bestowed upon him to crucify the King of the Jews so what were you lowly despicable Jews going to do about this! At least this showed the Jews who was really the boss.

John 19:19: And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.

John 19:20: This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

While rejoicing they had their wish fulfilled when Pilate sent Jesus to be crucified, the title the Jews saw set tongue wagging. This was now humiliating. Of course the Jews rejected this. The reason why they wanted Christ crucified was because they didn’t want Jesus to be their King. They were so desperate to even accept Caesar as their king! So they brought the matter to Pilate to change this title.

John 19:21: Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.

John 19:22: Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

Now having done what he didn’t want to do, Pilate told these Jews off in no uncertain terms. He was very curt with them. He should have told them off concerning the crimes laid against Jesus in the first place. He tried so hard to compromise with these unreasonable Jews but got him no where. He was not about to compromise with them on this matter as well. There would be no where for him to hide his face having been led around by the nose by these Jews and he was even personally threatened by them for treason against the Roman empire.

Pilate was the most unwilling state actor for this earth-shattering trial in the entire universe. He went against his own conscience to pass the death sentence on Christ. This however, didn’t make him any less culpable for his crime and cowardice even though he washed his hands before these murderous Jews.

After capitulating to the demands of those unreasonable Jewish elites and their raging mad followers, what was Pilate thinking? What was he going to tell his wife that day? Was he satisfied with washing his hands from this sentence of Jesus could get him some peace? Was he angry with himself or with the Jews?

Just when Pilate thought the whole episode was settled and he could get over with this sorry kangaroo court trial and the resulting miscarriage of justice, this same bunch of Jews came to trouble him again. This time was concerning the body of Jesus buried in the tomb.

Perhaps he might be thinking what these crazy Jews were up to again when they could not furnish reasonable evil deeds that caused Jesus to be crucified. Now these mad religious elites were worry about the disappearance of the body of Christ. Were they really insane? Why were they so obsessed with Jesus when he was a live and now even in death? Pilate won’t get it, he never would.

Matthew 27:62: Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

Matthew 27:63: Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

Matthew 27:64: Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

At least these religious Jews were not as crazy as they were made up to be. They took the words of Jesus seriously when the Lord told everyone he would rise again on the third day. The irony was that the Lord’s disciples failed to take heed about this and failed to believe the resurrection of Christ.

They were disappointed and dejected after the crucifixion of Christ. They were completely lost. The promised kingdom was gone as far as these followers of Jesus was concerned. They were totally defeated wallowing in despair.

But this was not the case with the Jewish religious authorities. They took the resurrection of Christ seriously. Even though some might not believe in the resurrection like the Sadducees, they could not afford to lose the body of Jesus. So they came to trouble Pilate one more time.

By now the exhausted Roman Governor would be glad to tell them to get lost and not trouble him. He was already very curt with them earlier. He must be really annoyed. He gave order for the tomb of Christ to be secured.

Matthew 27:65: Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

Matthew 27:66: So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

What was Pilate thinking then? Now the responsibility of securing the body of Jesus was passed on to these Jewish accusers and prosecutors. Of course this was carried out in conjunction with the Roman soldiers.

Were they thinking those Roman soldiers were not professional in their duties? They could pay with their lives if things went wrong. The Roman jailor was about to kill himself when he thought the prisoners had escaped during an earthquake.

Acts 16:26: And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

Acts 16:27: And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

Could Pilate become really disgusted with these troublesome Jews that had caused him so much trouble that day and now even doubt the professionalism of his own men? Did Pilate think they would succeed in securing the tomb and prevent the resurrection of Christ if the resurrection was possible?

Pilate didn’t even want to waste time to reason and debate with these religious Jews in high places. He could have just mocked them to get back at them for forcing his hands to crucify Christ but he did not. Maybe he thought these Jews were hopelessly lost in this whole affair trying to nail an innocent man and they had lost their mind. Even in the death of the convict they were not satisfied.

Perhaps Pilate was secretly hoping Jesus would come back to life so he could undo what he had done wrong on that day. Was there something bordering Pilate now after having Christ crucified? Could he quietly and secretly repented and trusted in Jesus like the centurion and those with him who witnessed the death of Christ on the cross and confessed Jesus was the Son of God?

Matthew 27:54: Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

The trial leading to the crucifixion of Christ was the most momentous event since the creation of the world. It was this day that the Devil was thoroughly defeated.

Hebrews 2:14: Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Hebrews 2:15: And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Though Pontius Pilate was instrumental in the crucifixion of Christ, he and others were unwilling actors in the entire affair blinded by their own sins and living under the dominion of Satan to destroy the Lord of glory. This turned out to be exactly what God the Father had planned to destroy the Devil and offer salvation to the whole world. Moreover, the Lord Jesus Christ also prayed for everyone before he gave up the Ghost on the cross of Calvary.

Luke 23:34: Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Pontius Pilate, the coward and powerless Roman Governor might be found among the just if he had repented of his sins and trusted in the Lord having dealt with Him so intimately on that fateful day. That face to face confrontation with the Lord and having to deal with those Jews steep in hatred for Christ must have been troubling and exhausting.

At least he knew Jesus was innocent and he washed his hands in the entire affair to dissociate himself from the sentence of Jesus. But without repentance and faith in Christ, there would be no salvation for him. He was born into this world to confront the Lord and had the dishonour to be the executioner of the Saviour of the whole world. Some one had to do this job. It happened to be Pontius Pilate! He wore the badge of dishonour as the powerless Governor of the Roman empire.


The Danger of Selective Listening

It is very common to listen to what we would like to hear. This however, is very dangerous, especially concerning spiritual matters. We could go off on a tangent and miss important doctrines and truth if we approach scriptures with preconceived biases and try to fit scriptures within the framework of our own understanding or suit our own narratives.

A pertinent case in point is the episode where the Lord blasted Peter calling him Satan for saying something that was completely contrary to the will of God.

Matthew 16:18: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:19: And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 16:20: Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

Matthew 16:21: From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Peter was initially told he was given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Next, the Lord’s revelation about His sufferings, death and resurrection upset Peter so much that he was so audacious to rebuke the Lord.

Matthew 16:22: Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

What did Peter miss or misunderstand that caused him to impose his will on the Lord Jesus Christ?

Peter must have gone over his head for being told he was given the keys of the kingdom of heaven!

Was he trying to exercise the powers of those keys given to him to bind and loose earthly matters concerning the kingdom and expect endorsement from heaven?

It was so strange for Peter to do what he did here as though he could lord over the Lord.

What offended Peter so much that he just blew his top to rebuke the Lord?

Peter and the other disciples had been following the Lord for quite some time. They had witnessed first hand all those miracles performed and ministering to thousands who came to hear the Lord preached.

A revolution was about to take place under Roman occupation of their homeland. It was promising and got the attention of the ruling religious elite who came to question the Lord. People were talking about the Lord trying to figure out who Jesus was.

Matthew 16:13: When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

Matthew 16:14: And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

Everyone was intrigued about the Lord. He was doing extraordinary things no man could do. This put the religious elite to shame who constantly confronted the Lord but the common man followed the Lord. So this question was put to the Lord’s disciples.

Matthew 16:15: He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Without hesitation Peter confessed and gave the absolutely correct answer. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God.

Matthew 16:16: And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Confession is one thing but faith and self-will are something else. These disciples including Peter had been following the Lord day in and day out and had become so familiar with Him. It is so easy to take the Lord for granted and treat Him like one of them.

They were full of optimism concerning the kingdom with their Messiah physically with them who could do all things; healing the sick, cast out devils, rebuke the wind to still the storm and even walk on water. What is stopping them to share the glory of the coming kingdom and Roman occupation would become a thing of the past when the Son of David finally sits on His throne in Jerusalem?

The evidence of the coming coronation was apparently so evident that the Lord had to get out of the way.

John 6:14: Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

John 6:15: When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

The disciples surely feel the same way too. They were already jostling for power even before the Lord ascends the throne.

Luke 9:46: Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.

Mark 10:35: And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.

Mark 10:36: And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?

Mark 10:37: They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

Some time later Peter even wanted to know their rewards for following the Lord.

Matthew 19:27: Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

Hence the kingdom was very real to these disciples. They were expecting the arrival of the kingdom. John the Baptist was disillusioned too when he was in prison and sent disciples to ask whether the Lord was indeed the Messiah or should they look for another.

Matthew 11:2: Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,

Matthew 11:3: And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

As far as John the Baptist was concerned who manifest Christ to Israel, if the kingdom was so real, why should he be languishing in prison? Unfortunately, the message the Lord sent to him might not be what he liked to hear.

Matthew 11:6: And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Of course in the flesh John the Baptist could be offended in circumstances that turned out the way he least expected. There was no message of comfort or deliverance for him.

So Peter and the rest of the disciples were truly looking forward to the coming kingdom. Now with Peter given the keys of the kingdom of heaven, a great confirmation no doubt, but with the revelation of the Lord’s impending sufferings, death and resurrection, this threw the future of the kingdom into great uncertainty.

Peter was definitely offended.

What the Lord revealed were three folds. Firstly His sufferings, followed by His death and then His eventual resurrection on the third day.

What did Peter actually missed hearing? Did he ignore the last part about the Lord’s resurrection?

Was his focus only on the Lord’s sufferings and death? This would be obviously not something he would like to hear.

What is so good about the keys of the kingdom of heaven when their Messiah the King of the Jews would suffer and die?

What could the keys do when the King is no longer around?

What is there glory to share in the future?

Peter’s selective listening to what the Lord revealed was causing this outburst to get out of hand. For conveniently ignoring the Lord’s eventual resurrection, the Lord’s plan of salvation for the whole world, his chastisement came fast and furious.

Matthew 16:23: But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

It is noteworthy here that Peter turned Satan for that moment when he sought to impose his will on the Lord’s will. Peter in his self-will was looking through the lens of the flesh and not the eyes of faith.

It is important to realize that even believers in the Lord are not out of reach from the Devil if the Lord so allows it. In fact, Peter was always the main target and was right in the Devil’s crosshairs.

Luke 22:31: And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Luke 22:32: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Satan is actively desiring and planning to touch God’s people but the Lord is also actively countering his every move. Notwithstanding, some believers would pay a price for their folly when they allow Satan to play a role in their life.

Acts 5:3: But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

Acts 5:4: Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

Acts 5:5: And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

The difference here is Peter being called Satan survived while Ananias dropped dead after Peter rebuked him for allowing Satan to fill his heart to lie to the Holy Ghost.

The Lord’s furious rebuke of Peter is instructional here.

Peter was not simply trying to protect the Lord and prevent His sufferings and death but his lack of faith in the resurrection.

If Peter failed to heed the Lord’s revelation of His resurrection on the third day, then Peter indeed could not hide his disappointment concerning the coming kingdom. They had left all and followed the Lord and if the kingdom turned out to be a piped dream, it would be disastrous to all these followers of Christ.

In fact, after the Lord’s death, the disciples were indeed disillusioned.

Luke 24:18: And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

Luke 24:19: And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

Luke 24:20: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

Luke 24:21: But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

The hopes of the kingdom were gone when the Lord died and everyone was trying to move on from this sorry episode. Euphemism gave way to despondence.

Even Peter went back to his fishing business when their Messiah the King was no longer around and the rest followed him.

John 21:2: There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

John 21:3: Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

So Peter’s strong reaction to the Lord’s revelation concerns the issue of resurrection in the context of the kingdom.

Without death how can there be a resurrection? But Peter was standing in the way of the cross by his own understanding and self-will.

Regarding the issue of resurrection, the Jews do believe there is a resurrection. But this is a fuzzy idea where the present reality of a resurrection is not something so easy to grasp. They had seen the Lord raised the dead but apparently, they were still grappling with this issue. The raising of Lazarus is a case in point.

John 11:22: But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

John 11:23: Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

John 11:24: Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

The Jews believe in the resurrection at the last day but not the present day. And Martha did not believe his brother could rise again that day in which he did.

So the Lord had to drill into the disciples concerning this issue of the resurrection. The message of dying is gain takes centre stage.

Matthew 16:24: Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Matthew 16:25: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Matthew 16:26: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Dying is gain is a strange concept to the world. Followers of Christ must practise self-denial and bear the cross to stay spiritually profitable.

There is no point entering the kingdom with our corruptible body of flesh and blood. The Lord has a better plan for His people.

The resurrection of Christ should be the central theme and His sufferings and death are just signposts but for selective listeners, they miss the forest for the trees. Selective listening by ignoring the most important part of the entire message brings fear and confusion.

Thus, the Lord had to reiterate His subsequent coming in glory with rewards for every man to assure His disciples.

Matthew 16:27: For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Moreover, the Lord is always and ever gracious despite the lack of faith and self-will of His people. The Lord promised some of the disciples present would experience the glory that should come in their earthly life.

Matthew 16:28: Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

This culminated in the transfiguration of the Lord on the mountain with Moses and Elijah where Peter, James and John had the privilege to have a glimpse of the world to come.

Matthew 17:1: And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

Matthew 17:2: And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Matthew 17:3: And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

As such, beware of selective listening, especially concerning the spiritual things of God. This would lead to trouble, confusion and fear. There might be things we do not like to hear from the Holy Bible that do not fit into our intellect, our upbringing, our own understanding and preference, but we have to accept the whole counsel of God by faith.

With eyes of faith, we should look to the glorious world to come and the things in this life would turn strangely dim.

John 5:25: Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.


Attending One’s Own Funeral

South Koreans have taken the world by storm with their k-pop culture, Korean drama series and fashion. Seldom you will find Asian and even some Western women not well aware of the latest Korean drama or the up to date news of well-liked and well-known Korean artists. This is the commercial aspect of Korea being projected to the world; a glittering utopian paradise of sort where women and men are beautiful and good looking living up the good life.

However, one Korean King James Bible believing preacher called the capital of South Korea Seoul, “Sodom”. A recent documentary presented South Korea in a very different light from what the world is known to have understood. It is a cruel society that has lost its soul where suicide occurs every 33 minutes. That is quite astounding and unflattering for a nation of significant economic prowess where big corporations such as Samsung is giving Apple a run for its money on electronic and digital products. So stripping away the phenomenal facade of success, South Korea is just another country where many are left behind and the elderly are abandoned and left to die alone.

The documentary portrays attending one’s funeral as some therapeutic remedy for those afflicted with suicidal thoughts where participants are reborn after the experience to get back to life with a new found meaning and a new perspective in life. Sadly, the cold and cruel reality of the world around them won’t change and the constant slavery of making a living will still continue to plague them for the rest of their lives living out a meaningless existence. This rebirth experience is definitely not going to change reality on the ground.

The Bible however, also talks about dying and being born again.

Firstly, every sinner in this world is born dead in trespasses and sins regardless of whether the sinner is conscious of this fact and reality. Every living human is already condemned to death and waiting for the final execution to come; that is the reality.

Ephesians 2:1: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

For a Christian however, he has been quickened which means he no longer remains in this state stuck dead in trespasses and sins. He has moved on from that state and has acquired a new status and a new course of life. This is done by God who quickens the new believer with Christ being saved by the grace of God. While physical death is still true for a Christian, it is not an execution of condemnation awaiting for the wrath to come but a translation into the presence of the Lord continuing in this new life eternal.

Ephesians 2:4: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Ephesians 2:5: Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

This theological fact is further explained by the apostle Paul writing to the believers in Rome.

Romans 6:7: For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Romans 6:8: Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Romans 6:9: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Romans 6:11: Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Once a sinner believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and accepts Him as Lord and Saviour, his condemnation is already passed. He has been judged and executed together with Christ and died with Him on the cross of Calvary. When Christ rose from the dead, the new born child of God is likewise raised and he now lives together with the Lord in newness of life.

The apostle Paul also explained to believers in Galatia he had already been judged by the law and was already executed and dead to the law. He had then been reborn to live unto God.

Galatians 2:19: For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

In like manner, the apostle Paul also expounded to believers in Colosse concerning their death experience and the subsequent rebirth in Christ.

Colossians 2:13: And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

The apostle Paul also wrote to Timothy to remind him of this theological fact that as believers, we are already dead with Christ in the past but are now alive to live with the resurrected Lord.

2 Timothy 2:11: It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

Hence the new birth experience for a Christian is completely different from a man-made funeral event that leads to a psychological rebirth experience for suicidal persons. Christian new birth leads to hope and eternal life while the man-made psychological fake death experience simply provides an emotionally charged experience seeking to alter attitudes and change of mind concerning the struggles in this life.

Without a biblical new birth experience, there will be no hope and no eternal life to look forward to for a sinner struggling hopelessly in this fallen cruel world. As such, the Lord Jesus Christ requires a sinner to be born again in order to live. Every other sinner will remain dead in trespasses and sins struggling to find meaning in this life with no true life thereafter.

John 3:3: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:4: Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

John 3:5: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:6: That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 3:7: Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

The first water birth by the flesh cannot see life and enter the kingdom of God. It requires the second birth by the Spirit that will accord life eternal. This process cannot be obtained by a man-made fake death experience. No middle man can facilitate the process to confer this second birth of the Spirit. It requires the sinner to simply come to Christ without any merit of his own but receives the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 1:13: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The born again sinner is conferred the title as a son of God. This new birth experience is not born of blood and of will of man through a gestation period but is an instantaneous event because it is effected by the Spirit of God. The Lord Jesus Christ confirms this fact that the reborn sinner has been passed from death unto life, explicitly mentioning everlasting life.

John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

So the apostle Paul practised the art of dying daily to remind himself that he was already dead in Christ been judged by the law and then live on with Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:31: I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Thus Christians should reckon themselves to be already dead but are now alive with Christ and awaiting for redemption of a new body to live on eternally. Man-made psychological death experience in order to get an emotional high has no place for a child of God. Pity lost sinners wallowing in the mire of sorrows and despairs and may the Lord be merciful to draw many more struggling sinners to experience the true new birth in Christ.


Pearl of Great Price

Matthew 13:45: Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

Matthew 13:46: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

The Lord Jesus Christ likened the kingdom of heaven like a merchant man seeking goodly pearls. Once found, he is willing to part with his all to obtain this pearl of great price. From this piece of information, there must be great value placed on pearls, in particular, special pearl of great price.

Since ancient time, pearls have been used in ornamental adornment together with precious stones for women. Apart from the purpose of treasure collections together with other precious stones, pearls are also used in medicine and cosmetic products as well as part of the burial items for the dead.

Pearls in some part of Taiwan have been so good due to the pearls being cultivated in mountain spring water, they could be used to alleviate many aliments as well as used as eyes cleansing solution when the pearl powder is mixed with water. These pearls are not cheap. They are sold in grams. The pearls are then ground to powder in your presence and put into small bottles. These pearl powder can be consumed with water as health supplements for its excellent minerals and medicinal properties.

In Wuxi China, the pearls obtained from clams in the lake Tai Hu are also much sought after for its beauty and often used as adornment pieces. The first lady of China was reported to like purple colour pearls and hence the price for this type of pearls has gone up. A beautiful white pearl necklace was also given to Michelle Obama during the US president’s visit to China some time back. These pearls are also made into cream and used as skin whitener as well as other cosmetic products much like the Japanese SK II cosmetic products.

Legend has it that the last Qing Dynasty Empress of China, Empress Dowager Cixi was buried with a lot jewels when she died and a massive pearl was put in her mouth to prevent her corpse from decomposing according to Chinese traditions. During the civil wars, her tomb was robbed and her corpse was said to be intact. Once the pearl from her mouth was removed, her corpse began to decay. The pearl was then given to the Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek by the warlord but ended up as an ornament on the gala shoes of Chiang’s wife, Soong Mei Ling. Notwithstanding the fact that this is just a legend and the truth required authentication, the importance and the premium placed on pearls of great price cannot be under estimated.

Recently, it was reported that a Filipino fisherman found a gigantic pearl. He didn’t know what it was and kept it under his bed for ten years as a good luck charm. When finally discovered, this massive 34 kilograms pearl could be worth more than 100 million dollars.

Biggest Pearl in the World

Fisherman’s Giant 34 kg Pearl Worth 100 Million Dollars

Matthew 7:6: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Just like the scriptures admonished not to cast pearls before swine because some people simply can’t appreciate the beauty and price of pearls, those who could find such pearl of great price would willingly give up all they have to acquire this pearl. Today, the gospel is this pearl of great price where those who finds it will give up their all to go after the kingdom where pearly gates await.

Job 28:12: But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?

Job 28:13: Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.

Job 28:18: No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.

While precious pearls may be valuable, wisdom is far above the price of pearls and precious stones. This wisdom can only be found in none other source other than in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:24: But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Those seeking after the pearl of great price leading them to the Saviour of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, would be rewarded with inheriting the city of the pearly gates.

Revelation 21:21: And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

The 34 kilograms pearl found by the Filipino fisherman is absolutely nothing compare to the massive pearls that will the adorn the gates of that celestial city for the saints of all ages.

If you are not the dogs and swine the scriptures described, you have a good chance of seeking after the pearl of great price. If you wish to have a chance to see the greatest pearls of great price, you need to follow the sign posts below.

John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Romans 10:9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:11: For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Romans 10:12: For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

Romans 10:13: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

If you have followed the instructions above, you are well on your way to that city and enter the pearly gates together with the multitudes of other saints having found the pearl of great price in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Revelation 21:23: And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

Revelation 21:24: And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

Revelation 21:25: And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

Revelation 21:26: And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.