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Saturday, May 7 2011

When They Knew Not The Scripture

Without the light of the Holy Spirit of God, no one can truly understand the Holy Scriptures, regardless of how much they "know" them (see the Fact Finder question below). That was the state of the world at the time of Christ's Crucifixion - just as it is still the state of most of the world today. Plain examples of that were the twelve apostles who, although having spent years being personally taught by Jesus Christ, were unable to "hear" what He was telling them because they did not yet have the Holy Spirit.

"16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to show 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. 16:22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee." (Matthew 16:21-22 KJV)

Even after His crucifixion, but before the Holy Spirit came upon them, they still "as yet they knew not the scripture" - not meaning that they never heard it (they obviously did, as stated in the verse quote above), but that they did not yet have the spiritual means to "hear" it.

"20:6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 20:7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 20:8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 20:9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead." (John 20:6-9 KJV)

After His resurrection, "then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures" was accomplished by means of the Holy Spirit.

"24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things." (Luke 24:44-48 KJV)

"For as yet they knew not the Scripture ... Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures"

Peter's first sermon was delivered at Pentecost when "they were all filled with the Holy Ghost." Then, Peter understood.

The Holy Scriptures

"2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day [i.e. 9 am - see Hours Of The Day]. 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 2:19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 2:25 For David speaketh concerning him,

I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 2:26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul [see Where Is Your Soul?] in hell [see Where Is Hell?], neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 2:28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance." (Acts 2:14-28 KJV)

Peter then explained that, as by Christ's example, the dead are dead until they are resurrected.

2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried [see What Happens When You Die?], and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted [see What Does Jesus Look Like Now?], and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself,

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 2:35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool [see The Coming World Dictator].

2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized [see The Process Of Conversion] every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls." (Acts 2:29-41 KJV)

Fact Finder: Was the apostle Paul, a highly intelligent and educated Pharisee, blind to what Scriptures actually said - until the Holy Spirit enlightened him?
See Paul's Blindness Lesson


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This Day In History, May 7

973: German King Otto the Great died at age 61.

1274: The Second Council of Lyons convened under Gregory X, attended by approximately 500 Church of Rome bishops. It accomplished a temporary reunion of the separated Eastern Orthodox churches with the Roman Catholic Church.

1727: Jews were expelled from the Ukraine by Empress Catherine I of Russia.

1763: The Indian chief Pontiac began an all out war against the British in New York.

1915: During the First World War, the British liner Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine. More than 1,100 passengers and crew perished.

1934: The world's largest pearl was found at Palawan, Philippines. It weighed over 14 pounds / 6.4 kilograms.

1940: Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of Britain.

1941: Joseph Stalin became Premier of Russia.

1942: During the Battle of the Coral Sea, U.S. and Japanese naval forces attacked each other with carrier-based warplanes. It was the first battle in the history of naval warfare where two enemy fleets fought without actually having each other in sight. When it was over, the Japanese had lost 1 carrier and had another damaged; the U.S. lost 1 carrier (the Lexington) and had another damaged.

1945: Germany signed an unconditional surrender to end the Second World War in Europe. "V-E Day."

1954: Vietnamese forces took Dien Bien Phu from the French; some historians mark this event as the defeat of the French by the Vietnamese. When the French left (the divided Vietnam of "North" and "South" that the French themselves created, thereby triggering the Vietnam civil war), the U.S. involved itself in the same civil war until the 1970s - when the U.S. left and Vietnam was re-united as the single country that it had been before French and U.S. involvement.

1960: Leonid Brezhnev became President of the Soviet Union.

1999: Pope John Paul II traveled to Romania, becoming the first pope to visit a predominately Eastern Orthodox country since the "Great Schism" in 1054.


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Copyright © Wayne Blank