March 31



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Matthew 26

We are in the Christ Stream as we lead up to the crucifixion of Jesus. We reading from the God’s Word Translation this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Lord Jesus, may we realize that your Word and your Person and your Salvation is what you are training us to prize the most.  Keep us in your care and may we live with all the assurance that David prayed with in Psalm 91 – wherever life may take us – you are there.  Amen.

The plans to kill Jesus have passed the point of no return.  Jesus knew it was coming within 48 hours. He tells his disciples of it again – whether they heard it this time or not… who knows.  Jesus is about to have his last night of sleep.  The parallel narratives are in Mark 14 and Luke 22.  John follows a different order if you feel like comparing in Jn. 13 and 14.  The journey of this almost last day of Jesus’ life in this state is as such:  He prophesies of his death, the schemers confer on how to arrest him AND make it look like Jesus is a problem to be treated via the “final solution”, a girl with a shady past anoints Jesus’ feet in Bethany – and Jesus turns the event into a sermon for the ages, Judas planned his betrayal for pay, preparations for the Last Supper are made, Jesus informs of his betrayer and his prevenient knowledge of it, their Last Supper is served, Peter pledges his loyalty and gets updated on the coming reality of his own denial of Jesus/Peters’ relationship, Jesus and 11 of the 12 are in Gethsemane by now and Jesus prays in anguish…the Disciples keep falling asleep, Judas arrives with the armed crowd from the priests and leaders of Jerusalem and Jesus gets arrested in dramatic fashion, the Disciples scatter and Jesus goes before Caiaphas; the High Priest, the illicit trial is carried out against the Law (as they had planned it) and the abusing of Jesus begins.  btw, the High Priest and his crew broke 19 of their own Jewish laws in arresting, trying and crucifying Jesus in the manner that they did it.   Then again, how else are they going to condemn an innocent man to death?  The chapter and reading today ends with the scene of Peter following along at a distance and denying Christ. Peter’s revelation of his unfaithfulness hits him harder than it hits anyone else.

What a day it has been.  It looks like this Jesus and followers movement is about to come to a close.  That’s what it LOOKS like anyway.  What is happening and what is about to happen is the most important day in all of history.  The literature and art and stories and churches planted and souls changed and nations touched by this crucified Jesus will not be tallied in full on this side of heaven. Again, what a day that has just past, . . and what a day that is coming.  There doesn’t need to be a whole lot of protracted comment about this reading.  We do want to leave you with a final thought to ponder as you proceed in your day and life and wonder about your own soul and that of your friends and wonder who you can count on to the end.  Please think of this as we all exercise discernment and being a blessing:   –> would you rather be kissed by Judas or screamed and swore at by Peter? Remember that life in this world is not what it seems. Death to this world and saying “yes” to Jesus is not what it seems. Loss of what we think we have lost is not what it seems.  And Security in THIS world is not what it seems.

March 30



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Daniel 11:36-12:13

We are in the Exile Stream and will finish the book of Daniel as we read from the God’s Word Translation this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Jesus, we thank you that our destiny is as glorious as Daniel’s and that our home is paradise with you. Amen.

-11:36 ff. This part of this chapter in Daniel is about Antiochus Epiphanes – the worst menace of the time; the 400 years between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Some have called these four centuries “the silent years”.  They were not silent at all.  A.E. was beyond horrible. His life was a murder spree aiming at genocide. Verse 41, “he will invade the beautiful land and tens of thousands will be defeated” is when he went into Israel and Jerusalem and killed 80,000 people just because he was mad.  And he was mad because of his failures to be victorious in other countries – so he vents his rage at the Jews. He was so completely treacherous that by the time his end comes, no one comes to his aid. That’s why it ends (chapter 11 and his life) it says. “no one comes to help him.”  He really was a bad bad man. That section of scripture in some ways is an overlay of the Anti-Christ.  It refers to Antiochus Epiphanes AND the antichrist at the same time.

12 – This is the End Times; no mistaking or multiple meanings. Michael, is Michael the Archangel. Also in v. 1 “everyone written in the book.” is the Lamb’s Book of Life more definitively spoken about in Revelation 21:27. The trouble and distress spoken of certainly is what is seen and growing today. But far worse is coming. Verse 2 speaks of the great resurrection and the judgment that is coming for unbelievers.  V. 4 talks of increased travel and knowledge.  That is certainly today. A journey that took weeks and months all through history is now taken in hours. Anyone anywhere in the world can be on the farthest part of the earth less than 24 hours later. As for knowledge increasing – one patent attorney was describing the process and its acceleration as being dizzying. The process of inventing and learning about new things is going way far faster than it ever has.  Some products, especially in technology, as soon as they reach the shelf at the stores, there is already another product going through the patent process that will make the prior invention obsolete. The learning and revelation process is happening that quickly now!  Messages were taken across the U.S. by rail train and it took days and days. Messages are sent in seconds to anywhere on earth now. Satellites relay information at the speed of light. Daniel is being told this over 2500 years ago.

The 1290 days is 3 + 1/2 years and it refers to tribulation.  The timing of it all, who is inflicted, who is protected from it, Christ’s Return, the Millennium, all this is further and more completely explained in Revelation and by Jesus.  To understand the end times requires a cross comparison of Daniel, Revelation, and Jesus words about the end times; the apocalypse. Jesus comments are found in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.

God tells us what is coming because He cares about us, He wants us to know that He is in charge and that there is nothing to fear. God is this way because he loves us. The intent of this apocalyptic literature is not to frighten – it is written to assure. Let’s let it affect us this same way. Let’s let it make us more loving. Let’ s also resist the urge to get into arguments and get ugly toward others.  Too many have declared that anyone who views the end times differently than they personally do, THAT person is a heretic, and needs to be put out of THEIR church.  This is the wrong way to immerse into end time studies.  Let’s let end time studies make us more loving people.  It does finish well for us.  Daniel is told, “go on until the end. You will rest, and you will rise to receive your inheritance at the end of time.”  Our finale~ is as glorious as Daniel’s and this is cause for rejoicing.  The angel was talking to Daniel who is talking to us.  This is Amazing!

March 24



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Matthew 24-25

Today we are in the Christ Stream as we learn more about Jesus and the Kingdom. We are reading from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

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@serenatravis