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April 2018

This nite Almost 2,000 Years Ago

By Bob Barney

image from s15-us2.startpage.comIt was a Saturday night in AD 30, when after three days and three nights, something supernatural occurred.  The dead body of the man named Jesus (the Christ-or the messiah) who was horribly beaten and killed to pay the price for our sins, quickened back to life.  It was dark, and the guards that were placed outside the tomb were horrified of what they saw.  They reported back to the priests, who then met with the elders and made a plan.  They knew this was bad news and it meant trouble. So, they decided to pay the soldiers a large amount of money and said to them, “Tell the people that Jesus’ followers came during the night and stole the body while you were asleep. If the governor hears about this, we will satisfy him and save you from trouble.” So the soldiers kept the money and did as they were told.  The Bible also tells us this: "And that story is still spread among the people even today."

Jesus had told his followers that the sign that he would die, and be raised from the dead was this. "As Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and nights, so also, I, the son of man will be in the heart of the earth for the same three days and three nights."  Jesus died on a Wednesday afternoon on April the third, 30 AD.   Thursday afternoon was after the 1st day,  Friday, the second and Saturday the third, when He lived again!

We do not know from scripture the time that Jesus rose from the dead. The idea that it had to be exactly 72 hours is ridiculous.  It would have been light at 3PM, and the guards story would never have been believed.  We do know from scripture that he rose BEFORE the first day of the week, Sunday which started at sunrise.  So sometimes Saturday night, after it was dark, and the guards' "sleeping story" could be believed, Jesus rose from the dead.

This moment in history, that we remember here tonight, IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME IN ALL HISTORY of mankind.  It is the most important time in your lives as well. For on this day, our God died for our sins, and we have been forgiven of anything that we have ever done, if we just ask for it!  Your destiny, which is eternal DEATH has now been changed. Since Jesus was the first BORN AGAIN human being in all existence, HE made it possible for you to be BORN AGAIN after you die.  You see, being born again is not some religious experience, it is the act of being resurrected from the dead and becoming a spirit! 

From: "What do you mean to be Born Again: "

image from s17-us2.startpage.comThe biblical illustration of being "born again" is analogous to the physical birth process. The spiritual regeneration that occurs at baptism is compared to begettal by one's father. Following begettal, we must grow and develop as Christians just as a fetus must grow and develop inside the mother before it is ready to be born. The Bible compares the actual birth to the resurrection. This is made clear in John 3:6 when Jesus told Nicodemus: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 15:50–53 that, while flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, we will be changed into immortal spirit at the resurrection.

Just as the wind possesses great power yet is invisible, so also will those be who have actually been born of the Spirit(John 3:8). In this life we have been like Adam—having a physical, mortal body. After the resurrection from the dead, we will have a glorified spirit body—just like Jesus Christ following His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:43–49Revelation 1:13–15). Our "vile body" will be changed to be like His "glorious body" (Philippians 3:21). Jesus Christ no longer grows tired or hungry. He is no longer subject to pain or death. Rather, He emerged from the grave never to die again! Jesus was restored to the glory that He shared with the Father before the world was, and now sits at the Father's right hand as our Intercessor and soon-coming King (John 17:4Hebrews 4:14–16).

In Colossians 1:18 and Revelation 1:5, Jesus Christ is called the "firstborn from the dead." In Romans 8:29, He is termed the "firstborn among many brethren." This clearly implies that we will also be "born from the dead"! The Greek term translated "firstborn" is prototokos. Protos is a Greek word meaning "first in order and importance." This meaning is demonstrated by its use as a prefix in English words such as "prototype."

While the Bible uses many analogies to characterize true Christians—such as new-born babes in 1 Peter 2:2, adolescent children in Hebrews 12:6–7, living stones to be constructed into a spiritual temple in 1 Peter 2:5 or parts of the human body in 1 Corinthians 12:12—the new birth nevertheless remains the most powerful and completedescription of what is literally involved in our entrance into the Kingdom of God. It explains what salvation is really all about—becoming literal sons of God (Hebrews 2:10).

Right now, true Christians are heirs, but not yet inheritors. Christ makes it plain that it is only at the resurrection, "When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him..." that He will say to the resurrected saints, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom" (Matthew 25:3134). Jesus Christ clearly revealed to His disciples in Matthew 24:13 that only those who endure and persevere to the very end will be saved. God has a great ultimate purpose. He is reproducing Himself in us! We can be in God's Family as fully born children—younger brothers of Jesus Christ who was the firstborn of many brethren (Romans 8:29)."  SOURCE

So you see, Jesus resurrection is the most important thing to ever happen in your life. Most ironically don't have a clue about tonight's meaning, and their destiny.  Hopefully reading this, you do now.

Sacred Names—Obeying Jesus Christ, or Following "Traditions of Men"?

The spelling of the Tetragrammaton and connect...The spelling of the Tetragrammaton and connected forms in the Hebrew Masoretic text of the Bible; vowel points are shown in red. For further information, see article Q're perpetuum and diagram Image:Qre-perpetuum.png . A resizable (zoomable) vector PDF version of this diagram is available on request. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wyatt Ciesielka from The Living Church of God - (Not affiliated with The Plain Truth)

Many people sincerely believe that, to honor God, they must pronounce His name in a certain way. But is that what Scripture really teaches? To answer this question, it is helpful to ask another question: Do we obey Jesus Christ, or do we follow the traditions of men? 

Jesus Christ warned of false teachers who taught men’s traditions in place of God’s commandments (Mark 7:7). He warned that false teachers would come, claiming to represent Him—and deceiving many (Matthew 24:5). He warned that many would deny God’s law (Matthew 7:21–23), and that sin would abound (Matthew 24:12)! But He never warned about people needing to know exactly how to pronounce the Tetragrammaton or any “Sacred Name”? Why? Because that knowledge is unnecessary!

Honoring God in all our ways is vital—and that includes keeping all His commandments (Psalm 119:1721 John 5:2–3). “Sacred names” proponents who claim that one should utter someone’s opinion of what His names should sound like are confusing traditions of men with the real teachings of Scripture.

So, why is there such confusion over the Tetragrammaton (YHVH or YHWH)?

Shortly before the time of Christ, devout Jews began to avoid speaking the Tetragrammaton because they feared breaking the Third Commandment. When reading God’s name, they began to substitute the Hebrew word Adonai—meaning “Lord.” A contributing reason is that old Hebrew contained no written vowels. Beginning around the late sixth century ad, written Hebrew “vowel points” were placed within the substituted Hebrew word Adonai—the word that, hundreds of years earlier, had been inserted to replace the Tetragrammaton (YHVH).

Later, by the twelfth century ad, vowels from the Hebrew Adonai were inserted into the Latinized Tetragrammaton, yielding variations such as JehovahYahweh and Yehowah. In 1270, the Dominican monk Raymundus Martini became the first recorded person to use the name “Jehovah”—the product of Roman Catholic scholars adding vowels from Adonai to the consonants YHWH. Their pronunciation was possibly “Yah-o-wah”—the Latinized Jehovah… but was this the “original” pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton? Hundreds of years had passed since the Jews had ceased speaking the Tetragrammaton, so it was impossible for them to know. The certain precise pronunciation of YHVH had simply been lost.

Imitating Raymundus Martini—or any other supposed authority, today—is simply guessing at what the earliest pronunciations of the Tetragrammaton could have been.

Most honest scholars will admit that, with the passing of the centuries, the certain knowledge of the name’s pronunciation has been lost, and God has not seen fit to restore that knowledge to His Church. In any case, even if He did, the majority of His people, not worshiping in Hebrew, would still have no cause and no requirement to use that exact Hebrew pronunciation!

But does the opinion of some 13th century Catholic monk even matter? Must we worry about pronouncing a certain name of God in a certain way? No and no!

The Bible reveals both the Father and the Son by numerous names in both the Old and New Testaments! God is called “El” 235 times in the Old Testament (Genesis 28:3, etc.) and “Elohim” more than 2,600 times (Genesis 1:1Isaiah 40:1)! King David calls God Adonay YHVH (2 Samuel 1:18).

In the New Testament, the Apostle Peter calls Jesus Christ by the Greek, Iesous Christos (Acts 4:10–12). And Jesus—“who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:22)—taught the Apostles to pray to God as “Father”—Patēr (Matthew 6:9). Jesus called God Abba (Mark 14:36), and on the stake called out to the Father in Aramaic, translated into Greek as Eloi (Mark 15:34)!

Throughout Scripture, as today, God’s people have worshiped Him in their own language, not with an imagined “Sacred Name” unsupported by Bible or history. We must follow Christ and the Bible—not traditions of men! It is biblically incorrect to conclude that a Christian is either required to, or is somehow more righteous by, worshiping God with some Hebrew syllables. For more on how God wants us to really honor Him and His name, please order our free booklet, The Ten Commandments, and read our reprint article, “The Truth About Sacred Names.”

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Did you know the real story of Ben Hur?

Lew Wallace. Library of Congress description: ...Lew Wallace. Library of Congress description: "Gen. Lew Wallace" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bob Barney

The Rest of the Story (Ben Hur) inspired by the late Paul Harvey

A New "Ben Hur" Movie has been released. In no way does it match Heston's Original Classic, but do you know the story behind Ben Hur?   It is an amazing story of an atheist finding GOD!

Bob Barney

Most folks my age knows the story of Ben Hur, maybe some of the younger readers out there have not read the book or watched the movie. I highly recommend it!  This classic book written by a Civil War general, Lew Wallace, in 1899, was turned into a movie starring Charleton Heston, which won the Academy Award for best movie in 1959. It is a towering story of love, of suffering, of the struggle of good against evil, and finally of triumph. Judah Ben Hur, the story’s hero, grows up with his boyhood friend, Marsalla.  Judah is a Jew, and Marsalla a Roman. Judah is the heir of a very great and wealthy house in Jerusalem. Marsalla is a promising military man who trained in Rome as a soldier, then returned to Jerusalem as the leader of the Roman occupation forces. Both are great friends, but fate intervenes and makes the two bitter enemies.

Judah Ben Hur is sent off to die in prison, but a kind man gives him water to drink and that act of kindness leads to his will to survive and again fate has him saving the admiral of the Roman fleet and thus thrusting Judah back into fame and fortune.

The story of Ben Hur is riveting and all inspiring, but do you know the rest of the story about the WRITER of the novel?  You see General Wallace, like myself started as an atheist!  He began this book in an attempt to show the silliness of the Christian faith. I too started off my journey back in 1975 to disprove Garner Ted Armstrong and his logical and methodical belief in God - The God of the Bible! This story has a special meaning to me, because Mr. Wallace met a fate with destiny in his journey, as I did some 70 years later....... And the rest of the story ???????????????????




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The Feast of Unleavened Bread... Wait - Isn't it Passover?

image from

The Rabbi's reason to make the bread cook fast, from start to finish in 18 minutes? 18 minutes is the amount of time it takes to keep all yeast out. What they don't seem to realize is that they have created the perfect symbolism that God initiated long ago.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a feast that is generally mistaken for Passover. Passover however is only one 24 hour period while Feast of Unleavened Bread lasts for seven days.

On the evening after Passover God told the Hebrew people exiting Egypt not to allow their bread to rise, but to grab everything and leave. The ancient peoples used to gather yeast on grape leaves to leaven their bread if they needed to speed up the process, but God said "Don't even let any leavening touch the dough. Just bake it and go."

In their haste they grabbed the necessities and fled toward the land God was preparing for them.

God then told them that in the future they were to commemorate this feast by getting all yeast out of the house for seven days.

On a normal Passover eve a family that celebrates the Biblical feasts will leave a bit of bread in their home in hidden places for the children to find. The children will search out the yeasty creations till they "eradicate" the yeast from the house. The family then takes what is found and burns it outside.   MORE

Did Jesus’ Last Supper Take Place Above the Tomb of David?

Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover. […] As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. […] He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.” (Luke 22:7–12)


Masonry of the Cenacle’s eastern wall clearly demonstrates its “layered” history—from the Second Temple period through the Byzantine and Crusader periods to the Ottoman period. Visible on the right is the Dormition Abbey. Photo: Courtesy of David C. Clausen.

This two-story stone building atop Mount Zion (right) ranks among the most intriguing sites in Jerusalem. It is traditionally called the Cenacle (from the Latin coenaculum, “dining-room”) and you will find it just outside the present-day Old City walls to the south (see map). The building’s lower story has been associated since the Middle Ages with the Tomb of David, the purported burial place of the Biblical King David, while the upper story—often referred to in English as the “Upper Room”—is traditionally believed to be the place of Jesus’ Last Supper.1

Even though it suffered numerous natural and man-inflicted disasters and was claimed and successively held by the faithful of all three monotheistic religions, the Last Supper Cenacle remains standing as a testimony to a long-shared sacrality in the Eternal City. It has been a church, a mosque and a synagogue.

It was not until quite recently, however, that the location of Jesus’ Last Supper and the identity of this particular building were questioned and became an object of scholarly debate. David Christian Clausen, adjunct lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, examines the evidence for various claims regarding the historical purpose of the Cenacle in his Archaeological Views column “Mount Zion’s Upper Room and Tomb of David” in the January/February 2017 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.


Jesus’ Last Supper and the Tomb of David are traditionally associated with the Cenacle on Mount Zion.

Regrettably, no archaeological excavation has ever been attempted at or around the alleged site of Jesus’ Last Supper and the Tomb of David on Mount Zion to assess the development, relationship or even age of the built structures. Only limited probing and non-invasive soundings were performed at different times in history—typically in association with new construction or renovation at the site.

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Where is Mary, mother of Jesus today? Is she the Queen of Heaven?

No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away

Paul Simon



By Bob Barney

Resurrection of the DeadMary, the mother of Jesus Christ is dead. She died either in Glastonbury England, where it is believed she traveled with her brother-in-law Joseph of Arimathea, OR she died somewhere in the Middle east, maybe traveling with the Apostle John. The Bible tells us that Jesus told John to take care of Mary, as she were his mother. Regardless of where she is buried, she is dead and buried and her body is with us to this day! She is not in heaven, she is, like all of those who died in Christ, “sleeping” in her grave awaiting the resurrection of the dead. I know to many, this sounds down right blasphemous. However, it is not – it is the position the Bible takes. Here is proof:


In Acts, Peter makes it clear that all those who died in the Old Testament where still dead. Notice what he says here about King David: (Acts 2:22) “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. 23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. 24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. 25 King David said this about him:

I see that the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

26 No wonder my heart is glad,
    and my tongue shouts his praises!
    My body rests in hope.

27 For you will not leave my soul among the dead
    or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.

28 You have shown me the way of life,
    and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’

29 “Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us. 30 But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David’s own descendants would sit on his throne. 31 David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave...... Verse 34: For David himself never ascended into heaven.

Did you read that? David is still in his grave at the time of Pentecost. Now some try to argue that David and all other dead in Christ went to heaven AFTER Pentecost, but is that what the Bible says?

Paul, in I Corinthians 15, which is known as the resurrection chapter makes the point as clear as water when he wrote (notice bold highlights by me):

The Resurrection of the Dead

I Corinthians 15 :12 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.

20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the firstborn of a great harvest of all who have died.

21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.

24 After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. 25 For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) 28 Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.

29 If the dead will not be raised, what point is there in people being baptized for those who are dead? Why do it unless the dead will someday rise again?

30 And why should we ourselves risk our lives hour by hour? 31 For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you. 32 And what value was there in fighting wild beasts—those people of Ephesus[f]—if there will be no resurrection from the dead? And if there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” 33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.

The Resurrection Body

35 But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?” 36 What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. 37 And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting. 38 Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed. 39 Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.

40 There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. 41 The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.

42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 44 They are buried as natural mortal bodies, but they will be raised as immortal bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.

45 The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. 46 What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. 47 Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. 48 Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. 49 Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.

50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. (see John 3:6)

51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown (Rev 15:11). For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”


What could be more clear? Christians who died are dead! They will not be raised from the dead until the last trump, which occurs moments before Christ returns to earth to rule it as king. You can read this for yourself in the Bible:

Revelation 20 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Thousand Years

20 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. 2 He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. 3 The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while.

4 Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

This is the first resurrection. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years had ended.) 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years.

So my question is where did the notion of going to heaven when you die come from? It is NOT found anywhere in the Bible. It is Greek PAGAN doctrine. If you claim to be a Christian, at least follow what CHRIST said!

So you see, why, I know that Mary is in her grave awaiting the mother and child reunion!