God Raised

The phrase “God raised” is used in both Testaments, with different emphases. That phrase graciously travels from Hebrew to Greek into Olde English, and to us. God raised up enemies for Solomon (1 Kings 11:23,14:7) when he was disobedient. Here the phrase means to strengthen someone that compares to our thoughts about Jesus coming back to life. (No, I have not done a complete word study.) God raised-Theos is God. Raised is egeiro. Strong: G1453       

This is for free. 1. A very general statement about the word “arise”. In our Old Testament, man says that the Lord should arise. In the New Testament, the Lord says that man needs to arise. (Very general statement.) 2. Joseph Prince in his devotional book for 3/23 thinks God raised Jesus because He was pleased with Him and the debt was satisfied and paid in full. Sounds good to me.   

Like my post “Jesus Knew”, I want this to be a reference work. My keywords were – resurrect, raised, and baptism. There are many stories that shadow the redemption story. Here are a few:

  • Moses’ bronze snake.
  • Jonah giving his life for the sailors and then being freed from the whale.

God gave Samson the strength to pull Baal’s temple down.

  • Isaac being freed from the rock of sacrifice.
  • Hosea redeeming his wayward wife.
  • Abel died because of his righteous obedience.
  • Passing through the Red Sea. (Going in death. Coming out new life.)
  • Passing through the Jordan River

Jesus Said – In John 11:25 Jesus told Martha that He was the: 1. I Am 2. The Resurrection 3. Life. When He talked about resurrection, it was frequently with Heaven and Marriage. He also said things would be repaid then. One teaching on the Resurrection was a reply to the Sadducees during His teaching on the Temple Mount during Holy Week. It was about Heaven and Marriage and the power of I AM (Matthew 22: 23-33).

References in Psalms that are worth noting are 80:17, 89:48, 16:10, 119:153, and 49:9. 

The next sections are my meager attempt to group verses.

Witness –  

  • Acts 2:31,32 – Peter to the crowd at Pentecost. He quotes David from Psalm 16:10.
  • Acts 3:15 – Peter and John after the healing of the cripple.
  • Acts 4:33 – The Apostles testified to the resurrection, and they had great power.
  • Acts 10:40 – How He died, and that He was afterwards. 
  • Acts 13:30 – God raised Him, and people saw Him.

Why God did it for Jesus –

  • Acts 2:24 – to free Jesus from the agony of death, because it could not hold Him.
  • Acts 13:34 + 37 – So, He would not see decay and receive the blessings of David.
  • Romans 6:4 – That we may have a new life.
  • Acts 2:32 – Jesus received the promised Holy Spirit and poured it on us.
  • 1 Peter 1:21 – To glorify Jesus, to have our faith and hope in God.

Benefits for us –

  • Acts 3:10 – To bless us by turning us from our wicked ways.
  • Acts 4:10 – Healing in His name.
  • Acts 5:30 – Jesus is at the right hand of God so Israel can repent and be forgiven.
  • Romans 4:24 – Believing that God raised Jesus is credited to us as righteousness. 
  • Romans 7:4 – That we may bear fruit for God.
  • Romans 8:21 – Creation will be freed from decay and brought into glory.
  • Romans 8:34 – Because Jesus is at the right hand of God, He is interceding for us.
  • Romans 10:9 – If we declare Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:14 – God raised Jesus, He will raise us.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:15 – If Christ was not raised, then no one can be raised from the dead. Vs 12 -58 is Paul’s treatise on the resurrection.
  • Ephesians 2:6 – We are seated with Jesus in heavenly realms.
  • 1 Peter 1:3 – We have a new birth and a living hope.

Baptism 

  • Colossians 2:12 and 3:1.
  • Romans 6:4
  • 1 Peter 3:21 and 1:21

The message of the cross (God raised Jesus) should be what we are preaching if we want to see demonstrations of the Spirit’s power. 1 Corinthians 1:18 + 2:4

The Sermons on Two Mounts-Son of Man

As Jesus preached His sermons on the mounts, He said things to trigger responses from the audiences. One from the Mount of Olives was “son of man”. The Chosen series uses the phrase a lot, just as Jesus did according to the four Gospels. The Chosen, however, shows a very irate response from the Pharisees. Why was this so infuriating to them? A point for me to ponder from Tuesday of Holy Week is that Jesus did not use “son of man” on the Temple Mount. He said other things that I would label as “fighting words”-

  • The Parable of the Two Sons and the landowner’s vineyard were against the religious rulers, and they knew it. Matthew 21:45-46.
  • Matthew 22:18 Jesus called them hypocrites.
  • 22:29-32 Jesus said they were in error and did not know the Scriptures.
  • Matthew 23-the seven woes and denouncing the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. That would include the Sadducees. Part of the woes is 23:33, where the leaders are called snakes and vipers.

Son of Man—On the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24 -26:1 NIV) Jesus refers to Himself eight times as the Son of Man. The Chosen referenced Daniel 7:13 as the verse for the son of man as the Messiah. A genuine issue with this term is that it refers to the Messiah and to sons born to women (Daniel and Ezekiel are just a few). Because of my study about the Kingdom, I came to this conclusion a while ago-The Son of God became a son of man, so that children of man can become sons of God. Because Jesus’ blood covers us, all the Father sees when He looks at us is Jesus.

This study will not have many of the types and shadows that reveal Jesus, like Joseph, carrying the wood to the sacrifice. My study of Water and Blood led me to the beginning.

Messiah

  • Genesis 3:15 Her (Eve) offspring will crush the head of the serpent.
  • Isaiah 9:6 A child is born to us; a son was given, and the government was his. He would have the names of Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
  • Isaiah 11:1 A shoot or Branch would come from Jesse and bear fruit. The Spirit would rest upon Him. 
  • Psalm 80:17 The son of man that was raised up would be at the right hand of God. 
  • Daniel 7:13 The son of man was on the clouds of heaven being led into the presence of the Ancient of Days.
  • Acts 7:56 Stephen looks up and sees heaven, with the Son of Man (Jesus) at the right hand of God. Think why the Sanhedrin was mad-Jesus and His miracles, Pentecost, and the Apostles doing miracles.
  • Revelations 1:13, 12:5,14:14 All references to the son of man or male child being the ruler. 
  • Hebrews 2:6 is a reference to Jesus being a son of man.

Men 

  • Daniel 8:17 refers to Daniel himself.
  • Ezekiel has over ninety times God calls him the son of man. 
  • Psalm 90:3 sons of men returning to dust (by Moses).

The Sermons on Two Mounts- Stone, Rock, or Cornerstone 

When Jesus was doing His “sermons” from the two mounts, He talked about stones twice. He referenced one prophecy that was being fulfilled and made a prophecy that happened seventy years later. Jesus built His first lesson, starting with John the Baptist, laid a platform of parables about the kingdom, and finishes His fortress with a combination of Psalm 118:22 and Isaiah 28:16. These two lessons started His time (Matthew 21:42) on the Temple Mount and finished His day there (Matthew 24:2). He references a mistake the builders of the first Temple made with the cornerstone and how they corrected the mistake to finish the building, and foretold that the stones of the Temple would be torn down.

We love to throw the imagery of Jesus being our rock, fortress, refuge, foundation, and stronghold around (Psalm 18:2) but places that inspired David and others to use those thoughts would add reality to their words. The rocks or mountains in the Negev and the desert west and south of the Dead Sea hold the key. Masada is one such place that clearly shows what David was envisioning when he penned his praises to God. These tall rugged mountains often stand proud, surrounded by plains that afford good views of the land.

Stone or Rock—We moderns have broken the meaning of rock and stone and cemented them into a slurry of inappropriate use. In doing this, we lose some of the meaning of rock and handle the term stone with less importance. Because of my science background, I will admit the materials I am talking about have the same origin. The difference rests in where they are and if a man has done anything to them. What I see in Scripture is rocks are anchored in the ground and not moved by man, while stones, by human efforts, are dug free, cut out, or picked up and handled. Before you think I have fallen and hit my head on a rock, or someone threw a stone at me, let me give some examples.

  • Matthew 27:60-Jesus was laid in a new tomb cut into rock (petra) and they rolled a large stone (lithos) into the entrance.
  • Matthew 7:24-the wise builder dug down and built his house on rock.
  • Psalm 118:22- the stone that the builders rejected became the cornerstone.  

Rocks—David was around rocks. He sat on them as a shepherd and hid among them as a fugitive. He also picked up stones to throw in his sling. So, for him to take the poetic leap and see the qualities of God is not a huge jump. His heart and his creative nature as a songwriter/musician saw their qualities as a reflection of God’s love, care, and protection for him and Israel. There are many times the terms rock, refuge, and fortress appear in the same verse. I will list some but use a concordance or search tool to help you study.

David and the Psalmist use rocks, but so do the prophets. These are from the NIV. Your favorite version may use other terms.

Psalm 31:2

Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.

Psalm 62:2

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Psalm 71:3

Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.

Psalm 91:2

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Isaiah 17:10

You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.

            I will highlight Psalm 18:2– The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I like to think that David wrote that around the time of 1 Samuel 20:42 and then use part of it again in his opus work of 2 Samuel 22:2. David was running for his life, his world just collapsed and he pens a song to help remind himself who his God is. Psalm 18 pretty well covers David’s need for protection.

Stone—Rocks that are being useful to man are stone. There were gemstones in the breastplate that was made for the priest. David picked up stones to throw at Goliath. Rock was cut into stone water pots, blocks for buildings, thrown at people, and as memorials or markers. Depending on the translation you like Genesis 49:29 is the blessing to Joseph, and it says that I will be blessed because of the Hand of Shepherd and Stone/Rock of Israel. (I could not find a good Hebrew text that would clear that word up for me. Both terms are used in various translations).

Another type of stone that gets a lot of attention is the ones that become cornerstones. I have heard that the builders of Solomon’s Temple got a stone that they could not figure out where it belonged. In their frustration, they threw it away. They then complained that the cornerstone (the one that determined the angles and lines of the building) had not been sent. Psalm 118 tells the story that the one they rejected was that stone. They had to retrieve the stone. Jesus quotes that verse and Paul and Peter refer to Jesus as that stone. In Greek, the phrase is kephale gonia. I pieced together a loose translation of chief angle. Jesus is the chief stone that determined how His Church would be laid out and built.

Recap—Jesus is the Rock, who is our fortress and refuge, who became the Stone of Israel when He was born, and He became the Cornerstone of His Church. 

The Sermons on Two Mounts-Sadducees and Pharisees

As Jesus was teaching, on the two mounts, on Tuesday of Holy Week, He had the Sadducees and Pharisees as antagonists and part of the audience. These adversaries challenged Him about doing miracles and His ride into Jerusalem and tried to trick Him so that the Herodians would have a reason to arrest Him. I introduced these groups in the post about Jesus’ audiences. But with all studies, my questions directed me to a deeper study of these two groups. Links to the Jewish Encyclopedia are below.

It seems lately that my studies move and challenge things I thought I knew. These two groups fit into that trend very well. The Sadducees and Pharisees were not the only sects of Judaism at the time of Jesus; I am aware of the Essences and the Zealots. I have gotten the idea that not only were these “denominations” but also “political parties” and together they determined lifestyles. Even though the common people may have been more aligned with the Pharisees and their practices, you just get the feeling that there were cast or definite lines drawn in the populations of Israel. So, it is no surprise that Jesus went to the people and not to the parties.

Specks vs Logs—To compare and contrast Judaism at the time of Jesus and Christian thought would lead to a lot of finger-pointing and other unproductive wastes of time. Jesus went to people because everyone in any party was not lost in the depths of the doctrine. The parables and teaching on Tuesday, on the mount, can be alarming when you realize that most of them focused on the religious of the day (Sadducees and Pharisees) and the end times.

As I read the articles in the Jewish Encyclopedia, it was easy to see the differences between the two groups. That is what I was looking for. The shared beliefs are no less important. Both groups honored the Temple, the Feasts, and the Torah. In reading the Gospels, it is also apparent they could work together when a threat presented itself. John the Baptist and Jesus may have drawn red flags from both sects.

John the Baptist—John wore the traditional garb of a prophet of Israel, skins of sheep, not fine flowing robes with blue trim. He called out the sins of the son of Herod. Those transgressions would have made his father proud. John’s pulpit and platform were the banks of the Jordan and the rocks of the desert, not the stones of the Temple that man had carved. The washing of people in the River was not the cleansings dictated by man, but celebrated the passing through of the Red Sea with Moses, the crossing into the promise with Joshua, and transferring the blessing with Elijah and Elisha. The words he spoke resonated through the land and his message prepared hearts for the kingdom to come. Crowds of common people flocked to John, they believed, repented, and were washed. The Pharisees, wanting approval, listened and did not believe, and John would not baptize them. That is why the Master Teacher answered the first challenge by the Sadducees and Pharisees on the Temple Mount with a question about John the Baptist.      

Sadducees—The core of this sect were the children of Levi through his son Aaron, Moses’ brother. They were wealthy. I have heard that the moneychangers and the inspected sacrifice business belonged to them. You could not use common money in the Temple. It had to be Temple money. “Flawless lambs” came from Bethlehem (the Christmas story) and they held sway over all of that. I found little about the Temple tax. There was a provision for taking care of the tent and walls of the sanctuary in the desert. My guess is that was the basis of that tax. The Jewish Encyclopedia says the Sadducees were the stricter of the two sects, being able to use Torah to dictate and interpret laws for their advantage while protecting their income and appearing holy was a win-win situation.

In Matthew 16:11+12 Jesus tells the disciples to beware of the yeast/teachings of the Sadducees and Pharisees. There are, in my opinion, two different yeast that wants to spread into our thinking. To me, the Sadducees used their position to fleece the sheep and become wealthy while downplaying the supernatural world. The Pharisees used their learning to box in their importance and then opposed anybody that was not part of THE sect.  

Acts 23:8 explains that the Sadducees did not believe in a resurrection or angels or spirits. Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Bible do not have the terms Sadducee, Pharisee, or resurrection in their pages, but there are angels in the Torah. Elisha (Jesus), who came after John the Baptist (Elijah) raised people from the dead. So, Jesus raising Lazarus in front of witnesses, just before Passover challenged both sects. 

When the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, the priest, the sons of Aaron, no longer had a platform to wield power from, so they disappeared as a sect of Judaism. Herod the Great used Rome’s power to expand the Second Temple, so it is poetic that they tore it down. As part of his power, grab Herod installed Boethus, a brother-in-law, as Chief Priest. This move shifted power/control to him and revived the Sadducees. This was because of the power of the Pharisees over some things in the Temple.

Pharisees—I learned a lot from doing this study. Like the Sadducees, the Pharisees started after the Babylonian exile. Of the two sects, they were not as stern as the Sadducees and they were the progressives. The article below has several verses that may give a “priesthood” responsibility to every man in Israel, especially to teach his sons how to read. They did side with the people and became favored by them. The Pharisees introduced many of the customs we see Jesus taking part in. 

Once the Temple was destroyed, the synagogue took over as the focus of the spiritual life of the Jewish people. The Pharisees had started these community-centered places of worship.   

https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12989-sadducees

https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12087-pharisees

https://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7605-herodians

https://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/3467-boethusians

https://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13831-sofer     a scribe

The 1905 Jewish Encyclopedia, on the Pharisees, the article has a section about hypocrisy. They assert that the first text of many New Testament books had the word Sadducee replaced with the word Pharisee and that pro-Paul people did it. No, I have not checked that statement, but a few lines on these sects from the New Testament are in order. 

  • Paul seemed to be proud of his Pharisee up bring-Philippians 3:5 and Acts 26.
  • Matthew, Mark, and John also were influenced by Pharisees.
  • Jesus, as the Christ, had problems with how their great learning had clouded their thoughts and attitudes.
  • The Pharisees and Sadducees had a problem with Jesus because He was not one of them.
  • Not all Pharisees opposed Jesus-John 3:1 Nicodemus, Acts 5 Gamaliel, Luke 7:36-one had invited Jesus to dinner, but did not offer water to wash with.
  •  The Pharisees and Sadducees both had their own teachers of the law. (Mark 2:16, Luke 5:30) On some things they held to different views of the law. I had thought that the “teachers” would have been all Sadducees.
  • Matthew has eight times that he used Sadducee and Pharisee together in the same verse. Matthew and Luke talk the most about these two sects.
  • John the Baptist and his washings are referred to several times in the New Testament regarding these two sects. John 1:24 and Matthew 3:7 talk about them coming to John to be washed and John denied them. I have a feeling this was due to what John preached-repent, for the kingdom is near. In Luke 7:29-30, the common people received Jesus’ words because John had baptized them. The Pharisees and the experts (or lawyers, or scribes) who were not baptized did not accept Jesus.
  • The combinations of names and titles are interesting. Besides Pharisees and Sadducees, there are Herodians, chief priest, teachers of the law, and lawyers or scribes. These may vary because of your favorite translation. There are several times the combinations make little sense to me. The Herodians doing anything with the Pharisees (Mark 3:6 and 12:13) seem out of place. The chief priest agreeing with the Pharisees (John 11:47, 18:3) is also a question mark. Both sects had their own scribes or experts of the Law, and both had their own teachers of the Law. I will bet the meetings of the Sanhedrin were noisy affairs. 
  • The seven woes in Matthew 23, now, are not so cut and dry who Jesus was talking about. At first, I thought the teachers of the law were a code for Sadducee. Really, I still lean in that direction, but given the combinations that are in the Gospels that are now hazed over some.    

Signs and Common Sense—The interaction of Jesus with religious leaders outside of Jerusalem frequently involved the law and why Jesus was not keeping it the way they thought it should be done. The signs and healings probably got delegations from both sects into the countryside to check on this traveling rabbi. So, in Matthew 16, when the Pharisees and Sadducees asked Jesus to perform a sign from heaven, that was overkill. Do you think they came with their own cartload of sick people? Casting out demons, feeding thousands, and healing people for years should have been enough. No, they wanted on-demand miracles. I am glad Jesus came to give life; if it was me, I may have thought of something else to do to them. This episode led to the teaching about the yeast they want to spread in the Church. 

Post Jesus Interactions—The Pharisees who became believers by the time of Acts 15:5 just knew that Gentiles had to be circumcised and obey the law of Moses. Why? Because that is what they had always done, and their fathers, and their fathers. How could anybody be blessed if you don’t do it with formula and my way?

            Paul—He is the penultimate picture of grace and a symbol of two men acting as one body. A Pharisee asked and got permission from a Sadducee (chief priest) to kill Jews and then preaches Jesus to Gentiles and helps turn the Roman world on its ear. Philippians 3:5, Acts 9; 23:6-9; and 26:5. 

The sermons on both mounts could be looked at as Jesus cleaning out the yeast before Passover.

The Sermons on Two Mounts-Kingdom of God/Heaven

In the two sermons from the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives Matthew records Jesus using the phrases kingdom of God and the kingdom of Heaven. Most of the time Matthew uses the phrase kingdom of Heaven. Only four times does the kingdom of God show up in Matthew. Contrast that to Mark, Luke, and John that use the phrase kingdom of God. PLEASE this does not signal two different kingdoms but two different audiences. Matthew is directing his Gospel to a Hebrew audience; the others are for a more Greek/Gentile reader.

So, why did Matthew use the kingdom of God at all? A careful look at who Jesus was talking to when Matthew changes terms is very important. Matthew 12:28 (Pharisees), 21: 31, and 43 (Sadducees) or the “rulers” of the people. 19:24 is after the rich young man (ruler) left and Jesus uses both “God and heaven” to address His disciples. (For you to get the most out of this please review the reference websites-they are Jewish.) Heaven is the term of the Pharisees and the people, while God is more of the Sadducees and priests. I believe that Jesus used the different terms to needle the rulers, to cause a reaction. Those two groups held very different opinions on angels, resurrections, and what heaven and hell were like. The Sadducees and the resurrection are mentioned in Acts 23:8, Matthew 22:23, Mark 12:18, Luke 20:27.   

References: Messianic thought – https://engediresourcecenter.com/2019/09/04/what-is-the-kingdom-of-heaven/         Traditional Jewish thought- https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/heaven-and-hell-in-jewish-tradition/

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/4848230/jewish/Heaven-and-the-Afterlife.htm

The Sermons – Jesus’ response to the demands from the Sadducees were the parables of the two sons and the rebellious tenants. He used the kingdom of God in both of the explanations. These prophetic rebukes came to pass in 70 A.D. (CE) with the Romans destroying Jerusalem and the Temple. Basically, when the Temple was gone, so were the Sadducees (priest). Note-there is a group of Kohen’s (Levitical priests) still living in North Africa. 

For the Seven Woes and the parables on the Mount of Olives Jesus used the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom prepared by the Father, these were to the Pharisees or His disciples. Jesus also talks about earthly kingdoms (24:7) and the message of the gospel of the kingdom going to the whole world. Matthew uses the word kingdom more than any other writer. Luke is second.

Heaven – Matthew’s target audience was Jews. I believe that the Holy Spirit gave him the wisdom to reproduce Jesus’ words the way he did. The Jewish believers would have related more to the Pharisee’s teaching about heaven. The thought of the day was that heaven was divided into three different levels. Looking at what is going on in heaven gives you a clue as to the level they were talking about. Birds fly in the heavens, clouds float in one, and the Father lives in the third. No, this is not how Christians view the idea of heaven. Remember, Paul a Pharisee, talks about a man who went up to the third heaven and got a superior revelation.    

Olam Ha-ba (“World to Come”) and Gan Eden (“Garden of Eden”) are and were views of the Jews about the afterlife. So, Jesus talking about heaven carries more of the “Garden of Eden” and the world before Satan stole the rule of the earth from Adam. Come, Lord Jesus!

Chapters 24 and 25 – These contain the sermon/parables about the timing of Jesus’ return, how to be prepared, and what we are to do while He tarries. Chapter 25: 31- 46 carries a definite message that not everyone will make it into Heaven. Like the parable of the Ten Virgins, it is directed at people who sit in churches and do not produce the fruit that the Father wants.