|4 Esdras 2 |
1 "Thus says the Lord, I brought this people out of bondage, and I gave them my commandments by my servants the prophets; whom they would not hear, but despised my counsels.
2 The mother [Jerusalem] that bare them said unto them, 'Go your way, you children; for I am a widow and forsaken.
3 I brought you up with gladness; but with sorrow and heaviness have I lost you for you have sinned before the Lord your God, and done that thing that is evil before him.
4 But what shall I now do unto you? I am a widow and forsaken; go your way, O my children, and ask mercy of the Lord.'
5 As for me, O Father, I call upon you for a witness over the mother of these children, which would not keep my covenant,
6 That you bring them to confusion, and their mother to a spoil, that there may be no offspring of them.
7 Let them [Israel] be scattered abroad among the heathen, let their names be put out of the earth for they have despised my covenant.
8 Woe be unto you, Assur, you who hide the unrighteous in you! O you wicked people, remember what I did unto Sodom and Gomorrah;
9 Whose land lies in clods of pitch and heaps of ashes. Even so also will I do unto those who do not hear me,"1 says the Almighty Lord.
10 Thus says the Lord unto Esdras, "Tell my people [those in the Gentile nations that have a hunger for righteousness] that I will give them the kingdom of Jerusalem, which I would have given unto Israel.
11 Their [Israel's] glory also will I take unto me, and give these the everlasting tabernacles, which I had prepared for them.
12 They shall have the tree of life for an ointment of sweet savor; they shall neither labor, nor be weary.2
13 Go, and you shall receive. Pray for few days unto you, that they may be shortened. The kingdom is already prepared for you; watch.
14 Take heaven and earth to witness for I have broken the evil in pieces and created the good — for I live," says the Lord.
15 "Mother, embrace your children, and bring them up with gladness, make their feet as fast as a pillar for I have chosen you," says the Lord.
16 "And those that are dead will I raise up again from their places, and bring them out of the graves for I have known my name in Israel.
17 Fear not, you mother of the children for I have chosen you," says the Lord.
18 "For your help will I send [the Spirit of] my servants Isaiah and Jeremiah, after whose counsel I have sanctified and prepared for you twelve trees laden with diverse fruits,
19 And as many fountains flowing with milk and honey, and seven mighty mountains, whereupon there grows roses and lilies, whereby I will fill your children with joy.
20 Do right to the widow, judge for the fatherless, give to the poor, defend the orphan, clothe the naked,
21 Heal the broken and the weak, do not laugh a lame man to scorn, defend the maimed, and let the blind man come into the sight of my clearness.
22 Keep the old and young within your walls.
23 Wherever you find the dead, take them and bury them, and I will give you the first place in my resurrection.
24 Abide still, O my people, and take your rest, for your quietness will come.
25 Nourish your children, O you good nurse; establish their feet.
26 As for the servants whom I have given you, there shall not one of them perish; for I will require them from among your number.
27 Be not weary for when the day of trouble and heaviness comes, others shall weep and be sorrowful, but you shall be merry and have abundance. (See Howgill's outstanding writing describing the personal Day of the Lord to the righteous and the wicked.)
28 The heathen shall envy you, but they shall be able to do nothing against you", says the Lord.
29 "My hands shall cover you, so that your children shall not see Hell.
30 Be joyful, O you mother, with your children for I will deliver you," says the Lord.
31 "Remember your children that sleep for I shall bring them out of the sides of the earth and show mercy unto them; for I am merciful," says the Lord Almighty.
32 Embrace your children until I come and show mercy unto them for my wells run over, and my grace shall not fail."
33 I, Esdras, received a charge of the Lord upon the mount Oreb, that I should go unto Israel; but when I came unto them, they set me at nothing, and despised the commandment of the Lord.
35 Be made fit to receive the reward of the kingdom, for there the everlasting light shall shine upon you for evermore.
36 Flee the shadow of this world, receive the joyfulness of your glory; I testify to my Savior openly.
37 O receive the gift that is given you, and be glad, giving thanks unto him that has led you to the heavenly kingdom.
38 Arise up and stand, behold the number of those that are sealed in the feast of the Lord;
39 Who have departed from the shadow of the world, and have received glorious garments of the Lord.
41 The number of your children, whom you longed for, is fulfilled; beseech the power of the Lord, that your people, who have been called from the beginning, may be holy.
42 I, Esdras, saw upon the Mount Zion a great people, whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs.
43 And in the midst of them there was a young man of a high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon every one of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; which I marveled at greatly.
44 So I asked the angel, and said, "Sir, what are these?"
45 He answered and said unto me, "These are those who have put off the mortal clothing, put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God; now are they crowned, and they receive palms."
46 Then said I unto the angel, "What young person is it who crowns them and gives them palms in their hands?"
47 So he answered and said unto me, "It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world."5 Then began I to greatly admire those who had stood so rigidly for the name of the Lord.
48 Then the angel said unto me, "Go your way, and tell my people what manner of things and how great wonders of the Lord your God you have seen."
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1 remember what I did unto Sodom and Gomorrah; Whose land lies in clods of pitch and heaps of ashes. Even so also will I do unto those who do not hear me. Those who do not hear the voice of the Lord will suffer the same fate as Sodom and Gomorrah — a fiery annihilation at the Day of the Lord, a personal experience. You must hear the Lord to live, not the physical life, but to have any life in God; all men will live, but only those who hear and obey will live in the higher and more satisfying life of God. Moses gave us the same warning: "The Lord God will raise up for you a Prophet from among your brethren as [He raised up] me; Him you shall listen to and understand by hearing and heed in all things whatever He tells you. And it shall be that every soul that does not listen to and understand by hearing and heed that Prophet shall be utterly exterminated from among the people." Acts 3:22-23, Deut 18:15,19. The body and soul is destroyed in Hell, but the Spirit lives to learn what it could have learned on the earth. Those who learned wisdom on earth saved their souls and became a Son of God, to be guided and energized by the life of God. This applies to Gentiles as well — we must hear Christ's voice within and obey what he commands to save our souls from destruction. To hear God's commands, and to obey Him, is to deny your own will and do "thy will be done." To obey Christ is to follow him, which is a cross to your selfish nature, and eventually which crucifies your selfish nature, because with your obedience the Spirit will mortify the sins in your flesh by His grace.
Truly, truly, I say to you, 'The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear shall live. John 5:25. Because of Adam, we all are dead to the life of God, Gen 2:17, until we hear the words he speaks to us, which are spirit and which are life-giving. John 6:63. This is not a one-time hearing; to pass from death to life is to have heard and obeyed those teachings and commands until you are restored to the spiritual image of God, in union with Christ and the Father. You must go to him. You must wait on him — listen silently, with the humility of a sinner in need of his changing power — grace. You must listen, hear, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21. So wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey.. You must endure to the end, when Christ brings salvation.
2 they shall neither labor, nor be weary. They shall enter the rest of the Lord; they shall rest from their own thoughts, from their own words, and from their own dead works. Instead, they shall have the mind of Christ, to think His thoughts, to speak the words that He gives them, to do works that He directs them, as energized by His Life. They rest from dead works, which are self-willed works originating from their carnal minds, which are enmity with God. They shall rest from fighting their enemies: lust, anger, depression, worry, fear, pride. Just as God entered His rest on the seventh day of creation, so shall they rest from their works. The Christian's rest is glorious. Isa 11:10. Therefore let us diligently labor with every effort to enter into that rest, lest any man fall from the same kind of unbelief [and resulting disobedience] Heb 4:11.
3 he is near at hand, who shall come in the end of the world.
he is near at hand: But what did it say? "The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart [so you may obey it];" that is, the word of faith, which we preach. Jesus is the word, very near, in your heart. Where is that word again? It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it?' Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it?' But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, so that you may obey it. Deu 30:12-14.
who shall come in the end of the world: Jesus, the word, appears in the end of the world. Does the world not end for a person when they die? The world ends as a person dies and they go to another world, but they don't see this world again.
He said: For the Son of man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels;
and then he will reward every man according to his works. (Not just a particular generation.)
Those not purified, to see Jesus' coming in them before death, see him as they die, as all peoples, all nations, all generations do.
Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye will see him, and also those who pierced him; (also, the Jews 2000 years ago)
and all the peoples of the earth will wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Rev 1:7.
2000 years ago, to the Jewish High Priest and the Pharisees at his trial, Jesus said..
you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven. Mark 14:62
This is not a particular generation in our time or later.
Some standing here shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. Mat 16:27-8, Mar 8:38,9:1, Luk 9:26-27. When a man is purified, he has died to his selfish nature. Jesus then appears as your purification is completed to bring your salvation and the kingdom; at this time the world disappears to your eyes, as you enter the kingdom. Jesus said: I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Mat 28:20. The disciples are not still alive on the earth waiting on the end of the world. This statement makes no sense, unless you realize the end of the world is a personal experience — as it was for the disciples — for they saw the end of the world. And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever. 1 John 2:17. So the world with its lusts and passions disappear together, crucified by the aid of the Spirit. After we are purified, Christ returns to establish his Kingdom within us, and the world as we know it disappears. We enter a different dimension — paradise or the Kingdom of Heaven. Now all these things happened to them as examples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world have [past tense] come. 1 Cor 10:11; the disciples of Jesus entered the kingdom at Pentecost, and the ends of the world occurred for them then.
The world ends as you step into a different parallel dimension, the Kingdom of God which is within and around us — it is a different dimension to be lived in, a spiritual dimension to be entered through personal tribulations while still physically on the earth; and then to dwell there forever. But, unless you enter the Kingdom of Heaven in this life, you will never have any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ or God. The Apostle Paul helps us understand the Kingdom of God within and among us, writing in the Bible's book of Acts: God .. is not far from each one of us, for in him we live and move and have our being, (Acts 17:27-28) — but we are not aware of this, because we are in a lower physical dimension. The physical dimension shares the same space as the higher spiritual dimensions; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Eph 4:6. To enter the Kingdom of God within and around us, is to be dramatically translated to the spiritual dimension of consciousness and sight, in union with Christ and God, but walking on earth by the light of God. The world passes away from our sight when the Kingdom is entered.
4 who have fulfilled the law of the Lord. What does fulfilling the law of the Lord mean? It means that someone has crucified their sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial. They no longer walk by their own carnal mind or vain imagination; rather, they walk in obedient faith, hearing the words that they are to speak, and seeing the deeds they are to perform; they hear and see God's direction and commands. They walk by faith, in the spirit, in the light, in love. When Jesus walked the earth, even he did not speak his own words or make his own decisions about what to do. How could we, who are less, also not be expected to deny our own will and do the will of God? Jesus said:
After you have been cleansed of sin, and have become pure — then, and only then, you are filled with love and walk fully under the control of God, in love and with the fruit of the Spirit — against which there is no law. From the Word of the Lord within: "There are no laws when you are under complete control of the spirit; you walk in love in obedience as prompted — you don't walk in restricted flesh."
The law was given to the fallen descendants of Adam, who had lost the guidance and life of God; when a man has been changed by God's power to walk in love as prompted by God, there is no law needed and no law that applies. When you walk as prompted by God, you are fulfilling the law; you are walking beyond total compliance with the law because:
Only when you are guided by the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, (prompted with thoughts, words, deeds by the Spirit,) can you claim the scripture of freedom: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Rom 8:2. To be free from the law, you first have to be restored into the spiritual image of God, putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of your heart, the circumcision of Christ; to those, the law is dead.
This is a glorious liberty of the sons of God, who walk by the Law of Liberty. But before you are a son of God, enjoying Christian Freedom, walking under control of the Holy Spirit in love, (which there is no law against), you must be first crucified on the inward cross of self-denial, to become pure, to produce the fruit of the Spirit. Then you walk in love.
Owe no man anything, but to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
For the commandments: You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet, and any other commandments, are all briefly summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love works no wrong to his neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Rom 13:8-10
For all the law is fulfilled in one commandment, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" Gal 5:14
When the Lord appears to complete your salvation, you will be filled with love and you will totally walk by the love and light of God.
5 And in the midst of them there was a young man of a high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon every one of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; which I marveled at greatly.
So I asked the angel, and said, "Sir, what are these?"
He answered and said unto me, "These are those who have put off the mortal clothing, put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God; now are they crowned, and they receive palms."
Then said I unto the angel, "What young person is it who crowns them and gives them palms in their hands?"
So he answered and said unto me, "It is the Son of God,"
The above are what the scholars claim had to be written after Christ; to accept these verses is to admit the Jews rejected the true Messiah. While this is a strong case for Jesus being the Messiah, it is not as strong as 4 Esdras 7:28-29:
For my son Jesus shall be revealed with those that be with him, and those who remain shall rejoice within four hundred years.
After these years shall my son Christ die, and all men that have life. 4 Esdras 7:28-29
Clearly the Jews didn't know their own scriptures as well as they thought they did, for they wanted to stone Jesus for calling himself the son of God:
I, whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, am accused by you, saying to me, 'You blaspheme;' because I said, I am the Son of God? John 10:36
Nor is 4 Esdras the only Old Testament book that mentions the Son of God:
Old Testament Book of Proverbs, says:
Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if you can tell? Proverbs 30:4
In the Old Testament Book of Psalms, King David spoke very, very reverently of the Son, ascribing to him the power of God:
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you perish from the way for his wrath is quick to be kindled. Blessed are all those who put their trust in him. Psa 2:12
In the Old Testament Book of Daniel, even the heathen King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, could recognize the son of God:
And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spoke, and said to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "True, O king."
He answered and said, "Look, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not harmed; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." Daniel 3:23-25.
Further in the Old Testament Book of Daniel, Daniel himself saw Jesus coming on the clouds: I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, Dan 7:13.
whom they have confessed in the world. They have confessed him to be their ruling Lord in thoughts, words, deeds. To confess the Son of God, is to affirm that the anointing controls them to do the will of God instead of making their own decisions from an evil imagination and carnal mind that is enmity to God. Their hearts have been circumcised by the Spirit, putting off the old body of sin.
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