Saturday 21 March 2020


Hello Annette,

This is part of a series of communication we are having on the timing of the Rapture. Doubtlessly, the reason you have put forth for your believing in post-tribulation Rapture is very sound. Nevertheless there are still some loose threads that need to be tied up. That’s what I think.

One of the loose thread that I am talking about is found in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 3, verse 10. This is what it says,

“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

If I am not mistaken, what the Spirit says to the Church in Philadelphia concerning the reward which is awaiting it for fulfilling God’s command has to do with the Great Tribulation with which the whole earth will be tried. This promise is made especially to the Church in Philadelphia. No other church is given such a promise. Other churches have other promises.

My question to you is this: If the Church in Philadelphia is kept from this hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, how is it kept from it? I am very much interested in learning what you have to say on this topic.

Also, I would like to thank Mirtika for referring to me for further study on the teaching of the early church on the issue under discussion. I have browsed the site and I find it extremely useful. I would also like to know what you have to say about the verse that I have quoted above from Revelation 3.


Sunday 15 March 2020


Dear Friend,

On reading your blog entitled The Carcasses, the Eagles and the Taken, I did get the first real breakthrough in drawing closer to right understanding about Jesus’ saying to His disciples: “For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”

Immediately preceding this verse, we read about one person taken and another left. Just like you I also have been thinking that the taken are those people whom Jesus will catch up in mid-air at the time of Rapture. I thought they would be taken to be with Jesus where He was in the Kingdom of Heaven. By relating it to what happened in Noah’s time, as described in Luke 17 and Matthew 24, you provided a fresh viewpoint regarding who the taken were and what was the meaning of being taken.

However, yesterday morning, while taking bath, all of a sudden, it occurred to me that comparison of the people who would be taken, according to Luke 17 and Matthew 24, to the people who were taken by the flood in Noah’s time, opened up my eyes to another fact which, I think, I should bring to your notice.
Towards the end of your blog you made this remark: If we don’t see the bodies of the Lord’s enemies being eaten by birds, it’s not His coming. Now it needs to be made clear, here, what you mean when you talk about His coming. Do you mean the Rapture or the Second Coming? The Rapture is surely not His Second Coming; because Jesus does not literally descend on earth at the time of the Rapture. He appears in heaven and His people are caught up to Him to be where He is. The Second Coming is the event during which Jesus literally descends on the earth. And it is at the time of His Second Coming that the enemies of His will be destroyed and eaten by vultures. There is a gap between the Rapture and the Second Coming.

At the time of Noah’s Flood, the people who were ungodly were indeed taken by the Flood, but before the Flood came, God took Noah and his family out from among them into the Ark. It is only after the calamity had passed that Noah and his family came out of the Ark and took possession of the earth. The whole sequence of events related to Noah’s Flood make us think that just before God pours out His wrath on the world during the Great Tribulation, He takes His people out of the earth to be with Him, isn’t it? When Jesus leads His army to fight in the Battle of Armageddon, it is His Second Coming.

This line of thinking forced me to rethink over the meaning of “For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.” It made me question, “Who Jesus was actually referring to when He talked about the carcass?” Was He referring to ‘the taken’ of ‘the left’? It seems quite possible the taken were taken to Heaven in Rapture. And when the Great Tribulation starts after the Rapture, the left, who are spiritually dead, will be facing the time of God’s wrath. The whole thing culminates in the event of the Battle of Armageddon, which shows Jesus leading the army of the saints against the ungodly. In the aftermath of the battle, the world will see the earth filled with carcasses of those killed by Jesus, and the vultures feeding on them.

I would like to know what do you think about it.


Friday 13 March 2020


Sounds a bit strange, isn’t it? Many consider sin to be an abstract moral principle; whereas woman is real and exists in her own right. But, I assure my readers that by the time they reach the end of this study, they would agree with me on points I intend to deal with here.

Let me tell my readers that sin also is a spirit (a spirit of harlotry) and exists in his own right. What’s more, he has a desire toward human beings which does not include men alone but also women. However, I will rather talk about man’s relationship with sin and woman for the sake of convenience. I hope my readers won’t mind it.

I would like to begin with Genesis 4:7 which says,

“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” verse is spoken to Cain by the Lord Himself. When I read “And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it”, it recalled to my mind the curse that God laid on Eve after the Fall. This is what God told her in Genesis 3:16:

“Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.”

This shows how sin relates to a man. It relates with him in the same way that a woman relates with her husband. Therefore, when man enters into relationship with him, he becomes one with sin, and the whole relationship develops into a ‘dark’ spiritual family and the dark spiritual family is part of a ‘dark’ society which already exists. Sin belongs to it.

It needs to be understood that every relationship involves a pact – it is bound by a pact. Those who enter into relationship must commit themselves to this pact. Therefore, a sinner is committed to a pact and abides by the rules and regulations which govern this pact in the ‘dark’ spiritual world. Similarly, those who enter into relationship with Jesus, abide by the conditions of the pact that binds relationship in the divine realm.

In the beginning this similarity between the curse that God put on Eve regarding the kind of relationship she was to have with Adam and the instruction He gave to Cain regarding the attitude he was to have toward sin, literally confused me. I just didn’t know about what to make of it. All I had was a vague feeling about the kind of relationship that a man could have with sin and woman.

Upon pondering for sometime over it, I realized that there were two kinds of relationship a man could have with a woman: 1. Husband and wife and 2. Man and whore. When a man becomes one with any woman who is not his wife, he enters into a relationship with a harlot. It is a man-harlot relationship.

There is a reason why when Paul talked about a husband-wife relationship, he could not but relate it to Christ’s relationship with the Church. The relation that Jesus has with His Church provides the model on which the husband-wife relationship is based. The second type of relationship is the illicit one and is modeled on the relationship between a sinner and sin. While the former is based on self-sacrifice, the latter on self-indulgence. One way leads in one direction, the other in diametrically opposite direction. the woman is asked to live in submission to her husband and the man to rule over her, it needs to be understood what is meant by submission and subjection. Nobody can define it better than Jesus Himself. This is how He defines it in Matthew 20:25-28:

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Jesus ruled by sacrificing Himself on the cross for His bride, the Church, which is the Body of Christ. In order to save His Body, Christ sacrificed His will, which would have led Him away from the cross had He chosen to be driven by it and not by His Father’s will. Had He walked away from the cross, we, the Church, His Body, would have perished beyond any possibility of reclamation. Therefore, He chose to subject His will to God’s (the Father’s) will, and went on to sacrifice Himself on the cross.

In the light of what Jesus did for His Body, what St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:16-18 becomes quite clear. This is what he says: “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.”

In the same chapter in verses 16-17, he says, “Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For ‘the two,’ He says, ‘shall become one flesh.’ But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”

It is clear that the two relationships yield different results. The husband-wife relationship tends to produce this:

“Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.” (1 Timothy 2:15)

This simply means that even childbearing will not save her if they do not continue in faith, love and holiness, with self-control. Self-control demands self-sacrifice. We cannot control our ‘self’ without sacrificing it. The significance of her being saved in childbearing can be known from the salvation of the Body of Christ. Salvation, then, is the end-result. It’s out and out spiritual; therefore it is eternal, holy and real. 1 Corinthians 6:17 says,

“But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”

The physical relationship unites flesh and produces sin. It is out and out physical; therefore it is mortal, unholy and false. Consider the following verses from James 1:14-15:“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

Please note that the desires that James is talking about here are not the desires of a person who faces temptation. He is talking about the desires of sin that, as St. Paul states in Romans 7, dwells in our body. This is very important to understand. Let me quote it here:

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”

The reason why this happens is given in verse 8:

“But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire.”

Therefore our being driven by our desires is actually our being driven by the desires of sin. Our allowing ourselves to be led by our desires to do evil, is intercourse with sin whereby we become one entity, and that entity is sin. We do become sin by committing sin! It leads to the process of conception and childbearing. Childbearing in this process does not mean beginning of life; rather it marks the end of life.

It is important to understand how life and death are defined in two different realms which are opposed to each other. Sin was dead apart from the Law (Commandments). See Romans 7:8. When the Law came, sin revived. It is this revival of sin that was called the birth of sin. I repeat for good measure that the sin which is being birthed is our ‘self’ plus sin. It is we in relation to sin and sin in relation to us. This relationship unites us into one entity that now we know is sin.

The next stage in the development of this relationship is attaining to maturity by sin. When sin attains to maturity, it brings forth death. The process of sin attaining to maturity could be defined in the same way that Adam was led by Eve to see, touch and eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge which was forbidden by God.

Once becoming sin, it is necessary for us to die. It is the logical end of our relationship with sin. Do we now see how difficult it was for us to be saved? It required none other than God to save us from our hopeless condition.

And just consider what a marvelous solution He came up with in order to accomplish it! It was inconceivable for any human being right from Adam! It is one of God’s greatest divine mysteries which stand revealed to us in the person of Jesus. I believe this is something that nobody else can help us understand better except St. Paul. And this is what he has to say in Romans 8:3-4:

“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
God sent Jesus in the likeness of sinful flesh on account of sin, not on account of the sinful man! Do we now understand what it meant for Jesus to come into the world in the likeness of sinful flesh? Surely, we cannot understand this without St. Paul who wrote thus in 2 Corinthians 5:21:

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” verse from 2 Corinthians 5 has dodged the understanding of many a biblical scholars. I came across one pastor who quoted this verse to me. At that time I didn’t know its meaning but I did want to know about it. So I asked him, “Pastor, would you please help me understand this verse? How could Jesus, who was Good because He was God, become sin? Can evil ever become good, and good become evil? And if evil can never become good, it can never be saved. It is bound to end up in Hell. Sin can have no place in Heaven. And if that is the case, then we are left with only one explanation for this verse that a part of Jesus’ existence was lost forever! That’s terrible conclusion to reach! Because Bible clearly informs us about the fact that Jesus was resurrected Mind, Body and Spirit. No aspect of His existence was lost forever. And that’s the truth.”

That pastor had no answer to my question. He himself didn’t know how Jesus could become sin. I praise the Lord that He opened my eyes in due time to understand this divine mystery. I could see that Jesus never committed sin to the extent that He fully fulfilled the entire Law. Therefore, though in the likeness of sinful flesh, He remained above sin and lived in accordance to the Law of the Spirit. Sin could never rule Him.

He registered a decisive victory by condemning sin in His flesh on the cross. That’s how sin died. And that’s how we died; because we were sin. The likeness of the sinful flesh, that is, sin, was destroyed on the cross and along with it we also died. It was the likeness, the image, of sinful flesh that was destroyed. The likeness or the image and flesh are two different things.

It was in the likeness or the image that sin resided, not in the flesh. When Jesus’ body was destroyed on the cross, it was actually the image (of sin) that was destroyed. That is the reason why Jesus’ body did not perish in the grave but was rather glorified in the resurrection. Christ’s resurrected body represents the divine image that He restored to us.

When we saw sin, we came to know sin. When we came to know sin, we came to know what sin was like. When we came to know what sin was like, we changed into its likeness or its image. Similarly, when we, who are saved through faith in Jesus, shall see Him next time, we shall see Him as He is. We shall see what Jesus is like. When we shall see what He is like, we shall change into His likeness or His image and become like Him. Isn’t it great?

The sinful flesh did not affect Jesus’ deity in any way since He never became one with sin but remained united with the Father by strictly abiding by His (Father’s) will. This saved His flesh from seeing corruption in death. That’s how He destroyed sin on the cross and death in the grave. He totally annihilated the Kingdom of Satan with His resurrection. Hallelujah!

So the point is, Jesus became sin in a specific sense. His divine character remained intact at all times. Therein, essentially, lies our hope. Because His righteousness became our righteousness. It is because of being made right with God in this way that we became united with God. In this oneness with God lies the salvation of our mind, body and spirit. I would like to part with my readers with one last word: Consider the oneness with God!


Saturday 7 March 2020


Rapture could be partial! Not all the believers might be taken out of this world at the time our Lord appears in heaven to gather in the harvest which would be ready at the End of the Age. I have nothing to assert here. I am writing this post to put forth a possibility. Consider this…

I had already dealt with

1.   Whether Rapture is a pre-tribulation or mid-tribulation or post-tribulation event and
2.   Whether all the believers will be caught in mid-heaven when it happens my book, SYRIA, IRAQ, ISIS, ISRAEL & BIBLICAL PROPHECIES. I had given my reasons for why I thought that Rapture could be partial in which most of the harvest could be gathered before the Great Tribulation would start while the remaining harvest could be gathered in the middle of the Tribulation. But recently, while I was working on another blog post entitled INTERTEXTUALITY IN THE BIBLE – II, I happened to come across what might be another evidence to support this possibility.

I was going through the details regarding the three annual feasts for which God had demanded of Israel that they must gather in Jerusalem each year to observe them. That the Passover had to do with Jesus, I knew very well. But I didn’t know about the significance of the other two feasts. It was only during the time I was working on the above-mentioned blog that I returned to study them. It provided me with wonderful insight into the importance of these feasts and I would like to share it with my readers.

Of these two annual feasts, the Feast of Firstfruits indicates the Resurrection of Jesus, and the Feast of Ingathering or the Feast of Tabernacles probably indicates the event that we know as Rapture. The latter is the last major feast according to the Hebrew calendar. It celebrates the last harvest which takes place at the end of the year. It is the end-of-the-year event. It reminds us of two things:

1.   Even in the wilderness, God did not let His people go without shelter and
2.   Our existence in this world is temporary.

We are moving toward our ultimate destination, that is, the Kingdom of Heaven. Ingathering suggests gathering of the people of the Kingdom at the end of the age. The one very interesting detail I alluded to earlier regarding implication of Ingathering for Rapture appears in Leviticus 23:22:

“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God.” is very much possible that this verse gives us a reason why at the time of Rapture, some believers might be left behind. It seems to suggest that they are left behind for the sake of the spiritually poor who would be living on the earth at that time; so that these believers might guide them into the path of truth. They will be the source of spiritual sustenance for the poor and the stranger during the period of Great Tribulation.

Daniel 11:32-35 probably refers to these believers who are called part of the harvest which is growing in the corners of the field in Exodus 23:22. They are the corners of a field which is not to be reaped, and they are also called the gleanings left for the poor and the stranger. I would like to quote these verses from Daniel 11. Here:

“Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.”

In the verses quoted above, he that shall corrupt with flattery those who do wickedly against the covenant is the Antichrist. And, the people who know their God, the people who understand, are the faithful who will be left behind for the sake of the spiritually poor and strangers. was time I thought only those would be left behind who wouldn’t have the Spirit of God, like the five foolish virgins of the parable in Matthew 25, who went out to meet the bridegroom with lamp but without oil. I thought the same about the one who would be left behind in the following verses from Matthew 24: Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.”

But after considering in depth the facts given in the Bible regarding the people who would be taken and the people who would be left behind at the time of Rapture, I seriously began to think that I might be erring in measuring all the left behind people by the same rod.

Now I have come to the conclusion that if Rapture is partial, then it is very much possible that the first harvest would take place right before the Great Tribulation starts, and the last harvest in the middle of the Tribulation. I also believe that the people who will not be gathered at the time of the first harvest will not all consist of the people whose lamps will run out of oil. Rather they will also include the people who will be so strong in their faith and deeds that they would be able to weather the worst of times in human history and yet remain loyal to their God. For that very reason God will let them remain on earth during this time. Not only they will remain loyal to their God, they will also be able to lead many to Him with their wisdom and understanding and steadfastness, thereby save them from utter destruction.


Friday 6 March 2020


God’s thoughts, His will, His purposes, His plans…We cannot understand they are too great for the humans to comprehend as long as we don’t first understand few of the countless things that He has said or done. And the little that we understand will suffice to help us know that He is God, Amen.
This blog post deals with the miracle that Jesus performed at the pool of Bethesda. The first time I realized that there was more in this miracle than met the eye was when I heard Jesus telling the man, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” I couldn’t but ask myself this question: This person was totally invalid for 38 years and was not capable of even dragging himself into the water of the pool when the angel stirred it. He was utterly incapable of taking any physical action. Then how could he commit sin? Whatever sin he was capable of committing was on mental plane which should not be deemed so serious that the man who committed it deserved to be punished for 38 years with such a disease!” One thought led me to another and soon I began to see the layers of meaning that were hidden in the brief description of the event.

Let me begin by putting the questions in the order in which they cropped up in my mind:

1.   Why it was that when the angel stirred the water of the pool, the very first sick person who got into it would get healed? What was there in the angel’s stirring the water? What did it mean?
2.   Why only the first person to get down into the water would get healed? So many people, like the person whom Jesus healed there, must be desperately seeking cure of their diseases!
3.   Why Jesus warned the invalid man not to commit sin anymore lest worst thing might happen to him?
4.   What sin he could commit in the given situation?

I tried to find out answers to these questions but got no real breakthrough. As usual, I prayed to God to give me His wisdom, knowledge and understanding, and also sought help from the Holy Spirit. After that I read the whole episode over again and the very first thing that I noticed was that it was the time when people had gathered to Jerusalem to celebrate some feast.

Also, it occurred to me to learn the meaning of the name ‘Bethesda’. Straightaway I googled to learn its meaning and learned that it was the ‘House of Grace’ or ‘House of Mercy’, and that it was located near the Sheep Gate through which the sacrificial lamb were brought into the Temple for sacrifice. That was the point that clues to grasp the whole meaning of this miracle began to come to my notice one after another. once I realized that Jesus’ coming to the House of Grace was not a coincidence but fulfillment of the divine promise, and that the angel’s stirring of the water of the pool referred to the time of the Grace of God.

I also realized that the Feast which Jesus and others had gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate might also have bearing on this miracle. I guessed it was the Feast of Passover but thought it better and safe not to depend upon assumption. So, I turned to study those Feasts. I would return to discuss my find from this study; but before that I would like to briefly tell you first about another interesting detail that the ‘House of Grace’ helped me understand. It was the sin that this man was committing.

As I was thinking about it, a very valid question arose in my mind which up till now had evaded me: Why in all the years that he was lying down in the porch of Bethesda he couldn’t find even one chance to get into the pool? This question opened my eyes to the possibility that he wasn’t actually ready to receive healing in the way that others around him were. When Jesus came to him and asked him whether he wanted to get healed, the question He posed before him was quite revealing. We may ask, “What kind of question is this? Who wouldn’t like to be rid of one’s sickness? Who’d want to remain sick for so long?” But Jesus knew the man and therefore the question He asked him was quite relevant.

We have the evidence of the peculiar mindset of this person. When Jesus asked him whether he would like to be healed, it was not the time the water was stirred but it was indeed the time that Grace had visited him in the House of Grace. And just look at him! He didn’t look at Jesus and respond to His question. Rather he indirectly told Jesus he was looking forward to the waters of Bethesda for healing, and he couldn’t receive it for the reason already given.

By this he made it amply clear that when Jesus came to him, he didn’t look up to Jesus; similarly, when the angel stirred the water of the pool, he wasn’t ready for that. For such a long time, he kept on missing the point. That was his sin. The stirring of water symbolizes the Grace of God. His mistake was the same as that of the city of Jerusalem to whom Jesus said this in Luke 19:

“If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace!” was his day!…His day for receiving the thing that would make for his peace! And he failed to grasp it. He failed to look up to Jesus who brought to him in His person the Grace of God. Isaiah 55:6 says,

“Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.”

This man failed to comprehend the promise contained in Bethesda was fulfilled in Jesus who was standing right in front of him. Jesus had come to him for a specific purpose which was stated thus in Isaiah 55, and which also had to do with that man:

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

As it is, man’s ignorance cannot render God’s plan futile. Jesus was the Word of God who was sent into the world to prosper in the thing for which He was sent. While that infirm man was looking up to the promise that Bethesda signposted, Jesus fulfilled it by healing him from his infirmity.

Nevertheless He warned him not to remain in sin lest worst thing might happen to him. I could not have understood the meaning of Jesus’ warning had my focus not shifted from the physical condition of that man to the spiritual. It suggested that he could not but know that God’s grace did not come cheap. That, exactly, was the reason why only the first person to get down into the pool was healed. That is the reason why Jacob strove so hard with God for his blessing. He knew the importance of God’s blessing. Esau slighted his right as the firstborn, which included Isaac’s blessing which ultimately was to come from God, counting it worth no more than one-off serving of a stew. to the particular timing of this miracle that Jesus performed at Bethesda, it is important that we know it; because it reveals to us another layer of meaning that it contains. Having gone through the entire Gospel according to St. John, I learned that the feast for which Jesus and Israel had gathered in Jerusalem to observe was either the Feast of the Firstfruits or the Feast of Ingathering, which is also called the Feast of Tabernacles. There are reasons why I believe it was the Feast of the Firstfruits. Here are they:

Moving backward from this particular feast mentioned in John 5, I started looking for the feast which immediately preceded it. My search led me first to John 4:45 which referred to a feast Jesus attended in Jerusalem. But it did not clearly name that feast. So I kept tracing my way back through John 3 to John 2 where I read about the miracle Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. According to John 2:11, it was the first miracle with which Jesus began His ministry. From there I saw Him moving to Capernaum where He did not stay for many days. His next destination was Jerusalem because, it is stated there, the Passover was near. This was the first of the three Passovers that Jesus observed in Jerusalem during His approximately 3-year long ministry. And, it was during this Passover that He performed many miracles.

Therefore, it stands to logic that John 4:45 talks about the Feast of Passover that is mentioned in John 2. This makes it clear that the feast during which the miracle of Bethesda took place was surely not the Feast of Passover. It, therefore, stands to logic that the feast mentioned in John 5 is either the Feast of the Firstfruits or the Feast of the Ingathering. In order to ascertain whether it was the Feast of the Firstfruits or the Feast of the Ingathering, we must of necessity turn back to John 4.

It is very much possible that John 4:35-38 fits in the context of the Feast of the Firstfruits. It says,

“Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest?’ Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.”

These verses work on two levels, one physical and another spiritual. On physical level, Jesus indicated the first seasonal harvest which was approaching in the next four months; on spiritual level He was indicating the fact that the world was now ready to receive Him and be saved to eternal life. If we draw upon the physical level, it brings us to the month of Av, the fourth month according to the Hebrew calendar. It is the month in which the Feast of the Firstfruits is celebrated in Jerusalem., we may safely conclude from these references to the harvest festival that it was the Feast of Firstfruits during which Jesus healed the man at Bethesda. And if it was exactly this feast during which Jesus healed him, then it makes clear the meaning of why only the first person to get down into the pool of Bethesda got healed.

The Feast of Firstfruits indicated Jesus’ resurrection, the event which showed Jesus to be the Firstfruits of all who were dead. In Him was fulfilled the promise of resurrection of all who were already dead and all who would die after Him. Getting healed from a disease was a physical manifestation of forgiveness of sin, a spiritual sickness that brought salvation to the sinners of the world. Getting down into the pool may be indicative of baptism into Christ’s death.

Christ’s healing the invalid man and afterwards asking him not to commit sin perfectly fits with what St. Paul has to say in Romans 6:3-4:

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Jesus’ warning that man against committing sin also has to do with what He has to say in John 5:26-27:

“For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.”

Jesus’ telling him worse thing might happen to him unless he stops sinning shows Him in the position of the Judge. The authority to judge was given to Him by God the Father just as He received the authority to have life in Himself from Him, and He underlined this fact by His warning.

Finally, we cannot close this discussion without dealing with the angel who stirred the water of the pool of Bethesda. The water of this pool did not have curative properties at all times. Only when the angel would stir its water did it acquire them. Upon closely reading this episode from John 5 with Exodus 23:25-26, the connection between the angel of John 5:4, the Angel of Exodus 23 and Jesus becomes clear.

Please note that Exodus 23 also deals with the three annual Feasts in detail. And immediately after dealing with them appears God’s instructions to Moses concerning how he and Israel were to treat an Angel that He would send to them. Interestingly, there are promises attached to following God’s instructions regarding this Angel. This is so very significant that I must quote Exodus 23:20-23:

“Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him. But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. For My Angel will go before you and bring you in to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites and the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will cut them off.”

If Israel would follow God’s instructions without fail, this is what God promised to them: “So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.” have emboldened the phrases and sentences in the passages quoted above in order to draw your attention to their implications. God had put His name in this Angel. Now, whoever is there in whom God has put His name if it is not Jesus, His Son? And He is given the authority to judge them. Judge cannot pardon transgressions. Therefore, Jesus will not pardon transgressions when He sits in the seat of a Judge.

Another thing, God explicitly says that if Israel would serve ‘the Lord your God’ in the way that He demanded of them, He would bless their bread and their water. And He will also take away sickness from the midst of them. This exactly is what Jesus does at the pool of Bethesda.

We have a fair reason to believe that the angel who stirred the water of the pool was no other than Jesus Himself, and at this time Jesus changed the pattern of healing at the pool of Bethesda. He Himself directly chose the firstfruit from among the sick who were there! In the form of healing Jesus restored life to that man through His grace. Now if he would continue in sin, it would tantamount to disregard for God’s grace, the sin that would inevitably entail His judgment. It would expose him to something worse than what he had already endured. It may mean either death or damnation of spirit.

So, this is what exactly happened at Bethesda: Jesus came as the One who held the right from God the Father to have life in Himself; and when He left the scene, He left it as the One who held the right from God the Father to judge and to punish. The miracles He performed weren’t just miracles; they were also signs which we cannot afford to overlook.