Sunday, October 15, 2023

Sliding Into Home: An Intro to The Sindon Letters

 The Sindon Letters


Sliding Into Home

My Personal Testimony: Always Searching

By Pamela Gudgeon

Going back in time in the Word of God is the purpose I feel I was meant to do.  Studying about Jesus, the Promise, the Shroud of Turin, and what the future could hold for the Church as a whole has been my focus for a long time.  However, going back in time in my life is not so pleasant for me and I have avoided giving my testimony for many years. When I delivered it to a few people and a Pastor or two, well, let’s just say this testimony has not been met with positive feedback.  

At this present time, when I think back on my life I remember many sins, but also I see the Glory of God even when I didn’t recognize Him as my Lord and Savior. This is the first fact that has seemed to be a problem within the traditional church in that the Glory of God was revealed before I had a personal relationship with Him.  


The second fact will be revealed as you continue reading.  If you are a confirmed legalist, you may not want to read this personal testimony.  

From the 

What is the best way to describe legalism?

: strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code.

You may not be aware that you are a legalist, though.  Once you finish reading this testimony, you will know.  The decisions we make in life have a tendency to bring blessing or, God forbid, judgment.  So, this personal testimony may throw your theology right out the window, but I will tell you this is a true testimony; I know it; I lived it.

The Great Divide

I was born in Georgia, USA.  Long before President Trump was to be in Dalton, GA last night on January 4, 2020, I had a vision from God that I didn’t understand until last evening.  I saw myself in a car traveling from Chattanooga to Georgia and when I got to the Tennessee-Georgia line, I had to slow down.  The traffic was worse than I had ever seen and it felt like I would never get to my destination.  That was the vision.  Since I spent all my young life traveling over that Tennessee-Georgia line to visit my Father every other week-end, I finally understood that the Lord wanted me to write and share my testimony, my life and how I came to know Jesus. Of course, this would also include the book I have written concerning the magnificent picture of Christ, the Infamous Shroud of Turin that has been in the Holy Word of God since the beginning.  

As you have already guessed, I am from a divorced family.  I spent every other weekend in a Pentecostal Church in Georgia with my Father, and at my home with my Mom, well, we didn’t go to Church, only on Resurrection Sunday.  Suffice it to say my Mom was raised a southern Baptist and my Dad became a Pentecostal after the divorce.  The difference radiated through my young mind. I was taught about Jesus and how to become saved at a young age.  I loved the Homecomings, the music, and the people at Church.  My mother also sent me to vacation Bible School in the Summers. So, I had a good foundation in that respect.  In other words, I knew what to say if I needed the Lord.  

Something happened to me around the age of 8.  I was asked to memorize Psalm 100, speak it to the congregation, and I would receive a nice, white Bible.  I can only assume that my teacher included me with the group class because I could only be there every other Sunday.  So, I had two weeks to memorize it.  I did it, I spoke it perfectly, and I received a white Bible.  I am sure the “white” was symbolic of “righteousness” and not because of any other reason. Honestly, I was never taught prejudice of any kind and was completely protected from news items in the 60’s (born in 1958).  

I believe receiving that Bible was a certain beginning, but not a real beginning in my knowledge of God.  When I was 9 years old, I remember walking up to receive Christ at a totally different Church and I became Baptized that next Sunday.  I went with a friend and neither parent was anywhere around.

Still, I didn’t commune with the Lord.  

It was also the age of 9 when I started playing fast-pitch softball.  I was in the 4th grade and my coaches placed me on 3rd base, for whatever reason.  It was a time in my life that I began to really be confident and good at something.  

The batter would hit the ball to 3rd base and I would catch it perfectly, then, with power, I threw the ball to 1st base.  The problem I had was not the power throw, but the aim.  I would look right at the first base person and the ball would go from the way right to the way left.  

My coach told me to put my eyes in the perfect spot (in the glove of the first base person) before I threw the ball. Well, I listened and won the trophy for the Most Improved that first year.  

The Lord takes me back to that occasionally and places my aim back if I start thinking on the wrong track. He is so faithful.

This leads me to another analogy that has become important to my “Salvation Story” that I will share.

I became a “catcher in fast-pitch softball” for the next few years and won trophies in certain tournaments. However, there was something that I never learned to do properly and still today, could not do.  That something was “sliding into home”.  Everytime I slid into home I went feet and rear coming in first and then slipping backward, hitting my head on home-plate.  It was the oddest thing.  I was told to slide on my side, my leg to the right or left.  Well, all of us girls had on shorts, not pants.  I guess I was afraid to scratch my leg up. It didn’t feel safe.  As it turned out, I knocked myself out a couple of times, but briefly.  Terrible.

Before I get to my “Salvation Story” about how I slid into home with the Lord days before I turned 37 years old, I would like to tell you about the first time I used actual words to ask Jesus into my life.  

When I was 19 years old I was figuring out that I was a major sinner.  I searched and searched for boyfriends all the time.  I never was without a boyfriend and sometimes betrayed the ones I had.  The good thing is that I never did drugs, but I was a drinker.  The parties….the drinks…. the boys….you can only imagine.  I rebelled against anything to do with what was right.  I was like a floundering fish, searching for water to live.  Nothing ever worked.  

At 19 years old, I lived in a dorm room at college with a Christian girl that most likely prayed for me.  She would try to teach me to be responsible. For instance, she would ask me to walk with her to go eat a bite, then tell me to get my umbrella because it’s going to rain.  I went with her, but didn’t get my umbrella.  It poured down rain on the way back and she told me that I should have gotten my umbrella.  I was drenched when we got back to the dorm, she was dry as if it didn’t rain at all.  

Living in the dorm with a Christian that had a relationship with Jesus, was another  beginning to my story.  I was so miserable when I was there because I couldn’t find a boyfriend and had only her and school, which wasn’t helping me in my search.

No one was around one day and I thought I would try to look out the window at the sky and ask Jesus into my life. I knew that if it were true then I would feel different as I had heard at the Pentecostal Church and the Baptist Church.  Well, I said “Jesus, please come into my life and save me”. I was sincere too.  

Immediately, I went to my bed and waited to hear, sense, or feel something from Jesus.  It was quiet. There was no change.  I got up and came to the conclusion that I was still alone…...but I wasn’t as it turned out.

Living in ignorance for the next 17-18 years was what I did.  He never let go of me. During that time I had two disastrous marriages that were so bad that I almost ended up dead. God watched over me as I made horrible choices, he saved me by miracles.  There were at least 3 times that I almost died: 1. Almost killed myself in my early twenties, 2. Almost, unintentionally, jumped to my death down 25 ft on concrete, and 3. Almost and should have died in a car accident while driving 70 mph.  What a crazy life I led, always searching for something that was right in front of me. 

During my first bad marriage, I had a vision from God.  I saw the back of the head of the man I was going to marry and he was tall; he and I were walking together over a bridge in a beautiful park.  (it wasn’t either man in my two disastrous marriages)  I said to someone (Jesus) whom I didn’t know, “How is that possible, I am already married?” It happened years later just as the vision from God revealed it to me.

He spoke to me another time when I was looking through a microscope at the kidney.  I thought, “how intricate and detailed is the kidney.”  I immediately saw a vision of myself coming down to earth from heaven to my mother.  I said to myself, “what does that mean?”  Still, not realizing that the God of creation was talking to me.  He chose me to have a relationship with Him even before I was born on the earth. It wasn’t until I truly was in a relationship with Jesus that I understood the visions.  

Everywhere I went, He was there.  He was there when a lady asked me what I thought about Christians when I was around 30 years old.  She said, “What do you think about Christianity?”  I said, “Oh, I am a secular humanist and I think Christianity is for weak people.”  Boy, how the Lord must have felt in my rebellion! I was repeating the mantra I had heard in school. And God still loved me and knew exactly how and when I was going to realize my grave sins.  God is so faithful and we cannot fathom His great love for us, even me.  

He not only saved me physically from dying many times, He also touched my spirit and saved my future as we will see in the next phase of my Salvation.

True Salvation

How did I finally “slide into home?”  I have to admit that it was kinda, sorta the same way I literally slid into home in my youth, the wrong way.

I had just finished 4 years of goofing off at college, earning a degree, but never really having a firm foundation of the future.  I was 36 years old in December, 1994 at the time of graduation and moved back home, close to where my Mom lived.  

Still searching I thought I would go to a sales job interview.  Well, as I was waiting in line in a room I started chatting with a woman about the weather and other insignificant things.  She said, “Hey, I am learning how to read Tarot Cards, do you want to be my client?”  I laughed.  

I told her, “You are aware that there is no spirit world, right?”  After all that had happened to me and how God gave me visions, talking to me, I still had no idea!  She indicated that she could tell my future and I said in my sarcasm, “Well, let’s prove it.”  

This marks the beginning of my true Salvation, although I would never advocate for anyone to do this: never, ever!  It was how the Lord had to get my attention, I suppose, being deep in rebellion. And, of course, nothing I did was an intentional search in this manner, which was in my favor with God I suppose.  I was in ignorance and completely in denial of evil and good at the time.  I did this for yet another avenue for fun, not realizing my idea of fun was about to change forever!

She suggested we meet every week on Sundays for a while.  This was in the month of May 1995.  So, I went to her meeting.  When I got there the first time, I didn’t know what to expect, but she immediately sat me down at the table (no small talk) and pulled the cards out.  She started turning the cards over and suggested that what she told me was going to happen to me this week to prove to me this is true.  I said, “O.K. as I made a small laughter sound.”

Well, I can’t remember everything she told me through the weeks, but I remember that things were happening just like she said.  For the first 3 -4 weeks, I saw things happening, but I didn’t believe it.  

One Sunday, she told me I would meet someone.  That week I started dating another man.  Looking back, the way I felt was almost the way I felt in that dorm room, right before I asked Jesus into my life.  Something was wrong, and I wasn’t sure what it was.

We continued every Sunday and every week; what she said would happen, happened.  I began to consider moving to a more experienced reader, she agreed and wanted to accompany me.

It was July 4th, 1995 downtown Nashville, TN when we finally saw an experienced Tarot Card reader.  The celebration of our great country was indeed a sight to behold and a lot of people were around.  The experienced Tarot Card reader was on Second Ave with her table and cards.  

I sat down. The cards came and she said the truth about everything in my past.  She spoke of a family member that had passed recently and what they were speaking to me.  All the past was correct.  I was amazed!

Then she started telling me of my present life. It was true, I was dating this man and she described him perfectly.  

It was when she started telling me of the future that I started laughing again.  She said this man owns a castle in Ireland and I will be married there.  I politely got up from the table and said thank you, but inside I was laughing so hard because I knew that all of this spirit stuff was a crock at that time! 

It sounded so preposterous!!

I told my inexperienced “Tarot Card Reading friend” that I found out tonight that all this is so crazy and wrong. She said, “well, ok then.”  I didn’t see her much more after that night, at least not to do Tarot cards ever again.  I did see her after my Salvation to tell her that Jesus is real. But that is the last time I remember seeing her. So, for the next few days I went on with my life as usual.  

It was what happened on the 3rd day after 7/4/95 which was July 7th, 1995 that started my process of having faith: faith first in the evil spirit world and then ultimately faith in Christ Jesus on July 9th, 1995, a Sunday at 11:00 am!

Continuing.  I called the man I was dating on Friday, July 7th.  I told him, laughingly, what I had been through with all this spirit stuff.  I told him about the fortune teller on Second Ave on the 4th.  

I got to the part about the castle in Ireland and the fact that she said that “we are going to get married there” (which I had no desire to do, of course, after what I had previously been through) There was a silence that I still remember to this day.  It was like everything I had been through in the last few months was all right there in that silence.

The silence broke and he said, “I just paid the taxes on a large home in Ireland that was in my family.” 

At this point I had no clue as to what to say except “good bye.” 

For a few days I was in another, yet horrible spiritual world and I couldn’t get out. I guess the good thing, if there is a good thing for this particular week-end, is that I finally believed in the spirit world.

On Sunday morning, the 9th, I heard the word “sorcerer” in my mind.  I remember sitting at the kitchen table pondering, “what is a sorcerer?”  So, I chose to go upstairs to my beautiful and admired encyclopedias with gold trim.  I looked up the word, “sorcerer.”  There was a picture of a devil with two horns…..I never got to the definition.

When I saw the picture of a devil, I screamed loudly, “I am on the wrong side!!!”

I closed the book, ran down the stairs as fast as I could, not thinking: I ran and fell on my knees in the living room and said, “Oh God, save me from my horrible future!!!”

This was the first time I saw Jesus standing in front of me, smiling.  His first words to me were so gentle and kind, “I scared the hell out of you, didn’t I?”

From that moment on I have loved Jesus more than life itself.  I spent 9 months with Him and Him alone, never caring about anything else, or anyone else.  Oh the conversations, the learning, the laughter, and the love!!!  I never wanted to leave His presence! God is so faithful!!!  

I came into the Kingdom of God in a way that I would never wish on anyone!!! My life before Jesus was so painful and empty.  I finally had found what I was searching for all my life.  I found Him by coming into His door from the wrong side, so to speak, much in the same way that I slid into home in my youth.


From an Evil, Devil Picture to a Holy, Jesus Picture

God’s Saving Grace Always Has a Purpose

In conclusion, there was an important time in my past when I was in college, getting ready to graduate.  I had to get my last semester classes approved by an advisor.  While I was communicating with him about my final classes, he received a phone call from a news station. They wanted to do a spot on the Shroud of Turin and also wanted an educator’s opinion.  He stated, “The Shroud of Turin is a fake.”  I was not a believer in Christ at this time, so I had no interest in anything he said, unless it had something to do with my list of classes so I could graduate.  However, I always remembered that.  Somewhere in the back of my mind and in my deep ignorance was the question, “Why would you say it was a fake?” Years later the Lord brought that back to me and introduced me to my future purpose in the Word of God: writing and studying about the picture of Christ Jesus on the Shroud of Turin.  

I was mesmerized by the Shroud because it was and still is a perfect testimony of everything the Gospels said about the Crucifixion and the Resurrection (The Promise).  I questioned the Lord “If it is truly You, then why isn’t it in the Word of God so all could see?”  My writing and studying future is continually being revealed to me by Him as I put forth the effort concerning the ordered Word of God, precept upon precept.  He has spoken and the Shroud of Turin is in the Bible.  

The evil picture of the devil that brought wisdom, understanding, and revelation to me concerning Christ Jesus depicted my past before I knew Jesus.  He turned me around in my living room that day and gave me a true and good picture of Himself: a (seen) picture of the pinnacle office of servanthood, or the Crucified Christ and an (unseen) picture of the excellency of perfect Light, or the Resurrected Christ.  I hope you will continue reading “The Sindon Letters” that unveils the Biblical evidence that the Burial Shroud of Christ Jesus is the tangible remnant left behind.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, whenever you see or however you walk, 

Just Make Sure You Make It Home!!!  Everything will fall into place with Jesus!!

Love to you in Christ,  

Pamela Gudgeon, (Always the Student)

The Sindon Letters Chapter One

 The Sindon Letters

Marking the Perfect and Beholding the Upright

Chapter One

For many years I have been writing studies in the OT and NT concerning the Shroud of Turin. My thoughts concerning the miracle garment initially rested on the question, "Why wouldn't the Lord have placed the Shroud of Christ in our Canonical Scriptures?" After years of study, I believe in my heart that I am able to prove that the Shroud of Turin is definitely in Scripture based on the Hebrew and Greek words, etymology and other methods of study.  I never knew why God was revealing this to me.  I began my work based on a precept of "perfect history" and then followed with a Chiastic literary structure

What I mean by perfect history is the order of perfect history of 1. Christ Jesus Crucified for our sins, 2. The Resurrected Christ on the third day, 3. the Resurrection and Remnant (His Miracle Shroud) He left behind, and the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in His Church (His faithful believers), those that follow Him and relate with Him. Similarly, 1. He, our Father (Abba), 2. His Son (Jesus), and 3. the Holy Spirit in His believers are alive and speak to all those who will allow Him to speak by faith. As a student of the Word of God, I can see these infallible proofs and truth patterns from the Law and the Prophets throughout the NT, including the Book of Revelation.

What I mean by Chiastic literary structure is a literary pattern using a technique in narrative motifs and other textual passages.  An example of chiastic structure would be two ideas, A and B, together with variants of A and B, being presented as A, B, B, A. 

The Structures can be in any form, even ABAB or ABABC, etc.  Also, a Chiasmus is a figure of speech in which the grammar of one phrase is inverted in the following phrase, such that two key concepts from the original phrase reappear in the second phrase in inverted order.  It is sometimes called introverted parallelism.  A simple example of ABBA is:  Jesus said, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” 

The ABAB pattern is one that is especially important in these studies.  As the division of perfect history unfolds in the passages, it is evident that many times the first A is the Sacrifice of Christ and the second A is the Resurrection of Christ, the B’s are matched with each respectively. 

Briefly, I would like to share with you the first passage of scripture that revealed the Shroud of Turin to me through perfect history and chiastic structure. 

(KJV) Isaiah 52:13-15 is a picture of the Suffering Servant. I would like to focus on verse 14 for now.  It reads, “As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.”

As we break down this verse, we can raise up a revelation, much like an artist takes a plain, massive rock and breaks it down to form a beautiful structure.

  1. His visage was so marred 2.  more than any man

  1. His form more 2.  than the sons of men

Visage (Hebrew, 4758, mareh) this word denotes the thing that was seen, a view, his marred appearance that was seen, also it carries with it an action of looking up or looking onto.

More than any man (Hebrew, 376, iysh), this word denotes an individual man or a male person. 

Form (Hebrew, 8389, toar) his outline and comes from (Hebrew, 8388, taar) a primitive root denoting the action word delineate meaning to describe something precisely. Also, in Hebrew it means to be drawn or marked out; an outline.

Sons of Men (Hebrew, 120, adam) a human being or the species, mankind, etc.

This chiastic form is an ABAB, however, we can restate this verse using the Hebrew words as was intended by the author, Isaiah:

His physical appearance that is seen, in an action of looking up or looking onto, is so marred more than any individual male and his outline, drawing, or mark more than mankind. There is balance and order in the Word of God. 

How would we have understood this fully without knowing perfect history and seeing the chiastic structure in motion?  The outline of Christ that was left behind, the remnant, is an infallible truth proving the Salvation Story of 1. Sacrifice (the marred, visible Jesus on the Burial Shroud) and 2. the Resurrection (the outline, drawing, and mark of Jesus made by the unseen Holy Spirit’s power for mankind). We could extrapolate further with 1. Jesus, His individual sacrifice, the Groom and 2. His Church, His Bride, to infinity.  Both are considered the fullness of the Promise of God.

Jesus said in (KJV) John 10:15-18 that He lays down His life for His sheep in verse 15, then He goes on to state that He has "other" (G243, different) sheep, which are not of this fold: them He shall also bring (into the fold) and they will hear His voice; and they will be one fold, with one shepherd, in verse 16. He was speaking of His Sacrifice for the two separate folds, the unity of these two folds (through the Cross of Christ), and then in verses 17 and 18, He speaks of His Resurrection and His Authority, which ultimately unifies the two folds. This is a perfect historical order and it is used throughout the whole Canon (this perfection in the Word of God is the Promise for all people). 

Notice the translated Greek word for "fold" here is not the same word used in both instances. Upon looking up the Greek words (G833, aule, same as G109, aer and G4167, poimne originated from G4165 pomaino), we find that first word for (fold, aule) is a place, like an open yard or a large mansion or palace, implication being a beautiful place for Him to reside (in that flock, implying Israel). We find that the second word used for (fold, poimne) is when the two are together under one shepherd. Following the origin of the second word (pomaino) in the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, it is a flock in the action of "tending as a shepherd." The implication here is when there is unity between both folds and their Shepherd, figuratively, they are in an authoritative position over the earth. The Lord is giving a prophecy in order of occurrence. He came through the bloodline of and for Israel, which is like an open field or a beautiful mansion. He proceeded with the other flock that He had, all other nations, or the Gentiles. We know the perfect history and by that we can see the revelation here; that both Israel and Gentiles (all nations except Israel) were and still are today the people for whom He laid down His life. There was always unity in His purpose.

He goes on to prophesy in verses 17 and 18. He basically says that His Father loves him because He lays His life down for others (Sacrifice) and that He will take it up again (Resurrection). This is predicting His Death and Resurrection. In verse 18, He says that He has the power to lay His life down, and to take it up again. His Father told Him to do this. So, as we will see in the next paragraph, He will and He did.

This was His future when He said this and this is our past when we read this. So, we look at time frames in order to understand context. When He said this, it immediately brought division among members of the first fold. Some thought He was "mad" and had a devil, and others said that a devil could not open the eyes of the blind (referring back to John 9 when the man that was born blind could see). However, when John was writing this later on, he most likely understood it because of the knowledge he had gained, making it "perfect history."

If we look at the KJV in John 10:15-18 we can easily see an ABAB structure. 

Verse 15; As the Father knows me, even so I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. This one verse contains the two opposites in reciprocity and then the single thought or culmination, the fruit of the two (because of the relationship with my Father, in reciprocity, I will sacrifice myself for others). This is the A part of the ABAB structure. 


Verse 16; And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. This verse would be the B. This is a totally new idea: unity through division of people (two opposites), but an increase and an implication of the rising up of another fold. 

Verse 17: Therefore doth my Father love me; because I lay down my life, that I might take it (up) again. This structure brings us a perfect reversal of verse 15.“My Father loves me” is the culmination first, then the two opposites: sacrifice and resurrection. In verse 15, the two opposites are first in order, then the culmination. This is an A because it goes right back in a circle to  verse 15. This is how Chiastic structure works.

Verse 18:  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have the power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.   This structure is similar to verse 16 in that there are 3 initial thoughts and 1 result that is bound to the 3 initial thoughts. This is a B.

Of course, we need to understand the Bible within the contexts of the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, but the question entreats, why is the order in the Word of God important? The answer is simply that it can reveal more when we study this method and meditate on the sentences. Also, it helps us retain the Word much like a great “hook” in a song that just will not get out of your head.

For instance, look at the word “again” in verses 17 and 18. This is the same word for both verses.  Just reading it, we can understand that He is talking about a second time of rising or bringing Himself back to His original form, His body. That is easy to see.  Although, when we look up the Greek word, (G3825, palin), we find an increase in the meaning: with the idea of oscillatory repetition, more explicitly, bringing Himself back once more. The word “oscillatory” is interesting in that it can mean a vibration, a back and forth movement, like the clock pendulum, the clouds, or the waves of the ocean.  In any event, this is the manner of movement that is described in this Greek word and it is connected with the action of resurrection.

For instance, this infers that He resurrects and continues to resurrect in oscillatory repetition: down and up, up and down, much like the water cycle on earth.  The heat forms water vapor into clouds and moves upward and the fullness of the rising water builds up, until a descent in the form of rain occurs from the clouds to water the earth. (Science Encyclopedia, pp. 155) It becomes a cyclical revolution.

If you have been a student of the Word of God for any length of time, you probably are extremely familiar with Acts 1:8-11, which we Christians call “the Ascension.” The Ascension, here in Acts, is the point that completely fulfilled the process spoken of in books of Daniel and Matthew.  (KJV) Daniel 7:13-14.  13. “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14. And there was given him dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”  

 In (KJV) Matthew 26:64, Jesus makes this statement after Caiaphas, the High Priest, adjures Him by the living God to tell everyone there if He is the Christ, the Son of God: “Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”

This is a process of movement with the picture of Jesus culminating with the ascension to the Father, to the Ancient of days, after His battle on the earth was won.  In other words, this is synonymous with the process of victory.  As a warrior comes back home to the kingdom, the victor comes in glory and gives the spoils of war or the gifts back to the kingdom. Jesus spoke of this victorious process in Luke 11:21-22.  It reads, 21. “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: 22. But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” 

In the OT, the idea of a victorious warrior is in the phrase, “carried away captive or captives” because only the victors carry the captives away and divide the spoils.  In the NT, the idea of victory in a battle is “leading captivity captive.”  

Paul explains this nicely about leading captivity captive in victory with gift giving to the kingdom in Ephesians 4:8-13.

“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10. He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11. And he gave some, apostles; evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;.12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

Basically, the perfect order is this: verse 8.He, Jesus, won the battle in victory, the ascension is when He led captivity captive, so, He defeated the enemy. 

In verses 9-10, Paul digressed a bit to explain the ascension and the descension. In verse 9, Jesus ascended, but He had to descend first to the earth (this was where He battled). In verse 10, Jesus’ downward and upward movement had to happen so He could fulfill all things in the Law and the Prophets, the Promise. The clouds tended then and still tend today to be the chosen traveling mode of God, whether it be literal or figurative. These clouds are a place of understanding movement in the Word of God.

In verse 11, Jesus gave the spoils of war or the gifts at Pentecost.  

In verse 12, the purpose of the gifts is revealed: perfecting the saints, ministry, and edifying the body of Christ.

In verse 13, we have a duplicate in describing Christ Jesus, as in what we believers are to attain in our journey here on earth (to be like Christ, an image of who He was and still is today). 

  1. A Perfect man

  1. The measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ  

If we analyze verse 13 and what is previous to it, we find the Salvation Story: Jesus came down to earth, fought a battle for us, ascended upward to the Father in victory, gave gifts to men at Pentecost, the reason for the gifts at Pentecost and forward, and then the idea of unity and knowledge of God’s Son (Jesus), a perfect man and the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (the Anointed One), the image in which we are to aspire.  

We can see here that we are to aspire to His character, however the description of the Son of God is also a definition of who He is, was, and still is today.  

In verse 13, let’s look at some Greek words. 13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

“Unity of Faith” can be explained by earlier study when Israel and the Gentiles came together in two different folds (all people who believe in Christ).  “Knowledge” is the Greek word, epignosis (Gr. 1922) meaning recognition or full discernment.  It is from (Gr. 1921) epiginosko, meaning to know upon some mark, i.e. recognize, by implication to become fully acquainted with or to know well. 

The two parts: 1. A perfect man: Perfect  (Gr 5046 teleios, or complete) 

        Man (Gr 435 aner, or an individual man)

So, the Son of God is a complete individual man in this first part. The conjunction “and” indicates there is another part, separate and in addition to the first. 

  2.  The measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ

Measure (Gr 3358, metron, implies a limited portion or degree)

          Stature (Gr 2244, helikia, maturity in years, size, age, or stature)

This Greek word for “stature” comes from (Gr 2245 helikos, a comrade, i.e. one of the same age); as big as. The implication here is that this is a different form of the perfect man described in the first part, a comrade is a companion or a mate. 

The original Greek words, helikia (maturity), originating from helikos (comrade), were translated to the English word “stature” in the KJV by a linguist, a person skilled in foreign languages, namely Greek and English in this instance.  “Stature” comes from an ancient Latin word (stare or statura) and denotes an “upright, standing position.” In other words, from the ancient Greek words used here, the translator in the 17th Century  (KJV was completed and published in 1611) chose the English word “stature.”  

What is even more interesting is the fact that the Hebrew primitive root for the word “stature” is quwm, a verb used in various literal and figurative means.  Quwm means “to rise” ( an action verb) and can carry with it the definitions of to be clearer, confirm, lift up again, arise again, to establish, or to make to stand up. We can see the word, “stature,” in any method or language as a movement upward, increasing in height or at a measured pinnacle of their height.  

In summary of Paul’s writing here, we first see the knowledge (epignosis or epignosko) he is referring to is a fullness of discernment: a specific mark that helps us to know something or someone fully.  The first portion of the description of the Son of God is a perfect or complete individual man.  The second portion of the description of the Son of God with this dual inference is something that can be measured in years, size, age, or stature which is a comrade, a companion to the complete man.

The Shroud of Turin is a picture of the Son of God: 1.  The Perfect, Complete, Individual Man, and the Image of the marred, crucified Christ that can be seen, and 2. The Resurrected Christ that cannot be seen on the Shroud, (implication is a mystery of Christ). Note that the works or action of the power of God can be seen.  

I think this is what Paul meant, in 2nd Timothy 2:15, when he said we have a responsibility to “rightly divide” the word of truth. KJV 2 Tim. 2:15 reads “Study (Gr 4704, spoudazo, speedily, diligently, earnestly make an effort) to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Breaking down the Hebrew and Greek words and dividing the Word of God according to perfect history tells the Story of Salvation. The Hebrew and Greek words give us more insight into ancient thinking within the culture of their day.  It’s like going back in time and experiencing His word on a deeper level and continuing the oscillating movement of back and forth diligence in His Word, a method that gives us an increasingly infinite life.     

It seems appropriate to now look briefly at the Ascension in Acts 1:9-11.

The words in bold are the words I would like to translate back into Greek for you.

This passage reads, 

“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;  11. Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

The trained reading eye, now, can see the duality, two different, but the same.  

The first part is the picture of Jesus being taken up and a cloud received him, while the disciples are continuing to look upward, even after He was taken up. This action of continuing to look up brought the second part, the two men that delivered the message of this same Jesus which is taken up will come in like manner, like you have seen him go into heaven.

Again, there are two descriptions of Jesus. Also, there are two separate words for “taken up.”  And, here is my own ABAB method of discovery based on the literal words.

  1.  Taken Up (Gr 1869, epairo, from 1909, epi and 142 airo) Epi is a superimposition of time, place, or order.  Airo a primitive verb, to lift, up or away, figuratively, to lift your voice or to keep your mind in suspense. In combination, these words could say that there is something that is above your mind with a mystery attached. He did just tell the disciples that they had no need to know when He was going to “restore again the kingdom to Israel.” 

Epairo, is the action of raising up, literally or figuratively, exalt self, lift up or take up. However, it also means in Greek to poise, the action of being poised.  “Poise” definition is a state or a position of balance. From this word used, it appears He was poised in mid-air before rising, like a snapshot or a picture.

  1.  Taken Up (Gr 353, analambano from 303  ana and 2983 lambano) Ana when used as a prefix it often means by implication repetition, intensity, reversal, etc. lambano is a form of a primitive verb with different applications, but in this context it can mean be amazed, attain, receive, or take away, or up.

Analambano,  is simply an action of receiving or taking up. These two words, when separated, have much more to say about the second part of Jesus, as we have been discussing.  This seems to describe a repetitive, amazing reversal when dividing the words. When the context works together and fits like a hand in a glove, it’s like creating a fine woven garment that is just the right size. It becomes an infallible proof. There are times when the method cannot be balanced with Greek or Hebrew thought, but this is not one of them.  Let’s continue in diligence with the perfect history, etymology, and chiastic structure as it relates to Jesus and His Shroud.

Staying in context, “this same Jesus”  coming in “like manner” was a future happening at that time. Many scholars believe the reference was to the then future Pentecost.  To us, it may very well be the prophecy of the past at Pentecost. At any rate, this is implying that Jesus was coming back as He left. In Jewish thought, we would understand it would be reversed. Remember, His coming was at that time to the Father in victory of His purpose and accomplishment.  He came at Pentecost in power and great glory, which was also both a descension and an ascension. 

The downward and upward movements are continual.  He comes down for healings, salvations, communication, etc. He goes up as well. Even though, as believers, we always have the Holy Spirit in and with us, there are times of increase. These “increases” can be temporal or abstract, literal or figurative, physical or spiritual. One infallible truth on this topic is the fact that it is always His decision!   

“How” He is coming in this particular context is described in the (Greek word 5158, tropos, from 5157 trope)  that is translated like mannerin English. 

Tropos is a literal turn, the verb to turn. It implies a mode or style of turning.  Figuratively, it connotes His deportment or character, even as in conversation or by any means.


Trope, the primitive word denotes a turning as in a revolution and figuratively a variation. In this contextual writing, this original word goes back to “oscillatory repetition” as spoken of earlier in John. When Jesus spoke of His authority to take His life up (Gr 3825, palin) “again” in resurrection, the action revealed was like a vibration, a moving back and forth, a revolution. 

So, His coming is a coming that has been, presently is, or will be in the same repetitious character as His initial Sacrifice and His continuing, repetitious, and revolving Resurrection Power.

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