Friday, May 31, 2013
Check it out!...10% will go to support missionary needs.
This shop will allow me to let out some pent up creative juices, as well as, share great inspirational messages.
There is a lot of styles and items to which the designs can be added.. so order today as gifts for sharing God's word in a stylish way!
PLEASE SHARE with fellow church members, FB friends, etc.
Thank You & Blessings!
Thursday, May 30, 2013
The subject is Jesus, and what that decision is in your life. You have to decide,for no decision is a thumbs down (automatically-indicating I don't care about this person enough to vote).
That entire topic is why we make an effort to spread the truth and gospel of Jesus Christ in our various ways.
Some choices are harder than others based on your experience, understanding and personal roadblocks we carry in our baggage through life.
The word "Anathema" means "cursed."
The word "Maranatha" means "the Lord is coming."
The Word of God is saying that if anyone does not want to get saved, then let him be cursed because the Lord is coming.
You can try to warn people, but they ultimately must make the decision to accept or reject Christ as their own personal Saviour.
If we warn people of the judgment to come and they laugh in our faces, then they are choosing to go to hell by their own freewill.
They will be cursed to burn in hell if they don't become born-again.
If we have love that comes from God, His sacrificial love, His unconditional love that balances His unwavering righteousness, then we give everything we have to save those that we love (which is everyone).
Imagine a loved one (son, daughter, wife, mother, father, closest friend)
They are walking with you and the stumble and slip off the edge of a cliff and are hanging on by their fingertips.
What would you do? The same applies here...think on this with every person you meet that is not secured by their decision to live for Jesus and not just themselves.
We don't know when we will need help, but to know we have been secured by Jesus's love is a powerful yet comforting promise.
We have to be the first link in the chain that secures those we love to Jesus, but first we must be linked to Jesus and linked to those we love so that they can be anchored to Him as well.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
I wanted to share this commentary with you.
It is one of the best and clearest pictures of the spiritual battlefield here on earth. As I think of the deceived battalions of terrorists, self-justified murderous actions of all types of people from school-age youth to Ph Ds,and the subtler influences infecting the world into a "COMA of COMPLACENCY". There are the walking dead (still separated from the truth)and the risen from the dead (we who are in Christ under His blood and faith in His resurrection).
The walking dead (aka-Zombies:horrid looking, walking dead eaters of flesh)when you think of the media and the desensitizing carcinogenic therapy of Satan, I have to wonder how many just wish to ignore the evidences of decay in our own lives.
Many times we can just be in a "Coma". No movement, no communication yet technically alive. As Christians (technically alive in Christ through salvation).
(I will share more on the "Coma of Complacency" in my next post)
So here is what I wanted to share...
(1) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, (2) in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, (3) among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
In this chapter's first ten verses, Paul is showing that the children of God—us—who were once objects of God's wrath, are by His grace legally and spiritually freed from the clutches of Satan's dominion. However, the influences of the world Satan has fashioned remain to be dealt with and overcome.
Satan is described as a spirit who is "prince of the power of the air." This phrase has a familiar ring to it, but alternative translations may be better suited to understanding. The New English Bible calls him "commander of the spiritual powers of the air now at work among God's rebel subjects." The Concordat Literal New Testament renders it as "chief of the jurisdiction of the air, the spirit now operating in the sons of stubbornness."
Webster's gives as one of the usages for jurisdiction, "the limits, or territory within which authority may be exercised." This particular jurisdiction is where air exists, tying in with the word "heavenly" in Ephesians 6:12: "[We wrestle] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Here, "heavenly" refers, not to the place of God's throne, but to the first heaven, the air surrounding the earth in which birds fly. This also links with Revelation 18:2 and its "unclean and hated birds," symbolizing demons. Birds operate in the same heaven Satan commands.
Prior to the rebellion, God gave Satan and his demon assistants substantial authority over everything from the earth's atmosphere on down to the earth itself, which includes us, its inhabitants. We must never forget that, in large part, our wrestling, as Paul terms it, is with these spirits. We inhabit the same space they do.
These evil spirits indeed use deceived people to carry out their plans to destroy those in whom God lives. These people are likely under the strong influence of those spirit authorities, and because they are deceived, they are unaware that they are being used! They are not necessarily possessed, as the Bible shows some are, but influenced by demons to act against our best interests.
A factor God wants us to realize more completely and fully is that we are not alone in this ocean of air. Even as vicious sharks and barracuda prowl the water, their demonic counterparts, symbolized as foul and unclean raptors and carrion-eaters, inhabit the ocean of air right along with us. It is essential to our spiritual well-being to heed Paul's warning in Ephesians 6:10-12 that our battles are against these creatures, and they are fighting tooth-and-toenail to hang on to what they believe is theirs by first-occupancy rights. Earth, the Bible plainly tells us, was "their first estate" (Jude 6, KJV). They hate us because we are becoming like the Father and Son, and because they know this earth, our inheritance, will be taken from them and given to the sons of God, those who are in His image.
On the surface, they have advantages over us because they are invisible to our eyes. In addition, they can, without our even being aware, communicate their thoughts and attitudes to our minds through the very air that supports our lives. Most people in this world do not know they are deceived or how they became deceived. Satan and his demons have not sat us all down to tell us, "We are here to deceive you." We know only because God's Word reveals this truth to us, and we believe it. Despite this happening in our lives, deception can still be communicated to us unless we are astute enough to take care that it does not happen again.
Nevertheless, deception and its resulting behaviors have been communicated to us through the culture we were born into. The culture, the world around us, is the medium of this corrupting communication. We have been freed from deception by God's revelation of Himself, but the urgent admonition from our Lord and Savior is, "Don't be passive concerning the responsibilities your liberation has imposed. Take action because the communication can be reabsorbed, enslaving you once again."
— John W. Ritenbaugh
Which death are you walking in?
Monday, May 13, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
I find an interesting correlation between the second heaven and earth and how that God cleansed the earth once with water in the flood, yet the new earth will not come until the current earth is destroyed with fire. The correlation that came to me is that with baptism with water, and then with the fire and the Holy Spirit.
God started with a perfect earth (Eden), possibly even the essence of the second earth. It was corrupted, and polluted through sinful actions. The world and all its inhabitants were destroyed with the exception of Noah’s family. The seed of goodness was reserved to start another lineage of mankind. As when we are baptized as public testimony to others that we want God to take what is good in us and grow it out to replace the polluted and corrupt essence of our nature.
Knowing that because of sin nature, we cannot ever be perfect as by original design. Earth cannot be the perfect residence because of that same knowledge of good and evil (sin). John promised a baptism of fire by Jesus, that fire allows us to be assured of a reservation in the perfect residence, but just as the earth and heaven will be physically destroyed, so must our physical tents that we reside in.
The fire of judgment will refine and purify the world to the next lineage of those who are reserved for the spiritual and heavenly Jerusalem. Then those who were obedient to the Lordship of Yahshua and followed His truth about the works of the heart, mind and soul as our acceptable sacrifice to God the Father.
Through the washing, and then purification, then death/ destruction, and resurrection/ recreation God can teach us. That we have free-will, yet we will chose God by his word by the grace we receive in a new heaven and earth.
Friday, May 10, 2013
1. Israelites Multiply; Oppression in Egypt
Growth in numbers of those who are seeking God
2. Birth, Adoption and Escape of Moses
A leader is born as a child of God, then is given to the world to raise in fear, after maturity he begins to be offended by how the world treats the his people, there is physical death to the oppressor as well as social death to himself.
He is sent into the desert in exile. He finds his people again which revere God. A battle sets forth in the desert as he defends the weaker and unmarried against the opposition who want to take the well of water for themselves. The would be those who seek God but do not want to share Him with other groups of weaker people.
3. Moses and the Burning Bush
Moses experienced the desert, the life in the dry places then the meeting with God .The calling, revelation, and command. Go back to the world from which you lived and get the others and bring them to where you met God.
4. Miraculous Signs through Moses; Aaron as Mouthpiece; Moses Returns
They experience the evidence of God's blessings, His ability to do "the un-thought of " to show God is control. God Also provides leader with a brother to help in his battle with the world and calling of God. (Who is your Aaron?)
5. Pharaoh Rejects Moses' Plea and Increases the Israelites' Labor
The leader of the world refuses to give up his slaves, makes life even harder on those who considered getting away to a different life. Oppression and trials increase from the world in order to weaken the spirit that they could overcome the world and leave it.
6. God Promises to Deliver the Families of Israel
Leader shares the message of Hope from God, and to be ready to go when called.
Attack against the elements and powers of the world.
7. Aaron's Staff; Plague of Blood
The power to change
8. Plagues of Frogs, Gnats and Flies
Pests (Hearing- croaking, small annoying not easily seen, seen and heard-defiling and is attracted to garbage, feces and dead things)
9. Plagues of Livestock, Boils and Hail
Attack in key areas (over those under the worlds dominion as food and energy resources, health and fleshly appearance, harsh loving, truth (frozen water) and warning of judgment(fire) from heaven)
10. Plagues of Locusts and Darkness
(devouring of the grains, the seed bearing foods: the harvest of life)(the sample of separation and absence of the truth)
11. The Plague on the Firstborn
(that worldly first accomplishment of which you are proud, the key part of you that you nurture and grow, the gift you were given.)
12. Passover; Feast; Memorial; Pharaoh Urges Exodus (the battle of the obedient over the stubborn)
13. Consecration of the Firstborn; God Leads the People out
14. Pharaoh Pursues;(The hounds of hell) The Red Sea(water barrier) is Parted
15. Song of Moses and Miriam; ()The Lord Provides Water*(essentials met)
16. Manna (bread), Quail() and the Sabbath(peaceful rest)
17. Water from the Rock;(Christ's living water) the Defeat of the Amalekites(spiritual enemy of the desert area)
18. Jethro Visits and Counsels Moses (God sends an experienced leader and desert survivor)
19. Moses and the Lord at Mount Sinai (meeting God again after bringing them to God, instructions for what to do with them and teach them)
20. The Ten Commandments (rules for a successful and abundantly blessed life)
21. Ordinances for Servants and Personal Injuries (how to treat others)
22. Property Rights and Social Laws (how to respect what each person has been given)
23. Laws of Justice, Mercy, Sabbath, Annual Festivals, Conquest (how to get the greatest harvest from life)
24. The People Affirm Their Covenant with God (Do you?)
25. Tabernacle Offerings, Ark, Table, and Lampstand (what do you have that you will give up -what is worth your deliverance and showing others what you happily do without for being chosen)
26. Instructions for the Tabernacle: Curtains, Boards and Veil (Your body in the flesh)
27. Instructions for the Altar and Courtyard, Oil for the Lampstand ( Your key internal places and their elements)
28. Priestly Garments, Ephod, Breastpiece (Your external appearance)
29. Consecration, Sacrifices, Food of the Priests (What you take in)
30. Altar of Incense, Atonement Money,(offering) Basin, Anointing oil(holiness)
31. Craftsmen Bezaleel and Aholiah; the Sabbath Explained
32. The Golden Calf and Moses' Anger (Baggage from the old life and trying to make God into what they want Him to be)
33. Moses Resumes the Journey(trusting God promise) and Intercedes for the Israelites(hopes they will change their hearts)
34. Tablets Replaced; Covenant Renewed;(second chances) Radiant Face of Moses(transfiguration-holy spirit)
35. Sabbath Rules; Workmen and Gifts for the Tabernacle ( How to rest and work)
Details of the elements we are to build or craft to be incorporated with our service to God.
36. Bezalel and Oholiab (Gifted & Gifts for the following assignments) Tabernacle Construction
37. Ark, Table, Lampstand, Altar of Incense (your life)
38. Altar of Burnt Offering, Basin, Courtyard Completed; Costs Totaled (Your consecrated life's offerings-your seed or fruit)
39. The Priestly Garments; Moses Inspects the Completed Work( your outward appearance before others and how they see you)
40. Tabernacle Erected and Filled by the Glory of the Lord (You are accepted by God, Holy Spirit dwells within)
Exodus -Layer 2
Here are my thoughts of what the whole 40 yrs. of wandering (or being lead through where we are to physically live).
I believe that we miss the whole concept of deliverance and the promised land. Our physical life is to be the desert. Nothing in this world can compare to what we will receive in the promised land. We may be greatly blessed and provided for in the desert by the loving hand of God, but that should not be mistaken for the true promised land of our destiny. I will attempt to explain that our destiny of promise is based on our choices in the desert.
So let's get started! God calls us out into the desert, "and then" reveals himself to us.
We are living in a life of slavery and yet we are delivered out into a place where God has made barren so that there are no distractions. Once we have started to realize the challenges in the desert, many start to remember only the enjoyable parts of their old lives and look behind instead of forward. (Look how that worked out for Lot's wife)
When we are in the desert we are forced to evaluate our priorities and limited resources within ourselves. We cannot deliver that needed food & water for life. We cannot create goods and clothing with a 40 yr. warranty. However the one constant is that power that leads, protects and is with us night and day. The things we can do are given to us on a short list, everything else is in God's hands.
When you think of it, how simple and awesome this deal is. Yet we screw it up with our own selfish desires and embellishments.
We are to go back and bring others into the desert (salvation). God is met in the desert, we are given our instruction there, it is where we wander in our physical life of the first generation of promise, however our offspring given us in the desert will grow up in the desert and will experience the life in that promised land.
Think of it like this…
You were raised in a Christian home (aka-the desert) or in a slave's home (aka-Egypt)
You have a choice of which direction you want to travel...the brochures have already been written on both destinations...you choose.
We are called to be the shepherds that are to raise, protect and bring the next generation in the desert (under God) and prepare them for that promised land.
Think and compare the challenges after salvation(deliverance), but before period of consecration. There immense joy of experiencing the hoped for, the miraculous and the unexpected in the timing. That experience gets us into the desert. We receives God's words of instruction, experience the testimonies and evidences of his care and love. Then we are left to the test of faith and trust.
Here is where the parable of the sower comes in. You see we all have in the context of salvation have been scattered into the topography of the desert.
Matthew 13: 3And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow
4and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Exodus/salvation
5“Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. Desert/new lifestyle in wrong environment
6“But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Discouragement/trials
7“Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. Ungodly Influences (weeds)no soil is weed free...has to be maintained. Good soil can grow strong plants of both the good and the bad seeds.
8“And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. Good soil, maintained and harvested...some more than others.
9“He who has ears, let him hear.”
After consecration, the budding into a plant and maturing by producing fruit or seed, we become eligible for the harvest.
Our life in the desert is the challenged growth that we need to have before deliverance out of life ( the harvest).
After the harvest into the other life we are ushered into the throne room of the threshing floor. Which may be in the location of the threshing floor that David consecrated (now in the new Jerusalem!) We are then evaluated weeds and fruitless chaff are burned, the fruit (seed grain) is gathered. Our essence is in the seeds and fruit we produce...that spiritual fruit and seeds of good works are the only thing that God wants. In that he shall that plant you in his renewed garden for eternity.
The parts of the plants that are useless are burned, or even before that used in the stalls of the beasts to be trampled, and dumped on before it is burned. Ironically, some of that fertilized stall scraping can be mixed into the soil to enrich it. The buried compost of other lives can help us to grow in soil that is challenging. If we bury our own compost we create our own fertile ground whereever we are planted.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
IS YOUR LIFE FULL?...and of what?
The key to that question I found resides here in Revelation 2:4-5
(4) Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. (5) Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
New King James Version
If we love a person, we enjoy talking with them, to discover their likes and opinions. Why? So we can please them. We act on their advice; we do the things that they approve of. In fact, we will even deny ourselves to meet their wishes and abstain from the things that we know that they dislike.
Anybody who has gone through a courtship understands this. If we find that the object of our affection does not like the way we do certain things, the colors that we wear in our clothing, the style of our dress, the car we drive, or the same foods we like, what will we do? We will try to conform to them as long as it is lawful. If we love them, we will try to please them in anyway that we possibly can.
It is easy to see why this love is so important, for love is the source of the righteous works.
Those who do not truly love Christ are working, active, spending their time and energy on things that they love, but it is not Christ. And because it is not Christ, their hectic days are filled with worthless, selfish efforts.
When we are in love, we will even learn things that we are not naturally inclined toward because we think it will give the other person pleasure. Some guys are infatuated over baseball, golf, as well as hunting or fishing. His favored girl will put herself through agony to watch a boring baseball game with him or go golfing, hunting, or fishing (or even a Star Trek movie) with him just to please him because she loves him.
Are we that way with Christ? Are we still like that in our relationships?
Do we do what we can, everything we can, denying ourselves or learning new things because we want to please Him? We want to please Him because we love Him. These are areas that we must evaluate ourselves on.
Time can be a fertile ground to grow. Unfortunately the weeds of complacency grow in our life as well, if we aren't diligent to remain earnest to that which we love. Selfishness is even worse. We gain security in our relationship with time, and then abuse that relationship in lieu of other harlots and our own addictions and self-indulgent attitudes.
Only through the grace of God, the love of Christ and obedience to their Holy Spirit can we restore ourselves to the place of abundant love and peace that we felt when we chose our physical partner for life. Without our spiritual partners, we cannot overcome our spiritual and physical enemies.
Satan is the craftiest of all earthly beasts. He is very cunning to take the blessing and gifts of God and turn them into weapons of self destruction.
No greater love can be shown than to lay down your earthly treasures and kingdoms, even if we fear the unrighteousness and weaknesses of our physical partner.
THE HARDEST cares to cast to the hands of our Lord are the ones we won't let go of!
Personally experiencing, humbly seeking, and openly sharing...God Bless!
Monday, April 29, 2013
I believe that we cannot have enough stones for our sling when we are faced with defending our faith.
How Can We Be Sure the Bible's Books Are Authoritative?
From cgg.org commentary...
A trip to the local Christian bookstore to buy a new Bible often turns into a dizzying experience once dozens of different translations confront the shopper. From the venerable King James Version and its successor, the New King James Version, to the helpful Amplified Bible to newcomers like the English Standard Version and the Holman Christian Standard Bible, it can make for a difficult choice. Beyond these, the shelves contain many more modern-language Bibles that are far less literal than these, such as The Living Bible, the Contemporary English Version, the Good News Bible, Today's English Version, etc. It is enough to make one's head spin! (See "Which Bible Translation Is Best?")
Yet, many people ask an even more fundamental question: How do we know that the 66 books included in most Bibles are truly authorized as part of the canon, the authoritative collection of inspired Scripture? How can we be sure that we have the complete Word of God?
It is a good question. Most people believe that the early Catholic Church decided which books were authentic, and we have just received the results of its decision. This, however, is not true. The Catholic Church did not authorize the biblical canon—it only accepted it. The Bible has its own internal authorization protocols that the Catholic Church merely followed, and subsequently, most others also accepted. It is evident from the agreement of the 5,000 extant, ancient copies of the New Testament that the canon was already set before the Catholic Church put its stamp of approval on it.
Actually, only a few books now regarded as Scripture ever raised any questions regarding canonicity: James, Jude, II Peter, and II and III John (all disputed due to questions of authorship). All of them are attested in early writings as authoritative. In fact, it has been shown that the "early church fathers" quoted from the canonical books so much that, if the Bible somehow ceased to exist, it could be reassembled in full, minus just a handful of verses, using only their writings. Officially, by AD 140, the visible church (we could call it the proto-Catholic Church) recognized all fourteen of Paul's letters plus all four gospels. The first historical list of all 27 New Testament books dates to AD 367. The Catholic Church did not officially ratify them (by papal decree) until AD 405.
As mentioned above, the Bible contains internal authorization protocols. The most esoteric may be the prophecy in Isaiah 8:16: "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples." The early church understood this to mean that the canon would be "bound," that is, finished and authorized, by the time the original twelve apostles had died. The apostle John was the last of the original Twelve to die (around AD 100), and it is supposed that he gathered the present 27 New Testament books together and authorized their use in the churches.
The Bible itself provides a clue that Peter had already begun some of this canonization many years earlier (as early as the mid-ad 60s). II Peter 3:15-16 suggests that Paul's epistles had already attained the status of Scripture by that time (see another hint of a collecting of Paul's epistles by Paul himself in II Timothy 4:13). It is easy to assume that this may also embrace Luke's Gospel and Acts (Luke was Paul's longtime assistant). If Peter had indeed begun the canonization process, both of his epistles and the Gospel of Mark (understood to be written under Peter's direction) can also be included. This now makes nineteen authorized books. Later, John would include his Gospel, Revelation, and three epistles, making a total of 24 books.
The only questionable books, then, would be Matthew's Gospel, James, and Jude—and there are no legitimate, canonical problems with them, as all three were written by apostles (two of them Jesus' half-brothers!). This brings up another of the protocols for canonicity: The authorship of a book must be apostolic (exceptions are made for the writings of Luke and Mark, as they were considered to be written under Paul's and Peter's direct supervision).
Perhaps the most important protocol for canonicity, though, is what is termed "internal unity," sometimes called conformity to the "rule of faith." It is evident that the New Testament books agree on doctrine, Christian living, history, and prophecy. They contain internal unity; they are a whole in 27 parts. Other books or epistles—for instance, the Gospel of Thomas or the Epistles of Clement, which have been suggested as canonical—disturb this unity. Many books have been written to show that the canonical Bible does not contradict itself, particularly in areas of doctrine.
A final rule of canonicity is general acceptance by the church. While there were differences among the congregations about which books were to be read in the churches, they all agreed on these 27 books. Eventually, the others were found wanting, and the present 27 were authorized. Again, we should note that all this took place before the rise of the organized Catholic Church in the second century.
The 39 books of the Old Testament have undergone similar tests of canonicity. A few books, such as Esther and parts of Daniel, have been questioned, but in the end, their reliability has been universally recognized. Though some churches accept the Apocrypha—the books of Maccabees, Esdras, the Wisdom of Solomon, Tobit, Bel and the Dragon, etc.—even a quick perusal of their texts proves them to be of lesser quality and worth than the accepted books. In addition, the biblical books found among the Dead Sea Scrolls attest to the precision of their transmission through the ages. Thus, scholarly debate on Old Testament canonicity has largely subsided to minor disputes on peripheral matters.
There is no valid reason to doubt the authoritative nature of the 66 books of the Bible. What has come down to us is God's "prophetic word made more sure" (II Peter 1:19), "given by inspiration of God" (II Timothy 3:16). We can absolutely trust what is written in it to guide us along the narrow way to the Kingdom of God.
Shalom and Strength,
Thursday, April 25, 2013
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
Interestingly, one of the commentators writes that "they being ignorant of" (verse 3) could be translated into "for they ignoring," which puts a totally different sense on it. When one is ignorant, he just does not know. Knowledge could have been withheld from him. On the other hand, when one ignores knowledge, the knowledge is readily available, but he turns his back on it.
A person who is self-deceived is ignoring truth rather than ignorant of it, and if that indeed is Paul's emphasis, it makes the "what is truth" question much more serious. It means that people are accountable for what they are doing, and therefore, they will pay for it to a greater extent than if they acted in ignorance.
I urge you to seek, dig and invest in discovering truth. Even MORE IMPORTANT don't ignore it...validate in through the Holy Spirit and God's word.
Opinions,commentaries and the "Google gods" all have plenty to tickle our ears with enough to build support for what we "want" to call truth. At least we can get enough to give us the latitude to justify our intent to please God (even if it is false).
I am not exempt from this statement. However, I have tested the waters of many different aspects, christ-centered religious practices, and have concluded enough to share with you what I believe to be truth.
I am always open to debate...however, I ask that you debate God about your questions and pray for me as well...all I want to receive is the truth.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
To love truth sincerely means to pursue it with an earnest, conscientious, unflagging zeal. It means to be prepared to follow the light of evidence, even to the most unwelcome conclusions; to labor earnestly to emancipate the mind from early prejudices; to resist the current of desires and the refracting influence of the passions; to proportion on all occasions conviction to evidence; and to be ready, if need be, to exchange the calm assurance for all the suffering of a perplexed and disturbed mind. To do this is very difficult and very painful, but it is clearly involved in the notion of earnest love of truth.
Let us ask a simple question. Do you not think that at some time in people's lives they somehow stumble across the truth regarding these days? Just like Winston Churchill said," remember, people stumble on the truth but they pick themselves up and they go on as if the truth did not mean a thing."
that is what God is describing in Jeremiah 5. It was the underlying problem that the ministry did not respond properly to God. They passed on, little turns away the truth of God, little by little, year after year, until it came to the place that the truth of God was unrecognizable. It did not happen in great leaps and jumps but a little bit at a time.
Religion represents just one area of life about which religions lie, or we might say, blunt the truth, because what people believe regarding religion has wide-ranging effects on how people conduct the business of life. What people believe about the purpose of life affects ethics and morals. It reaches into every area of life and it ultimately determines the quality of life itself.
We cannot afford to do that. The search for truth is of the highest priority for you and for me. Unfortunately audiences out there have itching ears and because of the deception they want to hear things that do not require a great deal of commitment or, we might say, work for them to do.
So Jesus said, "Think not that I came to send peace on the earth, but a sword." In another place the sword is compared to the Spirit, the essence of His mouth, that is of His Word. What comes out of Jesus' mouth is always going to be true. Those who are of the truth are going to respond. That response is very frequently going to be fraught with all kinds of difficulty, and they are going to be pressured on every side to shrug it off and to say, "Oh, it doesn't really matter." So they deceive themselves that there is not going to be much of a consequence in turning away from truth.
Truth is not easy to accept whenever it cuts across the grain of our belief, or even more seriously, what we are currently practicing, especially if that practice gives us a certain measure of pleasure or a certain measure of acceptance before those that we admire and respect.
We could point to many examples, but just to give you one example that we can all relate to, every one of us I am sure knows people who believe that the Sabbath (as described and commanded) ought to be kept, but they are not keeping it. They will believe that Jesus kept the Sabbath. They will believe that God's holy days ought to be kept and that Christmas and Easter are pagan, but they will not do it themselves. Why? Because it is too big of a price for them to pay at this time. Let's face it, we all struggle with something that we need to change in our lives, but can't until we are willing or forced to pay the price.
What do you think is going to be the most common idol that we come up with? Ourselves. We are almost inevitably led to the worship of the self when the truth of God is rejected because we turn our attentions inward. There is, in effect, nothing higher or greater than ourselves that we can come up with. So mankind ends up worshipping itself. We keep our little idols of the things that we desire over the truth, that feed the "self-cancer" with in us.
So then perhaps one of the most severe punishments that God can give us is to simply, in a sense, turn His back on us for awhile and let us muddle around in what we have produced by our sin. He lets His laws take their course and the penalty will come. Sadly, after offering and persuading us to accept the truth, he has no other option but to leave us without His loving guidance. Our Father gives us our choice of who is to be obeyed and in charge, who we are to submit to and trust.
Satan has from the beginning has known that submission is the key. He deceived from the beginning by making submission a negative thing. He throws doubt into God's order of authority (more on that later), thus nullifying faith and trust.
The Greek word used for "Truth" means, "reality," "genuine," and "authentic facts." It is reality as contrasted to what is false, what is imagination, or what is mere appearance. Truth in the New Testament is almost always seen as that which is in accordance with or in harmony with God's purpose. As when Jesus says, "I am truth." He means that what I say and do is always in harmony with God's purpose. He embodied it.
As with our own children, we try to teach them and tell them what and what not to do. Because we have experienced the hard way , many truths and with our reflection of our limited experiences (compared to Jesus, who has the insight and experience of all things) we want our children trust what we say. We want them to obey and submit to our direction in order to avoid the painful lessons, just on our word. However, sometimes they (we) have to run into the physical truth of that symbolic brick wall. It is then that it realized and believed, the reality of our own limitations and painful results of our actions.
I am not saying that God will never intervene in an attempt to get us to turn around. He loves us too much to allow Himself to do that, and He will do something to bring us up short (similar to grabbing us by the back of the neck or in some cases a smack on the head) and try to get us to face up to the fact that we are sometimes running from His truth. He will do this in an attempt to get us to repent.
We must freely choose to submit to God's truth and not allow ourselves to deceive us into somehow thinking that we can get away with it.
Just as in the beginning, when Eve was offered the destructive knowledge that God knew were not equipped to handle, and Adam took the offer from Eve as something which "she" thought would we be a good and pleasurable experience.
Sin is always a lie. Remember Romans 1:25, ". . . who exchanged the truth of God for the lie." Sin is always a lie because the sinner deceives himself into thinking that sin will make him happy, but in the end it ruins life both for him and the others who are a part of his life, and maybe not even a part of it.
Yet, even when we know this, we accept the trade. We get the temporary, easier satisfaction that we crave in exchange for the long-term rewards of our sacrifice to be obedient, suffer the battle against our sin nature, and do the work in faith of that reward. (Think about Esau and his choice and read Genesis 25:27-34)
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
There are 7 feasts that the Lord has "given" us to keep. As we celebrated Passover this year I couldn't help to think about the next great feast of harvest-SUKKOT!
Sukkot or "Tabernacles" this year is September 19 -25th, with the last feast "the great day" is on Sept 26th.
FEAST OF TABERNACLES AND LAST GREAT DAY
This page will give you an overview of the festival of Tabernacles -- or Feast of Booths -- the sixth festival listed in Leviticus chapter 23. Let us notice the instruction concerning this occasion:
"Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine. And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter ....Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord shall choose: because the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice ... and they shall not appear before the Lord empty: every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee" (Deut. 16:13-17).
Here is the Festival of Tabernacles, to be kept for seven days, beginning the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. Notice Leviticus 23:33-35: "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord. On the first day shall be an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work therein."
On the first of these days is a holy convocation -- that is, a set-apart commanded assembly. No work is to be done. "... And ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days .... It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month" (Lev. 23:40-41).
Notice that it is commanded forever.
Here are pictured those final culminating events in God's great plan. The earlier holy days show other parts of God's plan: After Christ died for our sins to redeem mankind (commemorated in the spring by the Passover), after He has sent us the Holy Spirit and picked out a people for His Name to become kings and priests through the thousand years (observed at Pentecost), after His glorious Second Coming (shown by the Feast of Trumpets at the beginning of the seventh lunar month), after He has finally restored the redeemed by placing all the sins upon the head of Satan, their real author, and separating both him and the sins from the presence of God and His people (re-enacted at the Day of Atonement), thus finally perfecting the at-one-ment, making us finally joined in one -- then we are ready for that final series of events, the commencement of the "Marriage of the Lamb," the actual making of the New Covenant, the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth and the reaping of the great harvest of souls for a thousand years.
This festival shows us the picture of the Millennium, the 1,000 year period of time following Christ's visible return from heaven!
Pictures the Millennium
To portray His plan, God took the yearly material harvest seasons in ancient Israel as the picture of the spiritual harvest of souls. In the Holy Land there are two annual harvest seasons. The first season is in the spring, when grains are harvested. Later in the year comes the main harvest of fruit.
Notice that the Festival of Tabernacles is to be held "at the year's end" (Ex. 34:22). In this verse the Festival of Tabernacles or Booths is specifically called the "feast of ingathering." The harvest year ended at the beginning of autumn. Just as Pentecost pictures the early harvest -- this church age -- so the Festival of Ingathering or Tabernacles pictures the fall harvest -- the great harvest of souls in the Millennium!
Turn to the book of Zechariah. In the 12th and 13th chapters we have a picture of Christ returning and the reconciliation of the world commencing. Here the meaning of the Festivals of Trumpets and Atonement is made plain.
Next, notice the 14th chapter. The time is the Millennium. "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one ... there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited" (verses 9, 11). It is the time when "living waters" -- salvation, the Holy Spirit -- "shall go out from Jerusalem" (verse 8). The "waters" are literal as well as figurative. God often pictures His spiritual plan by material events.
In that day, when the earth is safely inhabited, when the Holy Spirit is granted to all mortal flesh, what happens? "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles" (verse 16).
Gentiles Forced to Keep the Feast of Tabernacles
Notice this 16th verse of Zechariah 14. After Christ returns, the nations -- mortal Gentiles who have not yet received salvation -- will come to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles!
And what will happen if they refuse to obey God? "And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain" (verse 17). Strong words these!
The nations will be keeping the Feast of Tabernacles, from year to year, when Christ is ruling the earth!
And if the nations still won't obey? "... there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen" -- there are still heathen nations just beginning to learn the way of salvation -- "that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment ... of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles" (verses 18-19).
To receive salvation, even the Gentiles will have to keep this festival. As we saw earlier, it is commanded forever!
We customarily quote Isaiah 66:23, showing that the Sabbath will be kept in the Millennium, as proof we must keep it now. When we read Zechariah 14:16, showing that the Feast of Tabernacles will be kept in the Millennium, will we be consistent by keeping it today?
Would God resurrect us as His sons -- kings and priests -- ruling with Christ on His throne, assisting Christ at that time, if we now refuse to keep these festivals? Notice that Christ kept the Feast of Tabernacles. The Apostle John devoted an entire chapter of his gospel -- the seventh chapter -- to describe what Jesus said and did during the Feast of Tabernacles in the last year of His ministry.
Why Called the Feast of Tabernacles
During the Millennium, the Kingdom of God (into which we can be born) will rule the nations. The billions of mortal men alive during the Millennium will still be heirs to the Kingdom of God. They will not yet have inherited it as long as they remain mortal flesh, for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (I Cor. 15:50). "Ye must be born again" -- "of the Spirit" -- to inherit the Kingdom, said Jesus.
Remember that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were merely heirs when they dwelled on earth (Heb. 11:9). While heirs they dwelled in tabernacles, or booths, sojourning in the land of promise. Booths or temporary dwellings pictured that they were not yet inheritors. Thus we read of the Feast of Tabernacles that "ye shall dwell in booths seven days ... that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt" (Lev. 23:42-43). Israel dwelled in booths in the wilderness before they entered the promised land. Those booths pictured that they were only heirs. Even during the Millennium, when the Kingdom of God is ruling over mortal nations, the people will be only heirs to the Kingdom. They must overcome and grow in knowledge and wisdom to inherit the promises.
What a marvelous picture. God says of Ephraim (a type of all Israel) that they will "dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast" (Hosea 12:9). Israel in the wilderness was a type of all people who must go through trials and tribulations to inherit the promises. They were wanderers, waiting to inherit the promises of salvation.
The contention, held by some sects, that mortal human beings in the Millennium will remain flesh and blood forever is plainly denied by the Feast of Tabernacles, for the festival itself points toward an eternal inheritance.
Besides, after Jesus gathers the Church to Himself, and after He is seated on His throne where we will be ruling with Him, He will gather the nations before Him and say: "Inherit the Kingdom" (Matt. 25:34).
Yet Another Festival!
Did you notice that the Feast of Tabernacles is only the sixth festival? There is yet another -- the seventh!
The Feast of Tabernacles is, strictly speaking, seven days long -- to picture the entire Millennium. Seven is God's number of completeness. Therefore, there must also be seven festivals. Let us notice where it is mentioned: "The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord ... on the eighth day [the twenty-second day of the seventh montuy] shall be an holy convocation unto you ... it is a [day of] solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein' (Lev. 23:34, 36).
This eighth day, technically a separate feast, is called "the last day, that great day of the feast" (John 7:37). We often refer to it as "The Last Great Day."
What does this final holy day represent?
Notice what Jesus preached about on that day: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink ... out of his belly [innermost being] shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive ... )" (John 7:37-39).
This was Jesus' sermon giving the meaning of the last great day!
Now turn to Revelation 20. After the Millennium, what happens? A resurrection! The dead stand before God. This couldn't include true Christians today, as they will be resurrected to appear before the judgment seat when Christ returns. It couldn't refer to those converted during the Millennium. They have already inherited the Kingdom during the Millennium, after living out a normal life span. Those in this resurrection are the people who died in ignorance in past ages! They are not brought back to life until after the Millennium (Rev. 20:5).
Pictures the Day of Judgment
This is that judgment day mentioned in Matthew 10:15. It is a time when Gentiles who died in ignorance will be given an opportunity to receive salvation. Ezekiel 16:53-55 makes this very plain. Even those in Israel who died in their sins will be given their first opportunity to understand the truth of God and His way (Ezek. 37). The prophet wrote that God would pour out His Spirit on those resurrected (verse 14). This is precisely the salvation that Jesus mentioned in His sermon on that great day of the feast.
This eighth day, which immediately follows the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles, pictures the completion of the plan of redemption. It is just prior to the new heaven and the new earth. All -- parents and children, young and old -- will be resurrected.
Notice that the "book of life" -- typifying salvation -- is opened (Rev. 20:12). Revelation presents the final view of the "judgment day" as the present material heaven and earth are perishing -- and the faithful are receiving their eternal reward at the throne of Christ. The wicked -- those who disobey -- are seen perishing in the lake of fire!
What a marvelous plan! All will have an equal opportunity.
And finally, notice in Leviticus 23:37-38. After describing these annual holy days, it says: "These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations ... beside the sabbaths of the Lord." We are, then, to keep these besides the Sabbath of the Lord.
In appreciation, adaptation from Pagan Holidays or God's Holy Days -- Which?
by Herbert W. Armstrong and http://livingtheway.org/
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Friday, March 29, 2013
"Good Friday is the English designation of Friday in Holy Week -- that is, the Friday on which the Church keeps the anniversary of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
"From the earliest times the Christians kept every Friday as a feast day; and the obvious reasons for those usages explain why Easter is the Sunday par excellence, and why the Friday which marks the anniversary of Christ's death came to be called the Great or the Holy or the Good Friday. The origin of the termGood is not clear. Some say it is from "God's Friday" (Gottes Freitag); others maintain that it is from the German Gute Freitag, and not specially English." (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VI, 1909)
"The Catholic Church treats Good Friday as a fast day, which in the Latin Rite of the Church is understood as having only one full meal (but smaller than a regular meal) and two collations (a smaller repast, two of which together do not equal one full meal) and on which the faithful abstain from eating meat. In countries where Good Friday is not a day of rest from work, the afternoon liturgical service is usually put off until a few hours after the recommended time of 3 p.m.
"The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord takes place in the afternoon, ideally at three o'clock, but for pastoral reasons a later hour may be chosen. The vestments used (by Roman Catholic priests) are red (more commonly) or black (more traditionally)." (Wikipedia, article 'Good Friday')
Appreciation and thanks to:
Written by: Clay Willis
additions by BibleStudy.org
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Last evening I saw the love and dedication of examples of Christ's servant-hood.Dear friends were invited as guinea pigs for a beat-version of a vision that God has challenged me with to teach and share the meaning of the "Passover" to followers of Jesus.
My desire was to honor God and Jesus, and I was willing to do it all with my family in order to complete that task. What we experienced was the sacrifice of time, rest and strength (and so much more) at the end of the Seder (the meal depicting the Passover events). My brothers and sisters in Christ stayed and helped clean and do so much that I never expected or even desired for them to do. To say it simply, my family "felt the love". In my time to explore and study I came across this poignant excerpt from on of my favorite resources which goes beyond the sacrificing of the daily events, tasks and choices into the sacrificing a way of life. Needless to say, the following is a humbling dose of medicine from God's pharmacy.
These days, "rights" are on everyone's lips. Society urges us to demand our rights in any given situation. Certainly, there is a time and place to claim a right, but more often we should be willing to "deny ourselves" and let someone else indulge in his "rights." This takes a willingness to "carry our cross," to sacrifice, to relinquish, to forgo our rights.If we want to become a more effective sacrifice, we would greatly benefit by studying and meditating on this topic. It is so extensive that a whole series of articles could be written on "sacrificing the self." We can give up our lives inch by inch perhaps even more effectively than all at once. For example, some claim to be willing to die for Christ, but are not prepared to sacrifice a parking spot so the more elderly can park closer to the door. Are we willing to be a cheerful giver in all kinds of situations, even when no one notices? Nobody but God, that is!We often think about sacrificing in the big ways and omit our day-by-day opportunities. Who sacrifices or serves the most in the home? Who is most willing to be inconvenienced—and serves cheerfully? Great is his or her reward. Do we practice this idea moment by moment in the privacy of our homes, as an example to our children?The best opportunities to sacrifice our time and money come when it is a burden to do so! Think about that! These opportunities are never convenient, nor do they set appointments. They just pop up, and we may have to sacrifice something important to fulfill them. As one writer said, too often the problem with living sacrifices is that they have a habit of crawling off the altar at the last second, just when they are needed!Many of us have already sacrificed a close family because of our "strange" beliefs. Some have given up choice jobs over the Sabbath and Feast of Tabernacles. We have all "sacrificed" money that could have gone for vacations or retirement investments in order to obey God's tithing laws. At least that is what a financial planner would say!Sacrificing entails giving up something we want or need for the common good. It is a sacrifice to keep our mouths shut when we feel like giving someone a piece of our mind. Are we willing to make these kinds of sacrifices—or do we indulge our human nature?It is a sacrifice to defeat temptations of all kinds, when our nature cries out for instant gratification, be it for alcohol, illicit sex, materialism, too much food, "saving face," gossip, etc. The apostle Peter reminds us that, when we really understand what godly suffering is all about, we will lose interest in sin—and will cease from it, no longer pursuing our former lusts (I Peter 4:1-3).
Paul perhaps says it most eloquently in Galatians 2:20:I have been crucified with Christ: it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.Are we willing to give up the "self" and all its rights, if need be? Can we dare say with Paul, "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me"? Incredible! But that is our goal.Later in the same book he adds: "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14). Are we really willing to give up what the world has to offer us? Are we willing to give up the world's values, entertainment, approbation and esteem? To many, it is a sacrifice, but we cannot simultaneously befriend this world's values and God (I John 2:15; James 4:4).Suffice it to say, that "bearing our cross" deals with willingly sacrificing ourselves, our wants, desires and needs, for others and the things of God. It is being willing to lose our lives for His sake (Luke 9:24).
Monday, March 25, 2013
Oxen/Bulls represent priest like figures. They plow the field and prepare it. The break the hard crust and pull the plow (the Law).
Donkeys are the carriers of the seed. They bring the good news to the fields. When you think of Mary and Joseph and coming to Bethlehem, Balaam, and the triumphant entry into Jerusalem by Jesus...are you getting the picture. Jesus asked for the Donkey and its colt...could that be that the colt will be a symbol that there are two parts to this gospel, and one yet to be fulfilled it hasn't matured yet. One that signifies the end of the exile from God, and the other of His authority as Lord over all creation through the resurrection.
Barley and Wheat represent the the two types of bread that comes from the earth. The bread represents the life and our witness of who we are. The seeds are distinguished as Jew and Gentile...can you guess which is which? The wheat represents the the harvest that comes second in the late fall. It is the message to and through the Jewish people of Israel. The Barley is the early spring harvest, the crop that signifies the beginning of the feasts. The barley when ripe and the new moon are two keys to the timing of events to come. The barley must turn white, signifying its readiness to be harvested. The wheat ties its significance the the Jews and the barley into gentiles in its application through out the Bible.
The other significant harvest is that of the grapes and olives...I will share that in the next blog post. as well as the fig tree and its fruit symbolism.
The livestock consume the harvest. Did you ever notice that the sheep eat selectively, yet goats will eat everything (thorns, briers, kudzu, poison ivy, etc). The oxen are validated to eat from the fields that the work.
Also consider that the bulls/oxen were denoted sacrifices for the priests, and rams for the people's sins. The bread and grain offerings, the wine for the drink offering. The olive oil and the frankincense are also harvested.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
I subscribe that Love is the single most important aspect that we are to reflect in the character of God. It might even be said that the highest action or demonstration of love is mercy. Mercy and Gold? Search wisdom and in its core is love, and to love without mercy is to show that we do not understand the will of God or His character, thus is it possible that without the former we would be without wisdom?
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
God is eternal, godly love is eternal...thus when we are are reconciled by 'truth and faith' and God's grace (His love for you and me) we receive a restored relationship with...
Above I mentioned 'truth' and 'faith', let me explain a little deeper.
Truth-is the spiritual understanding beyond the physical.
Faith-is trusting in the spiritual, the essence of God himself.
So if to have a godly love is life, and you can't love if you don't care...so in essence to not care is to not love.
So if love is life, then to not love is to inflict death.(murder?) So it could be said that when you don't care about someone you a committing spiritual murder.
I know that is heavy, but Jesus took our boundaries of what was acceptable to God and took them to a much more refined level. If we know that God is love...then how could Jesus diminish the essence of the cost of not caring in God's eyes.