Saturday, September 24, 2016

OUR ONLY HOPE

GOD'S MERCY:  THE FOCUS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
Mercy may be defined as "not getting what one deserves." God's pardon from sin!

Psalm 33:18-22 - "Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.  Our soul waiteth for the LORD:  He is our help and our shield.  For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.  Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in Thee."

The Word of God has a phrase that is repeated over and over:  "His mercy endureth forever."  It is found in 1 Ch. 12:34, 41; 2 Ch. 5:13; 7:3, 6; 20:12; Ezra 3:11; Ps. 100:5 and Jer. 33:11; it is also found in all twenty-six verses of Ps. 136! 

GOD'S GRACE:  THE FOCUS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Grace may be defined as "getting something one does not deserve."  God's gift of salvation!

1 Timothy 1:1-2 - "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Savior, and Lord Jesus Christ, Who is our hope; unto Timothy, my own son in the faith:  Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord."

The Word of God speaks of God's grace in many verses; here are just some of them:  Lk.2:40; Acts 11:23; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:6; Phil. 1:2; Col. 1:2; 1 Th. 1:1; 2 Th. 1:2; Phile. 1:3; Heb. 2:9; Jam. 4:6; 1 Pet. 1:2; 2 Pet. 1:2; 2 Jn. 1:3; Jude 1:4; etc.  Our salvation requires both God's mercy and God's grace.  He showed mankind mercy when He sent His only begotten Son to pay for the sins of the whole world (Jn.1:29;  3:16; 1 Jn. 2:2)!  He showed mankind grace, when He declared through the Apostle Paul:

Romans 10:9-10-13 - "...if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation....For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
                                                                           AND
Titus 3:4-7 - "...the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

1)  My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
     I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
     Refrain:  On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand;
                      all other ground is sinking sand.
2)  When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace.
     In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.
     Refrain:  On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand;
                      all other ground is sinking sand.
3)  His oath, His covenant, His blood, support me in the whelming flood.
     When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay.
     Refrain:  On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand;
                      all other ground is sinking sand.
4)  When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh may I then in Him be found.
     Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.
     Refrain:  On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand;
                      all other ground is sinking sand.

 

MY TAKE ON MATTHEW 22:1-14

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

THE PARABLIST - JESUS
THE KING  - GOD, THE FATHER
THE PRINCE - JESUS, AS THE SON OF GOD
THE SERVANTS - GOD'S PROPHETS
OTHER SERVANTS - CHRIST'S DISCIPLES
THOSE BIDDEN TO THE WEDDING - ISRAEL:  GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE
THE KING'S ARMIES - ROME
AS MANY AS YOU FIND - GENTILES
MAN WITHOUT WEDDING GARMENT - THE PROUD WEDDING CRASHER
THE WEDDING GARMENT - GOD'S FREE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
FINAL SERVANTS - GOD'S ANGELS
THE MANY THAT ARE CALLED - GENTILES
THE FEW THAT ARE CHOSEN - THE JEWS

"And Jesus answered and spoke unto them again by parables, and said,  The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a certain King, who made a marriage for His Son, and sent forth His servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding:  and they would not come.  Again, He sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared My dinner:  My oxen and My fatlings are killed, and all things are ready:  come unto the marriage.  But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:  and the remnant took His servants, and treated them spitefully, and slew them.  But when the king heard thereof, He was full of wrath:  and He sent forth His armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.  Then saith He to His servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good:  and the wedding was furnished with guests.  And when the King came in to see the guests, He saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:  and He saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?  And he was speechless.  Then said the King to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  For many are called, but few are chosen."
 
JESUS CAME UNTO HIS OWN, AND HIS OWN DID NOT ACCEPT HIM.
BUT TO AS MANY AS WOULD ACCEPT HIM, TO THEM HE FREELY GAVE
THE WEDDING GARMENT:  HIS ROBES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS!


Friday, September 23, 2016

APPOINTMENTS WITH ALMIGHTY GOD

Genesis 1:14-18 - "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:  and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth:  and it was so.  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night:  He made the stars also.  And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good."

The phrase "for seasons" is from the Hebrew מוֹעֵד (mow`ed), which means "an appointed time, place, gathering, an appointed sign or signal."  It is translated "congregation" 150 times; "feast" 23 times; "season" 13 times; "appointed" 12 times; "time" 12 times; "assembly" 4 times; "solemnity" 4 times; "solemn" 2 times; "days" 1 time; "sign" 1 time; "synagogues" 1time. 

The phrase "the feasts of the LORD" appears just six times in the Bible (Lev. 23:2, 4, 37, 44; 2 Chron. 2:4; Ezra 3:5).  Most significantly, Leviticus 23:1-4 says this about God's "Feasts":

"And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the Feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be Holy Convocations, even these are My Feasts.  Six days shall work be done:  but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an Holy Convocation; ye shall do no work therein:  it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.  These are the Feasts of the LORD, even Holy Convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons."

Here are some observations concerning the "Seven Feasts of the LORD":

1.  The seven "Feasts of the LORD" are not all seven days in length.  Note that Passover (Lev. 23:5) is one day long (Nisan 14); Pentecost (Lev. 23:15-16) is one day long; fifty days after the Sabbath of Firstfruits; Trumpets (Lev. 23:24) is but one day long (Tishri 1); and Atonement (Lev. 23:27) is but one day long (Tishri 10).

2.  The seven "Feasts of the LORD" do not all involve a feast.  Passover is the preparation day for the day following which is the "Feast of Unleavened Bread."  The phrases "the Feast of Firstfruits"; "the Feast of Trumpets"; and the "Feast of the Atonement" do not exist in Scripture.

3.  In reality, as I have said, the use of the phraes "feasts of the LORD" (Lev. 23:2, 4, 37, 44; 2 Chron. 2:4; and Ezra 3:5), are more accurately "the appointments of the LORD." 

4.  Genesis 1:14-18 (noted above) indicate that the Sun provides man with times such as the length of a year, the changing of the seasons, and the length of a day; the Moon provides man with knowledge of the months; and while I do not want to be dogmatic about this, it appears that the Stars provide signs as well.  In Revelation 12, the woman is described as being between the Sun and the Moon; and above "her" head, is a ring of twelve Stars - the constellation Leo which is "above the head of Virgo," has only nine Stars, however, there is every indication that three of the planets will "join them" during the event being signified.  I believe it signifies the Rapture of the Church, which is followed by the Tribulation of the "woman" (Israel:  see Dan. 9:27; Jer. 30:7; Mt. 24:3-29; Rev. 6 - 19.
 
Stay tuned as I still have much to learn concerning the Word of God!  

WHY IS PASSOVER NOT A FEAST DAY?

Leviticus 23:1-4 - "And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the Feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be Holy Convocations, even these are My feasts.  Six days shall work be done:  but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an Holy Convocation; ye shall do no work therein:  it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.  These are the Feasts of the LORD, even Holy Convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons."  [Note:  The word translated "feasts" is the Hebrew מוֹעֵד (mow`ed), which does not always have to do with feasting; it is actually defined as "an appointed place, an appointed time, a scheduled meeting."  Also note that a Holy Convocation is "a calling together for a sacred assembly."  The Hebrew word is:  מִקְרָא (miqra'), which is translated "Assemblies" in Isa. 1:13 and 11:5.  The word is always translate "Convocation" when accompanied by  קֹדֶשׁ (qodesh), meaning "Holy."  The Holy Convocation is a formal or high Sabbath - See Jn. 19:31, where the Passover Lamb was to be killed and prepared for the Feast of Unleavened Bread which began at sunset.]

THE SEVEN "FEASTS" OF THE LORD

1.  Leviticus 23:5 - "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's Passover."  [There is no feast; this is the day of preparation for the Feast of Unleavened Bread - the Bible does not describe the Passover as a Holy Convocation, or a Sabbath, as it is a day of working.]
2.  Leviticus 23:6 - "And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread unto the LORD:  seven days ye must eat unleavened bread."
3.  Leviticus 23:10 - "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the Firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest."  [The Feast of Harvests or Firstfruits - See Lev. 23:16]
4.  Leviticus 23:15-16 - "And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete:  Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD."  [The Feast of Pentecost - "Pentecost" denotes fifty days from the Feast of Firstfruits - See Acts 2:1]
5.  Leviticus 23:24 - "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an Holy Convocation."  [The Feast of Trumpets]
6.  Leviticus 23:27 - "Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a Day of Atonement: it shall be an Holy Convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD."  [The Feast of the Atonement]
7.  Leviticus 23:34 - "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."
 
IN THE END, WE ALL WILL HAVE "AN APPOINTMENT WITH GOD!"

Thursday, September 22, 2016

JESUS, AS GOD, IS THE CREATOR

Genesis 1:1, 26-27 - "In the beginning God (Elohim - a plural name for the One true God) created the heaven and the earth....And God said, Let US (a plural pronoun) make man in OUR (a plural pronoun) image, after OUR (a plural pronoun) likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them."
 
John 1:1-3, 10-14 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The Same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made....He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.  He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.  But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

Colossians 1:12-17 - "Giving thanks unto the Father, Who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son:  in Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature (first to be resurrected - Mt. 27:50-54; 1 Cor. 15:20-23)for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:  all things were created by Him, and for Him:  and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist."

Hebrews 1:1-3 - "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds;  Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."
 
WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED!

TRUST AND OBEY

 BECAUSE JESUS IS OUR LORD, THE SAVED ARE TO OBEY THE GOSPEL

Acts 5:29-32 - "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to OBEY God rather than men.  The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, Whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.  Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give REPENTANCE to Israel, AND FORGIVENESS OF SINSAnd we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, Whom God hath given to them that obey Him."

Luke 24:46-48 - "And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  and that REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF SINS should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things."

[Note:  "Remission" is what Christ did for us on the cross; "repentance" is what we do when we truly believe that Christ "remitted" our sins!]

Romans 10:13-17 - "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent?  As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  But they have not all OBEYED the Gospel.  For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 - "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that OBEY not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power."

1 Peter 4:16-18 - "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:  and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that OBEY not the Gospel of God?  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"
 
BORN AGAIN BELIEVERS ARE TO OBEY TWO COMMANDS:
TO TELL OTHERS AND TO LOVE OTHERS!

Romans 10:9-11 - "...if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed."  [Note:  Mt. 10:32-33; Lk. 12:8-9!]

Galatians 5:13-14 - "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

JESUS: OUR RESURRECTED LORD

The day on which Jesus, the Lord's Passover Lamb was crucified for the sins of the world (Jn. 1:29, 36; 1 Cor. 5:7), was the Jewish "preparation" day (Ex. 12:6; Lev. 23:5; 2 Chron. 35:1-6), the fourteenth day of Nisan, the day they killed and prepared the Passover Lamb to be consumed at sunset, which was the beginning of the fifteenth day of Nisan, the first day of Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:6).  The Greek word translated "preparation" is παρασκευή (paraskeuē), which, in context, means "the day on which the Jews made necessary preparation to celebrate a Sabbath or a Feast."  In the case of the Lord's Feast Days, the first day was "a holy day of convocation" (an assembly day; a High Sabbath).  Because the Gospel of John explains that that particular "Sabbath day was an high day" (Jn. 19:31), it referred to the Lord's Spring Feast of Passover.  Remember, Jesus was our Passover!

*  Matthew 27:62 - "Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate."
*  Mark 15:42 - "And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath (in this case the day before the Feast)."
*  Luke 23:53-54 - "And he took (Christ's body) down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.  And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath (Feast) drew on."
*  John 19:30-31, 42 - "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.  The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away....There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand."

Because the Jewish readers of the Gospels understood that the Lord's Feast Days were Holy Assemblies, or Sabbaths, the terms were used interchangeably.  Unfortunately, 2000 years have passed, and the Church, now composed almost totally of Gentile believers, have mistaken the day after the Crucifixion as being the weekly Sabbath.  Hence, it "celebrates" on "Good Friday."  Based upon the Lord's own words, that would be impossible since He rose from the grave before sunrise on the first day of the week:  our Sunday.  Matthew 12:39-40:

"But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah:  for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." 

In reality, the actual day on which Christ died for us is apparently not as important as the day of His Resurrection, for that is made very clear; Jesus rose on "the first day of the week" (Mt. 28:1; Mk. 16:2; Lk. 24:1; Jn. 20:1)!
 
JESUS DIED AS SAVIOR; JESUS ROSE AS LORD!



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

JESUS IS LORD - SAVING IS WHAT HE DOES!

JESUS CHRIST EARNED THE RIGHT TO BE OUR LORD!

Romans 14:7-12 - The Apostle Paul to believers in Rome (Rom. 1:1-7 below) - "...none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.  For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord:  whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord'sFor to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living.  But why dost thou judge thy brother?  Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother?  For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God (Rom. 10:8-13 below).  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."
 
THE LORD JESUS DIED FOR THE VERY NATION THAT CRUCIFIED HIM!

Romans 1:1-7 - "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the Gospel of God, which He had promised afore by His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, Who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:  by Whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for His name:  among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:  to all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ."
 
THE LORD JESUS ALSO DIED FOR YOU AND ME!

Romans 10:8-13 - "But what saith it?  The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the Word of Faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:  for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
 
IF YOU DO NOT CONFESS JESUS AS YOUR LORD;
JESUS WILL DENY HE EVER KNEW YOU (MT. 10:33)!

ENGLISH, GREEK, LATIN, HEBREW.......

Exodus 3:13-14 - "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His name?  What shall I say unto them?  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."

Dictionary.com defines the tetragrammaton thusly:  "the Hebrew word for God, consisting of the four letters yod, he, vav, and he, transliterated consonantally usually as YHVH, now pronounced as Adonai or Elohim in substitution for the original pronunciation forbidden since the 2nd or 3rd century b.c."  The King James Version shows these Hebrew letters between Psalm 119:32 & 33; 40 & 41; and 72 & 73.  Those who speak Hebrew replace the tetragrammaton with the word "Adonai."  The King James Versions translates it as "LORD" 6510 times, "GOD" 4 times, and "Jehovah" 4 times.  Ironically, because Hebrew has no "J," the better transliteration would be "YeHoVaH" or "Yehovah."

According to Luke 23:38 and John 19:20, the superscription written over Jesus as He hung on the cross was written in Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew.  The name of Jesus was the Greek word Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous), translated "Jesus" 972 times and it is twice translated as "Joshua" (Acts 7:45 & Heb. 4:8); the Latin for Jesus is "Iesu," and the Hebrew is  יְהוֹשׁוּעַ (Yĕhowshuwa`).  So, all those who want to call Jesus by His biblical name, must choose between the three languages, or use their own!  While it is popular among those "Hebrew Roots" devotees to use the Hebrew (I suppose that would make them "more spiritual," at least in their own circles), the Bible is literally translated in thousands of languages, and believe it or not, people actually get saved (come to faith in Jesus Christ) in all of them!

On January 31, 1971, when I awoke, I was an atheist.  By noon, I had listened to three TV preachers talking about Jesus Christ, and after hearing the Gospel (the Bible says that it is in believing the Gospel (1 Cor. 15:3-4), that one is saved (Rom. 1:16; !0:13; etc.)!  I had been a Roman Catholic before I lost faith in faith, but I did not know Latin.  I had absolutely no knowledge of Hebrew or Greek!  And yet, here I sit forty-five years later, still believing in Jesus Christ; still writing about salvation in by faith in Jesus alone; still longing for Jesus to return for His bride!  Acts 4:10-12 says,


"Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom ye crucified, Whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole.  This is the Stone which was set at nought of you builders, Who is become the Head of the Corner (The Chief Cornerstone - Eph. 2:20 & 1 Pet. 2:6).  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
 
Whatever His name is in your language, it is the one that will save you!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

BELIEVERS HAVE A HEALTHY REVERENCE FOR GOD

Much has been written about the fear of the Lord.  Someone has said that there are 365 admonitions within God's Word for the believer to "fear not."  I am sure that someone has even published a book with a daily devotion that tells the reader he is not to fear anything.  But what does the Word of God have to say on the subject?  Here are a few New Testament verses about fearing God:
 
WE ARE TO HAVE A REVERENCE FOR ALMIGHTY GOD 
*  Matthew 10:28 - "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him Who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
*  Luke 1:50 - "And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation."
*  Luke 12:5 - "But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear:  Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear Him."
*  Acts 9:31 - "Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied."
*  Ephesians 5:20-21 - "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."
*  Philippians 2:12-13 - "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and tremblingFor it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."
*  Hebrews 12:28 - "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear."  [ See Ps. 111:9]
*  1 Peter 1:17 - "And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear."
*  1 Peter 2:17 - "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honour the king."
*  Revelation 15:4 - "Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name?  For Thou only art holy:  for all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest."
*  Revelation 19:5 - "And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great."

MATURE BELIEVERS NO LONGER FEAR THEIR FATHER
*  1 Timothy 1:7 - "For God hath not given us the Spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
*  1 John 4:18 - "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:  because fear hath torment.  He that feareth is not made perfect in love."  [Note:  We will one day become "perfect"  according to 1 John 3:2!]
 
ALL THOSE  WHO ARE FILLED WITH FEAR DO NOT KNOW GOD
*  Revelation 21:8 - "But (THOSE FILLED WITH FEAR), and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone:  which is the second death."

Monday, September 19, 2016

GOD DOES NOT WANT HIS CHILDREN TO BE IGNORANT

Bible mysteries are teachings which were hidden in the past by God, but are being revealed for the first time; God then holds those believers responsible as stewards of His truth.  There are twenty-two mysteries, all of which are found in the New Testament.  They are:  

*  Mark 4:11 - "And He said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God:  but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables."
*  Romans 11:25 - "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery... that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in."
*  Romans 16:25 - "Now to Him that is of power to stablish you according to my Gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began."
*  1 Corinthians 2:7 - "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory."
*  1 Corinthians 15:51 - "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed."
*  Ephesians 1:9 - "Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself."
*  Ephesians 3:3-4 - "How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ."
*  Ephesians 3:9 - "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ."
*  Ephesians 5:32 - "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church."
*  Ephesians 6:19 - "And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel."
*  Colossians 1:26-27 - "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints:  to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
*  Colossians 2:2 - "That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ."
*  Colossians 4:3 - "Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds."
*  2 Thessalonians 2:7 - "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way."
*  1 Timothy 3:9 - "Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience."
*  1 Timothy 3:16 - "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
*  Revelation 1:20 - "The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks.  The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches:  and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches."
*  Revelation 10:7 - "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets."
*  Revelation 17:5, 7 - " And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH....And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel?  I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns."
 
You may want to keep this list as a reference to mysteries believers should know.

TWO WITNESSES FROM TWO TESTAMENTS

The Bible teaches that at least two witnesses are necessary when a testimony is required to verify what is being revealed  as truth (Deut. 17:6; 19:15; Mt. 18:16; 2 Cor. 13:1).  We find that both Solomon and Daniel of the Old Testament, reveal that God has a Son, and while many writers of the New Testament identify Jesus as the Son of God, I have chosen Matthew and John as two witnesses to the fact that Jesus is His Son!
 
SOLOMON AND DANIEL
Proverbs 30:4 - "Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended?  Who hath gathered the wind in his fists?  Who hath bound the waters in a garment?  Who hath established all the ends of the earth?  What is His name, and what is His Son's name, if thou canst tell?"

Daniel 3:24-25 - "Then Nebuchadnezzar the king....said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."

MATTHEW AND JOHN
Matthew 8:28-29 - "And when (Jesus) was come to the other side...there met Him two possessed with devils...saying, What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God...?"
Matthew 14:33 - "Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped (Jesus), saying, Of a truth Thou art the Son of God."
Matthew 16:15-16 - "(Jesus) saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Matthew 27:54 - "Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God."

John 1:34 - "And I (John the Baptist) saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."
John 1:49 - "Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel."
John 3:16-18 - "For God...gave His...Son....He that believeth on Him is not condemned:  but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
John 9:35-38 - "Jesus...said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?  He answered and said, Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?  And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee.  And he said, Lord, I believe.  And he worshipped Him."
John 10:36 - "Say ye of Him, Whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"
John 11:27 - "She saith unto Him, Yea, Lord:  I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, Who should come into the world."
John 20:28 - "And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God."
John 20:30-31 - "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book:  but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name."

 
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

IT IS "BIBLE QUIZ TIME"

I have a little quiz for you.  What do the following verses have in common?

Acts 11:17; 15:11, 26; 16:31; 20:21; 28:31
Romans 1:7; 5:1, 11; 13:14; 15:6, 30; 16:18, 20, 24
1 Corinthians 1:3, 7, 8, 10; 5:4; 8:6; 15:57; 16:22, 23
2 Corinthians 1:2, 3; 8:9; 11:31; 13:14
Galatians 1:3; 6:14, 18
Ephesians 1:2, 3, 17; 3:14; 5:20; 6:23, 24
Philippians 1:2; 3:20; 4:23
Colossians 1:2, 3
1 Thessalonians 1:1, 3; 2:19; 3:11, 13
2 Thessalonians 1:1, 2, 8, 12; 2:1, 14, 16; 3:6, 12, 18
1 Timothy 1:1; 5:21; 6:3, 14
2 Timothy 4:1, 22
Titus 1:4
Philemon 1:3, 25
James 1:1; 2:1
1 Peter 1:3
2 Peter 1:8, 14, 16
2 John 1:3
Jude 1:4, 17, 21

Give up?  Of course, not a single one of you looked up every one of these verses because your time is limited, but may I recommend you copy this list and use it when sharing your faith with others?  What, you say, is so important about these eighty-four verses?  They clearly identify who Jesus was and is:  He is the Lord Jesus Christ!  He, by being called "Lord" that many times in the New Testament, is clearly being identified with the God of the Old Testament; there, His title "LORD"  (the Hebrew יְהֹוָה (Yĕhovah), which occurs 6518 times in 5521 verses) appears 6510 times as "LORD," 4 times as "GOD," and 4 times as "JEHOVAH."  Matthew 1:21 and Romans 10:13 say:
 
"THOU SHALT CALL HIS NAME JESUS" and
"WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED!"

SHOULD WE SIMPLY FOLLOW OUR HEART

Have you ever heard people say, "You must simply follow your heart?"  They assure those foolish enough to believe them, that "everyone is really good at heart," and that "true happiness is simply fulfilling the imaginations and the desires of your heart!"  There are even pastors who have huge followings because they preach this lie; because they preach what tickles their misguided flock's ears!  But what does the Word of God have to say about man's heart?  Here are just ten examples:

*  Genesis 6:5 - "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
*  Genesis 8:21 - "And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground anymore for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done."
*  Proverbs 6:16-19 - "These six things doth the LORD hate:  yea, seven are an abomination unto Him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."
*  Jeremiah 7:23-24 - "But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be My people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.  But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward."
*  Jeremiah 9:13-16 - "And the LORD saith, Because they have...have walked after the imagination of their own heart...I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known:  and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them."
*  Jeremiah 11:8 - "Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not."
*  Jeremiah 16:12 - "And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto Me."
*  Jeremiah 18:12 - "And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart."
*  Matthew 15:18-20 - "...those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:  these are the things which defile a man...."
*  Romans 1:21-22 - "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."

So what is the solution?  How can our thoughts and the imaginations of our hearts be changed? 

*  Ezekiel 36:26-27 -  "A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you:  and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them."
*  John 14:16-17, 26 - Jesus said, "...I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him:  but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you....But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."